Nov 06

NaNoWriMo – Update #1

For the uninitiated… Okay, I don’t really have time to explain NaNoWriMo. I’ll assume most people reading this already follow me on Twitter anyway.

But just in case, go here — NaNoWriMo.Org — to learn all about National Novel Writing Month.

This is my first time participating in the event. I said I’d post an excerpt of the novel I’m writing for NaNo, so here we go.

I still don’t have a title for the novel, but it contains robots, so the working title is “Robots ‘n’ Shit: The Working Title”. Here’s a couple of excerpts from the first couple of chapters. Also, there might be missing bold/italicised text for emphasis that doesn’t carry over into HTML, but don’t worry about that.

“I might not have made the emphasis emphatic enough when I said it before,” ‘Genius’ said, “so I’ll say it again: Jamison, you need to get out of here and be away from your work. Even if only for an hour, you need to do something else. You hearing me?”

“Mmm-hmm,” Jamison replied, swallowing the last of his mouthful. He collected his claimed containers up into his arms and started towards the door. “Well, thanks for bringing back lunch; gotta get back to it though. See you at dinner!”

“I-” began ‘Genius’, failing to get the rest out before Jamison left the room entirely. “Ugh,” he sighed, snatching up the bag and slinking into the seat opposite Steve.

“Don’t worry about him,” Steve said. “He’s fixated on that damn theory of his. He’ll never listen to us.”

“Yes, but he’s always fixated on something and he’s always ignoring everything else. It’s gonna kill him one of these days.”

“Either that or he’s going to make a breakthrough,” Steve mused. ‘Genius’ picked up the glass of ice and water, now more water than ice.

“Really? Don’t tell me you believe all that stuff he says now; that’s your fastest ticket out of here.”

“I’m not saying I believe anything,” Steve said, as ‘Genius’ drank from the glass. “What I’m saying is that for the ninety percent of his time that he’s always holed up in his office-lab, something inevitably would have to result from all of it, right?”

“Maybe,” ‘Genius’ replied, placing the glass back down. “But he’s been saying all the same general stuff since day one. He’s not going to have too many years left to make a breakthrough of any kind; and there’s not a single other person who’s gonna carry forward his way of thinking, especially once he’s out of here. If he wants to make an impact, he’d better at least make it happen soon.”

Meanwhile, in the private confines of Jamison’s quarters, the scientist-in-question’s fingers blurred together as they hammered out text from his keyboard to his computer screen, only matched in speed by the whispers flying from his mouth. As each new line of code appeared on the screen, another fifty almost-immediately would push it off-screen.

And then, all of a sudden, he stopped. His fingers continued to twitch slightly, though they refrained from pressing any keys. He stared, wide-eyed, hardly believing what his eyes beheld.

“That’s… That’s it,” he said quietly. “It’s ready!” A small fit of giggles threatened to burst through; and, indeed, made through on their threats. “Hehehe, it’s finally ready! Ahahahaha!” Despite his glee, he kept a hushed voice. Jamison pushed his chair back and flailed his arms around in excitement, practically squealing.

“Finally, haha!”

A few minutes later, the man composed himself, keeping his happiness confined to an ear-to-ear grin. He looked around his living space, thinking about the next step.

“Designs,” he said to himself after a moment, running over to a second desk that contained paper. He immediately began sketching out a rough humanoid figure, making notes at various points of the drawing. The single detail that he gave attention to, however, sat on the left breast of the figure. An emblem of sorts. After finishing the emblem, he quickly rewrote it again at the top of the page, adding in the long form, titling the piece.

Σ7 | Sigma-7

Leaning forward and letting his weight rest on the front of his feet, the Sigma-7 launched himself forward, running from the storage containers to the streets. He only caught stares of bewilderment from the various robots he passed, but even so, he found it hard to care. The feeling of freedom such a simple act gave him nearly overwhelmed him. He didn’t want to stop. He wanted to keep going.

Through the streets.

Past the city.

Beyond the borders.

Around the world.

He couldn’t get tired.

He could do it if he wanted to.

And he wanted to.

He really wanted to.

He approached the entrance to his workstation. If he went past here, he’d just keep on going.

Unfortunately, a large metal arm appeared out in front of him; and before he had the opportunity to react, the Sigma-7 found himself sliding a few feet across the ground on his back, coming to a stop just ahead of where his Delta-3 familiar had stopped him.

“Why were you running?” he asked, walking over to pull the Sigma-7 up.

“I just wanted to run. No real reason,” the Sigma-7 replied. Most, if not all of the robots that had watched the spectacle returned to their own priorities.

“But why? The day shift won’t start for another fifteen minutes. Running to get here and just wait is pointless.”

“Well, yeah, but I just felt like running. I don’t care if I have to wait here, I just wanted to run.”

The Delta-3 gave him something of a calculating stare. “You weren’t slowing down when you got here,” he said.

The Sigma-7 stayed silent.

“…If you’re getting defective-”


“Look, just do what you’re supposed to do. Follow directive and I won’t report you. Just stop doing all this unnecessary stuff. If I wasn’t here, you’d be scrap in just a few minutes.”

“Okay, okay,” said the Sigma-7, “I understand. Let’s just stop talking about it and go inside. I just want to start working.”

The Delta-3 sighed as they both walked into the workstation building; the ground floor of which consisted solely of a series of elevators. “It wouldn’t matter if you wanted to or not; directive’s directive,” he said.

“Yeah,” said the Sigma-7, a tone of resignation in his voice. The two entered an elevator and let themselves be lowered down, beneath the earth to the maintenance tunnels.

…And that’s just a disgusting taste at the shlock I’m writing down for this event. I’m currently at 10,000 words and ten hours of sleep since the event started. Five days ago.

I predict my sleep pattern will not improve for the next twenty-five days.



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