In all the fuss over the early release of The Notorious Ian Grant, I forgot to update you about work on the rough draft of my “space opera” story. I’m happy to say that, after the much-needed stress relief of a few marathon writing sessions, the initial draft of Beowulf: In Harm’s Way is finished.
It’s 55,000 words of pure … roughness, and I’m sure it’ll be at least a few thousand words longer by the time I’m finished. Just for the heck of it, I thought I’d share the first moments of the opening scene, which takes place on the United Planets warship CS-214—a craft so small the crew has to name it themselves.
Now, on to the second draft. And the third, fourth, fifth ….
A red light shone out on the shuttle's control board.
Commander Paul Gage leaned forward, his hands still on the little craft's controls. “What did I do?”
Beside him, Kurt Biermann shook his head. “Nothing, Skipper—that's a comm alert from the bridge.”
“Well, that's damned inconvenient when I'm trying to get certified as a shuttle pilot.” Thank goodness they were parked in his ship’s shuttle bay, running a simulation. Gage couldn't remember flying anything since … since the incident.
The real pilot chuckled. “You know, a ship's captain doesn't have to know how to fly a shuttle. Since I'm usually up at the helm, I'm the one who should be practicing down here.”
“I ordered cross-training, so I cross-train.” Gage punched the comm button. Lt. Biermann, who no doubt hadn't expected to train anyone while running a shakedown cruise in a ship with only forty-two crewmembers, looked relieved.
“Damage control stations, all hands, we have a fire in engineering. This is not a drill.”While Gage pushed the shuttle's door open and leaped out, he noticed Lt. Biermann no longer looked relieved.