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    53 KB A Guide to Heinlein: Part 5 Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:24 No.11920627  
    Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I present unto you, part 5 of the Guide to Heinlein series. Included is chapter ten of our story, and after getting a question from an individual anon regarding some questions he had about the story and it's origins, I'll relate those answers also.

    A few minor adjustments have been made to some of the names for people involved with the ship that Nate and William end up on. While the name of the ship remains the Carthage, some details that were previously posted regarding the crew were altered when I decided that I hated the names I had come up with.

    Part 1 http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/11829913/
    Part 2 http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/11841933/
    Part 3 http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/11881463/
    Part 4 http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/11894464/

    So, without further ado, I present to you chapter 10.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:25 No.11920636
    Chapter Ten

    Various governmental entities have tried to lay claim to the stars and attempts have been made to draw clear lines of demarcation that nebulously encompass vast empty stretches of uncharted space. Yet despite the steadily encroaching borders of known space, several independently minded and enterprising individuals have taken to traveling beyond those very borders.

    Indeed, while strict laws govern many official exploratory ships, several consortiums have formed to protect the interests and property rights of independent ship owners and their various crew members. No ship owner likes to have his ship seized, and his cargo impounded simply because he cannot provide proof of ownership or even of a single home planet of origin. Because of this, an ancient rule of ownership has once more come to the forefront in a way that would be easily understandable over a thousand years ago.

    If a mans home is his castle, and his home is aboard ship, then that ship is sacrosanct. Because certain Terran agencies have shown a remarkably distressing tendency towards seizing independent shipping and laying ancient claim to designs or even hulls, most of captains prefer to do conduct business from the relative safety of their ships. Derek Mertz for example, the current owner of the ancient colony ship Buckingham has not traveled to planetside from his ship in nearly fifteen standard years.

    Many of his contemporaries have taken their self imposed exile to even further extremes. Some even refuse to enter Coalition or Terran space, making port calls only in the few scattered independent systems.

    *Excerpt from Visiting Humanity in the Stars, Brinkley Publishing, Heinlein, 2620 edition.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:29 No.11920658
    * * *
    Gasping to draw breath Nate raced behind William, the former Coalition marine leading the way into the maintenance facility. As William approached the wide set door that marked the machinery bay Nate began to understand why it was that William had taken off as fast as he did as his eyes saw a large armored Per-Tran moving in their direction.

    “Move!” shouted William as he kicked open the door to the maintenance facility and ducked inside.

    Swearing under his breath, Nate pumped his arms and ran as fast as he could through the door way that closed behind him with a slam.

    “That may buy us a minute.” Williams voice said from ahead of him in the open robotic repair bay they stood in. “This way, hopefully we can find a way out the back.”

    “This isn't the main repair bay. It's one of the automated entry plate and refueling bays.” Nate shook his head as he inhaled deeply. “Conley should have an office a few floors up.”

    “Your friend can't really help us now.” said William as he lead the way around largely unidentifiable bits of machinery. “Getting him involved would probably just get him killed. What we need to do is find a way to get on one of the shuttles and hide!”

    “That wouldn't do us any good!” Nate said as William opened a door leading to one of the adjoining bays. “They would just trap us in there!”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:30 No.11920667
    With a great noise, the door of the repair bay behind them opened and figures wearing the gray ceramite armor of the Tulkus firm began to pour in behind them. William turned and one handed triggered a seemingly unaimed salvo of mag rounds the direction they had come from. Armored figures sought cover as mag rounds began to tear into machinery around them and William slammed the door closed behind them

    “Trust me on this!' William said firing mag rounds through the closed door behind them as he pushed Nate forward. “Just find us a way out!”

    Nate stopped listening as he focused on running as fast as he could. Mag rounds split the air around him as he wove his way between and around machinery intended to replace worn heat shielding on entry shuttles. Finally laying his eyes on another doorway Nate shoved it open and stepped once more into the open air.

    William stumbled after him, blood running in rivulets down his chest from where a mag round had sent splinters of metal through his body sheath.

    “There!” Nate pointed past the open cargo pad towards a shuttle in the process of being loaded. “There's one!”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:31 No.11920671
    William squinted as he glanced around them.

    “The direct route will take us out of any form of cover, it's a perfect killing field.” William pointed towards the terminal that sat at an oblique angle to both them and the loading shuttle. “Through there!”

    So saying, William slung his rifle and took off at a pace that Nate found great difficulty matching. Before he had even managed a third of the distance between himself and the terminal filled with people the door of the maintenance facility opened and began disgorging security behind him.

    William spun and dropped to a knee as Nate ran towards him. Once more held in his hands his rifle began to spit death towards the men and women following them. Eschewing auto fire William instead sent single rounds into the armored figures; protected as they were from most small arms fire, the mag rounds that came from Williams rifle carried enough kinetic force to send those struck by them sprawling with shattered armor. Reloading as he came to his feet, William stood once more and turned to run as a smattering of return fire came his way.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:32 No.11920677
    Nate paused just inside the entrance of the terminal and fumbled with the pistol on his side as it caught in the holster. Finally coming free he lifted the suddenly heavy pistol and gasped as the holoimager projected a targeting reticule across his retina. His heart hammering inside his chest, Nate knew that unassisted he stood no chance of hitting his targets, but perhaps the mag rounds would at least force the officers to keep their heads down long enough for William to make it inside the terminal with him.

    The lack of recoil from the pistol surprised him as his first round tore a chunk of rock from the ground near one of the armored figures. Gaining confidence Nate continued firing the pistol in their direction as William ran towards him, a hellish grin on his face. In the periphery of his vision he saw people inside the terminal taking what little cover they could as a running gunfight erupted around them. Finally, a faint light blinked beside the aiming reticule on his eye. He hadn't even noticed that the pistol was empty.

    Nate drew one of the mag blocks from his belt as he tried to reload even as William thundered up beside him and tackled him to the ground. The pistol bounced away from his grasp as the plastic window above them shattered.

    “Crawl!” bellowed William as he shoved the pistol back into Nate's hand. “We can't stay here!”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:34 No.11920687
    The two of them crawled through the terminal as kinetic mag rounds shattered seats, ripped chunks of ceiling away, and tore bystanders apart around them. One man dressed in a jump suit stood up across from them and with swift motion pulled an old fashioned flechette pistol and returned fire at the security outside the building. Nate gaped as the man was erupted before his eyes from multiple mag round hits.

    “This is insane!” Nate screamed as he continued through the destruction that reigned around them. “All these people are going to fucking die!”

    “That's the point!” returned William as he slid around the remains of a woman sprawled across two small traveling cases. “They'll have to stop and check every body before they find out that we got away!”

    “What?” shouted Nate as the fire coming their direction began to slow.

    “Why do you think we came through here?” said William as he rose to a low crouch and pulled Nate along.

    “But all those people!” cried Nate as they rounded a wall and began to run in earnest.

    “Be glad you aren't one of them!” William gasped as they emerged on the other side of the terminal. William pointed to the shuttle that had stopped loading as Nate looked behind them. “When they move inside, we make a break for it. When I say, you run and don't stop for anything.”
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)06:36 No.11920691
    Hey, BOM, one thing I was wondering about is roughly how much of the ships still in use by humanity have Altarian drives installed on them?

    I have to tell you I'm really digging your story. I look forward to it every night. Great stuff, man.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:36 No.11920693
    “We have to help them...” began Nate before William shook his head.

    “You don't get it. Every person that died, all of those who were maimed, all of them happened so that we can get away.” William dared a quick glance down the side of the terminal before ducking his head back. “I could have kissed that idiot who shot back at them. They don't know how many of us there are in here, so they have to be careful as they come in. This will be a horrible tragedy, all those people dead and hurt because they got caught in the crossfire, but it allows us the chance to get out of here.”

    “Is... is that what you did back in Anson? Is that why you killed all those people?” questioned Nate as William glanced behind them once more.

