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Section 2 | Chapter 4 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 12 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

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In the morning, before it was time to meet with the engineers, Ibi went down to check on ushabAny.

:I’m so sorry,: she pulsed to him when she made it down to the Bay. :We got here and just abandoned you. I didn’t even shut the machine down properly.:

I could sense how fatigued you were, Any pulsed. You needed rest. The other pilots took care of things. And spent many shades trying to figure out what was different about the copper and how you made it fly.

:Did they ask you?:

Some did. I could only say what the Superior already said and acted as if I didn’t know any more. They believed that.

Ibi scowled. Of course they assumed an ushab wouldn’t know or understand.

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Section 2 | Chapter 3 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 11 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

Since the time Ibi began her training as an adept in the Spirit House she found it easy to demarcate the line between asleep and awake, between dream and reality. She immersed herself in dreams and the messages and symbols her ka communicated within, then emerged from them fully aware and grounded in the waking world. Until that first scarab flight.

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Section 2 | Chapter 1 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

When the copper beetle landed and the song ended Ziwat wanted to leap from the bench and scream her triumph so loud Wisser would hear it in the next world. Her body wouldn’t let her do any of these things. She shook as if she’d pushed every single muscle beyond endurance and her heart throbbed so violently she had trouble breathing.

And she hadn’t been doing any of the work.

Ibi, who had been still, dropped to one knee with a huff of breath the opposite of the harmony that had come from her a moment before. Instinct took over; Ziwat pulled from the straps and was by her side before the girl could sink all the way to the reed mat. They both ended up a heap in the center of the cabin, exhausted and, for Zi’s part, in awe of what they’d just accomplished.

“You did it,” she said into Ibi’s ear, willing her words and pride and love into her consciousness.

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Section 1 | Chapter 8 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

The sun is at the optimal angle. It’s time, Atet pulsed.

Ibi didn’t feel ready. She also didn’t know what ready was supposed to feel like. Atet seemed sure. That would be enough. The shades they’d spent meditating together had given her an idea of what this would be like. The prospect of flight exhilarated her. Surrendering control of her body even more didn’t.

This is for Zi, she reminded herself.

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Section 1 | Chapter 7 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

The sound of the scarab’s gears turning woke Ziwat the next morning far earlier than she usually got out of bed. The gentle vibration beneath the fold-out bench filled her with a sense of calm and rightness. That was enough to pull her fully awake–her dreams had kept her uneasy and tense. All her anxieties played out in unrealistic scenarios that felt too real and left her more tired than rested. The gears turning, the hiss of steam, the smell of copper, those things reminded her of why she was here, why she was putting up with the things that made her anxious.

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Section 1 | Chapter 6 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

Ibi walked across the sand, head down, eyes on her feet, mind back in the scarab. She followed the same ghost of a path as before, one part of her still convinced that she would find a well if she just kept going, another part of her making the choice to walk past, or maybe to, the shrine again. She could go back down into that columned hall. She could break the sigil holding Atet to the stone. She could free her to go through the Door and out of this world forever.

And if she did that how long would it be before regret settled into Ziwat’s heart? And who would she blame for letting all that knowledge melt back into the distant past?

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Section 1 | Chapter 4 – #PyramidsAndPunk [Patrons Only]

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Novel in Progress [2018 Chapters]

Three strikes on the bell out in the courtyard roused Ibi from sleep just about the time she was about to wake up on her own. The sky was a shade lighter than deepest black, the first indication of the coming dawn. She rose, washed, and dressed within minutes, no roommate or sleepmate to get in her way or tempt her to indulge in a few more heartbeats in the bed. She liked it this way. Preferred it to all the other sleeping arrangements she’d had to endure since leaving home, at least.

Out in the courtyard of the pilot’s housing she took a moment to breathe in the cool air and enjoy the quiet of the deep morning. The rest of the day would be filled with the sound of voices and hissing steam and metal clicks and all the cacophony of a pilot’s life. This quiet reminded her of being an acolyte in the Spirit House.

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