Monday, April 1, 2013

TG: "Arriving" extract - and other news

Well, new month, new story! Here's an extract from my latest work, Arriving. It's part three in an on-going series I'm writing in my universe, which I hope will eventually lead into a game idea I have (though that's probably a few years off, still. Good to start early, at least!). It's set on a new world, separate from any others I've detailed, and follows the adventures of a thus-far-nameless narrator who apparently has the ability to perceive possible futures, and is using this ability to restore a world devastated by the Great Enemy.

The story will be appearing in the upcoming Winter 2013 edition of Running Out of Ink, the official publication of the Grand Valley Writers' Club. Hopefully I can get it, along with its prequels, published in something more professional in the future. Anyway, enjoy!

                Unquenchable heat. I feel a pang of regret for giving my hat to that boy I met. My unprotected scalp is no doubt bright red at this point. My whole face is probably scorched, aside from under my goggles. Still, I walk. This planet used to be temperate, but that changed. Several centuries now, I think. It’s hard to keep track of time when there’s no seasons. The monsters that reduced the world to little more than dust and ash are long-gone, but the scars of their passing still remain.
                Despite the endless passage of time, I keep walking. This world has great potential. I’ve seen the future, and I know it’ll be important again, but not without help. So I walk. I go where I am needed, and give a push here and a nudge there to get it on track.
                The wind picks up, blowing dust across my face. I scratch my short beard, the same gray as my hair, and smack my long brown coat a few times to shake it out. I shift my shoulders and re-tighten the straps of my rucksack and gun. My stride doesn’t change. I reach the top of a rocky hill and look down. At last, I see what I’m looking for. A silver dome blazes in the sunlight, set within a low valley. It takes only minutes to climb down to it.
                I see the silver of the dome is merely the sun reflecting off of glass. The bottom ten feet is a flat steel wall, patched up in a few places, with traces of previous attacks. Doesn’t look serious, but that could change. I can’t see movement inside, only nebulous dark shapes. There’s nobody outside.
                Making a circuit around the half-mile-wide building, I come to a door. It’s large enough to fit a vehicle through, and looks reinforced. Not seeing any way to communicate with the inside, I raise a hand and bang on the door a half-dozen times.
                Silence descends. A gust of wind, then nothing again. A minute passes. I raise my hand, when grinding erupts from the door. Dust cascades from the frame as it opens. My ears ache.
                The door opens all the way, revealing a concrete room inside. It’s about ten feet to a side, and devoid of features, save a brightly lit light panel in each corner, and an equal size door on the far side, which is closed. The outer door stops, and silence descends again. I glance around to see where the hidden camera with which they’re surely watching me is, but I don’t see it. Figuring they won’t come out until I step inside, I shrug and take a few steps into the middle of the room.
                The outer door grinds closed again. Once I’m shut in, the inner door opens with less grinding, revealing three armored humans standing behind it, each pointing a combat rifle at me. Their faces are masked, though I can see one’s a woman. They step forward slowly, keeping their guns trained on me, and two spread out to either side. I slowly raise my hands.
                “Who are you?” the man in front of me asks.

On a semi-related note, I submitted the first story in this series, Walking, to Analog Magazine several months ago. A few days ago, I got a rejection letter from them; however, it included the line "I rather like your style, and suggest you submit to us again." I gotta say, that's VERY encouraging! So, I'm going to dig through what else I've got, and see if I can submit something more closely to what Analog publishes (i.e. hard sci-fi, which, admittedly, Walking wasn't very hard). I think my story "Cold Warriors" (currently my only story in my universe set BEFORE the Judgment War, by nearly a thousand years) will be a good fit. Stay tuned for news on that!

No comments:

Post a Comment