Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Emmisary to the Sun World (WT 5)

The portion of the story I wrote:

Of the many alien races discovered by human explorers, the humanoids of Epsilon Orionis are unique. They can absorb and manipulate pure energy with their metallic bodies. Earth initiates a secret operation to obtain the technology. Eager to succeed, Ambassador Spanner Templeton, Captain Randall, Lieutenant Buck Owen and First Mate Milo Orrington secretly guide the crew of the Dreadnought Apollo and a cohort of marines through their conversion to metallic humans regardless of the consequences.
A xenophobic cabal of humans has opened a gateway to another dimension. In a misguided effort to preserve the purity of the human race, the xenophobes will allow the inter-dimensional aliens enslave and isolate the human race, maintaining its purity. Only the metalized humans can prevent alien domination and enslavement.


Dave said...

Emissary to the Sun World – started April 30, 2006
This is the story of a group of secret operations types who sacrifice their human bodies to build a new space force. Spanner Templeton finds that he is Earth’s ambassador to a race of Metalloids – humanoids composed entirely of living metal who convert the abundant energy surrounding them for food. Ambassador Templeton soon discovers that earthmen can be converted to metal. They don’t need food, water, air, and they can convert energy within their bodies. As they rebuild Earth’s battleships one by one, they discover a threat that can wipe out all life in this part of the galaxy.

Part 1: Installation as Ambassador
Part 2: Conversion
Part 3: Betrayal
Part 4: A New Mission
Part 5: Dreadnought Apollo
Part 6: Boiler Crew
Part 7: Raven’s Lair
Part 8: Dreadnought Raven
Part 9: Ambush

Dave said...

Here are the first 150 words:

“May I present the Sun World of Epsilon Orionis, Ambassador? Our Terran Embassy is located on satellite Alpha, the northernmost star. It’s a bright sunny place they tell me,” Captain Randall said.

“I’ve never seen a sight this magnificent…” Spanner said.

“…A world of energy populated by metallic humanoids. I give my right arm to be down there. But as you know, I’m not a politician, I’m a captain first, a sailor second and a politician last. Besides, I fart and belch,” Captain Randall laughed heartily and smacked the Ambassador on the back.

“You’re a prince, Captain, prince of the pig people,” Spanner said unable to take his eyes off Epsilon Orionis. Even through the leaded vacuum-glass of the observation dome, they could feel the energy radiating from the central white dwarf. Disinterested by the sight of a new planetary system and disgusted by the Captain’s humor, Fred Smith merely shuffled.

Dave said...

Part 1: Ambassador
Samuel “Spanner” Templeton is installed as Ambassador to Epsilon Orionis, a world consisting of energy, light and radiation. The inhabitants of Epsilon Orionis are metalloids, humanoids consisting of living metal, who draw energy from the environment. Templeton is believes that mankind is destined to explore the stars. He desires and wants contact with alien races.
Kirk Brownlee, a young metalloid with an agenda is his liaison for all matters on Epsilon Orionis. Kir has a hidden agenda that he’s determined to fulfill. In their flight to the new embassy, Templeton isn’t the world’s more articulate in explaining two sexes to the metalloid.
Fred Smith is the embassy’s aide-de-camp and assistant to Templeton who considers assignment away from Earth as a hardship and duty.
Captain Isaac Jefferson Randall of the Dreadnought Apollo is a crude, rude jokester. He is trusted by the military commanders and adored by his crew.
Lieutenant Cody Buck of the interstellar marines heads the platoon of men who staff the embassy.

Part 2: Conversion
They set up the embassy on the central world of Epsilon Orionis. Matters settle into a routine until two marines nearly kill themselves while setting up a practical joke. Kirk Brownlee offers his assistance in saving the marines lives. The Ambassador, Lieutenant Buck and the two injured marines are transformed into metalloids. They learn about metalloid sponsors. Apparently, for each human converted to metal a corresponding metalloid gains human characteristics. However, not everyone is delighted by the four new humans return to the embassy.

Part 3: Betrayal
Fred Smith, the embassy’s aide-de-camp, is a xenophobe and reports Templeton to the authorities for “going native.” Templeton has to enlist the aid of Lieutenant Buck and his secretary Private Beau Travis in converting all of the marines.

