Supermassive

I asked an enlightened web-associate (a PHD holder) to look over my series bible and share her thoughts. I expected a long list of issues with my genetics (I’m not a geneticist) and my Earth-changes geography (her focus is climatology). She came back with a few minor crits that are passable because science fiction should be about the imaginary even if it’s based in hard science.

I sat relieved until this: it’s a shame your timeline around Vostok is off. I would suggest altering your settings incept date to the next arrival of  meteor VK.

0___________0

A normal person would say fuck it, and I’m tempted. I wrote this series years ago and the timeline reflects this. I’m a writer though, and the notion that I’m off the ledge in terms of present day science drives me fucking insane.

I’ll end up making massive changes to the timeline throughout the bible. Those changes will create a domino effect requiring me to adjust the dates of every damn thing in the series narrative.

Sigh.

Dox Ain’t Having It

“Permission to speak freely, Komad?” Dox said.

Sofita moved closer, “I’ve been waiting for you to do just that.”

Dox had remained silent when Sofita submitted her mission report to Orny’s log recorder. In it she detailed the group encounter she’d engaged in, along with the termination of the leak at Port Yukon. Sofita omitted ordering Dox to hack into a Cloister Admin Cluster, and also left out the subsequent visit from CR Banto.

“Why were we hacking into CR Banto’s system?” asked Dox.

Sofita said, “CR Banto served as a liaison advocate at Nazca Base before her heritage forced her back to Vanda—”

“—heritage?”

“Banto’s the donation of Committee Member the Fourth, Tee Banto,” Sofita said. “She’s duty bound to serve in the Chamber, a prerequisite to ascension.”

“Ascension?” Dox said.

Sofita said, “Someday, she’ll ascend to the Tenth Gen Committee.”

“I thought when your—”

“—when the Primary’s gen-heir died, the Tenth were nullified?”

“Someone at Nazca contacted CR Banto about something related to this mission?”

“CR Banto excels at preserving peer relationships, these associations endure,” said Sofita, sensing more to Dox’s discomfort. “That’s why we invaded her privacy.”

“If I’d known what I was doing,” said Dox. “I wouldn’t have done it.”

“You were under orders,” Sofita leaned back in her chair.

Dox turned back to her console, “Orders I find objectionable,”

“What is it with you Eleventh’s, and hyper-rectitude?” Sofita said.

Dox gave a start, “What’s a helovx girxhole have to do with my Gen?”

“Rectitude is integrity, honor,” said Sofita, laughing.

“Honor’s important, Komad.” Dox said, without a hint of embarrassment. “It’s what separates us from the helovx.”

“I don’t want to make light of your convictions, but only six chromosomes separate us from the helovx, and their rectums.” Sofita said.

“We can’t breed with them, Komad,” the Donmat did her best to remain respectful, “It’s more than a few chromosomes.”

“You’re right, we female Citizens can’t breed with them.”

“We female Citizens? What is it with you Tenth’s and living in the past?” Dox closed her eyes. “Forgive my disrespect, Komad. My generation has no males, they’re obsolette and aren’t part of the everyday vernacular.”

“Did you say vernacular? That’s a complicated word for a bruiser that doesn’t know an helovx ass from her honor.” Sofita became serious, “Life is moribund with each passing moment. Your manifestation of prevalence is obsolete.”

Dox fixed her eyes to the forward array.

“Yet if you wish to pick nits,” Sofita said, “My Gen does have males, as does the Gen before it, as did the Gen before that. You tend to forget this, Donmat, peculiar really, since this Division specializes in matters connected to those particulars—”

“—I didn’t know this section existed,” Dox said, “I only accepted assignment to the Sorority of Defense so I wouldn’t be snapped back to walking the ice.”

“You didn’t want Division?” Sofita said.

“What I want no longer matters, Komad,” Dox said. “Staying on topic, I wasn’t aware our males bred with helovx women, until assignment to the Femitokon Division.”

“Donmat, look at me,” Sofita said.

Dox turned as ordered, “Yes, Komad?”

“Zhang was sired by Carl Crystal,” Sofita said.

“The cult leader from the California’s?” asked Dox.

“No, Caro Cristi, the male farc from Ramaxia,” Softly said. “He was surgically altered to disguise himself.”

