FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/30/18: Planning Our Possible Escape

Just a quick reminder: pretty much everything you’re going to read on this blog or its PDFs is an absolute first draft.  In most cases, you’re reading these pages before even I do as I write them and post them without even checking for typos.  The whole point is to write every day and worry about editing later.  If you want to read something from me that has been proofread and edited (WOW!), please check out manfromzero.com and buy my most recent novel.  It’s good and takes place in the same story universe as Fire Escape–just way in the futrure.  In the meantime, if you want to make it easier for me to write, why not support me on Patreon? Just go here: patreon.com/petenicholls. Don’t want to commit to Patreon?  Then buy me a cup of coffee!  Or hay, just let me know that you like my stuff.  That means so much, too. Find me on TwitterIG, or FB.
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“Because. She’s a better scientist than me,” Kate said as we walked.

“Give yourself a break, kid! You’re all we got!” Dot had a way of helping and hurting at the same time.

“Besides, I’m sort of a scientist, I’ll go with you.”

“Wait, Dot, what are we talking about?” I asked managing to do so with my regular voice despite being Super Me still, concerned they were thinking about splitting up the group.

“Kate wants to go check out the big facility Wing mentioned and I can go with her. You guys find the refugees.”

“That’s what we’re calling them now?” I asked, a mild growl following my words.

“That is what they are at this point. We can’t just leave them all here.”

“Yeah, who knows how long that field generator on top of the barracks will even last?” Kate said looking back at the purple mountain we’d come from.

“Well, try to fix the problem, guys,” KJ said.

“We would not need to invade your world if we did not have to,” Wing said.

It was maybe an hour or so when we found the religious facility on the way to the civic center. I had returned to my normal self once we got a good distance from the bad Fire Escape I’d dropped.

“Oh my god…” Kate stared at the religious building as though she’d seen it before.

“What is it?” I asked.

This afternoon’s entertainment: #CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger on #IMAX at the #AMCEmpire a block away from where the last scene in the movie takes place! So glad to finally see this movie on the big screen. Thanks @amctheatres! #MCU #CaptainAmerica

This afternoon’s entertainment: #CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger on #IMAX at the #AMCEmpire a block away from where the last scene in the movie takes place! So glad to finally see this movie on the big screen. Thanks @amctheatres! #MCU #CaptainAmerica

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FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/29/18: Let’s Make a Hole in a Dimension Full of holes!

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“In the meantime time, I’m going to try dropping a Fire Escape and see what happens,” I said as we walked.

“Can you do that while walking?” Kate asked.

“Don’t know but I know it’ll be easier to do it standing still.” I dashed forward about twenty feet away and followed the instructions Jill had given me. The Fire Escape showed up on the AR map.

I shrugged as the others caught up to me.

“Seemed to work,” I said as I contemplated testing it by jumping through it.

“Now to test it,” I said.

“With what?” Kate asked.

“Uh, I was just going to jump home with it.”

“That’s the worst idea I ever heard,” she said flatly.  Dot spoke next. “Are you nuts? With all this dimensional instability shit going on?”

I suddenly felt really sick. My anxiety stomach feeling suddenly flared up as I remembered that I’m just an office assistant for an insurance company.

“Here!” KJ said, finding a palm-sized piece of what looked like concrete that had broken off of a curb. He stepped within range of the AR map and held the concrete chunk like a baseball as I dialed in the coordinates to Nowhere House. I nodded and he tossed the chunk into the Fire Escape with a blue flash. Almost immediately we heard a crunch sound and saw pebbles and dust fall from the portal. My stomach anxiety throbbed and then made me double over when the Fire Escape throbbed blue once, then turned red and created red cracks in reality itself.

Everyone stared for a long moment at the red Fire Escape, even me from my now crouching position.

“Maybe not do that again,” Wing said. I looked to him and saw he was looking back at the Maelstrom. So, I did, as well, and now we could see the whole thing was now showing the same redness and the cracks we just saw form around the Fire Escape I’d just dropped.

Just when I thought my anxiety would knock me fully onto my back I suddenly felt the lights start to dim.

“Memories,” I said as I found my view rising six or more inches from where it had been.  I stood up and once again found myself towering over the others my several inches. I instantly noticed that I felt no anxiety at all.

