Posts Tagged Nother

[partim] Isaac.

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Now I say I had the planet to myself, and that was mostly true.  Far from Martian habitation, there are not many of the nightmares; but they are out there, so there is still some danger.

And danger it was really… determination notwithstanding, I was still at an age vulnerable to their influence.

I still remember very clearly the first time one was on me.  I was only about twelve feet tall at the time, still very young but already too large to fit into the shelter.

I couldn’t move—I just lay across the ground, my head full of darkness, unable to see anything but the gruesome images the nightmare poured into my brain.

They say the nightmares don’t go for the most cherished images—love and home are usually stronger than its corrupting influence.  Instead it goes for the subtle, the day-to-day things that are always all around you but that you barely notice—the ground you walk on, the air you breathe, the clothes on your back, converted into loathsome, fetid, pustulent, ichorous…

I lost consciousness before they got me underground; they said I was lucky to wake again at all.

[scrap] Micah.

This one’s a bit rambly and unfocused, not too fond of it.

The red landscape of Mars was a constant distraction as I tried to focus on homework.  Charlemagne never saw this pink sky; did that make us better than him?  Silly question—the future would take the new world for granted.  I wouldn’t be in any history books, though the men who built the rockets surely would be.

Would there be any history of Mars?  Or would it be like the moon, just a place of curiosity for scientists?  Obviously it’d be a refuge for Atlanteians as well, but it was yet to be seen if that’d enter human history.

For the thousandth time, the persistent thought—if only I’d been born human.  I shut the history book and got up to look for a more effective distraction.

[partim] Taaq.

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In those days, the world above the water was full of monsters, and all the people had to have either places of refuge or habitation below the water, where the monsters couldn’t go.

I’ve since learned that monsters like these have been known on many worlds.  In ours, we remember them as faceless creatures with fearsome talons, and massive fins by which they could swim through the air—which probably means what you would call wings.

Anyway—the monsters hunted our cubs, and many were either consumed in desolate places, or drowned in the sea attempting to escape.

[partim] Mori.

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It didn’t even take me long to put the formula together—it would have been difficult or impossible for the ancient alchemists, but that was only because of collecting the ingredients; both lunar and terrestrial components were required.

The golem’s locating ability helped me find everything easily in the giant’s laboratory.  From what I could see, most of the supplies were quite stale; whoever had worked here had not been here in a very long time.  Fortunately nothing organic was needed.

The final product glowed with the pearlescence of mixed moonlight and earthlight—slowly growing brighter as the last reaction took place.

I noticed one of the kelvins had appeared and was watching me.  “Does this place belong to you all?” I said.  “I’m sorry I didn’t ask first—my foot got crushed and my golem brought me here to fix it.”

The kelvin’s initial look of sadness deepened to outright desperation.

“Do you need this too?” I said.  “There’s enough to share here…”

I went up to the kelvin, limping carefully, and moved to put my paw on his shoulder—and felt a powerful disinclination as I got closer.

“Let me touch you,” I said.  “I won’t hurt you.  C’mon…”

The kelvin didn’t respond.  I pushed through the resistance till finally my paw closed on his shoulder.  I tried to make it a reassuring touch, but the kelvin’s body was very hot—almost burning to the touch.

[partim] Blake.

Previous | First

When we left the restaurant it was still raining.  I didn’t have anything damageable on me, so I didn’t bother manifesting an umbrella.

Blake was looking up into the downpour, looking even bigger than before—actually rounding out and looking chubbier by the moment.

“Um, Blake?”

“Hey marten,” he said. “Want to do something impossible?”  He turned to me and grinned, though his face was already changing.  His muzzle lengthened, straightening out into a solid red beak, and he sat back on his haunches, hands on the ground and looking up at me as he continued to grow.

When he was at eye level with me even in his crouched position, he stretched out, his arms growing into slender talons while his hindquarters took on a more feline appearance.

“Stand back,” he said, in a strange rumbling voice and I jumped back as two frankly enormous red wings sprouted from his back fully-formed, and a flick of the tail seemed to complete the transformation, leaving it a leonine shape with a dark red tuft.

“A gryphon?” I said.

