Sunday, April 16, 2017

A brief excerpt from Ghost Fleet

My current work in progress, book two of a science fiction series has taken much longer to write that I've intended. Life as such tends to get in the way of the best of intentions. I have however had a resurgence in writing time in the last couple months. Still, not the time I wish I had. 

I would like to offer the following brief excerpt of Ghost Fleet, book two of the Home World Series. I hope to have Ghost Fleet out  by mid-summer. After that, a return to book three of the Last Elf Prophecy Series, Awakening of Lillestrom.


The main science lab was in the midst of a cycle change. The bustle of crew coming and going, exchanging information and data was nothing short of a near-deafening event. Andren knew if need be she could lock herself away in Danson’s office and get away from the commotion. But that was not much of a desired option these days. Before she met Frank, the solitude would have been welcomed as well as the companionship. She had grown close to Danson. They were more than just friends, they were good friends. She had grown accustomed to the sound of his voice, his slightly self deprecating nature, and his presence when he was in the lab. She turned at the sound of Danson’s voice behind her rising above the din. The only warmth she now felt within the lab, the one place she had called her sanctuary, was the porcelain teacup nearly glued to her hand.
Danson pointed toward his office and immediately turned left. She watched him disappear through the doorway, his lab coat billowing out at the sides. She inhaled deeply knowing she now wanted no part of this discussion no matter how routine it was. She told herself that’s all it would be, a routine change of cycle. She set her cup down in its familiar place, stood and pressed her hands against her white coat reminding herself she was a scientist, a professional. She strode forward with all the confidence she could muster and stepped into his office.
 “Nothing much to report sir,” Andren began as she stepped up to his small desk.
“Sir is it now?” Danson lowered his eyes to his desk before glancing back up. “Is this what we’ve come to Andren? Sir?”
“We need to keep it professional Danson.”
“We’ve always kept it professional. At least I thought we did.”
“I have a report, if you’d like to hear it.” She looked down at her notes and began to fire off her summary. Danson stared blankly at her without hearing a thing she said. After three minutes, she dropped her papers on the desk and looked up.
“That’s it?”
“That’s the cycle report of the main lab, yes.”
“You’ve changed Andren. You used to be dedicated to your craft. Now, it almost seems secondary to …”
“To what? To Frank? Don’t be so petty Danson. My work hasn’t suffered, only my time spent with you. I’ve come alive for the first time in years. I see things outside of this lab. I see my life in a different context.”
“But this is a time of war!” Danson’s face hardened.
“It’s always war Danson. Don’t you understand that? It’s been war for ten years, and for ten years I’ve put my career first. And what did it get me? It got me stuck on a starship in a hideous white lab coat sailing through the Void on a suicide mission.” She slammed her hand down on the desk. “Where is my time Danson? What’s in it for me?”
“Your service to this ship, Lieutenant!”
“That’s just not good enough any more,” she shouted as she rubbed her stinging palms together. “Maybe it’s about time you see the same thing.” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. “My time is no longer yours, it’s mine,” she said quietly. Andren pressed her hands against her sides and turned heading toward the door. “Will that be all?” she asked, and walked out with no answer from Danson.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rules, whether you like them or not

We live our lives in a society that is filled with rules. All kinds of rules. Some are laws, others just regulations. Many are instituted by all the various levels of government. Some are written by private groups or companies.

The recent uproar in the airline industry is a prime example. Airlines are private companies with their own rules. They work in conjunction with the FAA, a branch of the federal government. When you purchase a ticket to hitch a ride to a destination on an airline, you are subject to their rules. You may not like them, but they are the rules.

Have you ever read them? I doubt it. They are quite long and pervasive. However, whether you read them or not, you must obey them. You are subject to whatever the flight crew and pilot of the aircraft commands. In essence, they are your gods and have dominion over you. There is a reason. One cannot have people doing whatever they want when two-hundred of their fellow travelers are riding the friendly skies thirty-thousand feet in the air.

By now, I'm sure most of you know what I'm referencing; the forcible removal of a doctor, a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight. Now, I'm not condoning what happened to the passenger on that flight. It is amazing how stupid people who try to enforce the rules can be. They used extreme and excess force and it should not be condoned nor tolerated.

I place just as much blame for this incident if not more on the passenger, Doctor David Dao for his actions. This is a country of rules and laws. If I were in his position I would not have liked to be removed from the plane either. I would likely have bitched and moaned all the way off the craft. But I would have walked off the plane with my own dignity intact. He is the one who created the scene and now we have another group who claim they are all 'traumatized'. (Hell, watching the nightly news is more traumatizing. What a sad state of affairs has become of our populace.)

It won't happen due to public backlash, but I would hope that this passenger is forced into court and is either fined or does jail time for interfering with the directions of a flight crew. I also hope anyone who is of the litigant variety sues him and not the airlines. It was his actions that caused all this 'trama', although I hope any halfway intelligent judge throws all those complaints out on their ear. It would be worth it just to have David Dao go through all the hassle.

If I were one of his patients, I'd drop him like a hot potato. I would hope my doctor has better judgement than that.