8FOLD/ACRA: Orphans of Mars: To Bell The Cat # 6

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 03:09:50 PDT 2014

On 9/4/2014 7:45 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> Nisja of Titan lives for the space of three breaths after the rex's
> teeth cut her clean in half at the waist. And in those three breaths,
> she has time enough, in a fragmented sort of way, to reflect upon both
> her life and the circumstances of her death.

That is a good way to follow up a cliffhanger.

>     She has been alive for fifty years, as great and holy Saturn turns.
> Few Titanians made it to three, but few had access to cryogenic sleep.

I was going to say.

> Few left Titan, either. Few wanted to. But Nisja wanted the stars, and
> she wanted adventure, and most of all she wanted money, and so she was
> glad to leave Titan behind for the glories of Deep Space and the
> employ of the Pulse.


>     Until she heard the whispers. Until someone recognized her not as
> the only Titanian in Deep Space, but hazarded that she might be the
> only Titanian in the universe. She returned to the system of the One
> Star, and to Titan, and found that the whispers were truth.
>     She went back into cyro for another year as Blink made its way to
> the dread planet Mars. And when she woke, she found that it, too, was
> a dead world. Save for one city, of which she made short and brutal
> work. All the other survivors had fled to the stars, to find new
> worlds to terrorize. Most of them fled the system, since Mars had
> killed every other world, save for the violent Earth, fearsome Venus,
> and inscrutable Eris.

Hmmmmmmm, yes. The Martians were fuckers. u.u

>     And so to Earth she came, and here she failed and died. She can
> feel the Eridian nanites in her body fleeing into the thing that has
> ended her.


>     A nagging little voice in her brain tells her that this is
> worthless; this is futile. No matter how fast she goes, the rex is
> going to go faster. No matter how well she hides, he will smell her.
> The mud she used to disguise her scent washed off in the sea. And what
> few arrows she has left will be of no use against its hide. If her aim
> was true, she might put out its other eye. But as her attempts to fire
> upon the Titanian demonstrated, her aim is far from true.

Don't give up, ya jerk!

>     "Thanks. Now, run."
>     "Not without you," says Fenn.
>     "No, she's right," says Ress. "She'll just slow us down. Life is the word."
>     The little bitch seems a little too happy about that. But that's
> Nerrine's fault, at least in part.

Yeah maybe a little, ya jerk >:/

>     Fenn screws up her lips in thought. "Well, you never specified
> which direction."
>     "Fenn! No!"
>     Fenn rushes for the tracker.


>     "Bitches of shit," says Ress, quietly.
>     Nerrine stares at her. "What are you waiting for, Ress? Save yourself! Run!"

DUN DUN DUNNNN. Yay for ethical quandaries for characters who are trying their 
damnedest to be unethical.

>     "Here," she says, tossing an automatic beam weapon to Nerrine.
>     "What are you doing?"
>     "I don't know," says Ress.
>     But she does know.

:D :D :D <3

>     The weapon is DNA-coded. If any hand but the Titanian's touches it,
> the pain will be excruciating, as Quasha learned. Quasha is a
> mountain, a warrior. Ress is but a slender whisper. There's a reason
> why Ress's weapons of choice are manipulation and murder. She would
> not last even a single breath fighting anything straight on. After
> trying the weapon, Quasha looked as if she would spend the week
> recovering. What will it do to Ress?


>     "Oh, apparently it ran off after you atomized its tail," says Fenn.
> "That was ridiculously kick-ass, by the way."

Heeheehee <3

>     Maybe it wasn't for Nerrine, though. Maybe this spontaneous and
> stupid act of bravery is what she needs to solidify her standing in
> the group. She was going to tell them the story of how she tried and
> failed to save Nerrine, but it plays a whole lot better if Nerrine
> tells them the story of how Ress tried and succeeded. Maybe she knew
> that, deep down, and maybe that's where all that came from.

Want. To. Hug.

>     "You did a great deed," says Quasha, putting her huge hand upon
> Ress's arm. "To my shame, long have I said words to your detriment.
> But you did prove yourself as true a Daughter of Mars as fair and
> noble Jarissy. A sister of battle."
>     Ress quietly mouths a thank you. She wishes Quasha hadn't mentioned
> Jarissy. When Ress thinks of Jarissy, she calls to mind her face, her
> laugh, her lucky cudgel. Her murder. Her murderer.
>     Ress is crying now. Damn it. It's bad enough she cries in private,
> bad enough she can't control it. Bad enough that Petara and that bitch
> Nerrine saw her crying. But she doesn't want Fenn and Quasha to see
> it. She doesn't want Kellin to see it.


>     Fenn nods. "Hey, Quasha. Come with me?"
>     "Why?" says Quasha, as if Fenn was crazy. Crazier than usual, anyway.
>     "I want to show you my stitches," says Fenn wryly.

Heeheehee. <3

>     "You give," sobs Ress. "You work yourself to exhaustion fixing
> everything for everybody, repairing everything, and you just keep
> doing it, you just keep giving. And all I do is take. I can't..." Shut
> up, Ress. Shut up.

Augh ;.; HUGS.

>     Kellin at long last relinquishes the embrace. She stares at Ress's
> knees. She swallows, then: "I know. I have always known, Ress. And I
> have always loved you."
>     Ress almost laughs. "Why?"
>     "Because you're the only one I don't hate," says Kellin.


>     "You know," realizes Ress.
>     "That's what I've been telling you," says Kellin. "I know who you
> are. I've always known. Now. Let's talk about how we're going to make
> you Imperatrix."

GASP. o.o Fascinating.

>     And the eye. The eye that ever burns, burns no longer. The scabbing
> is peeled away by tiny arms, and an Eridian eye peers relentlessly
> into the night.

MEGA GASP. <3 <3 <3

> Readers who also follow me about on the Book of the Faces might recall
> that I announced, and posted a cover image for, a dead-tree version of
> our favorite Martians, with an anticipated release sometime in early
> September. Personal issues have pushed it back, but before the end of
> this year you, your friends, family, and enemies can purchase ORPHANS
> OF MARS VOL. 1: EARTH COLONY as either a trendy little paperback or
> (hopefully) one of those new-fangled e-books. The second volume,
> collecting the miniseries that we have just concluded here, should
> follow a few months later...

WOO <3

> Those volumes will not, however, be collections of RACC materials, but
> will be completely new and slightly longer novellas that continue the
> story of Ress, Nerrine, Quasha, and all the rest. The intention is to
> see of course if the characters and their world can reach and engage
> with a wider audience. So I'm trying to re-imagine it as a series of
> cheap, pulpy paperbacks-- the reader pays a few bucks, I make a few
> cents in royalties, and maybe I get lucky and it turns out "lesbian
> aliens fighting dinosaurs" is something that can develop a fan base
> and branch out into other media. Or maybe that's pie-in-the-sky stuff,
> but at least it'll be a few extra pennies in my pocket.


> As such-- outside of a few Mighty Medley one-shots here-and-there, and
> sly references in the Eightfold universe proper-- this is likely to be
> the last you'll see of the Daughters of Mars and their ancient Earth
> on RACC.

Interesting. Personally, I plan on serializing my future stuff here as well, 
but I can see the advantages of this path. And I'll undoubtedly be purchasing 
those future volumes.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, pretty awesome yes

More information about the racc mailing list