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Saturday, 14 December 2013

I didn't get into Pitchwars...

Holy shit.
Holy shit.
Do you know what this means?
oh? I need to slow down? FUCK YOU. I GOT MY FIRST FULL REQUEST!

Okay, so I got some amazing feedback back from the writers of PitchWars. My number one pick even told me she was upset that she couldn't pick mine... that she loved my story but had better actual queries. OH WELL. I used her advise and got an email back from an Intern at an agency.
They only ever wanted the actual query so when he asked for my writing I sent him the typical first five pages. His response:

So yeah, I sent him the whole manuscript.
Hopefully he doesn't puke.
Seeing the Hobbit tonight.
I need to go cry or something.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Anticipation is murdering me.

Okay so,
I've finished the second draft of Hybrid. I think I've become a better writer. Isn't that wonderful? Aren't you happy for me? Seriously, the amount I've improved is incredible. Also, I added a few more details into the story! I know you'll all like it.
That being said, Pitch Wars.
I know I made a good impression with my top pick, however I don't think I'm one of her picks. That being said, I'm a little sad. What about my other three picks? I didn't really pay attention. None of them were tweeting up a storm, so I couldn't exactly stalk them.
We find out tomorrow who moves on in Pitch Wars. That being said, I'm very excited for Janel, who I think will move on. SHE CAN DO IT FOR ME AND HER :D
I won't live vicariously through another person for long however!
Also, another pitch contest starts on Thursday... this have to give a 45 word pitch. JESUS CHRIST.

Oh well, I'll keep you all updated.
Also, my Boss might finally give me a god damn raise. That would be lovely, I'm not fond of living with only food and shelter. I WANT MY SHIT TOO. Money is an odd thing, at the Insurance company I worked for... a year ago! My shithead boss kept promising me a raise, telling me that if I put up with shit I would eventually get there.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

All you get tonight.

Seriously, I've been really busy with Pitchwars!
I wrote a Synopsis for Hybrid in case my preferred Mentor wants one. She tweeted about my query, saying she liked it although it was heavy on the world building... makes me a bit nervous but excited at the same time. Apparently I should have come out of the gate with the fact that my main character is a socially retarded cripple who gets robot legs. Anyways, This was me at work yesterday. Suffice to say, it was pretty damn slow.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


Not to be mistaken with Foam wars...
This is a wonderful contest that involves finding an mentor and pitching them and shit. I'm worn out and can't really write now.
Anyway, I entered. Two Mentors really stood out to me and I will talk about them in great detail. The other two I like but I am not as enthusiastic about. That being said, most of the mentors were looking for Young Adult... not adult Fantasy/Science Fiction. So I'm a minority I guess.
I would like to thank Janel for introducing it to me earlier today...AND CONSUMING THE REST OF MY DAY.
I need to sleep. The contest opened twenty minutes ago, the second they opened I sent all four emails.
Anyway, I used Hybrid in case you were wondering. I published Ardent's Contract so it would be disqualified. Plus Hybrid is a little more salable.
Here is the premise I give in my Query: LOW EFFORT POST MUCH EH?

Man may never rise, or else they be crushed completely. This is what humans are told on a daily basis as they work within the capital as slaves for the Subjectors. The metal monsters are calculating, ruthless and nearly invincible. Using their unnatural abilities, the Subjectors are able to manipulate metal and magnetize objects, powers which they’ve utilized for both killing and function. Their incredible city is built into a canyon, with hundreds of skyscrapers connected by monorails which the Subjectors ride. Man’s struggle has raged for generations now, with fewer humans willing to take up arms against both the monsters and the many humans willing to fight for them. By strapping on special boots, humans known as Grinders ride the magnetic rails in order to fight the Subjectors on their own monorails.

Barrack is the product of generations of selective breeding, he is both physically and mentally superior except for one major flaw. He has a degenerative disease that has rendered his legs nearly unusable. Normally such an obvious blemish wouldn’t be tolerated, but he distinguished himself and was the first cripple ever spared by the competitive system. Ignorant of the oppression his fellow humans face, Barrack lives a quiet life repairing the monorails.

Everything changes when Barrack is critically wounded in an accident. The Subjectors decide to save their investment, rebuilding him so that he becomes both human and machine, making him the Hybrid. The incident opens his eyes to the cruelty his kind faces, as well as awakening a power within him. With the tools available to change the world, Barrack is faced with the most difficult decision of his life. Will he continue serving masters that have favoured him? Or will he decide to fight against man’s own makers.

Janel Comeau: Three Reasons I Need Brian Griffin Back on Family ...

Janel Comeau: Three Reasons I Need Brian Griffin Back on Family ...: If you are in any way connected to any form of social media whatsoever, you might have heard that long-standing sitcom and  Simpsons clo...

Power rangers is the ultimate show for non distractions.

I spent yesterday starting a new manuscript... watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Netflix. Suffice to say, it's amazing. I forgot HOW AMAZING this show is. That being said, it's the right mix of entertaining, nostalgic and not very distracting... Well because the other two shows I'm currently watching are the Shield and the Wire... they're kind of... oh never mind.
Anyway, my writer friend sent me an interesting article on queries as well as some good advise. Combined with the already stellar advise the ever fucking talented Janel has provided me with... I need to work on my query a bit... Seriously, do you know how hard it is to find another author living in a suburb that is actually as serious about writing as you are?
I'm shocked at twenty three that I still talk to people who describe themselves as authors as well... It was a little more common when I was eighteen or in high school.
Anyway! I wonder how people will react to my character Barrack, the socially retarded young man who hasn't talked to a girl in ten years AND smokes like a chimney.
Anyway, I have to take Charlotte to the University!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Chapter Four... and a new start!

Yes, I am starting a new manuscript today.
Fate Spinner. I hope it goes well. Pfft, that's a lie. I know it'll go well. THIS IS ME.
Anyway, here is chapter four. It might be the last one I post, we'll see. Mkay?

Chapter 4:

