FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/24/18: The Conva Problem Explained (sort of)

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As we got further down the paved walkway, it started to wind a bit and curve around to so that when I looked behind us, I could so two antenna on top of the barracks building, the blue field enveloping the top several floors of the building and, well beyond the building, the top of the maelstrom.
As if things needed to get any more surreal.

“Hey, Wing.  Have you guys always known about our dimension?” KJ asked

“No.  It was learned not too long ago.  Since I finished my schooling and before I started military training.  We always heard about ‘The Problem’.  It was something no adult would explain until we were older.”

“Sounds like sex or drugs from our side,” Dot said.

“What was it?” Kate asked.

“It was that back there,” he said.

“The collapse of your entire reality?” KJ sounded stunned.

“Some never thought this would happen.”

“You had scientists that knew, though, and told everyone, right?” I asked.

“Yes, but no one listened to them.”

“COUGHclimatechangeCOUGH,” Kate said.

“It’s like that old saying about space being infinite along with stupidity,” Dot said.  “I’ve seen it with other so-called ‘intelligent’ species, too.”

By now Wing had become his old Conva self.  Much taller, longer, but still not as big as Super Me.
Still, it was nice to know Dot had rigged the rifle so she could stop it from working if he suddenly had a change of heart.  That got me thinking.

“Wing, why the change of heart?” I asked.

“Change of heart?”

“Why did you want to invade us before but now you are being nice?” Dot asked.

“Oh.  Because I heard what you said and I, too, like to have peace as a goal. If we can save my people without killing, I am happy for it, especially after I saw what faces us on your side.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“More people like you,” he said, looking at me, quickly adding: “Please I mean no offense as you asked me. I am honest.”

“No, why would I be offended.”

“You are a being of great power. I am scared to upset you.”

I suddenly felt incredibly awkward and felt compelled to correct him.  “Hey, the only time you ever have to be afraid of me is if you move aggressively toward me or my friends.”

“OK.” The way Wing said it was monotone and noncommittal.  I decided to let it go for now, mainly because I was still feeling very awkward.  Of course, I couldn’t leave it completely alone.  “And I’m the only one like me from my side.  Most of us are about as strong as you and can’t shape shift like me.  In fact, I don’t think any human can shape shift like me.”

“Oh, really?”  He looked at the pavement in front of me and then looked at me and nodded.  “OK.”

This time he sounded a little more positive.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/23/18: What is Happening to the Seaside Village?

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:

fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


“What?!?” I said.

“It’s not moving!” KJ said wiping a tear from beneath his right eye. I looked back at the debris from the buildings. He was right, it was standing almost entirely still. If I squinted, engaging my adaptive eyesight, I could see, close up, that there was movement, but it was slow.

“So, we got here just in time to watch this place collapse in slow-mo. Great,” KJ said with a lot of bitterness in his voice.

“No,” I said staring out at the gradual dismemberment of reality. “We got here just in time to save the Conva people.”

KJ looked to Wing, whose eyes looked weirdly larger than I they were moments ago.  I looked at his hands—they were larger, too—elongated.

“Whoa–hold up! Is the collapse happening so slowly for any reason? I mean, maybe I watch too many movies, but, why’s this thing not just COLLAPSING, man?”

A look of recognition crossed Wing’s slightly-larger-than-before face.  He took a sharp, short breath and moved to the window, sticking his head out of it and looking up.  He immediately said something in Conva and then said:  “They got it working!”

“What?” I asked.  He pointed upward.  We all looked up and saw a field of bright blue energy that looked like it was emanating toward the maelstrom.

“From on top of this building.”

“Looks dope, dawg, what is it?” KJ asked.

“It’s what some science people were working on.  My commanders did not believe it would work, but

I guess it does.  At least to slow it down.”

“Like I was saying: Let’s go save the Conva people.”  I motioned toward the floor door that Kate had just opened.

We made our way down to the barracks level and found an exit on the valley-side. In minutes we were walking down a paved walkway toward Valley City below.

“Mr. Wing, do you know where the rest of your people would have evacuated to?” I asked.

“There are several shelters but I never thought I’d need to know where they were because I was going to invade your side and make it our home.”

“Greeeat,” KJ said.  Kate shook her head. “You were that sure you’d just come on over to our side and call it home? You have no idea how hard it is to get an apartment in NYC, my friend!”

“Yeah, man, why didn’t you just ask our country for asylum?” I asked.

“Come on, Jacob, what kind of question is that?” KJ asked.

“Because we saw how your government treats refugees,” Wing said.

I nodded.  KJ smirked at me.  “See?”

FIRE ESCAPE UPDATE for 8/22/18: What Happened to the Seaside Village?

Get the most recent draft here:
fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


“How do I do that?”

