Friday, August 04, 2006

The Whale Below

In between my bouts of slackitude, I occasionally get stuff done. Last night I started a new story, working title of "The Whale Below." I already see a bunch of things I want to rework, but this gives you a taste of this particular adventure's flavor:
The buitre dropped below the scattered cloud deck, a silver dart with black lightning bolts emblazoned upon its bow. Props spinning furiously from the four nacelles boxing the stern, La Aspiva Feroz swept down upon the whaling fleet with the sun at its stern. Measuring 445 lethal feet bow-to-stern, the buitre dwarfed the smaller airships by a nearly four-to-one margin.

Capitan Baldomero Valdez sat on the edge of his seat, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together with nervous energy. His eyes, almost as dark as his beard, flicked from crewman to crewman in the pilot house. "Tactical situation, if you will, Magda," he asked in a voice as soft as nails. "What does our prey look like today?"

"Five whalers. All chasers. And all anchored to a kelper whale. A big one, too, from the looks of it," Magda answered, one hand holding a spyglass to her eye, the other gripping the elevator wheel. Her shoulders were almost as square as her jaw, and her red hair was chopped short into a curly knot atop her head. She lowered her spyglass and frowned. "I don't see a barge."

"Fortunate for us. Six less bodies to worry about. SeƱor Tavares, inform grapple station one to hold themselves in reserve in the event one of those chasers tries a breakaway."

"The Whale Below" is set in the same reality as the story I recently sold to Interzone, the over-titled "Being an Account of the Final Voyage of La Riaza: A Circumstance in Eight Parts." The kelper whales made a cameo in that one, and I wanted to do something where their weird ecology was a little bit more front-and-center. I'm hoping to have it finished before Armadillocon next week, and I'm also hoping this one clocks in at under 5K words rather than the 8-10K most of my stories from the past couple of years have. By this time next week, we should have a pretty good idea on both of those counts.

Now Playing: Joanne Shenandoah and Lawrence Laughing Orenda

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