SS Tenebrae

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SS Tenebrae Empty SS Tenebrae

Post by Kafria Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:38 pm


As I don't think I'm going to much else with it but rewrtie a few of the worst bits I thought I might post the start of this years nano here.

I've spellchecked it (took 2 hrs Mad gives an idea of how much time I had to spend checking it) and I've re written one small part, may feel the need to do other bits. It is not however fully edited. It is the closest I have come to finishing anthing though.

It's silly, spacey, and quite clearly influenced by a whole load of things you may well recognise. Anyway, heres what I've checked so far.

Thunder pounded in Jonas' ears as he huddled low to the damp grass. A shiver broke the stillness of his shoulders as rain tracked off the leaves failing to shelter him above. He gasped deep shuddering breaths to replace the oxygen in his lungs. The reprieve wouldn't last for long. Lifting the back of his jacket he gripped the reassuring weight of his gun and began the routine job of changing the clip. Iron rounds had slowed the beast down, but he would need something more effective if he was to escape.

He started and turned as a twig snapped behind him, slamming the new clip home as he raised it to point at the shadow there.

"It's me," it hissed, hands raised before starting forward.

"Don't sneak up on me when I'm loading,” he shot back, as he gave her a quick once over. "Where's your gun?" he asked.

Cassie huffed in annoyance and rolled her eyes.

"I'm fine, thanks for asking. Next time you're playing bait."

"Fat chance, the monsters just wanna gobble you up." Jonas smirked and ducked the incoming slap before returning to his question.

"So where is it? You didn't drop it?"

"Nah. Had to ditch it... Frat boy was a little handsy," she explained.

"He what..."Jonas growled.

Cassie laughed ducking to retrieve her ankle dagger as she grabbed his wrist.

"Nothing I couldn't handle and I'm not daft. Back up," She said as she showed him the blade.

Jonas grinned, she might not look like much, but Cassie could scrap it out like a good 'un. Frat boy hadn't stood a chance.
A scream cut through his amusement as they both turned to face the noise.

"Oh man, you lost it," he grumbled. "Come on," he added as another scream shattered the night, sprinting through the trees towards the noise.

Leaves and branches scratched his face as water soaked his clothes from the sopping leaves. His lungs heaved for air as his muscles protested at being pushed so hard once again. A thud and gasp behind told him Cassie had missed the fallen log in the dark and hit the deck, but he couldn't stop as he pounded on to stop the monster.

Without warning he broke out of the thick foliage and into a clearing. A vast shadow towered over a whimpering huddle on the floor. The monster turned his head, a deep rumbling growl breaking through the snarling lips and bared fangs. With a flick of its paw it sent its victim sliding painfully across the clearing, slamming into a trunk on the edge, and turned to face Jonas.

"Remember me, ugly?" he taunted. Didn't matter if the beast understood or not, it was part of the game. Stepping away from the edge of the clearing Jonas turned, keeping his eyes on the figure in front of him. If the clouds would only clear he might have chance to figure out what he was dealing with, give him a better chance to take it down.

He lifted his gun and held it steady as the creature advanced. His finger tightened on the trigger as the beast tensed itself ready to leap. He held his breath, ready to release it with the shot. His foot wriggled slightly as he checked it was planted firmly and bent his knee ready to push off and away.

The beast hunched, testing its legs like a lion ready to pounce. Muscles tensed and the legs began to extend until a crash on the right made it pause and swing round. Cassie.

She swung round, eyes wide with fear as she saw the beast hunting her brother. There was a glint of light as she launched her knife across the clearing to thud loudly in the beast’s chest. It roared in fury as it used its coiled strength to launch itself straight at her. Jonas swore as he watched terror bloom in his sister’s eyes. She only had the one knife. Without thinking he followed the beast,
emptying the clip into its hide. It didn't even slow down as it continued its advance on Cassie.

She scrambled backwards as quickly as she could, hands and feet slipping on the wet grass and leaf mould that carpeted the clearing. A claw snagged in her jeans, catching in her leg. An anguished shriek forced its way past her lips as she grasped the claw, whether to remove it or simply stop it ripping further she didn't know. She watched as the monster raised its other claw ready to strike.

Jonas dropped his useless gun and drew the machete lashed to his side. Iron and Silver had both failed to slow the beast down, he had one option left. This had better work. He jumped high and grasped the creature’s ragged fur and pulled himself high on its back, raising his arm to bring the machete slicing across its neck.

The dark forest disappeared and his arm swung harmlessly into his stomach. Jonas looked up and around in confusion. He felt a hand grab his leg and pull; he fell to the ground and slid along.

"What do you think you're doing?" asked the captain as she raised the glasses from his face and the bottom of the consul he had been under came into view.

Jonas blinked repeatedly as the bright lights of the command centre replaced the dark of the forest. He looked about in confusion, the r-shift taking a while to process.

Captain Drake stood over him, eyebrows raised, waiting for a response. When none seemed forthcoming she sighed.

"I guess this is why the system clean of the communications array is taking three times longer than it should," She stated.

