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Unascended

Congratulations to mkatlantis_13, who won the contest! She gets her choice of previews, and her choice was Unascended.

IF MGM approves it -- which is still not an entirely done deal, though we think it will be -- IF there are indeed two more Legacy books, this would be the prologue of the first one, Unascended.

If. So cross your fingers!



There was nothing. It might have been a few hours. It might have been years. She had no sense of time, no sense of self.

Nothing.

Floating in near-absolute zero space, trapped in a nonfunctioning replicator body, days might have passed. Or eons. There was nothing.

"Elizabeth."

There was a voice, and in some dim part of her she knew that. She knew something. There was a voice, and it said her name.

There was no way she could answer. Frozen synapses and circuits could never respond. She could not even think an answer, not in any conventional way. She knew it was not possible.

She knew,. Which should not be possible either. Thought should not be possible. Consciousness should not be possible. She should not hear a voice, or even dream that she heard one.

And at that the part of her that was still Elizabeth Weir leaped, a frail flame trembling in determination. "Who are you?"

There was a net, a golden net that twined around her. For a moment she saw it complete, gold strands formed into knots, each one different, each one tied by hand, "You are safe," the voice said. It sounded like her mother, like a woman's voice, but that couldn't be.

"I am dead," Elizabeth said.

"Not quite," the voice said. "You cannot die and you cannot live, frozen in a replicator's body.

"Who are you?" she asked, and it felt like her voice strengthened with each word, that her mind strengthened with each thought, herself coming back to her as though her whole being was gathered in by the golden net.

"Ran," she said, and Elizabeth saw her, a woman two thirds her height with long, raven black hair and pale skin mottled with all the colors of the sea. She could almost have been human except for her eyes, black and wide with no iris or pupil at all, simply dark lenses.

"This is not possible," she said, for it seemed to her that the woman stood in front of her, and that Elizabeth had a body again, like her own had been when she died, with all its flaws and strengths. It was not possible for her even to imagine this. The circuits necessary to produce such a delusion should be frozen inactive.

"It is," she said, her voice timbreless. "Are you ready to leave?"

Elizabeth raised her chin. "To die?" Death would be a mercy, compared to eternal nothing. It would be an ending, or perhaps a beginning depending on whose beliefs about the universe were true.

"To live," the woman said, almost tenderly. There was something vaguely familiar about her, about her long four fingered hands that drew the net in gently,

"Do I know you?" she asked.

"Your people worshiped me once," the woman said, drawing in the net from infinite space, each strand glittering in her hands. "She who takes the souls of sailors lost at sea. Ran, the Queen of the Deeps. Are you ready to leave?."

"I can't," Elizabeth said. "If you thaw me, you will reactivate the nanites. We can't afford that. Humanity can't afford that."

"I meant without your body," Ran said gently. "There is one way out, Elizabeth. A way that has always been open to you."

"Ascension." She looked at her, feeling her brows furrow, and surely that was impossible. Surely she had no face, no body, thought she felt it around her, felt her face change expressions. "Are you an Ancient?"

Ran did not smile, though her voice seemed amused. Perhaps those lips were never meant for smiling. "Do you think the Ancients are the only ones who ever learned to Ascend?"

"You're not human…." There were pieces of a puzzle here, if she could put it together.

"Nor any other child of the Ancients," Ran said. She held out one long, four fingered hand, and her voice was like the murmur of the sea. "Come, Elizabeth."

She took a deep breath. "What do I need to do?"

"Take my hands," she said. "And let go."

And then there was something.

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
mkatlantis_13
Aug. 27th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
That was great! Thank you so much. Now, of course, I'm chewing on my liver hoping that MGM will green light the series.
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased you liked it! I'm hoping so too.
tielan
Aug. 27th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
Ooooh!
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm happy you like it!
gelbes_gilatier
Aug. 27th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth ♥ Thank you for the awesome preview, I'm hoping very much we will get the books, after all!
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
I hope so! I have my fingers crossed that MGM will approve!
Shawn Edwards
Aug. 27th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
We knew it had to happen! Non Ancients who could Ascend! Fantastic:). Now I really want to know what Ran's motives are for interfering with the lower planes and all that. Now I have to keep mkatlantis_13 company as I gnaw on my liver!
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Why only the Ancients? A good question indeed. Ran is not an Ancient, nor any of the "children of the Ancients." But she does have a motive.... I hope we get to do this book!
Shawn Edwards
Aug. 28th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
I think we think of only the Ancients because they are the only race that we know Ascended. Also, the Ancients might not be the oldest tace around. Ran's race could have been around billions of years ago. It's a big universe. I think the Nox could ascend if they wanted to. I'd like to know what happened to the Furlings!

I hope you get to write the book, too!!!
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Well, we certainly know about some other old races too, right? *hint hint* There's a big old clue in just this scene. Too bad Elizabeth won't remember it when she unascended at the end of Inheritors! :)
Shawn Edwards
Aug. 28th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
I also wondered about the Sarrakin race in the PG. I sure hope someone sheds light on the 4 fingered alien that draws a net. It doesn't strike a bell. Yet...
jo_graham
Aug. 31st, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
Hummm. It's so hard not to give you clues! Try googling Ran in mythology....
Shawn Edwards
Sep. 5th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
I googled it. Ran would be Asgard?!? Wow. It certainly raises some very interesting possibilities! I never realized that Asgard had 4 fingers (or 3 fingers and a thumb). Learn something new every day...
jo_graham
Sep. 5th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
An Ascended Asgard.... It does raise some interesting possibilities, doesn't it? :D
wabbitseason
Aug. 27th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
Agree with the oooo! Very intriguing as an Elizabeth fan.
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
I hope we get to do it. I would love to write Elizabeth so much!
kickstand75
Aug. 27th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Stopping in to give a quick thumbs up to this!
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it!
havocthecat
Aug. 28th, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
As a huge, huge Elizabeth Weir fan, I'm going to be hoping like hell that MGM greenlights this. (And then I'll wait for someone else to read it and tell me if it's going to give me the Elizabeth Weir I want in canon, because while I trust you as a writer, I no longer trust MGM at all.)

Edited at 2013-08-28 12:36 am (UTC)
jo_graham
Aug. 28th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
I hope we get to do it. I'm so looking forward to writing Elizabeth!
havocthecat
Oct. 29th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, did this ever get approved?
jo_graham
Oct. 30th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
We're still waiting for final approval from MGM, but I am hopeful that we'll have very good news soon!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )