Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chapter 21!!!!

I'm not going to lie. I love this chapter. And it's super long, too. You're welcome.
Disclaimer: I own none of this, no matter how much I wish I did.

For no apparent reason, the ship had started moving again.
Not the ship itself, of course, but the people on it. After retiring to his stateroom the night before, Alek had been determined to stay awake until Deryn returned. But exhaustion had taken over, and he fell asleep with his boots still on.
Now, as Alek shook the sleep from his eyes and stepped into the corridor, a team of riggers stumbled past and nearly knocked him from his feet. They apologized to him tiredly, envy coloring their expressions. In his surprise, Alek forgot to ask what they were doing down in the gondola. Normally riggers spent their time topside in the ratlines.
He made his way toward the bow of the ship, watching out for any more crewmen on his way. A slight snuffling noise caught his attention, and he turned to find the lady boffin just behind, led by Tazza. It made him start a bit to see Dr. Barlow walking Tazza herself.
The thylacine whined in greeting, and Alek reached down to pet his head absently. His attention was caught by the lady boffin who, despite looking as refined as ever, seemed disheveled somehow.
“Dr. Barlow, what is going on?” He asked.
“What isn’t going on would be a more appropriate question, I’m sure.” She sighed. “Dr. Horn has come up with a solution to our problem. He’s been in a flurry since last evening, overcome by an epiphany. The man does not understand the concept of patience or sleep.
“A solution?”
“Yes,” Dr. Barlow paused, letting the lorises climb to the ceiling and hang there chattering for a moment before continuing to speak. “Your suggestion was quite inspiring, it would seem--”
“My what?” Alek hardly believed he could have been helpful, much less inspiring. The Darwinists still thought of him as a waste of hydrogen sometimes.
“--As I was trying to say, Aleksandar, your suggestion to use something we already have in a different way proved to be advantageous. Do you remember Dr. Horn’s mention of a skata?”
Alek bit his lip. “Yes. That was the skunk, wasn’t it? It guides the...gorgon.”
“To put it simply. With the help of a perspicacious friend, we’re back on track. The crew has been working all night to prepare, and we’ll be departing for the mountains within the hour.”
“Excuse me, Ma’am, but prepare for what? What even is the new plan, exactly?”
The ship was still in a commotion around them as the lady boffin began to explain what was happening. Alek hissed as an airman ran into his shoulder, which was still far from healed.
Strange, he noticed, how none of them seemed to run into Dr. Barlow.
“Have you ever smelled a skunk, Aleksandar?”
“Certainly not.”
“Well, in any case, it is not pleasant. While many people have had the experience of encountering a natural skunk, very few have ever met a skata, which has a very different scent. It is somewhat akin to that of poisonous gas, although a scarcely known fact is that it is quite harmless. A hidden base in the mountains would undoubtedly be unaware of that.”
She raised her eyebrows, waiting for Alek to understand. He shook his head, and the lady boffin sighed. “Poisonous gas is often used on the battlefield, and surely Clankers would know what it smells like, and after so long in the cold mountains they would be... jumpy, especially after our reconnaissance mission alerted them of us.”
Alek held up a hand. “What are you implying, Doctor? That we trick the Clankers into believing we have poisonous gas at our disposal?”
“Partly,” the lady boffin smiled grimly, “The buildings in the complex are very sturdy, from what Mr. Newkirk has told us, and most likely resistant to aerial bombs. They are not, however, gas-proof. We will send the skata down to their base first, and will--ah--smoke out the rat, you could say. The people will escape the confined buildings to look for fresh, gas free air, and that is when we bomb them.”
Alek took a step back, tripping over his own feet. To bomb a group of men while they were under cover was one thing, but to lure them out, defenseless, and then drop bombs was another entirely. It was downright cruel. He tried to speak, but no words would come out of his throat. He was too stunned.
“Once that is done, several teams of men will collect evidence on the ground. The Admiralty requests it.”
“I--I don’t know what to say, Dr. Barlow.”
“A rare occurrence,” she sighed. “I know it is a lot to take in, Mr. Hohenberg.”
He blinked a few times, staring at his boots. “Wh-what does Dylan think?”
Tazza nuzzled the lady boffin’s hand as she spoke, “Dylan seems fine with the idea. He has been working with the crew all night, and even requested to be part of the ground crew. He’s in the cargo bay as we speak.”
“The ground crew? Does--he--realize how dangerous that is?” Alek clenched and unclenched his fists in surprise.
“It will hardly be dangerous.” Dr. Barlow held his gaze. It was silent for a moment but for the lorises blabbering.
Alek clenched his jaw, nodding. “Certainly, Dr. Barlow. Well, good day, then. I suppose I’ll see you later.”
“Good day, Aleksandar.”
He could feel Dr. Barlow’s eyes on him as he walked down the corridor, but he didn’t care. Recalling the rough memories of the airship’s layout, Alek made his way to the cargo bay, footsteps echoing solemnly in the thin hallways. He needed to find Deryn, talk her out of this. It was insane, and she was going to...