Jonas shifted uncomfortably and pushed himself into a sitting position. Running a hand through his cropped hair he looked up at the captain.


"I sent you up to clean the system while the relief crew were on duty, that was three hours ago. You should have been back in the mess to annoy Henning at least an hour ago."

A broad grin broke out as Jonas winked at her, eyes sparkling with mirth.

"Took care of that first. Has he booted up yet?" he asked

Drake fought to maintain her stern facade, glaring slightly to stop her cheeks from twitching.

"The clean?" she demanded.

"All done, nothing unusual. Had an alert set to interrupt if anything needed my attention. It's all routine, has this run been anything else?" he huffed in irritation and Drake found herself raising her eyes in sympathy.

This cargo run to Jupiter offered little in the way of the excitement or new experiences that she and many of her crew had envisioned when they first joined the academy. Ten months into the 15 month haul the routine and boredom was taking its toll on all of them. Most, like Jonas, had retreated into the numerous virtual experiences on offer to pass the time.

"What was it this time? Treasure hunting, fighting pirates, rescuing damsels in distress?" she asked. Jonas was fairly predictable in his entertainment, living out his dashed dreams of being a hero in the conflicts around the galaxy.

"Monster hunting. I was trying to stop you getting your head ripped off by a mountain man. Guess you're dead now...shame." He smirked at her.

"Hm. Whatever gets you through the pain of having to take orders from your little sis." She held out her hand and pulled him up, turning to lead the way to the mess.

"Time you ate," she said. "You can tell me what you've done to Henning on the way. That way I might be able to stop him giving you a pounding," she added.

Jonas chuckled as she led him out of the command centre and down the corridor, the door hissing quietly as it closed behind them.

Captain Drake activated her com mic, placing a call to her opposite number as she walked through the near circular spoke tube.

"Drake here, Jonas is clear of Command. She's all yours," she reported, finger raised to silence her brother while she completed the call.

A smooth panel slid back to reveal the outer corridor for the habitation ring, Jonas followed Cassie to the left as they began the circuit, passing a number of crew cabins as they headed for the mess. The SS Tenebrae wasn't a big star cruiser, but a standard ellipsoid tug with two habitation rings, engines to the rear and escape pods to the front. It was designed for the relatively short hops around a solar system, tugging cargo pods that could be dropped through terraformed atmospheres to the planets and moons below. Prime Command was located in the centre spindle and linked to the fore spinning habitation ring by four spoke tunnels.

"Thanks Captain, see you in eight hours," Commander Rice replied before cutting the connection. Cassie relaxed, shoulders dropping as she turned her face back him.

"So that's why you came to get me, Anya was pestering," Jonas chuckled, wagging a finger at his sister.

The relief crew were housed in the aft habitation ring separate from the primary crew and this being a civilian vessel; they ran two twelve hour shifts instead of the three shifts of eight hours that the military used. With no mutual downtime each crew worked independently, relief even had a secondary command centre, allowing maintenance without interrupting the running of the ship.
Anya had clearly been frustrated that Jonas’ communications clean had reduced her overall command on shift.

“So, how many times?” he asked.

“Mm?” murmured Cassie feigning ignorance. Smoothing over any friction was part of leading a small crew and hers were some of the lucky ones; many other transport hubs had slashed crews to skeleton numbers after the failure of the interstellar colonisation project. Skeleton crews may save money, but being stuck with only four or five others for 15 months could stretch people to breaking point. The Tenebrae had a recommended complement of thirty, fifteen to each shift. It seemed to keep conflict to a manageable level and crew members could be shift switched in extreme circumstances.

“How many times did you fob her off before you came to get me?” he insisted, shoving her with his elbow.

“None,” Cassie declared, voice creeping into a squeal as the contact lifted her off the deck and propelled her into the padded rail along the wall. The 0.5G generated by the spin of the ring was just enough to ensure people stayed on the ground, but did little to check more forceful movements. The resultant beige padding across every surface gave the whole ring the feel of a bland nursery or safe room.
Jonas stepped across the space and caught her elbow, steadying her.

“Okay?” he asked.

“Fine,” she replied shoving him off and rubbing her side where he had caught her.

“Evening Beth,” she added to the medic coming towards them.

“Cassie. Jonas,” was the short reply as she passed them, turning into the med bay which they had just passed.

Jonas quirked an eyebrow at Cassie, surprised by the coldness of the normally bubbly doctor, the strain was beginning to tell on all of them.

The supplies for system colonies may be vital, but delivering them was a slow staid business. Ftl travel was not routinely used after the exodus project broke down. Billions of tonnes of resources had been thrown at the race to escape the galaxy only to yield nothing in return. For now the human race was staying put, until a new plan could be formed. There were some small ships in system for the rich and impatient, but most people still relied on the standard stellar drives developed in the early 21st century. Slow they may be, but with hydrogen mining from gas giants the fuel was readily available and a hell of a lot cheaper than its flashier cousin. Not that knowing this helped the crews of the hauliers with the slow ponderous journeys across the system.

“We all need some shore leave,” Cassie sighed, moving on past the training room to the mess beyond.

