And I had twenty minutes free time in French, so I outlined the next arc or two in WHIPLASH!. Which is good, since, you know, I have no idea where that story is going. I almost miss(?) writing blind. |D
So here's a WHIPLASH! excerpt (I would use a Pedestal one, but the next chapter is going up later today, so I figure it would be redundant).
“What was that about?” Allen asked cluelessly.
“There will always be things between a Tego and Inven that simply will not be understood by any other pair,” Lenore replied, tone curt. He bowed his head, cowed, and didn’t reply. She sat down in the chair Sonya had claimed before, crossed her legs, and folded her hands neatly in her lap. “I’m going to talk to you boys about a few things now.”
“Is it really the best time?” Nathan inquired, eyes narrowed.
“Sonya’s asleep and I have you both as a captive audience. I see no better time,” she said with a beam.
“In that case, by all means, continue.”
“Nathan,” Allen scolded. Nathan only shrugged, coughed, and turned back to Lenore.
“Right now, Allen and I have been stealing a lot of the attention,” she started right in. Nathan huffed and crossed his arms. “It’s true. You and Sonya wouldn’t have even appeared on Leland’s radar for another couple of months, save for the fact that you brought in the little Lannish boy. This is both a blessing and a curse for you two. Emil now serves as Leland’s new distraction, but you two are now known to him.”
“Why are you saying this?”
“Because Leland Aminov is not someone you want to get too comfortable with. Especially Sonya,” Lenore surmised grimly. “Eventually, he will either try to recruit her for one of his special projects, or you could luck out and be too important to the Tego half for him to interfere much. I hope that is your case.”
“It will be his case,” Allen broke in with a look down at his friend, “Nathan and Sara Grace are the favorites. They’re both safe.”
“Leland is gaining more power over this project. The Inven are what drive this effort—let’s not try and pretend it’s any different. Without us, you would simply be fodder on the front lines.”
“Lenore!” Nathan snapped, sitting up with a glower. She glared right back at him. Allen pushed Nathan back down and turned to give his Inven a look that told her to plainly back off as well. Not that she noticed or respected it.
“I’m trying to give you a warning, Nathan Loar. I have years of experience on you and I’ve seen the darker side of this war.”
“It’s a war. It’s all dark. And if you badmouth our soldiers one more time—”
“Nathan, kindly shut up.” Lenore pinched the bridge of her nose, head tilted away from him. “You can be patriotic later. I’m only giving you this warning because you are a friend of Allen’s, but if you’re not going to take me seriously, then I’ll stop here and let you die out there.”
“Lenore, he doesn’t—well, you both don’t—Lenore, be nice. Nathan, listen to her.” Allen had to physically keep Nathan pinned to the couch.
“You’re on her side?” he asked, falling back with a betrayed look.
“She’s my Inven, and in this case, she’s right,” he admitted, though he couldn’t meet his friend’s eye. Allen fidgeted nervously and looked at Lenore. “I… I’ve seen the front lines. They’re not pretty, Nathan. I haven’t seen a Prissy yet or any of the monsters, or found any dead refugees, or what have you, but I’ve seen Sovinian soldiers get shot up and killed, and we had to bring them back. I’ve seen Aminov argue with Lenore, try to push his research forward through intimidation and enticement.”
“That reminds me. If you see a Prissy, for the sake of anything you hold precious or holy, run,” Lenore interrupted briskly. Nathan coughed again but didn’t say anything in argument. “I don’t care if you want to try to be a hero. You can play hero all you’d like with the regulars and Paronese and soldiers.”
“What are Prissies?” Nathan deadpanned.
“It’s slang for Pristines. They’re those monstrous things you’ll see out in the wastes, except they still look human. They won’t be broken or bloody or hurt. They’ll look, well, pristine. And that’s why you have to run like hell,” she explained, ducking her head so her hair covered her eyes. “They stayed clean and whole for a reason—because they’re dangerous. I’ve only seen one myself once before and it ripped apart three soldiers, two Tego, and an Inven before someone managed to stop it. So if you see one, run. I‘d like to avoid as many funerals as possible in the near future.”