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.
Jones recovered his voice, “I’ll do a scan; bound to find something.”
“Yes, a scan,” Terry started to agree.
“Belay that!” Ames shouted, “Not yet, with respect, Sir, whatever it was that took her out is still there; right now we’re just drifting debris; best we not call attention to ourselves.”
“That’s right,” Terry said, “Silent running, rig for silent running,” She tried to stop a nervous titter, “Never thought I’d say that … not in space; we’re not an f’ing submarine.”
The lights went out and the ship went quiet … only essential systems stayed online; gravity was not an essential system; air was; the intercom wasn’t.
Terry unhooked herself and slithered back into the main cabin, guided by the dim green emergency strips.
“Sorry,” She bumped into someone, “Chief?”
“We need to tell Fleet.”
Early submarines, like this the HMS C-15, had to learn to run silently quite early on. (The C class predates WW1, and served mostly as coastal defense. One actually sank a German Uboat.) Just as a space-ship would have limited quarters, much like a modern submarine so would a space ship expect to run quietly. Of course it’s electromagnetic radiation, heat (which is really the same thing), and not sound that would need to be hidden.
Terry’s character arc will include her growing into command. Changing from a completely wet behind the ears new Middy to someone who readily takes charge. Mind you, that will get her into trouble, too.
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.