Didn't have time to write up anything new this week. Instead I'm offering up the preview text I have on my Nanowrimo 2011 profile for CROSS//Revenge. It's about 2k words, but most of it is dialogue. Only minimally edited thus far, as is probably obvious. (Still Nano-raw, lots of extraneous words and then some, cause LOL WORD COUNT)
Not gonna offer much background, but it features one of the characters I used in the recent blogfest. And some new ones.
Usual warnings for some crude language, sexuality talk, and a couple violent threats. Basically, a normal day in the CROSS// universe.
Heaven’s Garden was one of those places that looks like a tiny café from the outside, but in reality is a gaping maw of seating and lighting inside. Yumiko removed her sunglasses so her eyes could adjust to the natural lighting while avoiding waiters and hostesses, regardless of how cute the latter were. When Maj. Lewis suggested “hamburgers and salad” Yumiko thought she’d be lucky with Sizzler’s, but by the lack of children and anybody wearing less than their semi-formal wear it was…well, it was what she feared the most: a date.
They sat in the middle of the gallery, on opposite sides of the table, and when Maj. Lewis tried to order on her behalf she responded by kicking her foot into the table and spilling his water all over his lap.
“I’ll have the quarter pound with tomatoes and onion only please. Second lunch set.” Yumiko turned on her smile just for the skinny, tanned waitress.
“Nice appetite, Kobayashi! It’s nice to see a woman who actually eats."
My stomach feels like a bottomless pit of you-shut-your-mouth. “Oh, I’m not opposed to feasting when the moment calls for it.” The waitress was the one to inspire her to use a double-entendre. Yumiko wondered if she could get her number.
“My ex-wife – honestly, can’t remember which one – had this thing about eating food that weighed more than her hand. How does that even make sense? It doesn’t. She has a daughter with another man now. That’s gonna end well, eh?”
Yumiko rolled her eyes. All she heard was “my ex-wife blah blah blah”.
After another awkward declaration about ex-wives – “this other one thought it was her job to eat all the sausage in the house” – Maj. Lewis got up to go use the restroom. Yumiko whipped out her cell phone to send a plea to Miranda to come save her from this heterosexual spectacle.
The waitress walked by once more, but before Yumiko could turn on her charm and invite her over to her apartment later for debauchery she realized she was leading two people to the table behind Yumiko. So much for that.
Yumiko didn’t pay attention to what the people were saying until they actually said something.
“I don’t know why you get to choose everywhere we go.”
“Because I can’t trust you to not, you know, blow our cover. Like you’re doing right now. You need to seriously stop speaking in julah before some other Federation people overhear and realize who we are.”
“And what the hell would you propose I speak?”
“I dunno, something from Earth maybe? Oh, hey, here’s an idea! Speak English! Hell speak some Spanish! Do you know some French? You wanna go to Japan so I hope you know some Japanese, why don’t you try it out on me?”
“You’re a dumbass. How’s that for English?”
By now Yumiko was huddled in her seat, her sunglasses flung down her nose and her hair as flat and unremarkable as possible. Were these kids stalking her on her purpose or just on total cosmic accident?
The waitress asked what they wanted; Vikkel ordered for both of them since Krista apparently forgot her English. “You spend so much of your time just fucking around. You gonna do anything or just let those mercenaries run all over the world?”
“How about you stop criticizing me for two seconds, huh? Man, you’re cranky today.”
“Probably because I don’t get any sleep. You kick me every ten minutes.”
“Because you’re still in my bed.”
Yumiko relaxed her shoulders. She was scared of these kids?
“Let’s just get this over with.”
Yumiko heard the two of them get up out of their seats, and then…nothing. Did they go to the bathroom? Maybe they could take care of Maj. Lewis for her.
Suddenly two julah were sitting at the table with her.
“You’re Syrfila Tograten, right? You were kinda hard to find,” Vikkel said in English.
Yumiko held up her hands in front of her face – she could feel the contents of her empty stomach filing through her esophagus. “I…I don’t know anyone by that name! My name is Yumiko!”
“Right. Yumiko Kobayashi. How nice.”
Yumiko slumped down in her seat and covered her eyes with her hand. “What do you want with me? Leave me alone and I won’t have to bust your faces in here in front of half the wharf.”
Krista opened her mouth to retort – doubtlessly with a threat – but Vikkel cut her off with a half-smile and further threat. “Don’t worry, we’re not interested in you or your deeds, as swell as they seem to be right here. What rank are you in the nation’s military?”
Yumiko pressed her teeth together. “I’m a major, thank you.” And I got here all on my own, she added.
“Noble. Well, like I said, we’re not interested in taking you into the Federation, as much as my mother would love it…”
He shot his ex-fiancé a glare. “You shouldn’t use our names like that.”
It was Yumiko’s turn to laugh at their misfortune. “Vikkel, huh? Then you must be Vikkel Amyran. And that would make you, who? Krista Ferran? What’s the ambassador’s daughter doing all the way out here?”
“How do you know who we are?”
“Please, your marriage disaster was huge julah news, even Nerilis Dunsman was mumbling about it. Seems that you two have made up, though.”
“That’s none of your concern,” Vikkel said. “We’re not here to talk about us. We are, however, here to talk about Lord Dunsman.”
