Saturday, March 5, 2016

Short story serial: Roller Coaster Ride a Science Fiction adventure tale. Number 1

For those who may not know Google Plus has various communities. One allows us to write and post stories and excerpts every Saturday. I just started a short serial I thought I would share with a wider audience. I decided to use a story I write when I first started writing seriously, some where around seven years ago, and revise it with what I have learned about the craft of writing since. Starting this Saturday I will be posting segments of my story  Roller Coaster Ride. Each Saturday for three or four weeks depending on what I add during the revision I will post a segment here on my blog.  

This story is straight up Science Fiction. I must confess though that while this revision improves the story and readability it didn't turn out as well as I had thought it would. Still though it has plenty of action and fun for the reader.
This week's part is just short of 1800 words long.

Two pals have an adventure while they haul two important cargos. Seems like a group of pirates didn't get the memo that the cargos were suppose to be secret with a last minute change of dates:

Unusual Rollar Coaster Ride

                       By L. E. Doggett

Looking like a fox on the run, the little ship quested the top side of the extensive ship fragment. Decks opened to space could be seen, fiber optic cables hung out in places, while personal belongings floated around inside and outside. Jonathan and Mantee, the only people on board, fled on the middle of a debris field many kilometers long and wide. 
     Their ship, the Cruising Ant, consisted of a hull close to the shape of a human thumb with two sets of wings: one smaller toward the rear and one close to the bow a third the size of the Ant. Its nose contrasted to a size where the two occupants sat close enough together to touch elbows, if they turned too fast.
     The Ant with Jonathan the owner, not at the controls, sprinted along the top of drifting piece of hull five times its size. Mantee drove the ship down, from their prospective, the far side, in an urgent attempt to loose the larger ships chasing it. It dropped nose first for a few seconds. At the point where it reached the bottom of another huge fragment, Mantee curved it under that piece. As it came out from that piece’s shadow Mantee titled its nose upward and zoomed almost straight up along another broken ship. This one looked only five and half decks high and twice as wide as the Ant was long. Both Jonathan and Mantee could see straight though eight of those ten decks. Bodies as well as parts of equipment drifted around. 
     As soon as its nose topped that smaller fragment the Ant leveled off and zoomed forward for six-seconds. Mantee finally sent in into a dive under a large shiny cylinder with a small bulge at one end and what looked like a twisted broken end at the other. Mantee mumbled something about going back to get that power converter after they lost whoever was chasing them. The cylinder was spinning slowly toward the smaller fragment they had just come from. 
     Suddenly he pulled the nose up as again. This time at a much lower angle. The Ant went up and over a wrecked ship. This one whole. It looked only four times the size of the small one currently on the desperate ride. The two pilots could easily see slices that had been cut in it as well as holes that had been blasted into it. As soon as they cleared the halfway point across the top of the ship Mantee aimed the little craft down at the same shallow angle he had gone up. However as soon as they were down past that ship they abruptly executed a curve to port. Small explosions peppered the space where they had been going. Mantee managed, “Those guys are good.” 
     Mantee bumped Jonathan again when he reached for a control to have the Ant slide sideways. Even though neither carried much extra weight the cockpit was a tight space. Jonathan at six, four had to almost duck to get in either seat. Mantee four inches shorter didn’t but with his wider shoulders, he was the one to hit Jonathan. After all the control panel was a V shape affair with two seats, one on either side of the inside point of the V. It fit the shape of the bow of the Ant. The end of the nose was three feet wide, with a height of three feet.
     Jonathan said, “We may have to fire back at them, to get their attention.”
     Mantee frowned but saved his energy for the race. The Ant was armed: from his spot he could almost see the four thin round barrels set in two rows along the top of the nose. Two thinner, outside barrels began just under the view window. However the lasers and tiny grassers didn’t have a lot of power. Like the ship’s wings they were not just for show as on some ships. This craft was capable of atmospheric flight and was able to land on most surfaces. And the weapons could do damage even though not a lot.
     He took a moment to wonder if those guys were after the cargo which sat behind him in the runabout’s cargo space. He shrugged the Ant was a bit small for a true runabout but Jonathan liked to call it that anyway.
    At the moment there were only three small trunks strapped down in the cargo area. Two were identical, three feet long, two feet wide and two deep, brown colored with blue trim and the same logo at each end. They carried their main cargo. The third was larger, a foot longer and a foot deeper: old and beaten with faded reds and blacks, it contained items that Jonathan had decided to take along since there was room. 
