Summary: Word War, Gray and Tan hide from their pursuers in one of the other worlds.
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.
On The Road Again
Through the door the world stretches out from the tree in a long undulation of light tan grasses, roughly waist height and continuing without variation as far as they can see. There are the hints of low mountains in the very far horizon but they have no way of knowing how far that is away.
The sun is already setting and the edge of the forest where they came out is casting long shadows across the grass.
Tan and Gray look out for a moment, unsure of how to continue and then hearing a noise behind them in the tunnel, jump out and head behind the tree for the safety of the woods.
Once they are far enough from the tree and Tan detects no one following them, they start casting about to find a good place to weather the night. There is very little variety within the forest for the most part the ground is level and soft, covered in the forest debris that seem to have built up for years.
Tan casts about for a signal from radio or internet or anything, but the sound waves are silent and there’s no indication that anyone lives here.
Which is silly to think about since it’s only been relatively recently that humans could be detected by radio waves or satellite transmissions. They should be looking for older signs of civilization too, but I suppose that hasn’t occurred to them.
The find cover in a pseudo-cave made by a felled tree, its trunk is easy six feet across; the trees are massive things that seem to confirm their guess that the gravity is slightly lower here. The oxygen content is the same, or at least same enough.
Tan is built to do chemical analysis so he takes a moment to make sure that they are safe.
Once they have a place to be, they take some time to make a nice camp. If they are going to hide out they might as well do it carefully. In theory White and her followers could chase them into this world, but since White thinks that they can’t come back again, they will probably just leave them.
But Gray is pretty certain the city will let her back in if she asks.
At least she hopes so.
Tan is polite enough not to bring it up, because they didn’t really have a choice when they think about it, and they focus on the short term. They still have their survival rations, as slim as those are and in theory most of the worlds have some sort of human population so they should be able to either hunt their own food or find someone they can beg barter or steal from.
She hopes it’s barter, she’s had enough of gray lines of morality to last her a lifetime,
Once they have the fire going and are settled in for the nice she leans back against the log and looks up into the glimpses of sky and stars that they can see through the leave.
“Do you think she’s right?” She asks Tan, “That our world isn’t worth saving?”
“No,” says Tan, “I think she’s very very wrong. They children were safe. They had futures and lives that would have no suffering in it, no worry about where food or shelter would come from, no concerns about who was in charge or if they were good people.”
“But are we really stagnated?” She asked. “Are we the best we could have been or did we need to have something to fight against to make us stronger? Are we stuck in and endless loop going nowhere?”
“Going nowhere and being safe is better than going somewhere and dying.” Tan pointed out. “I would have rather stayed home and been safe.” He laid his head on his paws, morosely, “I would have been at home, being safe and warm and not being chased by crazy people into places that make me nose hurt.”
Gray leaned over and skitched his head and he sighed and rolled over for a belly rub, ears flopping out and making him look like Dumbo. “I want to go home Gray, I want to go home where I’m useful again, I feel lost.”
“Yeah,” sighed Gray, “yeah.”