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Simon Vigneault

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Gray World: Stealing Fire
by Simon Vigneault   

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Science Fiction

Publisher:  Sam's Dot Publishing

Copyright:  13 April 2012

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In a far future orbital civilization sustained by the mining of living planets, a few kindred spirits must somehow steal an arcane, mathematical fire, perhaps thereby honoring the memory of a dead, gray world. Despite its color-blind protagonist, Vagabond, Gray World is a kaleidoscope of science fiction noire and steampunk, incorporating high magic, witchcraft/Wicca, vengeful environmental dystopianism, and dreaming skills.

Faider unraveled the codes driving the whirling storms of an ancient artificial sun. He now spends his days in bitter self-destruction, staring at that arcane sun whose abundance is maddeningly out of reach, due to the blindness of the very people paying him to find access to it. Adriana hasn't given up on Faider. She silently rebels for them both, against the Sun Cage boxing in his spirit, is covertly bending its bars for him. But it's up to Faider to step through the gap.

In Westpoint, New Skye, on the dying hope of planet Skaha, a drunken Vagabond is lying unconscious in a park. Once a renowned waveseer, Vagabond has fallen to the depths, knows firsthand, as a failed hypocrite, the full range of human hypocrisy.

Shyfoil, true warrior daughter of Skaha, embraces and knights Vagabond for exactly his convoluted, compromised virtues. In the silence of his eyes she finds solace from the murder in her heart, and through his waveseer skill, which fuses quantum elegance with magical arts, she discovers he is also a worthy ally in espionage.

Together they must decide whether to trust an alien client who would charge them with stealing a most unusual, mathematical fire, and perhaps thereby honor the memory of a dead, gray world.


Vagabond picked up his drink again, sipped.

As student waveseers gathered in the Mysterium Hall, near the center of Skaha's capital city of Westpoint, they often heard Terva Allia speak of memory, as their chief instructor in pragmatic dreamfold lore.

"The chants, the visualization manifolds, must become as natural to you as your name. You must be able to hold them there," Terva would point into the space before him, "in the quantavium light, hold them like a memory about to be accessed. And you must be able to unfold them in quantavium with silent grace, to spontaneously build dreamfolds in keeping with your aims, in keeping with the aims of your clients. Memory is a great secret. Study the waters of memory well, its gradations, and the reality of practical waveseership will unfold for you. You will find yourself more and more at home in quantavium."


Yes. In his memory it was certainly particularly about fulfilling the aims of clients, no matter what they were.
At first it was a love affair with waveseership.

All of them were delirious, drunk on the excitement, the privilege of being accepted as waveseers at Westpoint Mysterium, site of the cognostic waveseer tribe. Many were from away, come to Skaha, to Westpoint, to attend one of the most prestigious of all the waveseer colleges.

Mysterium and its denizens, its politics, its labyrinthine waveseer lore, were the stuff of holofilms, multinovels, of endless teenage and adult daydreams.

Not all of them deserved it so much, to be there. Some just had lots of money.
Yet you had to have some talent, must have really studied the entrance preliminaries well, or they wouldn't let you in no matter how much money you had. And that was part of the delirium, the delicious pride spiking their embrace of the Mysterium training regimen, of its uniquely pragmatic techniques for stabilizing within and manipulating the quantavium light.

Vagabond, then known as Manser, was entirely in his element, swimming easily and ecstatically in the water of the old masters, reveling in the hard work of studying the ancient quantum physicists, the phenomenologists, the recondite Jewish qabalists, crafty witches, and high magicians of old Earth. These were the masters who had laid the ground of their waveseer art long before a wild colony of self styled 'new Celtic' scientists, witches, magicians and artists, had crossed space in their motley collection of tesseract ships, to make Skaha their new, free home, only to have the ubiquitous Four Quarters easily follow, to box them in again with its laws, its mining colonies, its media detritus.

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