Sunday, November 25, 2007
Day 24: 2852 (41279 Guild, 1652 Gift, 160016 total)
A long day. I suspect they all will be for the indefinite future. I have talked to no one but the cats. I wonder how many days I'll go before I actually talk to another human. It might be an interesting experiment.
I couldn't get going on Working for the Guild. It wasn't like I didn't know what would come next or anything like that. I just didn't care -- but that's obviously a personal attitude and has nothing to do with the story. It was the same for everything I did today.
I did end up doing something odd with writing though. I sorted through some old stuff and found a very old story that I decided to rewrite from scratch. This story is so faded I can hardly make out some of the writing, so it's kind of interesting. I read a page or two and then I got to work typing up the story in a new version. It's like having a very complex outline to work with.
What was odd, though, was that after I'd written about 1000 words on Gift, I was suddenly able to go back and work on the other book again, and it moved along quite nicely. I probably shouldn't count it for NaNo, though at this point (160k), it hardly matters either way, I suppose. As long as Guild makes it to 50K to be counted as a completed NaNo work, that's all that matters. And it's close, so I'm not worried.
They went to Claudian's office. The door stood open, Royce just inside, watching for them. He looked grim. Claudian was standing by the window -- not safe, but then none of it was, so Zerod said nothing at all. Kenzie sat in a chair by the desk, looking pale and haggard. They should have gotten her out before now.
He could see the smoke from what must have been a downed aircar off beyond the perimeter of the compound, and the movement of people down below. Their people, he knew -- but it still made him nervous.
And there, in the ruins from the first bombing, the robos still worked at sifting through the debris and stacking it to be taken away. It was an odd sight.
"I don't understand," Claudian said, finally looking away from the window. He looked toward the three of them standing by the door. "I don't understand why this is happening. We've never done anything to make enemies as implacable as this. Felisa Corporation has always done it's utmost to stay above board in all its dealings. I just don't understand --"
"I didn't know what they were when I hired them."
The words sent a chill through Zerod as he turned to look at Kenzie. She leaned forward, her head bowed, obviously unable to face any of the others.
"Kenzie?" Claudian said, his voice remarkably soft.
"I didn't know. Over a year ago -- there was a piece of land on Nuevo Colorado that I had found held enough minerals to make a tidy little increase in our income." Her breath caught and she pressed her hands together, fingers linked. She still didn't look up. "There were settlers, though, and they didn't want to go. I just wanted them moved. I didn't know --"
She looked up, her face devoid of all color and her eyes staring at anything but them. Royce was already talking softly on his commlink -- calling Collins to come there immediately.
"I didn't know until they sent me the vids of what they'd done -- killed the people, destroyed their homes. A hundred or more settlers. Not even enough to make the news here. I never took the land. I couldn't. That blood. The children." She took a shuddering breath and looked, finally, at Claudian. "They demanded that I pay them. I refused and they threatened me, but I didn't care. I contacted the IWC to get someone to stop them."
"Why not go to the Fringe Council?" Claudian asked.
"They were former assassins. The Guild was under the jurisdiction of the Fringe Council, and for all I knew, they were behind it."