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The Half Shaman in Space: The Disk Unbalanced

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There’s only an apprehensive sibilance as we wait, of people barely daring to whisper.
“Limber?” says Uncle Puma says at last.
“The creature brushed by me,” Limber says, broadcasting his voice over the whole scene. “I saw its darkness meld into the membrane. The membrane is still up. A visual disturbance only.”
We on the disk do not relax.
“What’s the problem?” Uncle Puma says. “Red-tail?”
He expected us to cheer? Red-tail ever so slowly raises the lantern to assess where we all are. “The disk is free and in a sort of balance. Lotor knows how it works. None of us feels safe enough move or talk.”
“I hear you. Thyal?” Uncle Puma says.
Is that Uncle Puma acknowledging his ignorance? It seems so.
“Thyal, is there something you and your group can do to stabilize the disk?” he says. Almost straightaway following it with, “No, I guess not …”
There’s something he isn’t saying.
Ssst.”
One of the swans hissing for the other. I hear someone talking his way down the cliff. Limber and Uncle Puma perhaps low…

The Half Shaman in Space: Jeb is Stunned

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The transmogrified totems chase the dark eater. Jeb's beliefs are strained and she stabs herself to find out if she is awake
I see it seeing me, the knife still in my hand, Isis right behind me. What does it understand about us?
The alien frees its head by wrenching the life-suit’s head up like it is a helmet. It drops the head, it tears and shoves free from the rest of the suit. Drops that like a rag.
“No, you don’t!” Isis, with the presence of mind of a leader, spreads her arms and stops the alien making a decision to step past me into the dark where all our people hide.
Red-tail advances from my left, with the lantern held high.
The alien looks at me as if weighing up its chances of getting past me. Why would it want to? I wave the knife I still have in my hand.
Growling and hissing approach behind me.
Then.
A trio of furred creatures slips between Red-tail and me, and between Isis and me. I don’t see what species they are. Just that they’re as tall as people. Walk upright. Show off th…

The Half Shaman in Space: Containing the Alien by Releasing It

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The question for later is ... how will releasing the dark eater from the life-suit contain it? Now, Jeb must just do the deed.

All is ready. Am I? I move the knife point straighter down my side. I visualize a tight swing up, a thrust down.
Flick a glance toward the cliffs. Oh yeah, the slope is upward in that direction now. It’s black dark because still no overhead light. How will I see the Arley-composite …? I remember she is laying low.
I drop to the ground. Will I see her? Yes, there. A shape darker than the slope that is lit however slightly by the glow from the canyon beyond. The thing between us and the light.
She’s risen to her feet and is on the move. Swinging her head blindly to try to see in the dark. Does she have a weapon? I crawl with the knife-blade pointing rearwards in my fist. The human life-suit can’t see me or Isis in the black dark as we have no light behind us.
Isis clamps my foot to stop me.
Skitter-itter-it!
I startle but realize it must have been a couple of small sto…

The Half Shaman in Space: Who dies, who lives?

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In which Jeb is armed and the author posts to a schedule. The laptop is ailing again and the doctor will want to take it away. 
The ground tremors violently.
All of us in the mass shout alarm. Bodies smack wetly against the stones. Bones crack like snapping sticks. We scream and cry.
Hardly heard, the machine-sounds stop.
“Quiet!” Uncle Puma shouts.
When he has a miserable kind of quiet, he says in an ordinary voice, “What’s that sound?”
The silence is so silent it roars in my ears. Then? 
Scritch. Scritch. The sound seems to come from below the now sickly slanting disk.
What the noise sounds like … I concentrate … someone in the gap between the cliffs and what seems now to be the high edge of the slope, is trying to light a candle with a fire-lighter.
I stop breathing to hear better.
A small and hesitant light flicks large orangey shadows onto the cliff walls. The shadows are blobs with negative landscape-like waists where the dark mass interrupting them is the low grassy profile of the disk.
T…

The Half Shaman in Space: The Attrition

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In which both the alien entity and Kosi Lionhair have their say and Jeb realizes what is needed for all her people to survive ... 
I’m almost level with the thing on the ledge. The life-suit sags as if it really just is an old woman. The tunic is the same tinge of gray as Ardrey’s hair still plaited around her head skin.
The life-suit flexes and fills until an Amazon warrior from one of my mother’s stories stands across from us. She/Kosi/it puts Ardrey’s hands around her mouth as if preparing to foghorn its message.
Not really necessary. Silence blankets the grassy slope.
The Amazon opens her mouth, starts to talk. No pink inside her mouth.
The voice cracks and crackles. I hear disparate sounds like chirruping and crackling and tearing and the grinding caused by wind-blown sand in old sprockets.
It seems that the entity realizes its message isn’t reaching us. It stops.
Behind me, I hear the ghostly sound of teeth grinding. “Stop that,” I say without turning. “You’ll ruin your teeth.”
There is…

The Half Shaman in Space: Learning the Animated Skin

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After a two-week interlude due to the author having to battle the flu, Jeb is back on track.
People climbing down are staying in the area near the creek. Soon … I count twenty and multiply … nearly three hundred people will throng the creek banks. I get a joke ready about what will happen if I have to stand in the water too long when I get down there. I might melt?
“When will we hunt?” says the Kosi-entity in Arley’s animated skin.
Is it her or is it the eater who encircles my wrist with Arley’s strong old fingers?
I’m afraid to pull away. Scared I’ll pull her over. Petrified of what will jump loose if she falls. We survey the grassy slope with all the hundreds of people cluttering its middle lower half.
What will we hunt?” I say. I hope Kosi at least realises that the people below are not to be thought of as prey. Will it make a difference?
Someone in the suit laughs with girlish glee and releases my wrist to twirl on the spot. Does Kosi know that the suit’s eyes are dim and old and only …

The Half Shaman in Space: The Ledge

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We are in what I’ve always thought of asThyal’s Totem Reality that I visualised when I first met Thyalsene when we were still on Lotor.
The Kosi-entity pulls me toward the edge of a narrow ledge, I think such flattish places on the side of a cliff are called. “We’ll study the landscape, see where the prey are hiding.”
I remember Wren’s frightened face when I, in my Harpy Eagle mode, made to grab her. She was too smart to be caught. And I now think every one of my group is too smart to be caught. Haven’t we all been out-witting Lotor all our lives?
I release Lithe. He turns and pulls at the next person and encourages her to one side. The next person to the other side. They both help him with feeding people along the ledge. Opposite is the steep green hill sloping down from the sward at its top that becomes stonier as it nears the creek at a bottom.
It’s the cliff face we teeter on. Above and behind us, the membrane shows the images of tall brown cliffs that seem to rise almost to the blue …

The Half Shaman in Space: All about Alien Technology, Version II

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One of the necessities when posting ongoing excerpts of a work in progress is the need to backtrack sometimes to rewrite a section. Today's post is a reworking of one from a few weeks ago. Anyone who feels like comparing I have left the original version in situ for your interest. 

“Why half?” Kosi says.
“Didn’t get to finish my schooling.” I’m lucky there’s still that easy answer available. I make my voice light and my tone light-hearted though I’m thinking dark things about my mother possibly having an Earth-grown body floating about in a silo somewhere in space. “They’re dead, the bodies left behind in the silos?”
Kosi knows exactly what I’m asking. “Some might still be in stasis,” she says. “But don’t worry about them waking up. They can’t by themselves. Most in the less technologically-advanced silos will have died by now through running out of nutrients. How can I separate the data-waving boots from the mysterious object so I can have a good look at it?”
We have nicely circled th…