Since the PM are severely restricted and I don't mind going through long things IF I think I can help then you know... Anyhow, who knows, maybe this thread will get locked because of extensively long reply, and I get marked rebellious.
Time: 22nd February, 309 ASC. |
Position: Roman Empire. Kulak system.
Status: Freighter Bellinda, en route to Kulak four.
Status? Telford, sir, what is going on in your head? I'm asking because I believe you could clarify this piece of information. And what I really think you should do after this exposition is to do what Mister Chopper did in his piece and explain a bit more carefully on what and where this ship is exactly before you dive into the character narrative.
“Never mind, we'll make it there soon enough.” So far so good, Lucas thought. “Mary, where's our escort?” |
“Kania matched harmonics is taking up position for component transfer,” Mary Telford said.
“Very well,” he said. And now we wait.
Involving a thought bit in the dialogue is very elegant move, but I'm feeling a bit lost in here as the replies aren't as clear to the reader as you could make them. What harmonics? What is going on? Could you have dump this piece of information in the first narrative?
A slight bump indicated that Kania had docked with Bellinda. It was sop for the Romans to station an engineering team onboard during intersystem missions. As soon as egression was completed they would temporarily disable their hyper drive. Their captors saw it as a full proof way to ensure that no means of escape remained open to Bellinda. Their overconfidence in that regard was one of the Telford’s few weapons.
Overconfidence was one of his weapons? Since you're using so many Telfords in the opening, you have to be careful on using the last name in the narrative.
Another point that striked me is that you're going from explaining telepathic link to shutting down a hyper drive, when a first one could be explained as emphatic (a feeling based telepathic ability) and the last one would be logically be off-line anyway.
During their years of enslavement Bellinda had been sent from one side of the empire to the other, hauling whatever cargo they were ordered to carry regardless of the risk. Although they were seen as a valuable asset it did not stop the beatings, humiliations and random rapes. Imperial marines, although coldly efficient, were generally fair in their treatment of slaves but this tended to be the exception rather than the rule. Yet their thankfully few missions back to Kulak filled every crewmember with dread. |
Garrison guards misused their authority because they could. Yet their actions were as nothing compared to the deliberate cruelty of the Human Resource Executive. Only the Romans could be so euphemistic when referring to such a malignant organization. An entity unto themselves, they were granted as close to absolute power as any government body could. It was no wonder that everyone within the empire feared the HRE with such absolute fervor.
They had encountered HRE elements during their travels but a return to Kulak meant a return to Colonel Manson and his gang of black booted, brown shirted thugs and their particular brand of sadistic treatment. After putting down the slave revolt of 299 ASC Manson became a hero of the empire. Rumor had it that once a month he would walk into the internment camp (another tragic euphemism) and arbitrarily execute a slave on the spot. Man, woman or child, it meant nothing to Manson. He had worn the crown of absolute power for so long that human rights did not enter his psychotic mind. Yet, although he broke with the established rules he could, apparently, do no wrong in the eyes of his superiors. Yet Lucas remembered every one of the eight family members who had perished at his hand; including Bellinda’s former captain, Celia, his mother.
My brain goes numb when I waddle through this exposition. In the two paragraphs before this one, you elegantly use description when these two pieces just shatters that illusions.
What I would do in your shoes is that I would try to make this come from his thoughts, from his memories, and only drip in enough of information to keep the readers guessing.
“David,” he said quietly and placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. |
“I’m alright, skipper.” His voice still had a nasally quality due to a broken nose that never properly healed.
Not as good as it should be. Consider moving the last line and rewrite the first one after "David."
You could even put it this way,
He placed a hand of young man's shoulder and said quietly, "David."
"I'm alright, skipper." The helmsman replied without moving his eyes from the console, but Lucas could sense in him the nervousness that...
It's a different style, but the idea is to show through the character actions rather then you going on using omniscient narrator to explain things that doesn't need to be explained. Meaning that if you explain his broken nose, then it should have a meaning in the story (think about flintlocks-in-the-mantelpiece).
Lucas sighed and returned to his chair. Perhaps when all this was behind them Nathan would heal from his dreadful experiences and once again become the playful lad he used to be. Maybe they all would. Perhaps, one day… |
"Attention on the bridge," Mary Telford ordered.
The bridge crew snapped to attention. They obeyed the strict rules, and cast their eyes to the deck.
When you use the break, the reader breaks the attention. So you need to work on that piece and the piece underneath to make it flow better.
"Good, very good.” And just like that he changed. “Now, enough of the pleasantries, Telford. Perhaps you would be so good to tell me what sort of game you are playing?" |
A spark of panic ran down Lucas' spine. It passed quickly as he realized that it had been he who had invited the colonel to this party. "Colonel Manson, sir," he said in low respectful tones, "I do not understand."
"Still you play these games with me Telford. After all these years and everything that we have shared you still think that you are my equal. You are a piece of property captain, not an individual, not a person, but a thing."
The last dialogue needs to be reworded. I don't think he should start that way.
"Colonel Manson, sir," He gulped. "I, I do not understand--"
"Really?" The colonel looked at him from under brim of his cap. "Are you sure?" At the moment he was hastily trying to form some sort of answer Colonel continued. "All these years we have been together Mister Lucas and it comes down to this. Disloyalty. And I thought we were equal, but guess I was wrong, was I?"
"That was a rhetoric question Captain."
"Certainly captain." She seemed overly pleased with the task of bringing down the last of Manson's bodyguards. "Who do you want manning my station?" Her eyes shifted surreptitiously to Nathan.
Needs a bit of editing to get to fall in the line.
"Certainly Captain." He eyes shifted towards her chair. "Who'll-"
"Don't worry about it."
But he sensed the was something else going in her head as she casually glanced Nathan.
Now reading through this I understand what's going on and I think you should rework the beginning. Put down exposition on explaining where and when the ship comes out from the hyperspace and what is happening at the outside before you dive at the bridge. Then explain the set up and use his thoughts and memories as he reassures his crew that this has to go down now or never as they've had enough.