Book #1-The Nebula Quest

I began The Nebula Quest when I was fifteen. It started as a short story-I had no idea it would grow into a 410 page book. It took me two fun years to write. It's your classic quest through several planets coming of age story, owing much to Star Wars and stuff like that. The hero of the story is named Zil, and he's from an alien race of hairless, gray skinned bi-peds called Trindles. For a first novel it has a pretty complex, sprawling plot, actually more ambitious than most of my writing now, and features a large cast of characters. Below is a scene relatively early in the book when Zil's stumbled onto a seemingly dead planet. You can tell I'm already a pretty weird kid:

The droid froze immediately, stopping in mid-motion. Its head whirled in Zil’s direction, face looking over his shoulder. Its arms continued to flail for a few more seconds, finally becoming still after having been so fiercely swung about. Zil realized that the droids arms were warped and eroded, perhaps by extended use. The droid's face blinked and strained towards him.

“So we have a visitor, do we? How unfortunate for you. For you see, you’re dead. You might not think you’re dead, but you’ll learn. Everything’s dead around here, you see. The bad thing happened, the Leader grew very angry, and now we’re all dead!” it cried, mouth dropping open as if unhinged. “Where are you visitor? Speak again. I want to give you something.”

The disfigured droid arms opened in a gesture of friendship, its hands swung about sickly on its wrists. It’s voice failed to hide the menace in its words. Zil put his hand to his face to block the smell wafting from the droid, a mixture of burnt oil and rotting plastek.

Zil watched in confusion as the droid groped about for some unseen thing. Its spindle arms flailed at the air and ground, seemingly random in intent. Then he fully realized the droid’s predicament, its blindness was not faked. Its viewcam socket was broken and empty, its sensory cords exposed. Failing to sense any images, the droid was reaching for him. The droid had survived whatever had happened here and the loss of its sight. The droid had managed to crawl out of the chasm, the well of black before them. Day after endless day, it’s parts eroded. Its programmed uses went untapped, only the process of climbing had filled its life. In the process the aged droid had gone completely insane, and was malicious.

It continued its search for Zil, trying to coax another sound from him. Its motor buzzed and its gears clicked loudly. The droid moved erratically, joints and appendatures stiff and weak. Zil stood still, afraid to make a sound. He didn’t know what the droid was capable of, rusted parts and all.

“Come here new found friend! Don’t be afraid. Do you want some cookies? I used to bake every day in my master's kitchen, it was ever so much fun! I’ve been climbing forever, with only the sound of my gears to keep me company. Very poor company indeed! Rejoice! I’ve made it out of the hole at last! I just want to touch a living being! Don’t worry, I wouldn’t hurt a quarb.”

Zil had happened to notice its hand closing into a fist quickly as it said the word “hurt."


starshrine said...

I remember finding this scene rather creepy when I read it.

Blogagaard said...

Man, it's painful to reread this without editing it...

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