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Wierdness happens...

OK, usually when the muse pounces on me she's got a song up her sleeve (in fact I'm in the middle of polishing one of 'em), but in this case... This is only the first chapter. I have no idea when or IF I'll finish it, but given that I also have most of the plot in mind I suspect I will if not forcibly prevented. Title suggestions welcome.

Ch 1
In which it is established that the universe is boobytrapped

There I am riding the descending escalator at the Marriott when I spot someone’s prop light saber hilt lying right at the bottom where just about anybody could be guaranteed to step on it. Not a good idea, that. Nobody around except for one tall individual costumed as “No-face” from “Spirited Away” who solemnly shakes his/her/its head when I ask if they know whose it is. So much for that idea. I reach down, hesitate a second with the weirdest “are you really sure” feeling; like I’m about to pick up someone else’s guitar without permission or something.. pick it up anyway, and start for Lost and Found.

Well, that was my intent anyway. What actually happens is I pick it up and everything goes “Poof!” The universe spins around a couple of times, then the convention hotel vanishes, and is replaced by a hot, dusty desert. Hot sun overhead, hot rocks all around, hot town about a klick or two in front of me down the hot dusty road... Rather familiar looking town too. “Welcome to Tatooine” says a voice in the back of my mind. “Oh frack,” says the mouth on the front of my face. And regrets it as the air dries out the inside instantly; did I mention it’s HOT? At least my costume is fairly appropriate for the environment; a long hooded red robe, girdled with an ethernet cord, engineer boots, a medallion with the coat of arms of alt.sysop.recovery aka the Scary Devil Monastery, and a large squeaky mallet stuck through the cord. Correction, the squeaky mallet appears to have fallen out somewhere along the line. Not that I really need it I suppose. Jeans under the robe, to provide the pockets it lacks. Usual pocket crud in the pockets. Half liter bottle of water hanging from the cord. I pull up the hood on the robe, drink the bottle of water (if you don’t have too much, the best place to store water on a desert trek is inside), then hook the light saber to the cord and start down the road.

It really is dreadfully hot. A scene from “Dreams are Sacred” comes to mind, but giving one of the suns a dirty look gains me nothing but spots before my eyes. The trudge is entirely too real for me to waste much time wondering if I am hallucinating, and anyway, even if I am there really is no reason not to behave as if it were real. Dusty, hot, annoying.... “Go to Mos Eisley,” says the voice in the back of my head. “Right, Obi-wan,” I mutter, mentally this time, “you couldn’t have sent me someplace air-conditioned?” I then remember some of the other scenery in Star Wars. “Never mind.” Giggle from the vitbomh. For form's sake, I look the light saber over carefully to identify the business end, hold it out, brace myself and push what looks like the firing button. I nearly fall over anyway as the pale yellow blade extends with the requisite Hmmmmm ... I let go the button and it collapses again. Yep, real one. I hook it back on my waist cord. Carefully.

Trudge trudge trudge...

A kilometer isn’t all that far usually, but I can feel the heatstroke sneaking up on me, despite the hood on the robe and the bottle of water I have so lately chugged. “You do realize,” I tell the Voice “that the folks around here don’t give you a hello without they get paid first. And I have no money whatsoever.” No comment. “Oh well, maybe I can hock the light saber.”

Trudge trudge trudge.

And finally, the city limits. Not too many people on the street (don’t blame ‘em) but feels kinda crowed, somehow. Dusty, dry... noisy. Noisy? Everybody seems to be yelling a lot. I can understand it all, too. Wow – that shopkeeper sure has a good temper, to put up with being called THAT by his employee... Why everybody hasn’t got a headache by... now.... Oh, Beak Wock. He’s not talking out loud, is he. “So now I’m a telepath?” I inquire of the Voice. “Thanks EVER so much...” Oh well, leastwise I know the cure for THIS one, thanks to Babylon 5. I sit down in the shade of a building, close my eyes, and start building mental bricks. Feels weird, but at least I’m not a scared 14 year old girl with no idea of what’s happening. Well, not a 14 year old anyway.

Wall completed, noise abated, I address the Voice again. “OK, I think I see what you’re doing, but why the heck you didn’t pick on one of the Junior Jedi whooping around the halls instead of middle aged, overweight, arthritic yours truly I would like to know. Where next?”

No words, but I get the feeling I should go up the street and turn left. Nobody seems to be giving me a second look, so I guess my sartorial style is not too far out for this place, though the other robes about are heavier, and mostly dark grey or brown. Turn right, past a rather smelly livestock corral, down a few more streets... finally we come to a nondescript door in a nondescript building. The larger sun is beginning to set, though the other one is still way up, and I’m wilting fast. I’m really not designed for deserts. I knock. Door opens. Hand reaches out, grabs arm. “You’re late” murmurs the droid on the other end of the arm, as it pulls me inside. The door slams behind.

It’s cool. I sigh in relief as I attempt to sink into the nearest chair, but my greeter won’t let me. “We must leave at once,” he(?) says and pulls me on past the chair, a couch, and several other comfy looking pieces of furniture and out the back door. “Hey..... “ I complain. “It’s HOT out here...” He ignores me and keeps pulling. I look up, and there’s a spaceship parked right out back, landing ramp down. I quit resisting the pull, and soon we’re inside the ship. The ramp closes.

Air Conditioning! I go from sweaty and hot to clammy in about five seconds, and start shivering as I sit/am sat down in the nearest acceleration couch. “Where are we going?” I inquire. No answer. The ship takes off, without much more apparent g force than a 747, thank goodness. Still no answer; on the other hand we do seem to be leaving Tatooine which is a good start. Totally worn out, I fall asleep or something along those lines.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Oh boy, you've been drafted! ::intones in a low conspiratorial voice:: "Your assignment, Mr. Phelps, should you choose to accept it..."

Good luck and I hope your alter-ego finds a master for you to train under. >D And gives you some water!

Hee, you know the red robes are some of the typical garb of the Nightsisters of Dathomir? The Force Witches who lean toward the dark side? This may be why no one bothered you on Tatooine, but you may want to aquire some Jedi beige ASAP.

And who left the 'prop lightsaber' out for you to find? Tip? That would work on me, too, I must admit. It's like leaving breadcrumbs out for the birdies.

Good work! I'd definitely like to see more.
Oct. 4th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
Who decided to accept it? Teach me to pick up people's strayed props. :)

That figures - I really do have, and wear, that costume, though usually with sneakers. I figured with what I was about to put myself through the engineer boots were a better idea.

Anyway, most of the above is actually solved in the second chapter. I'm stuck on describing an action scene in the middle of it without sounding TOO tacky, but once that breaks loose I'll post it.
Oct. 4th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
I'll look forward to the next bit.

I dunno, running shoes might not be so impractical as you think. I do like the Ariat riding boots - they're sort of the best of running shoes and riding boots. You can still run in them. :D

I don't recall any Darksiders being into blue, you could always dye your red robes. *g*
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )