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World Building On Harbinger (post 2)

Hey all!  I will be attending the EPICon Conference in San Antonio over next weekend.  Can’t wait to soak up all the wisdom and tips that will be discussed- writers, unite!  Hope to see you there :)

Meat of the post:  cultural tidbits regarding my next book, Harbinger Part One.  Most of the story takes place on the planet of Deka, the very first planet in the Four-headed Galaxy, residing in the Deka Quadrant.  (A lot of this information will be available in the back glossary of the finished book.)

Truth Extraction: A fatal probing of the mind- it finds the truth but destroys all of the neurons in the brain that were used when witnessing and storing the truthful thoughts. As the extractor combs through the brain’s data banks, everything is destroyed. You can learn a lot, but the subject never lives- unless there was a sectioned off bit that you knew of that you could get too without destroying anything else. Then it works without rendering the victim a vegetable.  Elesion is the only nation on the continent of Angara that has not banned this procedure.

Skylark: A prankster, but a lovable one.

Tonic or herbal healing tea, Bracer: “The morning bracer”- something that everyone on Deka besides Noble Elesioners openly adores. Since Elesion provides perfectly calibrated nutrients in tubes for the people, they “only” get sick from tainted tubes. Elesioners don’t like to admit the fact that they often use homeopathy for simple things. The high-tech lifestyle isn’t foolproof, but to say so is a gross insult and misconduct in the presence of polite society.

Quench it: Shut it, shut up, be still.

Irascean grain rods: Grain that grows in cool, somewhat wet environments- similar to an Earthly reed on the banks of lakes and ponds and marshes. There are variations of this crop, some are edible, some are not.

Mr. Wallpaper: Term for a coward.

Dentar: A metal alloy that is extremely strong and can be made in different colors; the most popular choice glints like burnished gold.

Milo: Sweetheart, love, or my love.

Quadratants: Inhabitants of the Deka Quadrant.

Juiced: Drugged.

Hyper Doorway Attraction Disorder or Hyper Doorway Magnetism Disorder: There are three levels, the first two reside under the term HDAD (Hyper Doorway Attraction Disorder) and the third level is categorized under HDMD (Hyper Doorway Magnetism Disorder).

The most advanced studies on the disorder suggest it would be caused by an abundance of a certain genetic protein. But the doorway attractions don’t happen without a spike in human electromagnetic energy (neural impulses), so it is difficult to ascertain whether the impulses or the protein marker is the true cause. Most subjects that have been rigorously tested showed both theories to be in effect, though several subjects showed a marked preference for one over the other. There are differing schools of thought on the origins and possible miraculous meanings for such an affliction. The terms HDMD and HDAD are interchangeably expressed in non-scientific, everyday conversations. Average Deka Quadratants don’t appreciate the subtle differences.

Level One: Hyper Doorway Attraction Disorder. This is actually a fortuitous predisposition to have. While your body’s protein marker and/or magnetic nerve impulses attract doorways, they don’t affect you violently. You merely find doorways easy to access. You may come upon them at surprising times, but you are never compelled to enter them. You can choose which ones to ignore and can even coax a doorway into coming nearer to you for your convenience. All in all, the subject has the dominant position in this level. Level ones almost never progress to any greater stage, requiring only the most minimal medical supervision.

Level Two: Hyper Doorway Attraction Disorder. These subjects are designated as level twos. This is where it gets tricky. You find doorways easily and sometimes fall into them on sheer accident. There is a stronger genetic marker for this level. Subjects are often intellectually and/or artistically gifted. There is a distinct possibility that later in life your disorder could progress and become a level three Hyper Doorway Magnetism Disorder. Level twos need moderate medical supervision to maintain their health and safeguard against any furthering of their condition.

Level Three: This is full-blown Hyper Doorway Magnetism Disorder, the kind in which you are a constant, forceful magnet for Random Doorway Friction. There is no cure for any level three, yet.

There are two distinct kinds of level three HDMD, 1st degree and 2nd degree, and then a third category where the truly baffling cases are lumped into one group, called “Vitals”.

1st degree HDMD is when heightened levels of electromagnetic impulses are carried within and used by your body, making your actual bodily composition less stable than normal humans. You are human, just more so. You react to things with a heightened level of emotion and often can reach higher levels of critical thought. Cataloguing mood swings, depression, unexplainable feelings of mental anguish, hysteria, and irrational anger can be helpful in diagnosing subjects with this disorder. Subjects have a tendency to lose bits of their sanity due to the mental strain and disorientation of being dragged through doorways you had no intention of venturing through. 1st degree subjects are often extreme risk-takers and heedless of their own safety. This heightened state of being is hard to sustain, and as such, most die at early ages, literally from “burn out” where their neurons can’t reproduce fast enough to save them from wearing out. The ones that aren’t extreme risk takers or have learned to curb that desire deal with their disorder by staying in one place throughout their lives, moving only within a specific radius of land in order not to ever get sucked into a doorway that is located outside that perimeter.

The second degree of HDMD is when you are simply a carrier for the protein, causing your body to store massive levels of electromagnetic energy within you, but without the ability to access it. More and more latent magnetic energy keeps building up over time and eventually it reaches a certain level that triggers the DNA protein to dissolve, causing a chemical reaction that kills every living tissue in your body. Strangely enough, the amount of poisonous solution this protein-trigger creates is precisely tailored to your body chemistry and is never greater than the amount it would take to kill you. You literally carry inside of you a code that can cause ultimate personal destruction to you and no one else at any time. When it happens, it will cause complete organ failure, akin to poisoning. The individuals with this 2nd degree disorder will always produce children that test HDAD or HDMD positive. Your deterioration can take place over any kind of time frame. It can take as long as forty years or it could be as short as four minutes after birth.

Vitals are the group of 3rd degree HDMD subjects that don’t show enough of a protein marker and display enough neural impulses to be diagnosed as HDAD/HDMD patients. They lack physical evidence to back up their claims. The abilities of Vitals are often bizarre, each of them unique, and the life span for the subjects differ radically. Some have all the patience in the world and others are more irascible than the worst 1st degree HDMD subject.

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abigail schwaig

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