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Starman Part 3

Starman part 3. (Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska, Jan, the Starman, and Chloe stood just inside the desert village, near Yaska’s house.

“This is the Starman,” Yaska said.

Chloe considered him. She looked at his face, and his form. The face looked similar to Jan’s, but less cheerful.

She said, “you know, Yaska, I doubted your letter, but… I can tell that something with this Starman is off. I need to prove it to myself.”

“What do you mean by off?” Jan asked.

“Yaska, can you get me one of your shirts? No, not the one you’re wearing right now.”

Yaska shrugged. Shortly after, she returned from her small stone hut with a shirt. Chloe took the shirt and offered it to the Starman, who put it on.

Chloe asked, “does it fit?”

“It fits exactly,” he said.

Yaska’s eyes widened, but Jan remained confused.

He asked, “what’s this about?”

Chloe addressed the Starman, “You look like a man, but you’re not, are you. You just copied what’s around you in order to give yourself shape.”

“I’m still lost.” Jan said.

Yaska looked at the Starman. Her shirt fit the creature far better than Jan’s did.

“Well, I am not lost,” Yaska said, “when he landed, the first person he met was me. He was just a ball of light, and then he took on my shape. Jan, do you remember when he first came to the village?”

“It had no face…”

Jan’s expression became passive. Chloe and Yaska both noticed that, without Jan’s constant grin, they really did look identical.

Yaska’s face became stern. She said, “it came from the sky and imitated my body. It came to the village and imitated Jan’s face. Then, it came to our campfire and imitated our language. What does it want, blending in with us so?”

She accusingly pointed a clawed finger at the Starman, “is getting home truly your only goal?”

Silence overcame the group. The Starman stared, searching his limited vocabulary for words with to explain himself.

Chloe’s mumbling eventually broke in, “…imitation, returning to the sky… he truly is a star, isn’t he? I didn’t think that the legend was true.”

Jan said, “what legend?”

The Starman said, “tell us, please.”

Some of the villagers had gathered around Jan’s fire, anticipating the story from the outsider, Chloe.

“My father told me it was long ago, I always assumed two or three thousand years. A star fell from the sky. It was unlike a dead shooting star. It was alive, and it landed on the planet. The ancient people encountered it, and came to fear it.

“The first person to find it was a great hero. The star took the shape of the hero. It was uncanny for the people, to see this false form of the hero. The accused it of being a demon, and captured it out of fear.

“The hero feared for the star. The star had done nothing wrong, but would likely be charged will all forms of frivolity, and the ancient people would decide to kill it. Standing around the star’s cage, and surrounded by his people, the hero decided to take a risk to save the star.

“The hero gave a great laugh, and then pointed to the cage, ‘you fools, you have captured the wrong person, for I am the star, and he is the true hero!’

“The star was cunning. It said, ‘I am indeed your noble hero, please free me!’

“The hero gave the star a secret smile, and then ran. Half the ancient people pursued, and the other half hastened to free the person they thought was their hero. The star was yet still cunning, it said, ‘I will chase down the imposter! Leave it to me!’ And it gave chase. The two heroes ran about the city, each claiming to be chasing the other.

“The hero, that is, the true hero, stopped at his house to rest. He hid, and watched through his doorway. The city calmed. The star was still wandering about, but he assured everyone that he had chased the imposter out of the city. In truth, he was still searching, but without frenzy. He walked around, fearful at the civilization before him, fearful of getting caught.

“Finally, the star noticed the hero in his doorway, beckoning. The star approached, and the hero pulled him inside. The hero fed the star, and told him to journey out of the city and return to his home. The star told him, ‘I need energy,’ so the hero fed him, and gave him drink.

“The star left the city, under the guise of the hero, and returned to the skies. They say that the star still looks down on the hero in thanks, and that the hero still looks up as well.

“Supposedly, it’s the hero that passed this story down to his children, and to the next generation.” Chloe finished.