    “Of course.” came the reply. “Every single person back there has to be helped, most of them need medical assistance. Those Tulkus boys will have to stop and help them before coming after us.”

    At his third glance around the building William saw what he was waiting for and slapped Nate on the shoulder.


    William sprinted towards the waiting shuttle with Nate close on his heels. As Nate watched one of the side panels begin to slide closed and he aimed for the one of the two still open bays on the shuttle as he ran.

    From behind them a shout rang out, and Nate felt a small shockwave split the air above his head as a supersonic round cracked past. He slid through the hatch and moved as far forward as the cramped compartment allowed while the panel slid closed behind him.

    “William?” Nate whispered.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:42 No.11920711

    Pausing a moment in the story to try answering this question.

    The answer, honestly is that I'm not really sure. I figure that the majority of interstellar travel is done via the pocket drive that was derived from the Altarian system. The problem with figuring out exactly how many ships have it would be first having to figure out how many people there are or at least a ball park figure. Then I would have to do up a rough guess of how much trading goes on between the various planets, moons, habitats, and similar along interstellar routes.

    After that I'd have to figure out how many older ships exist that don't see as much use, then how many ships have been upgraded, how large the two governments navies are, their reserves, and the individual explorers ships.

    Truthfully, I was going to go with the guesstimation of "Enough for the story." without getting to specific.

    Also, I somewhat altered how the Altarian drive works, try figuring it out from the hints that get dropped in this chapter, and from the explanation of how this all came about that I post afterwards.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:44 No.11920720
    He waited silently for an answer, but the only sound he heard was a faint hissing as the cargo compartment sealed itself around him. Settling back against a container as he felt rather than heard the shuttle engines coming online. Alone in the oppressive darkness of the half empty cargo compartment Nate waited as the shuttle engines built to full power.

    “William?” again Nate whispered. “Are you there?”

    Pressure forced him uncomfortably back against the cold cargo container as the shuttles engines, finally at full power, engaged. Alone in the cramped cargo hold Nate sat quietly in shock, waves of regret rolling over him as the shuttle launched skyward from the Clarke landing facilities.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:45 No.11920724
    The TFN-11 series of ships had originally been intended as fast frigates for the Terran Alliance. Small ships that would allow the Alliance flag to be shown to some of the more outlaying worlds that humanity dared to tread upon. Built from bow to stern at the Titan shipyard, the hundred and seventy year old design had been utterly underpowered compared to similar designs being made at rival Capellan Fleetworks.

    Seventeen such ships had been finished during the twenty seven year production run, with the three final ships never seeing completion. The Carthage had served without distinction during it's sixty year career in the Terran Navy before being slated to be scrapped as obsolete. The former captain of the Carthage; commander Stanislav Gavrill, had abandoned the Carthage in mothball orbit around one of the moons in the Dubhe system to assume command of the newer and faster Subutai class cruisers developed during the tense years that followed the rapid expansion of the Coalition Navy.

    Seven standard months later when Stanislav returned to the Dubhe system to discover that the Carthage, like many other of the ships that had been abandoned in what the navy considered long term cold storage, unaccountably missing. Underpowered for modern theories of naval combat, the ghost fleet had been a boon for many independently minded men and women who had no qualms of stealing the abandoned ships from a government fraught with waste and corruption.

    Lugh Cailean was one such man. The pressurized hatchway above his head opened with a whisper before the slightly beyond middle aged man pulled himself up the metal rungs of the ladderwell and onto the small bridge of the Carthage. He stepped around the lidar observation station and settled comfortably into his command chair behind the navigation console.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:47 No.11920735
    “Have we finished the cargo offload yet?” asked the pale captain of the Carthage as he lifted the data slate from the mesh carry all attached to the chair and began examining the finance numbers that allowed him to continue operating the ship.

    A loud thump came from the bowels of the astrogation panel, and another in a long series of warning lights began to flash across the panel before him before a muffled voice came from the man buried in a complex series of wires and circuits finally answered him.

    “The offload is done cap. I don't know how much the supplies you wanted us to get are going to make it to us however.” a spark arced across a small bundle of wires dangling from under the panel before the voice spoke again, “Canute sent a message that there was some type of trouble going on at the landing facility, and that he had to cut the loading short.”

    “What kind of trouble.” asked Lugh as the depressing numbers delivered their stark message to him. “We were almost running on vapor as it is. These reports of a new shooting war brewing between the Coalition and the Alliance and that bastard Yao criminalizing half of the stuff we were carrying cut our profits to the bone on this trip.”

    Lugh grunted as he finally put the slate back in the mesh carry all.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:50 No.11920758
    “Beyond the bone almost captain.” his second in command; Langley Cajetan said from behind the laser communications array. “Twelve of the crew aren't signing on for another trip. Only getting paid half of what they were promised didn't exactly make them happy.”

    Langley glanced up from the laser communications array and shrugged inside his gray ship skin suit.

    “But on the up side, most of the crew who did sign back on took the lower pay rate without complaining very much.” Langley flashed one of his winning smiles at the dark look the Lugh shot his way as he continued.

    “That's because most of them can't get work anywhere else.” muttered Lugh to himself as he turned back to where his astrogator Sergei McClintock partially emerged from beneath his station. “What are you breaking this time?”

    The diminutive black haired man lifted a laser welder from the scattered tools around him and shimmied back inside the panel.

    “I'm trying to find what's been causing the delay in the pocket drive ignition.” came the muffled voice. “Something is delaying commands from the main panel reaching the gravity containment field emitters.”

    A shudder cascaded over Lugh as he remember the hair raising stutter that had signaled the beginning of their pocket drive almost failing at the start of their last trip. Tales of ships being slung far beyond their initial destination abounded when spacers gathered to talk. Most of the stories were nothing more than simple fabrication as no known survivors of pocket drive failures had come forward to tell their tales. However two failures that had happened to men he knew when they had lit their micro black hole containment fields off. Neither of those two men had been seen in years, and he doubted that they would ever meet again in his lifetime.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:51 No.11920767
    The thought of being trapped at the point of death in an event horizon terrified most of the men and women who plied the darkness between systems. Lugh had once accepted the danger as a simple part of his dream of exploring the stars. The reality of running his stolen vessel however had crushed most of those dreams long ago.

    “Just get it fixed as best you can.” he said as a shower of sparks fountained across the floor from Sergei's panel.

    “Of course captain my captain.” came Sergei's voice. “I don't want to die anymore than you do! How would my six ex-wives be able to support my thirteen children if I were dead?”

    “Thirteen children?” mused Lugh, “I think one of your exes must have popped another one out there Sergei. Last time you mentioned your kids you only had twelve.”

    “More likely he lost count.” said Langley as he stood from the seat behind his console. “Canute just broke atmosphere, he should be docking some time in the next fifteen minutes."

    “Let's go see what kind of trouble Canute managed to get himself into this time.” Lugh shook his head and rose from the well worn chair he habitually occupied for most of his time awake. “Times like these almost make me wish I had taken up an honest career, like agri-farming.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:52 No.11920775
    “But what would my twelve children do without you oh captain?” asked Sergei as he began to extract himself from the bundles of circuitry. “Without the fortune that working with you has brought me, they would be begging for scraps at every street corner on Sirius III.”

    Lugh sighed as he waited while Langley made his from the bridge down the ladderway.

    “I thought it was thirteen children?”

    Sergei smiled widely as he stood up.

    “I disowned one. He looked a bit to much like one of my neighbors.”

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:53 No.11920782
    The short trip into orbit trapped in the cold dark cargo hold had left Nate terrified of what merciless horrors awaited him at the distant end of the trip. He imagined himself stuffed bodily out an airlock, struggling to breath as his eyes froze in the vacuum. As the motion of the shuttle came to a relative stop with a loud bump Nate struggled to open one of the few cargo crates by feel so he could hide inside it.