“I made it easy but not obvious. When you get to the main menu, have your left hand mirror your right.”

“Put my left hand on the Accessory the same way my right hand is on it. Seems easy enough.”

“Good luck, little brother.”

“Thanks, sis!” I barely got out the word “sis” when she hugged me tight.

“KJ how long with this ‘one last look’ be?” I asked, adding: “Because I am going to time it.”

“Thirty seconds is all I need.”

“Alright—gonna hold you to that.”

“I know.”

“And it’s gonna be through the window not through outside.”

“I can make that work,” KJ said after a short moment of thought.

“We ready?”

Dot, Wing, KJ, and Kate all replied at once.

“Good luck!” Green called out.

“Thanks!” I said as I activated the Fire Escape and we passed through it.

Once again, we appeared in the Hub, still met with the eerie silence from no one using it. KJ went straight over to the nearest window on the ocean side and fired his rifle at it, shattering the glass(?). He looked out the window.

“Thirty seconds and counting, Kage!” I said.

“I—“ KJ suddenly went silent. I looked over at him—I wasn’t really going to hold him to that thirty seconds, but as it turned out he wasn’t going to need it.

“Oh no…” Wing said, racing to the window. The collapse has begun. I joined them at the window and saw what they saw—reality itself seemed to be curving in on itself with the Eternal Ocean already in a kind of maelstrom sucked down a drain while being looked at through a fish-eye lens. The village was visible—well, the pieces were—debris from the buildings and houses that crumbled spread upward toward the maelstrom as though it was on invisible conveyor belts.

The sight filled me with panic.

“We have to go.”

I moved from the window when Wing stopped me.

“No! Look!”

I turned back and saw nothing new but did manage to feel even more panicked.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/19/18: Who DOES Jill Trust?

Interesting news: I just conceived of the ending of this book.  The whole time I was wondering where Jacob was writing all of this from.  Today I figured it out and I can’t wait to write it!

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:

fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


“That sounds about right,” I said.

“You still haven’t answered the q—q-question—what do we do now?”

“I don’t know.”

Julio threw his hands up again. “Great. He’s got information but just enough to still know nothing.”

“This is not nothing, what he has taught us,” Green said.

“Oh yeah? So there was definitely an invasion force, two actually, and we don’t know where the violent one is and the other one has already infiltrated Earth society! How is this helpful at all, Dr. Green?”

“We know that the Conva village probably evacuated to the valley. OK. Maybe Mr. Wing is wrong. Maybe his beings, his team, evacuated to the valley also?”

“That is a theory based on wishful thinking.”

“Wishful thinking?” Green said.

“He means you only say it because you wish it was true,” I said.

“Of course I wish it was true! My point is, he gave us information. Now we need to be sure.”

“So we have to go back again,” I said.

“Should we reach out to Manchester and see if she has anything to offer?” Kate asked.

“At this p-p-point the situation is too fluid.”

“Word—all the more reason to know as much as we can.”

“Not sure what else there is to kn-kn-know but I can reach out while you and Jacob go back to the FED and find those villagers.”

“And those soldiers, please,” Wing said.

“Why don’t you go too, man?” Kate asked.

“Without an arm? How do I fight with one arm?”

“Don’t fight. I don’t fight. I’m a tech.  Yo, the better question is how are we going to get around without knowing the valley? You could be our guide.”

“I still would feel strange with one arm.”

“You only need one arm to point, bro,”. Kate said. Wing grinned slightly but then looked to Green and pointed to where his left arm and shoulder had been before I tore it out. “Is this OK if I go?”

“Not right now, but I can look at it. If it’s ok, you can go but I need you to be careful and only be a guide. No action.”

Wing nodded.

Jill pulled me aside later and asked me how I was doing with my morphing.

“Definitely getting the hang of it. Why?”

“Just want to make sure my brother is going to come back from all these missions.  Also, Green and I were talking–keep an eye out for any symptoms that the FED’s characteristics are changing your guys’ DNA.

“I think mine is safe,” I said, knowingly, almost cockily.

“Alright, well, everyone else then.”

“Well, Julio and KJ are staying this time so have Green check them out.  Anything else?”

“Yeah, keep an eye on our soldier boy.  He seemed to turn fast.”

“You think he might double cross us?”

“I have no idea.  I just know that a minute ago, he was part of an invasion force.”

“Not sure how he’d betray us.  All he knows is that we legit want to solve this problem and maybe save his dimension.”

“Maybe.”

“I got you–you don’t trust anybody and I don’t blame you.”

“I trust you little brother.”

I smiled.

You know, it’s funny.  I can’t remember Jill stuttering when she was sure of something.  Then again, maybe that’s just how I remember her?