You’re Drafted

Uncle SamNo, not for the military. Let Vlad hang himself on that folly and give our guys a rest.

Right now, I’m drafting you to help me build a ship.

If you’ve read, lurked, or otherwise paid attention to the overall Compact Universe series, including the ongoing Suicide Arc (Buy Checkmate now!), then you know I can spin up a universe with the best of them.

And I’m investigating the possibility of diving into the Kindle Vella pool. Which means I have to basically write a 50,000-word novel. And it needs a ship.

So, what’s this about? And why do you want a ship?

Glad you asked that, imaginary friend distracting me from doing my day job work. By the time the Suicide Arc ends, Tishla’s daughter Athena will be 12. That’s 16 for a human woman. The Gelt become adults at 14, and I’ve gone about as far as I can with the original Children of Amargosa, who are getting married, getting promoted, having kids, and building businesses. And Athena wants to go to work for her preferred choice of stepdad, namely JT, who currently shares the Goldeneye with Suicide. She wants to be a pilot.

So, the plan is that JT and Tishla own a handful of assault shuttles-turned-freighters. As a present for getting her certification, Athena gets to pick up the shiny new ship and bring it home to Amargosa. Along the way, she picks up a kid hitching a ride away from the chaos that is now the Compact. Turns out he’s an interstellar fugitive. Hilarity ensues.

JT has usually flown Falcons, two-deck winged craft with atmospheric and orbital engines and no FTL capability. God created hypergates for a reason, and the Falcons use them for that.

So, what do I need?

  1. Going with a Firefly motif, shiny! This ship needs to make a guy like JT, his ex-girlfriend and employee Ellie (Um… Spoiler alert?), and even his pilot dad slobber with lust. And they’re handing the keys to a woman who, in human years, is the equivalent of 20.
  2. FTL: Just jumping instantly from one place to another? That eventually exists in this series. It’s also so radically new that it’s not going to happen for a ship this small. Warp drive, like the Enterprise, is cost prohibitive and not really used by civilians. Most ships with any FTL use what I’ve dubbed projection drive, which generates wormholes on its own. So, how do we conceal it?
  3. It can be luxurious. The ship will likely be a gift from the wealthy mother who disowned JT. (He’s the good black sheep.) However, it’s still a freighter.
  4. Names: If it’s called Goldeneye, which every ship JT co-owns with Suicide is named (and eventually crashes), it’s JT’s ship. No one else flies it unless they come along as copilot. So… Need a new name. You can be as clever as you want, even derive it from the series if you want. (See what I did there? Tried to trick you into buying my books!) What I won’t accept (though I may publish a list of) is the likes of Boaty McBoatface, etc. The ship name won’t last long thanks to the aforementioned hilarity that will eventually ensue.

That’s it. Throw me your ideas. I’ll see what I can come up with. And remember, writer types, you can use the exercise to create your own ship.

And this time, Josh Hayes can’t steal my ship model! (Albatross was mine, dammit! Mine!)


Source: Paramount Pictures