    His fingers, cold in the darkness fumbled with a catch that ran parallel to the floor of the hold and slipped off, undoing what little progress he had made up to that point. From behind him he heard the panel hiss as it pressure on either side of the hold equalized, and he crouched as far back as he could while the sealed panel that had closed behind him opened once more.

    “It's not like I told them to shoot at the shuttle.” said a faint voice from outside. “I don't even know what started it, but it was Alpha Mons all over again down there.”

    “How much did you manage to get before you left?” asked a different voice as the different speakers drew closer. Nate tucked himself down as tightly as he could with the crate between him and the men he assumed would soon be searching for him.

    “About half, maybe a bit more.” the first voice came from a squat bowlegged man who ducked into the cargo hold who gestured toward a second man who followed behind him. “The other two forward holds are almost full, it's just these two rear ones that aren't at capacity.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:54 No.11920788
    “So I see.” said the pale older man who stepped up into Nate's view. The unkempt patch of brown hair on his head brushed across the low ceiling as he glanced around at the paltry few contents of the shuttle. “Clarke control give you a hard time leaving as fast as you did?”

    “Not a bit.” the bowlegged man said as he shook his head. “It was chaos down there. I don't think they even noticed me leaving.”

    “I can't imagine they missed you taking off from the loading pad Canute.”A faint smile crossed the face of the older man as he turned away. “This old bird give you any trouble getting off the ground?”

    “No real trouble.” Canute said as he pulled a small data pad from the cargo pocket of his pants. “Oxygen consumption was a little high, I think I may have caught a stray round that caused a leak. Strange though, there wasn't any loss of pressure on the way up.”

    “No loss of pressure?” the older man said as he looked around the cargo bay a bit more intently. “Just oxygen?”

    “Just oxygen.” confirmed Canute.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:57 No.11920808
    “Better take a look then, try and see if we can find what's causing it.” said the other as he stepped around the crate Nate crouched behind.

    Nate flinched as the other man's curious gaze fell on him. He stood to run and smacked his head against the ceiling as the stranger took a step towards him.

    “Please don't!” cried Nate as Canute turned in alarm from examining the door panel.

    “Watch out Canute! He's armed!” said the stranger as he lunged at Nate.

    Lights exploded across from Nate's vision as he found himself tackled into the wall of the cargo hold, any thoughts of trying to escape driven from his mind as the two men quickly relieved him of the pistol William had given him. He moved in a daze as the two men marched him out of the shuttle and into the open cargo bay. His eyes focused for a moment on the name stenciled along the side of the shuttle as he was forced to the floor, and for a moment he wondered what type of idiot would name a ship after a ruined city.

    “Just what do we have here then?” the older man said as he stared quizzically down at the stranger kneeling on the floor of his cargo bay.

    “I have no idea captain.” said Canute as he pointed his newly acquired pistol at the back of Nate's head. “What do you want to do with him?”

    “It's not like we have a brig on this thing.” said the man Canute had called his captain. “Take him to the doc, maybe we can get him to answer some questions there.”

    Glancing around for help, Nate failed to see William anywhere and tears began to well in his eyes. While the mercenary had undoubtedly detested him, Nate had come to rely on his vicious savior for support. Forsaken and alone Nate shook uncontrollably as the men roughly forced him to his feet and pulled him along in lock step between them out of the cargo bay.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)06:59 No.11920818
    * * *

    Silence fell inside the vacant cargo bay as the pressurized airlock cycled closed behind them. Finally after several long minutes, the automated lighting of the bay shut down and plunged it's contents into darkness. From the rearmost cargo hold of the shuttle the door panel slid open and the lights once more sprung to life as the black clad figure of William Richardson made his way cautiously out of the shuttle.

    William glanced around the hold and hefted his rifle onto his shoulder. Alone inside the ship, the merciless killer took stock of his surroundings before making his way to a small access panel set into a recess on the furthest wall from him.

    Sliding open the access panel William stared at the data readout that sprang to life before his eyes. His hands flickered across the holo display and a dark sparkle filled his eyes as he pulled up a schematic of the Carthage. William read quickly as the schematics rotated before him, eventually satisfied he closed the access panel and retreated to a maintenance hatch set into the floor on the other side of the hold.

    “Engineering. I wonder..." mused William as he keyed a simple numerical code into the keypad before him.

    Moments later the hatch rumbled open and William slipped carefully inside the narrow unlit emergency access tunnel that led deeper into the ship. The hatch closed behind him, and William began his long crawl towards the Carthage's engineering section.

    Behind him once again unoccupied the automated lighting of the cargo hold shut off.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:01 No.11920831
    That gentlemen brings us to the close of chapter ten. I'm going to post the introduction that I consider a work in progress for chapter eleven. I'm not sure that I'm done with it yet, but I may be, I'm frankly not sure yet.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:02 No.11920834
    Chapter Eleven

    Every invention of mankind was another single step on our long road to the stars. When man first looked up at the heavens and saw those twinkling lights as he tied the stone spear head to the wooden shaft, he wanted those stars even though he didn't know what they were. When man learned how to create steel, it eventually led to the creation of the crude chemical rockets that once powered mankind to the Earth's only natural satellite. When mankind cracked the atom and used it to destroy, already people were thinking of the nearly limitless possibilities the raw energy that the building blocks of the universe could provide.

    When humanity broke free from our home solar system and set course for Alpha Centauri it was but another step on that nearly 20,000 year long road. A long road, a hard road but a road that humanity has walked willingly even if we did not know that our feet were set upon that path.

    Every invention that mankind has created, every drop of blood shed by humanity as a whole has pushed us to take our rightful places across the vast emptiness of space. We have conquered the Earth, now only the distant stars await.

    The stars, and whatever fascinating new discoveries that lie there, as yet unseen or touched by the hand of man.

    *Excerpt from Visiting Humanity in the Stars, Brinkley Publishing, Heinlein, 2620 edition.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:04 No.11920845
    I've gotten a few e-mails regarding this series at the e-mail address I posted a few days ago, but one I got today struck a chord with me so while I'm not going to post that anon's dox, I am going to post the mail he sent me and I'm going to post the reply I sent to him.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:05 No.11920850
    From Anon.
    Re: Heinlein

    Just wanted to let you know I've been reading fervently as you post the story in bits and pieces on sup/tg/.

    Most non published writing I read online tends to get stale after a few chapters. I think it has much to do with amateur writers starting out with gusto but forgetting that character and plot development aren't something you can do a lot of at first and trail off of as time passes.

    Your story, however, has kept me engrossed through its entirety so far. You don't forget to continue fleshing out characters when advancing the plot and you don't forget to keep the story moving when developing characters.

    More than anything I want to thank you. Every time I read writing on /tg/ I get a flutter in my belly to put words to paper, but the drive is often dead by the time I get home from work and daily errands. The fact that you can do this while working a late night shift gives me some inspiration.

    If possible, I'd like to hear about your writing process. In my amateur attempts, I often find myself restricting myself to working within established universes. Discussing how you started building your universe, the process, success and failures would be helpful.

    More than anything I wish you immense luck in your attempts. I hope to see your work on bookshelves one day soon and buy a copy to add to my collection.

    Whatever you're doing, keep at it. It makes my work day go by a bit faster.

    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:07 No.11920860
    Right, since you asked and I'm not quite ready to begin working on the half chapter I have left to do for chapter ten, I'll try to elaborate a bit. Please pardon me if this gets a bit whimsical or rambling, it's just kind of who I am.

    First off, I'm glad you are digging the story so far. I've really been enjoying writing this out so far. I've been writing original fiction for almost 16 years now, I got started doing it back in high school, writing a horribly bad fantasy novel. And when I say horrible, I mean fuck... it was like slopping shit onto paper now that I've got back and looked at it. I wrote it in a spiral bound notebook during classes that I really should have paid attention during. And when I did it, I sucked. I had a great back story, interesting characters that a few of my old gaming buddies to this day remember fondly, but the book was shit. I started just with fight scenes that featured a pair of kill crazy dwarves and a knight and it went utterly nowhere.

