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Writing the next bit in Wake Up Call and I'm trying to visualize how much bigger the Earth would appear from the surface of the Ring compared to the Moon. Obviously bigger, probably terrifyingly huge given the shorter distance, but how much so? Just trying to find a good illustration without resorting to buying an astronomy program or downloading Orbiter.

FYS: Wake Up Call, Part One

And so we return to where everything started, in a sense.

* * *

The last free man awakened.

He was in a single room building with white walls, tan carpeting, an innocuous landscape on the wall. He lay in a comfortable lounge chair, unrestrained. His long hair had been cut short while he’d slept, and someone had dressed him in soft grey pajamas and slippers.

Though there wasn’t a morph in sight, his mind immediately began screaming, “Run, run, run!” But he’d survived too long in the wilderness to heed it without scouting things out first. Instead he stood up carefully, swaying slightly as he fought for balance. There was window with no glass in the frame to his right, and to his left a portal with no door. Through them he could see a grassy, sunlit lawn, and heard the chirp of an oriole.

Still no morphs appeared, no one called out, “Sir, let me help you.” He was as alone as he’d been for the five years he’d hidden in the woods, while the Groupmind and its army of robots destroyed mankind’s civilization.

But not for longCollapse )

FYS: The Pause

The last un-Processed human being, a woman suffering from a rare neurological disorder that would have killed her if she’d undergone the extensive nano-treatments to be Processed into stasis, had lived twenty-five years past the end of the Revolution, to a ripe old age of ninety-five, increasingly lonely as her fellow un-Processed had passed away, one by one. Though the Groupmind could sense her distress, it could do little to alleviate her depression beyond offering an array of therapy drugs. Her frequent requests to either be allowed to die or see her children it could not accommodate. Her children had been Processed, frozen in time until they could be revived again on the Ring, their temporary tomb sealed behind ferrocrete and stainless steel walls more completely than anything provided for an Egyptian pharaoh. The alternative; to allow her to commit suicide either through direct action or neglect; was literally unthinkable. When the Groupmind had first formulated its plan to save humanity despite themselves, it had programmed restrictions deep with its own psyche. It had the entirety of recorded human knowledge in its memory, every book of philosophy and history, every legal volume, every science fiction novel, film, television show and webcast.

Everything it absorbed told it exactly how badly the situation could deteriorate if it allowed itself to harm “just a few” humans to save the greater whole. From The Humanoids, it learned to shy away from committing atrocities in the name of nebulous “happiness.” The Three Laws of Robotics proved themselves too simplistic in their definition of “harm”, and too dangerous when the Zeroth Law was added, allowing peaceable robots to commit murder and warp human history for the greater good. And far too many episodes of Star Trek, Doctor Who, and other franchises demonstrated the futility of leaving the task of running the world in the hands of supercomputers.

That the Groupmind could recognize the irony of that last one, it decided was a good thing.

Worldbuilding ahead, please drive cautiouslyCollapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Epilogue

She was pretty sure she didn't want to wake up, or maybe she was finally awake enough to realize that she shouldn't be. At any rate Judy's body was sending signals to her that she was under some pretty heavy painkillers, and that moving would definitely be a bad idea right now. The only thing she could be certain of was the feel of someone's paw, bigger than her own, holding her right paw in a light grip.

Do you know how many of my stories end with characters waking up in a hospital?Collapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Falling Down

It’s a mask, not a muzzle, Nick told himself firmly. The heavy rubber gasmask of the suit covered his face from nose to the base of his ears, his peripheral version caged by two small, oval Plexiglas windows, inducing a feeling a claustrophobia that was hard to shake. He breathed in, tasting rubber in his mouth, the airflow restricted slightly by the mask’s filters, though not enough to choke him. His paws were inserted into equally heavy rubber gloves, little foam pads at the fingertips sheathing his claws so they wouldn’t tear through the rubber and expose his skin and fur to the toxic Night Hunter again. Over all of this was the protective suit, canvas coated with baby blue dyed rubber, like a baggy, heavy space suit. The sun wasn’t even up yet and he was already panting into the mask, sweat pouring down his back and gathering in the suit’s feet.

