Archive for the ‘Fallen Gods’ Tag

Job Interview   Leave a comment

This is a multi-page story; just click on the “Pages” links at the foot of each page to move back and forth.


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The woman gazed at the ident-block on the door’s security panel with a nervous expression. She had passed any number of such panels on the way up to this office, but none of them had read:

Sherman, Ariel
Chairwoman /
CEO
Fantasial Productions
ILC

It felt strange to Taraia to be interviewed by the CEO of a corporation for a job … especially when the job was really an entrance-level position. Her college advisor had told her that Lady Ariel was peculiar in this way; she wanted to get a feel for new-hires outside of the production aspects of her theatre’s show and night club. Was it because, again according to her advisor, promotions came from within the corporation, and so she might have closer daily exposure with the Boss than at two or three removes …?

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Tripping the 2020 Faire   Leave a comment

I’ve been wound up with outside affairs this past few weeks, and I just managed to squeeze in a run through this year’s Fantasy Faire. There were several extremely creative regions this time through, and I snapped my favorite views in photos, so to preserve their memory and share it with others.

There will be two sections here; the first is a gallery of landscapes, while the second shows what I wore, built mostly from offerings at the various vendors. You can click on the gallery for larger views, and there’s a link at the bottom for full size. (Some of these are 1920 wallpapers.)

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Encounter with Darkness   1 comment

As promised, here is the short story I’ve been working on with Jem’s and Conan’s help. It’s long by blog standards (nearly 3,000 words), and thoroughly illustrated, so I’ll be breaking it up into pages. (Which also gives me a chance to experiment with some WordPress tweaks.) Just look for “Pages” beneath the Related Posts section at the bottom of each page, and click on the next page to continue.

If you have questions, such as Ariel and Adam’s backstory, contact me in world, or write harper.ganesvoort at gmail dot com, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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Visits to Terra were an extremely rare thing for Ariel Sherman, despite her dual positions as a successful performer across multiple modes, and head of the interstellar corporation known as the Cyborg Condominium. Most questions of business could be taken care of in a holographic quadcomm conference call, after all. Considering how far the distance was between the ancient mother planet and the Videra Sector, which contained the star Eta Pegasi and its inhabited planet of Videra, that was just as well. The Limlight Republic was spread across well over two thousand systems, and the trip between the two sectors, even in hyperspace, took nearly a month one way.

But some companies insisted on face-to-face meetings, and real sign-manuals on plaspaper contracts instead of electronic signatures, and so Ariel found herself far removed from the comforts of her home on the pleasure planet Videra, and from her revue show at The Land of Fantasy Theatre. Not that her surroundings were uncomfortable at the moment. The hotel suite she and Adam Sandhara, her husband, occupied for their stay in Old Manhattan was sinfully luxurious; and it should be … after all, it was owned by the Condominium. Even if most of the trip could be written off the taxes as a business expense, the bean-counters preferred keeping those expenses to a minimum.

The cost of the meal could still be written off, though, because Ariel had chosen to make a virtue out of a necessity, and ply her preferred trade in a new sector of the Republic. Before leaving Videra, she had informed the hotel manager that she would be bringing her nightclub act to one of the clubs inside their hotel for a surprise appearance.

Curtain time was approaching, and the ’borgs were finishing their meal with a few glasses of champagne, and a cigarette on Ariel’s part.  Glancing across the floor where his wife would soon be performing, Adam grinned and said, “There are times, Ari, when I don’t know why I indulge you as I do.  Coming over 200 light-years from Eta Pegasi to perform at a nightclub is a bit of a jaunt, even in this day and age.”

“Oh, I think I can come up with a few reasons why you indulge me, darling,” Ariel laughed as she blew smoke toward the ceiling ventilation ducts.  Soft lights shimmered off the silk of the lehenga sari from New Karnataka that she wore.  “Reasons which I heartily return, by the way.  That’s the reason we stay married, even after twenty-something years.  Anyway, you should blame this on the company that insists on face-to-face negotiations in a board room and an actual signature on a physical contract, signed in person before a roomful of lawyers and notaries public.  We could have solved everything from Videra with a few teleconferences and a blockchain signature.  This company doesn’t do that kind of thing, though.” 