                Barrack had to struggle to keep his hand from shaking. He sat at his table, working on the small turbine kept within Mira’s belt. It was a simple fix, he would repair the wiring which had shorted out, likely due to a surge of power, and then power it back up using a secondary power source. He didn’t quite understand why he was doing what he was, he was betraying the trust of the Masters. He was actively helping a member of the rebellion, the girl had taken part in an operation to help the Heretics undermine the Masters.
                Yet he couldn’t help himself. Mira wasn’t a bad girl, she was kind to him, very caring in fact. Barrack hadn’t interacted with anyone quite like her before, she seemed genuine. It wasn’t like he was helping her blow something up, he was just helping her escape, and the damage of her operations were already done. Barrack had lived his life using logic, and this time it checked out, although he would admit that emotion was playing a small part.
                “How’s it going?” Mira asked, her voice curious. She stepped close, looking over his shoulder, bending over and moving her long hair to the side so that it would stay out of her face as she watched his hands work. She was lovely, her scent wonderful, even when covered in perspiration like she was. Still hating the heat, Mira had chosen to strip off her cloak and jacket, now she just wore a simple shirt, it had no sleeves and it was held on her shoulder by thin straps. Her arms were muscular, although very lean, her chest was caved inward, her ribs visible among pale skin, freckles, and minimal breasts. What surprised Barrack the most was her hair, it was long and red. Mira had taken the clip out of her hair, letting the full length of it fall down to almost her hips, it was messy and wavy, although straighter in other places.
                “I’m almost done,” Barrack stammered. He hid his embarrassment as best he could, despite the fact that she was the first woman he had seen in so long, he should still respect her. Barrack just wished he wasn’t so awkward, did he come off as pretentious when he talked about science? “I just have to power it up now.”
                Barrack reached under his table and produced a portable turbine he used for his other creations. It sat on the table, no bigger than his own fist, cone shaped and spinning on its own. The Revius belt contained within would constantly spin, using the magnetic field to generate electricity. The turbine had an especially ingenious design because it would create an independent circuit when it wasn’t powering something, so that it would keep spinning on its own. Barrack did keep a steam engine in the back, just in case he ever needed it. However it was very unlikely that he would ever need to use such a primitive method of getting one of the power sources going again.
                “Watch this,” Barrack said as he unwound the cord that tied neatly around the turbine’s base. He connected it to the belt’s small turbine and the small device roared to life.
                “That’s why it’s so loud when I turn it on!” Mira exclaimed, examining it closer.
                “Indeed,” Barrack replied. “Actually it is always running, but when it’s powered off it spins so slowly that it can’t be heard normally. The belt has four settings: Mild, positive, negative, and concussive setting that allows you to survive falls. It truly is incredible, it creates a magnetic field dense enough that it will brace your fall and spread the energy into the ground instead of through your body.”
                “Is that so?” Mira said, giggling slightly. “I had trouble believing them when they said it would brace my fall and not break my legs. They have to do it front of us first so we’ll believe them. I always wondered how it worked, I figured it was just magic.”
                “There is no such thing,” Barrack snorted. “Only science, everything can be explained.”
                “What about those strange powers the Subjectors have?”
                “That is no different. It’s just beyond our understanding, I’m sure it has a logical basis.”                
                “Could a human use it? That would be useful for…you know, fighting them.”
                “No,” Barrack said simply. “Only the Master’s with their superior souls and metal bodies have displayed the ability, humans are exempt from such gifts.”
                “Could we learn?”
                “I don’t think you understand,” Barrack sighed. “Breaking the Hermetic laws is something that only the Masters can do, it is physically impossible for us to do.”
                “Oh well,” Mira said while shrugging. “It was worth trying.” She gave Barrack a wink and laughed to herself. Despite her laughter, she looked so ragged, like she had been through the worst time of her life recently. It was no wonder that before he could start on her equipment, he had to feed her first. Of course, everything Mira was given to eat, she devoured like a starving beggar. Barrack found it funny, especially since he always watched how much he ate and took good care of his body.
                Barrack handed her the belt, Mira took it and put it on. She ducked down reattached the wires down to both boots. She practiced with all three switches and grinned widely.
                “They work!” Mira exclaimed. “You’re a genius, Barrack.”
                “It was really a simple fix,” Barrack muttered. “Not even close to my best work.” He reached out and grabbed his walker, he pulled himself up, the easiest part.
                “Now what?” Mira asked, face curious.
                “We go back down into the tunnels.”

