421 words on Chill this evening.
And isn't that encouraging?
Yes. Actual words on the actual novel.
And because I care, here's the incredibly rough hot-off-the-presses completely unedited first POV of the draft in progress. I will not, you understand, continue posting as I go, but I figure this is probably the way to make you hate me more than through any other means at my disposal.
If you have not read Dust, you probably want to skip this, as it does spoiler the first book somewhat. As you might imagine.
When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But... that is not what great ships are built for.
--Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., "Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times"
The first hint of returning sensation was the icy tickle of fluid dropping across his lids, lashes, nostrils. Pain followed after; the tidal roll of hurt along his body, injury severe enough that his symbiont could neither heal nor silence it.
Within his acceleration tank, Tristen Conn opened his eyes. As the hyperbaric fluid drained from around his chest, his diaphragm spasmed. Shattered ribs ground in his flesh. The tank opened, spilling him on the slotted deck like a newborn festooned with blood-stringed goo.
He pushed against the deck, but pulped arms could not lift his face clear of the puddle of hyperbaric fluid. He heaved. Slime roped from his nose and mouth, tinged blue with blood, bringing bright pieces of tooth and lung tissue with it.
He could not raise his head. He thought, And then there were none. And gave himself up for dying.
But here he was. And if he was hurt, he was living. Beside his shattered cheek, cobalt tendrils groped across the deck, met and merged like pooling mercury, sent questing tendrils crawling out until they found Tristen's skin. As his symbiont repatriated its estranged fringes, pain increased. Crushed bones shifting in rent meat. His body and its symbiont struggling to heal.
He might have whimpered, but the whistle of compressed breath was his loudest sound.
As he lay there, breathing, staring along the seemingly infinite curve of acceleration pods lining the deck in either direction, Tristen had a great deal of time to think. And one of the things he thought was, Isn't it peculiar that mine is the only opened tank?