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04 September 2015 @ 10:02 am
_Project Dystopia_ new beginning???  

Far away . . .

The Warlord stood rock steady behind his desk. Standing had been his only reaction. On the outside. The other elves were shrinking away from the brilliant fury of his aura. His wife was prostrate on the floor. In the box on his desk, the right ear tips of his two children.

"Someone is going to die."

Chapter One

15 Safar 1408

"Come to Paris in your best suit. Versalle. Right now. Drop everything. Ra'd as well, if you spot him before I reach him."

"Yes sir." Ebsa clicked off. "Oh shit, what's happened?" Urfa's never called me before!

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 4th, 2015 04:41 pm (UTC)
The trouble with this is the long long gap when nothing related happens.

Perhaps remove the word 'elves' but leave in ear tips ?

Make this passage a flashback inserted about where you are ?

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 4th, 2015 08:15 pm (UTC)
The point would be to have the elves mentioned early on, so they don't just pop up halfway through the story. I'll have to toss in mention of other hominids in a couple of places.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 4th, 2015 09:28 pm (UTC)
I suppose one of the archaeologists could have made an 'orientation' video for newbies or just insist on telling any one who would stand still for it.

Measurements of ceiling height, door sizes and so forth from the ruins compared with known hominids.

Which recalls a classic SF short where this is being done and the punch line from a alien is "we were glad to see you returning to these worlds" "These ruins are not ours but yours".

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 4th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC)
Another bit I've added . . .

"Hmm. Sounds like you need to talk to Disco about moving the gate."

"No one wants to spend the money."

"Hmm. Yeah, I can see that."

"But a couple more intact buildings, and they'll do it."

"Huh. Then you have to move or duplicate everything. What's the water supply? Wells, out here in the desert?"

Ocho pointed at the snowcapped mountains. "We got underground aquifers, and caverns, possibly artificial, down a couple of hundred feet. The water level's been rising since the hot weather hit. You ought to check out some of the sink holes when you've got time off. Real pretty, plants down as far as they can get sun, all greening up as their deep roots hit water, or the water rises. The Archeologists head down them most mornings."

So the next day he left the tykes in charge of lunch and headed out with a group led by the energized Dr. Itchy.

The sink hole they were exploring was ten kilometers from the main camp.

A hundred meters across, it dropped out of sight into the early morning shadows. Bright green foliage, and big white flowers. The route down was a series of metal ladders and steep stairs bolted into the rock layers.

Itchy talked nonstop as he scampered down the steps. "It's all volcanics. Some soft ash layers, some pryoclastics, that is, glowing hot avalanches. When the flow stopped and settled it was still hot enough to weld it all together. Interbedded with the more traditional lava flows." He reached up and tapped a protruding ledge of dark rock as he ducked under it. "These caverms are either eroded or dug out of the softer stone. We argue about it, of course. Man made or natural, with the peacemakers suggesting natural caverns enlarged and joined by the Builders."

"That does sound likely . . . although from what Ocho said, they must get flooded every spring or early summer." Ebsa eyed the exposed roots of a small tree, reaching downward. Although if you counted the reach of those roots, it's actually a very tall tree.

The air was a little cooler, and a lot damper, a breeze rising past him. It obviously connects to another sink hole.

The lower they got, the smaller the individual trees, even though they were obviously the same spies as the higher trees. Less light? Or . . . surely the water never floods this high and drowns the lower plants.
The sun climbed, and the edge of the shadow dropped as they descended.
Three quarters of the way to the dimly seen bottom of the cavern, a metal grid walkway led part way around the side, ending at a deep shelf . . . and further in a passage way?

"Look at the symmetry of the arched ceiling. It must be artificial. And the floor is flat . . . give or take a century and a half of occasional floods." Itchy glared around at the walls that were stubbornly refusing to divulge their origins.

"Do you even know if the ruins are human? Could be Neanderthal or Elf, couldn't they?"

Itchy scowled. "We have no idea. Except when Q put in the permanent gate she said this world was in a band of Empty Worlds that appeared to have once been more habitable."

"So . . . probably an astronomical event?" Ebsa peered down the tunnel. "Are there any inhabited worlds in this band?"

"Not that anyone has found." Itchy shown his light down the tunnel.
"We're clearing out debris, hoping to find a closed room with something in it, anything, any hint of who built all of this."

"Oh. That's why all the excitement over it. Not just a dead civilization, but an indication of who or what lived in this entire band prior to the cataclysm."

"Pretty much. A single damned skeleton could establish which hominid dominated here . . . possibly an all new one, which is the real prize."

Ebsa looked around and grinned. "Going to call them dwarves? Skilled miners living underground?"

"That joke was old eight months ago, roughly two days after we found the first indication that the caverns might be artificial."

"Oh. Sorry. And just know who, and being able to extrapolate their natural inclinations from their city would be groundbreaking."

Ebsa helped with the rough clearing, finding nothing of interest, then climbed out and returned to the main camp in time to rescue the diners from the tykes' food preferences.

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 5th, 2015 12:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Another bit I've added . . .
Which passage does two things - any chance of making it up to three ?

Probably be better in two parts since it's long and nothing much happens.

Ebsa wonders if he should use it as part of Plan B if the camp has to be abandoned ?

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 5th, 2015 01:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Another bit I've added . . .
That all happened before he went to the coast. So he's not thinking in terms of abandoning camp. Plus the rising water level is chasing the bugs and rats up to the surface, which I'll stick in once they have this crisis under control.
muirecanmuirecan on September 4th, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC)
That opening does setup a nice intrigue for when we do get to the children.
Zan Lynxzlynx on September 5th, 2015 12:02 am (UTC)
The scenes from the Elf Warlord are sure to be interesting. But maybe it would be more surprising to keep the focus tight on Ebsa and friends, and let the reader figure it out along with them?

With all the confusion about who is the elf children's attackers, rescuers, etc., from both Ebsa (thinking the Warlord is the abductor) and the Warlord (thinking Ebsa is the bad guy).

Although some readers don't like to be confused. Eh. Just an idea.
hollybambolo on September 5th, 2015 01:14 am (UTC)
I agree with Zan. Let us figure it out with Ebsa, unless there's some reason why we really need Warlord as a POV. Not knowing the kids were kidnapped was just fine with me.