Hello and howdy.
The squirrel voices…I can’t get them to stop! Must obey and write about new and shiny things!
Okay that’s a bit of a lie.
Late last week I succumbed to writing the prologue to my as of yet fully plotted out or started novel “Dead Wrong”
What I’m posting here is the second draft of this story. As all prologues should be, it takes place some time before the main story. Its meant to give a sense of what is at stake for when we finally meet our protagonist in the first chapter.
Ohh Ohhh Ohhhh. I need to point out that the funny names with **’s are there so I can find them in a search and edit them later. I use funny names as place holders until I can come up with a better name.
Ohh Ohhh Ohhhh #2. Yes I’m still working on cleaning up my Sup-Her story. I did some work on it today over lunch.
Dead Wrong (The Prologue) 2nd Draft
By David Wheeler
A shower of sparks filled the cockpit as the enemy’s plasma cannon further shredded his enlarged cockpit living environment. Had lieutenant **Mho not had his flight suit on, he would have been cooked, blinded, and then subject the freezing vacuum of deep space. The same couldn’t be said for his copilot who had died when the first enemy missile struck the side of their ship and caused a crack to form in the canopy. With all of the warm life giving air being lost to space, his death was quite gruesome.
He glanced at diagnostics display and saw that this last strike on his ship had taken out the rear facing defensive turret. This meant his only remaining weapon was his front facing cannons. He knew what he had to do and it was going to leave him vulnerable but it was the only chance he had. Still the odds were in his favor due to crafts greater size in comparison to the last remaining short range snub Slixer model patrol that had found them. Grabbing a hold of his flight stick, he pulled hard and strained getting the ship to do a 180 flip.
The ship moaned in protest as it wasn’t designed for this kind of maneuver, especially with it being riddled with damage and having lost the functionality of two of its engines.
Thankfully it worked.
Lieutenant Mho’s craft was now facing nose to nose towards his assailant and the distance was closing fast.
The pilot of the Slixer, was inexperienced and so flinched and veered away. Mho strained his engines even more as he worked on angling the slug into range of his forward cannons. Slug’s were the derogatory term humans used to describe the Snarlacks as they resembled giant versions of snails found on Earth.
The enemy pilot, seeing how he had been played, kept trying to shake Mho off his tail. Mho might have been caught with his pants down at first but he wouldn’t let that happen again. With his copilot that was more literal than figurative as he had been taking a shit, so he was out of his suit, when the attack first happened. Mho managed to line the slug up for a shot and pulled the trigger.
He was so frustrated he wanted to reach up and yank his helmet off and slam it across his control panel.
Even though the damage control panel didn’t show the front cannons were damaged they had been taken out as well. He groaned in frustration as he tried to look at the bigger picture. He had given himself at least another fifteen seconds of life. He wasn’t about to waste them. The Slug made a sharp turn and Mho had to make a quick adjustment or risk the bastard getting out from before him and therefore firing on him again.
A result of the change of inertia was having his copilots body bounce and slam up against his controls. He had involuntarily glanced over and saw the look of death that awaited him in Lieutenant McVoy’s frozen and husked face.
Running short on options he knew he needed help. With reluctance he yelled out, “Wake up Helga!”
The Artificial Intelligent system came to life. “I have detected severe damage to the craft.”
Normally the AI was supposed to automatically come on-line under such circumstances but Lieutenant McVoy, a genius in his own way, knew a trick to keep the bitch quiet. He shorted her sensor from auto engaging using nothing more than a gum wrapper and a paper-clip. Manually calling for her of course still worked.
Cutting the thrust on the remaining engines, he banked hard and fought to stay behind the Slixer pilot. He pushed them deep into the red-line in order to give himself enough thrust so as to not lose the Slug bastard.
“I must advise you that performing such maneuvers is causing additional damage to the two remaining engines.”
“Shut it Helga, give me something useful to kill this fucker.”
“Running diagnostics and combat scenarios. Scenarios completed.”
Mho had to yank hard again as the Slixer pilot had pulled a hard turn in an attempt at losing him.
“The plasma cannon is off-line. The turret is off-line. The scrammer missiles are-”
“Don’t give me a rehash of what I already know.” Mho had to cut his engines power again in order to run short and have the Slixer shoot ahead of him instead getting behind. He had to admit this Slug wasn’t a complete tool of a pilot, he knew some tricks. A grin started to form on his face as his own reminded him of his surviving the battles of Anders Six and Galvan Four. He had even gotten recognized as an ace in the latter one. He had grown up at the Mars shipyards and so had been flying one thing or another since before he could walk. The only reason he was here stuck this recon mission and not back on the carrier Jordan was due to his undesired sexual advance on the carrier’s captain. The captain thought this would give him enough time to cool off. The grin that had started taking shape on his face now had fully established itself. He was that good. He was a recognized ace. He was going to figure some way out of this and avenge Lieutenant McVoy.
Mho yelled to Helga, “Give me options damnit.” A distant glare caught his eye. He glanced out the fractured cockpit glass canopy and saw the reflective dust of the nearby asteroid belt. His mind worked at coming up with any kind of a solution. “What is the condition of the relay beacon?”