Yaska, usually stoic, had become quite surprised.

Jan said, “are you the same star?!”

“No.” The Starman said.

Chloe grinned, “so, if the legend is true, and my father says it is, all we have to do is feed the star!”

Yaska shook her head, “I apologize, but we already tried. It did not work, he said that our food was not star food.”

Chloe looked from Yaska to the Starman. She considered Yaska’s words for a long time. Their food is not star food. The hero’s food was. Did that mean that the problem was that Plainkind food specifically was not star food? What was different about what the Plainkind ate, compared to what the hero ate? And then Chloe remembered the odd quirk in Plainkind diet the separated them from nearly every other race.

“I know what it is!”

Sorry, guess it’ll be four parts instead of three!

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Notes and Plans – The Solune Prince

The Solune Prince chapters I’ve completed are… kind of meh.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a reader, I might think: This series is kind of boring. And it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. And if it is, it’s going there very slowly. There situations and characters seem a little lacking. Some of these chapters go nowhere, or add nothing to the story. And why did it take so long to get here?

These are pretty serious concerns, right? I mean, it’s been 20 chapters and not much has happened. If the average chapter is 1000 words (and it’s actually a little more), then that means I’m 20 000 words in and I’m still only at the beginning.

It’s overwhelming. I feel like I’ve sort of shotgun-vomited and pantsed myself into a narrative about nothing, filled with boring characters, and then insulted the reader by adding a “first draft disclaimer.” I mean, maybe I should actually put a little more effort into making my pieces of a high enough quality that I don’t feel the need for disclaimers.

I was at a point where I was almost ready to throw up my hands and drop the serial altogether.

That’s what I was thinking.

And then, on the way to the library, I listened to Falter.

See, that song was one of the biggest inspirational pieces for The Solune Prince, and hearing it again, I remembered a lot of what I was feeling back when I started. I decided to return to The Solune Prince project for sure after that, but with a different mentality.

1111179-e1507961900933.jpg

To practice, to learn, to improve.

This is a first draft, I’m sure there are a lot of people who write a first draft by the seat of their pants, read it over, and then think, “man this is awful.” And, that’s what I’m thinking. It’s pretty awful! But that’s okay, because it’s a first draft. A second draft can (and if it’s got glaring faults, should) be drastically different than the first.

I’m not going to go back and fix the first twenty (geez, twenty?) scenes until I’m done though. I’m not even going to try to fix every single problem I’ve had with those scenes going forward.

I’m just going to focus on one thing at a time, and this time, it’s planning. So, I’m going to do a lot more work planning the rest of the Solune Prince. You know, it was going somewhere, I just kept getting into tangents, and hopefully with a plan, I can avoid that.

In addition, outlining will allow me to know a little bit better where each scene is going, and what it’s trying to do. I may end up with less frequent, but higher quality scenes as a result of planning. Maybe I’ll even outline individual scenes, I don’t really know.

I actually drew out a basic outline before writing this. It looks like I’ve got seven acts to go. Seven acts to get my act together haha. I’ll work on the outline a bit more before posting another scene.

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

P.S.

On a side note, I really need to update my categories.

Starman Part 2

Starman part 2. (Part 1 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

The next morning, Yaska came to Jan’s stone hut. Outside, he and the creature were talking.

“Look, Yaska, he fits okay in my clothes… sort of. A little tight in the arms and baggy everywhere else, but not a big issue,” Jan shrugged.

Yaska stared at the creature.

“It can talk now so I’m guessing it learns by imitation,” Jan said, “sort of like a kid who picks up really really fast. I think it figured out how to talk just from the stories last night!”

He learned to talk,” Yaska replied.

The creature looked at them both, then said, ” ‘It’ is closer than ‘he,’ but considering me a man will make referring to me easier.”

“You know, he kind of talks like you,” Jan said.

“Hmm.” Yaska surveyed the creature. He seemed to have a strangely slim but broad build.  She asked him, “what should we call you?”