Part 4: A New Mission
When the three men at the embassy meet with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Atherton, he reveals that the Terran Confederation wants men to have the ability to convert energy. Secretary Atherton recalls Fred Smith and orders the conversion of the marines. They all get new lesson in diplomatic plots and conspiracy theory – plots within plots.

Part 5: Dreadnought Apollo
Spanner Templeton, Lieutenant Buck, meet with Captain Randal, his first mate Milo Orrington and the new aide-de-camp Jared Nasser and reveal the plans for the Dreadnought Apollo. They are to retrofit the Dreadnought for use by converted, metallic humans. The will travel to a new base – Raven’s Lair. As a first step, first mate Milo Orrington is given command of the schooner Valliant to retrofit and told to collect a crew to man it.

Part 6: Boiler Crew
Milo Orrington and Lieutenant Buck recruit the boiler crew to staff. They all meet at the Valliant to travel to Raven’s lair.

Part 7: Raven’s Lair
The voyage of the Valliant to Raven’s lair. A few secrets of the Metalloids are revealed. Kirk Brownlee has arranged for a "factory ship” outfitted with conversion chambers to meet them at Raven’s Lair to convert the humans to metalloids.

Part 8: Dreadnought Raven
What they did and why they did it.
Dark clouds are forming o the horizon.

Part 9: Ambush
Evil has a name (now what the hell is this)

Dave said...

I decided to submit the start of the story to Miss Snark's crapometer (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/)

That means that I have to write a synopsis of the complete story and revise the first 400 to 500 words.

Changes are happening, words are flying, phrases are landing in the trash and thoughts are clarifying. . .

I'll post within a day or two.

Dave said...

Here is the new beginning - I knocked 879 words down to 507. When I say too many words, I mean it. . .

“There they are the four suns of Epsilon Orionis. Our Embassy is located on Alpha, the northernmost. It’s a good place for a tan,” Captain Randall joked.
“This is so magnificent…” Spanner said gazing through the observation dome at the swirling energy fields.
“…A world of energy populated by metallic humanoids. I’d give my right arm to be down there. But I’m not a politician. I’m a captain first, a sailor second and a politician never. Besides, I fart and belch,” Captain Randall laughed heartily and smacked Spanner’s back.
“You’re a prince, Captain,” Spanner said unable to take his eyes off Epsilon Orionis. Even through the leaded glass, they could feel the energy radiating from the central white dwarf. Disgusted by the Captain’s humor, Fred Smith sneered. Randall noticed.
“Aw Freddy, I know that you think that I’m prince of the pig people in your xenophobic little heart. That’s what you told my crewmen, didn’t you? That’s what I heard, Prince of the pig people, a nice name from a diplomat... Anyone who thinks that I don’t what is whispered on my ship is sadly mistaken. I bugged the entire ship. Once a year I playback the crew’s most private privates—everything from their farts and grunts to their love affairs and intimate sighs. We all laugh. It keeps the crew humble and subservient,” Captain Isaac Jefferson Randall was on a riff. He stoked Smith’s paranoia
“They say you’re a stud mosquito but I dismiss that as silly-assed horseshit,” Captain Randall said. Fred Smith’s eyes narrowed with hatred. Spanner imagined the scene when the weasel-like Fred confronted five-star generals with Randall’s garbage and reported these insults to the Earth-First League.
“Of course, Spanner here is going to make nicey-nicey and happy-happy with an alien species and I guess you’re here to make sure that doesn’t include cohabitation. That’s what the crew calls a kissy-bear, huggy-face assignment. Does that fill you with dread, Fred?”
“You’re sick,” Fred Smith turned his back. Captain Randall ignored the snub.
“You don’t know fear, young man. You only know betrayal. Why, when I was young and foolish like you, we just had rockets, shuttles and our own wits. Have I ever told you about the time when I befriended the radical Fugitive Emissions from Betelgeuse 5, the red giant. It had a gas planet around it that was ten times the size of Jupiter…” a klaxon interrupted the Captain.
“Attention, diplomatic shuttle craft from Epsilon Orionis arriving NOW,” the communications officer snarked. Spanner made a note to reward him for interrupting. They donned protective goggles and joined the crew of the Dreadnought Apollo and Marine Platoon A.
The shuttle floated gently onto the deck. Most spacecraft were ugly. The Epsilon Orionis shuttle glistened like a diamond. Brilliant white light burst through the entryway. Three male metalloids stood silhouetted, their bodies’ angular, sharp, all steely muscle and tendon, their skin reflecting the myriad lights of the space-dock.
“The men of Epsilon Orionis send you greetings. I, Algrica Ponti of Orionis, present my credentials.”