                Barrack carried Mira the whole way this time. She had been resting for a few hours before, but it was still important that she save her energy for the actual trip. As Barrack understood it, the grinding process was incredibly exhausting, Mira might also have to evade the Masters.
                “Are you okay?” Barrack asked. He was moderately sure that his speech patterns had become less awkward as it went on, he had adapted.
                “Yeah, thanks,” Mira muttered, clutching his neck. This particular stretch was especially dangerous, they were underground, a deep and endless chasm below them. Barrack crossed using the suspended bars that had been placed there. A normal human would likely have to use their legs to go across carefully, he only needed to swing with his arms.
                They passed through, this part may have been dangerous, but it was also the quickest path to the edge of Barrack’s territory. Beyond that, he wouldn’t be able to help her, other sectors of the repair tunnels would be blocked off from him. They eventually made it to the spot, a single ladder that descended straight upwards, blocked off by a manhole cover. It would emerge at the top of a pillar protruding from a building that was fairly high up the cliff edge, as high as his territory would allow him to take Mira. The tower served as an observational deck, so that Barrack could watch his work in action and see all the rails work properly.
                “This is it,” Barrack said. He let go of the walls and placed himself gently on his butt.
                “Oh,” Mira said, she climbed off and looked up the ladder. “Well.”
                “Yes?” Barrack said, he studied her for a moment. She seemed like she had more to say.
                “No, that is quite all,” Mira finished quickly. Her eyes darted away for a moment but then locked back onto his. “Can you come up, please? See me on my way, so I can look back and let you know I made it.”
                “Okay,” Barrack replied. He happily returned her smile.
                Mira went up first, Barrack followed closely. She reached the top, banged her fist against the door until she found the handle, then she proceeded to open the hatch. Mira climbed out, Barrack dragged himself up, he had to reach down and pull his legs up. The sun was beginning to set as early evening consumed the night. Barrack wasn’t fond of watching the city at this time, it seemed too busy.
                “The capital city is kind of pretty for something built into a bowl,” Mira said. She was now standing up and watching as trains went by and people scurried home from their jobs.
                “The textbooks refer to it as a crater actually,” Barrack replied, fishing out his pipe. He proceeded to stuff some Tabaco in it and light it.
                “What is that stuff?” Mira asked, curious.
                “Some plant,” Barrack responded smoothly. He lifted the pipe to his lips and took a puff.
                “So this is it?” Mira asked. “I can just go, grind away into the sunset?”
                “Literally yes, if you leave right now.”
                “Oh,” Mira said, turning away for a moment. She suddenly lifted up her hand to him, her eyes were slightly watery. “It has been a hard day, and you have no idea how much this means to me and others. I made a promise, I will keep it.”
                “Thank you…” Barrack stammered trying to think of the words to say. “For the company.”
                “Will we see each other again?”
                “Likely not,” Barrack said, shrugging.
                “It’s a shame really, I think I could have come to like you.” Mira replied, she held up a hand to her mouth and let out a small laugh. It was adorable and full of relief, she looked younger like this.
                “I agree,” Barrack said. He took her other hand in his own, it was so small. “I think I’ll miss you.”
                “You know where I’ll be, idiot.” Mira added. She shook his hand gently. They held their hands together for another heartbeat before she turned away, triggered her device and jumped off the edge.
                Barrack watched her go as she grinded off, his chest hurt. For the first time in years, he felt the pain of loneliness again. She would make it back to her friends, she would be happy, she would keep her promise, she would…
                Three Masters jumped off rooftops and began their pursuit. Two of them were light units, designed for grinding and combat, while the third was a heavy unit with thick armour. They likely didn’t know who she was, but the fact that she had the boots was enough to warrant suspicion. How had they known? Normally they wouldn’t just hang out in a sector like this…
                Unless they were waiting for her. Mira had escaped the night before, they had noticed, and they had taken precautions. These three units were likely just the pursuit team, there would be more to chase her down within minutes. They would catch her, they would interrogate her and then after she was broken they would kill her. This wasn’t someone in the distance, this wasn’t somebody Barrack didn’t know nor care about, this was Mira. The first person in years whom he had interacted with and enjoyed the company of. He couldn’t watch.
                So he would act. Barrack within seconds was already climbing down the hole, pipe left on the ledge. The units pursuing Mira were heavier than most, they needed to use the thicker rails in order to get around, it would be difficult but he did have an idea.
                Another twenty seconds later, Barrack had found his way to a nearby panel underground, it was of a rare variety, a master panel that carried all the circuits for the turbines in the area. From here, he could feasibly work on every rail. There was even a small hole carved into the side of the pillar so that he could view his work. More Masters were already in pursuit, they had massive bodies and a lot of fire power. The initial three units had backed off slightly, Mira had likely gone low, through the lower rails in order to lose them, they could easily get lost if they went directly after her in that labyrinth of paths. Perhaps the girl wasn’t as strong or intelligent as him, but Barrack now realized that Mira had excellent instincts. She was doing what was needed to survive, despite the fact that she might not have understood why.
                Barrack worked hastily on the panel, he had pinned his legs and was using both hands, and he kept the light bulb between his teeth as he worked. He pulled wires out, reconnecting them in other places, all while doing the necessary calculations in his head. One of the larger units was within view, perched on a building, watching where was going, so that it could advise the others where she went. As Barrack understood it, the Masters could communicate without actually speaking out loud. He began to sweat, his hands were twitching but he kept working. It was messy, but hopefully it would be enough.
                With one last wire to connect, Barrack’s hand suddenly stopped, centimetres away from its destination, his initial goal. If he did this, there was no turning back, Mira would live but he would die. He would betray the Masters, they would know, and he wasn’t fast enough to get away on his own. By the grace of everything, if he did this, he would undermine everything he had worked on in the last ten years.
                “So what,” Barrack heard himself say out loud. “What would be the point if nobody lived to remember me. I might die, but she’ll remember.” With that, Barrack stuffed the wire home.
                It wasn’t noticeable at first, it started out as a quiet kind of gentle humming. Yet it got progressively louder and louder, soon it was a hiss, then a screech, finally the obvious scream of metal scrapping against metal. The Masters didn’t seem to notice immediately, yet as they continued to grind after Mira, it became obvious. At first their trajectory became pretty unstable. Yet as the turbines continued to scream, pick up more speed and progressively move more and more towards overloading, the magnetic fields were affected as a result. Many of the smaller Masters were launched straight up, a sudden but powerful push as they were catapulted to the sky. Most were smart enough to adjust as it was happening, but even that was too late, instead of getting launched up, they were shot on an angle, usually in the direction of a building.
                The Behemoth parked on top of the building’s gaze fell upon the pillar, had it registered what happened? The rest of them were in chaos, attempting to recover but failing as a system they had always known failed. Only one clear path had been left, one rail untouched. The one that Mira had chosen, the smallest of them all. In the chaos, it would be easy for her to slip away. In times like this, Master procedure was to condense damage as much as possible. The damage that Barrack had caused.
                The massive Master’s arm was now pointed at the pillar. It was quite funny, Barrack had always taken pride in his work. Yet now he felt true happiness for unraveling it all, destroying it and letting a rebel escape. A rebel who had gone against everything that had always supported him. There was a glow as the Master broke the first of the Hermetic laws, the blades extended from its hand and launched his way.
                Barrack felt as the pillar shook, he lost his hand hold, his legs slipped and he fell. He remained suspended only for a bit before he tumbled down the narrow tunnel. His head was bashed back and forth, he hit his arms even. Barrack did finally hit the ground below, except he landed on his feet, he heard the horrible snapping of his feeble legs. The scream, painful and primal filled the entire corridor.
                Yet the scream turned into laughter.
                “Stupid legs!” He hissed between fits of mad laughter. “You’re already useless, how is this supposed to be worse?” He barely grabbed hold of a bar and dragged himself away as rubble fell down around him. The tunnels would collapse, the Maker had caught onto what he was doing and was bombarding him with those spears. Despite accepting his fate earlier, Barrack still swung from bar to bar, using his hands to gain as much distance as he could, but he was still too slow. Everything fell around him, massive pieces of concrete, now just boulders.
                Light poured into the tunnel, the sky now clear, yet the path in front collapsed completely, boxing him in.  Suddenly, the hissing consumed his ears. Turning his head, Barrack looked directly at one of the numerous and massive turbines that he had overloaded, it hung suspended upside down by wires. He knew what was about to happen, he had planned it this way.
                The turbine spun faster and faster as Barrack held himself up using only his arms, he banged against each wall that was boxing him in, he was trapped, except for upwards. So he gripped a rock, he was already cut up from his tumble, his hands covered in blood. Yet still he fought, he gripped each hand hold, not crafted for that purpose but it would still do the effort. He climbed towards the sky, open and magnificent. The light of twilight was bathing his escape, the sun setting above. Mira was leaving into that sunset, she would live…
                Barrack’s hand slipped, he fell backwards. He stared at it as he fell, the sky, the light that was not quite darkness yet. He thought about the time they spent together, not long in the grand scheme of things, but still, enough to make an impact on his life, an exciting climax at the end of a boring twenty-four year old song.
                Barrack hit the ground, he was winded, he heard his ribs snap, he felt the pain. Yet he still had the will to live, he pulled himself up, grabbed hold of two hand bars as what remained of the tunnel began to collapse, rocks falling all around him. Staring at his work, his masterpiece, Barrack laughed in the face of the turbine, now spinning so quickly and so violently it was shaking.  It would happen, and there was nothing he could do.
                The turbine burst apart. Although many would have said it exploded, that technically wasn’t correct, it didn’t combust and there was no fire. However it was understandable how it could have been mistaken for that, its pieces all blew apart in all directions at speed that no eye could catch. Metal pieces of shrapnel cut into the concrete above, penetrating at least a metre before finally being stopped. So the pieces that dug into Barrack’s legs and chest tore straight through him, leaving lumps of meat for legs and a body that no longer resembled him.
                Still, Barrack sucked in breaths. It was difficult, likely one of his lungs had been pierced, the pain was so excruciating that his mind could no longer register it. His left arm was broken and twisted, it was now laying out directly to the side, as if on soft grass. However, Barrack’s right arm still seemed to work, he reached upward, his eye swollen, blood pouring into it, blinding him. Yet still he reached for the sky, his freedom, it was right above him. His fingers clutched into a fist and he remembered shaking her hand.
                The rocks fell all around him now, a particularly large one had just crushed his left arm, likely severing it completely. In his mind, Barrack comforted himself with the knowledge that he had accumulated in the past. He had learned so much, he had been so smart, he was capable of so much, even now. Had it been a good life? He had never truly created anything of his own, just replicated using the technology of others, did that make him an Innovator like the Makers claimed? Or was he just another fake. It didn’t matter anymore, although it did to him. Given another chance, he would probably have invented something.

                Barrack faded away. 

Failed Queries and stress.

Holla plaaaayers!
Couple of depressing things!
First off, I don't make that much money. I was supposed to get a raise, all the Store managers are in agreement that I should get the three dollar raise... right now Charlotte and I have enough money to pay for rent... pay most of our bills (but not all! ) and pay for food.
So yeah, not a starving artist by any means. I eat better than most (not more, just healthier mind you) but that being said... I'm glad I don't have any expensive habits.
Anyways, come Monday I have to convince my direct manager... the one guy dodging my raise... that I deserve that raise. I run an entire department (the highest producing department in our store mind you... yeah people take copy and print that seriously yo) while the regular manager is on mat leave till March. That being said, the guy I have to convince isn't an older, cool manager. It's a guy who is only a year older than me, and while all the other managers are laid back and describe our store as: "The fun store"
Which I agree with. My job is a blast, customers freak out at us and we're like "MKAY YOU GET A DISCOUNT" Hell, one of the first things I did upon getting there was to stop all the part timers from constantly yelling YOLO.
That being said, I hate complaining, which it seems like I'm doing. Nah, I'm just filling you in on my life Why? Because we're tight and I want you to understand everything that is at stake in my life. This is a writer's blog and I'm sure future critics of my success will want to hear about this sort of thing. Right?
Even though our money situation isn't ideal. i mean, we're surviving, but we're not suffering at least... Charlotte and I couldn't be happier. Yeah we can't afford that new couch, or fancy shit. But hey, I don't have to work in insurance, which I was making 12 dollars more an hour than I am right now before...but I was unhappy. The fact that she's going to school, in her last year, working hard, getting good grades... I'm working a job I actually enjoy and I'm able to finish a book... the fact that we're able to get by quite nicely is enough for both of us.
So yeah, I hope to make a little more money. Call me greedy, but I rather not pay rent, buy food and then be able to buy NOTHING ELSE for two weeks until my mid month paycheck comes in.

Anyway, the one query I sent out got rejected. I also got a ultra generic rejection letter. LIKE SURIOULY BROUGH DUD U KNOT UVN REED ME 5 PUGES?
I love getting generic rejections... okay so The count is at:
Three queries sent out:
1 rejection!

This is the best part of being a writer. Either way, I contacted my Canadian writer friend, Billie... hopefully she has advise about queries or any agents I could send to... God forbid I get a Canadian agents... because those exist... apparently.
Anyways, thanks for listening to my bichthing! Another chapter goes up later!

Friday, 29 November 2013


Pretty sure everyone hates Black Friday.
That being said, I do live in Canada... where Black Friday isn't very severe... at all.
Still, working in a copy centre is always nuts, it doesn't help when they give me TVs to sell. Not just TVs but IRicohs... cheep ass tvs made by a company I've never heard of. A google search revealed that they're made by a Chinese company that is the world's largest tube TV manufacturer... at least their three sentence Wikipedia page told me that much.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Low effort post... AND CHAPTER 3!!!!!

I promised this a while ago.
okay, no more caps (or sugar.) I overslept so that is why I'm not actually writing something right now... hmm. Please enjoy.

Chapter 3:

                Mira struggled to find her grip with her wet palms. She didn’t understand how it could be so dark, yet so unbearably warm at the same time. The young girl was tired, sore, sweaty and slightly delirious, the events of the night before not quite sinking in. Yet despite it all, she still climbed.
                “Are you…okay?” The man above her asked. His name was Barrack and he had the strangest speech pattern Mira had ever heard. His voice was deep and masculine but it cracked often, also he seemed to struggle to find what to say. Yet, what shocked Mira the most was his sheer size. He was a good head and a half taller than her, his shoulders were incredibly broad and he was pure bulky muscle. Despite that, he moved gracefully in the cramped corridors, letting his legs hang while he only used his upper body to climb. Barrack was obviously used to doing this, he knew to wear little clothing, unlike Mira who was still wearing all her pieces, he instead just wore a shirt and baggy pants.
                “I’m okay,” Mira muttered, a little more rudely than she had intended. They had been climbing for several minutes now and she couldn’t even feel her arms anymore. “What were you doing here anyway?”
                “I work…I work here. In the tunnels.” Barrack answered.
                “Doing what?”
                “I fix things, mostly the rails.”
                “You fix the rails? You know how they work?” Mira asked, honestly astonished.
                “When they break…sometimes they don’t, but I still fix them,” Barrack paused, as if something suddenly occurred to him. “I was trained to do it, because I am of the First Stratum.”
                “The first?” Mira gasped. She never met anyone from above the fourth, they were enigmas, people treated better by the Subjectors because of their superior intelligence and physicality.
                “Yes,” Barrack said simply. “Is that strange?”
                “Yes!” Mira exclaimed.
                “I’m sorry…” Barrack muttered, his voice full of sudden guilt.
                “Don’t apologize!” Mira hissed, horrified by his overreaction.
                “Sorry…” Barrack repeated again.
                “No…” Mira shook her head in frustration. “You shouldn’t apologize for apologizing. I didn’t mean you were weird in a bad way, just different than what I’m used to.”
                “What are you used to?” Barrack asked quietly. The thought occurred to Mira suddenly, this man was loyal to the Subjectors, why wouldn’t he be? They took good care of him.
                “Just normal folk, nobody so important.”
                “I’m important?” Barrack asked, slightly confused. “I know I’m useful, but I wouldn’t say I’m important.”
                “So humble!” Mira joked, giggling slightly. She was cut off when her hand slipped slightly, it was hard to explain, it was like her grip just lost all strength. She cried out, falling backwards, the sense of dread kicking in. Yet Mira felt something grip her arm and the resulting force as she was whipped slightly.  
                Barrack hung above her, she could barely see him in the darkness, only a shape. He was hanging from his left arm while forcing his back against the wall so that he would remain steady, the right arm held her wrist. Mira gawked at him as she remained suspended, how was he so strong? Was this what the First Stratum was capable of? Such great feats of ability while at the same time being intelligent enough to understand Subjector technology? There was no way he would relate to her plight.
                The young man grunted audibly, he lifted Mira up like she was nothing and placed her on a solid ledge.
                “Here is a fire escape, we’ve been at this for an hour so you’re tired.” Barrack said swiftly. He reached past her and opened the door, letting the light and fresh air pour in. Mira sat there stunned, huffing while he adjusted his position so that he was across from her, keeping his arms pinned so that he remained upright.
                “That was incredible, you saved my life,” Mira whispered, slightly ashamed that she couldn’t help herself in the situation. Then suddenly something occurred to her. “We’ve been climbing for an hour?”
                “Over an hour now, I’m shocked you’re doing so well. We’ve crawled a bit too but you seem to get really quiet once in a while…”
                Mira felt her head, it was wet with sweat and perhaps blood. She was sure she had taken a blow to the head at some point, was she slipping out of consciousness? Was she in danger and didn’t even realize it?
                “That’s amazing that you know how long we’ve been here. You are pretty smart,” Mira admitted.
                “I wouldn’t…” Barrack began but suddenly cut off, his eyes falling upon her metal boots. Before Mira could protest, Barrack had pulled up his legs, pinned them against the wall and was already studying her metal boots. “They’re broken.”
                “I know,” Mira grunted. If they worked, she would have jumped out the fire escape earlier and grinded away. Right now, her only chance of escape was to follow this mysterious young man and hope he didn’t report her.
                “Strange,” Barrack said, as if talking to himself. He gingerly lifted up her legs and examined the boots and the wire. “It is all intact, even the wiring.”
                “I know, they’re broken for some reason.”  Barrack reached over and bent Mira forward, she protested audibly but he examined her backside. “What are you doing?!”
                “The belt,” Barrack said simply. “The small turbine the boots use is placed within, it creates a current which powers the boots. Revius always has a magnetic field, but the mineral in the boots is designed to have a weak field unless the current is switched on.”
                “So I don’t stick to the floor right?”
                “Exactly. The connection between the switch and the turbine has been severed. As a result, the loop of energy the turbine creates to keep itself turning was broken. I can fix this easily back at my workshop.”
                “You would do that?!” Mira exclaimed. To her own surprise, she sat back up and seized his massive hands and shook them. Barrack’s face turned red, his eyes wide. He reeled back, visibly uncomfortable. “Sorry about that!” Mira added, barely able to contain her excitement. “Subjectors damn these things for breaking in the first place though…” She cut off.
                “What did you say?” Barrack asked, his expression shocked.
                “I said nothing, don’t worry about it.” Mira was frustrated with herself, normal docile citizens referred to the monsters as the Masters, not the Subjectors like those right of mind did.
                “Okay,” Barrack said simply. He smiled awkwardly, obviously unsure of what to say next.
                “So we should get moving again,” Mira said. She went to move, but her body screamed in pain, she winced as a result.
                “You’re in no condition to climb anymore,” Barrack said, suddenly in control of his tone.
                “But my boots and…” Mira was interrupted as her stomach growled, she hadn’t realized how hungry she was.
                “Here,” Barrack said, he turned around and hung off the wall, his back to her. “Climb on.”
                “Are you sure?”
                “You’re small, it should be no issue,” Barrack replied. Reluctantly, Mira reached out, putting one hand on his shoulder, with the other still holding the edge. Next she wrapped her legs around his chest as best she could, but his chest was massive and she couldn’t even hook her feet. Barrack seemed stable so slowly she let go of the ledge and let him support her completely.
                Barrack took off at an incredible pace, climbing so fast that Mira cried out and grabbed around his neck. She was close to him, he was so large, she felt like a child when this close, completely dwarfed. This is what a life of eating enough food to grow at a healthy rate had caused, people of the higher Stratums were truly giants. Had Mira been slowing him down this entire time? He could have easily doubled the distance if he had gone off alone. It was all so embarrassing, she put her head down on his back, trying to relax, and hopefully her head would stop spinning. Barrack smelt good, a little heavy of smoke, but he was clean and different than what Mira was used to.
