Tuesday, October 25, 2011

3rd campaigner challenge


Vector Prime

The sun was a slow bubble of molten slag pulling away from the horizon. Nored watched it rise, all the while aware of the body behind him. The warmth of the new day was starting to make it smell.

Finally it was time. He sighed and touched the metal band on his thumb to his lips.

‘Jaiin?’ his own voice rang loud in his ears, hollow. The Synbatec satellite would be in range now, but his ring hissed static.

-ored? --epeat.’ Between bursts of white noise he could make out his commanders voice. He held his ring higher as if that would help.

‘I lo-ca-ted Ta-cer. Tar-get down.’ He spoke each syllable separately, slowly. ‘Re-bel a-gent is down. Re-peat. A-gent is down. I am rea-dy for pick-up.’

As he waited for Jaiin’s reply, the breeze brought the smell of the body to his nose. He could almost taste the burnt flesh.

‘Nore-- --reter--t,’ The static made her words nonsense. ‘-- was to –-- --- pan-e- -- er--'

‘Ple-ase re-peat. Did. Not. Copy.'

'Tac— is ---e—-‘

‘Jaiin. Repeat!’

He sighed again. The nuke must have wiped out more comsats than command had foreseen. He swore, looking up at the moon. It was a pale disk in the dawn but the mushroom cloud had drifted with the rotation and looked like scar on the ancient cratered face. That would teach the rebels not to fuck with earth. He started to laugh.

‘Nored.’ Jaiin’s voice came as clear now as if she sat beside him. ‘Tacer is infected. He was to release a pandemic on earth. He is the prime vector. Virus is airborne. Do not engage. Repeat. Do not engage. Over.’

Nored turned around. Tacer’s charred lips were pulled back from his remaining teeth, almost smiling.

Monday, October 17, 2011

3 things I should do while waiting for feedback (but what I really do instead)

Been quite round the blog haunts these past couple of weeks. Been quite in all other corners of my writing life too. This time it is the wait for my proof edit to return, but the problem is the same be it waiting on draft feedback, query submissions or an advanced find/replace in word: What to do with idle hands.

The devil, no doubt, has plans for my procrastination. To fight his evil I have a short list of activities that thwart his every move.

1. Start writing the next book. This one is obvious really, even my editor thinks it is a novel idea. But I can see Satan's hand in good intentions, and I hold firm against such temptation. Instead of beginning book 2 when book 1 hasn't even hit the printers yet, I find that a marathon session of The Wire can help keep me on the straight and narrow. After 3 seasons of drug dealing and murder, all thought of world building of my own is well and truly put to rest. No doubt.

2. Plan marketing strategy of upcoming book. This would be a great way to fill up the hours of nail biting and growing anxiety, but I am strong and my mind is pure. I shan't give in to such vanity. To plan a marketing strategy would play right into the devil's plans for me to become actually successful at this game. This in turn would lead to a life of hedonistic debauchery in which I end up alone, whispering the name of my long lost symbol of childhood innocence the moment the glass of napoleon brandy crashes to the floor. I won't be fooled so easy. And to stave off the temptation of the devil, nothing is better than a quick hour or 10 of angry birds. (I lie, I finished that ages ago. I'm on to Tiny Wings now.)

3. Actively participate in the online writing community. During my writing stints, I have neglected the blogosphere, and it is high time I pay them back. I know I should visit all the pages I follow and comment on the posts. I know I should make a post of my own and thank all the people for the awards they have given me in the last few months. But I am onto the devil and his nefarious ways now. I can see through such a seemingly altruistic ploy, to the black heart of pain it would cause. All it would achieve in the end would be to further my delusions that there are real people out there struggling and hoping and perhaps even caring about each other. That is exactly the kind of disarming fallacy the king of darkness wants us to believe. Far better to write this post instead, in which I justify my procrastination at the same time as I add to it. 

Your move, devil.

T.B.

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About me.