My ‘As Yet UnTitled’ Book Begins

November 1, 2007 at 8:22 pm (Writing)

Well, I’ve finished my first day of writing – a total of 2019 words.  Chapter 1 (maybe) is posted below.  I don’t plan on posting each entry here because, quite frankly, I’m tired of writing.

Captain Jamison let out a scream. It was a primal scream, and continued until he had no air left in his lungs. Then he threw up in the conveniently placed bucket near his chair.
He counted backwards in his head, ‘Five, four, three…’
The trembling started. He knew it would. He tried to hold them off as long as he could, but they always came at the same time – never letting him count past three.
He thought this was always the worst part – worse even than vomiting. He had been sick before, but the tremors were unique to this.
After a few minutes that seemed like hours, the tremors subsided and he was able to get up out of the chair.
He was just dumping his bucket into the toilet when Dr. Flores opened his door.
‘Don’t you ever knock’ He said gruffly.
‘Not when patients are known to be sick, and tend to ignore medical advice. Have a steward take care of that and sit down so I can check you out.
I can do it myself, thank you. And I’ll be down to sick bay for your inspection after I know the condition of my ship. I’m sure you have other things you can do until then.
Your ship is in better condition than you are, and the well-being of the captain is the top priority right now.
The color was slowly returning to the captain’s face, and the shakes were almost completely gone.
‘All right’ said the doctor, ‘but I need you in the infirmary in the next fifteen minutes, or I’ll send nurse Flores after you’
‘Thanks, Doc’ said Jamison. ‘And your wife likes me better than you do. Send her next time, and I just might be more cooperative’
The doctor left Jamison alone, much to his relief. He walked to the comm panel on his desk and quickly surveyed the status reports coming in from the sections of the ship. He saw nothing out of the ordinary, so he went back and collapsed in his chair again.
He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. Curse this new technology he thought. At least the chemical ships never made him sick.
He got up, walked to the sink, and splashed some cold water on his face. He was finally starting to feel like himself again. He thought to himself that maybe, just maybe, the foldspace sickness was a small price to pay to have nearly normal toilets and running water aboard.
His comm panel beeped. That’ll be David with the all clear, he thought. He walked over and pushed the button.
‘Whittaker here sir’ it squalked. ‘All sections reporting in, no damage, no casualties’
‘Very well, secure from foldspace and rig for gravity drive. I’ll be on the bridge as soon as I get the all clear from the doc. Jamison out’
He hit the button that shut the panel down.
He looked in the mirror, smothed his hair, and headed out the door.

The ship was configured with three decks. Deck 2 ran to the very front where the bridge was, and to the rear to engineering. All three decks had living quarters towards the front, and common spaces at the rear. Sick bay was on deck two, nearly in the middle of the ship.
Jamison was glad that he didn’t have to climb the ladder – his legs weren’t quite that steady yet.
The corridor was empty as he strode the 75 meters to sick bay.
‘Hello Captain’ said Nurse Flores as he walked in. ‘Have a seat and I’ll have these tests over in a flash’
‘Thanks, Alicia’ said Jamison as he sat down. ‘You could just punch the same data in from last time’
‘I wouldn’t be very professional if I did that, would I’ She replied.
She quickly fastened the sensor band around his head and chest, and flipped the scanner on.
‘Just sit still for a minute, you know the drill’
‘All too well, unfortunately’ Jamison replied. His reluctance at being examined after foldspace was partly an act, that he kept up because it gave him the necessary time to recover before returning to the bridge. The banter between he and the Flores medical team was very practiced – and seldom wavered. And there was also the matter of the tremors. In all the research subjects when foldspace was first being investigated, the tremors were accompanied by a rapid degredation of brain function, but he seemed to be unique. They tested him every time, and he had never shown any signs of that aspect. Can’t hurt to get looked at though, just in case.
Doc Flores walked over. ‘All done’ he said, as he removed the sensor bands. ‘No difference this time, unusual symptoms, anything out of the ordinary?’
‘None.’ Jamison replied. ‘Just the standard scream, puke and then torture by you…’
‘Good’ Doc Flores replied. ‘Just make sure you tell me if you get tremors or blurred vision, they can be symptoms of something serious’
‘Will do, Doc. Am I cleared now?’
‘Yep, get back to work before someone accuses you of malingering.’
‘Thanks, Doc.’ Jamison said as he walked to the door ‘see you and Alice at mess tonight?’
‘Maybe, it depends on if Alice thinks her tomatos and peppers are ripe enough. She’s been waiting to use them’
‘Another time then’, Jamison said as he turned towards the door.
He was almost run over by Sgt. Peres.
‘Sorry, sir’ she said and blushed.
‘Where’s the fire’ Jamison asked.
‘I just want to get this over & get back to unpacking the plants. They don’t do well if they are left sealed too long’
‘Well we wouldn’t want anything to happen to our vegetable supply, that’s one of the few pleasures aboard’ he replied.
‘Thank you, sir’ she said glowingly – hydroponics wasn’t just a job for her, it was an obsession. ‘Has the doc been able to get your foldspace problem controlled yet?’
‘No. He said that I am just one of the lucky ones that the meds don’t work for. He’s still looking, but it doesn’t sound promising. Have you had any reactions from them?’
‘Well, I’m a little disoriented and almost giddy for a while when we come out, but other than that nothing’
‘I’m jealous’ he replied ‘but I’m also glad that the doctor was able to help you. If you could put in a word for me, maybe he’ll be a little kinder next time when he barges in before I’ve completely recovered’
‘I will, but you know Doc Flores – even Alicia can’t manage when he’s in his official mode’
‘Probably not. I don’t want to keep you from your checkup.’ Jamison said as he walked into the corridor.