“They’ve had him jail for a long time. How have they not figured out what he is?”

“Nauist convicts get no medical care. They get a room with no view, and they’re fed once a day.” Sofita could see that Dox was more annoyed than intrigued, “When he was free, he had children with helovx women. One of them was Pym Zhang, our devoured geneticist.”

“A hybrid seeking repatriation,” Dox said.

Sofita nodded, “Nauists don’t know they have a farc, and the Committee didn’t want them learning about it from Zhang.”

Dox stared at her, “Komad, I don’t like the word farc. It’s a slur.”

“Yes, it is,” Sofita took great care not to grin at the conservative nature of her Donmat. “I won’t say it again.”

“Thank you, Komad.” Dox wasn’t finished with her yet. “I also don’t like it when you fraternize with helovx males. Orta might be okay with us engaging in sexual intercourse with helovx when they’re suspected of being spies and enemies, but I’m not.”

“I appreciate your candor,” Sofita said.

“I’ve no place telling you how to carry out a mission, Komad, but if you’re going to engage in future helovx-violations, I don’t want to know about it, before or after, the fact.” Dox said, then shook her head in anger, “You’re laughing at me,”

Sofita sat up, “I’m not amused in any way.”

“I can see it in your eyes!”

Sofita Got Game

She may not be a real Marixi (bald, brawny, a bruiser), but Sofita got all the game, yo.


As the nightly show reached its climax, scores of men dawdled amidst the rowdy bruisers. Enlisted uniforms lacked pockets, but that didn’t stop larceny-minded men from feeling around for them. The risk of robbery by an slow-handed man kept the Bizaki huddled close, and Hizaki, with their backs to the wall.

“You’re the first bullhead I’ve seen, with hair.” said the supple star of the show now stood beside her, his dark skin glossy with sweat, his eyes on the prize like a sea lion on the hunt. He smiled to show off those gorgeous teeth. “Is that hair real?”

Sofita looked him up and down, “As real as the day I was born,”

“Friendly too?” sitting on the empty stool beside her, a jerk of his chin brought the thick ropes of hair over his shoulder. “You look like a bullhead, but then you don’t.”

Sofita said, “Don’t we all looked the same?”

“Not when you’re naked,”

“What’re you drinking?”

“Whatever you buy me.”

“What else can I buy?”

“Do I look like a whore?”

Sofita poured herself another glass of rum, “You flirt like one.”

“Just for that,” he touched her arm, “Make mine a double.”

The allure of the braids dangling between his pectorals afforded her the patience to sit silent while babbled on about himself. Listening to these short biographies was a prerequisite if one desired to climb on top of an helovx.

Nope

I’ve been avoiding the inevitable.

Splitting Tactical Pursuits (aka Holodomor) into two parts isn’t working.

On Monday I’m going to remove all the elements of the secondary plot and focus solely on Sofita’s mission and Velto Wram’s entry into the series.

The excised portions, Eppis Banto’s story, will be edited for release to Patreon subscribers. I think this may be the norm going forward for all the backstory/related-narrative of those in Sofita’s circle. It will allow me to remain focused on Sofita’s story arc, without sacrificing the stories of the ensemble cast (Eppis, Pitana, Velto, Laxum, and Fyla) sharing in Sofita’s goal.

First Draft Pass Complete

chapeditsExcised several scenes to tighten my plot but I feel like I’ve sacrificed a bit of characterization in the process. Renamed the book because there’s a movie coming out about the Holodomor in the Ukraine and I don’t want the association. The new title is Tactical Pursuits.

Jogging through the second-draft pass and I can’t shake the feeling that the chapters don’t fit. I know that I’m telling two different stories in this novel – Eppis adjusting her life in preparation of ascension, and Ilo dying as motivation for Velto and Sofita to put aside their differences and work toward ascension. The subplot (at this point I should say, microplot) involves the Slavic Empire and that’s grounded in the Velto/Sofita portion of the book. Eppis/Ilo are connected by their brief complicity in the past, a partnership that afforded them the lives they lived up until now; tying them together at the end of the book is problematic because of a character death. Interweaving the narrative of these two distinct storylines works on television, but in prose, it just feels clunky.

I’m going to keep each storyline together via ‘Part I’ and ‘Part II’ separation, then fuse the stories together at the end.