|5th August 2007, 05:51 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Unnamed project, prologue and chapter 1
Ok, this is my latest attempt at writing science fiction. I fear this may be cliched, but its more an experiment to find a way to inject emotion into my writing than anything else. BTW, I cuss a lot in this so don't read on if that offends you.
There she was, a mere shell of her former glory. She now did little more than drift endlessly through the dark abyss of space. No longer did she fight on the front lines with all her strength like a great warship. Now she was nothing more than a burnt out husk, perfect for those looking for ancient weaponry, like myself and other so called “yard scavengers”.
“Vera, I'm going in for a closer look.” I said as I edged the throttle forward.
“Be careful Beneth, we don't want the entire yard's security on our back. Remember what happened last month.”
“Yeah, we had the entire security force for the Vega yard on our backs. Still don't know how we got out of that one.” I said slowly as I let off the throttle.
“I think Krova would disagree, he's serving ten months for that fiasco.”
“The bastard deserves it.” I said, a small laugh slipping out.
As I slowly moved towards the ship the cause for its untimely demise became abundantly clear. Ray burns, all along the sides and top of the ship. The ship was a pitch black, a far cry from its once pearly, white hull.
I picked up my radio slowly and hesitantly. “Vera, I don't think there is a damn thing here, the ships nothing more than a scrap heap. The thing looks like a class three blast target.”
“So... basically what your saying is no early payday for us.” Vera said with her typical sarcastic tone, though I could barely hear her over the crappy transmission.
“Yeah, I guess.” I said back. “Alright, lets get out of here, the security forces will be here any minute.”
I fired the rockets on my small pod and began to drift away from the wreck. The inside of the pod was cramped, but it got the job done. What else was I supposed to do, I was broke, its not like I could afford anything even remotely decent.
I leaned back in my seat, the rotting leather cracking enough to reveal the cheap foam beneath. Everything around me was falling apart, including my life. Fate wasn't kind to me these past few years. First I lost my job, then my girl, then all my goddamn money. Things couldn't get any worse.
“I guess this is my punishment.” I laughed quietly to myself.
I turned the pod around and started to leave the broken down ship behind. However, just as I cleared the first set of sensors I spotted a distant flash of light, and I immediately knew what it was. I was no fool.
“Vera, where the hell are you!” I yelled over the radio as I pushed the throttle to its max.
“A scout ship just spotted me, I need your coordinates.”
“I'm sending them right now.” she said, the faint sound of typing in the background. “Alright, its sent. I'm several miles away, in the sixth sector, just outside the yards sensor perimeter.”
“Dammit Vera, I cant make it there, you'll need to enter the yard.” I yelled again, sweat forming on my brow. My hands shook, so much so that I could barely control the pod. I crashed into a large plate of metal and bounced off like a out of control ping pong ball.
“I can't enter the yard, I can't hide a ship like this in there.”
“Just do it, I will meet you halfway.” I said as I regained control of both the pod and my nerves.
“Fine.” she said as the radio clicked off, the sound of static filling the pod.
The scout ship pulled an about face and started towards me at full speed, guns at the ready. It fired off several quick volleys which I quickly dodged. I was lucky it was only a scout, if it had been a full blown fighter, well, I wouldn't be talking to you right now.
My single ray turret wouldn't be much good against a ship from the yard, so I had to improvise. I extended the pod's arm as if it was an extension of my own, and grabbed a large metal plate that was floating nearby. It would serve as little more than a temporary shield, but that was all I needed.
Hearing the yard's lackeys talk to each other was an odd sensation. Apparently I had become a kind of celebrity among the yards. Not that it mattered to me, I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me. I kept listening in until they began jamming the signal. All except one of them, the idiot.
I picked up my radio again. “Vera, I need some help!” I yelled as the scout ship fired off another volley, the rounds piercing straight through my makeshift shield. However the idiotic pilot made a mistake, he got too close to me. Last mistake he would ever make. I threw away the shield and lunged at his ship, claw extended. In one quick motion I grabbed the middle of his ship and crushed it, spilling fuel and coolant like blood.
I reveled in my admittedly minor victory. I wasn't a violent person at heart, just when needed I guess. Of course, in my line of work, that was almost always. I watched as the pilot ejected, the cockpit rocketing off into the distance until it was just a tiny glimmer of light. Soon three more lights appeared in the distance, the spotlights of the lower fighter class.
