I finished the Unseen first draft tonight. This is the third book draft I’ve finished off under the wordsurge I largely attribute to NaNoWriMo.
I celebrate with a scene I like that was written for a character I didn’t expect to become a principle, but did anyway. Likely just to spite me. She has issues with authority.
Unseen is steampunk / post-apocalypse. This scene is where we learn about my unexpected protagonist’s character when it’s nobody but her there to see.
The alarm woke her. There was no way it could be morning yet. She felt like she had only just laid down. What time had she gotten to bed, anyway?
It must have been pretty late. She couldn’t even remember getting relieved from her watch station.
The alarm. The watch station.
Verias became alert in a shocking instant. She was on perimeter watch. An alarm. There was a perimeter door open. What was she supposed to do? She was supposed to never have to figure that out! That’s why first years were put on this duty! Because nothing ever happened!
Snap out of it, Verias!
She gave herself a quick physical slap to go with the verbal one.
Thinking back on the brief training, she remember the senior student saying the only reason these alarms ever went off was a dog sensor being off. Just go to the port and re-clamp the dogs to reset it.
Go to the port and re-clamp the dogs.
She noted the port location that was alerting, grabbed a light stick, and ran off to make her check.
As she made her way through tubes that were lighted, unlighted and every variation of semi-lighted, she made a mental note to request the service ways be excluded from mandatory night variations.
She arrived to her target but it was not the port with a loose dog as she expected. This was an open porthole, exposing the Burrow to whatever might wander in from outside. She couldn’t believe it. Who would do such a thing?
It was at that point that she noticed the lights dimming again, and realized it was a general alarm.
A general alarm and somebody sneaking out of a port she was monitoring!
She realized her first duty was to the Burrow’s safety and that meant dogging this port and waiting for reinforcements. But whoever was escaping might be just meters ahead of her! She had to at least see if she could identify them!