Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Stupidly Long Chapter

I've been watching a lot of Red Dwarf lately, which has put me in quite a spacey mood really. That has helped me write Immortal Space and last night I was able to write something that was about twice as long as a regular chapter. As per usual there was a change of plans. I won't spoil too much but I originally planned to have created bio-dome technology. Then I thought to myself "Bio-domes AND artificial atmospheres? Surely you have one or the other. Why have both?". In the end I couldn't make it work, so they were cut. Also a change is Geoff's name. Geoff is the British spelling of Jeff, but there's a problem. Jeff is American, as is Trent, and not British. As such I have decided to give Geoff the American spelling he deserves, and he is now Jeff DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS. Thanks to Fang I've managed to work it in to the story, and it also fits another plan I had. Also, a fun piece of trivia, before this chapter Geoff's name had been said 250 times or 249. I can't remember if I wrote it as "Geoff" one last time before getting Open Office to change all isntances of Geoff to Jeff. All I know is it told me it had done it 250 times. I appreciate random useless trivia. I hope you appreciate this chapter. PS there's a fair bit of social commentary in this chapter. I hope it's not too preachy, and overall that was NOT my intent.

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Over the course of the next few days Trent and Geoff continued their training. Geoff still hadn't managed to hit Trent but he was lasting longer before they had to stop. When they weren't training Geoff mostly read his ships manuals and he had now taken apart their old and broken ship engine and was learning what each little piece did. This is what he was up to when Trent walked in to the cargo hold, where the engine was being kept, and told him to go to the cockpit and strap himself in. They would be leaving hyperspace soon, and it wasn't safe to not be attached to something when that happened. Leaving hyperspace took longer than entering it because the ship had to slow down fully before it could leave. It could take a few hours and Geoff decided to pass it by asking Trent questions.
“So, where'd you get the scar?” he asked.

