Sunday, January 31, 2016

Military Science Fiction- JSgt. Jeanne Lankford- Part 1

A while ago I wrote a piece called "Are You Sure?". This follows Jeanne Lankford, the wife in the couple depicted in that piece.
*****
     As she awoke, she was blinded by the fluorescent light overhead. She quickly blinked the tears from her lavender eyes as she tried to focus. Her stomach twisted. She leaned over the edge of the cryo-tube and gagged as oxy-fluid spilled from her lungs onto the floor.
Fuck, I hate cryo-travel, she thought as she swung her legs over the edge of the tube and straightened. She sucked her teeth as her bare feet hit the frigid metal. The film coating her skin began to peel as she stretched. She shivered and hurried from the cryo-bay and into the adjacent showers.  As the door hissed open, she was hit by a wave of steam; a pleasant change from the bitterly cold cryo-stasis chamber. 
     Her eyes barely open, she shuffled over to one of the spigots and punched the button. A heated jet of a mixture of cleaner and water rained down on her shoulders. She scrubbed her chestnut hair, washing out the stasis-gel. As she let the liquid wash over her body she felt someone move next to her. A girl with shorn mousy hair leaned against the shower wall, her eyes still squeezed shut.
     “Ivanova, are you okay?” she asked.
     “I… hate… cryo-travel,” hacked the girl. 
     “Me too.” She finished washing the residue off her body and headed into the locker room where her platoon had stored their gear before leaving Port Erikson. She pulled on her fatigue pants and slipped the suspenders over he shoulders. She pulled on her undershirt and jacket. She jumped as someone hugged her from behind and kissed her neck. She spun around and was greeted by the smiling face of Sergeant Ruby Marlowe.
     “Good Morning, Lankford! You’ve sleeping in again?” asked Marlowe grinning.
     “You know how cryo effects me, besides, I’d check on Cal, she was looking rough in the showers.” 
     “I’ll get Mom to check on her. You hungry?” asked Marlowe. Jeanne hadn’t thought about it. Her stomach growled.
     “Yeah… What’s on the menu?”
     “The usual, garbage.” joked Marlowe, “Though, it’s probably better than the shit at Fort Slyborn.” Jeanne smiled, she leaned forward to kiss her partner, but they were interrupted by a harsh cough. They stepped apart as Senior Trooper Calinka Ivanova, stumbled into the locker room. 
     “Cal!” cried Marlowe, rushing over to the wheezing girl.
     “I’m fine!” barked Ivanova, “Just give me a moment for fucks sake!” 
     “I want you to get Mom to check up on you. That’s an…” Marlowe was interrupted as another coughing fit over took Ivanova. The message got through though, as the mousy girl nodded between breaths. Jeanne smiled. She loved how Marlowe looked after the squad, kind of like a big sister. She scanned the locker room.
     “Where’s everyone else?” she asked. 
     “Oh, they’re already at the mess. I wanted to make sure you two were awake first.” explained Marlowe, “you can head over, I’ll take care of Cal.”

     “I’ll wait,” said Jeanne. Ivanova eventually coughed up the last of the oxy-fluid in her lungs and pulled on her fatigues. Marlowe gave her an another once over before they all headed for the elevators.