    But it did get me started with the on habit that I have had for everything I ever wrote. No matter what it is that I do writing wise, I have a good idea of the background for what is going on. Even if that background takes place over several hundred years, a month, or last week, I try to keep focused on the here and now while letting elements of the background seep in while keeping it interesting. If a cliche is overused, I try to avoid it while putting my own spin on whatever I was going to do that would have used that cliche.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:08 No.11920863
    he next thing I do is try to ensure that the characters themselves are at least somewhat memorable. It doesn't have to be because of a name, or ability, or even because they are great characters, more often than not if you read a book the tid bits that stick with you are ones where something almost over the top happened and worked. Hence why William is, at least in my mind, a good character. Because while he's vicious, evil, and utterly fucking crazy, the shit he does works either because he is determined to make them work, or because he is just that damned good at killing people and breaking shit.

    I never intended William to be a character with pages written about him in anything to be honest. Years ago, about 12 or 13 years ago now, a buddy of mine was running a cross genre cross time oddball game of his own creation using the gurps system. (It's also the standard system we use for just about everything as we can twist it to work no matter what we do to it.) There were these characters from fictional settings, a bad eldric knockoff, a 40k Space Marine, a bab5 psychic, and an intelligent utah raptor. Then there was my character, a 27 year old Colonial Marine Corporal named William Richardson. Plucked the character out of Aliens in a somewhat more freshfaced spin on Hicks from the movie. There we were, these characters running through doorways that opened to various worlds that all had problems in this endless hallway that had levels above, below, and across from us. And we worked for a guy named Al, who looked like a cross between Einstein and Ziggy.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:09 No.11920867
    Players came and went, and eventually the game began rotating through various GM's, and as it did so, these new players who were there (I was the only original character or player still in the game) just kept pissing me off. Things came to a head when we had this chick who was in love with the Amberverse running the game, and it was tedius hell to play in. So... eventually, this marine who everyone could count on to save the day, fix the world, became disenchanted with the whole idea and stopped caring about how it was fixed, just that it got fixed. On that day, the William Richardson you see was in essence born as he butchered a the group simply because he couldn't figure out which person was the root of the problem.

    Since then, I've used the character a few different times over the years in a few online writings I did. I used to e-fed a lot, and if you have never heard of that, good, stay away from it. Basically it's just writing stories about a made up wrestler and his life in a wrestling federation. Oh there is lots of drama, politics, and fun, but it's also a huge headache. But from that, I met up with a few friends online and we decided we hated wrestling and wanted something a bit darker, so we created a game called Merc, which was all about these big collaborative stories we were telling that involved contract killers doing freelance missions for an old one legged jewish guy in new york. Most of the characters were odd in their own ways, and some fell on the nastier side of the story, but I saw a niche I wanted to try to fill and I did so. William became a raging pschotic ex US Marine. Some of the things I wrote about him doing had people cheering, others laughing, and eventually William died in the storyline by killing his arch nemesis who was also the biggest good guy we had.

    But I digress, and as I said, sorry about that.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:09 No.11920872
    This whole story came to me because of a fucked up dream I had about a year ago while drunk. I don't remember the dream anymore to be honest, just flashes of it in my head that will probably never make their way into the story. But there was something about an underground cavern city, huge half scorpion men, and humans exterminating them to take their shit. Really, it wasn't a good dream, but something about it when I woke up stuck with me. So I started thinking about what would lead to sci fi humans doing such a thing just for the resources that the aliens had, and eventually the background kind of fell together as it is now.

    I'm a fairly militant conservative, I feel disgust at most liberal policies, and I utterly loathe the UN. But I have always been fascinated with space travel, and because of that, some of those elements have come out in the background for the story, but I feel that they lend to the background rather than detracting from it as it gives us a look into both sides of the equation and what they may do taken to rather elegant extremes as humanity spreads out in the stars.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:10 No.11920874
    My writing process began just with me sitting down and writing out the cyclic destruction that is the prologue to the story. That whole The First were the First to do blah blah blah just flowed and I don't know why. Eventually I got done with that bit and stared at it for a while before deciding I wanted to use all of it in not just a game with my buddies that would probably end up going no where like most of our games do, and since I hadn't been writing anything for a few years, I started writing on it. I knew the background, but I didn't really have a story to go with it, until I realized that I didn't have to focus on the story of humanity as a whole, just a single guy in this cavern city and his life. And as I wrote, I knew that I read to escape drudgery of reality as much as the next guy, so I started writing it a bit off kilter and went from there. And of course, it's sci fi, what is sci fi without shit blowing up and people killing aliens and other people? And who best for that thankless job? My pet psychopath, William.

    I started with thinking to myself about what kind of world I would like for the future and started taking it from there along with the basic ideas I had. I knew I wanted underground for the city, and I knew I hated people not using the real galaxy we live in, so I took a glance around wikipedia and the closest stars, and started making lists of the closest stars, and started randomly making theoretical planets and the civilizations that would live there. I also knew that I didn't really want to introduce aliens to the story right from the start, as I hate most alien concepts, so I eliminated most of those civilizations and just started taking humanity and pushing it further and further out into the stars. I also hate handwavium, so I looked into the real science and theories of space travel, and started to pick and choose bits that I liked.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:12 No.11920890
    Humanity won't reach mars because of the UN, it will be because of an American, so I did that. I started pushing the various countries around and with modernish tech basis I started advancing them based on an article I read a while back where a german guy created a single antimatter electron for about a millionth of a second. Antimatter with the power of almost clean nuclear power being used for an orion star drive means that humanity can push to the stars.

    Of course, that takes a long fucking time, and for us to get there, we have to survive, the theory of relativistic speeds does help some, but people will still be old and gray when they get there, so to survive I started with the scifi standby of cryogenics. But stellar travel still is limited by that pesky light speed barrier, so I thought about how to break it. I thought about how the universe actually started, with the big bang, and waves of gravity pushing the matter out further until what we have now came into existance, and I thought, well if gravity did all that, and anti gravity doesn't exist, perhaps in it's alternate universe it could. Which got me thinking about creating a new universe through a recreated big bang, except on miniature detail. Which lead me to the theory of the expanding universe, and it pushing other universes away from itself like an air bubble rising to the surface. And that became how I do ftl travel, because the universe abhores other universes outside itself and is pushing them away, so it does the same with this newly created pocket universe that is created by some effort of handwavium involving antimatter, gravity forcing the explosiveness into itself and a miniaturized blackhole detonating into a mini bang. Blah blah, bad science, but decent theory for an ancient alien technology that is better than what our own knowledge of physics can do. Then I killed those aliens off, once again, because I hate aliens.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:13 No.11920895
    And voila, from a dream that made me start thinking about why humans decided to just exterminate an alien race for their rocks, to a new and fresh universe based in large amounts on pushing nationalism to an extreme, my hatred of the UN, and hard science with a kick in the junk. Sure, somehow it works, I just really can't explain it much better than that sadly.

    My writing process for telling the story however is a bit odd. I don't write late at night because I like to, I do it because I have always been a night owl, and with my wife working first shift, and more often than not sleeping when I get home after midnight, I just sit at my computer and fart around. I go to bed somewhere around 7-9am and get up at 2pm before going to work at 4pm. I mostly sit at the computer playing a game or listening to music while I smoke and read, but one day I reread what I had started with, (the First Second etc bit and the introduction of Nate) and while listening to some industrial, techno, and other stuff the story just started to flow. Chapters 1.5 through about 5 were written in the span of about three or four days. Since then it's started slowing down some, with last night being terribad, and me not writing much more than 1800 words as opposed to my recent 4-7000 per night. Hopefully tonight with some of the ideas I have laid out, I can get about another 4000 cranked out and finish off chapter ten and get started on chapter eleven.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:13 No.11920900
    So, that's pretty much it. Smoking like a freight train, listening to technoindustrial, and trying to combine butchery with hard science while writing what "I" want, not caring if it sells or other people like it. I grew tired a long time ago of most modern fiction. The uber bright good guys, or the attempts at edgy gritty characters, and I decided that I didn't want to do an edgy good guy, I wanted to do an unremitting remorseless badguy that is actually the hero of the story.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:15 No.11920909
    And that folks is the email I received, and the answer I gave.