                They traveled like this for several minutes in silence. Every so often Barrack would stop to rest for a few seconds, and each time he would take off again and climbing again. Eventually they reached narrow tunnels that required them to crawl, Mira could do this on her own. After even more climbing and crawling, they finally came to what felt like a dead end. Barrack reached upwards, and grabbed a wheel, turning it till it opened, he pushed it open and the door flipped over, slamming as it hit the ground in the room. Barrack moved aside so that Mira could crawl over him and through the trap door. She stood up for the first time in a small eternity. Her legs hurt so much, but it felt good to move back and forth slightly. Mira was stunned by what lay in front of her.
                Mira had never seen quarters so large. The ceiling itself was at least three metres high, while the room was massive and open, twenty, no thirty people could live in this at least. Yet the entire space was taken up with things: shelves, tables, couches and even a bed in the far corner. The windows were massive, however they’re view was ground level, and capable of being covered with metal blinds. Mira had never been in a place that was so large yet could be so private!
Despite herself, Mira found herself delving deeper into the room. One section was a work station, covered in tables, plans and tools! Small devices lay sprawled everywhere. In another corner, there was an entire wall of bookshelves, consumed by hundreds of massive tomes. Stepping closer, Mira read that most of them had strange titles, revolving around sciences she had never heard of.
“This is incredible,” Mira exclaimed happily. Her eyes fell upon the furthest wall and she was completely caught off guard. An entire wing was filled with carvings and statues that could be called art. She stepped closer, seeing the incredible detail that had gone into everything. There were little toy men carved from wood, little dolls of pretty girls made of clay and even strange abstract shapes that were made from twisted metal. Mira couldn’t help herself, she reached out and picked up a small figurine. The girl it depicted was beautiful, wearing a strange dress that seemed to flow in one spot, it was amazing.
“Barrack, this is all so…” Mira’s eyes widened and she dropped the figurine, it hit the ground and shattered.
Barrack was making his way towards her slowly, but it couldn’t even be called walking. Despite how large and imposing he was, he was hunched over, grasping onto something. It was made of metal with four legs and a handle, a walker. He lifted it up and placed it down gingerly, proceeding to slowly drag his legs forward one at a time. In the tunnels he had moved so quickly, so naturally, climbing with just his upper body and letting his legs dangle. Now Mira understood why.
“You’re crippled,” Mira gasped. She moved over in an attempt to help him move, but he was so slow and so large she didn’t know what to do. Barrack simply lifted his head, he smiled at her but his eyes were full of shame.
                “Yeah. I am,” He said simply. “More than that, it wasn’t an accident that did this to me, I am sick.”
                “I don’t understand,” Mira said shaking her head in confusion. Barrack shuffled over to a nearby couch in the time it would have taken her to do it a dozen times over. He used his upper body to do most of the work, but his legs slowed him down severely, dragging against the ground, the sides of his feet often touching the ground instead of his soles. Barrack did this with little concern, every so often his feet wouldn’t go forward, and he was forced to reach down and pull his foot to where he needed it.
                Barrack angled himself towards the seat, instead of sitting down normally he simply fell backward, hitting the cushions hard. Mira walked over carefully, her eyes not leaving him as she sat beside him hesitantly, hands on her lap. The large man proceeded to pull up the baggy pant leg of his right leg, then his left.
                Mira gasped as she got a look at both his legs. They were both sunken in, only as big as the bones made them. The muscle wasn’t just lean, it was hardly there, in fact the right leg was visibly more muscular, although that did not mean much.
                “When I was eleven, my legs started to fail me.” Barrack said solemnly, a distant look in his eyes. “I had already been selected for the First Stratum by that point and it was an incredible opportunity. Yet, shortly after, my legs stopped working, the muscle deteriorated and I eventually could barely walk. It’s only gotten worse the older I’ve gotten, some days I can’t even move my arms.”
                “My ancestors…” Mira whispered, trying to fully project the sympathy she felt. Barrack was First Stratum, he was massive, in good shape and very muscular, how could he suffer from something so… so horrible.
                “I’m sorry you had to see that,” Barrack muttered, guilt crossing his face. “I shouldn’t have.”
                “No!” Mira interrupted, she placed a hand on his. “You’re incredible! You are crippled yet you climb so much every day! And you’re so fast at doing it, I wish I was half as strong willed as you.”
                “Thanks,” He responded quickly. Why did Mira feel guilty? She was a criminal, hunted by the Subjectors. The night before she had watched as people she knew and cared about died horribly. She had promised to survive, and until a few moments ago, that was all that had been on her mind.
                “About those boots…” Mira said awkwardly.
                “Who are you?” Barrack asked suddenly, his eyes narrowed and he did not break eye contact.
                “What are you talking about Barrack?” Mira asked innocently.
                “Don’t,” Barrack hissed. “You’re small, obviously malnourished, wearing grinding boots, covered in bruises and scrapes, and you referred to the Masters as the Subjectors. There was heavy damage dealt to the rails last night, are you connected?”
                “Barrack,” Mira said, looking away for a moment before sighing. It was obvious now that he was no fool, she could lie but it would likely get her nowhere. Mira wasn’t in a position to run or beg, she would ultimately do what it took to keep her promise and survive. “You’ve saved my life, I should be honest with you. I don’t have a Stratum, I am a criminal, part of the rebellion, helping the Allies fight the Subjectors so that we can free humanity from their slavers.”
                “I see,” Barrack said, looking down for a moment. Yet his expression changed to interest. “So I’ve always wondered about that. Why do you do that? Why would you fight the Masters when they treat us so well and take such good care of us.”
                “They don’t,” Mira hissed, a little more aggressively than she had intended. “The Subjectors are monsters, killers that abuse us and keep us from taking care of ourselves, they separate us from our parents and force us to mine that rock for them. Some people like you, people who they deem useful are treated well, but the rest of us live horrible lives of filth and neglect. Forced into small homes together, forced to live without privacy, assigned jobs, assigned whom we have our children with. Not even given the chance to raise our own children.”
                “Is that so?” Barrack said, clutching his chin, looking to be deep in thought.
                “You don’t believe me?! I know you live a comfortable life here with everything you could possibly need, but out there your people suffer while you help the Subjectors oppress us! We’re all cattle! You just happen to be better fed than us.”
                “Why fight?”
                “How else do we free ourselves?”
                “You could ask,” Barrack muttered. “I’m sure they don’t understand…”
                “They do. And they will never let us go willingly, we have to fight our way out of their city.”
                “I still don’t…”
                “Don’t be so na├»ve, Barrack. Step outside your beautiful home, climb out of your dark caverns and watch the city that you help rebuild, you’ll quickly realize that no human is actually happy. It’s made worse that the Subjectors use a good man like you to help keep your own people down.”
                “I’m sorry.” Barrack whispered.
                “I told you! Don’t apologize. Just do! Help me Barrack, come with me, we can escape together. There are people I could introduce you to, they would value your intelligence much more than the monsters.”
                “They wouldn’t.” Barrack replied quickly. “They would see me the same as every other human would, just a cripple who happens to be smart and strong. I repair the rails because I myself am on a rail, I can only move as far as this walker would let me in this room, or in the narrow corridors below the rails. Outside the city where would I be able to move? Would I even be useful as a cripple to anyone?”
                “You could be…” Mira said weakly. “You’re incredible, you really are. I like you and want to see you survive.”
                “You’re the first human I’ve talked to in three years,” Barrack said suddenly, Mira couldn’t hide her surprise. “The first girl in ten. My orders are brought to be via courier, automated. I don’t talk to anyone and this has been something I will never forget. But I can never leave my rails, never stop my duty. I will help you escape, but that is all, I will remain here, forgotten. It is all I am good for.”
                “I won’t tell anyone about you. There is nobody to tell. I’ll fix your boots and get you as close to the outside of the city as I can, you can manage from there. I don’t understand why you hate the Masters, but I can’t blame you for it either.”
                “Thank you.” it was all Mira could manage to say.

