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"If you think with your emotions, slight glandular changes are sufficient to revise your entire outlook."

— Brian Aldiss

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Monday, November 14th, 2005

Update Tuesday night...

NaNoWriMo Update: I'm at 7600 words, and at this point I should have 25,000. I don't reasonably expect at this point to make 50,000 by month's end, but the work I have done so far on the Bune novel is more than enough reward. If it takes me three or four months to write the novel, I will have done very well indeed... Below, the next excerpt.

    Smooth, warm, white, porous, this was the wall. It spread out in a tall cylinder, with a small interior space about eight feet in diameter. The clear sky overhead shone down as into a well, and in the center, on a floor of smooth ceramic, he sat cross legged and bare skinned, thin, close cropped blonde hair, sharp features that were strong, youthful and even attractive, save for the wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. Toundier sat, staring at the encircling wall, the pupils of his eyes tight little holes, sweat dripping down his chin.

    There was a small rustle, a low growl, and part of the wall at the edge of his vision bulged, cracked, turned red with a small trickle just beginning to run down in a lethal line. He shifted his eyes without visible emotion, focused. Something howled and died in pain, and the bulge sank and redness paled. His nostrils flared as he completed the repair, smooth, warm and white wall again...

    And at the corner of his eye, another rustle. He had to turn his head this time. Another thing died, crushed and assimilated into the substance of the wall. He breathed steadily and deep, silence restored, smooth Clattering, scratching, another chirp and growl, multi-toned. he scanned, found one behind him, dealt with it. Where was the other? He stirred, got to his knees, whirled around. there, at the base but there were other sounds behind him. As he crushed this one shrieking into nothing, he whipped around to see two gaps in the wall, red gushing and sharp beaked things poking their heads through in writhing darts.

    He concentrated hard, slew, but too slowly, and now there were others that leapt out, seized his flesh and shredding his legs and arms... shrieking himself, he cast wildly around, grabbing slimy hairy bodies and dashing them down, as all went red, all the way up to the sky, which now shone and pulsed down with a horrid noise...

    He sat up, casting back the blanket with a thrust of his leg and staring up at the red screaming alarm. The room was otherwise dark, four feet high and wide and eight feet long, big enough only for Toundier, a pallet for a bed, and banks of monitors showing constant information on every aspect of his abode.

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