NaNoWriMo 2012 – The City of Light

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is go here.

Now that you’re back, or still with me, here’s my plan for this year’s National Novel Writing Month.

Last year I wrote 50,097 words of my science fiction epic, titled at the time: This Wretched Orb

I wrote 11,367 words on that last day because I’m a procrastinator and was deep into Mass Effect at the time.

I plan to do better this time around, but I’m going back to the same story, which I consider 1/3 finished.

The new title is The City of Light and it continues the story of the protagonist from This Wretched Orb as he struggles to place himself in the reality, or lack thereof, that surrounds him. It’s science fiction and it begins with the sentence:

“A man came into existence on the desolate shore of a vast sea of blue.”

Where the man goes from there is far beyond that desolate shore. He finds life, and meaning, and death.

Never seen by the public eye before, here’s the final portion of last year’s entry:

While Adam slept, he dreamed.

Much like the hallucinations he had experienced after ingesting the mushrooms, the visions were frenzied and filled mostly with strange diagrams and symbols. But beyond those, he also saw himself traveling over the surface of a world not unlike the one he had come into existence on.

He floated over mountain ranges, and over vast seas of blue that seemed to stretch on forever to the horizon. Strange groupings of buildings appeared below him with metal paths atop tree-like formations over the city. Along these metal paths, odd snake-like creatures circled.

It reminded him of the one part of the diagram from the waterfall cave he did not understand. As he watched, one of the snakes blew steam into the air.

He was then whisked away to another part of the world where he saw human habitations built into the side of a cliff. People streamed forth from these abodes down long ladders, and entered large moving juggernauts that sported huge spools of metal on their backs that crackled with lightning-like energy. On and on, the juggernauts rolled out from the cliffs in vast numbers.

His visions changed again and the man found himself hovering over a huge, heavily fortified castle. In the many courtyards that formed layers and layers of defense for the central keep, metal bulks that were vaguely humanoid lumbered around. In the distance, Adam could see a large army of men approaching the city.

As the men breached the first wall, the lumbering metal hulks destroyed them – crushing them with their stomping, trunk-like feet or burning them with spouts of flame that shot from their appendages.

The army of men dwindled as they slowly broke through to the inner defenses of the city until only one man remained. The man, bearing only a sword, ran into the massive doors leading into the keep.

Again, the visions shifted and Adam found himself flying through space outward from the center of a large, spiral galaxy. He floated over planets and on each one he passed he saw lights that indicated large settlements of people. Sometime he saw massive metal constructions in space around these planets that smaller metallic ships floated around like bees around a hive.

Outward he shot from the galaxy until he reached another spiral galaxy, and again each planet he floated over, whether rocky or gaseous, had either mass settlements on its surface, or the floating stations in orbit around them.

Adam’s vision stretched until all the stars around his extended into lines. Then there was only blackness.

Adam felt himself still floating through space, but there was only the void around him. Gradually, he began to notice a faint glow in the far distance. He floated closer and closer to it, its blue light growing gradually larger as he approached.

Eventually, he could see that it was a star. Around that star floated a solitary planet. No other heavenly body was to be seen in that space – just one planet and one star.

His body floated in closer to the planet and strange visions assaulted him there. He saw giant men with axes and swords fighting fierce creatures made of ice. Humans in tight-fitting bright clothes flitted about in the air, fighting each other with strange powers. Reptiles flew on vast leathery wings and man clad in shining armor pursued the massive beasts on white horses.

Adam saw a man hung from a cross. A girl sat at a large table for tea with strange guests. Two men stood over a dead body – one smoked a pipe. Massive armies marched against each other, sometimes men against men, sometimes men against evil looking humanoids. Massive vessels circled the planet, firing energy blasts at each other, decimating one another.

Finally, Adam passed all this commotion and flew toward a giant fortress of crystal. He entered through the opening at its front, and floated down long hallways.

He saw a portrait of himself hanging from an icy wall, and next to it was a portrait of another man that happened to look similar to Adam. Hundreds of thousands of portraits lined the long hallway and as he floated down it, Adam gazed at each man or woman in the pictures. They all seemed familiar somehow. At some point the portraits changed from being of the front of men and women, to be the backs of them.

He looked as portrait after portrait of bare backs passed him by until gradually he noticed strange shapes start to form on each portrait as they progressively moved by him. Letters began to from gradually from back to back, always growing clearer and sharper.

The name they spelled out was ‘ADAM’. The name appeared it’s clearest on the last portrait, and then there were no more. Again, Adam fell into a deep darkness, floating through the void with seeing any hint of light as he traveled onward. Far, far in the distance, Adam saw he was approaching another hallway of portraits. In these frames, he saw the bodies of dead people. It took him a while to realize that these were the same people he had seen in the original hallway, only now they lay in differing positions, bloodied, burned, impaled, mangled, mauled. One in particular caught his eye. It was him and a crude sharpened stick had been forced through his back and out his chest. Adam knew he should understand what this meant, but in this dream state, the meaning slipped by him.

This new hall of portraits continued on for a distance until it too passed him by.

Adam then entered a vast throne room. At the center of a dais on its far end, a man in furs sat on a mighty throne, a massive sword in his hands. Even as Adam watched, the man morphed into different people. One was a barbarian with only one eye. One was Cain in his grey robes, holding a sharpened wooden stick. And finally, Adam saw before him the Bear God.

And then Adam awoke.

And the next part of the story picks up in the strange City of Light, where men seem to live forever, while the specter of the Bear God and his people hangs in the wilds beyond the city’s gates.

Like last year, I’ll write a post every day, with my first line written each day, and my last line for each day.

I hope that I can be successful again this year. At November 30th, I hope to be 2/3 done with my first science fiction novel.

Wish me and all the other NaNoWriMo participants luck.

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