Weekend Writing Warriors – The Aurigae Express 7

June 23, 2013

Greetings from Odyssey! Sorry I missed WeWriWa last week, but I’m going back to  my Camp Nanowrimo project “The Aurigae Express.” Alan and Diane are police partners who’ve volunteered to visit an alien planet where very few Earthlings have gone, to track down a fugitive and retrieve her ill-gotten millions. They’ve boarded an alien ship that takes Earthling passengers through hyperspace, and the ship’s made its first Jump. Neither of them are reacting very well to the experience.

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A frightening vision popped into view, curling brown tendrils and two piercing eyes at the bottom of a face. Alan yelped again before realizing that the face was upside down and Diane was peering over the edge of her bunk. The upper levels of his brain resented her for having recovered so well that she felt comfortable moving about.

“We should probably think about going to meet our fellow passengers.”

Alan whimpered again. Fear of strangers was something that he couldn’t even put into words at this point, but he definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable around them yet.

“Okay, okay, no big hurry.” Diane’s upside-down face withdrew, leaving only a few trailing ends of hair to taunt him.

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.

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Weekend Writing Warriors – The Aurigae Express 6

June 9, 2013

Good morning! This may be my last Weekend Writing Warriors entry for a while; I’m off to Odyssey today, and not sure if I’m going to keep up with sharing eight sentences a week while I’m there. But for now, I’m still in  my Camp Nanowrimo project “The Aurigae Express.” Alan and Diane are police partners who’ve volunteered to visit an alien planet where very few Earthlings have gone, to track down a fugitive and retrieve her ill-gotten millions. They’ve boarded an alien ship that takes Earthling passengers through hyperspace, and the ship’s just made its first Jump.

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“Are you…” Those were both letters, weren’t they? R and U… what had he been trying to spell–R U N for run? No, he wasn’t in any shape to run anywhere, and it would be impossible in zero gravity anyway.

“That was fucked up.” For a few seconds, Alan was impressed that he’d managed such a coherent thought, and then realized that he hadn’t. He hadn’t moved his lips, or formed that thought before he heard it.

“Dixie?”

“Kick your ass…”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Aurigae Express 5

June 2, 2013

Good morning! It’s time for the next eight sentences from my Camp Nanowrimo project “The Aurigae Express.” To briefly set the scene, Alan and Diane are police partners who’ve volunteered to visit an alien planet where very few Earthlings have gone, to track down a fugitive and retrieve her ill-gotten millions. They’ve boarded an alien ship that takes Earthling passengers through hyperspace, and the ship’s just made its first Jump.

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His body no longer seemed to be some hideously unfamiliar monstrosity, and the sights and sounds of the chamber were becoming more bearable as he got used to them.

 

“Ummmmmmmmm…” The humming sound that Alan could make was so immediately soothing that he kept it up for a long time before remembering why he had started in a first place. The sound was a word, wasn’t it? Well, not really a word, but a sound that held a meaning like a word in some ways, except that he’d stretched it out for so long that even that sense of it was lost. He forced himself to stop the humming, and some inner child he hadn’t known about made a disappointed sob. “Die…” That wasn’t so pleasant to think about. No, he still didn’t have the right word, the right name. He forced himself to try again.

 

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Aurigae Express 4

May 26, 2013

Good morning! It’s time for the next eight sentences from my Camp Nanowrimo project “The Aurigae Express.” To briefly set the scene, Alan and Diane are police partners who’ve volunteered to visit an alien planet where very few Earthlings have gone, to track down a fugitive and retrieve her ill-gotten millions. They’ve boarded an alien ship that takes Earthling passengers through hyperspace, and the ship’s just made its first Jump.

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The next thing he realized was that he was curled up in a fetal ball. That seemed to be wrong somehow, and after a moment of painful thought he figured out why; the last thing he remembered was being strapped in. How could he have curled up into a ball while the straps held his limbs in place?

The answer to that was obvious. Somehow he must have been desperate enough to retreat from reality that he’d worked the strap releases himself. That was a little hard to reconcile with his memories of being so unfamiliar with his body, but maybe there were layers and layers to how the human nerve system reacted to hyperspace exposure.

His nerve system reacted to the thought of hyperspace with a series of violent spasming shudders, and Alan struggled to strap himself back into the crash couch again before he managed to go flying into a wall.

Aside from that looming memory of something traumatic looming at the edges of his awareness, the worst appeared to be done with. 

