FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Updates for 5/24/18: My Life in a Conva Prison

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The cell they had me in back in the Fire Escape dimension was a white box with no windows or doors or chairs or a bed. How did I get in without a door? Well, physics seemed to be a little different here in the FED. A door way just materialized and I was politely shoved through it.

I say “politely” shoved because, when I didn’t immediately step through the magic doorway, the Conva guard immediately pushed me through it saying something with a tone of voice that sounded glibly apologetic and then followed it with a nod.

After that the door dematerialized—or, I guess, the wall rematerialized where the doorway had been and I was trapped.  I felt the floor underneath my feet was a little unstable. It felt like I was standing on a cushion. I walked to the wall that was opposite the wall where the doorway had appeared leaned against it and discovered it felt like a cushion, as well. After a moment I put my back against it and slid down until I was sitting on the floor. My butt sank into the cushiony floor a bit as I tried to remember exactly where the doorway had appeared in that wall directly opposite me.

After a minute or two of trying, I took several deep breaths and realized that, since all the walls were identical, if I got even slightly disoriented in here I wouldn’t be able to be sure where the doorway had been.

I took one final deep breath and sighed.

“What the hell am I going to so to pass the time in here?” I asked myself. My Conva captors had left me in my civilian clothes and with all of my belongings. I bet the Accessory would have been taken from me if I still had it.

Without thinking, I reached in my pocket and found the worry stone. I pulled it out and fiddled with it, wondering if it would work so far away from its mothership. It didn’t. None of the gestures I use on it made it do anything. Figures…

I started tossing it into the air and catching it as my mind began to wander and wonder just how Dr. Green was getting on with the Accessory. Well, you already know the answer: pretty well.

As it turned out, she was able to come up with a coating, almost like nail polish only for her finger tips, that was infused with my “small cells.”

It also turned out that after she put Surin on a transport back to his home planet, she took several days, or whatever passes for days on an asteroid with no sun, to work out how the Accessory worked. Finally, late one night, while her skin was light pink, making her look human, she used the Accessory to take her to Nowhere House.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/23/18: And That was Pretty Much That…

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So that was that. As that politician guy had explained, they did that usurpation code thing that allowed them to take over the ship remotely and then flooded the cockpit with some sort of paralyzing gas.

Frustratingly, I was paralyzed, standing there as I watched a single Conva enter the cockpit, literally pat me on the head with his creepy elongated right hand and then sit in the chair I’d been sitting in moments before. I watched as he placed his hands on the two control sticks (which fit him perfectly, by the way) and then reach out to that purplish, ball-shapped button. Before he pushed it, he looked over at me with a hideous grin on his face.

Alright, jackass, rub it in my face a little more.

He then pressed it and took control of the ship, piloting it to a location in the middle of nowhere where he then brought the ship to a complete stop. He then held out his hand and crossed two of his elongated fingers like he was a human wishing for luck—only instead of luck, out, in front of the ship a blue star appeared and grew larger and larger, quite quickly—it was a Fire Escape!

It got so big, it was big enough to fit the entire Conva ship. The pilot then tapped the throttle forward and we eased toward the blue star until we moved through it.

Immediately, I recognized where we had ended up—the place we called the Fire Escape dimension—or trimension, I guess.

I could see the purple mountains. I also saw one of those giant box ships float across our flightpath. We looked like we were going to collide with it—but at the last second, like some massive whale, it all too slowly turned to face us and just as we were about to impact, a large hole opened in the surface and swallowed us up.

Inside was a very curvy hangar bay filled with ships just like the one we were in only with different paint jobs. We landed and I was taken into custody by some very important-acting Conva. I was told in very broken English that I was a prisoner of strife (like “Prisoner of War”) and that I would be held in custody for the duration of said strife.  Guess that made me a PoS.


FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/22/18: Yeah, It’s Just Getting Worse for Jake, Now…

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“No no no no no no!” I said as I kept pressing those thumb buttons. Then I tried to hit the throttle and turn the ship away from the oncoming one but the ship did not respond to me moving the slider or the sticks.

