Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lucinda's Story SF part one.

It's April 16  

A new story for me-another Science Fiction tale. This one has a main character with a certain problem. Again it's one I wrote many years ago before I knew half of what I now know about the craft of writing. I am revising it as I go and improving the writing even though in this one I left in a couple changes of POV-point of view. Some readers do not like that while others of us don't care.

I will be splitting it up into three-possibly four-sections. 

Here is number one:

Lucinda's Story

                        By L.E. Doggett

    The young woman stood at the bottom of the loading ramp, alone. Lucinda looked to the right and left turned around and looked behind her while she searched the tarmac of the spaceport. Still seeing no one she knew the teen turned back to the ship that was taking her to Blearier's Star. This trip made it her first time she off planet. The whole thing made her nervous especially the fact there could be pirates out there. Very few or her parents would not let her go but new gangs could form.
    Sweat formed in the middle of her back and on her forehead. She would have to try to “talk” to the crew for her friend was late.
      Looking up the pitted and discolored grayish ramp she sighed. At ten feet wide and six feet long it of pitted and grayish hard, cold metal, it looked opposing. The whole area stunk of coolant, burnt ground, hot metal and on some breezes like an outdoor pipeless bathroom had burnt to the ground.
     Was that a bit of bile in her mouth? That wouldn’t surprise her. Come on Chelsea-you’re late.
    She wiped sweat off her hands by rubbing them against her powder blue skirt. She refused to stroke her shoulder length blond hair. And with what filled her mind she didn't notice when her hands brushed across the knitted small red flowers adorning the full skirt. The sleeves of her blouse almost faded into the skirt's blue. The whole effect made her look modest and, from what her friends said, pretty.  
    Since she had looked everywhere Lucinda looked at the ship once more. It looked like a flat thick oval laying on the ground, but the two tail fins and large round drives spoiled the effect. They made it look like there was a set of binoculars stuck in the rear of the ship. One with three lens instead of two. The freighter looked huge up close for it was over two hundred feet long and four times her height even though it was small when compared to other ships docked here.
    She sighed, then raised her arm and looked at her watch. She shook her head again as she saw what time it was. She touched a button on the wristband making the clock face disappear. A 3D projection appeared above it. The note read "No Mess" in four inch high powder blue letters. She frowned, pressing the off button. 
     She shook her head and took another look at the ship, even though clean and neat it still looked its age with pits, scared paint as well as patches placed along the hull. It was mostly blue gray with red streaks along the flanks. After another sigh, she took a deep breath. More heated metal scents along with fresh food and rotten food mix. Another look over the tarmac, her expression harden and she started up the ramp. She felt warm standing in the sun anyway.
     When she was three steps from the top, another teen came running up to the ship. She was dressed much the same as Lucinda, in a calf length solid red skirt, and a white peasant blouse. The newcomer ran up the ramp stopping right behind Lucinda. She tapped her on the shoulder. Lucinda spun around with her eyes wide and her mouth open. Relief replaced the first look as she saw who it was. The newcomer gave a short wave then moved her right hand making a fist with her forefinger sticking straight up and her thumb pointing away from the hand. After half a second she formed a U shape with her thumb and forefinger, finally making another fist, this time her thumb curled upward almost meeting her forefinger curling down. The whole series was done almost faster then one could follow. Lucinda responded by pointing to the newcomer, then moved her right elbow out from side, close to a 90 degree angle, hand pointing downward. Starting at waist level her hand moved backward, as if brushing something behind. The last movement was a considerable motion.
     The other young woman’s mouth moved and said, "Sorrrry" as she pointed a thumb at herself immediately followed by an arcing motion above her head level with her other hand. This motion flowed into one where she placed both hands together flat then placed them on one side of her head for a second. 
    Lucinda  thought it figured she would oversleep as she pointed to the PDA on her wrist. 
     Her friend moved her hands in quick graceful dance which said Sorry Lucinda, I forgot to charge the battery.
     With a painful look on her face, Lucinda moved her hands, I almost had to meet a stranger, by myself.
     You can do it, we are expected after all.
     But I would have to talk to him.
     At that point, Lucinda glanced upward for a man in a burnt orange jumpsuit appeared in the open doorway. He glanced around then approached the two young women, saying hello as he did. The second woman, interrupted her friend by pointing his way. Lucinda stopped moving her hands and turned around. The man gave her a little wave then moved his hands in a not so smooth imitation of the hand motions the women had been using. Lucinda nodded and moved her hands in a quick movement.
     The man moved his hands in a slower movement and mouthed the words "not so fast".
     She repeated the movement slower and he nodded. After another exchange of hand motions, he turned his head slightly to the second young woman. 
     He said, "I am Ferdinand, The Star Traveler's purser and chief cook. You must be Chelsea."
     Chelsea reached out her hand for him to shake, and said, "Yes I am. Its nice that you came out to meet us."
