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Half Shaman, 9

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Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night

4: The Yellow City Dream5: In the White Cell, Still

6: Soowei's Story7: The Round-Up8: The Meerkat Totem

Success at last, the ship answers. Jeb screams and cries her happiness. the prison's guards fetch her and throw her into the narrow yard. Who awaits her there? 

9: The Narrow Yard


Where I lie, crying. Nobody comes near me and I don’t don’t care. The ship the ship the ship! I laugh and laugh. I roll on the ground laughing, I’m feeling so … so … victorious! The old me. I am still the Harpy. 
A guard reads hysteria in my mind or he knows just what I need. He turns a hose on me, a mixture of Lotor and OldEarth water. Lumps in a liquid splatter over me. The lumps stick. Lotor sticks. Does it matter? The dirt I’m lying on is Lotor. I’m scraped raw from being flung out here, skidding over the hard-packed dirt, collecting a gravel rash from here to tomorrow, with grains of sand thrust far into my tissues. All of …

Half Shaman, 8

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Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night

4: The Yellow City Dream5: In the White Cell, Still

6: Soowei's Story7: The Round-Up

Jeb sets to matching her and the ships's call-signs to a totem song, and singing it ...

8: The Meerkat Totem

Another day, another vigil. I’m thinking on everything to do with signalling.
Singing a signal is singing a totem couplet.  A couplet should have more beats than the signal. Or it needs at least a beat for each element of the signal. Which limits the couplets available. Or, different signals use different couplets. I mean, some couplets are quite short. Signals may be long. Couplets is a bit of a misnomer too. Often there are four lines, not two. 
Second, there is the fact that dots and dashes need to be different lengths. Must they fall on short or long beats? I don’t know. 
Give me, give me, give me a couplet to work on. Ants together carry their towns a stone at the time. Totems together carry their country a heart…

Half Shaman, 7

Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night

4: The Yellow City Dream5: In the White Cell, Still

6: Soowei's Story

In recalling Soowei, Jeb's ancestress, Jeb recalls how Soowei's amulet passed down to her. She wonders how the ship will signal to her.

7: The Round-Up

Soowei made herself ask the next thing. “What’s a round-up?”
Her father frowned. “It’s all the towns sending all individuals of a certain age group to a certain place. They are never seen again. Even the guards that look after them aren’t heard of again. The planet tells the ship it is necessary because we are outstripping our resources.” He swallowed. “This time it is all young people aged fourteen to eighteen.” 
Soowei sat again. When had she got up? She felt faint. “We’re such a little population. Eight villages. If they are never heard of again it means they are killed, doesn’t it?” 
During one part of the nightmare she’d felt herself in a frightened crowd, a claustrophobic crush. A…

Half Shaman, 6

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Links to Previous Chapters:

1: Vigil2: Wake Up Call3: ArkShip in the Night

4: The Yellow City Dream5: In the White Cell, Still

Jeb recalls Soowei's story for any information useful for her own situation. Soowei was the daughter of the first captain, Jeb is the daughter of the 7th captain. 

Due to the perceived ideal lengths for #Saturdayscenes posts, this story will be posted in two parts. Jeb's analysis bookends the two parts. 

6: Soowei's Story


Soowei, as I understand it, was the child of the Captain then. He of the 1st generation. My father, telling me the tale, never gave him a name. “Don’t interrupt,” he said. “I have no time. The First Captain had no totem to teach his child. It was before the totem system, before the shaman schooling. Before we had any idea that we might need to hide what we were about.” 
***
Soowei ran up the uneven blocky stairs to her father’s rooms. When she’d been a four year old making her pronouncements, he’d got a job as night watchman over the f…