    Anyone got any further questions or comments they would care to make? If so, toss them in and I'll answer them before I finally call it a night. And if you have questions you want to answer elsewhere or similar, my email is

    circle dust
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)07:17 No.11920924
    Wholeheartedly agree with this man.

    /tg/ is often a good place to sit down and read a few entertaining short stories... but rarely do we get full-length stories that are this well done.

    I have to say that this is the most impressed I've been since I read Love Can Bloom.

    By the way, you said something about plans for humanity to get involved with the current destroyer race. Are you still doing so? Have you decided on a method to introduce the two species?
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:29 No.11921022

    Yeah, I'm still planning to do the whole humanity meets the destroyer race deal. The two problems I'm finding with doing that race consists of how I have been visualizing them.

    I've toyed with the theory that these big bad aliens have berzerkers probes (the space scrapers) that communicate them when they find a new race and catalog it before they exterminate it. The problem is, once humanity pops one of them open, the aliens go "oh, someone else wants to play" and comes looking for humanity.

    But, for them to have created these berzerker probes, what kind of race are they? Are they themselves a form of ai that was once a normal race who uploaded themselves? Or are they some fucked up kind of space jellyfish or other odd looking collection of fucks?

    The second problem that has been weighing on my mind is how I had originally planned to introduce them. I don't know if I want to even introduce them during the tale of William and Nate, or if I wanted instead to just wait, tell the story of these two and the war between the Terran Alliance and the Coalition before introducing the aliens coming in after this conflict to try mopping up
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)07:33 No.11921060
    >I'm a fairly militant conservative, I feel disgust at most liberal policies, and I utterly loathe the UN.

    But they're so funny...

    Considering how utterly worthless the UN is today, I could only imagine one managing entire star systems.

    AND SENDING OUT THE DREADED *STRONGLY WORDED* UN RESOLUTION AGAINST RIVAL FACTIONS (*gasp!*)! All in the meantime, taking kickbacks from said groups.

    If we could somehow convert red tape, bureaucratic impotence, and corruption into a weapon, the UN would ironically be the most powerful entity in the universe.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:38 No.11921095

    I agree, they are good for a laugh now and then, but frankly I don't want them deciding my future. I truly don't even want them to exist.

    But, I must agree, if they could spend their energy on something destructive they would be more powerful than anything or anyone we could ever meet.

    The Terran Alliance is actually what grew out of the UN in my mind, while the Coalition is what grew out of the colonies who just got fed up with their shit.
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)07:38 No.11921101
    >But, for them to have created these berzerker probes, what kind of race are they? Are they themselves a form of ai that was once a normal race who uploaded themselves? Or are they some fucked up kind of space jellyfish or other odd looking collection of fucks?

    My guess? Probably the most paranoid fucks in the galaxy. Were I in this universe and were in power, I would quickly realize someone is out there pressing the "Exterminatus Button" like the easy button from Staples. And I'd create fortress worlds armed to the point of near absurdity and blast apart anything that came within lightyears. I'd also probably create automated extermination probes so that the more primitive races don't get too chummy nor get a hold of our technology.

    Personally, I imagine them as bug-like. Like insects protecting their colony or hive. Anything that comes near it gets swarmed and overwhelmed and consumed.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:45 No.11921139

    I toyed with the idea of the insect race for a few minutes before I relegated it to the possibilities bin. Honestly, bugs in their various forms have been done in generic scifi so often it's almost beyond cliche.

    But I figure this now ancient race sees pretty much anyone else who jumps to the stars as a relative threat. After all, they themselves once destroyed another race of killers because they clawed their way to the stars. Maybe they see the simple fact of getting to the stars as the beginning of a threat that they simply must exterminate.

    How they go about exterminating civilizations and races... I've got some ideas for. How humanity does it, I have even more ideas for.

    The one idea above all others for the aliens that I'm actually rather liking is that they don't think along the same time frame as we do. As they have gotten older, they have become almost slower on a galactic scale. After all, focusing a significant portion of your power to crushing all those that come after you tends to be a slow game if races evolve as slowly as we did.

    So humanity probably showed while their eyelids were closing to blink, and eventually, they will be open again and focus on us.
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)07:49 No.11921161
    >How they go about exterminating civilizations and races... I've got some ideas for. How humanity does it, I have even more ideas for.

    So humanity becomes the near exterminator race?

    Also, have you thought about toying with maybe 2 or 3 of the less advanced races entertaining a limited alliance in lieu of all the genocide in the galaxy?

    Or does first contact between two advanced civilizations even occur peacefully?
    >> -|- Reichsguard -|- !!Q3opPDaKzPo 09/02/10(Thu)07:53 No.11921181
    I hoped that mankind would be able to break the endless cycle of genocide somehow, even if it's only by exterminating 98% on alien population and keeping the survivors confined in one place with an effort to try making them less genocidal, and eventually introducing their reformed civilisation back to the galaxy.
    You know, actually trying to live at peace with others.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)07:55 No.11921191

    Yeah, see that's one the questions I've been asking myself. For humanity to take on these destroyers, how far down their same path do we have to push ourselves? Do we become the next destroyers? Do they crush us because of how old and powerful they are? Or do they potentially ignore us because of how old and vast they are until removing us becomes like trying to cut a cancer out of your skull? How far down this path is humanity already in this story if the two major governments are about to go to war with one another over their differences like humans have so often in the past.

    In regards to less advanced races, humanity hasn't yet encountered one that is openly acknowledged. There may be some conspiracy theorists out there about grays and such, but nobody has reported a live alien yet. I did put the mention in the timeline of a ship which appeared and randomly dissappeared later without identifying itself, but is that part of the destroyer race, or an utterly different race, perhaps one just a step or two further technologically than humanity is?

    I will say that I do have a first encounter plotted out for the crew of the Carthage.

    And true to form, William is probably going to fuck it up in a major way.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)08:00 No.11921227

    I'd like to go that route, but the bit that bothers me from the background I did up, is how far down the path of destruction did this race push itself? Have they turned themselves into a race utterly dedicated to paranoid survival above all other things and if so, are they at all worthy of redemption after they have done over the countless years they have stood on top of the mountain? The counterpart of that, is if they are redemable, what type of society would they become if the focus of their paranoia, other emerging type 1 civilizations are allowed to live? What about remnants of races they once thought they had killed off? If those races still exist, how are they likely to react if their nightmares beat their swords into plowshares?
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)08:04 No.11921256
    The idea of two somewhat advanced civilizations coming into contact is one that I'm personally utterly uncertain of. If we take humanity as I have and put them forward in a ship like say, the carthage, a former naval vessel with presumably the same armament it had when it was stolen, how would they react to a space faring hulk bearing down at them, oddball radiation types pouring from the hulk as it tries to understand how they fly, what and who they are, etc. If it happens in the middle of the war between the TA and the CAS, how would a warship react if they encountered the hulk?

    "Jesus, those Terran bastards managed to make a ship even uglier than my mother in law, fire the torpedos!"

    Is how I kinda imagine it happening if it went down like that.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)08:09 No.11921286
    And for those interested...

    Part 5 is now archived.

    Vote if you think it's worthwhile.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)08:17 No.11921327
    And now folks, I'm headed to the glorious land of dreams and snores.

    I'll try to hammer out chapter eleven today on my off day, not sure how much I will get done before evening however, for some reason I just seem to write better at night.