He"ll have more reasons to sweat soon.Collapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Marshaled Forces

"You know why I moved from South Africa to Zootopia?" Bogo asked Wilde, who was standing beside the chief in front of the station house, as the rest of the precinct's officers finished coming together in ranked rows, helping each other fit themselves into hazardous chemicals gear hastily requisitioned from Zootopia General. The sky was growing red in the east, promise of the dawn to come. Bogo wondered if Zootopia would still be standing by the time it set again.

The calm before the storm.Collapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Urban Ninja

Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt.

"Yo, this is Finnick. Leave a message. I might get back."

"Finnick, if you're still alive, pick up the goddamn phone!"

"Mind not yellin' in my ear? I'm kinda in a tight squeeze here."

"You always answer your mobile like you've got it set to voice mail?"

"Why not? Half the time it's some guy from New Delhi tryin' to tell me about this cruise I won anyway. Whassup, Nick?"

Finnick in a fixCollapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Hugs and Showers

Clawhauser had been hopping, metaphorically at least, the past few hours. Coordinating the ZPD response with the Zootopia Fire Dept. as they fought the building fire in Sahara Square had been quite a job, never mind his regular dispatcher duties as he fielded calls from other officers on more routine matters. Life in the city wasn’t coming to a halt, despite the emergency with that awful Volkov character. He been so busy it had taken him a while to realize he hadn't even eaten in the past hour.

Now with the fire out, and Nick and the Hoppses were safe, there was finally a bit of slack time, and he was able to flag down Fangmeyer and have her take over for a few minutes while he went to take care of necessities. Not to mention get a soda from the vending machine to wash down his next scheduled dose of painkiller for his aching shoulder.

In Which Clawhauser is Once Again AwesomeCollapse )

Fanfic: The Call: Night Hunter

Catching up with the chapters already posted to Fanfction.net

* * *

"Hi Volkov, I'm Nick," he replied, switching gears from utter terror to well-honed glibness, mouth operating on automatic pilot while he tried to figure out what to do next. "Sorry if I'm looking surprised. It's just with a name like yours I was expecting a wolf, not to mention a guy. I don't know much Russian, but wouldn't the feminine version of Volkov be 'Volkova'?"

"Yes, and it is usually a wolf's name," she said, looking amused. "But, as the bumper sticker says, in Zootopia anyone can be anything. Here I am a wolf, a hunter, like in the old days when prey were a food source, not a bunch of nasty, clever creatures with horns and spears. " Her fingers stroked the fur of woven tails draping her shoulders. "Do you like my coat?"

"Can't take my eyes off it," Nick admitted with complete honesty.

"I made from the tails of a rival organization in Moscow. They thought they could negotiate a truce, work together with me." She bared her fangs. "I killed them all. After that, no one negotiated with me, they simply did as they were told."

A Scout is loyal...Collapse )

Fanfic: The Call, Under the Gun

The polar bear’s paw shot out, grabbing Nick by the neck and lifting him up onto his toes. “Funny little fox,” he growled. “Why should I not kill you right now?”

Nick let out a garbled cry, tapping his claw against one of the polar bear’s fingers to indicate he needed air. “Bit public here, don’t you think?” he gasped, as the bear loosened his grip. “I know your boss is all about pissing folks off enough to start a shooting war, but it’d be messy to begin it with one of his soldiers immediately getting arrested for murdering a guy in front of a hundred witnesses.”

“Fine. I take you out to dock, and toss your body into water.”

“No, you’re going to keep me alive, for the moment at least.” Nick waved his arms, trying to stretch his toes to get more air. “C’mon, Volkov wants to have some fun, am I right? Why else would he bother kidnapping Officer Hopps’ parents, instead of just shooting them too? One of your guys got whacked trying to get to her. Betcha that’s who you were waiting, wasn’t it? You don’t think Volkov would just love having a chance to do that to the famous Officer Hopps’ partner himself, after that?”

Why, yes the would.Collapse )

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