The cargo bay was more crowded than he’d ever seen it. He craned his neck and stood on his toes to try and get a glimpse of her blond head over the masses of crewmen. Why must all British be so tall? he thought. Shaking his head, Alek gave up trying to see her and began to push his way through the crowd, stopping only when he saw a most horrific creature; a turtle of some sort, but it was massive and grotesque.
Pulling his eyes away from the beast, Alek finally saw her, untying knots on the far side of the turtle. He rushed around the thing, careful to avoid its eyes. Bovril climbed off of his shoulder and onto its head, posing there with it’s head high and arms at it’s sides.
“Dylan,” he hissed, “could you spare a moment please?”
“What? I’m kind of busy, Alek, and I haven’t got a barking wink of sleep all night. So no, I don’t think I can spare a moment.” She hunched back over untying the knots that held numerous crates to one of the turtle’s backs.
Dylan.” She ignored him. Trying a different tactic, he turned to the man who seemed to be in charge and said, “Dr. Barlow needs to speak with Dylan.”
“Why didn’t she just send a message lizard?” the man asked in a thick Scottish accent.
“I’m quite certain I have no idea,” he shrugged. “But I find it a good idea to not question the lady boffin.”
“Alright. Have ‘im back soon, then. We’ve got lots of work still to do.”
Deryn glowered, but followed him anyway. When they happened upon an empty hallway, Alek pulled her into it quickly. Every few moments, she glanced about to make sure no one was watching them. “Deryn,” Alek began, to get her attention.
“What?” She spat.
“I broke my promise. I--I’ve been keeping a secret. From you.”
Deryn raised her eyebrows and gave him a disapproving look, like she’d known this. 
“It’s just--Deryn, I can’t be away from you like this. I can’t function without you, not anymore.”
“You seemed to be doing just fine to me,” she said, not meeting his eyes. He studied her intently for a moment, noticing the dark circles around her eyes, the way they were rimmed with red. She stood hunched, almost, like she’d just been punched in the stomach but was trying to look unhurt. She looked so torn and empty. In that instant, there was nothing more Alek wanted to do than pull her in close and whisper to her that it was all going to be okay. He wanted to tell her everything that words couldn’t say, and he just wanted her to look at him.
“God’s wounds, Deryn!” It came out almost as a shout, and she jumped, eyes wide.
“You can’t say that so--”
“Will you listen to me? Deryn, I’m trying to tell you that I’m sorry for everything! I’m sorry that I tried to show you how much I love you and it turned out wrong! I’m sorry that it’s my fault all this happened and I’m sorry you blame me for it! I’m sorry that I love you and that you’re all I can think about and every moment I know that you’re mad at me I can hardly breathe! Deryn, I’m sorry you’re hurt, but please let me heal you!
She was frozen in place, her mouth in surprised “o”. The only movement of hers Alek could see was the shaking of her hands. Deryn blinked. Once, twice, three times. “Did you really just say that?”
“Say what?”
A slow, reluctant smile had crept onto her face. “You love me.”
Alek braced himself against the wall, running a hand through his hair. “Of course I do.”
Her hands dropped and she leaned next to Alek on the wall, dumbstruck. She bit her lip. “Can I punch you right now?”
“If that’s what it takes for you to forgive me,” he said earnestly.
“Blisters, Alek! I was only joking! You’re so--”
“Serious? I am. Providence guided me to you, but I won’t let it take you away. The world shattered when my parents died, but with you it fits together again.”
“Barking daft princes,” she muttered.
“I’m not a prince anymore,” he mused, “Just a plain boy, common as dirt.” He kicked the floor for emphasis. “I just hope that someone as great as you would find me worthy.”
“I’m as common as dirt, too.”
“No, you’re not,” Alek said, then lowered his voice to a whisper, “You’re the great Deryn Sharp, first a woman in the British Air Service who aided a revolution, and now a member of the highly prestigious London Zoological Society. There is no one in the world like you.”
“Well, then, there’s no one like you, either!” She pushed off the wall and faced him, listing off points on her fingers. “You were a prince, first off. You know six languages, are a Clanker turned Darwinist, and--”
She didn’t get to finish, because Alek cut her off with a kiss. It was short and panicked, the terror of discovery racing through their veins. He pulled back almost as quickly as his lips met hers and stared her straight in the eyes. “Then we seem like a perfect match.”
“Deryn, you can’t be part of the ground crew.”
She rolled her eyes and took a step back from him. “And why not?”
“Because--it’s dangerous! You could be hurt!”
“Alek, what about it is dangerous? All the Clankers will be dead or wounded, and my job is just to get evidence and get out!”
He fumbled for a counter response, but none came to mind. “Just--please be careful, Deryn. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
“I’ll be fine, Dummkopf. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got work to do. The sooner I get done, the more sleep I get before we make it to the mountains, aye?”
“Yes. I’ll see you soon, Dylan.”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Big Two-Oh! (That's 20, by the way)