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Aurigae Express 3

May 19, 2013

Good morning! It’s time for the next eight sentences from my Camp Nanowrimo project “The Aurigae Express.” To briefly set the scene, Alan and Diane are police partners who’ve volunteered to visit an alien planet where very few Earthlings have gone, to track down a fugitive and retrieve her ill-gotten millions. They’ve boarded an alien ship that takes Earthling passengers through hyperspace, and the ship’s just made its first Jump.

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He felt a mixture of pain, confusion, and some kind of a deep melancholia or depression. All of his limbs appeared to be hooked up the wrong way, and he wasn’t even sure what the proper number of them was. Some kind of vibrations and lights appeared to be assaulting him from particular directions, but for a long time he couldn’t make sense of them. Everything hurt, especially remembering.

Eventually things clicked near enough to the reality that he knew that he could recognize a few things. He remembered that his name was Alan, and that he’d actually lobbied to get into a starship travelling to an alien planet eight and a half light years away using some mode of transportation far beyond everything that the human race understood as being possible under the laws of physics.

For a second he tried to reject that identity. Alan was obviously dangerously insane.

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


Hanging onto a Camp plot bunny

March 18, 2013

I’m busy with a lot of other stuff just at the moment, but with Camp Nanowrimo coming up, I’ve been trying to spare some time and attention for a novel idea, so that I don’t have to rely entirely on the Dares and Adopt-a-plot tent once April starts. 🙂

I’ve got a few good ideas coming together so far. The first thing that I decided was that I wanted to do a sortof-prequel-related-tale to my Script Frenzy project from 2011, The Alien Mafia. In that movie, Earthlings have hyperspace ships, and have made contact with a few alien races, including the merchant Aurigae, but they’re still a run-down galactic backwater species by alien standards. I got curious about how we got from here to there, and about the first extra-solar planet that Earthlings would ever visit. Some lonely Aurigae outpost or a trade marketplace, maybe, that the Aurigae will ferry Earthlings to if they pay enough, where you might find items that the Aurigae refuse to buy or sell, if you’re crazy or desperate enough.

I liked that setting, but for a few days I couldn’t figure out who my main characters or what their conflict was about; thought about diplomats trying to set up an Earth Consulate on this other planet, but I couldn’t find a way to make that compelling enough. And then, when I was getting ready for bed one evening a few weeks ago, the characters and the plot started to come together.

Start with a nerdy forensic accountant, working with the Global Police but not really respected by all the ‘real cops.’ He’s tracking down a cyber-thief, the swindler of the decade, and figures out that the swindler is on an Aurigae ship leaving for the domed city of Argos a few minutes too late to stop the launch. But he really needs to see the swindler brought to Earthling justice; he promised some of the victims, and he knows that things could get messy if criminals know that all they need to do to escape the police is hop on board the Aurigae Express. So he manages to get assigned, along with a tough-as-nails Fugitive Retrieval Marshal, to travel to Argos themselves and bring back the perp.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. The two Earth cops have no backup on Argos, no support other than what they can buy for themselves with a relatively tight budget. There are only a few dozen other earthlings on Argos at the time. Local law enforcement is on the lax side, because there are four different alien species who come to do business at Argos, and the sovereign government has decreed that the local cops shouldn’t do anything to offend anybody, lest the trade revenue dry up. And our Earthling swindler has joined up with a local gang.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with the main plot, but a few of the worldbuilding details are filling themselves in. I really want to stress the contrast between Earth as a planet of strict law and order at this point, versus the ‘wild frontier outpost’ feel of Argos. And there’s a dark side to Earth’s lawfulness, which will feed into the character conflict eventually; the One Earth government was formed in a hurry when the Aurigae first arrived, because their first communications made it clear that they’d judge Earthlings on how well they could settle their differences, and nobody wanted to find out what they’d do if they found us wanting. But now the government has gotten good at ruthlessly suppressing any sign of protest or dissatisfaction, and the swindler isn’t just a criminal of opportunity; she’s got sorta-Libertarian ideals, and was trying to raise funds for a revolution before the GP closed in…


Six Sentence Sunday – The Shuttle 2

May 13, 2012

First six.

I just set the scene so far – Dara is a somewhat bored space pilot on a shuttle run up to Astris station…

Ever since they’d discovered hyperspace travel, there was more and more shuttle travel from the surface up to Astris, the main way-station for travellers that would be going even further. But Dara had never even been to the moon…

Suddenly the cockpit shook, and several status panels on her screen went bright red. She pushed a few commands to find out more details about the problem, and ended up staring at an exterior view of the main fuel tank.

There was metallic debris floating away, wreckage from a large crater that had blasted out from inside the ship, and also milky translucent faceted rocks – her remaining fuel supply. Fracture was the most efficient propellant ever invented, but it was also unstable.

Again, thank you very much for any comments and feedback!


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