Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Smidgen of A Terrible Majesty

Just thought I'd post a little of my W.I.P. today, since I've been horrendously busy writing it. I give you A Terrible Majesty:

Something horrific was closing on the Intrepid at an incredible rate, and nobody knew it—neither the captain nor any of the other crew.
Most of the Alpha staff, including the captain were asleep, dreaming of leave on Scaprio III, just a matter of five weeks and a jump point away. You could do anything legal and a good many illegalities on the pleasure world. They slept unknowing that life would change immeasurably for them in the near future. Many of them would never reach Scaprio alive. The ship simply waited.

Chapter 1--

Beta shift was hard at work, readying the Intrepid for the Malfrion Jump Point, which they would reach in about a month. There was always something to do on the Spacefleet ship Intrepid. Nearing a jump point always jacked up the activity the closer one got, and getting the ship into trim for coming into port was another concern. No one wanted to look like a rusted out ore trader coming into a place which harboured so many of the truly rich and famous, as well as a huge contingent of the Galactic Military. It would be two weeks of heightened activity, then two weeks worth of long shifts, little sleep, short rations, and constant nagging by Mr. Vealit. 
In Lieutenant Kit Bondi's humble opinion, Vealit, the ratty little Bellguen, suffered from little man's syndrome. Always carping about something insignificant and puffing it up to look like he was efficiently handling a huge problem. It was bad enough that he had a little power, being First Mate. But since Vealit was on Beta shift, often Captain Kendall left him to his own devices, which ran mainly to cranking up his stockpiles of power. People like Troy Bunsen, Beta team's comm specialist, kissed up to Puffy Pants Vealit unabashedly. Watching it made Kit want to retch.

Bondi took a more relaxed approach. He handled the things which needed handling, and left others to do their own jobs. “No use stressing over other people's garbage unless it's going to get you killed,” he always told himself. He personally liked to be clean and organized but not psychotically so. It saved time and effort, and Kit was all about little effort. 

He had graduated near the top of his class in Spacefleet, to the amazement of all his family, teachers, and friends. Everybody else thought he was much too busy racing flitters and chasing girls to get any kind of studying done. Kit himself was even surprised at acing the written bits. The flying was a piece of cake. He could do flying. He had enough reckless abandon to annoy his instructors, wow the girls, and pull off incredible feats which garnered him shiploads of notoriety and a few envious glances from his friends.

As he shaped up his bunk room, he thought of all the people who had been amazed that he'd amounted to anything at all. His grandfather had been a captain in Spacefleet in the Vegan Wars. Whenever Kit had gone to visit him on his estate in the wilds of the little Altairan world, Caspian, Grandfather had made it clear that Kit was a waste of oxygen.
“You never apply yourself,” Poppy had complained. “You might as well go into Shelpy weed sculpting or something idiotic like that. Why waste our good funds heading off to Spacefleet? In fact, just bury yourself now and save us the cost of scraping your guts up to bury later, won't you?” Kit had worked extra hard at the end of his school career to make certain his grandfather ate those words. Luck had been on his side, and maybe more than a little stubborn pride.
His friend Mal Severin had offered to help him cheat. 
“Thanks for the offer, Mal. Nice that you have so little confidence in my powers of concentration,” Kit had told him.
“Oh it's not that you can't concentrate. It's what you concentrate on, my friend. Jinky Pendergast is not going to get you a pilot's seat.”

“Clearly. But she sure makes me forget that I'll probably be cleaning heads for the rest of my career,” Kit had said with a grin.