Sunday Blogisode Twelve

February 20, 2011

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“That’s alright,” Exec told him. “Are any of us feeling the worse for the extra oxygen in the air? Remember the symptoms that Peterson listed.”

“With respect, sir,” Jody replied. “I don’t recall you and Ensign Peterson discussing symptoms for hyperoxia, just treatment.”

“No?” Exec turned to Archer, who nodded a slow confirmation. “My mistake. As well as I can remember, you’ll want to be watching out for tunnel vision, ringing in your ears, nausea, severe anxiety, dizziness, or a frequent cough.”

Jody froze in her tracks. “Sir, then it might be hard for me to determine if I’m suffering from hyperoxia in time to receive treatment. I was already experiencing several of those symptoms before we landed. I ascribed them to Kane syndrome – the hyperspace sickness.”

Exec considered this. “Then you should probably go back inside the yacht, just as a precaution.”

“But what about when you find the natives? I can’t do my job if I can’t talk to them.”

“There’s the intercom,” Archer suggested. “Or we could bring them inside through the airlock.”

“I’m not a xenobiologist, but I think it’s a bad idea to bring a native of this planet into a lower-oxygen environment than they’re accustomed to,” I said.

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Sunday Blogisode Eleven

February 13, 2011

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The airlock was quite cramped with the Exec, Colin Archer, Jody and I crammed inside, but I was glad enough that nobody was being left out – especially because I didn’t want to be the one waiting behind – even if Melissa was staying back in the shuttle for now.

Lieutenant Archer hit one of the control buttons on the wall. There was a hissing sound and I felt a noticeable pressure building in my ears. After a moment, Archer turned to Exec and actually saluted, which in the tight quarters made that he was step closer to Jody, to avoid putting his elbow through the wall. “External pressure has equalized, sir. I do not see any need to equalize atmospheric composition with the outside.”

“By no means, Lieutenant. Let’s take a look outside.”

So Archer opened up the external door, and I could feel the planet’s breeze blowing in, smelling exotic but fresh. I wasn’t quite sure if I could really feel the increased oxygen content, or if I was imagining that part.

The sun was at a high angle from behind the shuttle, so that the shadow stretched for about a meter and a half in front of the door. The sun was just a trace bluer than the sun of Earth was, and I wondered if that spectral difference was what made the sky seem slightly greenish and the shadows a kind of a muddy brown.

“I think that we’ve been noticed,” Archer said, pointing out the door. “If I’m right, he’s making tracks for the center of the base.”

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Sunday Blogisode Ten

February 6, 2011

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“The space habitats could be regressing too,” Archer argued back. “That’s why they don’t communicate with each other or… or use spaceships. Except for that one Walker saw.”

I did my best to ignore the bickering and started scanning for something more useful on the planet, like where would be a good place to land.

“I’m picking up a lot of useful data,” I admitted once there was a lull in the conversation about the space habitats and personnel shuttles. “The sensors on this ship are really good, and we’re getting close to the planet. I see a fair bit of wilderness of all biomes, climates, and terrains… plenty of cultivated land and small settlements, but only a few gatherings that could be described as – well, even as small towns, really.”

“That figures,” Jody grumbled. “Planet of the hick farmers. It’s of a piece with everything else we’ve found in this double-damned solar system.” There was a pause. “Sorry, Brett, but I think – just a suspicion, mind you, that my pain meds might be wearing off.”

“Probably right, but I can’t spare the time to recheck you just now,” Gary told her. “And we’re going to be coming in for a landing pretty soon, which will probably increase the stress on your system. Umm, Melissa, do you think that you could possibly…”

“I’ll check on Ensign Quinton,” Exec snapped. “I might not have ever taken the time for a formal field medic certification, but I’ve had to pitch in for a doctor under desperate circumstances before, and I saw what you were doing earlier, pilot Peterson. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

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Sunday Blogisode Nine

January 30, 2011

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As we drew close to the planet, I was actually on full-time duty as navigator while Gary piloted – it was my job to observe and find out more information about the natives as we approached the space that they were occupying.

“The space habitats are definitely viable and inhabited,” was the first report I made. “I don’t have quite enough resolution to catch a clear look of the inhabitants, but they look… well, they seem to be walking upright, like humans, but I’m not so sure about ‘biped.’ Might be three or four legs each, in addition to arm-like appendages. And there’s some other living creatures that might be livestock, or… well, it’s probably pointless to guess without more information.”

“Why didn’t we plan to go to one of the habitats?” Jody asked crossly. I could tell that she was really getting tired of the acceleration couch, and maybe the pain drugs that Gary had given her were wearing off.

“A few reasons,” the exec put in when nobody else volunteered. “Mostly we had no idea if they’d have a dock facility that would fit this ship. Especially since we couldn’t observe one of their own ships in flight…”

“Hey, I think one’s launching!” I exclaimed. Exec grunted doubtfully. “Just let me capture the video… sheesh, it’s a fast little bugger!”

When it was all done, I played the footage on the screen in the passenger compartment, so that the rest of the team could see it – a somewhat shaky re-enactment of a tiny little capsule speeding through space towards a distant space habitat. I’d have loved to get a clear look at the docking procedure, but the end of the trip was extreme range, and the capsule flew behind the destination habit just at the end.

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Blogosphere Monday: Donna Hole

January 10, 2011

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I’ve been introduced to so many great writing bloggers over the past week, (or should that be blogging writers?) over the past week, that I’ll have lots of choices for Blogosphere spotlights for months to come. That’s because of the two blogfests that I took part in, of course, ‘Show me Yours‘ and ‘New creations‘.

This week, I’m going to feature Donna Hole, who’s got lots of good fiction serials up at her spot, as well as discussion of query letters and agents, author interviews, some fun blogfest entries, and plenty of eclectic videos. Go take a look!

I’m also pleased to plug Donna’s blog, because she apparently spent several hours browsing through mine yesterday, giving me great feedback on lots of stuff, including every Star Patrol Blogisode so far! Thanks a bundle, Donna!

Which brings me to another topic. I’m happy to announce that I’ve started making a few changes based on reader feedback over the past few days – at Donna’s suggestion, I’ve drawn up an index page for the Blogisodes, and I’ll be adding another to group a lot of my posts together by subject matter – so that you can find my posts for Nanowrimo 2010, fanart, beat sheets, or conventions without having to make your way through the tag cloud, if you’d rather not. It should make it easier for anybody trying to find a particular post in one of those series.

Also, more than one person has asked how they can be a Kelworth follower. It seems that WordPress.com doesn’t allow quite the same followers matrix as blogspot does, (too bad,) but I have a shiny new widget up in the top right called ‘Follow that blog!’ It’s really just a subscription widget dressed up as something that it’s not, but it’ll let you know when I’ve got new bloggage up. I’ve also got a widget for ‘most viewed recently’, I’ve turned on the rating controls so that you can let me know how cool I am on a day to day basis, and I’ll probably be experimenting with some more widgets.

And it’s only 2 days now until I announce the title for my fantasy review project!!


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