Monday, January 25, 2016

MacLismore Cycle- Part One

   
     The fields surrounding the keep of Gaer’Lismore were usually empty, save for the herds of highland cattle and sheep. But today, a small city of tents and stalls had sprung up as the clans under the Great Clan MacLismore gathered for the Comdhail and the following games. Caelach, a man of short stature and auburn hair wandered through the passages between the assembled pavilions. 
     By his side, a new addition to the clan; Bjorn Thal Velson, a replanted Skaldi from the north lands. Bjorn was much taller than Caelach, standing at least two heads greater. His fair hair  and beard danced in the breeze coming off of Loch Lismore. His chest was broad and his arms thick. 
The pair found their way to the central market, where clansmen peddled their wears and traded goods. Young children dashed in and out of the bustle of their elders, laughing, screaming and shouting. Caelach’s face darkened and he searched for the closest ale cask and filled his horn. He could feel Bjorn’s steel eyes watching him as he drained the horn and replenished it. The Skaldi moved in, brushing Caelach aside as he filled his own horn.
     “You drink very much,” grunted the northman. Caelach wiped a dribble of ale from his chin with his sleeve. He gave the northman a sideways grin. Bjorn had yet to fully grasp the Caerbic language, and it still made Caelach smile.
     “That is a deep praise coming from you.”
     “As I say in the north, you is √©ngi tvagallm√°k,” laughed Bjorn.
     “What does that mean?” chuckled Caelach. Bjorn’s face screwed up trying to come up with the Caerbic words.
     “Not weak gut,” he hammered out. Caelach raised his horn.
     “Kalg!” exclaimed the northman. They both pointed their horns to the sky and drained them of ale. Bjorn clapped Caelach on the shoulder.
     “Methinks you have found eyes,” whispered the northman.
     “Huh?” blinked Caelach. Bjorn jerked his blonde head towards a nearby stall. Caelach peered through the throng towards the direction indicated. His eyes fell upon a woman with hair like the feathers of a raven, and eyes of a summer oak. Their eyes met for a moment before her face turned red and she looked back down at the bolts of cloth she was inspecting. He recognized her instantly. She was Flora MacAmbraise-Evinyn. Bjorn looked down at Caelach.
     “She know you?” he questioned.
     “Hmm?” murmered Caelach turning his head, but his eyes were transfixed on Flora.
     “She know you?” repeated the northman.
     “Oh, yes. I’ll be right back,” said Caelach taking a swig before making his way towards the raven maiden.

     Caelach casually slid up next to Flora. Her emerald eyes shot towards him and blush filled her cheeks and she kept inspecting the folds of plaid. 
     “Hello Flora,” he smiled. Her face burned.
     “Hello Caelach…” she muttered. Caelach could feel the grin of the weaver. He looked at the greying woman. She beamed, winked, and stepped out from behind the stall, leaving the pair to themselves. Flora wore a simple blouse and bodice with a blue and purple tartan skirt. 
     “You look very beautiful this day,” said Caelach. Flora twirled a loose jet strand around her finger and bit her lip.
     “Thank you,” she grinned meekly.
     “Are you going to compete in the games?” she asked.
     “Of course!” boasted Caelach. He leaned close. “I plan to fight for your hand in the melee.” She gave him a weak smile and rubbed her neck.
     “Just be careful…” she murmured.
     “I always am!” he proclaimed. She allowed him a small chuckle and turned back to the fabrics.
     “They are so beautiful! Elfyn is so talented,” praised Flora.
     “Thank you lassie.” The greying weaver had returned.
     “What would you like for this one?” asked Flora, holding up a red and purple tartan. 
     “Hmmm, that one would be four boars.” Flora’s face fell.
     “Oh, I don’t think I could afford that…” she lamented. 
     “Here.” Caelach reached into the folds of his kilt and withdrew five golden coins with a relief of a boar etched into once side and handed them to the weaver. Elfyn counted the coins and made to give one back, but Caelach refused.
     “Keep it,” he grinned. The weaver’s face lit up.
     “Much appreciated!” she cried before lifting the bolt of cloth and handing it to Flora.
     “Here you go lass, you better make something beautiful with that!” she winked.
     “Caelach! How could I ever thank you!” she cooed. Caelach grinned, leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers. 

     “Like so,” he said, giving her a wry smile.

Friday, January 1, 2016

What's it like in my mind.

So, here we are. Once again drained of energy and irritable. I have to retreat into a fantasy world where only I exist and have control. A world hidden from the sounds, trivium, and stress of what neuro-typical people call "reality".

I recently (as in about two minutes ago) discovered a series of videos with similar titles along the lines of "What is it like to have Aspergers". I decided that it would be easier for me to explain in words. These videos basically depict what it is like for someone on the spectrum to deal with the sensory input that exists in our world. It's incredibly difficult for me to listen to these videos due to the massive amount of sensory input they give off. It almost makes me physically ill.

As an example of what it's like for me: I am sitting in my room alone with the door shut. It is approximately One in the morning. No one is awake except for me. I am aware of each breath I take. I can hear the humming of the furnace, my brother shifting in his bed in the other room. I am insanely aware of the keystrokes and fan of my computer  and the creak of the processor as I type this. I can hear a cat slinking across the floor towards the water bowl over my head.  I can hear the a car driving by the mail box. The furnace just turned off. I can hear a cat's claw getting stuck in the carpet.

All this is happening, not to mention my own thoughts that I are whirling like a dervish around my brain.

This may seem normal but for some people being able to pick out distinct sounds in the silence of the night. But for me these sounds are so clear and distinct to me that it's hard for me to fall asleep. I have to play music to drown out the ambient noise and my own thoughts.