Ducking inside Jonas made straight for the dispensers on the far wall to grab his supper. Turning to face the long rectangular room he spotted Cassie returning to Jay and Luis, her deputies, around the game table. He grinned and turned to the long table around which sat the other tech guys, not that he was one of the geek squad really.

"Jonas, nice of you to join us," called Sarah

"Losing you're touch man, need to get back to the academy if you can't run a simple refresh," teased Kev

"Or did something else keep you? Missy was gone for a while," Ted nudged him grinning suggestively as he wiggled his eyebrows.

Jonas just smirked in return, eyebrows mimicking the engineers. He dug a fork into his chili, shovelling it towards his mouth with enthusiasm.

"So what'd I miss?" he spluttered through the rice and sauce, spraying his companions in the process.

"Gross mate," said Kev, wiping spots of food from his sleeve. "Henning and Stan have been winding each other up, squared up till your sis got in the way and threatened to put them both on a charge," he added.

Jonas frowned, if Henning was wound tight tonight it wasn't the best time for his prank. He shrugged, it was already set. Not a lot he could do now to reduce the agro. He turned his head in time to see Henning sink into his usual seat. Yeah, much too late to change anything.

Sarah followed the direction of his gaze and sighed. "You didn't. Tell me you didn't!"

"Okay. I didn't," Jonas said

Sarah raised an eyebrow and waited.

"Okay maybe I did, but it's too late to change it now," Jonas admitted. "Not my fault Stan chose tonight to be a git," he groused.

Across the room, settled into the middle of the soft seating recess, the bulky form of the marine captain slid down as he wriggled around to get comfortable. Henning was a creature of habit. Post shift he made straight for the Training room, running laps and hitting the gym to work out the kinks of the day and to keep his formidable bulk in tip top shape. Two hours later a shower was followed by a steaming bowl of pasta and washed down with a pint of juice. Suitably relaxed and fed the gristled solider settled into what had undeniably become his chair and loaded up a combat scenario, replaying old, legendary missions to test himself against the best.

Fingers twitched as he worked his way through menus and set up tonights distraction. Friends gathered round and used their interfaces to load up a real time feed to follow his progress, give advice or, more likely, goad any silly moves. A series of catcalls cut through the room.

"Suits you sir."

"Very dashing today."

"What have you got on?"

The good natured barbs were drowned out by a roar of outrage as Henning took in his avatars floating pink dress. As he stood up and spun round there was a renewed peel of laughter as the avatar became caught in the dress and face planted straight onto the burnt earth of the virtual world. Henning stripped the glasses from his face as he turned to glare around the mess, searching for the culprit. He glowered in suspicion at Stan, before dismissing him and moving on.

"You!" he bellowed as soon as he saw Jonas hunched at the dining table, striding across the room. The assembled crew turned and followed eager to watch the fireworks.

Jonas dropped his fork to his plate and rose to meet him.

"Can't beat me man to man so resort to petty tricks," Henning spat at his rival, prodding him in the chest with a thick finger.

"Now Henning," Cassie started, hurrying across with her Jay to break up the action.

"And now here comes your sister, gonna hide behind her skirts geek boy?" the marine taunted.

Jonas clenched his fists. Henning had dismissed Jonas as nothing than a useless nerd from the start. He was incensed when he realised Cassie was his sister, convinced that Jonas’ position was on the crew was due to family connection, not merit. He never passed up an opportunity to questions Jonas' abilities or try wind him up. The prank had been designed to bring him down a peg or two, but on top of his row with Stan it was just more provocation, pushing him over the edge. Jonas squared his shoulders and looked Henning in the eye, he wasn’t going to back down now.

"You reckon you could beat me in a fair fight, no chance. You may be big, but I bet you're slow...and stoopid too," he drawled. He smirked insolently into Henning's face, watching as it turned an increasingly deep beetroot red.

"You...You...," Henning spluttered uncontrollably. "Ten minutes, on the mat," he spat, finger jabbing Jonas in the chest firmly enough to make him step back, before storming out. A stream of cheering hangers on followed him out, egging him on.

Jonas grinned at his departing back, before turning and facing the disappointed look on Cassie's face.

"Well that was a great way to calm him down," she stated tartly. "Just don't get yourself killed; you've really pissed him off."

“Have a little faith, I might beat him,” Jonas said, shrugging as he turned and hightailed it back to his bunk to change into sweats ready. Kev’s snort of disbelief was cut off as the door closed behind him.

May post more as I get more checked.

(FYI I haven't abandoned the dp fanfic piece, I was stuck on how to get the characters together to where I needed them, but I have a rough outline that should get me back on track.)

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SS Tenebrae Empty Re: SS Tenebrae

Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:11 am

You know if I had to sum up your writing in one word Karia I think I would choose, 'intriguing'- I always find myself ever more intrigued with your stories and pulled ever further into them- a trait I have to admit I do envy.
Loved the switch in the opening too, very effective.

Glad to hear the dp fan fic piece isnt wholly abandoned too, I really enjoyed it, it was, intriguing.

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