Dave said...

I changed the first three paragraphs.
They now read as follows:

“…A world of energy populated by metallic humanoids. I’d give my right arm to be down there. But I’m not a politician. I’m a captain first, a sailor second and a politician never,” Captain Randall said. Even through the leaded glass, they could feel the energy radiating from the central white dwarf.
“This is so magnificent…” Spanner said unable to move his eyes away from the swirling energy fields.
“Besides, I fart and belch. Diplomats don’t do either. I think it’s a good place for a tan,” Captain Randall laughed heartily and smacked Spanner’s back.

My reasons -
1) it's a stronger opening.
2) it establishes the characters faster
3) it's better dialog.

Bernita said...

Think it's an intriguing premise.

Dave said...

Thanks. It took me a while to firm up the premise.
I've started writing the secdtion with Fred White and the xenophobes. I still haven't decided what ehe evil aliens look like.

This will appear in Mis Snark's Crapometer. I'm a glutton for punishment.

Dave said...

I'll say if before anyone else does. I got trashed in the crapometer and for good reason.

Trash, trashed, trashed, trashed...

say it again.

acd said...

Hi, Dave!

I saw this on the Crapometer and recognized it; wanted to come over and encourage you rather than slip it into the snarkfest. I thought the response was ruder than the entry deserved. Don't forget why you write.

The Turkey City lexicon is a great recommendation for everybody: http://www.sfwa.org/writing/turkeycity.html Every time I read it again I end up going, "Crap...I just did that." That--and Strunk & White's Elements of Style, which I also recommend to everybody I meet--will make you more aware of every word you choose.

Keep it up & good luck!

Dave said...


Well, I can say I agree with you, but then, I know better than to write like that.

I heard that little voice in the back of my head saying "don't do it, don't do it" (meaning write that dialog) and I didn't listen.

I'll clean it up and go on.

It only hurt my ego and my ego needed a little bruising today.

Dave said...

I know this next piece is unexpected but it takes place before the story so far. I thought it important to paint Fred White with a better brush than I already have.

This is rough, uneditted first draft BTW.

This happens at least 20 years before the discovery of the gateway and Epsilon Orionis.
The small town of Patriot’s Refuge in the central US. In the town square is a gazebo with a brass band. Several thousand people—father, sons, mothers, daughter—just ordinary folk, sit around on the grass and under the trees, some at blankets, others at picnic tables. They listen to a group a half dozen youngsters singing with the band. Their voices piped through nearly invisible speakers set strategically throughout the green.
We are the proud children of the earth
Glory to Terra-First and its mighty warriors
Its glory and heritage our strength and might
We proudly sing your praises as our father and brothers conquer worlds yet unknown
Glory to Terra-First and its mighty warriors
Though the stars may be uncountable and universe infinite, we will endure, we will abide
Glory to Terra-First and its mighty warriors
The sons and daughters of Terra-First will take our rightful place
Glory to Terra-First and its mighty warriors