She tapped off her ash in the ashtray, and added, “And don’t tell me you’re not taking advantage of your little ‘vacation’ here to meet up with old clients for Micronan, and maybe hunt up a few new ones.  That’s the only real reason you needed to come along, other than spending time with me when my meetings break.”

“I admit you have me there, lady,” Adam smiled, the lights of the club glinting off his metallic “skin,” as golden as his wife’s.  “I still say you’re giving in a little to ego here, looking for some applause even when you’re technically away from the stage.”

“I may grant you that one, lord.  But I see it more like I’m drumming up fresh trade myself for the revue.  Even without us on board as the constant star artists anymore, the revue is still hugely popular; but keeping the name out there in fresh areas helps keep the business up.”

“Mmhmm … that’s what they all say, I’m sure,” Adam said with another grin … and then he laughed as he caught the napkin Ariel threw at him.  He tossed it back as Ariel took a final sip of wine; she patted her lips dry, then kissed her husband, and trotted back to the dressing room set aside for her, to do a last repair on her makeup before coming on.

Unsurprisingly, the hour-long concert set proved a hit; even two hundred-some light-years from Videra, the star quality of Ariel Sherman enthralled spectators.  She accepted the enthusiastic applause of the audience, none of whom had known that she would be singing for them; as she bowed, though, she glanced around the room, and noticed that Adam had vanished.  It wasn’t unusual for him to meet her in the dressing room, however, and so Ariel worked her way “backstage.”

When she made it inside the dressing room, there was no sign of Adam.  She noted, however, a “message waiting” advice on the wall commpanel, and tapped it on.  Adam’s face appeared, and said, “Darling, I’m sorry, but one of those old clients of mine called with an incredibly urgent consultation request.  I can’t put him off, so I’ve gone down to the comm lounge to handle it.  I’ll meet you in the bar after we’re both done.  Sorry.”

Ah, the joys of running insanely successful corporations ….  Ariel grinned as she shook her head, cleared the message, and returned up the halls to the bar area, passing by the transsteel door to the businesspersons’ communications lounge.  A glance inside showed Adam still there, pacing back and forth as he spoke to an image on his digicomm.  Seeing he was occupied, Ariel moved on.

The nightclub’s bar wasn’t a large one – most drinks were served at the tables – and was tended by a single ’droid.  Ariel ordered a small white wine and turned to gaze idly toward the club’s outside entrance; then she started as she focused on the door, her lips falling from their smile and her optics locking on the woman who was entering.

Grotesquerie   Leave a comment

“… [I]n the absence of sensory information, the imagination always tends to the grotesque.”

Patrick McGrath

I’ve been doing a little cleanup in my Inventory, and found this gown. It’s vintage now, along with the hair and fur, but worth sharing in some photos.
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Christmas in White   Leave a comment

(Author’s note: since I didn’t have access to some 50 Residents in the proper skin and costumes, I’m asking you to suspend disbelief on my photos, and supplement things with your own imagination. Either road, here’s a short Christmas story from the 48th Century, and my character Ariel Sherman. HG)

Ariel glanced around her at the four dozen-plus gold and silver people surrounding her. As usual, The Land of Fantasy had put on a phenomenal production of its current revue show, and everyone looked satisfied with things, no matter the changes in the script for the evening. Of course, for cyborg memories, “changes in the script” were rather small beer. It was the human pride in their craft that shone here, pride in performing in a once-a-year show to the satisfaction of both themselves and a demanding audience.

