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Oops, forgot to do this - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Oops, forgot to do this
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"It's all so weird." They reached the window, and looked up into space. Another cloud of rocks seemed be forming around Rytel Gate, and people were watching it with some alarm. Ora shuddered. "An asteroid. Of all the stupid things. They can travel to almost fifty worlds, but they can't stop a piece of flying rock."

"They did try."

"Right. And blew it up. Good call." She crossed her arms over her chest and watched two ships far above them pass back and forth in a holding pattern. One was cleared to the Galutia Gate, and as it shot through, Ora looked down again. "Stupid," she muttered.

They stood awkwardly for awhile, then Livana said, "Have you seen Father Peters, anyway?"

Ora gritted her teeth. "Oh, I saw him all right. Do you know what the idiot is doing? He was supposed to go on a ship yesterday! But no. He decides to go down to the surface and help dig for people. Like anyone's left."

"There could be someone. I wanted to volunteer, but Mama wouldn't let me."

Ora's foot tapped in a frustrated way, then she sniffed. "I tried to stow away on the carrier. They caught me and sent me back."

"Wow."

"It's all just stupid," she said again, and slapped her hand against the window. "I was in the middle of things. All these people are hurt, and I'm just thinking I was halfway through a dumb Round Table painting."

"A new one?"

She nodded. "It was Mordrevere," she said, grinning. "I thought I'd give it to you for your birthday. I know how you love it."

Livana wrinkled her nose. "Gwennie and Mordred. It's wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start."

Ora's grin wavered, then became positively shaky. "I left it at the asylum. It's burned and buried by now. It doesn't matter much, does it?"

Livana shrugged. "I was reading a book about the generation ships. I fell asleep reading it. Dropped it behind my bed. I couldn't find it when they dragged us out. There was this girl on the ship and she got lost in the engine rooms, and she found a map. I don't know where the map was supposed to get her. And I can't remember the name of it. I don't think anyone's going to care about that, either."

"Father was putting together a whole summer thing. A bunch of us--you know... we were going to go exploring in the caves."

"Somebody needs to write a tragedy about that. What's the destruction of the whole world when you lose your vacation?"

"Or your books."

They smiled at each other sheepishly. Livana wondered how many of the other people here were thinking about things like that. She'd had an idea that she was the only one, that everyone would judge her if she admitted that she wanted to know what happened on a show while a lot of people were dying, but now she wasn't sure. No one had planned for this. The government had promised that they knew how to handle the incoming asteroid. People who thought about it at all were going to go up to the observatories and watch it get blown out of the orbital plane. Bertie had wanted to go, but Mama had told him it would be too late at night, and he had a test in school the next day. They'd all gone to sleep, not expecting that the world would end before the alarms woke them up.
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Comments
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: November 12th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Obviously I've no idea who these people are, but I like this, the situation absolutely rings true.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, good. :) Part of me was a little worried about randomly throwing in fandom-like talk, but it seemed like what people would do.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 12th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, it looks really good (but now I'm annoyed cause I can't read the rest :P Oh well..)

Sorry for the anonymous thing, but I don't have a livejournal account. Still, I follow your journal because I'm a big fan of your HP fanfiction. Hope you don't mind :)

Good luck on the rest of NaNo!

Alice
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't mind at all! Thanks!
daisan From: daisan Date: November 12th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nicely done! I'm in, let me know where I can sign up to read the whole thing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
It'll be awhile. If I finish it--and I'm choking a little right now, but I do know where I'm going--I'll do a re-write and then try to sell it. But believe me, if I do, everyone will know. :)
sreya From: sreya Date: November 12th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. This is an awesome story concept, and I'm pretty excited to see what you do with it. The characters are very approachable (not a surprise, from you!) and you're setting up the emotional landscape quite well. I can remember wondering what was wrong with me the day after 9/11 that I was more involved with being excited my school newspaper was interviewing me -- it takes a while for this sort of chaos to sink in sometimes.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!

I went to Temple the Saturday after 9/11--as did a lot of non-regulars--and there was a kid with a bar mitzvah. He was developmentally disabled and obviously had to have worked harder than most to learn the trope and the Hebrew. A lot of his family couldn't come in becase of travel restrictions, the synagogue was packed with solemn, grieving people, and I can't imagine people were in much of a mood for a party. And I just remember thinking, "That's just not fair. All that work, and his big day is totally spoiled... by three thousand people dying, which I guess puts it in perspective, but why should this kid have it spoiled?" And then I realized the same would be true for anyone with a 9/11 birthday or anniversary, especially if '01 was one of the biggies that will never come again, and that all those little things got spoiled. Same with Hurricane Katrina (which was the more immediate precipitating event for me. Er, so to speak.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: November 13th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
This one gives us a much better idea of what's going on than the first two (well, last two story-wise) did, and I can conclusively say, dude, this rocks. You have the psychology down pat, I like the casual fandom references to King Arthur, and I'm highly interested in this Father Peters. Sounds like a cool guy.

In your face, Armageddon.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't had a chance to use Father Peters much, but in today's segment, I'll be getting him his own plotline. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 13th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Shloz: Sounds good

This is so good - as usual - that you wonder why no-one has tried this premise before... Of course when the Real Thing happens here we'll be treated to a host of reassuring declarations, followed by a "surprise" catastrophe.

I like your naming system, here and in the NaNo site excerpt. A little Ivrit influence there? ;-)

Shloz
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 13th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Shloz: Sounds good

Nah, good old genealogy lists. ;) "Ora" and "Livana" both came from a Winchester genealogy.

Glad you liked it... and yes, given our general response to disasters, we're in very big trouble if an asteroid is coming toward us. You'd have some American cowboy wanting to blow it up without checking with astrophysicists, the U.N. wanting to see if they could use diplomacy with it instead, and then every government in the world bickering about who gets to solve the problem.
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: November 14th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
This is my favorite section so far. I love the way they talk about King Arthur. When I first read "Mordrevere" I though that since this was way in the future, the Arthurian legends were all different, with different names, and I was like, wow, I want to read the story about Author's illegitimate-daughter-wife-whose a knight of the round table (and now that I say that, it sounds really kinky). And then I realized it was a pairing, and it was just hilarious.

They way they talk about what they lost is so true. I remember that the week of 9/11 was the same as the season opening of "Darkangel", and I was a little upset about how they had changed the time. When disasters like that happen, I think that people look to the little things in their lives that got disrupted before they start to see the big ones.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 14th, 2005 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
And then I realized it was a pairing, and it was just hilarious.

I'm glad. I have them as fen--they watch a show called Round Table, which is a Camelot-based show about as conscious of history as Xena, Warrior Princess--and, though I don't want it to take over the story, I'd like to work it in as part of who they are as characters without, you know, really annoying fen. ;)
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