Friday, July 07, 2006

 

The End

Okay, I said 80K, but I really meant 78K. I'll be adding a couple of fiddly bits in the coming days, that will bring the word count up another couple of thousand words, but for all intents and purposes the novel is done. Five weeks after I started. Which, considering that I'm only able to work three days a week on average, is not too bad.


Zokutou word meter
77,615 / 77,615
(100.0%)

Today, I leave you with the novel's epilogue. The black hats have been defeated, wounds have been bandaged, and the crew is about to set off on a new adventure. A brief moment of reflection, between the captain and his genderless robot friend.

--Ninety--
I found Xerxes in the Atrium, the domed ceiling overhead displaying a true-color image of the hull’s exterior view.

“May I join you?”

Xerxes waved absently to the bench beside em, eir eyeless face lifted, watching birds wheel high overhead.

“Sorry you didn’t find your extraterrestrials, Xerxes,” I said, sitting.

“It was an unlikely outcome.” Ey made a noise almost like a sigh, though for my benefit or eir own, I wasn’t sure. “It always is, I suppose. But there’s still the hope that our next destination may prove more fruitful.” Ey paused, and then said, “What is our next destination, for that matter?”

“A nebula a hundred or so lightyears away,” I answered. “The brothers Grimnismal think there’s a chance we might find their exotic matter in the vicinity.”

The robot shrugged, an almost imperceptible gesture. “It seems as good a destination to me as any.”

I smiled. “You know, that was pretty much my feeling exactly?”

The birds overhead swooped and darted, and the robot and I sat quietly for a long moment.

“Tell me, Xerxes. Do you regret not moving into your final stage yet, breaking your body down and beaming your signal out into space?”

Ey turned eir eyeless face towards mine, and smiled. “If I had, Captain Stone, I wouldn’t be sitting here, talking to you, watching these birds. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. The future lies before us, with all its endless promise of possibility, discovery, and surprise. How could I possibly want to give all that up?”

I laughed. “Xerxes, I couldn’t agree more!”

The stars beyond the curve of the Atrium ceiling began to shift, growing gradually redder, moving slowly but steadily towards our sky’s north pole.

We were on our way into the future.
And that's it. Now I'm off to sell the damned thing.

Comments:
"is not too bad"

Chris Roberson, master of understatement! Congrats on wrapping this one up. Your single-minded determination (not to mention productivity) is awe-inspiring.
 
Thanks, Jayme. It's nice to know that monomania is useful for something, at least...
 
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