Thursday, May 31, 2018

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/30/18: The Escape?

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I had precisely zero seconds to double check the settings and since I knew I couldn't select the exact moment I'd left Nowhere House (not without destroying everything in Jill's lab) I just picked something else in the history and hoped that I had done it fast enough so that we wouldn't end up back in the hub.   I assumed that's what would happen, anyway.
What did happen was a little bit worse because, as we zoomed through the air, I heard the old lady say something.

"Oh, crap!"

I realized the Fire Escape wasn't in view through the windshield anymore.  We had missed it 

We were now flying into the void of space.

"Turn us around, lady!"

"Does this thing look like a spaceship to you, kid?  It's a car."

"Well, you were flying it like a spaceship, earlier!"

"NO.  I was flying it like a helicopter, only instead of an overhead rotor, it was electromagnetic repulsers I jury rigged into this thing."

I chills ran down my spine as I noticed a full starfield surrounded us.

"And you can't use those things to fly in space?"

"Dude, do you even know what the word 'repulser' means?" KJ asked.

"Um..." I said, not sure I did.

"With out something there to repulse, you can't repulse, kid."

"Oh."  Now that I had a better understanding of the word 'repulse,' I now had a moment to completely give into the feeling of massive anxiety clawing at the back of my brain.

"Oh, don't freak out, man," KJ said.

"I... I... I..." was all I could say, as I felt every muscle in my body tense up.

"I got another trick up my sleeve," she said, reaching down and pulling a lever.

"What was that?" KJ asked.

"I popped the trunk!"

"What's that gonna do?" KJ asked.

"Not sure.  Change our trajectory a bit thanks to the escaping air?"

"Won't that just push the back of the car down but not change our actual flight path since there only the crazy thin atmosphere of the asteroid?"

"Oh, yeah!  You're probably right.  My bad!"

"Oh, come ON!  Who ARE you lady!?!" I yelled through clenched teeth.  Just then we heard a loud crunch and then saw land in front of us again.  My body almost completely relaxed.  It turned out we were still under the light pull of gravity from the asteroid and hadn't even gotten more than twenty feet up, but the weird landscape of the asteroid made it possible that we couldn't see it around us at all at that height, that is until the old lady adjusted our angle which kept us from seeing sooner the asteroidal mountain that was now in our way.  

Of course, we were now about to crash into it.

"Oh, crap--now is when I should have popped the trunk--this one's on me, too."

"I'm gonna drop an anvil 'on you,' lady!" I said, feeling my muscles start to tense up.

"Wait--kid--they said you can breathe this air, right?"


"Good."  She pressed another button causing the roof of the car to flip up violently, shoving a blast of ice cold air down into the car.  And me without my fur coat!  I decided this is what that rose felt like when my sixth grade science teacher Mrs. Klimko dropped it into that tank of liquid nitrogen.

Then we felt a kind of crunch/thud combination as we impacted into the mountain, wheels-first.  Turns out the old lady's move to pop the convertible top re-angled us just enough to land at an angle almost perfectly matched to the mountain.  The old lady hit the gas pedal and turned us around, bringing us down the mountain, back toward the way we'd come.
And that's when we saw the Conva ships bearing down on us.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/29/18: Suddenly--an ESCAPE!

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When we got outside there was literally a car waiting for us. It was a red two-seater  and it was very sexy. The only problem was—there was someone behind the wheel.

“GET IN, ALREADY!” She barked with a voice that was gravelly but somehow piercing at the same time. We ran around to the other side of the car and, as KJ opened the door for me, I stopped and looked at the woman behind the wheel. It was an old lady—complete with curly white hair and a house dress—she reminded me a lot of a high school friend of mine’s grandma.

“Get in! Get in!” She said.

“Where? There’s only one seat open!”

KJ shoved me into that one seat and then squeezed in beside me. Immediately I felt crammed into the seat as KJ swung the door shut behind him. The uncomfortableness increased when the old lady slammed on the pedal.

“Aw come on, man!” I said without thinking.

“Whatsa matter? I thought you two were close friends.”

“Uh, ‘good friends’ yes, ‘physically close’ friends... I just like my personal space.”

“Well, sorry kid—my selection of Earth cars was limited when I picked this up.”

“Why are we in such a hurry? The Conva totally let us go!” I said, adding: "How is this car even running in an atmosphere without oxygen?"

"It's electric," the old lady said.

“The who?” KJ asked.

“The Conva—what the Double-Oes call themselves,” I said.

“Because of the Double-O faction that seems to be trying to foil the plans of your pals back there,” the old lady said.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.  The old lady continued: “Your sister did some more research while you were away and found that the Double-Oes don’t all agree on how to go about interacting with the sovereign beings who live in the Prime Trimension.”

“Ah, is that what we’re calling our set of dimensions now?”

