And so we begin the actual posts (though follow the link back to the first part of Nanograph One if you don’t want to be lost.) I’ll be splitting the posts by ‘Nanograph’ short sections, and full ‘Chapters.’ Each post will have a .# after it to show which part of the whole section or chapter of the novel it is.
At the bottom of each post, there’ll be a link to the Index page, which also has a blurb.
Not sure if I’ve noted this elsewhere, but the plan is to keep posting these till the novel is all out here.
Once again, if you like it, if you hate it, if you want to engage with me, please comment.
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This would make her career. In the hedonistic otherworld of the printed bound—an addiction only for the Auteur junkies and hyper-rich—Inspiration was just another mark in making the bound a distasteful extravagance. Thankfully the new Inspiration she was looking for shouldn’t upset the delicate balance of the powers. Balance maintained between the House cartels and those damned militant Librarians. They’d love it. Eating up the further rarification of their bounds, caused by still more rumours of crime and drugs. As long as she helped maintain their worth by selling on the high, well, then no one would come and ink her. As long as she kept their secret world of money and information safe.
She ran her scanner around the ruins of the library—wishing all along she could wipe the damned bang of red hair from her face. Hair close enough to the lens of her eye that the gray was only refraction. The contaminate she was after should match certain criteria, but still spiral off on its own accord.
The way she’d gone into drug-running never seemed that great a stretch. Of course, she’d had to retrain from antiquarian bookseller to high tech criminal—but how much of a shift was that really? All a part of being alive after the millennium. She knew how to look for that right type of binding, the right bound to have incubated a strain.
Her sensor ‘pinged’. Squinting through the IR which overlaid the helmet, Julia saw the organic which had mouldered the collapsed bounds into a stubby stalagmite. Approaching it gingerly, she stopped and considered. She didn’t want to break open the crust. But then, that was what she was getting paid for.
“Shit.” And took her drill from the utility belt. Dormant Inspiration had been known to explode on being tampered with; Julia had seen the scars on another poor tome raider. That bastard had been so gone, he’d fallen into an anaphylactic shock when not reading pulp romance. This ruptured softly to the touch. Inside, the gills of the overgrown mushroom did nothing but resemble the pages of a dusty bound. She scraped the spores away, directly into resin, and stood whilst letting it set. As she waited, she took her time in choosing where to place the thermals.
Climbing back up the tunnel was just hell on her knees. Christ! Hopefully she wouldn’t have to commit many more of these ridiculous digs. As exciting as they were, the last one had finally paid off the equipment, and so this one should be pay dirt.
At the head of the tunnel, Julia threw in the last of the burn grenades, quickly spraying thick foam capping behind her. She rushed away.
Later, into the mobile: “Sundancer here.” She grimaced, never having grown into her code. “I’ve located the Narrative.”
The voice on the other end of her blank screen—blank, though she could well imagine the man’s damned goggles—he told her briefly, “then deliver it to our Author.” She could see the glasses flashing eagerly. Julia went cold. So, the job wasn’t done yet…
End Nanograph Zero
By Paul McLaughlan
‘T’ source: Butsch, A. F.: “Die Bücher-Ornamentik Der Renaissance (Vol. I.)” (1878)