Yes, it's true. Chapter 20 has arrived. *bows* your welcome. Oh, and make sure to read the Ronnie-Newkirk teaser if you haven't already. Just scroll down a bit and you'll find it. But enough of all this! It is time for the real stuff...
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this, no matter how sad this makes me. :,-( <--That means very sad.

“Oi! To the right a bit!” Max yelled, and Deryn and the other airman helping her load up the crate shuffled a few paces, setting the box down once they got a nod from Max. “Good. Matthews, help Rogers get his box right on top of that one. Sharp, help me with this one.”
“Aye,” Deryn said, “On the count of three? One, two, three-”
She stifled a groan as she hefted up the crate, the two of them making their way to the Roth Aerial Battle Turtle.
The thing didn’t look like a turtle, really, but it certainly didn’t look like anything else. It had thick, leathery legs that jutted out the bottom of the beastie, which were currently tied down to keep it from floating away, and a slow moving head with a hard skull and large, wide eyes. The shell was and inch thick around the membrane and, sure enough, made of keratin that was a pale yellow color and ten feet across. It wasn’t quite opaque, so she could just barely see the membrane through it, and it wasn’t fully expanded yet; there was space between the membrane and shell, which made a hollow noise whenever Deryn heaved a box onto it’s back. When it was, she supposed, it would press up against the shell. There was a place to mount a single gun, and not just an air gun either. With the extra protection lent by the shell, it was safe to fire a real gun if you were far enough from the airbeast itself.
It looked unsettlingly like the clockwork bed that the anarchist Nene rode on. For a brief moment, Deryn wondered how Nene was doing, if the revolution had treated her nicely, and who was taking care of her now that Lilit was an ambassador and Zaven was dead.
Deryn rolled her shoulders, shook the thoughts from her head, and set the box down. This was no time to be reminiscing like some poor village sap, she thought, not while they were preparing for...
For what, exactly?
“We can’t slow down now, Mr. Sharp,” Max said, snapping her out of thought, “There’s only a few of ‘em left!”
The man was much too jolly for being awake this late at night. “What’s got you in such a good mood, Max?” She asked, having seen him smile even as they were straining to hold the crate.
He patted the turtle on the head. “This here’s my turtle,” he said happily. “The can’t take on any more men on account a’ the weight, so I’m going to be piloting her.”
Deryn nodded.
“I just hope she and Zipper get along,” he added as an afterthought, wiping his gloves on his flight suit. “It wouldn’t do for them not to.” He smiled mischievously at her, and she found herself grinning back. Leave it to Max to worry if his beasties would like each other, she thought.
“You know what we’re here for?” She asked suddenly. “What the plan is?”
“I haven’t the faintest idea,” he replied brightly. “No, lads! They’ve got to be even or they’ll fall off!” Deryn looked over her shoulder to see another pair of men with a box set crookedly on one of the other three turtles, startled. “But, Mr. Sharp, it’s got to do with whatever we were supposed to be doing before, I’m sure. Just look at all these bombs and tell me it isn’t going to be something big. And I’ll be in the thick of it!” He pumped a fist through the air and knelt to look the Roth Aerial Battle Turtle in the eyes. “So will you, beastie. Let’s just hope that it won’t last long, eh?” He hesitated, a look of apprehension crossing his face. “You need a name now, don’t you? Any suggestions, Mr. Sharp?”
“Ah, no, Max,” Deryn shook her head, smiling, and made her way to the last of the crates. Max followed, and she was glad for his help. The boxes were too barking heavy for one wee slip of a lass to carry on her own, and Max’s brute rigger’s strength compensated for it. “Do you at least know what’s in the boxes, then?”
“Aside from the bombs, no, and only because they’re so obvious All I get to do is load them up and then take them off once we get back up to the ship. It’s all been very secretive. I think I know why, though. You remember what I told you?”
“Aye,” Deryn said. “But Miles can’t be a spy.”
Max cocked an eyebrow. “And why is that, Mr. Sharp?”
Deryn realized her mistake too late. She fumbled for an answer, and finally one came. It was always easier to tell part of the truth than an entire lie. “Because he’s an American, and they’re on our side.”
He scowled. “American? He can’t be. The Service doesn’t let foreigners in. That’s why it’s called the British Air Service, Mr. Sharp.”
“Oh, aye,” Deryn said, biting her lip. Why would Melissa have lied to her about where she came from? It seemed an odd thing to say, really, but there wasn’t time to think about that now. It was darker here, right under the ship, than out in the moonlight. The only light came from the glow worm lamps strewn about the field, and they cast a ghastly angle on everything, making it all so severe. Even Max’s chipper face look sinister.
Or maybe Deryn was just that tired.

