I'm writing my new novel.
You: You are always writing a new novel, Ehjay, when are you actually going to finish one?
Me: Shut up.
Anyway, I'm really excited about this one. It's based on a dream I had, and I like the idea that it explores a lot of themes large and small. At least I hope it will. So I'm gonna include a preview of it here, and if you like it, let me know. Also let me know what may/may not be wrong with it. PRETTY PLEASE WITH CHERRY ON TOP. Yes, on top.
It’s a giant desert on the surface - temperatures nearly impossible to survive in during the daytime, nearly frozen at night. The binary stars are in the same orbit, and were they any closer nothing could survive at all. But just under the surface lie hundreds of miles of caves, their temperature regulated by a large network of mirrors and solar powered skylights. Two million people live in these caves, developing technologies to help them survive the horrific climate.
This network of mirrors lights up the interior nearly as well as the natural suns above do. The caves have an abundant supply of water and the skylights allow for greenhouses to produce the plant life that otherwise would not have existed. Were it not for these, the ten thousand survivors of a shipwreck two thousand years prior would never have made it to this point - peace negotiations with a benevolent neighbour.
The ship sits in orbit over the planet, the flagship of the Terran-Boral Confederacy. Its captain was under strict orders not to bring any Boralians aboard the ship, so as not to disturb the delicate negotiations. James Markwick’s first mission with his new ship led him to this planet. His wife Jenna, who was the ship’s half-Boralian second officer, was more excited about this mission than he was.
But something had gone horribly awry. He sat on the bridge of his ship, head in his hands, trying to sort out why the President of Mirella was in his infirmary near death from hemlock poisoning, and how he could extract Jenna from the hands of the recalcitrant and angry Mirellans. It had started out so well, so full of hope and promise.
The ship’s doctor, Ian Kensington knocked on the open door and entered. “Elle‘s down there,” he told Markwick.
“How is she?”
“It’s hard to say. You know how she is, intractable anyway.” Kensington frowned.
“What’s the latest on President Rostova?”
“He’s still in a very deep coma. I think we’ve stabilized him for now, and I don’t think he’ll die, but it will be a long time before he even regains consciousness.”
“That’s great news.”
“Well, let me qualify that. I’m not even sure he WILL regain consciousness, and if he does, I can’t guarantee the quality. Any luck on finding the perpetrator?”
“None. And they had to come from here. But the Mirellans think Jenna did it.”
“Have you spoken to her at all?”
“No,” James looked at his friend sadly. “I would give anything to have her back.” He stood up, straightening his uniform. “Let’s go talk to her.”
She sat in the infirmary next to the immobilized body of her uncle. Jonathan Rostova had been her only family since the death of her mother eight years earlier, and she would not desert him now. They had been through so much together, and had only been recently reunited. Someone entered, and she turned her neck to see Jake. He smiled, and she waved him to a chair.
“You called me, Elle?”
“Yeah, I did. I could use some company.”
“I’m not sure how much company I can be,” he replied.
“I just want you to listen,” she said. “You’re a storyteller, and someone has to tell this one.”
“Usually I write my own,” he said, unconvinced.
“Ideas start somewhere,” Elle replied.
“True. So what are you going to talk about?”
She stood up and walked to the window. Looking out over the planet’s surface, a never ending tan streak across its surface, she replied simply, “home.”