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Friday, 8 February 2013

Wren

So I started a new story. I'm not really sure what it's going to be yet, but I am aiming to write my first ever short story. A story that I can write out, edit once and publish for a low price on kindle or kobo or nook or any of those e-readers.

It's a Science Fiction story about an Imperial Admiral named Wren who's been exiled to the far reaches of Imperial space. At the moment it's a part of the Galledar universe set a thousand or so years from the events in Ghost of Galledar. However it's so loosely connected to those events that it could quite easily not have anything to do with that universe. so far I've had no reason to even mention their elemental abilities, I've not had to mention the feline race though I have sort of forced that in there at some points when it probably didn't need to be. Pretty much the only thing that I've used the Galledar books for in this story is the names of things.

So far I'm enjoying reading it, but it is taking me away from completing TLC. However I'd started to grow annoyed by that and needed a break. I think this is a good thing to do while I'm getting back in the mood for TLC. It keeps my mind creatively active and works on a genre I'm not particularly well versed in, while simultaneously doing a little to put myself on the author map. right now I'm a single point so tiny that it might as well not be there. Hopefully after a few short stories I'll be able to point to them and say 'see, I can write and sell it' when trying to publish. And if not then I'll be able to self publish and already have a small following to read the new books and point them out to others and then they will point them out to others and so on... maybe.

But enough about what i hope to do with it; for your reading pleasure (I've decided to start talking like I'm a good writer, not someone who is inconveniencing people) the first small part of;

Wren.