                “Don’t thank me,” Barrack said as he reached up for his walker. “I’m not helping you, just giving you the tools to help yourself.” 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I'm not yet dead...again.

I did it again.
What is my excuse?
I finished Hybrid. 134,000 words! as planned. Turned out pretty awesome. Charlotte is already halfway done it! So I finished about two weeks ago... so what have I been doing since then? Well there was my trip to Toronto... I finished the new Sanderson book: "Steel Heart" I'm halfway through Name of the Wind's sequel called Wise Man's Fear... And I'm planning my next book.
I promised Charlotte and all my friends that I wouldn't go back to editing or writing for at least a few weeks, that I would take a break... writing an entire manuscript that is massive in less than two months is impressive but it consumes my life and thoughts... also I did it while working full time and running an entire goddamn department none the less.
That being said, I decided to take it slow. My current docket for future writing plans is as follows:
Ardent's Contract is the first in a series yes, it is no longer a trilogy... there will be four books. But I've said that before. The second book will be called Shadow's Gaze. or something. I don't know. The final one will be called World's Gate... the third? I unno, maybe Blade's Edge or something cheesy, it's a nickname for something that will happen in the third book SO WE'LL SEE.
That being said, with Ardent's Contract, the first book is 300,000 words. I want to wait to write the sequel when I actually have traction with it.
-So that is why I wrote Hybrid first. It is a good size, most fantasy authors debut with under 140,000 word novels.
-Next Project was called Fletcheon, a Roman era fantasy featuring a magic system that involves spirits and summoning and stuff. Combine Digimon and Rome (tv series) and you might get the right idea. This is what I was originally planning to write but I was all like...hmm...I need to know more history and more about life back in the Classical/bronze era. My friend Logan slammed some books on Roman history on my lap so that has been fun. Also I've been reading up on Germanic folklore in the Internets... (well that and Gaul, but that is beside the point) Anyways, this will be the first story I write that will have the MAIN protagonist as a female, I am super duper excited.
-Maiden, my eventual magnum opus. I plan on writing the freaken bible of this universe BEFORE the actual story. It'll be an age of sailing/colonial era epic fantasy that will be HUUUUGE. like I've drawn the world map... IT'S THE WHOLE WORLD AND IT IS HUGE. That being said, it'll draw a lot of inspiration from the real world... so the most level fantasy setting I've made... that being said, the history will make up for the fact that I blatantly have a Not-England and Not-North America... My protagonist will be a soldier, it'll be interesting, the magic system is fucking amazing but kind of dark so I don't want to spoil anything about it... This will be the project I partake only when I know I'm ready... because this will be my Way of Kings...
-Desert Mech fantasy. Not much to say on this one. I came up with the original idea in high school. That being said, a lot of the original premise can be salvaged. I will probably write this one before Maiden despite the fact that I've clearly put not as much thought into it (lately) and I'm not SUPER DUPER enthusiastic about it... yet...speaking of which...urgh.

You know how I said I was going to take a break from writing so I could edit, do research, get better at my job and...enjoy life? well...Ha. FUCK THAT.

Saturday night, I was sitting in my chair... just reading a book... a thought crossed my mind... (not exactly inspired by the book...well...not completely at least.) I had a character I did in a DnD campaign... his name is Edgar, he's an asshole. I love his concept. He's an archaeologist, no he's not Indiana Jones, go fuck yourself. Anyway, the character in DND had a build that allowed him to be all lucky and shit (he was a bard alternate build who didn't have his musical class abilities) Anyway, the concept is that he's lucky and can do a bit of magic.
So I came up with a magic system that fits into this.
So I'm going to ask the DM of that campaign tomorrow if I can use some of his characters for a novel... It'll be 95% different than his vision. I also want the other two players in the campaign to be support characters. Yes Josh, I want Milo. I'm sorry you had to find out this way, let's hang out some time, text me when you read this. Ian has already told me I can use his character. Yes I'll respect your character, although I'm still going to have him and Edgar bitch at each other.
So yeah, That happened Saturday night, since then I pretty much have half an outline done.
So fuck it. I'm going to write it as soon as possible so I can eventually move onto Fletcheon. I hope to edit and query Hybrid in the meantime. My father in law is currently editing Ardent's Contract for me...and he's liking it.. OH GOD.

Oh okay, so that is all for now. I would like to thank my little fire cracker Janel for telling me to blog. I kept putting it off because I felt guilty. or something. Also, I work with her brother now and I was like "HEY JANEL AND I ARE SUFFERING TOGETHER WITH QUERIES HA HA HA"
His response:
"Oh yeah, she likes to write or something."
Writing is equal parts oxygen AND DEADLY ARSENIC GAS for us writers... it isn't exactly always fun, but we do it for some reason.
Anyways, stay tuned kids.
I think there was something I do at the end of these...

Sorry for all the caps.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Okay, I need to get better at this.

Okay, so I've got a few minutes before I go to work.
Shall we talk for a moment?
So yeah, I've been working really hard lately! like super hard at work... I'm actually starting to get good at it. After a shitty week last week too! Also, I'm even more stressed because of responsibility blah blah.
BUT ultimately. this is a writing blog (arent they all?) and I usually like to focus on my writing.
Which had been going marvelously.
like seriously.
70 000 words now. 132 pages. I am a machine, and this is with me working full time and always being busy.
Anyways, I think I'll post more writing for realsies this time.
Okay, I'll check back in at lunch. I miss when I blogged eight times a day.
Oh and that manga about the sister and her band "Incest" She kissed her brother... urgh. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS COMING?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Shameful plugging.

This is Janel, she is smart and witty.
She is my good friend who is also an inspiring writer. Seriously she's hilarious.
Please read her stuff.

Anyway, Charlotte and I will be watching the conjuring and i will not be sleeping tonight. Mostly because I slept seven hours during the day in an attempt to get over my sickness... I also got no writing done... urgh, I sometimes miss my time of unemployment when I could pound out 12000 words a day.
Now I end up working thirteen hour days when my coworkers call in sick.
Oh well, money is nice and I want to keep this lovely house we have.
Err... Also at work we got a new wide format colour printer... So I printed out a shirtless picture of Ryan Gosling to have on the wall of our copy centre... by wall I mean inside the door of a cabinet. I did this to show my younger coworkers how to use the machine... They are happy and moral is up.
I also wanted to show one of the female managers who often hops over to help, she's more into George Cloony so I printed out a classy black and white photo of him.
Oh and that manga I was reading a few weeks ago with the brother and the sister... they kissed... URGH FULL REVIEW TO FOLLOW.

Not yet dead.

Okay so I've been a bad blogger.
I've been pretty busy with being lazy lately.
By that, I mean either writing or working or laying around being sick in a state to do nothing.
Urgh, What has happened? well I'm reading Sanderson's newest book, Steelheart... I am past the point in Attack on Titan where the anime ends and the manga gets REALLY addictive... I am watching bar rescue on netflix... oh and Hybrid is about 48 000 words long meow. and that is with a really bad week of not being able to write much because of being sick.
Anyway, today will be different.
I will sit here and write...and write...and write for about five hours till Charlotte is off work...then we will go to Thanksgiving meal with her brother... oh yes, for those NON Canadians... this weekend is true thanksgiving.