There was still a final act to go before they rang down the curtain for the next four weeks, for the show’s annual break. This would not be the usual finale, though, with its famous nudity; not on this night. For this was Day 357 on the Limlight Standard Calendar. There were children in the audience tonight, and the entire performance was much more family-oriented. Especially for tonight’s finale, the one element of this special show which had not changed from year to year. To Ariel’s demanding eye, everyone looked happy, prepared, and confident. She nodded happily back to them, said, “Alright, people; let’s do it,” and got back words and signs of agreement. “Go, Dalton,” she whispered to her organic stage manager, who grinned back, tapped at his tablet, and gave the needed orders. Recorded music began playing; the “small” curtain in front of Ariel opened thirty seconds later, and Lady Ariel Sherman entered at stage center, sweeping through the curtains in a massive ball gown of white satin.

She dropped into a stage-depth curtsey as the audience cheered and applauded and the rest of the cast and company entered behind her. Each of the feature acts took their own bows, then arranged themselves behind their star artiste. The audience quieted at last, and Ariel said into the amplification field, “Thank you all so much for coming tonight to The Land of Fantasy! It’s always our joy and pleasure to perform for you, but doubly so on special nights, such as this.”

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People of the Heart – Friends   3 comments

Continued from Part 2 ….

Zana Sherman was fortunate that this weekend wasn’t as academically busy as it would become closer to the end of term. It seemed that her social calendar was compensating, by sending her invitations to meet with people she loved or enjoyed. Aside from Alon Cohen on Friday night, though, she was holding things to only an hour or so, and joining up with them on the way to other venues, such as the laundry or the Psych House … the graduate students’ name for the departmental offices. Even for a college student … at least one as diligent as Zana … socializing wasn’t everything ….

But she stretched the limits at Saturday lunch, because the meal was with Dara Furtano-Fa. The relationship with “Big Sis” ran back to when Dara had saved the lives of both Zana and her mother on the construction stage of The Land of Fantasy, her mother’s famous theatre. Not only had Zana met Dara that day, but the accident had set events in motion that led to Dara’s getting the cyborg conversion she had desired … and all that had arisen in the ‘borg community since.

Both women had a fondness for a restaurant in Vidran’s Arosen sector that offered what the owner called “Mongolian grill,” but served up al fresco. They were deep in discussion at a shady table outside the restaurant, situated on a food court in one corner of the district’s park. “And so the term’s going well so far?” Dara asked as their tea arrived. The sun of Videra’s primary glinted off her sunglasses, worn mostly for fashion’s sake, as ‘borgs’ eyes were quite capable of handling bright sunshine. (The sun also gleamed off the integuments of both women, golden on Zana and silver on Dara; they had chosen the shady table to spare the eyes of other diners and passersby as much as possible from the reflection.)

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People of the Heart – Family   4 comments

Continued from Part 1 ….

Zana stepped back into her apartment the next morning, thoroughly relaxed by the night’s activities … all of the night’s activities. It had been a stressful term so far, even for a cyborg; of course, graduate studies were always stressful, but psychology was tougher than most. And add into that my personal psychotherapy starts in two weeks, she thought as she moved into her bedroom to change out of her finery, into a casual unitard. God knows what little gremlins will turn up then! She had always considered herself well adjusted and mentally healthy. Who but God could guess what a qualified psychotherapist would find …? Then her lips quirked back in a mercurial change of mood. Although her career would be made, perhaps, as the author of the first case study on a ‘borg in the literature!

The small jest improved Zana’s mood; but she still felt the need for some encouragement, or at least a shoulder to cry on for a few picoseconds. Glancing again at the holographs on the mantel, she regretted not returning home to her parents’ house. Still, there were other ways of getting together with family … not as satisfyingly tactile, but they would do in a pinch …. She said to the room, “Computer, please call Ariel Sherman, home code, full holo.” She sat on her couch as the computer beeped.

Shortly, a full-body image of her mother, wearing a green casual outfit and a purple silk duster, appeared in the holoprojection field created by the comm program. “Hi, sweet one! What makes you call on this fine Saturday morning?”

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