“The elf known as Draegon kneels atop the building and aims down the scope of his rifle. A smirk slides across his features and he pulls the trigger, sending the sniper rifle’s bullet soaring straight down at the target. It hits him dead between the-” Dylan narrated.
“Wait,” Wren said. Raising a hand to his elven friend. “Roll a dee-ten on whichever’s higher; Dex or Luck.”
“What? Come on, it’s a gun, not a sword. It doesn’t take skill to use, it’s got targeting systems,” Dylan argued, waving a hand at his elf assassin character sheet as it floated above the holo-projector.
Wren raised an eyebrow. “This is set in the twentieth century, or the technological equivalent of Galledar’s twentieth century. They didn’t have targeting systems for rifles back then. Just like they didn’t have laser pistols or commercial space travel. Your character looks down the scope - which really isn’t anything more than a zoom lens – and fires when he thinks that the bullet will hit the target.”
“Ugh…” Dylan groaned. “Fine.” He pressed a finger to the dice menu on his holo-display and dragged down to the ten sided die. He released and a short animation of a rolled die appeared, landing on a one. “Aw crap. Eight on Luck”
“Ok, you fire the gun and it misses the Orc president, hitting the elven president next to him….” Wren reached for his own holo-display and rolled a dee-six. It comes up as a two. “In the arm.”
“Dammit,” Dylan curses again.
“At least you didn’t kill him,” the youngest of their group, Magnus - a scrawny felie boy with shaggy black fur that had a lynx like quality to it - consoled, sitting forward, to get a good look at the pieces on the table. “Okay,” he says, looking up at Wren behind his Quest Master divider. “I look around and see if there are any security bots-”
“No security bots, not invented,” the fourth member of their group, Charlie, reminded his friend.
“Right.” Magnus nodded, looking around the table’s figures. “Sorry.”
“Try helicopters,” Charlie offered. He turned to Wren. “Am I saying that right?”
“Yeah.” Wren nodded. “You want to look for helicopters?” He asked Magnus. The youngster nodded. “Ok, roll a dee-ten on perception.”
Magnus rolled his holo-dice and it came up as a nine. He looked up at his Dwarf investigator’s character sheet and read out his perception total. “Sixteen,” he said.
“Ok, cool. You don’t see any helicopters, they’re not allowed in the area because it was considered too dangerous with the Orc and Elven president appearing. You do, however, see a government sniper on the opposite building.”
“Why didn’t we see him before?” Dylan asked, frowning.
“You didn’t look.” Wren shrugged. “He’s looking around for the shooter and turning to look in your direction.”
“I use a cloaking spell to cover all three of us,” Charlie said quickly, reaching for his dee-ten. “Rolling against intelligence…” he looked up for confirmation that it was ok. Wren nodded and Charlie let the dee-ten roll. “Five,” he announced, scrolling through his human wizard’s character sheet. “Plus my seven; twelve.”
“Okay, the shield goes up over you, but it doesn’t extend to the others,” Wren describes.
“If we stand behind him what happens?” Dylan asks.
“They see through him and see you,” Wren responds. Dylan frowns and looks down at the map.
“Is the sniper’s building higher than ours?” Magnus asks. “How far away was he?”
Wren smiles. “Marginally higher and pretty far.”
“Okay, I lay down by the lip of the building, where he can’t see me.”
“Me as well,” Dylan says.
“Ok, roll against either; Dex, Int, Perception or Luck.”
“Dee-ten?” Dylan asked. Wren nodded. The two of them rolled dee-tens and both came up as tens. They rolled again. Dylan got sixteen and Magnus got eighteen. “That’s twenty-three on luck.”
“Twenty-five on perception,” Magnus responded.
“Both of you manage to hide from the sniper and he passes over both of you.”
“Awesome,” Magnus exclaimed.
A ringing sounded on Wren’s holo. He frowned at it, time was up. He pressed it off. “Well I guess that’s all for this week. Meet back here next week?”
The ringing sounded again, this time it sounded higher, less like a ring more like a siren. He frowned at it again and pressed the off button, but it wouldn’t turn off. He started shaking and he realised that Magnus was holding his shoulders. The table was gone, Magnus was in its place, shaking him. “Wren, snap out of it,” he said.
Wren frowned at the youngster and watched as he rapidly aged. He blinked and the room was gone. Young Magnus was gone. Young Wren was gone. He was aboard Kino-class Imperial War ship ‘Relentless’, and it was under attack.
“Sir, you’re alive. Good,” Magnus said, stepping back as Wren blinked.
Wren took in a few deep breaths and forced himself back to his feet, getting his bearings. The circuits in his command seat had blown and he’d been sent flying. He had blood dripping down his face, but Magnus seemed fine. His XO and his oldest living friend patted him on the shoulder and looked into his eyes. “Are you good to go, sir?”
Wren nodded. “Report.”
“Sir,” Magnus responded, saluting and turning to face the holo-displays. “Three pirate war ships including the supposedly destroyed Imperial Hunter-Class destroyer, Jeopardy,” Wren’s eyes widened and he looked up at the screens. How the hell did they get a hold of Charlie’s ship? It’d been six years since Charlie and his crew had been blown out of the sky… and yet there was the ship they had been flying in when it’d happened. “Six cruisers and five carriers remain; they have a hundred and fifty fighters. Their assault has taken us down to only a handful of fighters-”
“Sixty, sir,” a junior officer called from his post. The man stood in front of his console, chair knocked away from him in the assault.
“Sixty fighters remain,” Magnus continued. “We’ve lost the Indomitable and the Victory and only one of our carriers remains.”
“How the hell did they amass such a force?” Wren cursed, looking up at the holo-displays. He watched fighters explode, watched the last carrier get attacked. “Dammit, we can’t win this.”
“Sir?”
“Sound the retreat,” Wren sighed, shaking his head.
“Sir, the carrier only holds thirty fighters and we have-” Magnus’ eye flicked to the holo-displays. “Fifty seven still out there.”
“Tell the others to clamp onto the outside of our hull,” Wren ordered. “It won’t be a fun journey for them but they’ll survive.”
“Yes sir,” Magnus agreed, nodding to a junior officer.
“Set co-ordinates tee-zee. Via New Xelaren,” Wren ordered, watching allied ships explode on the holo-displays as they peeled off and attempted to latch onto his ship.
“We’re returning to the core sir?” Magnus asked.
Wren nodded. “On the off chance that this isn’t a fluke and the pirates have become more organised; the King needs to know.”
His eye twitched as he watched a strafing run across the side of his ship blow seven of his defenceless fighters to pieces. It wasn’t a good plan. It wasn’t a smart plan. It wasn’t an honourable plan. It was survival. “Ready, sir,” Magnus said.
“Make the jump.”
“Sir.” Magnus nodded to a junior officer and the ship shuddered. The holo-displays showed the Carrier zip out of existence and then Relentless did the same. A couple of fighters that hadn’t clamped on properly peeled off and were disintegrated by the kinetic energy that rippled off of the ships high speed motions.
He cursed and closed his eyes, turning away. “Full casualty report,” he said, placing his hands on his hips.
“We don’t have it, sir,” Magnus apologised. “We won’t have it until we drop out of the jump and link with the Carrier.”
Wren nodded. “An estimate then?”
Magnus took a breath and, after letting it out slowly responded, “Full crew of the Indomitable, one-thousand-two-hundred men. Full crew of the Victory, one-thousand-two-hundred men. Full crew of the Obsidian, the Hematite, the Amethyst and the Jasper, Two-thousand-six-hundred-and-Fifty-Six men. One-hundred-and-seven one man fighters. An estimated twenty-five percent death rate aboard the Quartz, though we’ll have to wait for their report.”
“And on Relentless?” Wren asked, already cursing himself for his failure.
“Lower three decks have hull breach, we had an explosion in the med bay and the weapon engineering. Reports are still coming in, but I’d estimate that we lost three-hundred men,” Magnus responded.
Wren cursed. Magnus’s estimations were usually accurate. He really had failed. An estimated five-thousand-six-hundred-and-seventy-five out of seven-thousand-and-seventy lives lost. More than an eighty percent death rate. He hadn’t had such a crushing defeat since his simulated battles against Charlie at the academy.
“Estimated time to arrival at New-Xelaren?” He asked.
“Two hours,” Magnus responded.
Wren nodded. “Very well. Send the holo of the battle to my cabin, make sure the spaced levels are sealed, get the fires out and contact me when we have an exact casualty rate.”
“Very well, sir,” Magnus nodded.
“XO Magnus, you have command,” Wren said before turning and walking off of the bridge.

---

Well I hope you enjoyed that, it's still the first draft so I have a fair way to go, but there you have it. Enjoy your weekend everybody!

In-recognition-of-UK's-new-stance-on-gay-rights-laws... probably-not-appropriate-but-fuck-it.
- James

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