Friday, February 3, 2012

Science Fantasy - Day 8 - The Last Hope's user interface.

Writing time - 30mins.

At his quarters, Nolan stepped in and took in the sight of where he had his accident.  He rubbed his rib reflexively, and sighed when he thought about the lack of a scar.  In the old days, scars were like badges that people wore to appear tougher and weathered. He bet this Guranthien had scars - he was a pirate after all, and pirates embellished their scars. The door rezzed behind him and he put thoughts of scars out of his mind.

"Sophaia." He said and his artificial intelligence adviser appeared before him.

Sophaia was the ship's AI user interface for all crew members.  Each user was able to script the manifestation however they liked, and Nolan liked blondes.  She wore a tight white uniform with gold trim that looked like it was painted on her body. The curves of her hips were just how Nolan liked it, and though he hadn't realized it when he made the UI skin, she looked a lot like Mistance.  They had the same body and facial features. Only the blonde hair and blue eyes were different.

"I am perplexed." Nolan began as he walked to his desk. When he sat down he continued, "how did the Guranthien pirates find us? You are supposed to be the highest technology ever to grace the universe.

"And by human standards, I am." Sophaia said.  Her voice was calm and confident. She sat down in the same chair Mistance occupied the night before.

"Since when did Guranthien technology become so advanced?" He said.

"They have not become advanced.  They are using alien technology, possibly stolen. They are pirates after all." Sophaia nodded, showing that the computer was confident in it's assessment.

"What hit us?"

"If I am not mistaken, it was a phased singularity driver." She nodded again.

"How did they see us."

"If I am not mistaken, they have phased tachyon sensors." Another nod.

Nolan pondered the computer's assessment.  With that kind of technology, they were able to see The Last Hope. That meant the Thelksa might be able to find them as well. The Thelksa didn't need technology to survive in space and didn't rely on it, but if they managed to contact this Guranthien pirate and he let out that he had spotted a Human ship, they would get their information.

"We can't let this Guranthien ship and her crew leave can we?" Nolan rubbed his finger on his cheek as he spoke.

"With out the protection of phasing, our shields won't hold up against attacks from that singularity driver." Sophaia said.

Nolan slapped his hand on the table and said, "Then we have no choice.  We will have to go into another universe and hope we can find something livable before the Thelksa find us first."

"Probability of finding a suitable universe within the first year is very low." Sophaia reminded him.

"Better than our chances of surviving an attack by the Thelksa or a pirate that discovers who we really are." Nolan stood and walked to his bedroom.  The door derezzed for him and rezzed behind him. He went to his wardrobe materializer and pondered his intimidation suit. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hit the brakes!

Sorry, I just don't have time to write every day.  I have a new goal of at least 3 posts per week.  I will start it tomorrow.  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Science Fantasy - Day 8 - Dresler and Strange management.

Writing time - 30mins.

"Captain." Dresler said when he turned a corner and saw Nolan. "Are you ok? I heard you were critical. I was just on my way to check your status."

Dresler was a short man at only five and a half feet. His skin was darker than a starless sky and his eyes perpetually wide as if they were ready to pop out of his head at any moment.  His lower lip was twice as thick has his upper and his nose was flat and flared at the nostrils. His head was clean shaven and shiny, and he wore his black uniform loose.

Dresler stopped and cocked his head to one side, then said, "is that a new style? I thought you were a naturalist, not a minimalist."

Nolan crossed his arms over his chest, "Very funny Dresler. Now give me a report," he said.

"The Guranthien pirates didn't recognize our ship.  They thought we were just some unknown race, and you know pirates, shoot first and sift through the wreckage."

"Where are they now." Nolan frowned.

"Well, the Captain surrendered himself to the brig, but is currently in your ready room sipping tea." Dresler grinned.

"Excellent. Let him sip his tea. I'll be in my quarters putting on my intimidation suit." Nolan said and walked away down the hall.

Dresler called after him, "You going to put blood on this one?"

