Lowered Levels


A younger Valichii Mirniia... and by that token, something of a younger Valistii as well.

My drawing of Valichii works for Valistii too; they are identical twins (more like them during the Swan Song Series)

Well, my grand plan to work on Courting the Swan’s Song seems to have staggered (I wrote a paragraph last night and one on Saturday, plus… ooh, a bit more back-story Monday evening).  I have however done a few scenes in my Was Variation.  So guess which story you’re getting?  (Yes, Shan, you get more ‘Listii.)

These  eight paragraphs follow last week’s scene.  I included the last paragraph of that post (complete with ‘Listii’s crankiness :-D) for reference.  This piece, as with last week’s, is written from ‘Listii’s POV.

WIPpet Maths 4 +3+0, plus one from last week:

“A hell of a lot better than you’re going to when they let me up.” He glared at Alanii. Bad enough he had to deal with this. Did the man have to add bad jokes on top of it all? “You’re taking longer than normal, Senior,” he said after a bit. “What’s that damned screen telling you?”

“That if you didn’t have the implant, you’d be in a bed next to Kieri Vestimorn, captain.” The man stood up and passed the scanner back to his assistant and walked over to Alanii. “And while you’re doing a good job of hiding it, I suspect you took a T2 before your last dose wore off, milord. You looked blocked more than normal when you walked in here. Seeing Captain Mirniia in the same straits as your son just proves it to me.”

Alanii shrugged. “At the time, the separation was more important. This is only a temporary connection as it is, Koru. Given what we know, it’s not likely that Atyriia will be around for any of us much longer. Does it matter if I burn myself beyond sensing?”

Valistii wasn’t sure if his flinch this time was because of the assistant or Alanii’s words. Someone had to say it, he guessed, but he could have savored the moment a bit longer before having it stated so bluntly. He sighed. “We don’t know that for sure, Alan. She’s tougher than you give her credit for.”

Behind him, he felt the tech reach over and start removing the probe. Instinctively, he reached out and grabbed for the pail Alanii passed to him. All was forgiven in that moment as the man held the pail steady while he emptied his stomach.

Someone appeared with a glass of water. Alanii began guiding him to the recliner. He raised a hand, staving off the man’s attempts to help. “No,” he croaked. “It’s worse if I lay down.” He did let the man support him as he sat at the edge of the chair and gathered himself. Then he took the cup, sipped some. After a few more seconds, he glared at the senior. “You lowered my levels.” That had to be why he felt so much worse than any other time he’d gone through this. He still felt worse, disoriented and strangely achy. Yes, he still had the bruised rib and the broken knuckles, but this was deeper. A half-second of concentration said it had nothing to actually do with him.

The senior medic nodded without looking up from noting something on his computer terminal. “Since you’re involved, captain, you might as well bear some of the burden milord’s son is. Hopefully, this will ease the stress on his system. The boy has overused his ability for a while now. I need to get him stabilized.”

He watched Alanii’s brow twitch. Before the man spoke, ‘Listii grabbed his wrist. “It’s okay, Alan. I can handle it.”

Alanii frowned, but acquiesced. “I know. But it should have been your choice. Does it really matter if Koru buys Kieri a few extra days at your expense?”

It’s WIPpet Wednesday where we post a piece of our Work In Progress at this linky and offer support and constructive observations to our fellow WIPpeteers.  Jump on in and join us.  We’re a friendly group.  Thanks to Kathi at My Random Muse for hosting.

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyYou can find an overview above in the intro to my WIPpet.  Since Sunday I’ve done just a bit of writing.  Mostly I’ve read and taken notes (I’m doing a beta for one of my fellow WIPpeteers)–oh, and clean house and my language lessons…  Yay for Duolingo on the iPhone!  With it, I am teaching myself French and Portuguese (well, re-teaching myself French since I need to practice those skills).  I’ve also discovered a way to use Google Translate on the phone to really teach myself Norwegian (yes, I am a linguaphile).

Not much else has changed, just a slow burn in the IRL direction (trying to maintain my happy face here).  Let me present the check-list:

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences see above
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   ignored
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  super workout on Monday; moderate exercise yesterday…  making a point to stand and move more often
  • reclaim my writing space re-shelved scattered books and created more scraps of paper type in 🙂
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) very little
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  I could write a book here, but…   there have been hugs and cuddles, a lot of those…  we need them with everyone else’s ideas of how we should live
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) nada

That’s all to this check-in.  If you’d like to check in with other ROWers, please follow this linky to visit a few.

20 responses to “Lowered Levels

  1. I’m not sure why, but I felt a little disoriented in this piece. Maybe because I’m not totally familiar with all the characters and so I’m not entirely sure whose being discussed or alluded to at times. But I can certainly feel the strength of emotions here.


    • I was afraid it might be disorienting. Some of it would make more sense in context of the larger piece (this is in what would, in Lord of the Rings style, the second half of The Two Towers book-wise so there is a LOT of story that happened before this point), but mostly I was hoping to get across the two main characters friendship. The medical concern they’re dealing with…. that’s unusual even for them, but it involves the three men having a psychic connection with a woman that has messed with their brain chemistry, but… as long as she’s alive they should be okay. Thing is, she almost died recently, and none of them can get to her for weeks at minimum…and where she is, she might not have that long.

      Yeah, I can see why it’s confusing. Just trying to relate it that much is hard to do so in such a short form.


