Two nights ago I mentioned my new job, ID’d the “four-hundred pound gorilla,” and said, “…let’s see if I can hit 50K words despite that, not use it as an excuse to fall short.” Then yesterday happened.
I’m going to keep plodding along (too stupid and stubborn to know when to give up is the diagnosis) but these are the graphs from the NaNoWriMo website for the last two nights:
That grey line is the 1,667 words per day you need to average to hit the 50,000 word mark by December 1st. It’s obvious that it’s pulling away from me, and the last five days of the month aren’t going to help with Thanksgiving, family visiting, Christmas lights, Saturday a long day at the CAF hangar, and starting the new job on Monday.
It’s hero time!
It’s also good to remember that this isn’t worth stroking out over.
It could get done easily if that idiot muse of mine would get her butt in gear. Maybe we could all close our eyes, clap our hands, and chant, “I do believe in Paul’s muse! I do believe in Paul’s muse!”
Or maybe she just needs a fifth of Jack Daniels. You know how muses are.
While I normally put in a lot of internal links to previous, related posts here, I won’t be doing that for what I hope will be this year’s thirty NaNoWriMo posts. If you have jumped into or stumbled onto this story in mid-adventure, there are plenty of other ways to navigate around the site to find previous installments. Actually doing so is left as an exercise to the student.
CHAPTER TWELVE (continued)
“Kolohe gives me a great burden with his plea for help,” said Sherman. “I do not know that I possess the speed and skill to do as he asks, but I will do everything I am able.”
“”Thank you, soulless one.”
“You must tell me, so that I may try to find Kolohe in the vast open waters of the wilderness, when did Kolohe begin his swim to battle?”
“Five days ago, in the morning at first light.”
“Do you know which direction he went?”
“He swam away from the rising sun.”
“Where were the ships that were hunting him?
“They had at first come from the direction of the great islands in the center of the sea, but they had gone toward the setting sun and then come back toward us to hunt.”
“So you are saying that Kolohe swam toward his enemies?”
“Yes, he said only that he had a guess and would surprise them. We were dispatched to find you here, while the others in the pod, led by Ke`oke`o, were sent to hide and find refuge in the Great Bay far toward the rising sun. “
“My thanks and gratitude, as well as that of all of your people, are due to your and your companions, Hōkū. You must be exhausted and hungry after your epic swim. Please, there is an island toward the rising sun only a short swim away. You will be safe there to feed and rest. Then come back to me and I will tell you what I have learned.”
“Very well, soulless one. May your hunting be swift and true.”
With a hard flip of his tail, Hōkū was gone, his companions following him, much more slowly than they had come. There was none of the normal playfulness in their actions and they appeared weak and listless after the ordeal. Still, the companion guard dolphins kept Hōkū at the center of their group, safe from any possible enemies or dangers.
Sherman quickly started rifling through various data sets, pulling the information he would need to find and help Kolohe. He had to quickly figure out where he was now, who was hunting him, and whether or not Kolohe was still free of them. He was not at all sure what he would do to help when he got answers, but there would be time for that later.
Starting with approximately where he thought Kolohe’s people had been, triangulating that with where HDC Buoy 319 was, factoring in how fast Hōkū and his group could swim and how long they had been on their journey, he had an idea of where Kolohe would have started.
But why would he have swum directly at the ships and bots who were following him?
Pulling data from satellite tracking and ship movements, he began to look for anything that might be Kolohe’s pursuers. There was nothing anywhere near where Kolohe had been, but that only meant that they were travelling without any transponders or other tracking assistance. That was almost unheard of, except for military vessels and those actively looking to avoid being seen, mainly smugglers and the few fools who thought they could still make a living by being pirates.
It was a bit more risky than he usually was comfortable with, but Sherman accessed government satellite data which was used to visually track those running without transponders. The military had their own system for tracking enemy ships, but the Coast Guard, Navy, CIA, and FBI had systems for tracking those involved in illegal activities.
Those records for the past ten days showed several targets being investigated by the authorities in those areas. All of them were speeding in straight lines, trying wherever possible to stay under thick cloud cover, their engines and exhausts baffled and stealthy to try to avoid being spotted by infrared systems.
(Chapter Twelve to be concluded)