    If the thread is around, I'll check in on it when I wake up and see if anyone has questions or thoughts. If not, ya'll know my e-mail.

    >>twelfth glogner
    Yeah, whatever you said captcha
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)09:08 No.11921652
    >I thought about how the universe actually started, with the big bang, and waves of gravity pushing the matter out further until what we have now came into existance, and I thought, well if gravity did all that, and anti gravity doesn't exist

    Anti-gravity is a misnomer, but... if you can generate gravitational fields on the order of magnitude required for FTL travel... then you can create simulated gravity on the same spaceship.

    The question is, "is it economically viable to do so?" Probably not. Manipulating gravity to that degree would take a hell of a lot of power, and I doubt using so much just for passenger comfort would be high on the list of necessary power usage.

    I once read some stuff by a guy that suggested usage of opposing diamagnetic fields to simulate gravity. And, scientifically speaking, there's nothing preventing it. Just technology isn't capable of it. All we can do is produce fields on order of 50 or so teslas. Which might be enough to levitate a frog... but... not near enough to simulate gravity.
    >> -|- Reichsguard -|- !!Q3opPDaKzPo 09/02/10(Thu)09:30 No.11921760
    >The question is, "is it economically viable to do so?" Probably not. Manipulating gravity to that degree would take a hell of a lot of power, and I doubt using so much just for passenger comfort would be high on the list of necessary power usage.

    I don't know. To my understanding, we don't exactly know how gravity works. Simulating it might be really easy and cheap once we know the exact physics and math behind it.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/02/10(Thu)17:31 No.11925565
    Just checking in, writing goes slowly today, I'm headed out to dinner with some friends, I'll be posting more later I do believe.
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)20:23 No.11927662
    >> -|- Reichsguard -|- !!Q3opPDaKzPo 09/02/10(Thu)20:29 No.11927725
    Jum motherfucker, I was just about to do that
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)20:33 No.11927760
    Is there any chance we can clone BOM so that he's always writing?
    >> Anonymous 09/02/10(Thu)22:16 No.11928906
    Awaiting more input.
    >> Anonymous 09/03/10(Fri)00:29 No.11930412
    This thread is still alive - it deserves a bump.
    >> Anonymous 09/03/10(Fri)01:22 No.11930957
    More bump.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)01:29 No.11931054
    Writing is going a bit slowly gents. I'll post what I have when it's ready. Currently my wife is sitting beside me listening to some darned bunch of podcasts about history that was missed in high school or something (she's a major history buff), sadly, the droning voice of the guy and girl on the podcast is penetrating my brain and ruining my train of writing thoughts.

    So... once she actually stops listening to it, I'll be able to write.
    >> Anonymous 09/03/10(Fri)01:38 No.11931160
    Your wife sounds cool, show her this: http://dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh

    also, good work so far
    also, bump
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)01:39 No.11931183

    She just told me that she already has that site bookmarked.

    Which figures, like I said, History buff.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)02:50 No.11931842
    Here we go folks, the beginning of Chapter Eleven. I'm a few pages in, and I'll be posting it as fast as I get it done.

    I won't bother reposting the introduction to chapter eleven, I'm satisfied with how it reads for now. Eventually I may clean it up, but I like the way it reads for the time being.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)02:52 No.11931862
    Austere blue light illuminated the hallway that Nate found himself unwillingly being marched down. Bare metal wall panels with occasional directional arrows were his only indication of where he was being taken aboard the ship. His left arm was held uncomfortably behind his back as the squat man named Canute wrenched it upward and pushed him along silently.

    “Where...” stammered Nate in a scared tone. “Where are you taking me?”

    In answer Canute wrenched his arm further up and shoved him none to gently down the corridor.

    “We'll ask the questions, not you.” came the voice of the captain from behind them. “Why don't you start by telling me why you were aboard my shuttle?”

    Nate shuffled along in the vice-like grip of his captor.

    “I was just trying to hide, I didn't mean anything by it.” said Nate, a quiver in his voice. “Please... just let me go, I won't make any trouble.”

    “You will have to forgive me if I don't exactly believe the word of an armed man who stowed away on a shuttle and got caught aboard my ship.” the captain said dryly. “But don't worry, we'll soon find out exactly what you were doing. Take the Theta-Sigma connector ladderway Canute. Its to narrow for him to try getting away without one of us getting the drop on him.”

    Nate found himself suddenly shoved face first into a bulkhead as Canute turned to face the captain.

    “Captain, this isn't what you pay me for. I'm a shuttle driver, not muscle.” the bowlegged pilot said. “Why don't you get Josepe or one of his goons to haul this guy to medical, and let me get back to getting the shuttle unloaded?”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)02:57 No.11931903
    “I spoke with Vitor before I came to the cargo bay, Canute. They were working on getting some of the stores from your previous trip loaded away when we talked. Frankly, with twelve less people aboard, everyone is going to be pulling extra duty.” Lugh shook his head sadly. “I would much rather have two of the bricks questioning this guy, but for now we both have to make do. I'll com him and get him to shake someone loose so they can join us in medical as soon as possible.”

    Lugh gestured with his thin hand in the direction they had been going.

    “So, as I said, Theta-Sigma ladderway.”

    “I still say we should have one of the bricks doing this.” grumbled Canute as he once again pushed Nate down the corridor. “Shit like this is right up their alley.”

    When they finally arrived at an opened pressure door that separated a narrow alcove from the rest of the corridor the man that Nate identified only as “captain” gestured into the room as Canute reached in and began making his way hand over hand up the metal rungs inset into the wall.

    “Start climbing. Stop when Canute does and follow him when he steps out.” Lugh patted the pistol that he had stuffed haphazardly into one of the pockets of his ship suit. “I'll be behind you with this in case you think about trying anything cute.”

    Nate nodded somberly as he leant into the alcove and placed his hands on the ladder. When he put his left foot on the ladder felt himself yanked out of the alcove by the scruff of his neck. The pale eyes of the captain stared into his as he pointed at where Nate had just placed his foot.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)03:10 No.11932010
    Got a problem and need a bit of help folks. I'm about to write for a character with a very deep accent, quick poll. Should I write out the accent considering it's very hard for Nate to understand, or should I just describe the accent rather than putting it in the dialog?
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)03:24 No.11932102
    I'll just write it out then and try to describe it as best I can without making it to incomprehensible to those trying to read it.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)03:25 No.11932109
    “Don't step on them! Are you crazy? Nobody wants to put their hands in whatever you stepped on! Ladderways like this are designed close to the hull to work with the rotation of the ship, all you have to do is pull gently with your hands and let the spin work for you instead of against you!” the captain said angrily. “Idiot dirtsider, I don't know why people like you even come to space, you're kind are a damned menace. You try pushing off with your foot and you'll end up kissing one of the rungs! Watch how Canute does it and try not to mess up unless you fancy a face full of metal!”

    Nate hurried to comply with the directions he had been given and place his hands back on the rungs and pulled himself back into the alcove. His trip into space was turning out to be nothing like he had imagined it.

    * * *

    Ten levels of allowing his own momentum to carry him along inside the ladderway later, Nate finally thought he was starting to get the hang of it when above him, Canute stopped himself by bracing his legs against the narrow walls beside him. Canute keyed a short numerical sequence onto a holopad alongside a sealed pressure door as Nate drew steadily closer to him. As the door opened before Canute, Nate frantically attempted to emulate what the shuttle pilot had done to stop himself. His legs and knees impacted painfully against every bump and joint in the narrow tube and he understood the reason that the pants worn by both the captain and shuttle pilot had vertical friction padding on them. Finally he came to a stop just short of the hatch way as Canute slid out of the ladderway and reached a hand in to help him up.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)03:34 No.11932193
    “Grab hold and don't try anything.” came Canute's voice from outside. “Pull carefully with one hand and brake with your legs, I'll guide you.”

