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[personal profile] thulcandran

*cough, hack, etc*

...I am all but drowning in work right now. At first, *it was just homework, then it was homework and **assignments for the newspaper, now it's homework, assignments for the newspaper, and ***a work schedule back at my old job.

So life is good, but wicked busy. I'm still writing, here and there - my reading time has dwindled to while-walking-to-school/work and right-before-bed. But directly prior to all of this landing on me, I was working on what started as a daydream, became a little short story, and grew/evolved into something that's now 7800 words long and about 80% done. Unfortunately, I've hit a wall in what's either the last scene or the second-to-last scene, and the dialogue just isn't coming. So I'm going to write some stuff here that's geared to push the headspace towards a better understanding of the character whose dialogue is problematic. He's not actually the main character - but he comes in close second, and I'm thinking if I decide to be suicidally-workaholicish, I might try to follow his backstory for NaNoWriMo.

The captain bowed low, his face ashen as he stood again, waiting for orders. Xerxes thought, the sudden crashing of his reality working around his mind. He really hadn't expected them to move so soon... this would mean they were allied with everyone they needed, and, more importantly, they had found a mole inside the capital city. He did not doubt this would all become clear.

"Thank you, Captain," he told Sol finally. "You may return to your troops - I want Dar, Ronin, and Delia escorted out of the area immediately - you know the procedure. I will go into hiding at once, when it becomes possible. For now, as long as the perimeter is maintained...?"

Sol nodded mutely.

"As long as the perimeter is maintained, I will ready myself for battle, in the occasion such becomes necessary, and take refuge in the heart of the castle. Good luck," he finished, dismissing the soldier. With a heavy sigh, he turned the other way and headed for his own armory, listening to the bootsteps of the captain disappear in the other direction. This was not unexpected, it really wasn't. But he knew it would not be easy. Memories of his youth sparked and flamed in his mind's eye as he trod the backwards passages, up winding disused staircases and through hidden doors towards the chamber beneath his bedroom. His father's sword, swinging again and again; his brother Boris, rushing down the stairs with a wild shout. He wished he could banish the images - but they brought him courage, of a sort, and he reminded himself that it would be easier, this time. It would go smoother - he was prepared, there was no split, and the capital had been quietly awaiting this moment for almost two years now.

Still, he couldn't help thinking, as he girded himself with the old, worn armor, he wished he'd just had them all arrested, assassinated, and in general brought down. Foolish thought, of course - this boil needed to be lanced, merely pushing the leaders off the top wouldn't have worked. But it would've been nice.

He was on his way down to the root cellars for the city's Council district buildings when the next courier found him, breathless and... distraught?

"Sire!" The young man bowed low, hiding his tremor quickly. Xerxes was impressed.

"Speak," he commanded, continuing his walk.

"The traitor has been found - it was, it was one of our own corps, a girl called Dain - she was caught on Tobin's Wall by one of the sentries, and brought in. What orders would you send?"

Wild thoughts raced around his mind, for an instant, and he appraised the possibilities. If he had her executed now, he lost all possibility of gaining intelligence. Dain... ah, of course he had a memory of her, damn his failing mind in this chaos! If he had her sent across the city to the prison on the South end, he risked losing her, and any guards in escort, to the agents no doubt fighting in the perimeter. Where was the safest place in the castle, the place no rebels would... ah. Of course. He nearly laughed aloud.

"Send her captors to the Council district buildings, and tell them to seek out Vizier Raoul, and inform him of the situation. He will guide them further."

The boy bowed again and sped off in the other direction. Emperor Xerxes VI ran a hand over his face and quickened his stride. If they were coming from Tobin's Wall, he'd make it down to the tunnel just as they were reaching the safe room, as long as he hurried.

--Fin (of the hastily-written Prelude, anyway)--

*I'm taking four classes this semester! Lovely and awesome and great, except that it's a full-time load and wow, that is a lot of homework hours.
**I don't regret it! Joining the newspaper is awesome. It's just... a lot of work.
***Did I even mention this on the personal journal? When I decided to go into full-time classes, I gave notice at work and started training replacements. ...basically, things went a bit awry, and now I'm back.


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May 2013


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