She yawned long and hard as the men climbed onto the turtles, untying their legs and ascending to the cargo bay. Hopefully a tired midshipman could get a few hours of sleep once all this hurried loading business was done with. Her jaw clamped down on her tongue mid-yawn as she realized she wasn’t a midshipman anymore; Deryn was an agent of the Zoological Society of London now. By all rights she could be asleep in her cabin right now, not fighting to keep her eyes open and lugging about heavy boxes.
Somehow, though, Deryn couldn’t imagine herself in her cot, as snuggly as a box of kittens in her blankets. The emptiness still gnawed at her chest, a void she couldn’t possibly fill.
The turtle jolted under her feet and Deryn felt herself reaching for a box to steady herself with. Max rested an elbow on one as he steered the motivator engine on the turtle’s back up toward the cargo bay. The open hatch seemed to be yawning as large as all of them. Deryn sighed.
The night was far from over.

Ronnie-Newkirk teaser!

You cannot imagine how happy it makes me to give this to you. And by that, of course, I meat how happy it makes me to imagine you squirming because you have no context, which must be very important to the situation. Or is it? I guess you won't know until I want you to, huh? Hmm. Too bad. *smiles evilly, steeples fingers, and rubs them together. Evilly.*
Let the fun begin!

The door opened with a click that hardly echoed in the small room. In the corner, a slight form was huddled, knees folded in on herself, holding them tightly; like a hug, Singe thought. When she looked up, he was caught by the greenness of her eyes in the pale wormlight.
“You’re meal,” he said curtly. The girl nodded dumbly. “Do you speak English?”
“Yes. Some.” Her voice was distracted, eyes fixed hungrily on the tray he held. Quickly he handed it to her and stood silently as she swallowed the biscuit in three bites, the potatoes in two, and washed it down with the coffee. She let out a deep breath when she was done and leaned her head against the wall. “Thank you.”
 “I’m just doing my job.”
“For the potatoes,” the girl pursed her lips and inclined her head, making the grimy blond hair fall across her face. She didn’t miss much, did she?
“What’s your name?” He asked suddenly. In the moment it took her to process the words, she let her long legs stretch on the cot, which pulled the hem of her trousers up well past her ankles. He would be embarrassed about seeing this, but she had such an effortless grace that he didn’t think to look away.
“I have two names,” she said slowly in careful English, “I am Rachel. My men call me Ronnie when we work. You understand?”
“Y-yes.” He stuttered. “I am--er--Eugene.”
He stood awkwardly, not sure what to do next. Rachel extended a calloused hand toward him. “I am pleased to meet you, Eugene.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dadadum! Chapter 19!