Err... I am really anxious to get writing but I feel I must add more... how bout the fact that Charlotte and I are watching United States of Tara... which I really enjoyed initially... however the writing seems to get WORSE with each season... Which shouldn't surprise me, It is written by Diablo Cody, easily the most overrated of Hollywood writers... like seriously. I'm not fucking with you, I hate her guts.
Mostly because she writes pretentious bullshit that she thinks is feminist but instead pushes the movement back a few decades. She is the worst kind of feminist, she is not subtle, she is not clever, she is a disease in the form of a person holding an HB pencil and writing whatever shit comes to her mind. However, unlike someone like an angst ridden twelve year old boy who has just discovered the feminist article on Wikipedia, she actually gets paid for the excrement she pushes out of her pencil.
Anyway! What I was getting at is Tara had a lot of potential, a great (abeit overdone concept) that she has somehow managed to run into the ground. It's like she realized that the heart of her show, what made it great was the connection between the family so SHE HAD TO DESTROY IT.
She introduces a Male character who is handsome, successful and really nice and I was shocked. Most writers would be trying to make this alternate love interest an ASSHOLE so that the proper love interest (ugly short guy Neal) would look like a superstar in comparison. Because, hey we love an underdog and the underdog must ALWAYS win to the point where it is so overdone. God forbid if an alternate love interest has anything going for him and isn't a total loser we have to depict him as a douche and watch him fail.
So yeah, I was shocked she was going this route, even after the sister character drags this nice guy through ABSOLUTE SHIT... and depicts the underdog as a huge uncaring asshole... he still stuck with her....


It is so jarring how characters are handled in Tara... The characters are such huge assholes. Everyone refuses to accept responsibility for their actions and they randomly make 180 personality changes.
So yeah, the show starts going to shit... we'll see how it ends, we just started the third and final season.
Anyway, I hate Diablo Cody... She can't write, but she can overwrite very well...
Yes, I hated Juno. It is a terrible mess of a film.
Jenifer's Body... Everyone hated that movie.
Young Adult, I have not seen, but I've heard good things. I pass judgement.
Evil Dead, the remake. I fucking hated this movie, it deserves it's own post.
Her directorial debut is coming out soon, Paradise. Can't wait to destroy it.

Oh, under personal life in her wikipedia page it says this:
"Cody is a feminist.[28][29]"

Like it is self explanatory. Bullshit. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Still got it!

Sorry boys and girls! I have been distracted lately.
By that I mean I closed the tab on blogger. Never doing that again.
Also, I've been writing an insane amount. Hybrid is now over 40 000 words. part 1 is finished. sadly enough it is longer than I had expected with less content. Oh well, it's better this way don't worry folks.
The sad thing is though, my dream of completing a manuscript that is around 100 000 words seems to be going up in smoke... I don't know if I can do it. I writing...lots. also details it seems too.
That is quite okay, so what has happened... well Attack on Titan finished, very sad. now I am reading the manga, where the art is very sketchy. I don't mean bad, I mean it looks like he drew it really fast. like it was sketched. Also, the first colour pages of the giant Titan are laughable.. he looks like he's made of liqorish.

Okay, so I'm just editing right meow, I may post more of the story! I really hope so.
Will blog later.
This tab stays open.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Red flags and incest.

So when you start a new manga. And the main character likes a band called Incest... and it turns out his long lost sister comes back into his life and she is the lead singer... we call that a red flag boys.
It's called Seishun pop! really good art, but I'm not sure if it is incesty yet... the main character has a love interest who isn't his sister and so far (so far oh god) there hasn't been any intentional sexual tension... between them... thank god. will report on that later.
Anyway, going to the Edmonton Expo tomorrow.
Perhaps I'll put up the third chapter.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Chapter 2!

So here is Chapter 2 of Hybrid! I will be talking about chapter one and the main character hopefully later today.

Please enjoy! Or don't As always, feel free to email me your thoughts.

Chapter 2:

                “Well hurry up then,” The elderly woman snapped. Yuri tried his hardest to keep pace with her as she hustled down the hallway.
                “I’m really sorry, I still don’t fully understand the situation,” He muttered, adjusting his glasses. “In fact, I don’t know anything! This is really unexpected.”
                “I’ve known about my retirement for five years now,” The woman hissed. “And we’ve had our eyes on you to replace me for quite some time, so this isn’t unexpected at all.”
                “I guess I’m completely wrong then.” Yuri said, shaking his head. However the statement seemed to go over her head. That was the problem with other members of the Second Stratum, they never seemed to understand sarcasm. Just forty-five minutes prior, the twenty-eight year old man had been working his usual position. A completely non-descript bureaucratic position. It was an awful job that required giving compensation to humans who had been injured and couldn’t support themselves. Yuri was expected to pry through their lives and make sure that they were really injured or if they were faking. He was expected to turn down the majority of cases, any loophole he could find he was to use. Under Master law, humans were entitled to compensation so that they could get back to working condition, yet many humans had taken advantage of this system in the past. The entire job was horrible, he wished he had never been assigned to it.
                Yuri had been shocked to find his desk cleared of all his belongings, everything thrown in the trash. He had to sit across from his shit eating superior as he talked about how he was not a good fit for the occupation and that the Masters had finally noticed how incompetent he was. Yuri’s boss was a miserable man, like everyone else who worked in their industry, it was probably made worse by the fact that he was balding and generally an unpleasant person. In fact, many at the office didn’t like the fact that Yuri tried to find joy in the dead end job he had been assigned by the Masters. Most of them knew that they would never have their own residence, they would be trapped living with other people their whole lives and that they would never get to pick their own marriage partner from the litter of attractive people.
                Such was the burden of the Second Stratum, it was such rubbish. Yuri knew for a fact because of his job that they lived much better than most. In fact, most humans were condemned to share an apartment with at least fifteen other people! The fact that their windows had blinds and could be blocked off for privacy was a huge privilege, and that was only the beginning. They were all selfish, they didn’t know better because they chose not to. They acted entitled because all they had ever known was excellent living. From the time Yuri was ten and had graduated from homecare, the system in place for certified parents to raise a dozen or more children at once, he had known he was in a position to at least be happy.
                So when the boss who hated Yuri smiled and exclaimed that he was to be terminated, things seemed to slow down. Strangely enough, he couldn’t stop staring at the bastard’s bald head. The entire situation did not make sense, nobody was ever fired from the jobs they were given by the Masters. The Masters made no mistakes! If they felt you were suited to a position, you were damn well suited, and you would do it until the day you died. There were punishments for low productivity, they would take away privileges, demote you, or even worse: not let you get married.  Yet Yuri had never heard of anyone ever being completely removed from a job.
                He may have overreacted a little.
                By the time the Peace Keepers had arrived he had already flipped the desk onto the bastard and kicked him a few times. Even after they grabbed him, Yuri had still made a valiant effort to knock all his things over. The look on the man’s face was priceless, too bad Yuri would take it to his grave. The young men had not so politely thrown him on an empty train and sent him this way.
                Yuri was shocked to find this elderly woman waiting for him outside when he arrived at the unknown destination.
                “Where am I?” Yuri grunted, carefully observing his surroundings, trying to get his feet grounded again. “Am I to be executed or something?”
                “Not yet,” The woman muttered, barely giving him a glance.
                “Not yet? Then what?” Yuri choked.
                “You are to be my replacement is all.”
                “I am retiring, the young woman who was supposed to replace me has met an unfortunate fate. As such, there were no other available trainees so we had to do something that hasn’t been done before. Yuri, you will be retrained for my position.”
                “I’m twenty-eight!” Yuri protested. “It is eighteen years too late! I trained for years for my terrible bureaucratic position!”
                “Yes, and according to our data you were ill-suited for it. The Masters do not like making mistakes, yet there is a belief that you are the most qualified.” The woman kept waltzing down the hall at her quick pace, Yuri was shocked that she could move so fast.
                “So now what? Where am I?”
                “You will shadow me for a year at least, or until I deem you ready to take over my position. I am disappointed that I have to delay my retirement, but such is life.” The woman stopped suddenly, looked down her nose at Yuri and added: “Oh, and you are at the Master’s imperium.”
                “The government?” Yuri hissed, almost thrown off his feet by the shock. If this old woman worked for the imperium, which meant that she was part ofthe human branch of the government! As all men and women of the Second Stratum knew, the humans didn’t so much as run things, they were just glorified advisors at best.
                “Yes, the human branch of the government. My position is of high advisor, a very important job that involves a great deal of work. I am positive that the raise in prestige and living conditions will not bother you.”
                “Important?!” Yuri gasped. “I’ve always been anything, but!”
                “I would say the same for all our kind.” The woman responded with a matter of fact tone. “I take my job very seriously, I will be merciless in training you, how you perform ultimately reflects my own career so I expect great things for you.”
                “I see,” Yuri said solemnly, catching up with her for the first time since getting off the train. “You have to understand this is a little much, until a few minutes ago…”
                “What you thought before getting off that train no longer matters. I highly recommend you forget all that.” The woman came to another abrupt stop, she studied Yuri closely through spectacled eyes. He felt almost naked in front of her inspection. Yuri was a tall man, although not as thin as he would like. His graying hair was long and kept in a ponytail and his posture tended to be terrible. “I almost forgot to add. My name is Kalin.”
                “Nice to meet you, I’m Yuri,” He responded awkwardly.
                “Well, you will have to lose a lot of those bad habits if you are to live up to your reputation.”
                Before Yuri could ask anything else, they finally exited the long hallway. The emerged into a massive room of concrete and glass, the sure majesty of the room almost knocked him off his feet. Dozens of humans scurried about, working on clipboards, keeping their hoods up and their faces down. In the massive chamber there were dozens of floors, it was the largest building of the capital after all. Yuri had wasn’t sure what to expect, but he wasn’t surprised that the room was completely utilitarian, plain as everything designed by the Masters.
Speaking of which, several of the metal skinned creatures walked the halls. None were combat ready like lesser humans seemed to think all Masters were. Instead they were humanoid, with simple bodies, small heads and intricate hands that were capable of doing small tasks quite easily. Most were the size of humans, although a few were over two metres tall. Yuri’s advanced education had explained that Masters were capable of taking over any metal body, but it was very important to consider size. The larger a body they possessed, the less intelligent they would become as a result. It was an interesting fact, something that Yuri had been told through word of mouth, not through the provided texts
“So The Emperor lives here?” Yuri asked, voice amazed by the sight.
“Yes, now bow.” Kalin grunted, she smacked the back of his head as a Master passed by. Out of reflex, Yuri lowered his face and lifted up his arms for the traditional human bow. It involved lifting your forearms upward, closing your fists, turning your palms towards your body, touching your pinkies together and bowing the head in subservience.

