A daring entry...

I have been working on my novel, Nachino, since 1999, in some way, shape, or form. In the last few years, that work has been slightly more concentrated, even completing a full first draft. My problem? I am my own worst critic, and I know there's a shitton of wrong going on with my novel, from a lack of originality in some parts, to being simply overbloated. But I care about my story and characters and feel its necessary to give them a life worth living. One major problem has always been, how to start? So, presented here, is a possible beginning, of countless attempts. This is a one-off, unedited and raw. Please feel free to comment, here, on FB, whatever; feedback is greatly appreciated and essential!

“I’M SURE MANY of you are acutely aware of the recent meteor impact in the largely unpopulated territory between the Provinces of Cramaden and Leesna within the last few days. Thankfully, reports from the Krok’Y scouts out of Leesna indicate little to no casualties, mostly the losses are counted among crops and livestock of the area, and nothing so significant to affect local economies. However, the impact seems to have had a more devastating effect on the political landscape versus the actual one.

“Has anyone heard the preliminary report issued from the office of the Sydnee?” asked Professor Anther Amyss.

He looked across the auditorium, knowing full-well that every single one of these students, young and old, had hung on every word issued from any office that comprised the Grenome. But speculation on those words’ meanings, the intent of those speakers, and political affiliations held most of the students tongue.

He drew his face into a disappointed grimace, his grey eyes looking down to the phosphor screens embedded in his desk surface. With a few waves of his long, marbleized fingers, he cued up recordings of the announcement, made not by the Sydnee herself, but by her assistant, a young Iraka man dressed entirely too professionally. His own son, Anther Swain.

The recording commenced. “It is unclear at this time how such an object evaded detection, the Sydnee is currently using all the abilities and services at her disposal to determine adequate information and will make a formal presentation before the Council of Eledists in a session of the Grenome at a date to be determined.”

“Political non-answer.” Amyss said. “The safest thing anyone can do in an emergency. But what is the emergency here?”

A student raised his hand, a Reil boy, two years out from graduating university, currently dressed in the trappings of his internship with the Innica.

“Yes, Sir Gruks?”

Simy Gruks shifted in his seat and cleared his throat. “As the Sydnee is a Nachino, the public at large expects her to know the answer without the use of tools that we understand. Being a natural event, the consensus points to her simply being able to feel the answer…”

Amyss nodded approvingly. “So when a natural rock comes crashing out of the natural sky, Madam Sydnee should have been able to sense it coming and better yet, should be able to explain how and why technological instruments missed it. Better yet, people would want to know why, in the instruments failure, she herself did not address the issue well before it occurred.”

Most of the class murmured in agreement.

“But that is wrong.” Amyss said cutting off the reaction. “The Nachino were not super-powered. As such, neither is Amerly Porean, the Sydnee. Unfortunately, she now faces her most difficult trial since accepting the office of the Sydnee nearly ten years ago: proving once again that the Nachino were normal people, simply able to gain a balance with nature. But with adversaries, the likes of the Shevro First Order of the Innica himself, Ninnessin Trapse, Madam Porean faces more than proving she’s just the same as you and I, she needs to prove that her station is relevant, because without her, the Grenome will self-destruct.”

“That’s too much weight…even for a Nachino!” someone cried out.

“Indeed.” Amyss agreed.

“Social History is a required course among the Endemon Society’s university system,” Amyss said seemingly changing subject, “understanding how people and their actions drive history is just as important as the historical events themselves. I understand that many of you here today specifically request to attend my rendering of the subject. Today we will cover a portion of the topic that drives that desire: the Nachino.”

The students shifted nervously. Anther Amyss was a celebrity by all accounts, an Iraka nearing two hundred years old who had been involved in some of history’s most fascinating turns, especially concerning the mysterious Nachino. The Sydnee’s desire to hide away at this tumultuous time reminded him of other Nachino’s actions he had been a party to, and no doubt, reminded his students as well.

“The basics should be well known to you all, a Nachino is typically female, the result of a successful conception between Reil and Iraka. It is worth noting that more than 60% of Nachino are born to Reil mothers. Iraka are physically too frail to withstand the intense pregnancy, what with the accelerated gestation and the physical demands of the growing Nachino youth. 80% of Iraka Nachino pregnancies end in death. However, if it is any consolation to the mother’s sacrifice, some of the world’s most notable and important Nachino were born to Iraka mothers, including the Sydnee.

