the series by J. GRACE PENNINGTON

Rules and Regulations

I missed my scheduled posting day yesterday, but I have a good excuse! I went to work at eight, got off at noon, rushed to do the week’s grocery shopping, rushed home to put the cold groceries away, rushed to a doctor’s appointment, rushed to my favorite local cafe for a NaNo write-in, then had writer’s group at the same cafe until after 9:00.

So I was a bit limited on time. Still, I could have scheduled it ahead of time. Hopefully I’ll do better in the future!

What am I writing for NaNoWriMo this year? Why, the seventh Firmament book, of course! It’s called Eleftheria, and you can follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo profile, or if you’re a Patreon subscriber, you can read along there. But in the meantime, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of my writing from yesterday afternoon!

* * * * *

There was a moment of silence as we tromped forward.

“That’s an amazing story,” Mr. Melby said.

Mr. Roth was not as impressed. “Why was that incident not included on the official report?”

“We couldn’t include everything,” the Captain protested.

“This seems relevant.”

The Captain’s face flushed just enough so that it showed through his tan. “We included what we considered the most pertinent details. Perhaps your own report of this mission will be entirely perfect.”

This actually silenced Mr. Roth for the time being.

“Anyway.” I gathered my thoughts again. “Basically the entire basis of the civilization is the law. That’s all they care about. Law, and survival.”

It occurred to me then that this would probably sound excellent to Mr. Roth.

“So what approach would you suggest?” Mr. Melby asked, walking with his hands clasped behind his back.

“He’s not going to be receptive,” the Captain said. “Again, unless something major has changed, Basilius will not cooperate easily. I would say keep in mind that these are human beings. They want the same things any of the rest of us do. Survival. Order. Happiness. A sense of purpose. Appeal to those basic desires we have in common. And be willing to meet him more than halfway. Remember that we’re looking for a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s the foundation of any alliance.”

As we walked, I noticed a familiar distant brown cubic structure in the distance. Excitement sent my stomach into waves of nausea, and I closed my eyes and breathed in the heat, slowly, methodically, forcing myself to calm down.

The question I had been consistently keeping at bay became harder to squelch with each step. Was he still alive?

What will the group find when they reach the civilization? Only time will tell…