    Nate did as instructed and moments later found himself standing on aching legs inside a corridor that almost mirrored the one he had found himself in prior to entering the ladderway. With one hand Canute pressed him forward and lifted Nate's left hand into the small of his back once more.

    “This way.” the voice of his captor wasn't unpleasant, he sounded more irritated than anything at having to be away from what he saw as his job aboard ship. “Stop at the third portal on the right.”

    As they made their way down the stark corridor Nate glanced at the directional arrows painted along the ceiling, the red arrows contrasted starkly against the white paint. Finally reaching the indicated pressure doorway Nate and Canute paused while the Captain joined them, opened the door and ducked inside. Nate found the grip on his arm finally released as he stepped into the harshly lit room that smelt rather strongly of chemical cleansers.

    “Chan Yu,” the captain said, addressing the very short man of obvious asian ancestry who stepped around from behind a slab table and made his way towards them. “This is the guy I told you about.”

    “Howdy.” the doctors said as he gave Nate a quick once over and stroked the short white beard that jutted forward from his chin. “Ya'll put him over there on th' slab.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)03:42 No.11932258
    “Howdy.” the doctors said as he gave Nate a quick once over and stroked the short white beard that jutted forward from his chin. “Ya'll put him over there on th' slab.”

    Nate gaped for a moment not understanding the thick drawling accent of the doctor as he was pulled towards the slab that the doctor had indicated. As he leant back against the upright metallic surface, the medico snapped mag clamps in place around both his wrists and ankles holding him in place.

    “It'll be just a moment.” said Chan Yu as he leant the slab back until Nate stared upwards at the brightly lit ceiling. “There. That's done 't. Lemme get m' gear. Shouldn't take long Lugh."

    “The hell did he say?” asked Nate as he shoot his head trying to understand the words the doctor had just said.

    “He said hold on, he'll be right back.” smirked Canute. “Most people can't understand him at first when he talks because he sounds like some back water dirtsider when he talks.”

    Canute turned to where the captain stood beside him. “You mind if I get back to work now captain?”

    “Sure.” said the Captain who Nate gathered was named Lugh. “Go get the shuttle taken care of.”

    “That's what I was planning on.” Canute said over his shoulder as he exited the medical bay while Lugh stepped in front of Nate.

    “What's your name?” asked Lugh as the pressure door closed behind Canute. “We may as well start with getting the lies out of the way before Chan Yu comes back and gets to work.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)04:01 No.11932378
    “Gets to work?” gulped Nate. “I already told you, all I was doing was trying to get away from the shooting.”

    “I don't think so,” said Lugh as he cocked one foot back against the wall and leant back. “I mean, you may have been trying to get away from the shooting, but that I don't think that was all you were trying to do. There had to be some reason they were shooting at you. So, why don't you start with telling me your name.”

    “Uh...” stammered Nate as he tried frantically to remember the name on the id chit that William had given him. “It's Roger, Roger Bengt. I'm one of the technicians at the landing facilities in Clarke. When they started shooting I just started running, and took cover in the shuttle, how was I supposed to know that it was going to close behind me?”

    “Ya'll know he's lying right?” came the thick accent as the bearded doctor stepped back around Nate and pressed a hypodermic injector against Nate's arm. “Don't you be worrying though, he'll be talkin' soon enough.”

    * * *
    >> Anonymous 09/03/10(Fri)04:18 No.11932467
    Seems fine to me.

    Why is Nate having difficulty understanding him? Does he talk like Boomhower from King of the Hill or something?
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)04:24 No.11932492

    No, he talks like John Wayne meets the Deliverance hillbillies.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)04:26 No.11932498
    During his time in the Coalition Marines, one of the standard training exercises he had been through had been entry and seizure of a re-creation of one of the older Terran Alliance Yanzi series of destroyers. The schematic used to build the mock up had been very exact with regards to the specifications of various parts of the ship series. The training was been intensive and the marines had drilled incessantly on the various methods that could be used to disable and seize a hostile ship. The access tunnel that took William towards the engineering compartment was exactly what he needed to begin.

    When William exited the access tunnel he slipped quietly along the short corridor that led from the engineering room that housed the bulk of the interior Kinzer drive workings. Blood leaked slowly down the front of his body sheath from where the cramped tunnel had reopened some of the various cuts and wounds he had taken during the desperate fight at the Clarke facility. At the other end of the hallway a small pressure door led to the primary heat exchange for the life support systems of the Carthage.

    Reaching the door William slid open the emergency keypad beside the door and tapped the keypad. The short sequence he entered was a standard Terran Alliance emergency access code that should have allowed him to open the door without difficulty, instead the doorway remained closed to him.

    William gritted his teeth in frustration as the second, third, and fourth code he entered also failed to open the door. Finally, upset with the lack of progress he simply banged the butt of his rifle loudly on the pressure sealed door before him hoping that his last idea would work.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)04:40 No.11932560
    Long minutes passed until finally, with loud hiss, the pressure seal of the door released and the door swung out towards William.

    “What's wrong this time?” said a young woman as she ducked through the open doorway just in time for the back of her head to meet a vicious downswing from the butt of William's rifle.

    The woman collapsed at Williams feet; half of her body still suck partly through the doorway as William stepped over her. His eyes scanned the room beyond and seeing no obvious threats to himself, he grabbed her limp form by the back of the belt and drug her carelessly back into the room she had emerged from.

    The pressure door sealed itself once more as William closed it behind them and pulled the unconscious crewwoman towards the center of the room. He propped his rifle and pack carefully within reach as he leant her back beside the small control console that jutted out of the floor and pulled a short crys-plast knife out of the pack and began to cut her skinsuit off of her.

    When finally William had finished cutting her skinsuit away, he unceremoniously tore strips from it and tied both the hands and feet of the nude woman together. Satisfied with his work he stood up and nudged her ample posterior with the toe of his boot.

    “Hey, you.” rasped Williams voice. “Wake up.”

    He planted his foot into her rear once more, this time with more force and elicited a faint murmur from her. His face taut with barely controlled anger he knelt down beside her and slapped her across the face repeatedly.

    “Wake up.” hissed William after the back of his hand struck her cheek for the second time.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)04:42 No.11932568
    Her head thumping painfully, Tumelo Chausiku opened her eyes and blinked rapidly as she tried not to focus on the throbbing pain that emanated throughout her body. She move from her position laying sideways on the floor but instead found her hands bound behind her and her movement restricted. Twisting her head rapidly about her she gasped in shock as she realized she was naked and tied up. She filled her lungs and prepared to scream at the top of her voice when a black suited man stepped into her field of vision and slapped her sharply across the face.

    “None of that.” he rasped, his voice harsh to her ears. “It won't do any good, the door is sealed behind us and nobody is going to come looking for you until long after we are done.”

    The man stepped back and waved a crys-plast knife between them. Tumelo's eyes caught a faint flicker of light as it reflected from the dull blade.

    “Answer my questions and I won't use this.”

    Tumelo screamed at the top of her lungs and shaking his head, the knife holder knelt beside her and punched her in the stomach. Gasping she rolled onto her back with the force of the blow and struggled to draw breath.

    “Now that you got it out of your system, start to listen very carefully to what I say. Which of these,” he gestured at the control panel with the hand that held the knife. “Controls the primary couplings on the heat exchanger?”

    “Why am I naked?” gasped Tumelo as pain radiated throughout her whole body. “What are you going to do to me?”
    >> Anonymous 09/03/10(Fri)05:00 No.11932668
         File1283504442.jpg-(68 KB, 384x494, you-gonna-get-raped.jpg)
    68 KB
    >“What are you going to do to me?”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)05:00 No.11932671
    “I'm not going to do anything to you.” said the man as he pointed once more to the control panel. “As long as you answer my questions, if you don't start answering the questions however, I'm going to take your skinsuit, make a tourniquet out of it, and starting removing your toes one joint at a time. If I have to start on your hands you will find me very very angry.”