“Lord Dunsman? Jeez, you julah really are in deep with your titles. I don’t think anyone’s called him Lord since before he blew up his first planet.”
Vikkel sighed and planted his hand against his forehead. “The reason that we’re here speaking with you is not, like I said, to turn you in. We simply want to know what you know about finding Nerilis Dunsman.”
“Oh, so it’s him you’re after?”
“In a fashion.”
“Well good luck with that. I have no idea where he is. He cut me off and ran away, far from this planet I’m presuming. Last I heard or saw of him he knocked me clear off my feet and beat my ass.”
“Yes, but you may know more than you think.”
“Oh, is that so?”
Vikkel lowered his hand while Krista, now wonderfully excluded, picked at a scab on her wrist. “We’re interested in contacting a Mr. Yamamoto in Japan. He was the one who…”
“…Dunsman bought the androids from, I know. They were a pain in my ass.”
“Yes. Do you know how to locate him? We only have his last name and, well…”
“Yeah, good luck with that.”
Yumiko glanced around the room – there was still no sign of Maj. Lewis, thank goodness. “Even if I did know his real name and how to get in touch with him, why would I tell you?”
“Why wouldn’t you? You have nothing to lose.” Vikkel paused. “But you will have something to lose if you don’t tell us what you know.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Obviously. We’ll have no qualms alerting the Federation Forces as to your pseudonym here and what you’re making of yourself.”
“I’d kill you first.”
“Ha!” Krista finally chimed in. “As fucking if! Do you know who we are, sweetie? We’re fuckin’ julah.” She tossed her head back and crossed her legs, Vikkel’s eyes transfixed on her movements as Yumiko silently noted. “Before you’d ever have the chance to break our necks, blast our asses, or blow up my…” Krista glared at Vikkel, “…apartment, I would curse your ass so hard that you’d wake up with every STD in the Federation sprouting from your hips and crawling up into your navel. Ever heard of Vallerkay Spore Worms? I’ll give you a crop of them.”
“Ew.” Yumiko once knew somebody with Spore Worms. No one had looked lovelier than she did with that nice green hue of molding and rotting flesh. “How attractive.”
“Uh, yeah. You should see the pretty pink vagina I gave the male mercenary.”
“She’s really proud of that.”
“I figured you would do some…a vagina?” Yumiko imagined Devon in her mind, a scrawny, no-one-care waste of a male (but weren’t they all?) who was so far up his own ass over the female mercenary that playing with him was only amusing for about five minutes. The thought of giving that asshole a vagina was something even Yumiko could get behind. She couldn’t wait to tell Miranda later.
“Kobayashi!” Shit, he’s back. “I didn’t know you had some new friends!”
The three of them looked up to see Maj. Lewis, returned from his pleasant sojourn to the bathroom, He pulled out his abandoned chair and sat with a fwump that made Krista cock one dark eyebrow.
“They’re not my friends,” Yumiko informed him. “They were just leaving.”
“You a soldier, boy?” Maj. Lewis flung his hand out and squeezed one of Vikkel’s biceps. “You’re kind of a scrawny boy but you’ve got some nice Marine muscles!”
Vikkel shrugged him off with chagrin. “I…I used to be a soldier…”
“Feh! Once a soldier, always a soldier in your heart! Your parents must be proud.”
“Oh yes, they’re quite proud.” Yumiko remembered hearing from Dunsman all about the plight of Lady Aryman and her disappointment of a lifetime son. From what Yumiko understood of julah culture, academia equaled prestige and love whereas boot stomping equaled disdain and disownment. This kept getting better and better.
“Who are these charming children?”
“I’m not a chi…”
“They’re my niece and nephew.”
They all gaped at Yumiko – well, it wasn’t completely far-fetched. Everyone had dark hair, and although neither Vikkel nor Krista looked huling in the face…
“Really? I didn’t know you had any brothers or sisters…hey, aren’t you Japanese?” Maj. Lewis turned to Vikkel. “And what accent is that, boy? Eastern European?”
“Yup. They’re Bulgarian.”
“My family is fucked.”
“We’re, uh…we’re going to go,” Vikkel announced while standing. His full height made Maj. Lewis crane his head back and stare with a “do you play basketball?” face.
Krista stood up as well and said to Yumiko, “You’d better think about what we said. We’ll be in contact with you again later.”
Once they were gone – and they were gone gone, based on the confused look on the waitress’s face when she searched for them later – Yumiko relaxed her shoulders and shot a breath out of her mouth. The only thing worse than dealing with two adolescent julah was…
“Interesting family you have, Kobayashi, although a bit strange…”
“What can I say, we keep shit interesting in my family,” Yumiko mumbled. The waitress returned with their orders. Yumiko stared at her knee-length skirt and thought about the only thing that could make her paranoia subside at that moment. She pulled out her cell phone and searched for Miranda’s email address while settling her stomach’s appetite.
For some odd reason, Miranda did not return Yumiko’s text request for sex that night. Instead Yumiko was forced to suffer through a full lunch hour of Maj. Lewis’s bullshit small talk while stuffing her face and wishing she were dead. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just turn herself in to the Federation and have her execution over and done with. It would be especially worth it if it were broadcasted throughout the galaxy and Maj. Lewis managed to see his would-be girlfriend shot by firing squad while giving the camera the biggest finger he had ever seen.