Friday, October 4, 2013

My Eve Online Novel - "A Second Chance at Life"

OK, it's not actually a novel, it is about 15,000 words too short to officially be classified as a novel. At 25,000 ish words long, it is actually a 'novella' according to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (I'm nothing to do with them, that is just the reference off the Wikipedia page on word count). This all kicked off after someone posted a comment here that I should write a novel. I thought that would be too much. Then again the Vengeance and Jita Ripper series were fairly long! So after a few weeks of thinking, I thought I'd give it a go.

Hence this novella was born. An action-adventure set in the Eve-O universe. I am not going to serialise it on here, it is too big and would run nearly into 2014 if I did the normal 2,500 words a week. So I'm posting the prologue of the novella here and you can download the full novella in a PDF here from Eve Files if you'd like. I've also made a new tab at the top here to split the short stories from the longer works. "Works"? Yes, this is but the first!

Thanks to Mark726, Lexx Jonlan and Ennor Odunen for proofreading and lore checking. Also thanks to CCP Manifest and the legal team in Atlanta for sorting the copyright/intellectual property blurb at the start.



A Second Chance at Life - The Prologue 

The large black limo hovered along at speed weaving in and out of the heavy rush hour traffic. The man sitting in the back was reading the day’s news on his datapad. He was wishing they could get there faster, he wanted his morning coffee. He started to ponder why there was a rush hour on a space station in orbit some 300km above the planet below. There were no natural days and nights here; the station remained in this same orbit so always saw the same amount of sun no matter what the time. The artificial dimming and brightening of the lights made no sense to him; it wasn't day, it wasn't night. It was some technician flicking a switch. 

The skinny man opposite cleared his throat. 

"Sir. I've had a message. The intercept was successful, we have the goods, but there is a problem." he said nervously. 

The man opposite put his datapad down and looked at his lieutenant. 

"What is it?" 

"The shipment is secure but there was only one missile in the cargo ship. Capital sized, Citadel class." 

The other man looked first puzzled before looking very angry. 

"You tellin' me the State went to all that trouble, all that secrecy and all that security for one freakin' cap missile. Bullshit! Either this is some massive set up, or..." he trailed off in thought. 

"Or what sir?" 

The man ignored him. It made no sense that they would transport a lone citadel missile with all that secrecy and protection. You could buy hundreds of thousands of them on the open market in the system of Jita if you had the right license or were a capsuleer. There was a beep and he picked up his datapad, a message had arrived. It was encrypted so he had to wait a few seconds before it decoded. There were no senders addressed and it was marked urgent. 

You've hit the motherlode. It’s chaos here, the shit has really hit the fan. That missile is like nothing in existence. We've been given the specs to help us find it, after seeing the yield I know that I have to get out. I request a million credits to be dropped at the usual place. That is peanuts compared to what you can sell that thing for. However, the Navy will rip this place apart to find the leak and then they’ll rip the region apart to find that missile. I'm as good as dead if I stay here. I've made the usual arrangements in case I have an 'accident', I hope you understand, that is not a threat, simply a precaution. Make sure the cash is at the drop, I'll then give you a copy of the specs I just received. Trust me, an extra million for me won't dent in the profit you’ll make on the sale price of that thing.

Mr A Friend. 

He mulled it over. A million was a decent amount of cash, but his source in the Navy had confirmed what he'd started to suspect. That missile was not what it initially appeared to be. 

It took an hour to get to the hotel in the heavy traffic, by that time he'd arranged the million credits to be dropped by a couple of his goons. The limo door was opened for him and he stepped out. His two bodyguards stood covering his exit from the vehicle. He knew he had many, many enemies and needed to be careful. These were two of the best bodyguards in the business outside of presidential protection. They walked through the reception of the plush hotel to the posh cafe at the rear. A smarmy maĆ®tre d’ greeted him by name and took his jacket before escorting him to a private room at the back. His two bodyguards ensured he was covered at all time during this short walk. 

He took a seat in the comfy sofa and stared out of the massive window into deep space. A steaming pot of his favourite coffee was already on the table. He poured himself a cup and leaned back. This was one of the best views on the station and he paid a lot to reserve the private dining room for his morning coffee every day. Then again, as the head of the largest crime syndicate in the system, he could afford it. One of his body guards placed his hand to his ear and listened to something before discreetly whispering something into a throat mic. The boss knew his visitors were nearly here. His datapad beeped and he picked it up. His lieutenant had confirmed they'd dropped off the cash and collected the specs. He skimmed straight down to the yield and nearly spat his coffee. The contact had been right, they had got the motherlode. Every dictator and cash-rich nut-job with a cause, or a grudge, would be clamouring to get hold of this weapon. And so would the Navy. It dawned on him that they would stop at nothing to get that missile back. 

"DADDY!" 

The shrill voice made him jump. His three daughters ran into the room and jumped on him. He embraced each one laughing. His wife was in the doorway smiling. 

"Sorry, the car was late." his young wife said. 

"I'm just glad you’re all here now." he replied. "I miss you when you take the kids to see your mother." 

"You could always come with us. I know...." 

A sharp crack rang out stopping the conversation. His wife looked puzzled at the strange sound but the man's two bodyguards were already moving with weapons drawn. They knew exactly what the sound was and could even tell the make of the gun that had made it. Suddenly there was report after report; to the bodyguards it sounded like someone was emptying an entire clip. They hadn't paused from the moment they heard the first shot and within 90 seconds had bundled the family out of the hotel and were screaming into their throat mics for the armoured limos to meet them at the side entrance to the hotel. 

Before the crime boss knew what was going on he was shoved into the back of his limo with his sobbing wife and three screaming children. The limo roared onto the main street and took off at high velocity. 

“Surely”, he thought, “the Navy couldn't have found out who'd taken the missile that fast”. 

Once the limo was clear the partition between the driver and the passenger compartment rolled down. 

"You OK boss?" asked the driver looking in the rear-view mirror. 

The boss just nodded. 

"The boys just called. Apparently nothing to worry about. Some nut-job went crazy in the coffee shop and shot the place up. He was a real bad shot too, didn't hit anything but cups! Guess he didn't like the bill." He chuckled at his own joke. "They are getting the second car and will meet us back at your place." 

The screen rolled up and the crime boss started to relax a bit now that he knew he wasn't the target. However the incident had made him think that whilst he had that missile in his possession he was in more danger than he ever had been in. He needed to find a buyer and get rid of it fast.


Continued here.....

4 comments:

  1. Well, you certainly wear your Cussler influences on your shoulder. Good read though, plenty of excitement. As for a critique, it comes down to the Cussler influence - like a lot of his stories these days, there's almost no doubt that the heroes are going to come out on top. Your heroes are too heroic, as it were. Think more along the lines of your Outpost series, where you killed off a bunch of characters, and they were actually in danger of not surviving. Other than that though, was a very enjoyable read!

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  2. If you're thinking about doing this professionally (and IMO you could), get a good editor, who can help you tighten up the writing.

    Other than that, fantastic. I loved the characters, the pacing, and the fitting into the world. Also, I think it would slot neatly into an action movie, though the world references might need to be tweaked for non-EVE fans.

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