Here is chapter 19 in all of it's not-even-a-page-and-a-half glory. Sorry about that, by the way. Anyways, enjoy what's there! Oh, and you may want to refresh yourself from what happens at the end of 18, because this starts RIGHT after it. No joke. Same conversation.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. Sadly. Scott Westerfeld does.

This was perhaps the most awkward silence that Singe had ever witnessed. “I--I’m not wearing a tie,” he said to Alek, not able to look at embarrassment that colored the boy’s cheeks.
“Oh, well then.”
Deryn didn’t bother to say hello to Alek. “I’m not important enough to include in your meetings, then? That’s just barking lovely,” she snorted. “I’ll see you at mess, Mr. Newkirk.” Deryn turned harshly on her heel and walked back in the way they came.
Alek watched longingly after her, his mouth slightly open. He didn’t say anything, just nodded to Singe and ambled slowly down the hallway, in the direction opposite Deryn.
Not sure what to do, Singe stood alone in the corridor, lost in thought. The world seemed to be falling apart around him, and Singe was stuck in the middle. He’d just got Dylan and Alek  back, his closest friends, and now it was all turned upside down because Dylan was a girl, and she and Alek were something... or had been something. They were avoiding each other because Alek thought Jaspert’s death was his fault, and Deryn was letting him believe it. Maybe she believed it, too. If only Singe could tell her that it had been an act of love, and that it wasn’t Alek’s fault that the barking stupid Clankers had gone and ruined it.
It really was all their fault. They were losing the war, and they weren’t about to do it quietly. From what Singe could tell, they were going to cause the Darwinists as much pain as they could, and that included ruining the British Air Service. It shook England to its core, and even the ships that hadn’t been attacked were jumpy and unstable, waiting until it was their turn to be a helpless target.
Singe could even hear the yelling in the bridge, behind the closed door.
But the yelling sounded... excited. He was contemplating whether or not to press his ear to the fabricated wood of the door when a man stormed out. He had a dark gray mustache that curled up at the ends like a smug grin, and at the moment it was jumping wildly on the man’s face as he shouted some words in French. He started when he saw Singe standing against the wall, bewildered.
“Hello, sir,” Singe said, and clicked his heels. “If I may ask, sir, what’s going on?”
The man could hardly stand still; he was shifting his weight from foot to foot, a broad grin pasted crookedly on his face. When he looked at Singe, he took him by the shoulders and told him, “As you English say: We are back in business, boy!”
Singe hesitated. He still didn’t know what was happening, but it would be rude to ask again. The French man let go of Singe’s shoulders, the same giddy smile on his mouth. “We go to top of ship, now! Captain will tell you all!”
As he said that, the all-hands signal sounded, and Singe bade the man farewell and climbed out onto the ratlines, hurriedly making his way topside.
He was joined by many airmen, and soon the ratlines were sagging with the weight of so many men--and one woman. Deryn spotted Singe and made her way toward him in no time. She was still scowling. Singe said hello to her weakly, and she forced a smile in return.
The ship was still around them; not even the hum of the engines could be felt in Singe’s fingertips because they were docked. Deryn was always saying how you could feel the beast moving and everything going on around them through the membrane, but he’d never felt it.
“You know what we’re up here for?” he asked once they’d made it topside.
“No. Seeing as I’m not barking important enough to tell things to,” Deryn spat. Grimacing, Singe kept silent after that, not wanting to draw another biting remark from her. Everyone was gathering at the center of the spine, so as not to upset the ship’s balance, and the captain was standing in the middle of them all, a small circle cleared around him. Singe searched the crowd, but he couldn’t find Alek. Maybe he already knows what’s going on, he thought bitterly, despite himself. He was angry on Deryn’s behalf; she was part of the Society now, so she should be included.
The two of them were near the back, so most of the captains words were torn away, even though there was hardly any wind. He got the gist though; the mission was back on. Orders would be sent out, and all men were to follow them immediately, no questions asked. Though there was some grumbling from the men around him, they obeyed. Orders were orders, after all.
The sun was slowly sagging on the horizon, growing dimmer by the minute.
It was going to be a long night.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chapter 18!