     "That's my job, one of them anyway, to greet the passengers as they board. The Captain wanted me to apologize, for him not being here. He's busy seeing to the last minute details... I can show you to your cabin anytime you want."
     The first woman nodded and signed an ok.
     "Lucinda agrees that would be good. Oops, I mean.... I didn't need to say that, you obviously know sign language, it’s such a surprise that you do. I mean... I didn't mean to say you were ignorant..."
     She paused as Lucinda who had been watching her friend talk, touched Chelsea's arm. Once Chelsea looked at her she moved hand in a quick movement, her thumb and forefinger formed an O with the rest of her fingers pointing straight up. Her friend stopped talking, nodded and took a deep breath.
     "Umm, we would like to see our cabin."
     Ferdinand said, "This way," motioned for them to follow before turning to head back up the ramp and into the spacecraft.
     On the way Lucinda watched Chelsea say, "I'm surprised you know sign language."
     "Lucinda is not the first deaf person we have carried. We 
seemed to have a rep for taking good care of people who are hard 
of hearing or deaf. I'm the one in charge with making sure the passengers have everything they need, which includes 
communicating. I know only a few signs but I try to pick up as 
many as I can. I don't get much chance to practice with people."
     There was a pause then he continued with, "Speaking of signs, I saw her form a B. Why?"
     "Um, That is short for boring, she was telling me I was babbling again. I do that when I get nervous, or excited. Lucinda watches the mouths of people while they are talking, so she can tell when I'm babbling."
     Ferdinand nodded. A second later he stopped as a tall man with chiseled features, hard eyes, short brown hair, who looked to be just pass middle age yet still fit walked up to them. He wore a casual light brown shirt and trousers Their tour guide stopped as both of the girls' eyes widen. 
     She twisted her torso sideways, and her hands danced. Is that who I think it is?
     Chelsea signed. It looks like him.
     Lucinda again moved her hands, That couldn't be him-not here.
     You're right, he's wearing civilian clothes instead of a military outfit. 
     Lucinda nodded in agreement, that he was wearing the wrong type of clothes.
     Chelsea hands moved some more. But if it is him, I think might scream.
     Again Lucinda nodded in agreement, even though she wouldn't scream, she would feel like it.
     The purser turned to the two girls and said, "This is another one of our passengers who is going to the same place you are” A pause then, “General Steve Hackney."
     That was all he needed to say in introduction for Lucinda knew who he was.
     Chelsea let out a gasp and Lucinda, just as she had thought, felt like screaming. She thought, it really is him. I grew up hearing about him and what he did. 
     She motioned This is cool to Chelsea, but her friend was too amazed to see it.
     Lucinda thought, I've seen most of the movies about what he did and we studied about him in school. 
     I still think it’s so first star what he did. If it wasn't for him we would all be under the control of a mean dictator. When I was one, our sector of space was invaded by a large space force. The New Athenians had already conquered three other star systems, and were about to take over this whole sector. 
     Hackney was a new, very young, Major in charge of a planetary system the invaders would use as a resupply point on their way to take over us. He had a very small force, made up mostly of older attack vessels and patrol ships barely adequate for protecting the system from pirates, and guarding the large penal colonies there. From their path he knew they would head his way eventually. He figured he had five month to eight months prepare. He hand picked a fighting force, made up of criminals, civilians and his own men. In six weeks he turned them into a trained disciplined fighting force that was able to stop the larger, stronger invaders. Hackney used guerrilla tactics in space and on the ground for they had landed on one of the penal colony worlds. They thought they could use the infrastructure there. But as it turned out those who knew it better made greater use of it. The Hackneys were able to stop the advance until a larger, better armed force, from three different systems could meet the New Athenians. 
     After losing a two month war, part of the reason for that was the lose of their planned resupply points, the New Athenians retreated, going all the way back to their home system. Everyone declared him to be a hero and he was made a General.  
      "General, this is Chelsea Thompson and Lucinda Kennedy, the two passengers we were picking up here."
     Lucinda watched his mouth while he spoke so she was able to understand most of the introduction. She formed the word WOW with her mouth, as she moved her hands in a certain motion. 
     Chelsea said, "I am so glad to meet you, we hardly ever get to see any famous people out here it’s so exciting, especially a hero like you. You’re such a famous person... of course you know you're famous but we're still excited to see and meet you. To meet such a hero is soo cool I mean its first star. Its something that doesn't happen often out here."
     Lucinda was looking at the general so she didn't see her friend babbling. She was as amazed as her friend. She signed something again, but Chelsea wasn't paying attention so there was no translation. Lucinda glanced at her, seeing that Chelsea was talking too fast to be also translating she nudged her. Chelsea looked at Lucinda, her eyes widening as she realized she wasn't doing her job.
     She moved her hands in a dance and Lucinda responded with her own movements.

End segment

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