“Climb on,” he said.

[scrap] Mařa.

I can’t save everyone.  Ultimately, I don’t think I can save anybody—everyone die, sooner or later—but there are better and worse ways to go.

I saw pretty early that I wouldn’t really be able to do much with my talent as a doctor, which was my first thought.  There woludn’t be much changing lives—mostly people would only come in for problems they already knew they had, and any human doctor can give decent odds on how a person would make out—I’d just be better at it.

Instead, I volunteered to work with the homeless.

[partim] Shotrox.

Previous / First

I saw a good many of the others at a distance as I passed through the forest, but none of them approached me, so I kept my distance as well.  Most of them were people from town anyway, whom I recognized but didn’t know; I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable.

The walk wasn’t as long for me as it would have been for them; it wasn’t long before I entered the small clearing bordered by the ring of stones.

The light brightened as I entered, as it always did, though no-one knew why; by the time everyone got here it’d be nearly too bright to see.

This is where magic happens, when maccans come together, and this is where maccans come together when we need magic to happen.

[partim] Mori.

Previous | First

I had Munk put me down, and I sat down, examining my foot, while the golem worked to open the book.

The first pages were crammed with text, in characters three inches high that nevertheless through their thickness of stroke appeared to be close and cramped.

Munk flipped past these.

There were astrological diagrams and charts of numbers, which the golem flipped past, drawings of what appeared to be some very unusual mushrooms, which the golem flipped past, something that looked like either a genealogical tree, or a large flowchart, which the golem flipped past—

And then he stopped at the page.  The page—if the golem hadn’t led me to it, I would have doubted, but inscribed at the top of the page, in the book’s plain black ink, was the alchemical symbol for the panacea.

[scrap] Kint.

Heartbeat.  I felt a tiny rush of life from the spell, and held it up.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on staying alive, tried to forget my wounds, tried to forget the chill of winter, the howling raucous wind, and the snow piling up at the entrance to the cave.  And I tried to focus on the spell to stay alive.

Heartbeat.  I was alive a moment ago; my heart is beating, so I’m alive now; I will be alive for another moment.

Heartbeat.  Oh, it did hurt.  I heard searchers shouting, but I couldn’t tell from here if they were Arcadian or not, and I didn’t want to risk it.

Heartbeat.  I could outwait them all anyway.  The blood had—well, it had almost abated its flow, though with the spell I don’t think it would have mattered anyway.

Heartbeat. The cold was going through me though, and I felt quite weak, and tired. I knew falling asleep would be bad—it’d be a gamble as to whether I could keep the heartbeat going in my sleep.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on recovering, on getting my strength back, but I still half felt like I would lose.

Forget hiding, I thought, I need help.

Heartbeat.  I struggled to get up, which was a little difficult, not wanting to take my hand off my ruined arm, but I managed it carefully and staggered to the cave mouth.

Heartbeat.  I saw a searcher further up the valley. I gave a mental shout and, not knowing if he was terras or in hearing distance, flashed a spenselight signal showing where I was.

The weakness overcame me again and I struggled back into what little shelter the cave had.

I waited.

I fell asleep.

[scrap] Matanky.


It’d be weird for people to come down out of space and live on big rocks.  You have to remember it was the other way around.  They escaped the rocks and started roaming free.

They say it was just one rock to start with.  Which is silly if you bother to look at the timelines—they say Earth was the first, but I can think of at least half a dozen rocks with longer histories.

Like this one I was stuck on.  Axmic had a massive and boring history behind it, about as massive and boring as the place itself.

The gravity is all wrong.  It wasn’t the natural gravity, which would have been ridiculous.  But that only made it worse somehow, that people had sat around a table and come up with a consensus and the lot of them had decided, they’d chosen, to make gravity just a little higher than standard.

It’s not just a question of my own mass—that’s easy enough to change—but the way you interact with everything else.  Nothing’s unusable, but everything is just a little heavier than you expect. Everything’s… just… off.

And here, because stuck here.

They said it’d be at least a week to investigate.

And Axmic was old-fashioned enough that I actually had to be present for it.

I hate planets.

I want off this rock.