Deep into the rewrites making JunoCorp the focus of the story instead of Leitman, the slick con artist. Recycling the original Quantonesia had made this go faster, but I also have to insert original scenes. There was one where trillionaire Tol Germanicus has lunch with Douglas Best, the bewildered politician first seen in The Marilynists, that took forever to right. Some of it was real life. I’d start work on the scene or resume, then something or someone would interrupt. But part of it was trying to get the scene right. It’s two guys sitting around talking, a real “pope in the pool” scene. I had to go back and insert it so that the story will follow the path I laid out.
A bit easier was a scene I wrote yesterday where Best turns the tables on the slippery Leitman and quizzes him over drinks about his former employer, the mysterious JunoCorp. Leitman evades and even manages a Sammy Hagar reference that does not involve that tired cliche of people 500 years in the future digging music from the present day or the last 50 years of our time. (I’m looking at you, JJ Abrams!) Great fun.
But this draft has more explosions. And in some people’s minds, ‘splosions make things better. Well, usually. I’m not getting all Michael Bay on you. But I end a scene with an explosion. And a Gelt attack I wrote about as a distant incident will now become integral to the story. Best will be present and witness just how pissed off the Realm is about the end of Second Wave.
The original version of this story was really talky. That’s okay. Asimov’s characters did nothing but talk, sometimes outlining elaborate plans that no one could predict. But people have commented that I am an action writer. So having Best painstakingly build a case that it was Colonel Mustard in the vacuum chamber with the quantum disruptor is going to bore people expecting the same guy who called his touchstones Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse.
I’m reaching the point where the scenes will be all original to this version. Not quite yet, but I do have to rewrite a story thread that involves transplanted Neanderthals and the Gelt War becoming a thing. And then it will get weird.