“The first documented Nachino were Barryl Sedaykin and the twins Asura and Toller Endemon, Great-Aunts to Kolesk and Syril Endemon. These three girls were the first and only Nachino for most of their lives, their parents were so frightened, yet intrigued, by their children that they were fiercely protected. More than a thousand years ago Illillyen Sedaykin, the Reil Signant and his troop of explorers left the walled cities of the Reil Empires on the mainland and journeyed to the island Province now known as Sccolla.

“For years Illillyen and his group lived among the Iraka, people they had once thought to be vicious predatory creatures on the fringes of society. But of course they discovered a rich culture steeped in naturalism and deeply devoted to loving life. When it was discovered that Iraka and Reil breeding cycles overlapped midway through their respective seasons, they of course experimented. Some have called it an act of bravery, or lunacy, I think they were simply curious.

“At the age of 16, the girls, curious about themselves, left against their parents’ wishes to explore the greater world. Hearing enough stories of the Reil Empires to feel they knew them well enough, they ventured southward, to another large continent, Ipsha. They studied mega-beasts who struggled in a vast wilderness unlike anything they had seen or learned about, and as they watched this delicate dance of life, they understood that all of nature was not so different from them, and that through this understanding, they could become attuned to its needs and desires. This was the Nachino power; a love of nature from their Iraka parents and a cunning to implement that knowledge in new ways from the Reil.

“They were not alone out there in Ipsha, though. Eventually they encountered the Krok’Y, a people who had lived in secrecy, hidden away from the rest of the world. And for a year, the Krok’Y and three Nachino girls lived together, taking the first steps to a global community that would last to even now.

“The Nachino were unifiers, they saw the world around them and understood how it worked. This understanding of course led to subtle manipulations, over flora and fauna, and eventually over their own march across history. It is said not a moment of time the Nachino were upon this planet wasn’t documented in some way, that Krok’Y histories chronicle the time Barryl, Asura and Toller spent among them. I don’t doubt it for a moment, but something happened within that time that would lead to the greatest lie ever perpetuated, and the very reason the Nachino are gone save for Madam Porean. It is that lie that she lives in the shadow of, or rather the toppling of that lie, by Jema Suroy.”

Realizing a few students had begun to look away from his lecture, Amyss followed their gaze to see Anther Swain standing in the doorway. He was still wearing the same purple and silver-piped suit he had been wearing when he made his statement on behalf of the Sydnee. He held his tall hat in one hand and a messenger canister in the other. Amyss began to walk toward him, but Swain quickly closed the gap and looked at his father with the respect offered a colleague, not a familial love.

“Madam Sydnee requested I deliver this to you personally, to stress its importance.”

Amyss swallowed a couple of times before assuming the same respectful, yet dismissive tone. “It appears you have already read it,” he said taking the canister and noticing the end had already been split open.

“I wrote it.” Swain corrected. “I needed to ensure that the weight of the issue was properly illustrated.”

Amyss gave a curt nod, then took out the filament from inside, unrolled and read it. He quickly gave Swain a terrified gaze and felt the blood rush from his face. His grey skin, typically looking like warm marble, suddenly looked as cold and lifeless as the granite desk behind him.

“I take it the implications are clear.” Swain said.

Amyss nodded, shakily. “I can…make, the appropriate contacts…” he swallowed hard again, looking back at the note.

“Madam Sydnee would greatly appreciate it.” Swain said, put his hat back on and quickly exited.

The students watched in rapt curiosity, but it was a student late to class that broke the tension as she passed Swain giving him a friendly nudge as she passed.

“What’s up, Granite?” Galeth Bulub asked. An atypical Iraka girl, she was dressed as though she had just come from a physical training class, or a party that had started the night before. “You look like you just saw a ghost…”

Amyss blinked a few times, staring at her. Normally he would chastise her use of the nickname she had given him or demand to know where she had been and threaten her student record for interrupting the class with her tardiness, instead he said, “I think I just have…”

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