I’m still struggling with where the story is going but I’ve decided I need to just write something and trust that, eventually, the story will sort itself out. I’ve done as much planning as I can without planning myself to death and never writing anything.
So that’s what I’ll focus on this week—getting words on paper, whether they’re good words or absolute rubbish. At least I’ll have something to work with.
As a teaser, I’ll give you the beginning of my new story, Memory for Loan. This is probably the fourth beginning, and probably won’t be the last one, but I think I’m getting closer to something I’m happy with.
Now to work on the second half of the first chapter. I want that finished before the end of next weekend, so I can move forward with the story.
One man hears the whisper
Lonnar pressed his hand against the sensor to open the lift door, pausing the action. He’d been on board the Augustus for six months, the captain in charge of nearly 3000 crew. It was his job, what he’d trained for since he was fifteen, yet it felt alien. Like he was living someone else’s life.
What else could he do though? This was what he’d always wanted. He pressed his fingertips against the pain that flared in his temples every time he thought about leaving his position. The pain was getting worse; sharp stabs behind his eyes, like pokers jabbing at him. He didn’t have a tumor; his last medical was only a few weeks ago and the pain had begun well before then.
Perhaps he should see a psych-med and… No. Any hint of mental illness with the captain would put the entire mission in jeopardy. Every order, every action, would be questioned and refuted. They’d come too far for that to happen.
And he was fine.
Lonnar took his hand away from his face, straightened his shoulders and punched the door release. The door slid open with a refined hiss and he stepped out, onto the bridge. The subdued murmur of ‘busy’ dulled his recent sensitivity, and the view of neverending stars washed over him like a balm.
Space. This was where he belonged.
“Report,” he said quietly.
His 3IC punched a few buttons on the arm control panel of the captain’s chair then stood. “All quiet, sir. The full report is now in your inbox. I’ll be in the rec room if you have any questions.” The Thrick always took over during Lonnar’s sleep period. His 2IC, the Tick, took over during Lonnar’s rest time.
“Thank you Thrick.” Lonnar sat, grimacing at the warmth of his seat. Shared. Not his. He opened the report from the previous session and began to read. The bridge was quiet, with only a few murmured comments or instructions between the crew. Lonnar liked the quiet, but it felt unnatural with twenty people around him.
The hours passed. Lonnar was superfluous.
“Captain, we’ve received a hail from the Caesar. Commander Milosovitz is ready to transfer to the Augustus.”
Lonnar didn’t both lifting his head to look at the comms officer. They wouldn’t be looking at him. “Notify receiving. Take the commander directly to his quarters. Inform me when he’s settled.” Lonnar continued reading the reports that continually landed in his feed. Through them he could monitor every activity onboard. Every few minutes he glanced at the pilot, his hands itching to take over the controls. That was flying.
“Professor Milosovitz is aboard and in his quarters, sir.” Lonnar tapped a button on his console that indicated he was still on duty but away from the bridge. He gazed around the bridge at his crew as he stood. They, just like the ‘sir’, were part of the package; part of the life that had become his after the completion of his last mission, and the promotion that followed his injury. A promotion and injury he didn’t remember. Maybe. Sometimes he thought he remembered it. His head buzzed with it every time he tried to get the facts straight, like a search array gone wrong. Stuck in a loop. Circling and circling for days until he thought he’d go mad with it. The medics thought it would always be like that, said it was normal in the face of trauma, said he would adjust to it soon. Lonnar wanted to believe them.