“Alright, everyone, let’s keep walking.”

“Man, I wish Jill had come along for this,” Kate said.

“Why?” Dot asked

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/28/18: Just How DID the Fire Escape Dimension Come to Exist?

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“That’s an interesting idea,” Dot said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Could they have used something like an Accessory to move an entire town into an alternate dimension?”

“I don’t think so,” I said, adding, “The Fire Escape would have to be huge to fit a whole town. The biggest Fire Escape I’ve seen so far was bug enough to fit a Conva spaceship about the size of five or six subway cars side-by-side.”

“So it’s possible,” Dot said.

“Hey Wing, does anyone know how your people got here?” Kate asked.

“No, not at all. Our sacred texts just say we came here.”

“Yo, but how?” Kate said, shrugging.

“No one knows.”

“Was it intentional, maybe?” Kate asked, staring off into space.

“I told you—“ Wing began when Dot cut him off, saying, “Why would this be intentional?”

“No, like, obviously.  Maybe they were trying to escape, though?”

“Yo, Kate has a point,” KJ said.

“Unintended consequences,” I said smiling slightly.

“Human history is drowning in unintended consequences,” Dot said, mirroring my slight smile.

“So, let’s roll with that for a sec—“ Kate was getting enthusiastic as she continued. “If you wanted to make a whole town vanish, you’d need a facility inside the town to modulate the Fire Escape big enough to grab the town.”

“Probably be a big facility,” KJ said.

“Word. So, it should be easy to find.”

“Any of this sound familiar, Wing?” I asked.

“No, not really.”

I noticed a twinkle in KJ’s eyes and a slight smile forming on his lips. “What is Kage?”

“What about religious buildings? Are there any big religious buildings in Valley City?”

“Yeah, it’s not far from town center, where we are going,” Wing said.

“That’s where you should look, Kate!” KJ said enthusiastically.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/27/18: Learning About Conva Culture

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“In my experience you really feel it coming,” I said. Wing offered his experience: “It’s true. It feels strange for a while before it actually happens for the first time.”

As we continued to walk, Valley City seemed more and more tragic. It was like photos I saw of old dust bowl towns that had been abandoned back in the 1950s I think it was. It was clear the place thrived but now it was a ghost town.

“How long has it been like this?” KJ asked as we walked.

“Seems like a long time. five, ten years in Earth terms,” I said.

“Wing?” Kate said.

“Not sure. Our time measure was based on the old ways and thrown out after The Problem was discovered.”

“The old ways?” Kate asked.

“Yes. A very long time ago when my beings first came here they brought with them their own sacred texts that our current civilization came from.”

“Word—where did your people come from?”

“Some of the old ways were lost but it’s where our language comes from and all of our science and where we learned to build things like the thing on the roof of the soldier place.”

“Your language?” Dot asked. “Was that Isaac Newtown sign written in your language?”

“Yes, well, a very old kind of it.”

“Curiouser and curiouser,” Dot said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“We already know that Conva are basically humans that have their DNA ‘compressed’ by the FED which leads to their bodies changing. Seems like they came from Earth in our not-to-distant past.”

“Yo—you think there’s a reason this place looks like it’s from the 1950s?” KJ asked.

“Yeah, because that’s where they originally came from. This whole town and maybe the Seaside
Village came from Earth the same way we did but back in the 1950s?”

“But how?!?” KJ asked.

“The same way the Accessory works only bigger? I dunno!”

“That is some freaky shit right there, KJ said.”

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/26/18: Are There Changes Coming? KJ Wants to Know

Just a quick reminder: pretty much everything you’re going to read on this blog or its PDFs is an absolute first draft.  In most cases, you’re reading these pages before even I do as I write them and post them without even checking for typos.  The whole point is to write every day and worry about editing later.  If you want to read something from me that has been proofread and edited (WOW!), please check out manfromzero.com and buy my most recent novel.  It’s good and takes place in the same story universe as Fire Escape–just way in the futrure.  In the meantime, if you want to make it easier for me to write, why not support me on Patreon? Just go here: patreon.com/petenicholls. Don’t want to commit to Patreon?  Then buy me a cup of coffee!  Or hay, just let me know that you like my stuff.  That means so much, too. Find me on TwitterIG, or FB.
Get the most recent draft here:

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“So, is this the same place we went after rescuing Jake, though?” KJ seemed dubious.  “I mean, you go to any number of cities in the US and the architecture can look so similar.”

