Originally Posted by kaufmannp
Below is the first 1,038 words of Chapter 1 of my wip. Enjoy and criticize away with my thanks!
Chapter 1: Our Story Begins
A curious chain of events began in the Dista system one day in late October when two small craft emerged suddenly- I'd lose from hyper-space, quite far from the established window for incoming flights. The first vessel to appear was an unmarked freighter, an older model that had seen its prime come and go decades earlier, and which currently appeared to be in some state of duress not completely attributable to its age. Scorching on its hull indicated hits from a high-energy weapon of some sort, and small pieces of flak had been embedded in what remained of its lateral fin. The shipís ability to maintain a steady heading appeared to have suffered as well, although in truth its erratic course was determined not by condition, but necessity.omnipresent narrator but he is leaving it up in the air what the necessity is. I hope I'm going to fine out quite soon.
The primary celestial body of the system, a gas giant known as N-19.802, plodded along on its orbit around the sun as it had for the last few million years, ignorant to the plight of its newest arrival. In a series of rather dramatic maneuvering burns, the freighter's pilot worked feverishly to put as much of the planetís mass between the vessel and its reentry point as possible, while simultaneously struggling not to fall into the gas giantís violent atmosphere. The freighter slipped back and forth along the edge of the gravity well, shuddering uncertainly with every maneuvering push of its thrusters. I'm still not quite getting where the focus of the narrative voice is. The switch to the pilot without telling me anything about them pulled me out. I'd be happier to hear about the ship's movements and leave the pilot to the side for now.
At last the injured ship cleared the planet and it settled onto a somewhat circuitous course with a small moon orbiting the far side of N-19.802. The small - repeat moon glistened serenely as it spun gently - I'd lose around its titanic neighbor, a soft hue of green and blue that stood in strict contrast to the harsh glare of yellows and oranges thrown off from its fellow orb. - I coudln't tell which hue belonged to which.
One last thruster burn directed it towards the southern hemisphere of the moon just as it - the moon? edged toward the terminator into the night cycle of its orbit. The freighter flared when it passed into the moonís atmosphere, the friction shielding at its belly glowing softly as it swiftly - another adverb that I think could easily go. descended through a cloudless sky. Smoke issued from the aft exhaust port, leaving a dwindling trail that followed the craft as it plunged towards the surface. - don't need, we know he's descending.
A range of rugged mountains rose up over the horizon, blanketed by towering pine trees. The ship fired its descent thrusters in desperation, the speed at which it had been falling making any last minute course alterations unlikely. Again the thrusters fired, but their attempts to delay the inevitable coming - came to a sudden and spectacular end with an explosion on the starboard wingthis could be made a bit more active - it's a space crash, so should be exciting - I'd change it to something like, came to a spectacular end when the starboard wing exploded - put it more into the active voice. The freighter veered sharply to port and then - I'd lose began an uncontrolled spiral toward the tree-covered - don't need slopes.
The second vessel - oh I'd forgot about him. Did you need to mention him above, or could it be brought in now? to appear that day was of such specific design that - I'm on the fence on this one, I think it could go, I know other's might keep this oneits purpose could be easily ascertained. Bulbous head for the forward sensor pods, attached to a narrow fuselage mounted with four stubby fins, from each of which sprouted weapons. Maneuvering thrusters that glowed intensely as the vessel slowed, shedding the velocity of insertion into normal space - didn't follow this one, but that might be me. the hard sf guys might be nodding sagely.. The overall impression was that of a gargantuan lawn dart, a predatory thing with a singular intent: Seekand destroy.
When it reached the speed at which it could maneuver more freely, the Seekerís sensor array lit up to search for an optimum pursuit course. Star charts were accessed as it worked to obtain its bearings. Local sensors quickly identified and rejected the gas giant N-19.802 as an unlikely destination, the great orange globe offering little by way of hiding spots. Expanding the parameters of its targeting program, the Seeker began to search along somewhat more favorable escape vectors. There!
The track of decayed ion particles was broken and erratic, the Seeker noted with distain. Like that of a wounded animal trailing blood, the path turned and twisted this way andthat. It finally settled, the targeting sensors reported with glee - I'm intrigued but can't quite imagine it, on an indirect but unmistakable course for the small moon orbiting the far side of the gas giant - I don't think you need this.
Dominated by vast forests and a number of sizable mountains and lakes, this particular small moon had always provided a most welcome sight for travelers who had come to this most distant system in the Republic, and had thus been christened Terris Dista. Otherwise unremarkable, it tended to attract little attention outside of the occasional trader bound for the Imperial border, which intersected a neighboring system- a relative stones throw away, by interstellar reckoning. do you need this paragraph? It took me right out of the action of the space craft. Can you tell me later?
It was only mere chance that a small group of boys just outside the forests of the moonís southern continent managed to observe I'd change to observed the crash-landing. It is certainly possible that the entire incident might have gone completely unnoticed, had the group in question not been nearing the culmination of a conflict which had been raging over the better part of the last three hours. As the light of day from Distaís aging star began to fade towards dusk, the combatantís enthusiasm for mÍlťe had likewise subsided. Short of not only stature, but patience as well,they had all but adjourned for the day, thoughts of home and supper and the inevitable bedtime heavy on their minds. I think the bit about the boys is way too wordy, and gives me information I don't need to know right now. I want to know what happens to the poor little ship... and more importantly whoever managed to hold on and fly it well enough to get it down.
The conflict, like all others, was governed by a strict code of unwritten rules, the violation of which resulted in swift but usually just expulsion from the battlefield. Said expulsion was, in general, enforced by whichever party held the current tactical advantage; however it was not uncommon for rival factions to combine their forces in an effort to maintain the conflictís stability. Such were the battlefield ethics of eleven-year-olds. It's all interesting, but the gist could be given in fewer words but meantime - where's the little ship?
The weapons of the day were simple in form but functional enough to get the job done; short-swords composed of the light-weight wood from a local variation of balsam trees. The blades had been fashioned to taper out into flattened tips, mostly to prevent permanent harm from being wrought on their victims. Firmly gripped in small but sturdy hands, the dimensions of each sword were almost identical to one another, roughly two feet by four inches. Attacks were conducted with little thought for the art of modern swordsmanship, and in most cases resulted in fruitless slashes that looked dashing nonetheless, which was of course the entire point of the affair.