    William stared down at the shocked woman before him and grinned ferally at her terrified expression.

    “And as to why you are naked, it's an old technique. Most people feel more vulnerable and uncomfortable naked.” he said. “Now I'm only going to ask this one more time before I start taking toes. Which of these controls the thermal couplings?”

    As the woman began to talk William smiled to himself; sometimes it was simply to easy.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)05:02 No.11932680

    Fuck no. Not in any story that I write. Gore, violence, and genocide are fine in my book writing wise, but I will never write that kind of shit for any reason.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)05:20 No.11932793
    An hour later, as William finally closed the door behind him and left the terrified woman sobbing and unharmed in the control room he knew everything that he needed. His long quick strides took him past the access tunnel he had used to access the engineering compartment and across a small gangway that hung suspended over the main antimatter reactor that provided power to the ship. Finally making his way down a small twisting set of metal steps he stood before one of the four main hydrogen feed lines that provided the fuel needed to keep the reactor running.

    He stepped swiftly past the reactor and continued his trek deep into the bowels of the engineering compartment, knowing as he ran that he had only a short few minutes to reach his destination and begin the shut down process of the primary reactor. Finally nearing his destination he slipped his last two breaching charges out of their holders in his body sheath and without removing the adhesive backing sealed them on either side of the main antimatter injector chamber.

    The plasmic thermite charges were designed with only one fail-safe measure to prevent injury or accidental ignition. The bonded adhesive backing on them prevented the magnesium igniter from coming into contact with the body of the charge and initiating the thermic reaction that had originally been intended for cutting through high density alloy plating.

    William smiled to himself, for the first time in a long while he was going to bluff his way to safety instead of the simple and more expedient path of killing everyone in his way. He was looking forward to it.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)05:51 No.11932973
    “Nate Hawkins. Twenty three standard years old, used to work for Jennings Star Drives. Also known as the bastards who cut as many corners as possible while pushing their overpriced substandard engines on anyone who can't afford to get a quality replacement drive.” said Lugh as he examined a data recording held in his hands. “Educated at Jennings expense as a slow burn technician, born in Anson, never left the primary city in his whole life until now, and currently being pursued by the Tulkus security firm because of involvement in an act of terrorism.”

    Lugh lowered the data recording and shook his head as he stepped back around the slab where Nate hung in a drugged stupor.

    “Vitor, what kind of kid do we have here? I don't really see anything in his background that we pulled from Heinlein's records that makes any sense for him to be involved in any terrorist acts.” Lugh shook his head in confusion, “Hell, I didn't even know that Heinlein even had terrorists!”

    “They don't.” came the soft voice of the other man standing beside the slab. Vitor Josepe ran his fingers through his tousled hair. “None of the reports make sense. They point to him being the financial planner behind an attack that left almost fifty people dead, and more badly hurt.”

    “And the mess at the landing port that Canute was talking about?” asked Lugh as he stared at where Nate lay, “They are laying that at his feet too?”

    “I'm not quite sure about that one.” his chief of security operations said. “There's a lot of confusion going on down there still. All that I could find on the infonet was a bad vid of him laying some covering fire down at a Tulkus squad while a guy wearing a body sheath ran for cover. There's a bit more footage, some of the other guy shooting at the same squad, and there's a lot of footage of the Tulkus squad tearing the shit out of the main launch terminal after the two of them went to ground in it.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)05:53 No.11932987
    Lugh shook his head and turned away from the man he was beginning to see as a dispassionate killer of innocents. His steps led him to where Phillip Chan Yu sat quietly.

    “What are you telling me Vitor?”

    The slight man followed in the captains wake as hey crossed the medical facility and sat down beside the doctor.

    “They deliberately took cover with the civilians captain. One of them must have known that Tulkus had to suppress the terminal, and they had to know that innocents would be caught in the cross fire and killed.” Vitor glanced down at the floor briefly before staring directly into Lugh's eyes. “They did exactly what I would have done in their situation to escape. Tulkus had to stop and render aid to the wounded before they would be able to go after the two of them, and that window of opportunity was exactly what they needed to get away.”

    Lugh sighed and dropped the data recording on the table beside him before rubbing his hands across his face. With a sigh he turned and glanced back at Nate.

    “I'm getting to old to hear about this kind of shit.” turning Lugh looked over to Vitor. “What do you think?”

    “This kid didn't mastermind anything. According to the finance statement I pulled on him, he probably got caught up in something out of his control and was being drug along by the other guy.” said Vitor decisively. “Who ever the other guy was he knew how Tulkus would react, he's probably the one who did the killing that they say Hawkins over there financed, and more than likely he's the one who came up with the idea to escape off planet in our shuttle.”

    “And?” asked Lugh tiredly.
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)06:07 No.11933056
    “He's a professional.” Vitor said with a slight shrug. “Probably former military or high level security. He's good at what he does, the footage shows him engaging and hitting multiple members of the security team at roughly two hundred meters. Definitely not the kind of man to mess around. Based on his actions, I'd guess he was military. I'm not sure where, but certainly one of the elite branches, Coalition Marines maybe or Terran Spetsnaz.”

    “And he just abandoned this kid?”

    Vitor shook his head.

    “I don't think so, either he was hit making the break for the shuttle, or...” Vitor trailed off for a moment and furrowed his brow before continuing slowly. “Or he made it onto to the shuttle and came up with the cargo like Hawkins did.”

    “Canute or I would have seen him.” said Lugh shaking for a moment as a sudden cold chill washed over him. “There wasn't anyone else in that cargo hold.”

    “Did you check the rest of the shuttle?” asked Vitor as he glanced around the room momentarily. “Are you certain?”

    “No...” Lugh shook his head slowly as Vitor stood up. “We pulled Hawkins out of there and brought him up here before Canute went back to the cargo hold.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)06:12 No.11933078
    “Ya'll know he's here right?” said Phillip as Lugh turned a questioning glance his way. “This guy yer worryin' about is on board. And while you're sittin' there wonderin' what he done did...”

    Phillip glanced across at Vitor.

    “And you're standin' there thinkin' about recruitin' the guy, he's turnin' th' Carthage into an icebox.” Phillip slid off the chair from where he had been sitting and gestured with a shooing motion towards the doorway. “Go on git before he turns us all into icicles!”

    Without warning a red light began to strobe across the room, Lugh glanced up angrily and turned to fin Vitor already rushing from the room.

    “Find that son of a bitch!” he shouted at the empty doorway. “And get the thermals turned back on before we all freeze!”

    Lugh's earcom buzzed uncomfortably and he subvocalized the command to answer it.

    “This better be good.” he said as he stepped into the corridor and closed the pressure door to the medical bay behind him.

    “There's a message for you captain.” the voice of Langley said into Lughs ear. “He says his name is William, and that he wants to talk.”

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 09/03/10(Fri)06:21 No.11933138
    And that elegan/tg/entlemen is the end of chapter eleven.

    Nate and William have both made it off planet, and some of the crew of the Carthage has been introduced.

    And yes, I was serious when I said that in my mind Phillip Chan Yu talks like a cross of John Wayne and the hillbillies out of Deliverance.

    With tonight's batch the story comes in so far at about 300 words shy of 40,000 words which puts this story at the official short novel length. Truthfully I didn't think I'd manage to keep this pace up for this long, but damn am I glad that I have done so. I'm really enjoying writing this and seeing where the story is going. I think in some ways, putting this into words for others to read is almost as much fun for me as it has been for me to find out where the story that I'm telling is going. There have been a few twists that surprised me so far, but I'm liking it and I do hope that you are too.

    Tomorrow... sometime... I'll begin on chapter twelve.

    As always, feedback, questions, and comments most welcome. I'm going to sit here for a few minutes more while I finish my cigarette and then I'll head off to bed. If the thread is here tomorrow, voila, more story will be posted in this thread. If it's gone, then yet again, a new thread will get posted.

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