Summary: Wordwar, Character study; John from the City of Trees.
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.
Time, Tides, And Man
John isn’t sure what he is anymore, but he knows he’s not completely human. It’s been a long time since he made the bargain that sealed his fate and ensured his city would survive.
But he made his bargain knowing the cost and knowing the benefits. They didn’t turn Atlantis on until they knew that he was ready– there was no last minute forced joins or desperate sacrifices.
But that’s what they are asking Blue to so. They are forcing his hand and everyone knows what his choice will be.
Or at least they hope they do.
Blue is not John, and John knows that. Knows that even though they are the same person, they had different pasts and different presents. They might even have different futures, depending on how things go.
Maybe their city won’t take to the meld as well as theirs did. Maybe it will refuse the offering altogether. That hasn’t happened before, in all the cities they’ve found, but there is a first time for everything.
John just hopes that this time isn’t it.
There is a hope and a fear and he’s not sure which ones will win out in the end.
He’s also not sure what will come after that, if the city will even talk to them again. There have been times when the attempt succeeds and the newly minted city breaks off talk anyways.
He wonders what it’s like to have to face this without friends.
There are worlds in which Red never helped them, where they had fights and the project was canceled halfway through. There have been worlds where John has stomped off and left Red to chew at problems he didn’t find answers to.
And then there are worlds like Atlantis where John didn’t see the problems and only saw the answers Red offered.
Most of those worlds are dead.
But he has hope, hope in himself and in the city that feels so similar to his own.
The two Atlantis’s talk, but it’s always very brief as if the mere existence of the other is harsh and grating to them. He wonders if it’s anything to do with the dimensional ripples that cities create in the nothing.