In Dreams of Trees : Collateral Damage

Wordcount: 649
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 (Cursing)
Summary: Gray and Tan find more than they expected at camp.

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.


Collateral Damage

The woman, whose name Gray finally figured out was Tish, took them on a walk around the winding city that took about half an hour. Gray was the internal timer keeper, but Gray’s wristband gave her a way to track the time as well. There were a lot of things she’d learned to take for granted and now that she was disconnected from the global internet were disconcerting.

They finally stopped at one of the larger buildings that had a gated entrance that looked grafted onto the existing buildings. It looked odly out of place even though it was a relatively normal metal gate.

Tish stopped at the entrance and called out loudly. After a moment, someone opened the gate, looked at them curiously and then there was a long conversation and some less than happy looks, but finally the gate guard let them all in.

Tan wasn’t happy with the situation and kept close to Gray almost to the point where she was tripping because he was bumping into the backs of her legs. She patted him on the head and he sighed, frustrated.

They followed Tish into a main courtyard area where they met several other people who stopped to say hello, or at least what Gray assumed was hello and then moved on. Gray was a little worried that no one seemed to be overly concerned that they were with Tish. If strangers were this common, that was an alarming thing. There was a chance that the children might have come this way without raising any sort of alarm.

“Tan,” she whispered, but his nose was already to the ground and he huffed in agreement. There was something wrong here and both of them were on their guard.

“Too much noise,” Tan’s voicebox couldn’t whisper, but he turned it low enough that only Gray’s subvocals should pick it up. That was one benefit of augmentation, they could communicate slightly outside the range of normal human hearing— although not so far outside that whales and elephants wouldn’t be able to hear.

They finally came to a smaller building and Tish knocked on the door. This time someone answered immediately, but it was obviously some sort of guard. There was a short conversation, the guard looked at them, frowned and then closed the door again. This didn’t seem to worry Tish, so Gray and Tan waited, slightly nervously.

The door opened again a few minutes later and an older lady with white grey hair frowned out at them. She was dressed in a combination of jeans and a leather coat, that looked normal and yet out of place, as if someone was making a costume of normal life.

There was a startled moment and then Tan bayed at her, the ruff on his back poofing up in alarm. “Treed! Treed!” Gray grabbed for his collar right as he jumped, which only dragged him off course, the two of them landing in a tangle of fur and limbs.

“Tan, stop it!” She tried to get on top of him while he tried to push her off and get to his feet.

“Treed! TREED!” He insisted, voicebox crackling as he struggled.

“What the hell?” The woman snapped, glaring at them and then at Tish.

“Tan, DOWN.” Gray snarled, finally getting enough leverage to pin him to the ground.

“Treed!” He protested, but finally stopped wiggling.

“And I repeat,” the woman snapped, “what the hell?”

Gray panted for a moment, then once Tan has stopped struggling, got up off him to return the woman’s glare. “Where is she?”

“Where is who?”

“Victoria Townsen,” Gray snapped, “the girl you kidnapped.”

Tish was looking back and forth between the two of them, then said something frustrated and the lady looked over at her in annoyance and answered in the same language.

“Where is she?” Gray demanded and the woman looked back at her.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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