“Mr. Rivera, you’ve really limited your own options.”

It was that politician again. I looked over my shoulder and saw his hologram again right beside me.

“Oh, hi!” I said sarcastically.

“Mr. Rivera, not only have you limited your own options but you‘ve removed any of mine. 
This call was the last nice thing the Conva will do for you and you may have sacrificed the lives of your friends.”

Yeah, if I believed you.

“Hey, Councilman, I was just trying to explore my options here. You can’t blame me.”

“You knew what your options were before you tried to hijack that Conva ship.  And then you tried to fire on the Conva ship that was moving to intercept you and that the use of the usurpation code transmission that disabled your ship and gave control of it over to the Conva interceptor. As I said—you are officially out of options.”

“What if I find the override that overrides your usurption code?”

“How do you know that ship so well?” he said under his breath.

“Does that mean there is one?”

He continued under his breath as though he suddenly wasn’t being watched. “Look—I am trying to keep you out of trouble. I can stall that Conva ship for about 5 minutes. If you can find that override in that time, do it and get out of here!”

“Wait! What about my friends and sister?”

He looked around suspiciously and then his hologram vanished.

I immediately started scouring the dashboard for something that looked like it was the override for their override. I moved my hand over red buttons, blue buttons, green switches, a big purplish button that was more like a ball, a cube-shaped button that was yellow, and star-shaped switch, there was even a small video screen with an animated icon that looked like a smiley face and nothing was screaming “OVERRIDE” at me.




I just started tapping on things. Even things that didn’t look like buttons or switches. 

Frustratingly, none worked.

I felt anxiety creeping over me again as I saw the other ship get closer. It was the same flying-saucer-quadcopter-looking design as the ship I was in.  I could feel my heart pounding.  The light in the cockpit started to dim, just like the lights in the hold before I massacred those Conva. I wondered if this was me about to morph into a Conva again or what. I stood up and looked at my arms. The were starting to look longer to me.  Then I noticed a smell.  It was like pot smoke only sweeter. like pot smoke and cotton candy.  I tried to sit back down and realized, I could not move.

Struggled with the name a bit for the #DrawEveryDay #drawing for 5/22/18. This is #小さい力 also pronounced: #ChisaiRyoku. It means #LittleStrong in #Japanese. #DrawEveryDay2018 #drawings #cartoons #fairies

Struggled with the name a bit for the #DrawEveryDay #drawing for 5/22/18. This is #小さい力 also pronounced: #ChisaiRyoku. It means #LittleStrong in #Japanese. #DrawEveryDay2018 #drawings #cartoons #fairies

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FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 5/21/18: Something About Those Laser Guns

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I’m not going to lie—I tapped the buttons again and again and enjoyed the visceral experience and that sound!  At some point, however, I noticed something odd about the sound the laser guns made—they sounded like they were coming from inside the cockpit. I pressed the buttons a couple more times and definitely noticed a tiny reverb inside the room with me. Then it occurred to me that the same way there is no air and therefore no wind in space, with no air, there should be no sound. 

“The sound effects are coming from inside your home!” I muttered to myself as I began looking for the literal navigation controls so I could maybe start to work out where I was and how to get back to Earth.  Then I realized I could probably get a sense of where I am by looking at the nearest star. I mean, that asteroid couldn’t have been too far away from Earth, right?

I stepped on the left pedal as I moved the left stick to the left and slowly turned the ship around until I saw a really bright star—the brightest in my view—then found the throttle slider, sliding it forward and made my way toward that star.

After several minutes of this I started to get a little panicky because the star was taking longer than expected to get bigger. While I could figure out that the nav computer had managed to auto target this star and was no measuring the shortening distance between it and the ship, I could not read the alien language the numbers were written in.