     In the back of this area was a wall that had two doors. One was to the head and one was what passed for engineering in this tiny craft. It was the size of a large closet. On both sides of the two doors were two small cabinet doors right in the middle of the wall. They were about two and a half feet long and two feet tall. They enabled the crew to get to more circuits. One tray pulled out to be the kitchen. A tiny microwave, a tiny toaster even, a very small burner and a sink. 
     The whole craft had been painted a light reddish brown with the aft end being black. There was a thick three foot long deep blue stripe on each side starting at the tip of the nose. The floor was covered with a greenish padded material. The walls were mostly unadorned and were painted a medium gray color. The doors were a very deep gray. The seats were a dark red. 
     Both had worked together as a team for years. Jonathan who stood at six Ft three inches tall with an above average build and medium length reddish hair usually was the pilot. This time around Mantee, who was four inches shorter with wider shoulders and an otherwise stockier build, happened to be piloting when they had been attacked. Mantee had the same red hair as Jonathan even though he wore it longer. He also had a mustache while Jonathan was clean shaven. Currently Jonathan was doing Mantee’s jobs. Which included adjusting the fuel to the engines, watching and watching sensors while using the comm. He also had controls to fix certain problems with the drives, the power plant or any other mechanisms. He was additionally in charge of the weapons and shielding.
     This trip had started as an easy job. They were supposed to haul two very important items to a certain space station. Each was important for different reasons. One was an accord that had been reached by two warring factions. The negotiating teams had been at a secret location for quite a while and had finally reached an agreement. Jonathan had taken the job to deliver the accords to representatives of both governments; he was well known and trusted by both sides. Mantee thought that those chasing them might want them to either stop the peace or to hold the accords for ransom. 
    On the other hand they might want the other item, a religious icon. It was made out of precious metals worth a lot of money by themselves even though it was worth much more to the religion. It had gone missing ages ago and had recently been found. Someone could want it for the materials or to hold it for ransom. The two identified teams, who were after them usually didn’t go in for that type of thing though. Well, the privateers usually acted like pirates but they went after certain groups only. Jonathan therefore Mantee didn’t belong to any of their usual targets. He mentally shrugged as he thought this though. Maybe they were branching out. 
     Jonathan had contracted for a date for both objects to be delivered. The date, a couple of weeks in the future, was far enough away so Jonathan had decided to overhaul his freighter’s drives. However yesterday the representatives of those who hired him came by to say that the date had been moved up. It turned out that their security protocols demanded that the time table for top security items be changed after the date was set. He had been told it that even though it could have been any date from three weeks earlier to a few days after the original date, two weeks earlier had been chosen. That was today or yesterday. It was either take the small runabout or lose the contract and probably the next one. It would also mean that the accords would not get to the representatives when they were expected. That could mean they would be refused. Jonathan had no choice but to go. Mantee came by about then so he was drafted to come along. Now he wondered about his bad timing. Jonathan said had been assured that the mission was very top secret and that the moving of the date would make it even more secure. An added security measure had been to change the delivery point as well as the date. It was a different location now. Now it was an outpost closer then the original one which ended up working in their favor. Which was good since they had to use the Cruising Ant, Jonathan’s spare ship. It could go FTL but had little room for supplies.  
     Every thing had gone smoothly during the first part of the trip so they decided to change places. Mantee excepted that Jonathan was by far the better pilot and usually piloted everything-both were his ships after all. Mantee even though no slouch at piloting needed practice at different controls. He decided that since this would be an easy trip he would get some practice in. Jonathan after coming back from a visit to 

the head found Mantee in the pilot’s seat. After some quick words by Mantee Jonathan agreed that it was a good time for Mantee to pilot the runabout. He sat down in the other seat. Soon after that they had detected the ships now after them. They had come out of no where and were headed straight for them. Mantee, who had known that a battle had taken place nearby four or five days ago, headed toward it as a precaution. The battle had involved humans from one Federation as well as a race called the Zoonu along with some from one or two other races who lived among both. It had gone on for days and had involved some very large ships by the look of the wreckage. 

end segment

Comments and real criticisms are okay

Probably shouldn't say this here but in my hurry with this I didn't get the opening like I wanted. I realized afterward when it was posted everywhere that oops, I had forgotten some detail on the setting.

next segments should be better

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