Nolan didn't turn around and only shrugged his shoulders and spread out his arms while walking. He could hear Dresler say "Yes!" behind him, and he pictured the short man fist pumping the air and dancing away.

The truth was, he had no idea what he would think of, but he wanted to get under this Guranthien's skin.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Science Fantasy - Day 7 - Religious tension.

Writing time - 30mins.

The central robot pair stopped their actions on the heads up displays, and turned to face them.

"He deserved it!" Mistance told them defiantly, "It is part of his psychological healing process."

The robots laughed and bobbed on their tracks then one said in a deep male voice, "It isn't our place to interfere, but we strongly believe, for your species benefit, that you consider copulation. Perhaps that will solve the tension you two are experiencing? If necessary, we can provide mood and stimulation."

"No thank you. I am a naturalist." Nolan responded.

"We meant no offense to your religion, Captain." The other robot said.

Nolan took a deep breath, and thought about his words carefully. He put his hands on the sides of Mistance's shoulders and smiled. "Wouldn't you be happier with a purist mate?"

Mistance slapped his arms aside with both hands, pivoted again and let her hand fly. He was at least a foot taller than Mistance at six and a half feet, but she managed to close that disadvantage and make it work for her.  This time Nolan rolled with the slap but was knocked off balance anyway. He staggered back one step, put his hand over his cheek and winced at the sting.

The robots no longer paid attention.

"You're needed on the bridge, Captain." she spit the word Captain out like venom.

Nolan regained his composure and looked deep into her eyes. No tears, but she was clearly angry and sad.  Nolan regretted the way he declined her, but also knew it would never work.  Naturalists and Purists just didn't match.  Two centuries of ideology differences separated them.  She might be able to accept his naturalist eccentricities, but he would struggle with her casual view of living.

"Sorry." He said and walked away. He made it a point to not look back as he walked out of the room into the deckhall. When the door rezzed behind him, he stopped and cleared his mind.  Guranthien pirates needed to be his main focus.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Science Fantasy - Day 6 - Waking up.

Writing time - 30 mins

Nolan opened his eyes to soft light streaming down from an overhead array of lamps.  He stood up gasping and grabbing his side, searching for what he didn't know, but knowing it was deathly important.  He pawed his rib cage and found nothing unusual. He looked over the room and realized he was in the trauma bay of the medical facility.  He was on a bed with a blue microfiber blanket over his legs.  The room was small and softly lit. There was a large observation window to his left, a doorway to the right of the window, and a monitor on the white wall to his right.  The monitor displayed his vital signs, all looking normal to him, though he was no doctor. Nothing else adorned the white walls, it was the incarnation of minimalist design.

He put his legs over the side of the bed facing the observation window and rubbed his face with both hands.  He knew something big had happened but he was groggy and had a difficult time keeping his concentration. He remembered the banging sound, the gravity changes and hitting his desk, but the rest was a blurr.

"Good morning captain." Mistance's voice came from the speakers near the observation window. "Welcome back to the living."

"What happened?" Nolan said.

"Our ship was attacked by Guranthien pirates, you were nearly killed by a broken bottle that had punctured your lung and ruptured your spleen. You should really change that materializer script to use more modern container material instead of glass." She responded.

"That might change the taste of the wine. Any Casualties?"

"Almost one. One big fool that no one would miss." Mistance sighed as she answered.

Nolan stood out of the bed and walked to the doorway, then stopped when he had the sensation of being nude..  He was wearing light Newskin silk pants. The fabric was so light and frictionless that he felt completely naked. The door derezzed and he walked into the observation room.

The observation room was round and about fifty feet from one side to the opposite side. Two robotic monitor robots hung from the ceiling. Their multi-fingered hands moving quickly but silently at the array of floating heads up displays in front of them.  Each occupied observation room was constantly monitored and adjusted for the patient's comfort down to the hundredths of a degree. There were tracks along the ceiling and if a patient needed physical assistance, the robots could quickly move to their room where the window would derez so the robot could enter and provide assistance.