“I don’t know, kid–I rarely forget a place, but you’re right.  We didn’t see a street sign anywhere,” Dot somehow sounded sure of herself and skeptical at the same time.

“Well, let’s just focus on the mission,” I said, adding: “But honestly, how many other towns anywhere have architecture that starts off looking small-town, USA, and three or four floors up become Star Trek, you know?” I said.

“Word,” Kate said.

“That is some dope architecting skills, no matter if this is the same town we were in that day or not.”

“Are we going in the right direction, Wing?” I asked.

“Yes, this is the main thorough fair for Valley City and it leads to the center of town where there is a big place where everyone meets and does things together.”

“So, a civic or convention center,” I said.  Wing just shrugged his large Conva shoulders.

“Hey, how long until we start to change?” KJ asked.

“What are you talking about?” Kate asked.

“Dr. Green said that if we spent long enough in the Fire Escape Dimension, we’d become Conva, too.  Right down to our DNA changing.”

“I know that, but that doesn’t happen within a couple hours, does it?”

“She didn’t have a clear estimate,” I said, looking at KJ. “Why?  You feeling a change coming on?”

“I dunno… it’s probably just in my mind.”

So, I am still writing every day. If you want to give the 1st draft of my current novel a go, please visit fiction.pete.ink and hit the download link. Want to read something I finished? Head to manfromzero.com–$3 for the #ebook!

So, I am still writing every day. If you want to give the 1st draft of my current novel a go, please visit fiction.pete.ink and hit the download link. Want to read something I finished? Head to manfromzero.com–$3 for the #ebook!

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FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/25/18: There’s Something Familiar About this Place

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“But I do want to avoid bloodshed,” I said.

“And he can cause a lot of it!” KJ said, making me feel awkward and ashamed at the dame time.

“I understand. I’m glad to know that people who will live next door are not like you.”

I was about to say something sarcastic when Dot made a vocal observation.

“Well this is a surprising design choice!”

We looked to see what she had observed—a sun bleached sign that read, in English, “Welcome to Isaac Newtown.”

“What’s with the old-town USA vibe?” Kate asked. She was right it looked like a sign that could have been designed in the 1950s and when I looked beyond it, I saw buildings that on the first few floors, looked like they belonged in a small midwestern town like in an old movie. Thing was that, above the 3rd or 4th floor, the buildings looked more advanced and streamlined—almost futuristic only they also looked like they needed some maintenance.  Windows were broken and filled in with that same transparent stuff we saw in the Hub, plastic and/or metal-looking additions had been added here and there, I guessed, to reinforce structures.

As we passed the sign and entered “Isaac Newtown” I had a strange sense of deja vu. I looked back to the paved walkway that had run down from the purple mountain and saw that the entire foot of the mountain seemed to have a jagged edge to it where it met the edge of this town.”

“This does seem weirdly familiar to me,” Dot said.

“Yo, have you actually been to Isaac Newtown before?” Kate asked.

“We pronounce it iTown now,” Wing said.

“No, but this is…” Dot paused for a moment then spoke again. “I remember now!! That time KJ and I rescued you, Jacob! You couldn’t get us out the right Fire Escape—we came out in a town just like this!”

I got chills as I once again looked around at the structures. She was right.

“Holy shit—but—“

“Maybe they don’t pay their taxes here?” Dot suggested.

“Yeah, everything looks older,” KJ said. “But did we travel through time or something?”

“Time is different here,” Wing said. “Science people said that reality for us is compressed and time is part of reality.”

“So, time moves faster here because it’s compressed?” Kate asked.

“Maybe. I’m not a science person.”

“I wonder what the differential is between here and our dimension,” Kate said.

“I remember they said they could not know what time it was on your side before we got there.”

“Some serious inconsistent spacetime compression ratios going on over here. I’m surprised we’re not seeing more distortions like that mess back at the Hub,” Kate said.

“Good point, Katie—we should watch out for any more disruptions appearing,” Dot said.