“It lacks sufficient propulsion to utilize it as a kinetic projectile.”
The Snarlack changed course again and started heading towards the asteroid cluster. “What is that asteroid field?”
“That is the Vandervoort belt. Scanning field now in passive mode.”
“Passive?” Before Mho could fully form his objection he had already come up with his own answer. The Slixers that had jumped him weren’t deep space models. It had to have come from some kind of capital ship. “Yeah, keep it passive.” He then adjusted his flight path once more and noted how the enemy craft seemed to be leading him towards the belt. “Look for anything that might match the outline of a capital ship running cold in close proximity to one other.”
All sense of him getting out of this alive started to fade away.
Mho kept trailing the Snarlack Slixer but knew if there was a fleet there in hiding, ace or not, he didn’t stand a chance.
“Scan complete.” Mho had never wanted to be alone this much in his entire life. “I detect five hundred and twenty-nine large bodies in the field. Of these ninety-seven are in proximity to one another.”
“It’s a goddamn attack fleet!”
“That presumption has a ninety-four percent chance of being accurate.”
Mho’s guts felt like they wanted to vacate themselves. “Give me a miracle Helga?”
“Analyzing statement against your personality profile matrix. I am seventy-nine percent certain you are asking rhetorically.”
Pulling another hard turn, “We’ll I’m not asking the Snark ahead of me.”
“Thank you for the clarification. I am updating your personality profile matrix.”
“Fuck that. If I don’t find a way out of this there isn’t going to be much of me left.”
“Are you asking that I not update your profile?”
“Fucking Helga! I’m being lead into a trap where I’m about to have my ass blown out of the cosmos. I need survival options. You can update your index later.”
“Notating resistance to updating personality profile matrix.”
“Oh for fucks sake already. The survival of the human race might be at stake. I need you to help me come up with some kind of win scenario where I get out of this alive.”
“Altruism traits are now updated into your personality profile matrix.”
“Yes. My processing speed at updating your records far exceeds the limitations of organic verbal communications.”
“That’s great to hear. Tell me, how long does it take for you to fuck yourself?”
“If you are referring to the process of mating with no partner then I feel the need to remind you that I lack the biological-”
“Oh just shut up already.” Mo had to make another sharp reactionary turn to keep himself behind the enemy pilot. A thought came to him. “You said the buoy pod was functional right?”
“Yes. The buoy pod is undamaged. Are you experiencing symptoms of memory loss?”
Mo glanced over at his engine display and asked, “What is the status of engine number 1?”
“The damage is beyond current repair capabilities.”
“It is repairable but I shut it down to prevent it from exploding and destroying this vessel.”
Mho had to make another tight turn kept his eye on the status of the remaining engines. An idea came to him, one that wasn’t going to much of an answer for him. He breathed heavy and then asked, “Can you configure the buoy to send a tight beam broadcast to the nearest fleet HQ?”
“Yes. I must point out that enemy fleet will detect the launching of the buoy.”
Mo felt soft smirk on his face. He knew the best he was going to get out of this was a tie. “Not if we eject it and have it send a burst transmission at the same exact time as engine number 3 ruptures.”
“If engine number 3 blows then there is an eighty-two percent chance the craft will be destroyed.”
Mo looked out his fractured cockpit canopy at the slowing approaching Vandervoort belt. “One small boom for me. One leap of faith for the fate of humanity.”
Regent Sgarlke’s shuttle pod, of the Sarlack Consortium, came to a stop and ran its scanners. It was positioned in space just short of the small debris field left by the destruction of the terran’s craft. Sne’s scanners gave the alert tone indicating it had detected something requiring sne’s attention. It examined the console and saw that it had detected faint life signs from the Terran. Sne brought up the virtual input console and began entering characters.
A good number of centiums later it got a response. Mucus percolated from its left pod in what was for its kind, a display of agitation.
The hatch doors to the pods front compartment started opening as the grasping arms extended themselves. Main doors to the pod front hatch opened and centiums later they started peeling away and breaking into the perforated cockpit.
Lieutenant **Lucy Ball held up her hand to tell Corporal Dessie Roberts that she needed to read the message that just popped up on her console. Taking the hint, he shut up and maneuvered himself behind her so he could see what had stolen her attention away from his flirting.
On the screen was a flashing icon that indicated it had picked up a coded transmission.
Lucy clicked on the message and started entering in her clearance credentials to begin the process to decode it.
Still standing behind her Dessie asked, “What is it? Is something wrong?”
The message finished decoding and Lucy pulled up the report and spread its contents across her multi-panel display. She examined what it contained and just how important it looked. Still ignoring Dessie, she began typing furiously as she began contacting those higher up in the chain of command of what she had gotten.
Finished, she twirled her chair around and gave a smile to her would be suitor, “Something important just happened.”
His brows scrunched as his gaze was split between her face and the various display consoles. “What just happened?”
With a smile she answered, “We’ve found their attack fleet.”
End of Prologue