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Sol and Centauri (all new!) [light language]

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Author Topic: Sol and Centauri (all new!) [light language]  (Read 664 times)
EightyEight
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« on: May 24, 2007, 07:09:02 pm »

Okay, I ran into a little writers' block trying to rewrite the Jovia scene, so I'm going to diverge from the planned schedule and write some more Peter Connor. I really should do all this first, so I get a very clear picture of what's gone on in the past.
This scene is pretty much finished, though I'm not really happy with the length. Maybe some more description, or a little background. Cunningly inserted, of course Tongue. I'm thinking I'll just do all the Peter Connor past scenes first, but when and if I actually finish this, I'll be interspersing them with scenes from the 'present', to bring out the backstory and conflict more slowly. I'm also planning some really cool narrative tension in doing that, which you'll hopefully see soon (or at least before the end of the year  Wink *despair, which we need a smiley for*).

*Modified 15 June 2007

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January 15, 2231 CE

The hills were beautiful. Peter Connor followed the line of the ridge with his eyes, picking out the tallest trees that were framed against the planetset glow. The green undulation rose, flattened, then dropped in a grey precipice nearly two hundred metres tall. Green flecks clung to the rock face, managing to exist even when logic said they shouldn’t. The brown-and-purple curve of the gas-giant Song dominated a third of the sky, radiating warm light absorbed from the distant sun. Peter’s eyes lingered on the little plants on the cliff as he patted the rail of the veranda, taking a sip of the drink he held. The smooth drink flute wasn’t cool, but the juice was icy – a welcome respite in the humidity of Odin’s evenings.
Peter Connor went inside. His house – if such a modest word could be used – was new, built to his own design upon his retirement from the Solar fleet. The irony of the thing had long worn off, him choosing to live on the planet that had started all the trouble. The bitter chuckles never escaped him when he thought of that last mission, the one that had opened this moon for settlement by humans. It was simultaneously his most shining moment and his darkest blemish. The former in the eyes of the human domain, and the latter in his mind’s eye – something that mattered far more to him.
He walked slowly through the house, leaving behind the glass-walled atrium and veranda. The residence was built inside the top of one of the taller hills in the area, allowing for spectacular views of two separate valleys. Peter Connor enjoyed both the alien vistas and the seclusion of the underground parts of the house. The whole house was lit in an imitation of Odin’s natural light – the dull, soft glow of the distant Alpha Centauri A, and the coloured reflected light from Song. Now the light was dimming as Song slipped below the horizon, and more artificial light replicating Sol’s spectrum illuminated the house from the floor. Peter entered his study, casting vague shadows on the ceiling, and sat on the ergolounge opposite the door. He inserted his fingers into sockets recessed in the chair’s arms, nerve signals from his brain intercepted and used to command his house processor. The lighting in the room shifted like water sloshing to one side of a container, lighting the wall behind the metre-wide screen that was now deploying from above. Sending commands as if he were playing a piano, Peter began his nightly routine. Flipping through layers and filters, he carefully scrubbed over the radio records for the day. He listened for that low murmur of noise that had been mumbling even before humans came to the moon and polluted its air with multitudes of entwined signals. He caught it – just a flicker on a long-range frequency, almost cancelled by noise from a rural worldnet repeater.
“There you are…” He isolated the signal, pinned it down, and noted its properties. Flipping through layers, he opened the chart he had compiled. Signal strength, frequency, wavelength, all noted down and averaged over time. He placed the new entry.
   “It’s getting weaker. Damn it, every day it’s weaker. That’s the only pattern there is, that every day it gets softer and softer.”
Peter Connor leaned back, closing his eyes for a moment. He hadn’t yet made his decision. He knew he’d eventually have to do something, something about this signal. Though he didn’t know what exactly he could do. What he should do wasn’t an issue yet. He sighed and flicked his home layer up. He had a message. Peter scanned it quickly and smiled.
Since his retirement from the fleet, he’d wanted to take a holiday. After sixty years of service, he’d saved up no small sum. It was significantly less after having the house built, but he still had enough for a good decade of sabbatical. By that time he may have found something else to throw himself into. For the moment, though, he was finding time for everything he had left when he joined the fleet.
A virtual keyboard materialised on the screen, along with two lime-green hands. Peter tapped out a reply, dictating as he went. The message was from a new acquaintance, one Emily Torres. They had met on the ship over from Forseti. She looked Asian, though you wouldn’t know it by her name – “My dad’s that kind of man,” was her explanation. She was part of a survey funded by the Alpha Centauran Commonwealth to catalogue, analyse and classify every plant species on Forseti and Odin. The same was being done with respects to the planets’ fauna, a comprehensive record to be built right from the start. It was an immense task. Emily had been working on Forseti, but was moved out to Odin when it was opened. There were upwards of twenty teams surveying in different areas, and they had barely scratched the surface. Odin was a greenhouse, and the plants it grew were so much more diverse than terrestrial varieties.
He pondered over the wording for a moment, then finished the message up and sent it. Emily was a good friend – she knew Odin well enough already, and she’d been here for the same time as he had.
“I need to get out more.”
He paused, and he suddenly knew what he had to do. But it wasn’t sudden. He had known all along, or should have. Sudden was the hardening of the will, the final decision that this was what he would do. What he should do, he would figure out later.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 05:24:09 pm by Bakerman » Report Spam   Logged

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-Midnight Oil, Bakerman


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