What? Did she really just say that? Gasp!
Yes, oh dear readers, I did. I have chapter 18 for you. Really, I shouldn't post this yet, because it links very closely to the next few chapters, but I think that you've waited long enough. Also, I may or may not have finished this a few days a go and just not posted it...
So! Here it is!

Alek leaned out his window for a better look at Deryn as she climbed up the ratlines. The uninviting land of Unst sat below him, but he was accustomed to ignoring what was below him by now. Her name tickled the back of his throat as he was about to call to her, his thoughts heavy with guilt.
When he opened his mouth, someone else spoke, “Aleksandar, you are requested at the bridge,” The message lizard spoke in the captain’s voice.
“I’ll be there right away, sir. End message.” The message lizard scrambled away. With one last look at Deryn as she climbed nimbly around with the other middies, hardly favoring her bad leg at all, he leaned back into his cabin, slung Bovril onto his shoulder, and left for the bridge.
Several of the ship’s officers were there, including the head boffin, Dr. Busk, Dr. Barlow, and the captain, as well as a man that Alek didn’t recognize.
When he spoke, there was an unmistakable French accent laced in his irritated voice, “This is the boy, yes? We can begin now?” The man splayed his palms and leaned his weight on to the map table. There was a look about him that said he had not slept last night, which gave Alek a pang of sympathy; he hadn’t either. He was listening to Deryn’s deep breathing as she slept, clenching his fists when she awoke from a nightmare but was too proud to ask for his comfort.
“Mr. Hohenberg,” the lady boffin said, “This is Dr. Horn, our new strategist. He planned our invasion of the Kjolen mountains, but I’m afraid--”
“Yes, and I planned for three ships, not one! It is all ruined!” Dr. Horn cried, clearly distressed. His knuckles had turned white where he was clamping them on the table.
Dr. Busk cast a helpless look to the captain, who worked his jaw in response.
“Pardon me, sirs, Dr. Barlow,” Alek began, “but what was the plan?”
The strategist glared at him wearily, making Alek feel like a waste of hydrogen. “You have heard of a gorgon, yes?”
Alek shook his head politely, eyebrows drawn together.
“Then I start at the beginning. The gorgon is an experimental fabrication, much like the Russian fighting bear, but much better. It is a bear that has life of rhinoceros and elephant for strength and shellfish for hard skull to ram things. Unfortunately, it has many bad senses, and searchlights and whistles do not work to direct it. So it has a companion creature called skata, with life of ape for intelligence, bat for flight, and skunk for smell. You understand, yes?”
He nodded, “So the skata directs the gorgon with smells.”
“Yes,” Dr. Barlow said before the ruffled strategist could reply, “It can spray in two different ways; a concentrated spray the repels the gorgon, making it go in the opposite direction, and a mist that attracts it. The skata can easily understand a command whistle, so we tell the gorgon what to do through the skata. An ingenious chain, really.”
“We attack fortress with gorgon,” Dr. Horn said simply in his chopped English. A hand ran through his graying hair. “One airship carries bear and gives supplies to other ships to cancel for weight.”
“You were going to carry a bear the size of a house across the North Sea?” Alek asked in astonishment, holding back a snort at the thought of a giant bear hanging beneath an airbeast and looking decidedly unpleased about it.
“Yes!” Dr. Horn cried. “Now we can not attack fortress, not without a gorgon! It is all ruined.”
Alek, despite himself, felt very sorry for the man. “Surely there is a way that the mission can be salvaged...”
“We’ve sent word to the Admirality,” Captain Hobbes sighed, “but it would seem that we have been given three choices on the matter.”
“We could attack the zeppelins without proof that they’re responsible,” Dr. Barlow said, “but if they aren’t, we could be responsible for reigniting the Great War, and viewed badly by the world.”
Alek cursed. “We know they did it!” he yelled. “We’ll find our proof if we attack them!”
“But that raises the question,” Dr. Barlow continued, “that if we attack the zeppelins, they could use their weapon against us.”
“The only thing we know about it so far is its name from tapping into wireless signals sent between the Clanker powers,” Dr. Busk said. “Orion Omega.”
“Omega? Doesn’t that mean that it is--” he translated quickly “--last?”
“Most likely the final development of the machine,” the captain replied. “As of yet, our scientists have not been able to gain any information from the Orion that Mr. Fitzroy captured. As far as we can tell, there is something at the core, vital to the machine and finding out how to stop it, but there are many defenses around it that we can’t yet breach.”
Pursing his lips, Alek asked the lady boffin, “So what are our other options?”
“We could try to devise a new plan in our current situation, or abandon the mission altogether.”
“None of them have a high chance of success,” Dr. Busk said defeatedly.
Alek stared at the maps on the table, chewing his lip just as Deryn did, “Whatever the Admirality says, I believe that we should find a way to continue the mission. I just think that it is important,” he said. Providence was guiding him to those mountains; he could feel the pull of them, just like in Istanbul when he was meant to aid the revolution. It was a static electricity in his stomach, prickling along his skin like a tesla cannon when he thought about it.
Dr. Barlow raised a thin eyebrow at him from under her bowler. He cursed silently. Here he was, trying to sound adult and useful, and he ended up saying he felt like something was important. Maybe he was a waste of hydrogen after all. “Well,” he said, trying to salvage his dignity, “Is there a way to use what we already have, but in a different way?”
The strategist’s lip curled. “You ask me to bake a cake with no flour!” He pounded a fist on the table, making the maps rustle, “It cannot be done!”
“Clearly we all need to take a break,” said the captain calmly, “We’ll meet again later; after we receive word from the Admirality.”
“Yes.” Dr. Horn walked briskly from the room, his boots clicking on the fabricated wood floor as he went.
French,” Dr. Busk shook his head and turned on his heel to leave. Dr. Barlow lightly took hold of Alek’s shoulder and led him into the hallway, her loris crawling down her arm to speak with Bovril.
Alek was quite alarmed when they began a comprehensible conversation; “Hullo, good sir,” Dr. Barlow’s loris said in its haughty tone.
“Why, hello there,” Bovril replied.
“You have heard of a skata?”
“Yes,” the loris said gravely, “they spray smells.”
“Gas!” the other loris cried. “Use what we have in a different way.”
Dr. Barlow snapped for her loris to crawl back up to her shoulder, her head tilted in thought. Alek was thinking, too. “Why was I part of that meeting and not Dylan?”
“Dylan is partial to the situation; his opinions would be rash and biased,” Dr. Barlow shrugged her slight shoulders. “And suffering from grief at the loss of his cousin as he is, he needs time to recover.”
The lady boffin slipped around the corner, passing Singe on the way by. Alek brightened at the sight of him. “Singe!” he called, but just as the boy turned to look at him, Deryn appeared behind him. The words caught in his throat, choking him into saying, “Uh--nice--um--tie.”
Bovril leapt from his shoulder, landing lithe as a cat on the ground, and rushed to Deryn, swarming up her leg and torso to her shoulder, where he perched with a look of contentment. The traitor.
She shot him a murderous glare that made his skin crawl.
I’m sorry, he wanted to say, but didn’t.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This is an "Art" Post :)

