Daily Archives: November 15, 2006

NaNoWriMo 2006- Day Fifteen

Had to take a break yesterday. The brain went on strike. Still I managed to write thirteen hundred words, but I had to leave Jack in the middle of a battle, his saber poised to strike a really ugly alien. His arm must be getting tired by now.

It’s midmonth and I’m more than halfway there (for NaNo, anyway), but I want to pick the pace back up. Meantime, here’s another undedited excerpt:

I gaped. I’d assumed that I’d get a similar experience with Eve as with Phoenix. It looked like she was developing fast but more normally; I remembered Terry’s little Evie doing exactly what Eve was doing. Eve, Evie. Was it a coincidence I’d chosen such a similar name? They didn’t look the same at all. Evie was dark-haired and had been slender, even as a baby. Eve was light-haired and pudgy. Both of them, though, had beautiful eyes, even if Eve’s were weird-looking.

While I was being amazed, the case on the table had expanded. The two sides had revolved and lay flat. On the left side, a flat screen with a keyboard, on the other side, some kind of communications device that resembled what Neola was using. I felt a twinge thinking of Neola. I knew she was dead, along with my other self, and I knew she’d used me but I did miss her anyway. I missed her quirky mind, her sense of humour, her guts.

I looked for a switch to turn the screen on but couldn’t find one. More out of no knowing what to do than anything else, I touched the screen; it lit up without even a sputter. I hoped I didn’t have to give more blood to be able to operate it.

It was well and good to have equipment, but I had no idea what to do with it. The screen narrowed to a pinpoint, then lit up again. A gorgeous, bosomy blonde appeared. “Mr. Meter, I’m Jacqueline, your avatar.”

“Funny, Winston, very funny.”

Jacqueline smiled. “I’m here to help and guide you through the AGES database and to contact the people you might want to talk to. How can I help?”

Using the database was going to be easier than I thought. “Give me everything you have on a species called Phoenix.”

“One moment please.”

It was only one moment, and data blinked onto the screen. Jacqueline, reduced to a small window in the left corner, smiled. “Did you want me to read the data to you, Mr. Meter? I can also summarize the salient points.”

“I’ll read some first, see how’s that going for me. If it’s too difficult to understand, I’ll ask you to interpret.”

“Just say my name, and I’ll be there.”

Jacqueline blinked out. I began to read.

The more I read, the more appalled I was. The Phoenix species was not a natural species but a fabricated one. It took on the external appearance of the owner it was attached to but, internally, it stayed the same. I wondered how that would work for my alien friends the Thrittene, who were many and one at the same time.

Initially, the Phoenix had been bred as a pet, or a piece of interesting, renewable furniture. Their intelligence was very low, maybe that of a bird –hence the name Phoenix, that the humans who knew about them had given them—plus the fact that they did die and renew themselves every morning. The individuals didn’t die, they wore out. When that happened, they could be given a form of poison that stopped their renewal.

They had been originally fabricated on a small planet in Alpha Centauri –the closest galaxy to ours, I knew—but there were now several factories across other galaxies. There were two models: a twenty-four hour and a twelve-hour model, the longer-lasting model being more expensive, of course.

I wondered if whoever was doing this had given me two cheap models or one of each. Would Eve last a whole twenty-four hours, or would she evaporated in eight hours? I glanced at her. She’d fallen asleep, her face leaned against her little pudgy hand, her curls longer and darker. Her clothes seemed to be a lot tighter. Cute kid. My heart twinged. Damnit to hell.

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