Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Corr Syl The Warrior by Garry Rogers (Excerpt)

at 4:30 AM

Corr Syl

Corr decided to refuse the council appointment.  He would assure the council that they could depend on him, but because of his imminent departure they would have to choose another warrior as their agent.

Corr looked around his room at his collections of feathers, leaves, and weapons, his unfinished sketch of Rhya, the pile of pebbles and twigs that one day might form a recognizable shape, and the deep green ivy completely covering one wall.  He started chewing a handful of seeds and dried fruit and clicked the test circuit on the miniature recorder-communicator mounted on his shoulder strap.  As he lowered his hand, he brushed the pouch holding the high-energy weapon he carried for emergencies.  All warriors carried the weapons, but no one practiced with them.  Corr shivered.  To hit anything, he would have to blast the surrounding landscape.  He would never do that.

Corr lifted his weapons harness from its peg on the wall and began appraising his current story stream.  With friends, Corr listened for the right moment to tell a story.  One stream of thought usually worked on a new story or revised an old one.  He filed stories away and waited for a chance to try them on friends.  His considered how he would segue into his latest story the next time he saw Rhya.

The idea came from a picture.  Once, Corr’s mother took a framed picture down from the wall and stood it before the two-year old rabbit.  The frame held a rubbing made from an etching of a long-eared rabbit with a great bushy tail.  As Corr looked, he raised his hands and felt his much smaller ears.

“This warrior rabbit lived long ago,” said Corr’s mother.  “The large ears probably helped him hear and keep cool.  No one knows for sure why he had such a large tail.”

A geologist had found the etching sandwiched between layers of sedimentary rock.  Corr’s parents gave him the picture when he completed warrior training.

In Corr’s new story, a warrior struggled to kill Ankalagon, a deadly predator whose fossils occurred in the same layers of sedimentary rocks as the etching.

Paleontologists often found a sharp gouge on the dens, a small bony projection in Ankalagon’s neck.  The dens extended from the rim of the second cervical vertebra up into the ring of the atlas, the first vertebra at the base of Ankalagon’s skull.  The dens served as an anchor for ligaments that held the skull in place and kept it from twisting too far.  A heavy bony extension of the atlas protected the dens and the precious spinal cord beneath.

The picture had given Corr the idea for the story’s theme:  Behavior could outlive shape.  Corr decided to make the main character female like Rhya; the District’s only other rabbit warrior.

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Genre –  Science Fiction

Rating – PG

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