“This again?” Trent sighed. “I told you, I'll tell you when you can land a clean hit on me.”
“I already did” Geoff responded.
“I said cleanly. You hit me when I wasn't paying attention.”
“Can't you at least give me a clue?”. Trent rubbed his eyes and shook his head.
“Okay, one clue. They say that scars are related to emotions. If the emotions attached to a scar stay strong, then it will never heal.” he said. Geoff narrowed his eyes sceptically.
“Does it really work like that?” he asked.
“Well if it didn't I'd have healed by now wouldn't I?”
“But you will tell me how you got it?”
“When you hit me. A man's gotta have some secrets. You've got some I bet.”
“Well yeah, but I don't really have anything interesting like a scar.”
“Hey, anything can be interesting.”
“I guess. Say, what's this Serataur like?”
Keen to get off the subject of his scar, Trent happily talked about the planet they were about to visit. It was discovered a few hundred years ago. When it was first discovered it was a barren wasteland. There was no atmosphere, and no water. Not even any bacteria were found to be living there, or other single cell organisms. The people who found it left and came back with equipment to terraform it. At this point Geoff asked about the history of terraforming. He had learned about it, but not much about the history of it. During the last Great War that Trent fought in, someone fired an extremely powerful weapon that destroyed all life in a large area and made it impossible for life to ever flourish there again. After seeing the devastation and the pointless loss of life, both military and civilian, the people agreed to never fire such weapons again. People finally took notice of the bad shape the Earth was in, and so used the money they had spent fighting each other, and destroying the planet, to fix it instead. They spent decades researching until they discovered terraforming and ways to create atmospheres. After fixing the atmosphere of Earth they set out to see if they could try it on other planets. It took another few decades for that because of the cost involved, but the world government eventually authorised it and so they tried to give the Moon an atmosphere. The experiment succeeded and so people were able to live on another planet if they wanted. At first it was very expensive, but the technology became more cheaply available as it was expanded upon. The only downside was that it could only work on a planet that was close enough to a sun to sustain life. An atmosphere would be made but without the heat and light and energy of the suns rays plants could not grow and supply oxygen. Because they had managed to “heal” the world, the people once again sought to explore the stars. Research began on surpassing light speed and several planets that could sustain life were eventually discovered. Serataur was one such world. Even worlds that couldn't sustain life had resources though, and mining stations had been set up on several planets. It was mostly on resource heavy planets however because the stations were entirely dependent on supplies from outside. Over the course of a few hundred years mankind had colonised several planets, and Trent had personally discovered several more, including a few that didn't need artificial atmospheres to sustain life.
“Wait, you've met aliens?” Geoff said, interrupting his story. Trent was a bit surprised Geoff had talked and took a second to answer.
“Well, yeah, but to them I was the alien.”
“Have you told anyone?”
“Nah” Trent said, shaking his head. “I doubt anyone would believe me, and I ain't sure how the people would react. If it would go badly, then I want both sides to have peace for as long as they can.”
“Didn't you say that we've achieved peace?”
“Amongst ourselves, we have. Countries get along now. But individual people are still unable to accept peace. Crime is still existent, and I have no idea how we'll react to an entirely different species. We still hunt animals for sport, and when we first discovered people of different colour, we weren't too friendly with them. See what I mean? I'm not sure just how much people have matured. There are still plenty of weapons out there, and people will go far in the name of “self defence”' he said, making quotes in the air with his fingers. “We've come far, but I don't know how we'd react. So, for now, we're going to continue to live in ignorant bliss.”
“What were they like? The aliens?”
“No idea, they didn't speak a word of our language.” he said, breaking out in laughter. Geoff laughed too, though he wasn't sure why. While they were laughing their surroundings changed and the white expanse of hyperspace became the black expanse of space. Geoff noticed and stared out the window again. He saw what looked like a giant white ball with bits of blue in it.
“That's Seratuar” Trent said, pointing at it. “We'll be there in a few hours, so get ready. You need to be here before we enter the atmosphere. You have to be strapped in again for that.”
Geoff hurried and got ready and packed what he thought he would need as quick as he could so he could go back to looking out the window. Eventually they reached the atmosphere and punched through it, landing at the spaceport. When they landed the two of them went to the entrance of the ship and stepped out on to the dusty ground of Serataur.

11 comments:

  1. Sure thing with the American/British spelling, but that may have made for some more backstory? I'm used to Geoff, so it's weird reading Jeff now...

    Hurray, history! Though, countries getting along? Hahaha, not in a million years my friend!
    Also, something tells me we'll see more of that alien planet.

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    1. That would have made some nice backstory, and now that you've said it I can work it in. Whether or not it's too late is a different story. Bah.

      The world has become united under one barrier, one government. As such there is no more need for war. At least, like I said, between countries. Although I've never really approved of one huge world government myself, I do nevertheless admit it is the way forward.

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  2. Trent is right about keeping the aliens a secret. People would definitely react a bit absurdly.

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  3. still talking about the hitting thing huh? haha

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  4. Is it weird that I like Geoff better than Jeff? But then, I grew up with a Geoff.

    And the fact that "disregard that I suck cocks" made me laugh just proves what a total juvenile I am.

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  5. Great blog. Interesting notes and the very nice appearance. ;p
    I wish you the nice weekend. ;)
    I am also inviting to my blog: photographyismyexistence.blogspot.com
    I am greeting. Patricja!! ^.^

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  6. For some reason I always read Geoff as Gee-off which makes me a really bad human being. Love the writing though Mark, it was a little long but not too long, still a great read.

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  7. No problem with me with the length! Teh longer teh better, really.

    I like how you've kinda grown and developed the scar substory. That's nice, and good planning.

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  8. guess this is a more realistic view of the future than say star trek

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  9. I appreciate the length of this post.

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  10. I like how casual Trent is about meeting aliens, possibly one of the most incredible discoveries in the history of human existence.

    Also, well done on watching Red Dwarf. Series X is coming by the end of the year, or so I've heard.

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