Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.
I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy (which is problematic as even the authorities disagree about what it was really like).
It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers and into the book.
In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. This snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the last. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day.
“Bloody hell Terry,” Jamie said when he saw her at the Midshipmen’s berth, “Chief Petty Officer Ames must have put you through it.”
Terry replied, “It wasn’t too bad,” She leaned on the column of bunks at one side of the narrow corridor that defined the Middy’s quarters.
“I’ve heard he doesn’t like grounders, but;” Jamie stood by his locker on the other side of the corridor; it held the few liters of space where he kept his kit.
“Jamie,” Terry replied, “I remember the Belters and Martians at Annapolis; scared by a few waves and a little wind.”
Jamie laughed, “They were scary; I could ha’ drowned,” He stopped laughing, “Nearly did, don’t you remember?”
“I do,” Terry said, “And I remember fishing you out; in any case I caught him with the flat of my sword.”
“You did,” Jamie guffawed, “That’s good. More than most of us do on our first lesson; I didn’t and I’m a belter;” after a bit, he added, “It’s formal dress … first jump.”
“Bloody hell,” Terry pulled the heavy woolen kilt from her locker; it was, as became a grounder, sodden gray; it had also cost the proverbial arm and a leg, real wool, not synthetic, and much to her mortification, her parents had to help her pay for it. Worse still, it took so much room that there wasn’t space in her kit for her lucky bear, “Why did the Serapis … I mean, why Scotland of all places – I’ve been there, the real one, not New Caledonia, it’s cold, boggy, and full of biting flies, not to mention dour people and awful food, haggis … good whiskey, though.”
Terry’s a little hard on Scotland.
Since sailors have a rather rude and rough initiation ceremony for sailing across the dateline, I’d expect something similar for the ‘first jump.’
Somehow I don’t think this version of the Serapis will fair much better.
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.