Mistance was near the exit where a human sized heads up display showed two internal images of a man's body.  One was normal as far as Nolan could tell, and the other had something protruding from the side. This must have been his scan. The anatomy was completely intact and he wasn't sure how he felt about Mistance staring at his body so intently.  He tried not to remember the pain he felt after hitting the desk, or think about how lucky he must have been that Mistance was in his quarters and close at hand when it happened. He was thankful, but a little embarrassed how intimately she knew his body. He had never seen her naked. He pushed the thought from his mind and greeted Mistance. She turned to face him and her face was calm but her eyes seemed to stab at him angrily.

"You saved my life.  I owe you one." Nolan told her when he was close enough.

"You made me sleep in your bed alone.  You're lucky I didn't let you bleed to death." She pivoted to the right and raised her hand to slap him.  He caught her hand instinctively, then realized his mistake and let go.  As soon as he did she struck him again from the left.  This time he didn't stop it, and her hand hit his face hard enough to leave a bright red hand print.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tentatively named: Fishbowl - Science Fantasy - Day 5

Monday:  Writing time 25 minutes.

Nolan's vision was bathed in pulses of red. The pounding sledgehammer stopped and the sound of shouting wafted its way to his ears in watery garbles of unintelligible speech. A bright white light pierced his right eye, then his left.  His entire universe seemed to pulse with the beating of his heart, and each beat squeezed his thoughts in and out of his slippery mind.

Gravity seemed to change again, pulling his body down from all directions but lifting his body up from others. The lifting force proved the stronger and he could sense himself rising from the floor.  He reached for his side where he had hit the desk and cut his finger on something sharp.  The pain saturated his senses, blocking his vision and hearing.  He shouted for help, but couldn't tell if any sound was escaping his mouth.

He was moving now, how or where he didn't know, but he no longer cared.  Warm fluid was flowing from his throat into his mouth and nose..  He tried to breath and couldn't make his diaphragm move, or at least he couldn't tell if it was moving or not. Maybe he was in a car.  A car was a transportation device on earth before Dizzies were invented. His mind wandered and time seemed to slow down.  Visions of trees, birds, and rain slid in and out of his thoughts.  It all made sense to him because there was no need to understand.

Something sharp and ice cold pierced Nolan's chest and he could feel the fluids leaving his lungs like someone had pulled the plug drain. The visions of earth disappeared as his mind began to clear and the pain came on stronger.  Another sharp stab to his chest and darkness clawed at him. It pulled him down into an abyss of sleep, slowly at first like quicksand and then there was nothing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tentatively named: Fishbowl - Science Fantasy - Day 4

Weekend edition.

Nolan awoke suddenly after hitting the hard floor. He tried to sit up but his head was spinning and his thoughts slipped through his mind like greasy ropes he couldn't hold on to. There was a sound like a sledgehammer hitting a metal wall somewhere deep in the ship and he rolled as gravity changed direction.

"Stabilizers!" Nolan shouted but there was no response.

His head pounded and stars danced across his vision. He put his hands underneath his body attempting to rise. Another loud bang and gravity shifted again, this time sending Nolan rolling back to his desk. He caught the corner of the desk and something pierced his rib. The sudden stabbing pain racked his body and he curled up as tight as he could.  The pain was intense but his head just wouldn't clear enough to react, scream or move.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tentatively named: Fishbowl - Science Fantasy - Day 3

Weekend edition.

Nolan offered the cork to Mistance.  She dutifully accepted it and sniffed it lightly. She nodded curtly and place the cork on the desk. Nolan bade the materializer to proffer another glass and then poured the wine for both of them.  Mistance accepted the glass but waited to drink.

"If we can't make them disappear, then we have to disappear. We have to find a new universe, or create one of our own." He said and raised his glass.  "Here's to a new universe."