“Vera, three fighters are heading towards me, where are you?”
“Almost there, just hold them off for a few seconds.” she said, panic filling
her voice. “I'm not having the best of times either Beneth, so give me some slack.”
“Fine, but get here soon, I can't do this much longer.” I said just as a thin ray shot past me. I quickly maneuvered into a small field of debris, hoping to find even some momentary shelter. I wouldn't have such luck. Soon came a quick succession of blue beams, each one piercing straight through all the debris surrounding me.
I fired my puny ray off in short bursts though the fighters just seemed to absorb the entire blast. I jutted off and out of the debris and hid behind the hull of some ancient ship, though its cover didn't last long either. Their rays cut straight through the ship as well.
Just when it seemed that I was, well, screwed if you will, I saw my savior. A hailstorm of bullets shot through the debris, shattering it like glass. It was Vera, and the single ugliest piece of **** that has ever been created. She fired off several more rounds and a swarm of missiles and it was just barely enough to scare off the fighters.
“Hurry, your dead if you stay out there.” Vera yelled over the crackle of the static. I fully agreed, and flew the pod into the tiny landing bay, just as several more fighters appeared off in the distance.
I pushed the cockpit open just as the bay shut and jumped out. I forced the nearby door open and stepped into the halls of my small ship. The walls dripped and it seemed like the ship would break apart any second. Probably would actually, now that I think about it. I ran through the halls and onto the bridge, if you can even call it that. More like a wooden plank than a bridge.
“Get us out of here.” I said as I sat down in a chair barely better than the one in my pod.
She gunned the throttle, the lever sticking at halfway point for a moment. The rumble of the massive engines shook the entire ship. We jetted through the debris like it was a slalom course, and exited the yard. I knew it was far from over though, we had gone too far this time. Now the collective would be after our asses, and I was doubtful that we stood much of a chance, if any at all.
The vastness of space sometimes boggles the mind, except to me. I grew up in space, bouncing from station to station as a kid, so it doesn't seem all that foreign to me. Call me crazy, but I would take a day in space over a lifetime on any planet in the universe. And yes, that includes any resort planet in the Sol sector.
So there I sat, dashing through space in my junker of a ship, my only company a single woman who I had known all my life. I leaned forward in my chair and looked through the thick glass at the blackness beyond. We were on our way to the waygate out of the Bril sector. The collective would pounce on us if we stayed here too long. Damn collective, they have no business policing the galaxy.
“How exactly do you plan to get through the security around the waygate?” I asked as I ran my finger across the glass in small, circular motions.
“We aren't using the waygate.” she said calmly, eyes looking straight forward.
“What do you mean?”
“Guess what were doing?”
“Don't make me do this, you always pull this kind of ****.”
“Fine, relax. There is an abandoned yard nearby, apparently hasn't been used in over fifty years. Looks like we'll have an early payday after all.”
“Wait, are you saying there is a completely unprotected yard in this sector! Why the hell would the collective leave a perfectly good yard unattended?” I asked quickly, my heart racing from the mere notion.
“Just look where it is.” she said as she typed something into the console in front of her. The glass shield in front of us switched to a holographic view of the galaxy. Then the image quickly shifted until it showed our sector and then again to show the abandoned yard. Immediately I saw why it was abandoned so quickly, hell, anyone could see.
“We can't go there! Have you lost your mind?” I yelled, stunned by the sheer audacity of it all. I mean come on, going into the empire's territory? That was madness.
“It isn't crazy, the empire dosen't bother wasting resources on such a small yard. Its completely unprotected, save for a few small autoturrets..”
“Fine, but why would the collective build a yard in empire space?” I asked as I leaned back in my chair so far it almost snapped off at the base.
“They didn't, the border was redrawn in last years treaty. The collective lost
some of Brill but gained back Dega, pretty fair trade if you ask me.”
“Brill is a shithole, though Dega isn't a whole lot better. Like trading
I pulled out my gun from the glove box and looked at it, turning it over in my hands. I loved that old gun, almost to a degree that would be considered sick in some circles. Any antique lover would agree with me though, it was one hell of a gun.
“Will you stop messing around with that old thing, it doesn't even work.” Vera said. She spun around in her chair and gave me one of those looks, a look that said I was an idiot, yet still kinda fun to have around. Like that dumb cousin everyone seems to have. Still, I objected to her view of me. Sure I wasn't the smartest guy around, but at least I was resourceful.
