Also, I'm sorry I didn't do this post on Writers' Wednesday (yesterday) as promised, but I got caught up in getting some writing done on the sub-plot of this project. It seems to be going along swimmingly, reaching 10,050 words in just two days. Before I get too excited, I should say that I don't think I can write every day this month. The doctors tell me I'm supposed to keep my left pinky taped to my left ring finger 24 hours a day, but in order to write I've been removing the tape for three to five hours each day (on top of my usual tape removal to shower and do dishes etc). I should probably slow down and wear the damn tape, meaning I'd have to take a couple days off at a time.
So here's why I'm having a hard time doing that. Remember in my last post when I talked about specifying where exactly the titans (on whose backs my characters built their cities) were roaming the planet at any given moment? My secondary story in the book, which has the working title "Timeshare," involves the largest beast, Triton, dropping 27 people off for a summer getaway atop Moscow's OKO South Tower - one of the skyscrapers whose roof stretches above the 1,000-foot fog ceiling. Since it takes Triton over four months to circle the globe, it's a given that these people would have to be picked up by a different colossus who traveled near the same group of skyscrapers (the Moscow International Business Center). Using the data from the maps I posted last month, I plugged numbers and found the following information, which was crucial to writing the section of the book I'm now completing (the "Too Long; Don't Read" summary is in bold).
Triton travels 48,057 miles around the world. At 15 mph with 52 one-hour stops, it takes him 135.645833 days (135 days, 15 hours, 22 minutes). Triton circles the Earth 2.69083091 times per year. Moscow is 50.6% of the journey from LA back around, at 24,338 miles. If we ascended at 7 a.m. Pacific time on March 23rd (and call it Year 0, Day 0, hour 0), then in Year 82, Triton would pass into Moscow on Year 82, Day 114, 18 hours and 37 minutes. This is July 15th at 12:37 p.m. local Moscow time.
Proteus travels 24,206 miles around the world. At 15 mph with 23 one-hour stops, it takes him 68.1972208 days (68 days, 4 hours and 44 minutes). Proteus circles the earth 5.35212426 times per year. Moscow is 20,557 miles around from Dubai, Proteus’s point of departure. Dubai is +12 hours from Los Angeles, so if Proteus departed simultaneously with Triton, he left at 7 p.m. local Dubai time. Moscow is one hour behind Dubai. Proteus would return to Dubai at Year 82, Day 8, Hour 14, Minute 04 (March 31, 9:04 a.m. local Dubai time). He’d arrive again on Year 82, Day 76, Hour 18, Minute 48. It would then take Proteus 1,390.4666 hours (57.936108333 days or 57 days, 22 hours and 28 minutes) to reach Moscow after this. Proteus would reach Moscow to pick up the tourists on Year 82, Day 134, Hour 17, Minute 12 – August 3rd, 11:12 a.m. local Moscow time.
Therefore, the gap between Triton's drop-off and Proteus's pick-up is 19 days, 22 hours and 45 minutes.
Without giving too much away, I'll only say that this 20-day span of time changes the life of Triton resident and would-be travel agent Sean Bellamy in a huge way. The story begins in the year 81 P.A. (Post-Ascension) and ends 18 years later, in 99 P.A.. If you have questions so far, I promise they'll be answered another time. For now, here's a rough cut of my favorite paragraph a few pages into the story.
Sean stopped just once while he walked to the docks. All along Proteus’s back, there were small man-made outcroppings with balustrades on either side of the city and he made his way to one of them. He looked out over the horizon and saw a comfortably familiar sight. It was the same view he’d seen every day of his life: the horizon split into halves, with the blue daylight offset by the reddish earth. It was partly cloudy today, but the clouds were spread out enough that the sun shined brightly despite them. Below the sky, the rust-colored red orange fog sat mostly still. 82 years prior, that fog had driven mankind from living on the surface to living on the backs of the 13 colossi that emerged along with it from the depths of the sea. In his youth, Sean had heard hushed stories about what happened to the humans who didn’t live in a theriopolis like he did. There were plenty of tall tales about whole tribes of people living on the dirt. They were child warriors with a life expectancy of less than 20 years, living in villages inside skyscrapers just below the 1,000-foot fog ceiling. His older relatives also talked about other people who lived in underground fallout shelters, and others still who had tried to develop floating sky cities. There were as many urban legends as there were relatives, it seemed. Since there was no way to separate the truth from the fiction, these stories were often as frustrating as they were fascinating. And although Sean always denied believing in such fairy tales, whenever he found himself enjoying the view near a city he’d always lean forward a bit and squint, keeping an eye out along the top of the haze for feral adolescents carrying babies of their own. He’d never admit it, but the old stories stuck in his mind. I’m just looking because I know I won’t see any people like the ones in the stories, he thought. It’s so stupid. Sometimes he almost believed himself.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.