Mistance repeated his words and drank as he drank.  There was much he wanted to talk to her about, but by the way she was fiddling with her blouse buttons, he knew she wouldn't be interested right now.  He refilled their glasses until the bottle was empty, and they made small talk.  He asked her about the health of the crew and where she would go if she could go anywhere in the universe.  She told him about her fears for the Human race and asked him his opinions about them.  By the time they finished the second bottle of wine she was curled up in his lap with her arms over his shoulder and legs over the arm rests.  Nolan started to get another wine bottle materialized but Mistance was passed out in his arms.

"Another perfect chance to make love, foiled by my own fear and hesitation." Nolan sighed and then stood up while trying not to wake Mistance.  He carried her to his bedroom and made sure she was comfortable in his bed.  When he was sure she was sleeping soundly, he went back to his desk chair and watched the stars while imagining a new universe for humankind. Then he fell asleep. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tentatively named: Fishbowl - Science Fantasy - Day 2

Mistance was wearing her off duty uniform. There were two varieties. The ones with pants and the ones with skirts.  She was too girly for pants and her skirts were cut shorter than others.  With single women out numbering single men 70 to 55, it was no wonder she tried so hard.  She had to know he was watching her on the other side of the door, which is why she bobbed back and forth in such a way to show off her perfect genetically tailored chest.

Nolan smiled and rubbed his right finger into his cheek.

Mistance chuckled suddenly and said, "I bet you are rubbing your cheek."

Nolan slapped his hand down on the table and stared at it with angry squinting eyes.  "Come in." He said.

The door opened and Mistance came in, with all the swagger and confidence of a gold metal winner. Nolan turned his chair to stare back out into the stars, ignoring her triumphant entrance.  She cocked her head to one side and surveyed the room.  When she was satisfied with her assessment of the situation, she sighed and sat down in the guest chair in front of the desk.  She crossed her legs, leaned back and stayed silent.

Nolan rubbed his cheek, happy to be out of her vision.  There were a million thoughts and emotions running through his head. He didn't want her to see the struggle he was fighting. He tried to focus on the stars beyond, when suddenly he noticed a motion of strange light. He focused on it and saw Mistance's reflection as she waved at him.  He drew in a deep breath and exhaled his tension away.

"Do you ever wonder if fish feel like prisoners?" Nolan asked abruptly. He could see her reflection as she shook her head silently. "We are no match for beings born in space.  Our race can only experience the amazing vastness of space one fishbowl window at a time.  And our fishbowls are getting smaller."

Mistance nodded, but remained silent, and listened.

"We can no longer afford to enjoy the luxury of a moon, starbase, or asteroid belt.  No place is safe from our enemies, when their playground is all of space.  When Earth, then Mars, then Eden were destroyed, it was obvious how weak we were.  They always find us and break our fishbowls.  The only way to escape is to be where they are not.  five centuries of running, and we are the last. How far will our fishbowl take us?"  Nolan shook his head then rested it in his hand propped up on the arm rest.

Mistance was silent for a few minutes. She stared intensely at his reflection.  Finally she said, "How can we survive? How can we be where they are not?"

Nolan turned his chair and positioned himself back at his desk.  He picked up the wine and produced an old fashioned cork screw from one of his desk drawers.  The computer Materializer could have uncorked it for him, but he enjoyed the ceremony of pulling off the cork and smelling it. The smell was always the same, and the taste never changed; unlike the wines made on Earth that would change by how it was stored, and how old it was.  All wines ended in 2120, the year the Earth was destroyed.

Nolan worked happily uncorking the wine bottle.  This menial task was important to him.  He used it to imagine what it would have been like to live on a planet.  When the cork popped out of the bottle mouth, he wafted it under his nose and savored the woody butterscotch aroma. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fishbowl -Science Fantasy

Thank you for the responses on what you would like to see me write.  The overwhelming majority voted for Sci-Fantasy.  So here I will write my story, tentatively named FishBowl.  Enjoy!

