Summary: Gray and Tan pause to give each other WhatFor. Rar.
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
A Passing Fancy
“Which way did you want to go?” asked Tan, looking down the corridor intersection. “Back in towards the heart of the city or out to the newer rings?”
“Does it matter?” asked Gray tiredly, “It’s all the same in the end. If we head in we’ll run into White and her cronies and that’s a fight I’m not interest in having again. If we head out all we’ll find is dead ends that will someday grow doors and newer worlds that haven’t found the city yet.”
“We could just stay in the city.” offered Tan. “There’s no reason we can’t live in the outer rings.”
“I don’t like the city,” said Gray. “It’s too hollow, too empty, I’d rather live in a world and wait for it to die than stay here.”
“They won’t be home,” Tan pointed out mildly. “They’ll all be like the Seas of Grass, you know that.”
“Then we’ll keep looking.” said Gray, stubbornly. “We’ll keep opening doors until we find someplace that isn’t insane, isn’t willing to throw lives away just to solve problems that are better left alone.”
Tan didn’t say anything, but Gray could tell he wasn’t pleased from the set of his tail.
“What then?” she snapped “What other choice do we have? I won’t just sit there and let people die!”
“You could have helped them find a better way.” Tan said finally, angry and accusing. “You could have helped them and maybe they would have come up with something that wasn’t as dangerous. You can’t just tell them to ignore the challenges, you have to help them find a way to surmount them. I know that and I’m a dog, why don’t you?”
They glared at each other for a long moment.
“Is that why you didn’t stop him?” Gray finally asked, “because you knew he’d do it anyway and you wanted to be there?”
“Of course,” snapped Tan, “why did you think I–” he started. “You thought I wanted him to die, as a way to scare the others out of trying.”
Gray nodded, tight-lipped and furious.
“You thought if you would have tried to stop him because you cared then that meant I didn’t try to stop him because I didn’t care.” said Tan slowly, turning things over in his head. “It honestly didn’t occur to you that there was an alternate motive? What kind of idiot are you?” he snapped.
“He was my friend!” Gray snarled.
“Mine too!” Tan snapped. “And don’t you dare try and tell me that I’m just a dog, or so help me I will bite you.” He glared at her, and then sorted and shook like he was shaking off water. “I’m done with this conversation. Are we heading in or out?”
“Out.” said Gray in the same angry, dismissive tone, and with that Tan turned and headed towards the outer rings, with Gray following in silence.