Studded began with an open-ended short story I wrote a few months ago, which quickly ballooned into a novel. It takes place in the universe I’m rebuilding, the Aleruus Star System, and I think the relational and political dynamics are going to be really cool once I figure them out fully. This scene is from the perspective of my second main character (it follows two storylines), Onyx Andromeda, and introduces a bit of the beginning conflict for her. (Those of you who have read the Studded short story, just a quick note: The King Daumier in that story is now named Julen instead; the short story isn’t changed, but Daumier is now the name of a different character.)
“We’re almost there,” Onyx signed, fingers flying.
“I still don’t think this is a good idea.” Diamond spoke aloud, frowning. Her voice had a beautiful, melodic quality to it, but it was nothing compared to Onyx’s when she spoke. But Onyx never spoke.
“You keep saying that. What’s wrong with trying to overthrow a tyrant?”
Diamond sighed. “Nothing, I just don’t think this is the right way to do it.”
Onyx scowled. “I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to help us. Why don’t you want me to try?”
“I don’t know what it will do to you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Killing him? He may be a tyrant, but he’s our father. What will happen to you if you kill him?”
“I won’t get caught.” Onyx pointed to her unpierced eyebrow.
“That’s not what I mean.” Diamond slid to sit next to her younger sister on the floor. “I mean what will it do to you? What will happen to your mind if you take his life?”
Onyx paused, frowning, before starting to sign again. “I don’t have to be the one to do it.”
Diamond sighed and slid her bracelets up and down her arm. “I don’t like this idea, Onyx. I never have. You know this. Get your… friends? to find another way.”
Onyx sighed. “Fine. I’ll look into it.”
“Thank you.” Diamond wrapped her arms around Onyx. After a moment she drew back and brushed a piece of ebony hair behind Onyx’s ear. “I love you. I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret.”
“I know.” Onyx rose from the carpet and left, wondering yet again why Diamond wouldn’t just let her make life better for both of them.