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Day Seven

11,729 / 50,000

Today kicked my ass. I'm at 11,729/11,666 so I'm locked pretty much in the groove. The first 1,600 words flowed like water. And then the gigantic slamming dam of "no more mister writer man" fell down on me like a fucking meteor. It took me about six hours to do the last 125 words and close out the day's work -- I have to finish the scene I'm working on when I stop for the day, or I go a little psycho. It calls to me, and demands completion, otherwise. So I managed to force out a crappy little ending and tomorrow I'll do something else and those 125 words will get nailed with a flamethrower when I get to the editing stage, because they suck.

Anyway, here's about 730 words to prove I did something today. They're all from before it went to Hell, so there's that, anyway.

            Captain! he called out, smiling. Come here and get properly introduced. He offered a hand. Scott Clarenbach. Youre... Lex Malcolm, right?

            Alexander Malcolm, Malcolm corrected, shaking Clarenbachs hand, and smiling a diplomatic smile. Quite a cargo ship youve got here, he said. I didnt think they came half this big.

            They didnt. But progress is on the march. I never thought Id be as proud to run package delivery. Captain, this is my first officer, Commander Jennifer Beverley. And these are some of your fellow VIPs. This is Captain Tobias Renn... he paused, to let Malcolm get caught up with handshakes.. Captain Nicholas Yerkovich, and I believe you met Captain Lan Delaine and Captain Verla Piermatteo.

            Very briefly, Malcolm said, finishing his handshaking. Delaine was the one with the oddly black pupils and Piermatteo was the overly pale Captain. Alexander Malcolm. A pleasure to meet all of you.

            Oh, this isnt all, Commander Beverley said, smiling. Not by a long shot. Weve got another four captains coming. Theres also a number of lower ranked officers on the VIP list, though they werent invited to this particular function. Youll have many, many chances to get to know each other between here and GS4771.

            Are we all on the Commodores staff? Captain Piermatteo asked, her accent not one Malcolm had heard before.

            Officially. At least until you get to GS4771, Clarenbach answered. But for purposes of the trip, the easy answer is yes.

            Whats this all about, Captain Renn, a swarthy man, said. He looked like an augmented human as well, his skin seeming almost to shine at certain angles.  Look at us Ive never seen a younger group of spacers wearing Captains Stars before. At least, outside of vids back home, and were not good looking enough for the vids.

            You were promoted out of turn, too? Malcolm asked Renn.

            I was a Commander for less than nine months before getting a Captains Star. You tell me. He looked, almost challengingly, at Clarenbach.

            I know, youre curious, and perhaps even frustrated, Clarenbach said. I wish I could explain everything, but I cant. You can already tell theres a major buildup of resources taking place in GS4771. Once you get there, Commodore Sortino and his staff will explain everything to you all. He smiled a bit more. I will say this, though. No bad eggs are on this list. You might feel a bit rough around the edges, especially when youre looking at that Captains Star of yours, but youre exactly what the Commodore was looking for.

            To do what? Delaine asked.

            Like I said. Im sorry. Excuse me. I need to get a drink and to check on our other guests. Beverley? If youd come along?

            Malcolm watched them go. Could someone please explain to me what six cargo ships of this size could possibly be carrying for an uninhabited star system?

            Could someone please explain to me who would build a Naval cargo vessel this size in the first place? Piermatteo countered. I can understand container ships approaching this size, owned by multiplanetary corporations that ship monumental tonnages. But a Navy ship, armored for battle conditions? This thing will carry in excess of sixty thousand teu, and we know theres at least six of them heading up the Spur,

            And at least three IA divisional carriers. Thats a Hell of a lot of soldiers heading up to nowhere, Renn said.

            I saw what looked like a ship tender ­ but one of comparable size to the Utahraptor, Malcolm threw in. You have any idea how many frigates or even cruisers a tender like that can haul?

            You all sound suspicious, Yerkovich said, speaking for the first time. Me, Im excited.


            All of this has to be some monumental buildup to fight the war. Theyre probably using GS4771 because no one would ever go there. Almost no one would even go up the Zabel Spur in the first place. There might be rumors about all of us, but they wont spread through the disputed worlds. By the time were ready, we can sweep down as an unstoppable force.

            Maybe, Renn said, doubt in his voice. Though its my experience that most unstoppable forces are pretty stoppable.


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10303 / 12528

This entire weekend kicked my a$$. I was worthless on Saturday and ended up gettin nothing done and then, despite my best efforts, only got in another section today.

I'm not feeling the novel as well as I did in the early going, but have a raid coming up next, as well as the introduction of my Cleric character, somebody that I'm looking forward to seeing.

Well, I guess Sunday wasn't quite over yet. 11573 / 12528.

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