The final line repeats several times. Each time it repeats more of the crowd stand and sing until finally the entire meadow is singing the praises of Terra-First and their conquering warriors. They cheer at the end of the song. The singers bow and disperse into the crowd.
“So that must be William Peter Junior,” Tiffany said admiring the strapping young lad headed to their table. “He’s the spitting image of you, Will but he has his Mother’s eyes.”
“Yes, Jillian and I are quite proud of him. He’s quarterback of the Academy football team this year. We hope he leads them to the championship. Last spring he won the Quad-States wrestling championship.” Will-Peter Senior
“I heard about his wrestling. He actually broke that fellow’s leg with his bare hands?”
“Yeah, they don’t test their wrestlers for genetic strength and, well weak bones are weak bones. Will Junior is damn near genetically perfect but don’t tell him that. We don’t need to stroke his ego. My goodness the boy sometimes thinks he’s invincible.”
“…And dear, remember not to call him Junior. You know how much you hated being called junior when you were growing up.” Allison says.
“Yes dear.”
“Mom, Dad, Mister and Missus White, It’s so nice to see you.”
“Wonderful concert Will,”
“Yes, I could listen to your voice forever. A clear, high tenor is so rare nowadays what with all the interbreeding.”
“Dear, young Freddie is getting our boxed dinners. Would you go over and help him.” His mother says.
“Oh Frooderick is here, good. By the way, I saw the monkey twins hanging out near Coach Cantorini. Those hairy losers suggested I wrestle both of them after dinner. They say it’s only an exhibition but you know how competitive Coach Cantorini is.”
“Well only if your coach agrees. You know how much I hate to see you wrestle the genetically inferior, why that last boy’s knee is still healing after the replacement surgery.” Mumsie adds.
“I’ll help Freddie and message Coach Gordon.” He sighed punching a bunch of keys on his phone and set off.
“I’d really like to see him crush those two twins. I’ve always disliked their politician father and his natural selection views.” Fred White the father says
“They’re nice enough boys, the Montgomery Twins but their parents belong to one of those anti-whatever groups that doesn’t believe in genetic engineering. I’d never let my daughter marry anyone that hairy. I’ve seen trained apes with less hair than that family. It’s genetic neglect if you ask me.” Lucy Livingston adds.

Dave said...

That's 600 words in that last post. A good afternoon's work.

tinkerbell said...

I hope I wasn't one of the people who dissed your entry over at La Snark's! To be honest, I thought most of them were shit. But then, that's slush piles for you I guess.

I agree with acd. You should be congratulated for putting yourself out there. I think some of your ideas are very interesting actually.

Dave said...

I knew what might happen when I sent the entry to the Crapometer at Miss Snark's blog. I know from my previous career in scientific research that jf I ask for a critique, you had damn well better accept whatever happens. So there is no way that I would hold any view in the Crapometer against anyone.

Right now, I am adding so much to the existing story that it definately will not have that opening.

The Crapometer forced me to create a more complex plot. So it did some good. The story had to be more than just the Ambassador and his contingent of marines turning to metal. If you look back a post or two at that very rough draft, there will be villians and a threat to the known universe.

Typical SciFi, the challenge is to make it fun and enjoyable.

Dave said...

There is now a chapter where Secretary Atherton finds out about a lost spaceship with one survivor in an asylum.
It will turn out that they peeked into the other dimension and something crept out of the dark, destroyed two men and drove the third insane.
Already have 900 words of it.
Plus, I have 350 words of disturbed, addled and psychotic screaming.

now that wasn't hard...

Dave said...

Here's the revision of the opening of chapter 6.

“Steam? I thought dreadnought class ships were nuclear-powered," Lieutenant Buck dodged a pipe as he followed the First Mate to the boiler room,
“As sophisticated as Dreadnoughts are, they still use superheated turbines.”
"I never thought about power sources. I just assumed it was nuclear."
"Humph, big bad Marine syndrome," the First Mate chided and then his face turned serious. "Do you know if your new body can channel an energy flux? Can you absorb random radiation and direct the energy into a power grid?"
"Well sure," Lieutenant Buck stopped and smiled. "I absorb heat and convert it to energy. I can drink whiskey and shoot alcoholic flames. One of the marines plugged his manhood into a toaster oven to get his rocks off." The First Mate's eyes rolled upwards in disbelief. They ducked through a low ceiling in the passage.
"Our problem is discipline. You started out with 50 unruly marines and now have twice as many unruly nut cases with the Epsilon Orionis doppelgangers. Think about it, Raven's Lair requires thousands of men to build a dreadnought. Your men have to help; they'll be crucial in developing landing craft and shock troops. We can't figure this out on the fly. We have to start now otherwise we're doomed." First Mate Milo Orrington waved his hands in the air as if to shoo flies. Lieutenant Buck turned and faced him. The grey metal eyes sparkled with tiny blue lights.