I threw the gun back and slammed the glove box shut, just to show my disapproval.
“Don't be such a baby, I didn't say anything.” Vera said as she spun back around.
“It wasn't what you said.”
“Then what was it?”
“You gave me a look.”
“A look? You can't be serious Beneth. You're all pissy over a look?” she said just as a fit of giggles overtook her better judgment.
“I can be pissed over whatever I want.”
“Fine.” she said, the laughter still slipped out.
The next hour was quiet. Neither of us spoke to one another, we just sat there, our anger slowly dissipating. The quiet grew more unnerving as time went by. Then something happened that would force us to break our silence.
We got a call from the boss, in all his gaudy glory.
“The jackass is hailing us.” Vera said with a deep, breathy sigh.
“Great, just what we need. What are you going to tell him this time?” I said as I vigorously combed my hair back with my fingernails.
“Same thing as last time, what else?”
“So your going to blame it all on me? No way, your the one who screwed up on the scout patrols.”
“Fine, plan B then.”
“Lying our asses off?”
The glass shield shifted again to show our boss, all decked out in jewels and electronics. He looked like an ugly Viroid, except fat, and lacking the skills to
do manual labor and long division.
He started off what would be a lively, to say the least, conversation with his
usual quick wit and humor.
“Can't you do a single ******* thing right!”
“I told you I needed a class seven generator and three rays, where the hell
are they?” he screamed again.
Both Vera and I said nothing. We just sat there, starring at the visage of the scariest man alive on a jumbotron sized screen. Not a fun experience, not fun at all.
“Say something! I pay you two quite well, and I expect some ******* results every couple cycles.”
Vera spoke first, trying her best to sooth the savage beast wearing a white tux. “Sir, the last thing we want to do is disappoint you. To make up for this slight... setback, we are going to get you the best equipment available,
better than any you have ever gotten.”
The fat jerk seemed intrigued by the mere prospect of an increased profit.
Hell, even I was intrigued. “And how do you suppose to do that? The collective stores all the good wreckage in the middle of the yards, no one has ever come back from there.”
“Only because of the security. However, we have found an abandoned yard in the Brill sector and are on our way there as we speak.”
“An abandoned yard you say? Why exactly was it abandoned?” he asked, a look of pure joy filled his face. Filling that face wasn't an easy task by the way, I don't care what way you look at it.
“Its in empire territory.” I said, trying not to look at the monitor.
He laughed a big hearty laugh. “I knew I hired you two for a reason. Daring
and just stupid enough to pull this kinda crap, I love it.”
“Thank you sir.” I said as I rolled my eyes.
“Just remember, I expect nothing but the worst from you two. Prove me wrong this time.”
With that the monitor shut off, erupting into a static filled blur. I rolled my eyes once more, a sickening feeling in my gut. Man I hated that guy, but what I hated even more, was the fact I was stuck working for him. It would be years before I could get rid of him, pay off all my debts and such. He would probably still dog me though, guys tend to not like it when you impregnate their daughter. All three of them.
“What a pleasant man, think he has any pets, or would they just ignite on contact with him?” I said as I lit an old cigarette. Vera didn't say word.
“Oh come on, that was a halfway decent joke, give me a at least a pity laugh.” I said. I quickly threw my cigarette to the steel ground below and grinded it in with my foot. “Seriously, whats wrong?”
“Were here.” she said, her voice having a eerie lack of emotion that would cause children to flee in terror.
I looked out the glass and there it was. The yard was small, but it looked to house more recent ships and debris than any yard I had ever seen. Hell, some of it even looked halfway intact. A veritable treasure trove to men such as myself. Too bad we weren't the only once who knew the location of the X, the X that most definitely marked the spot. Just not to anything worth having.
|6th August 2007, 04:10 AM||#3 (permalink)|
The never on time lord
Join Date: Jun 2007
Re: Unnamed project, prologue and chapter 1
I love first person, so you got me in straight away. SciFi isn't my go, but I love to write it, funny enough.
OK. The flow is very good. Cliches, yeah, but everyone does it, they just reword it differently. Your dialogue cruises. It's natural and people do swear, particularly given your characters' roles. I find no problems with the sentiments you're trying to get across. Fine by me. Pull back the throttle and give it heaps.
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