“What would you call me if I was still in the sky?”

Yaska spoke tentatively, “a… star?”

“Okay. I am a star that looks like a man.”

Jan said, “I’m just going to call you the Starman.”

“Okay.” The Starman said.

“Okay.” Yaska said.

“Al right, Starman, what would you like to do?” Jan asked.

“Well, I would like to return to…” he pointed.

“The sky”

“The sky, but I do not have enough energy.”

Yaska looked around the desert. Her gaze passed the Solune wall to the east, and the mountains to the north. She said, “Do you think you could return from the top of the mountain?”

The Starman followed her gaze and said, “perhaps.”

Jan packed food and bloodskins, and looked for someone to hunt in his place. Mariça volunteered. Then they headed up the mountain.

For a Plainkind, climbing a mountain is less difficult and more tedious and the northern mountains are of unexceptional height. The small group managed to reach the summit with a little effort and in less than half the day.

“How is this?” Yaska asked.

The Starman gazed at the sky, and said, “I will see.”

He began to glow as he had when he had first landed, and Yaska expected him to morph back into a ball. Instead, he stopped and cooled off, returning to normal.

“What made you stop?” Yaska asked.

The Starman said, “Now that I have seen the top, I am certain that I do not have enough energy to return to the sky. I would rather not waste what I do have.”

Yaska put a hand in her hair, “I guess my idea was not that good after all.”

“I apologize. But, at least we will no longer have to wonder.”

“Okay, wow,” Jan said, “you guys are so stuffy. Listen, what did you say? That you don’t have enough energy?”

“Right.”

“Well, here. Eat. Drink.”

They found a flat rut in the mountain, and began eating. The average Plainkind meal is raw dinosaur meat, and blood. Other liquids are very difficult to find in the desert, so blood is the primary source of fluids.

When they had finished, Jan said, “So? Is that better? Do you have energy now?”

The Starman thought for a time, and then said, “no.”

“No?”

He put the food down, “this is, I think, the wrong kind of energy.”

“What? So, the mountain didn’t help, and the food didn’t help? What are we supposed to do?”

Yaska stood, took the Starman’s food, then gave it to Jan. “Take this, and calm yourself. Stars probably eat a different sort of food than we do. Come, we should return now.”

They started down the mountain. The Starman’s face was impassive.

“What do stars eat?” Jan asked. “You should know, you’re a star, right?”

“I know what it is, but I cannot tell you.” The starman replied.

“What? Come on, we’re trying to help you!”

“I… do not have the words.”

Yaska nodded, “the word for his food probably is not in Plainkind vocabulary.”

“Vocabulary?” Jan asked.

Yaska said, “vocabulary is… it is all the words you have to choose from when you speak. I learned the term from Chloe.”

“Oh yes, Chloe, the outsider. She knows quite a bit, doesn’t she.”

“Yes she does,” Yaska agreed, “Chloe knows about history, and science, and… Oh Jan!”

“What?” Jan asked. The Starman, too, looked at her.

“We could ask Chloe to help!”

“Oh, great idea!”

“I will write her a letter when we return. We can send it by bird.”

Daniel Triumph.

Previous Part,Next Part

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

P.S.

I apologize for the quality drop in this one. The next one is better.

Starman Part 1

Starman part 1.

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska May Däwngale and the people of her village sat around the community fire. Jan was telling a story about the storm festival. Yaska rubbed her fingers through the sand. It did not rain a lot in the desert, but once every two years, there was a rainstorm. Even though she had been gone for so long, Yaska had heard his story many times and had gotten bored of it. She decided to leave the village to look at the stars.

“Where are you going?” It was her friend Mariça, the most unusual looking of the bunch.

“West. I am going to look at the stars.”

“Okay.”

