Five | Egypt II

This is the second part of a semi-concluded piece of around 40k (part one here). It’s a queer romance written in the vein of a Victorian archaeological adventure, and is a little old. As such, it’s less diverse, less thoughtful and probably less well researched than what we’d write now, and isn’t fit for publication. With this in mind, we’re making it available here for free, as there are elements that we think are enjoyable in spite of the story’s obvious flaws.

“…Once we’re off the boat, here, we’ll spend the night in Minya, and that’s where we gather some more people to accompany us, and some camels.”

“How can you be sure of finding the right people, though? And supplies? I don’t want to risk delay because some other party has departed before us and snatched up all the best porters.” Juliet frowned, the remains of her pudding forgotten as she stared down at the spot where Routh’s slim fingers rested on the map.

Continue reading “Five | Egypt II”

Four | Egypt I

This is the first part of a semi-concluded piece of around 40k. It’s a queer romance written in the vein of a Victorian archaeological adventure, and is a little old. As such, it’s less diverse, less thoughtful and probably less well researched than what we’d write now, and isn’t fit for publication. With this in mind, we’re making it available here for free, as there are elements that we think are enjoyable in spite of the story’s obvious flaws.

Cairo, 1901

The din of the bazaar was incredible, with barely an intelligible word or phrase among it. For all her unpreparedness, all her nerves about travelling the thousands of miles from Boston to Cairo on what her great aunt deemed a ‘foolish whim’, Juliet had at least thought she had the advantage of her remarkable ear for language. In the six months since she’d made the decision to come here, she had put a good deal of effort in adding the classical and Egyptian dialects of Arabic to her already impressive repertoire of European languages, and had thought she was becoming quite fluent.

Apparently this had been rather naive.

Continue reading “Four | Egypt I”

Three | Truth

For a tongue that can’t lie
Shall cause the meek to cry
Cruel words to cut them through
And a tongue that can’t lie
Shall cause the righteous few
To silence all that is true

Karine Polwart, Tongue That Cannot Lie

***

People speak of honesty as a virtue, forgetting of course that just like with temperance and forgiveness there is a time and a place to exercise them – and a time when it is better not to.

I was born without the ability to tell lies, and to tell when others perverted the truth. And for that they took me from my family, marked me, and tried to make me a tool. My escape was hard won, and now I keep myself isolated from others, always on the move, uttering not a word if I can help it and envying those who can placate with lies and deception.

You will know I am telling the truth when I say that I would kill before returning to that life again.

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One | Mech

The mech’s hydraulics hissed in a satisfying fashion as Kira brought one, then the other foot down out of the rig and onto the fine dust.

Not that the reassuring hiss in her headset had any true connection to the pistons in question – they were an artificially generated sound to correspond with the machinery. Apparently the workers didn’t feel ‘connected’ to their mechanoids without some sort of sound effect. Kira had never worked on one without, but she tended to agree.

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