Once again in the corridor, he pondered a moment whether go aft to check on engineering, or to go directly to the bridge. Half-a-second later he was heading toward the bridge. Either things were fine in engineering, or they didn’t need him interrupting their work, he thought to himself.
As he ducked through the airtight hatch leading to the bridge, he noticed that David was sitting in his chair. Not that it was wrong. He was in command right now, and that chair was the right place for him to be – but it irked him none the less. David wasn’t a military man – well, he had been quite a while ago, but he wasn’t any longer. Now he was just a glorified passenger that the higher-ups felt should be the XO. So now he had to put up with an XO that knew a little protocol, but wasn’t leadership material, and he was sitting in THE chair. Not that he wasn’t a pleasant enough guy to deal with – in his realm of mining.
‘Captain Jamison on the bridge’ announced one of the navigators, looking up from his display.
‘Captain, good to see you. Doc just sent your chit up’ said Whittaker
‘Mister Whittaker, I relieve you’ said Jamison – best get this out of the way first
‘I stand relieved, sir’ said David
‘Anything to report?’ asked Jamison.
‘Nothing out of the ordinary. Just resetting things from foldspace. We should be ready to get under way in about 10 minutes or so.’
‘Where’s the system from here?’ Jamison asked – Didn’t David know that he was supposed to give all this information immediately to the replacement on the bridge?
‘It’s about 3 AU away. Bearing 229. No objects of significant mass within 3 million kilometers. Long range scanners haven’t been recalibrated after foldspace, so we’ll know more when they come back. Engineering estimates another 10 minutes before it is online.’
Finally, Jamison thought. Maybe he was being too hard on David – he was only in command during foldspace, and remembering how to properly relinquish command must be difficult since he only did it every six months or so.
‘If you’ll excuse me, I have some work to get started prepping for this survey’ David said.
‘By all means’ Jamison replied ‘and thanks for keeping an eye on the shop while I was out’
David clumsily walked/fell through the hatch, and closed it behind him
He sat down. HIS chair. HIS chair in HIS ship – it felt good
He flipped on the station and saw that engineering had dispatched a repair team to the mess hall. Other than that, everything looked quiet.
He hit the comm button. ‘Captain to mess hall. Any problem there Mr. Reynolds?’
‘Reynolds here sir, no problem’
‘I see that you’re occupying an engineering team. Does this mean that dinner will be late?’
‘No sir, just a minor problem with the gravity generators in the galley. Everything’s still secured, so they’re repairing it before I start unpacking’
‘Very well. Is it still lasagna tonight?’ Jamison asked. Hydroponics had delivered a bumper crop of tomatoes to the mess hall last week, and Corporal Reynolds had been putting them to good use. Not that he couldn’t make an exceptional meal with shoe leather and sawdust. His skill in the galley was unsurpassed. Jamison had asked for Lasagna ‘like his mother made it’ as soon as the tomatoes were delivered, but cook said that it took at least a week to make the sauce. In off hours, you could smell it cooking if you went anywhere on deck 3. And the smell had only improved during the week – to the point that several crewmen were found trying to sneak a taste – until cook chased them out. With a butcher knife by one account. But there was no official report, so he could ‘safely’ ignore it.
‘It is in the officer’s mess. The crew is going to have to settle for chili’
‘You know how I like your chili. I might just decide to dine with the crew. It’s been a while since I gave them a full briefing.’
‘You should probably know that the chili tonight will be served with rice, not cornbread. It’ll be another week before hydroponics can supply me with the ingredients’
‘Then I will be eating with the officers this evening. Chili with rice – even your chili, is just wrong. Let me know if the engineers run into any problems. Jamison out.’
Lasagna he thought. That would be good. As much as he liked cook’s chili, it was probably best not to put anything spicy on his stomach until at least tomorrow.
Jamison looked through a few more reports and was interrupted a few minutes later by the comm.
‘Engineering to Bridge’
‘Bridge here’ Jamison replied
‘Recalibration on the sensor array has been completed, and the array is back online. We are unfurling the spire for the gravity drive now, and should have that fully operational in less than half an hour.’
‘Very well. Keep me informed. Jamison out’. ‘Astrometrics, get me a full reading on that system’
‘Already coming in, sir’ replied Lieutenant Sara Jenkins from her console to his left. ‘Looks like 7 planets, Class G sun. Two planets in the green zone. Minor asteroid belt between planets 4 and 5. A few random asteroids scattered around. Full details being sent to navigation’

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3 Comments

  1. gingerporter said,

    Very nicely done Honey…..:-)

    You crack me up with the whole chilie, rice and cornbread thing…..you are too funny!!!

  2. Elaine said,

    I’d prefer to eat with the officers, I don’t do beans so unless the chili is beanless…..

    Have to agree about the chili and rice thing, WRONG!

    This looks like a great start to your novel. Going to include any info about this “fold space” technology. I like science fiction. 🙂

  3. capitalggeek said,

    What I’ve found while trying to write this is that I know a lot more about the technology than I will probably be able to use in the book. There’s a balance between providing all the details of this wonderful technology that I created, and writing a story that is interesting.

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