It’s hard snaring readers into a fictional world. I’ve always thought a dramatis personae or glossary of words and terms superfluous and annoying. But here I am, prefacing a science fiction story with them. But I like Tanelia and I feel they’re worth it.
And I admit, this is a weird story. But I can actually see the place in my head. I want to see where I can go with it.
On my third day of writing, I’m reminded of Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote “one page at a time”. When he finished, he didn’t have to rewrite anything. It’s hard work, but I can see its appeal.
karenic: a framework for linking the elements in a complex system, especially one involving large spatial and temporal scales
skinpassteel: artificial skin of unstable molecules that can adapt to a changing endoskeleton (this one is my word – created from an email exchange with a friend)
A humanoid shadow stood in the light of the chapel’s stained-glass window, interrupting the ritual offertory.
“What is it?” The ceremony dispelled, Sabiel spoke common, his voice still full of static.
Omylia came around, through the double door of Sabiel’s chamber to properly present herself – only their smooth skinned, placid face framed by bland Femex vestments.
Thank goodness, Tanelia thought. No thong.
“More travellers, Sabiel,” Omylia stated.
Sabiel’s eyes clouded while he internally reviewed every security feed from the thousands of scanners throughout the seven minarets framing the chapel compound. Arun gasped when the endoskeleton beneath their master’s skinpassteel churned to form Bebium the Karenic.
“Let us go,” Bebium said, his voice smooth and polished. “We must greet our newest members!”
“With your permission, milord,” Tanelia said, looking to Arun. “I would like to remain a moment. To exchange with Arun.”
“You are our favourite,” Bebium said, orange eyes welling up, his rusty extension tip caressing her cheek. “We will wait for you in the courtyard. Come Omylia! I will show you the way.”
Tanelia turned on Arun, demanding to know if they lost their mind.
“Akøzha kazh kakkøzho!?”
Before being able to regret checking if they were overheard, Arun clutched their cheek, the metallic clash of Tanelia’s strike ringing through the chapel.
“Bebium, doesn’t speak Kazozhian,” Tanelia spat. “Only Sabiel does.”