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Showing posts from April, 2016

Half Shaman, 23

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A storm threatens, Lotor has invented a new torture. Can Jeb convince her people in time?

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9Chapters 10-14  [These links send you to the archives for January, Feb and March. Read from the bottom up.]

15: Ant's Idea16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman

18: Walking ...19: The Meridian20: Girl Questions21: The Village Square

22: AZ, Ship to Shaman


23: The Silver Storm
I am lying on the stretcher and it is swaying. “How long are we under way?” I croak.
“Lithe and Limber, we are your third pair,” one of them says.
Something about the air feels abnormal. “I’ll need to sit up, breathe better.” 
Limber carries at the front. “Clouds started forming the moment the Earth-born walked into the sand."
“Sometimes we forget the power of the totems,” Thyalsene says. “Once you sang Tayne his totem, he accepted his fate.”
“What the fuck are you having me lug?” 
Young voice, I remember it. That’s Jackdaw following Thyal?
“You’ve been p…

Half Shaman, 22

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Will Tayne's story change anything? How will the ArkShip's signal change things?

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9Chapters 10-14  [These links send you to the archives for January, Feb & March. Read from the bottom up.]

15: Ant's Idea16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman

18: Walking ...19: The Meridian20: Girl Questions21: The Village Square

22: AZ, Ship to Shaman
I’m at the end of my tether. “What is the fucking thing you want to know?” 
Tayne half-rises. The warriors with him. Their blades now wink and shine. 
Mongoose backs up right close to me. “Hold onto me somewhere,” he mutters. I grasp his belt where it snugs his lower back.
“What’s the thing you most want to know?” I say again. I hear myself being strident. 
Crow answers me. “Something big happened on Earth. Maybe to Earth. In the years before our people left. The ArkShip’s journey was meant to last seventy thousand years. Why it was a generation-ship. The Earth-born are right ab…

Half Shaman, 21

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Jeb becomes distraught, Tayne is not so far gone that he can't still plot. She tries to help things along. Will Puma ever accept what must be done? 

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9  [These links send you to the archives for January and February. Read from the bottom up.]

10: The Black Cell11: Escape12: The Creeping Desert

13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know15: Ant's Idea

16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman

18: Walking ...19: The Meridian20: Girl Questions



21: The Village Square
Vulture and Eider set the stretcher down on a room-sized carpet of blankets and bedrolls and help free me from the stretcher cover. The ground appears to be a hard clay surface, I discover by poking between the blankets. 
Mongoose and Wren sweep meat-eating sand to the edges of the clay. 
Eider settles herself near the solar-powered cauldron. It sits on four batteries that also serve as little legs and that, for traveling, unscrew from the base of the pan. Whoever ca…

Half Shaman, 20

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With a couple of false starts, Jeb's plotting gets some action ...

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9  [These links send you to the archives for January and February. Read from the bottom up.]

10: The Black Cell11: Escape12: The Creeping Desert

13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know15: Ant's Idea

16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman

18: Walking ...19: The Meridian



20: Girl Questions
Thyalsene woke me from the waking-dream I was in but, though I don’t look at Tayne I can feel him still staring at me. Begging. What an idiot. There were a lot of things he could've done. Too late now. I think back on the things my mother, Earth-born herself, did to live. She chose a totem. 
My Old-Earth father loved my mother. I remember that he called her his loon-lover. That’s almost the same as Mongoose and me. Does it count of it is the other way around? 
The direction my thoughts wander in give me an idea. I’m walking right in front of Vulture. “Could I ask y…

Half Shaman, 19

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It's a long walk. Jeb at first resists the Earth-born's entreaties. Then, feeling sorry for him, she ...

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9  [These links send you to the archives for January and February. Read from the bottom up.]

10: The Black Cell11: Escape12: The Creeping Desert

13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know15: Ant's Idea

16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman

18: Walking ...


19: The Meridian
When we set off this morning the red star was at its apogee and the sky was wine-red. The sky now is cobalt blue and the sun is high. A woman called Vulture is at the front of the stretcher, Puma is at the rear, the eighth pair today. The Old Shaman and Tayne walk behind us. 
“You’ve said nothing about the north-south Meridian yet, Grey Wolf,” the chief says. 
“Never in all my journeying had I a reading for it, and now I walk along its path?” the Tayne Wolf says. “I’m wondering what else you haven’t told me.”
Puma laughs. “We’ve travelled it for…

Half Shaman, 18

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In which Jeb learns about being stretchered through the desert. How the girls of her age might be thinking about her ...

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9  [These links send you to the archives for January and February. Read from the bottom up.]

10: The Black Cell11: Escape12: The Creeping Desert

13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know15: Ant's Idea

16: The Automatic Transponder17: New Chief, Old Shaman


18: Walking …

There’s jogging and jogging, I think. The second kind is when a pair of people jog with a stretcher on their shoulders. The person on the stretcher jounces mercilessly and indeed must jounce to help the joggers keep their pace. Which is what I discover when I try for a change to sit with my back straight.
Wren and Meerkat, my bearers for that stretch, slow to a walk. As we’re approximately in the middle of the line, everyone behind us also slows. What’s worse, the line separates. The fast front. The slow rear. 
Limber drops back from the fast front to di…

Half Shaman, 17

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A chief is chosen. Jeb begins to learns her trade ...

Links to Previous Chapters:

Chapters 1-5Chapters 6-9  [These links send you to the archives for January and February. Read from the bottom up.]

10: The Black Cell11: Escape12: The Creeping Desert

13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know15: Ant's Idea

16: The Automatic Transponder



17: New Chief, Old Shaman
Puma flaps a hand. The red-tailed woman and one of the men come to fetch Tayne. With soft encouragements that I don’t hear they lead him to the edge of the platform where he sits down. “So here we are.” Puma glares round, taking back the troop’s attention. “What’s not to protect?” 
People meet Puma’s glare or they don’t. It’s a good way of discovering his, and so my supporters. The way people accept Puma’s leadership surprises me. 
Ant jumps into the opportunity both feet first. “So I was thinking back along the road a bit that Puma should be Chief?”
Uncle’s gaze narrows.
“A boy talking,” Tayne calls from his place. A lot of people b…

Half Shaman, 16

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The group waiting on the second platform is larger than Jeb expected and she makes for the only vacant place she can see. She crumples to the ground, screaming with pain ...

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

9: The Narrow Yard10: The Black Cell11: Escape

12: The Creeping Desert13: The Love-struck Loon14: What I Know

15: Ant's Idea


16: The Automatic Transponder
By the time I climb up onto the new mushroom-shaped platform, about four times the diameter of the previous one, Ant has organised a couple of people to stand by at the top. One of them smiles gently. One of them smiles fiercely. 
The gentle one is big, older than us. A twin, all the way to his smile, stands behind him. “Lithe and Limber we are, Shaman.” 
The fierce one is young, like Ant and Mongoose and me. They help me to my feet, gentle and fierce, and I walk toward the centre of t…