“Nah, that’s what Department M calls it. Typical white-guy-savior syndrome, man,” KJ said.

"So, where do we go from here?  As in, what is the plan?" I asked. "We gonna head out to the Fire Escape that I used to get here?"

"Sorta," the old lady said.

"What do you mean by sorta?"

"Look!" she said nodding at something through the windshield of the car.  I tried to spot what she was nodding toward, but all I saw was the literal end of the figurative road.  The ground we were racing across abruptly ended a couple hundred feet from where we were. 

"Uh-oh," the old lady said in a disturbingly flat tone just as she slammed on the gas again.  

"Why are you slamming on the gas again?" I glanced over at her as she nodded through the back windshield.  I craned my neck and managed to see what she was referring to--it was two Conva ships, similar to the one I'd managed to hijack temporarily.  Aaaand they were closing fast.

"Uh, if we're heading to the Fire Escape I used to get here, why are we heading toward that cliff?"

"Because we're heading to the Fire Escape you used to get here, man!" the old lady said sounding like she thought I was an idiot.

"KJ, who is this lady?"

"There was a major battle fought on this asteroid while you were off with those other aliens, the Galak-ga.  A massive bomb went off around the Fire Escape."


"Don't worry, kid, it's still there," she said.  "In fact, we're getting close.  Grab the Accessory in the back and turn on that AR whatsis thing so we can see the thing we're aiming for and do it fast cuz we're running out of landscape."

I craned my head around again and saw the Accessory in the small amount of space behind the two front seats.  With a bit of effort I managed to get it, and pull it into the front seat with us.  I immediately activated it and pulled up the AR holo-map.  Just as the old lady pressed some button on the dashboard that made us accelerate so fast it felt like we were lifting off of the ground--and then we did.  I heard an explosion behind me as the old lady barked at me.

"Where is it?!?"

"It's that one!" I said making sure to select it in the interface so there was an AR cube around it.  Then, she pulled back on the steering wheel and turned it to the left.  I could see her also stepping on a pedal that I thought was the gas pedal, but it turns out this car could also fly.

"Alright, kid, you do what you have to do to get us back to the Prime Trimension--preferably not to Nowhere House because this car will not fit!"

"Are you kidding me?!?!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/29/18: The Hand-Off...

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There was one thing that ended up coming into play that I would never have considered.  

The Conva were not horrible people.

“You really don’t have to keep that gun to my head.  You found me out and now you’re trading me for one of your own,” the politician said.

“That’s great, pal, but we Earthlings aren’t so easy to fool,” KJ said sounding like some action movie hero.

“Yes--this is what I’m telling  you—you’re not being fooled.”

“Sure, sure.  Hey you.  You ready to trade?  Mine for yours?”  KJ was looking past me to the Conva guard to my right.  That guard shrugged and muttered something in his language and both he and the other guard who had each held an arm of mine tightly around the tricep area, let go. Almost instinctively, I took a step forward.  About twenty feet away from me, KJ shoved the politician forward, but kept his gun aimed at the politician’s head.

“Get walkin’, ya faker, and know this gun is still pointed at your head.”

“Oh, please, you’re surrounded. If you shoot me, they’ll all shoot you.”

“Yeah, well, then we’d both be dead.”

The politician rolled his eyes as we passed each other.  Just as he disappeared from my view, he added: “Earthlings…”

I reached KJ and gave him a hug—or tried to.  He shoved me away.  “Stop! I have to keep us covered!”

KJ jerked his gun from one of the Conva guards to the other and back.  “KJ, it’s good.  They are clearly cool.”

“How do I know they didn’t torture you into saying that!?!”

“They treated me fine, even after I killed a bunch of their people.”


“Dude, put the gun down and tell me your exit strategy.”

“What? Oh, it’s cool.  We’ve got a car outside the hangar that’ll take us out to the the Fire Escape.”  He pointed toward a door on the far side of the hangar.

“Really?  OK, cool.  Let’s go then.”

“Yeah, definitely,” KJ said, slowly backing away from the ‘confrontation zone’ as I walked casually toward that door.  I stopped and, looking back at KJ, saw that I had gotten about twenty feet ahead of him because he was still backing away from the the politician, the Conva guards and all the other armed and unarmed Conva standing around.  Some of them stared at us, slack-jawed, while others shook their heads, while others just shrugged and went back to what ever they were doing.

“Kim John!! Would you come on!” I yelled, adding, “You’re embarrassing us!”

“What? Why?!?”

“Just let’s go!”

We moved quickly toward the door and then through it as KJ literally flipped up a transparent hood on the jumpsuit he was wearing and then zipped the hood’s front, creating an air-tight seal.

We stepped outside and saw a brilliant, huge, starry sky above us.

FROM SPACE 1st Draft Update for 9/20/18: So, about that light show...

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