Monday, May 07, 2007

New Beginning 274

NaGesa, ruler of the Esodin, was sweating. He had angered Lord Kosa and had no one to blame for the vicious tyrant's foul mood but himself.

"My Lord--"

"I do not except excuses." A thin eyebrow twitched, the only outward sign of the wrath no doubt roiling just below the pale yellow skin. "You assured me that the Inodin race was obliterated. How else could you have squandered so many of my elite troops?"

Wincing, the lesser ruler wished he could tug at the neck of his ceremonial robes. His hands fisted, and he forced himself to swallow against the constrictive neckline. He knew better than to show throat, literally or figuratively, in Lord Kosa's throne room.

"I swear we destroyed them all, my Lord. I cannot conceive how even one escaped. We decimated the planet-bound Inodin in the initial revolt and hunted down any off-planet purgers. Perhaps the report is wrong?"

As soon as he said it, he wished he hadn’t. He knew better than to bluff Lord Kosa. His men would have the Inodins finished by nightfall, but Lord Kosa’s eyebrow twitch had suggested NaGesa wouldn't live to see it.

Lord Kosa raised his com without taking his eyes off NaGesa. “NiKaburns!” he shouted into the instrument.

The com crackled. “Yes, my Lord?”

Lord Kosa unsheathed his plasma sword. NaGesa swallowed again, his robes heavy with sweat. “Regarding the initial Inodin report . . . ”

"Er . . . " More static over the com. “About that, my Lord. All reports received in the last 72 hours are possibly unreliable due to corrupted data resulting from an undocumented feature in the OS firewall.”

Lord Kosa’s eyebrow twitched again, but NaGesa relaxed, knowing it was not twitching at him this time.

“In English, NiKaburns,” Lord Kosa said into the com.

“We should’ve bought a Mac, my Lord.”

Opening: Gutterball.....Continuation: blogless_troll


Dave said...

I'm not fond of strange names and what seems to me to be alien, not human, characters. It's a little too much to take on the first page. That's just me, take it or leave it.

Also "decimated" means to kill every tenth person. Or to take one out of ten. So 90% of the Inodin are left alive. A good word would be "devastated". That kinda ruins the story.

A stick of the tongue to Blogless Troll - I now own a Macbook Pro, not a Windows atrocity. {wink}

Rei said...

Lots of "As you know, NaGesa ..." and "As you know, Lord Kosa... " here, don't you think?

Bernita said...

"Decimated" also means "to destroy a large part of" - which still isn't enough for your purposes.
Try "annihilated."

Anonymous said...

Erm, author, please review accept/except distinctions.

Anonymous said...

I think you've crammed in too many explanatory details that detract from the drama of the scene. Try taking out most of the exposition and unnecessary action. For example:

NaGesa was sweating.

"My Lord--"

"I do not accept [not except] excuses. You assured me the Inodin race was obliterated. How else could you have squandered so many of my elite troops?"

NaGesa forced himself to swallow against the constrictive neckline of his ceremonial robe. He would not show throat in Lord Kosa's throne room.

And so on. We don't need to be told things like 'Lord Kosa is a vicious tyrant' - we will figure that out for ourselves from what he does. We are told twice that he is in a bad mood, but we can get that from what he says. I like the phrase about "showing throat" but the "literally or figuratively" just confuses the issue.

Nora said...

I take exception to all this Mac-supremacism. Clearly blogless_troll has never owned a ThinkPad.

"NaGesa" really threw me. Why does his name have wonky capitalization when Lord Kosa is nice and (relatively) normal? I'm sure it's explained later, but as a reader I'd prefer to be eased into the alien quality of this world.

BuffySquirrel said...

I find that second sentence unbelievable. People can always find someone else to blame!

150 said...

What struck me about this scene was how repressed everyone's actions were. If they move at all, they move minimally. I know you're going for outward calm/inward angst, but it just lends for really stifled, uninteresting visuals.

McKoala said...

Quite the best continuation in some time... (dedicated mac user speaking).

I think that you need to review your text for unnecessary words and telling. Such as 'no doubt' in the third para - who's doubting it? The eyebrow (and his words - the eyebrow isn't the only sign) show the wrath. You don't need things like 'the lesser ruler' - it's clear he's subservient to Lord Kosa. Loved the not showing throat, like ankles, but wasn't sure what you meant by 'literally or figuratively' in that context?

Wonderwood said...

I think the "showing throat literally or figuratively" meant what he was wearing and implied he wasn't going to "stick his neck out" at the moment.

BuffySquirrel said...

I guess some of us just thought that "literally or figuratively" covered all the bases, and was, therefore, redundant. Also, the line would have more impact with those words removed, imo.