Yaska walked until she couldn’t hear the buzz of the gathering. She found a spot next to a shrub and lay down, resting her hands behind her head. It wasn’t always easy to see the stars because the atmosphere often distorted them. In her homelands, however, there was less humidity, so heat distortion was reduced. Even on this clear night, the stars shimmered and danced in the skies, and Yaska knew she was only seeing a fraction of them.

Yaska gazed at the hundred or two shining dots, tracking their irregular movement until she saw one that was moving oddly. She blinked. It wasn’t shimmering, or moving in hazy circles. It was shuddering. And getting brighter. Yaska watched it, and realized that it was growing.

She sat up, and then, keeping her eye on the star, she stood. She rubbed her eyes, and when she opened them again, the light was the size of her fist.

“What?”

A fiery mass plummeted down from the heavens. Yaska watched as it smashed into the ground, twenty steps in front of her. She was quite astonished.

Yaska, fearless, approached the landing area. As the smoke dissipated, she could see a bright mass of whites and yellows shifting around. She watched as the ball of light took shape. It morphed vertically, splitting at the bottom and the sides. Yaska watched it compress into the definite shape of a person.

“…Hello?”

The form’s brightness faded slowly, until all that remained was a soft glow over it’s tanned skin. The face remained featureless.

Yaska waved her hand in front of where the face should have been. She thought that perhaps it would spark the next part of the creature’s transformation, that it had gotten stuck.

Yaska put  her hands on her hips, staring at it. After a while of nothing happening, she took a step back.

The creature tentatively stepped forward.

“Aha!” Yaska took another step backwards, and the creature again followed. “So you can do something!”

Yaska turned and started walking back the the village, checking over her shoulder frequently to make sure the creature was following. As she neared the makeshift stone huts of her village, she heard muttering.

Then, a voice rang out, “I will go, because I am the eldest. If anything happens to me, it is a much smaller loss than if we lose Jan, our hunter.”

Yaska entered and approached the group; huddled together and worried. It was Mariça’s part-mother who had volunteered herself. Jan noticed her first.

He said, “What is that following you?!”

Yaska stopped. The creature stopped. Yaska realized she had no idea what she had just led into her village. She assumed it wasn’t dangerous because thus far it had been so benign, but she couldn’t be sure. Still, she wasn’t too worried. If it was dangerous, she had the strength to deal with it.

Yaska turned around and said, “- oh, you are finally getting yourself a face, I see.”

The face of the creature pushed itself out of the front of its head, much to the surprise of the villagers.

Jan ran up to Yaska and whispered, “is this normal?”

Yaska nodded stating, “It started as a ball of light.”

“Hey!” Mariça shouted from among the group, “it looks like a boring Jan!”

Yaska and Jan looked up.

“I look like that?”

Yaska approached the creature.

“Can you speak?”

The creature opened its mouth and gave a shriek. Jan stepped back. Yaska stepped forward, readying herself, just in case.

Mariça’s mother walked to Jan and said, “that’s an infant’s screech. If it just got its face, it likely doesn’t know how to use it.”

Jan said, “Well, actually, it just got my face.”

After tapping it a few times, Jan declared the creature harmless. Yaska said that since it figured out how to grow a face so fast through observation, it would likely learn how to speak the same way. So, the village returned to the fire and Jan began another story.

And the creature did listen.

Daniel Triumph.

Next Part

This will probably be a 3 parter. Not super long. Yaska really should have more appearances, as she’s one of my oldest characters, but so it goes.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Alice and Finch Epilogue 3

What Happened to Alexandre “Jutt” Dirge

Alice and Lex lived together in the temple for a few days before Alice moved into the castle. A few days later, Lex turned twenty and left the city to find her mother. Within the next year, she succeeded in her quest, but lost most of her teeth in the process.

Much later, (and after another adventure in which she invented an absurdly large instrument by the name of “a Quartet”) Alexandre finally turned her efforts to her dreams and began studying chemical research at the Solune University, followed by classical music composition.

Alice and Finch

Also, Jutt looks like this now.

CaptureThe Band (photo)