Nov 12, 2010

NaNo Excerpt - Week Two

As you may (if you're my Facebook friend) or may not (if you're not yet my Facebook friend) know, I jumped ship with my NaNo this week. I've shelved the SNI to work on at a more leisurely pace, and I've gone back to my OI (original idea). Who needs sleep for the month of November, right?

Anyway, this story is along the lines of my space opera, only set way before it. It's seven years into the Kohl-trin/human war and follows the firefighter class starship Valkyrie on it's quest for information that may swing the war in the human's favour.

In this weeks excerpt we have Calandra, last of the Old Race, breaking the news to Aleron, commander of the Valkyrie, that she intends to go behind enemy lines in search of some information that will help them on their quest.

“I still don’t understand how the Kohl-trin found us.” Aleron sipped the amber liquid in his goblet as he considered his next move on the logos board.

“Simple, my friend, we have a yanis on board.”

“A what?”

“A yanis, a Kohl-trin spy.” Calandra poured herself another drink.

“A spy,” Aleron mused. “I half expected that. Any leads as to who it might be?”

“No, unfortunately. We’ll have to start running security checks. I’d offer Skyler and Bran to assist you, but I’ve another task in mind for them.”

Aleron moved a piece and looked up. “What makes you so sure you can trust them?”

“Aleron, there are only four people on this entire vessel I trust completely: Skyler, Bran, our chief medical officer, and yourself.”

He grunted and lapsed into silence, studying the board.

“Calandra,” he said at last. “I think you should give up this Temple of Knowledge foolishness –”

“We go through this every time we play logos. On your world there could be a lengthy rainfall and a dozen legends would spring up as to the cause. However, my people were never known to twist the truth, no matter how entertaining it might be.”

“You have no idea where this temple might be, and from what you’ve told me, even if we do find it you’ll still need a key.”

“Which is why I must visit the Hall of Records on Agon.” She got the pronouncement out quickly and drained her goblet.

For a moment Aleron simply started at her. “The Rihal system is under Kohl-trin control.”

“At one point in our history,” she continued as though he hadn’t spoken, “There was a prophecy of danger and there would be a need of secrecy concerning the temple. Its location was stricken from all records, save those used in the test of Avonahl.”

“What’s that?”

“Suffice it to say it was very dangerous, often fatal. But the reward for success was the accumulated knowledge of the Old Race. I was the last of my people to undertake it. Unfortunately, some knowledge was lost before my time.”

She paused, remembering. “I know vaguely the location of the temple, but there were five keys that could unlock it, and that knowledge was lost.”

“So it’s hopeless, just as I suspected.”

“Not so. The location of each of the keys was hidden well, however, one of the priests of knowledge, who were in charge of such things, had a dream—”

“Let me guess,” Alerson said sarcastically. “He dreamt of impending doom, when the location of the keys would be needed so he wrote down the locations in the Hall of Records.”

“Close. Only the location of one key.”

“This is ridiculous!”

“That priest,” Calandra said, her voice rising. “Was my ancestor. The information has been passed down from generation to generation.”

“The Rihal system is still under Kohl-trin control.”

“Which is why I’m taking Skyler, Bran and the Sunstar to Agon while you take the Valkyrie to the base station for repairs.”

“What makes you think the Kohl-trin would leave something as important as the Hall of Records intact?”

“Much of the Hall lies underground. There’s a chance that what I seek is still there. But we might have to dig for it.”

“I still don’t like it, it’s too risky.”

“I believe it is worth the risk, and I will hear no more about it!”

Aleron moved his last piece on the board. “There! Your empire has fallen madam. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” He rose and stalked from the room.

If you'd like to read more, check out another excerpt on my other blog.

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