working title goes here: the sound of a space battle is not pewpewpew

It is the hiss of air escaping from the hole in your suit. There are two kinds of weapons in this fight: the kind invented and then mass produced by the same minds who invented the neutron bomb, which kills people and leaves buildings; and the kind invented by the descendants of the villagers who  ran off Dr Frankenstein with farm tools. The former are sleek and shiny, designed for efficiency in killing as well as in dazzling the eyes of people who pay for — but do not fight in — far away wars glamorized until dying far from home becomes a romantic fate to which a man might aspire. The latter are dented and ugly and heavy, patched with tape and epoxy and pieces of other things, with ragged welds and fraying wires and dried blood clotted in the teeth of the blade.

I actually did invent stats for everyone (10 marsi plus the Nadia Rosa nine) and run the battle to see how it would go. Weapons that make holes in things are way, way more dangerous in vacuum than better-aimed weapons that do just as much physical damage but don’t wreck your space suit. Even though the marsi were, on average, a level or two higher than Our Heros (i.e., about 10% harder to hit) … it didn’t go very well for them. I didn’t even have to fudge any rolls to make this happen. Half of them died from asphyxiation when they couldn’t patch their suits fast enough. A knife that does 2 points of damage on average but puts a hole in your suit is nearly as efficient at killing a person as a laser gun that averages 7 points of damage but doesn’t harm the suit, even if the person with the laser gun can absorb twice as much damage as the person with the knife.

The battle itself should show up in this space Thursday (and probably continue Monday) not least because I haven’t decided quite how to narrate it. You don’t want to hear about every round of combat (half of them can be summarized as “side A shoots at side B, half of them miss, side B shoots back”) and there are things that need to be explained and aldo justified, like “marsi number three stops shooting to slap a square of tape over the hole in his suit” or “he fires the heavy taser at me and I scream, and the battery in my laser cutter melted.” Also, obviously there also needs to be some dialogue, which takes me forever to write. Characterization is hard.

{space battle goes here}

… by “shortly” I apparently meant “about three weeks.” I haven’t actually written the fight, although I’ve thought about it enough that I think it might last two installments.

They jump the baddies, right? Or, well, the more-baddies, Our Heroine and her crew aren’t exactly good guys. Anyway. The mercs have a big smoky hole in their ship and they’re not all dead because they have modern conveniences like auto-sealing bulkheads. They’re still tumbling when Our Heroes pile out the airlock holing all kinds of old-fashioned uncool things like knives and weaponized industrial equipment.

I might actually just make up DnD style stats for everyone and roll dice to see how it goes. Or rather, how it goes wrong. I know who wins, and what happens after. It’s just getting from there to here that’s complex.


working title goes here, part 5

Look, look: more story! I wrote actual new words this time, with plot advancement and everything. Don’t get used to it, I’m still in the whole Moving Process and 80% of my stuff is actually in a different time zone and I can only stay at the place I’m living right now for another few weeks. Irregular updates will resume promptly.

Still not sure if this is meant to be called La Desavenencia or Estrangement or Seven Kinds of Silence

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“art” and other things that aren’t story progress

I didn’t actually write any new words, but I fixed the old ones and replaced some of them with better ones. Also: I drew the Nada Rosa so we can all see my dazzling Word Art Skillz and also so I can keep track of which module is where. They share the hab modules amongst nine people, and I’m not going to be bothered to work out their sleep schedules although I did work out who they are and what their roles on the ship are. I’m not convinced that every person on the Nadia Rosa needs to appear in the story.

Here’s the Nada Rosa in all her creaky glory. While I’m not sure if she’s seen better days I am pretty sure all of her components have been replaced at least twice and there is no longer any point in which no part of the ship is broken.


No part of this drawing is to scale.

Below the cut: parts 3 and 4, slightly revised and improved.

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