More Unedited Writing!
April 11, 2012
A lot of this will turn into conversations, I think, since a lot of this is framing and I’m forcing a lot of the story out right now.
When I wrote Part One, it gained 5,000 words during editing. So I’m not too worried about how disappointed I am with this part so far.
Anyway, without further ado, Chapter Four of Notes From the Abyss Part II
Jennifer, Hunter, and I were standing at the front of the ship and watched as the eyes opened, the mouth closed, and the spirits began their chanting. Electricity snaked across the walls, heat radiated n within the ship, and a ripple of life coursed through the stone. With a roar, the Blackfang, the temple-ship of obsidian carved into the form of a great dire wolf, leaped into the sky and tucked its legs again under its massive bulk. Hunter watched mirrors set up on the bridge that Scryed upon the spells and rituals that ran the ship and gave the great wolf its heartbeat and was satisfied.
I sat back and took it all in. We were finally headed off planet.
I looked around the bridge and settled in to what would probably be my home for several months. It was a ring of comfortable chairs around a bank of mirrors hung from the ceiling, each tuned to scry on different parts of the ship – the core spells that Hunter was examining, the outside of the ship on all sides, the various support spells carved into the walls of the ship, and both of the cargo holds (one of which included Hunter’s limited armory). The bridge itself sat between the wolf’s eyes and looked out over the muzzle through the only windows on the temple-ship. Through those windows, Jennifer and I watched the stars and the planets rotate around us.
The universe, like any individual planet, has laylines that thread through it. At the core of the planet, all of the forces that control it come together – gravity, magnetism, heat, and magic. Arcane energy flows along pathways discovered initially in quantum science, long before the True Ways were discovered and codified. Researchers on Metris, when pushing the understanding of mystic functions and pushing the capabilities of the temple-ships of the time, discovered that there were lines of power radiating from the center of the universe centered on the location of the first singularity. When the Big Bang happened, lines of force stretched out with space-time and the first rays of light, anchoring the flows of gravity and guiding the formation of stars, planets, and galaxies. The remnants of those threads, especially because of the huge rivers of power within them, are the core transportation lanes through the galaxy now. The settled planets at the core of the new human civilization all lie along one line in particular, called Axis Mundi, but other lines have been identified. The one we travelled toward now was called Axis Gaia and drove right through the Earth and the central black hole of the galaxy.
Jennifer leaned on the chair I was in, glancing between the stars and Hunter as he checked the rituals that powered the ship. She leaned over me and asked, “Have you ever been to Earth?”
I shook my head. “My family has been before, every generation or so, but I’ve never been there personally. It’s harrowing for any kind of practitioner to be near the planet. From what I understand, it’s still buffeted by psychic winds and anyone who can access the spiritual realms runs the risk of mental injury just being around it.”
She shuddered and looked again to the windows. “But we have to start there.”
I nodded again. “I need to scour the planet and it’ll be easier to get to the black hole from there as well.”
Hunter quietly sank into a chair next to me and turned it around to watch the stars as well. “We’ll be near Earth in two days, should be simple. Space is clear out this way, from spirits and other ships, since nothing gets near the planet itself.”
Jennifer frowned and sighed. “Nothing gets near it? No spirits, no poachers, no miners…no one?”
“Nope, Sol is a protective father, watching over the solar system it helped birth. Now that its gotten larger, as well, much of the Earth has changed from the excess heat. The Cataclysm, as well, has left memories of the power collapsing throughout the planet. There are reverberations that are still felt as far away as Ithiran, the capital.” Hunter pointed to one of the scrying mirrors and swept a finger across the screen, causing it to focus on an image of the Earth. The planet was painted red with fire with the clouds burned away on one side and the oceans roiling. “The Earth is dangerous and, at least for me and I’m sure many others, it brings up a kind of pain that echoes from my family long ago. Like our home, the family home, is forever and completely lost.”
Jennifer just looked on, sadness falling over her face, as the Earth spat angrily into space and a large storm spun together near the equator.