So how would you all like to see some art by yours truly? Lots? Okay, I shall satisfy your craving, then.
This is Bovril in block-ed-ness, an art class project. Oh, excuse me, a Crafts project.
And here's another of the same type, but of a steaming coffee mug. Can you believe I only got 16 and 17 out of 20 points on these? I want to know how he grades *pouts in a corner because that means she's getting a "B" in that class, and she's a straight "A" student*
And now we have two completely random LBG comics. The first one is referencing the Bonus Chapter, and the second has no purpose at all.
And the very final one I spent all day on. It's for a contest,  , and mine is only partly following the fishing or hunting theme. She went fishing, but the day was just so perfect that she had to lay down and enjoy it. That barking grass alone took at least an hour of coloring!
Hope you enjoyed this! 'Night all!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow! Finally!

Here are some pictures of the snow that's been coming down in big, wet flakes all morning, ending with some snowy art by me, my sister, and my aunt.
This one was of the play set on top of the hill at my grandparent's house, dwarfed by the giant tree next to it and coated in snow. This next one is of the same thing, but from a different angle;
This next one illustrates the way this winter really only hit us today; there's still some leaves on the trees.
And this last one is my personal favorite; I helped make it on the hill right off the highway. It's the family name, with my grandparent's first names below that. We just tromped down the snow with our feet to write it. So much fun :)
I'm sitting in the "&" sign :b