  2. Ah, your explanation to Kathi made it click for me. What had me confused was the relationship between the two characters here. But now that I get it, I went back and re-read it and it makes a lot more sense. Knowing that, I like the interaction between them—little things, like Alanii holding the puke bucket. Now there’s a real friend! LOL.


    • Joking and snarky comments aside, these guys are probably closer than brothers or even lovers could be… They have a long history of surviving life and death experiences. A puke bucket is nothing…. 🙂

      I’m glad that the explanation I gave Kathi helped. It’s the problem with sharing snippets out of the middle of a story. I’m going back to shorter snippets next week. They seem to just work better.


  3. So I’m a bit confused by the end, is Listii taking on the other man’s injuries and that’s why he feels worse than normal?


    • In a sense, yes, Christina. Actually it’s the woman they are all connected to on the psychic plane that is injured, but Kieri Vestimorn has a healing talent that he never learned how to control, so his body was burning itself up trying to heal the woman. By the doctor adjusting th levels of chemical blocking agents that Valistii had been receiving through the implant he had, now Valistii’s strength is available to Kieri and… Valistii can feel the injuries that the woman has suffered too.


  4. Because I do have some idea of these guys and their relationship with one another and the woman in peril (I hesitate to call her a ‘lady’; the word doesn’t seem to do her justice), I have a better sense of things, maybe…

    But you know that “limbo” thing I do too often? I feel it, here. There’s no strong sense of place, and the emotion – I’m not feeling that the way I might expect.

    It’s hard to put my finger on it, but something here feels – detached? But, then again, that might be perfect for the at-odds place they’re in, with the doctor right there…

    And, as for other people’s ideas of how you should live… *hugs!* You KNOW I know about that (waaaaayyyyyy more than I ever wanted to!). In the end, though, it’s you three who are living your lives together, and you three whose opinions on that life truly matter.

    I’ve found there’s definitely something to be said for limiting (or, in some cases, eliminating) contact with those who only seem to want to tell you how you ought to be living, if they aren’t nice about it. And, if they are, but they won’t let up, there’s always, “This is working for us right now,” or the ever-popular in unschooling families, “Please pass the ban dip.”

    Here to listen, hug, or just nod in sympathy. And to say I love you, and yours.


    • I’ve been pretty much away from my computer for a few days… Sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner.

      Yeah, I worried a bit about the detached feeling (you know how guilty we both are of that). A lot of it is because I feel like I’m lacking a real sense of the layout of this room…. I mean, this isn’t a “sickbay” where a lot of people can be treated at once, but it’s also not a set of individual offices… It’s “something else”. I mean, the idea of a sickbay or an operating theatre is that there are space considerations, and… well, there might have been some because this room (among several) were dug out of the bedrock under the palace, they also had the budget and the manpower to make decent sized rooms in this base of theirs… so surely they could give patients privacy? Etc…

      Anyway, the vagueness, I’m sure is because I haven’t visualized it well enough yet myself.

      The emotional thing though… That is more worrying, since I did have a strong sense of what I thought things should be.

      And the “other people’s ideas” thingie… yeah. Problem is… one of them lives in the house. :-/


  5. I like the switch Alanii makes when he goes from gruff to caring, like neither he nor Valistii really know how their relationship should be defined. (Hopefully I kept the names straight.)


  6. Not bad at all. I hope we get to see more of that happy face. 😉 Remember, one foot in front of the other.


    • In general, the happy face is… there. Just lately, with all the “what are your plans for next year as far as school for our son (private school contracts go out now, and it’s assessment time for home schooling… not saying our local schools aren’t “okay”, but… between our kid and our schools, it’s not a good fit)… well, we’ve been getting a lot of “you should do this” and “medication is a perfectly acceptable choice for some children” and…

      But the smiles will return, I’m sure. There have to be some down, so the ups come out as extra awesome! 😀


  7. I was eating pretzels when I started reading your snippet. I have since stopped. That seemed far from pleasant.

    I’d say you’re doing well with your ROW80 goals. I hope it keeps going well.


    • Oh! Sorry I ruined your pretzels, Gloria. I can’t even give you good news about what comes next… at least here, he’s still able to talk. :-/


  8. As always you do so much. Keeping up with the Rowers was too much for me. I can’t speak of the WIPit peice as I don’t know the story so far, but it seems I wasn’t alone in my confusion. Your narrative style delightful though. 🙂


    • I get you, Shah. Sometimes life just… is too much. I hope you are still able to work with a consistent community though. Having people who are with you on a semi-regular basis even can be a big help.

      Glad you enjoyed the style, even if the piece confused you. Jumping in to the middle of any story can be confusing… we’ve had a lot of that with these WIPpets. It can be fun though too.


      • I do insecure writers support group monthly and occasional others, like celebrate the good things on Fridays. They’re easy. 😉 and yes, WIPit did seem like that which is why I never signed up, although I imagine it can be a good source for feedback at times. X


        • Oddly enough, I don’t do the WIPpet so much for the feedback but the playful community. I mean, the feedback is nice and all, but… well, the group is fun and diverse and a neat way to expand my own reading.

          But, that said, the IWSG really seems like a great crowd too. Indeed, there are a number of amazing crowds out there in the online writing community… enough that, well, I understand completely why you had to leave the row80. Because… there are SO many. Best to you, Shah. Nice to see you’re still writing and getting out to savor the world.