Before I had a moment to try to find language settings an alarm went off. It was a deep throbbing bass that sounded a little like a dubstep song but much more ominous. With it came a new alert message floating in front of me—it showed a word in that same language I couldn’t read followed by the same symbols I guessed were numbers measuring the distance to the nearest sun. I still could not read them but they were changing faster and faster.

I thought about what it could mean for a moment and quickly decided the numbers were measuring the distance between me and a nearby ship. I assumed that the number was shrinking because why else would a message with changing numbers appear with an alarm?

I had more evidence my theory was correct when a red circle appeared above the original alert message. At the center of the circle was a red dot. Then, there was another red dot that was just inside the circle at around the four o’clock position and heading toward the red dot in the center.

I watched as the red dot closed in on my position, the red dot in the middle. I gripped the sticks and adjusted my feet on the pedals.

I waited until my instincts were screaming at me to make my move. And then, I yelled:

“Oh yeah?!? I GOT LASER GUNS!”

I spun the ship around to face the red dot and saw a ship approaching. I did not hesitate: I jammed my thumbs down on those buttons and….

…nothing happened.

Here comes #TheCautionaryCat for 5/21/18’s #DrawEveryDay #drawing! I was going to call him “The Hesitant Cat” but there’s no alliteration there. #DrawEveryDay2018 #drawings #cartoons #cartooncats #catpeople

Here comes #TheCautionaryCat for 5/21/18’s #DrawEveryDay #drawing! I was going to call him “The Hesitant Cat” but there’s no alliteration there. #DrawEveryDay2018 #drawings #cartoons #cartooncats #catpeople

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FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Updates for 5/20/18: Memories I Did Not Know I Had

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I bit the bullet and went back down to the hold. I tried not to think about what I was doing—picking over the corpses I had made that way for their belongings. At least I wasn’t doing it for personal financial gain.  This was for survival.

I was lucky—one of the bodies had the key-drive hanging from his belt.  I took it and headed back to the cockpit/flight deck/whatever. I found the port and slid the key-drive into it. The red alert message zoomed off the way it had come and instantly, the dashboard lights went back to their multicolored shades and now it was time for me to make sense of how to actually fly this ship.

I was starting to suspect that I remembered more about that alien tech than I thought I did because the general layout of the console was starting to look familiar.  Maybe we had this dashboard as parts or something? 

But then I was able to find the button that caused to control sticks to rise up through the console along with a chair that rose up from the floor.  I sat in the chair and felt it adjust itself and actually become more comfortable. Then I felt something beneath my feet–not the floor, this was at an angle.  I press the balls of my feet into this surface and I felt two pedals give underneath my pressure.  Some place in my head I had memories of how to fly.  These pedals worked in sync with the control sticks that I was now holding onto like a small child since they were somewhat larger than my hands were.  I moved both the sticks and the pedals and saw the starfield beyond the windshield shift as the ship moved around.  It was then that I had a realization: I know how to fly a spaceship!!

It had to be something I experienced as a kid working for Julio.  I wasn’t sure how I forgot about learning to fly a spaceship, but clearly, I decided, it must have happened at some point.

I spotted a button on each control stick that was almost at the top of each.  My thumbs were a good few inches short so I slid them up and pushed both buttons with my thumbs simultaneously.  Suddenly two red AR error messages popped up above both sticks accompanied by that computerized fart sound that was farting every time the error messages blinked–which was over and over. 

“OK, OK, I didn’t take off the safety, or arm the weapons.”  I sighed and found two different 
“safety off/weapons armed” buttons on the base of both sticks and pressed them.  The messages vanished.  I slid my hands back up the sticks and pressed the buttons again.  Instantly, two solid beams of light that were about as wide as a car appeared through the windshield.  As they did, I was startled by a very loud noise that sounded like a cross between a car alarm and a machine gun.  It sounded odd, though, because it was so loud.  

As I lifted my finger, the beams disappeared and the sound stopped.  I tapped the buttons again and the beams appeared and the sound rumbled inside the cockpit of the ship.  I then expressed my next realization: