Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Omniscience: Becca in the Maze

Do you like it? I photoshopped it myself. On the bottom left is Jennifer Lawrence-as-Lilah, my book's main character, and on the upper right is Karen Gillian-as-Becca, the main character of this excerpt.
So, I haven't been writing a lot of new stuff recently, though hopefully that will change as Creative Writing class gets in full gear. Still, I thought you lovely blog-stalkers readers deserved a new morsel of writing, so here's another excerpt from The Omniscience, my currently-being-revised Nanowrimo 2011 novel. More info on the book here.

Longtime blog followers will have already met Lilah, the main protagonist. Now it's time to meet another crucial character--Becca Pond.

Becca in the Maze

Owon had taken care to tell the Omni-goers to stay in their rooms, no matter what. So the first thing Becca did when she got in the Mech was try to get outta hers.
It wasn't a rebel thing, though she did have streak of that. It wasn't due to a lack of smarts or sense, though some luddite teachers and their screwed-up tests had told her otherwise. It wasn't for a thrill, though what little she'd gleaned of the Omni's spidery innerworkings looked like quite the adventure. She wasn't panicking. She wasn't afraid. She just needed to get her hands all over Mark. It'd been way too long since their last make-out session.
But Omni seemed bent to hell on making that difficult. As soon as Becca had set foot in the room, the simulate walls had configured themselves into a life-sized labrat maze. Finding her way to even one of the real walls was gonna be a hell of an obstruct, never mind finding a concealed door that could be on any of the walls. Becca could just picture the Mech smirking, an eyebrow raised. You reckon you can beat me now?
Hell yeah. 'Course I can.
She whipped out the map in her coat pocket, the one Mark had got from his uncle and given to her, a map that showed all rooms, paths, and tunnel systems inside the Omni. Mark said he'd be in room R-4. By the number on the side of her elevator, Becca would guess that she was in K-30, which had a door opening up to the tunnel system on the east side. And now that she'd figured that out, the Omni'd spin her around to disorient her all any moment now...
No? It wasn't? Clockwork. Turn left.
Before she headed off, though, she was gonna need some thread. Rummaging around in her tool belt's pockets, she pulled out a ball of steel string and a roll of ever-handy duct tape. Attaching one end of the string to the floor with some tape would make her able to backtrack and retrace her steps. There. Like Theseus in the labyrinth. Ancient Civ class had proved useful, for once.
Left, right, left, right. Right. Right. No, left. Damn. This was more confusing than Becca'd thought it would be. Her feet were too slow, either that or her mind was too fast—she'd be thinking three steps ahead of where she actually was at and miss a crucial turn, forcing her to wind her way back around the bends, and backtracking only reinforced the old pathway in her brain—the wrong pathway—that she would keep absentmindedly following and coming to the same dead ends she could've avoided in the first place if her brain hadn't been busy trying to map out the grand scheme of the maze and the most efficient route to take in order to get to that door that opened up to the tunnels which would no doubt be yet another maze to go through which was all so screwing pointless-
Becca closed her eyes and sighed. Her mind was going down that spiral again. If she wasn't careful, she'd end up giving herself a concussion slamming her head against the maze walls, and then where would she be? She was wasting time. Mark only had a few hours left in the Omni.
Come on, Beck. Think. You're not gonna let this screwed-up hunk of metal cheat you out of make-out time, right?
She glanced up at the maze walls surrounding her. They were, what, a foot away from reaching the top of the ceiling? That was enough room. She had a grappling hook—or the head of one, anyway—in her tool belt. All she would need to do was tie it to some of the string and she could pull herself up over the wall. Then she could see to where the real walls were and bypass the maze altogether! Ha!
I beat you,” she said under her breath, knowing the Mech would hear. “Hammer meet nail.”
The Omni didn't challenge the claim.
Becca beamed as she clambered up the first wall. Pushing her way through the gap, she could see that the east side of the room was... right there. Three feet away from her nose. What the-
Beck, you idiot. Of course the wall was right there—the rooms in this place were only 120 square feet! The Omni had just been simulating space! Hell, there were probably only, like, eight actual walls, total!
Okay. Okay. Clockwork. That actually made things a lot easier. Becca kicked off from the top of the wall and fell, grappling hook lodging between two panels of the real wall just in time for her to swing down to the ground. She ran her hand across the panels, searching for the door. Suspense-field feedback? Check. Disturbances in simulate experiences? Definite check. So this was it, then. Becca pushed against the wall. It lit up in a kinda creepy shade of blue. Moments later, the door slid open.
The “tunnel,” she knew, was only an elevator shaft with ladders lining all four sides. Since elevators already had to have extensive pathways to be able to reach any room in the Omniscience, the Mech Ministry'd decided to make the shaft just a little wider than the elevators and stick ladders on the walls in order to save space. Typical luddite officials. Always thinking of how to cut back on things.
Becca grabbed the nearest rung and started climbing straight up. Another map check—yep, she was headed in the right direction.
There was one day of overlap between Mark and her Omni sessions. The two of them'd planned last week to spend that day together and give the Omni hell until it was forced to send them both to the same city, wherever that was. Well, Mark hadn't said “give it hell”—he was too couth for that. He'd said something more along the lines of “overwhelm it with the sheer power of our love”. But Becca knew what he'd really meant.
Mark. Hot, clever, funny, sane, hot, calm, courteous, respectful, hot, brave, encouraging, amazing, hot. The guy every girl dreamed would fall in love with her. And all hers.
Becca climbed faster, grappling rung after rung after rung. Ugh. Why was this taking so screwing long? Was this another one of the Mech's mind games? It'd better not be. I'll strip the damn thing for parts one day, she thought with a sigh. Now where the hell was M-

The thick cable next to her recoiled onto itself and fell eighty feet down to the bottom of the shaft.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Youtube clip at the end. Can't wait to read more.

    Treehugger Mom