Tentatively Named: Fishbowl.

Nolan Kreus lounged in the easy chair of his quarters. His arms rested on the chair, with a half full wine glass in one hand and an empty bottle in the other. His feet were propped up as he watched the video wall across the room. The video was of Earth, or how it used to be before it was destroyed by an unknown race of arrogant, and technologically advanced aliens. The destruction of earth was five hundred years ago, and though no one was alive to remember what it was like to live there, all of humanity yearned for it's embrace.

"Twenty-five thousand two hundred and one." Nolan whispered and dropped the empty bottle so he could rub the desperate fear and loss out of his eyes.  "HUD." Nolan said and a translucent blue screen appeared before him. "Mirror." He continued.  The heads up display became reflective and Nolan stared at his own face. His Mikohen silk robe was stained with wine and his hair matted in wavy locks to the sides of his face.

Nolan traced the lines of crows feet at the corners of his eyes.  His wavy locks of black hair were peppered with silver, and his chin was dotted with the stubble of an overworked captain.  He started to rub his face with both hands then realized he forgot the glass of wine he had been holding.  His first inclination was to toss the glass, but decided better against the waste and drank the wine before he hurled it across the room. It bounced off the video wall with a high pitched ringing sound like the strike of a sledge hammer against an unbreakable xylophone. 

Nolan swatted the HUD and it dissolved into the air. He stood up, rubbing his face and staggered toward his office door.  As he stepped into the room the lights of the bedroom went out and the Office lights came on.  His chair moved out from under the desk to face him invitingly.  He happily accepted, sitting in the chair and turning away from the desk.  

"Space window." He said and the wall became transparent, revealing the bright stars beyond. "Ship vitals." He said.

"Twenty-five thousand two hundred souls aboard, captain. One suicide at 21:19 hours. One birth expected at 09:00 hours. All systems normal." The computer responded. 
"Messages?" Nolan said.

"2302 messages." It answered.

"Common themes?" Nolan said.

"We are the last of all of humanity, what do we do now?" 
Nolan winced at the response.  He slapped his face on both sides, stood up, sat back down, and stood up again. He walked around his desk, sat back down again then turned his chair to the desk.  "We drink!" He said. "I'd like some wine. L'Hospi Pinot Noir two thousand six please." The computer beeped the request granted sound and a wine glass and green bottle with a white label and gold lettering materialized on his desk. 

"Captain, you have a visitor using override privilege." The computer announced.  

"Let me see them." He said, and a new HUD screen appeared before him.  

When Nolan saw the video his eyes softened.  Mistance Tekapla stood at his quarter's door, waiting.  She stood confident, but the sag of her shoulders and tilt of her head, causing her long red hair to spill to one side, revealed her true sadness. Nolan sat back in his chair and sighed.

Mistance, the Medical chief, had become well acquainted with Nolan over the last few years.  As the last of the Earthborn alliance ships began to go silent, Nolan had become more and more interested in the health and welfare of the crew and passengers aboard his ship, The Last Hope. Mistance had mistaken his constant visits and inquiries as interest in her. She wasn't too wrong. He liked her dimpled smile, wavy red hair, and green eyes.  Her face was curved softly and accentuated in all the right places, but then again, he doubted anyone alive was wearing the same face they were born with. He just liked her artistry of beauty more than anyone else he had seen.  Her calm helpful demeanor and soft, girly voice pleased him, but he had resisted all attempts of her wooing him.  She scalded him when he resisted her advances saying with the rate the human race was declining, he couldn't afford to stay single.  Though she herself was single.  And now they were both two of the 125 single humans left in the universe.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Online Book

As a writer I love a challenge.  I plan to write an entire book a little at a time and post it here.  You will have the opportunity to read the story as its pages evolve.  I will write the story in parts every day and post those parts at the top of this page.  If this is your first time visiting my story page, check the archives to read from the beginning and catch up.  Feel free to add any comments and be a part of the book creation!