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
It seems to be working. The first draft, over 80k words, is finished and I’m part way into the sequel.
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. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission. The initiation ceremony continued.
I’ve decided to skip ahead and move to the start of more action. Serapis is about to jump near a new (to us humans) star and explore it. Terry takes her station. Chief Ames reassures the other members of the landing ship’s crew that they’ll live in this installment.
They’re fine. Serapis isn’t. Terry’s last thought wasWhat now? I’m supposed to know what to do; I’m in command. They went silent, drifting, and waiting for something to happen.
Terry asked, “We can run, we can wait, or we … can probe; it depends; first, I need … we need to know our status – how’s the fuel?”
Phillips spoke, “We’ve a full hundred grams of boron hydride; enough to easily get to Tau Ceti, if not Sol.”
“If we jump,” Terry said, “If we can jump.”
“Aye,” Ames said, “We can jump if we need, but what’s the rush?”
“None,” Terry said, “We can lurk here, a full year, if not more. We haven’t seen anything from the Serapis, but if she were kicked a few light minutes off – we wouldn’t see her or,” Terry choked, “or her wreckage; I don’t understand what happened; the preimage detector went off; that’s why I pushed the scram, but”
Ames continued her sentence, “Nothing’s come out of jump where we were.”
Terry studied the opposite wall; she could hear the men breathing. Finally, she, very quietly, almost in a whisper, said, “We will send a homing beacon; Fleet must be told, but we’ll wait a couple of hours; what ever happened to the Serapis, we should see evidence by then.”
Ames asked, “And then?”
Boron Hydride (BH) fusion into carbon is one of the candidates for successful plasma fusion. Fusion energy, of course, has been ‘only ten years away’ for the last fifty years. You can get small amounts to work, even with some fairly simple devices. A Farnsworth fusor, for example. (By the way that was developed by the Farnsworth who invented electronic TV and is commemorated in Futurama by Fry’s uncle, Professor Farnsworth.) It’s just doing this and generating more energy than you put into it is a tad difficult.
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.