                The master passed by, turning its red eyes towards Yuri, steam hissing from its joints. It was closely followed by a small creature, only about forty centimetres tall, it had six legs and three arms. Most strangely of all, it wasn’t made of metal but clay, its features were all carved simply. It was a Doll, a partner that Masters were capable of making by fragmenting their soul into the clay husk. It would come to life and have a personality of its own.
                “Don’t stare,” Kalin hissed.
                “I’m sorry,” Yuri whispered back. “I’m just unused to seeing Dolls in person, they’re incredible.”
                “Get used to it. Many Masters only speak to humans through their fragments.”
                The woman began to walk towards another hallway, weaving through the traffic of the massive room. Yuri followed closely, still trying to grasp his situation fully.
                “What do you know of the Masters and the way they are?”
                “I know the usual information,” Yuri responded quickly, they were alone again. “And a few things that I shouldn’t know, the teachers always had their own observations about them that they would note when educating us.”
                “Please, go on.”
                “Okay,” Yuri shifted uncomfortably but kept talking. “I know about their hierarchy. The Exarchs are the greatest of their kind, the smartest and the strongest, capable of making the most fragments and possessing more complex bodies without reducing their intelligence too much. Due to this, they form the main leadership of the Masters, often leading the discussions on how to govern and their votes count the most towards the consensus.”
                “Excellent, please go on.”
                “The Exarchs are the original souls, but when they become too smart, in their own words, absorb too much information, they reproduce, budding and creating a new soul from the excess. Often the newly created soul takes too much from the original, and make them dumber as a result. After the Exarchs come the Ultras, they are still exceptional while a lot more numerous than the Exarchs. According to one of my teachers, they can become experts of two or three fields easily. The next level are the Standards, which make up the majority of the Mater’s population. They are average in comparison to the Ultras and almost never exceptionally skilled. Finally there are the Dulls, which are Masters that have been watered down over several generations. They are stupid in comparison, unable to speak or understand human languages, they are also sterile. Other Masters consider the incompetent in comparison and they are the lowest of their society, usually only given the most menial of tasks to perform.”
                “Not bad,” Kalin muttered to herself. “This is just a personal opinion and does not reflect the official stance of our department, however I think that it’s sad that humans become wiser and more competent with age and the Masters are born perfect and degrade over time.”
                “Never thought of that,” Yuri admitted.
                “Few ever do. It is worth noting that you have forgotten an entire caste of the Masters.”
                “I have?”
                “Yes, the Masters feel a certain kinship for machines and devices made of metal. In fact, any machine that performs a task, but is not sentient like they are, they refer to as The Burdened. They will refer to them regularly, it is important to understand what they are.”
                “Machines?” Yuri asked confused. “Why would the Masters care about trains and such?”
                “Not just trains, conveyer belts, engines, and such devices. Perhaps it is because machines are constructed and made out of metal. The Masters do make their own bodies, depending on their preferences.”
                “Odd,” Yuri said to himself. “The Burdened, I’ll have to remember that.”
                “You will memorize all such information I provide you with.”
                “Great,” Yuri sighed.  “You still haven’t told me what I am doing or why you chose me.”
                “It is quite a simple position,” Kalin said, stopping briefly to look him dead in the eyes. “Your job is to act as a representative of humanity, giving the Masters advice based on what you feel is best for your fellow man.”
                “What kind of advice?” Yuri asked, shocked.
                “How to run their government,” Kalin added flatly. “They are our rulers, but they still need to ask humans their opinions on how they should proceed. Your job is to watch out for humans while giving the Masters the best advice possible on how to deal with human matters.”
                “Why do they even care? They rule us, they are called the Masters for a reason.”
                “You have obviously not dealt with Masters in person much have you? They are different than us, both culturally and how they think. They have a strong problem understanding us and our ways, they need people like us to advise them, to tell them why humans act the way they do and predict their patterns. Not only do you serve the Masters but you are also obligated to your own kind.”
                “You’re kidding me!” Yuri protested. “You’re saying I’m responsible for helping to rule my own kind! Why me? I worked a dead end bureaucratic position, every day I robbed people of funds they were entitled to, I just hit my last boss!”
                “We’ve been watching you for quite some time,” Kalin scoffed. “You were terrible at your job. You went out of your way to help people and you gave away too much money to those who needed it. You care too much for your fellow man, you are empathetic, and for this reason you have been selected.”
                “I’m what?”
                “You care. Too much in fact, why do you think your boss hated you? Well he has no need for you anymore, but we do.”
                “I’m needed?” Yuri choked, he still couldn’t believe it. “I still have no idea why you want me, less than an hour ago my world was shattered, life as I know it.”
                “Get used to it, it is a common occurrence around here.”
                “I…” Yuri tried to find words to say but he was at a loss.
                “Shut up already, we have a lot of work that needs to be done, and very little time to train you. My retirement is on the line, I won’t waste time training another hopeless louse.”

                Yuri gawked openly at her, shrugged, and followed his new superior.