|I figured that I should put something festive up here, since I've had the dark and sinister Dream of Reunion up for two years. What better image than a T.rex with a Santa hat?|
|One of the things that always irks me is when I notice that someone added one of my images to their favorites in the last two minutes and then see that they've added a dozen other images since then. It kind of deflates the value of a +fav. To avoid that, I make it a point to only add one picture every now and then. Not once a month, like I used to, but rarely-enough that the act has meaning.|
So... it’s been nearly a year since I finished writing DeSotan Layover, and I’m getting antsy with all of the editing. I’m on the fourth draft. By now, I’ve got all the major kinks worked out, but there’ll always be things needing tweaking.
Writing’s a muscle that needs exercise, and I’ve done little of that lately. And, to be frank, November’s too long for me to wait for an excuse. So... I hereby declare May to be MyNoWriMo. Before I get started, though, I need to know what I’m writing. And I have a few ideas, both concerning the same characters.
On the 910CMX forums, I brought back my original characters from before the time of the Bearhead and Lord Tymor and Vikki. Back then, it was Dan and Vicky... who was one character, who was two, who was very confusing. Mary-Sues though they were, I didn’t use them enough to get anyone’s choler up, and I think that only one or two people actually remember them. So, there’s that. I brought them back for the final LBM there, having them sail away exactly the way they arrived: on a flying sailboat, straight out of Peter Pan. Kind of. Sort of. Vaguely inspired by. Was my love of airships really inspired by Peter Pan? I never really liked that movie, ironically.
Anyway. I realized that I could continue the story and write about where they sail to next. Obviously, I’d have to make a few changes along the way. Probably not a good idea to name your protagonist after yourself. So, Dan Pertierra became The Don, who became Victor “The Don” Perez, and a number of other things were changed. The backstory was reworked to explain how they can afford to go sailing around the multiverse, and it also fleshed out the setting. And so, Sailing the Spheres was born.
I came up with 3 stories for the characters to go through. Of them, one has to happen last, but the first two can happen in any order. My intention for these stories is to make them episodic, with knowledge of the other stories not being essential. I can write and you can read them in any order, or skip one altogether, and it won’t hurt your enjoyment.
That’s where you come in. All two-and-a-half of you paying attention to my account. Fio? I rarely see you anymore, so you’re the and-a-half, sad to say. Below is the general premise of the setting, followed by a blurb explaining the plots of the two stories. In the comments section, choose which one sounds more appealing to you. At the end of the month, I’ll tally up the votes and start writing the winning story.
Or, if none of them appeal to you, let me know why. I like to imagine that I've grown a thick skin over the years.
SAILING THE SPHERES
Beyond the world we know, there exist the Spheres. Colossal balls of crystal that contain entire worlds, the Spheres spin in the heavens and separate the human colonies of old. The secrets of traveling between the Spheres had been lost for thousands of years and life, bizarre and familiar, developed in isolation amongst the Spheres. They are worlds apart both in fact and metaphor.
Now, the scattered peoples have relearned the star-traveling ways and have constructed ships capable of traveling through holes in the Spheres. Contact between the civilizations has resumed, and a great cultural exchange has begun. It’s a time of adventure and excitement, and untold thousands travel between the Spheres every day to reconnect humanity.
Victor “The Don” Perez is a travel journalist for the Vega II Sphere Tourism Company. His ship, the Golden Dream, carries him from Sphere to Sphere. The connections have already been made and travel is commonplace, but someone still needs to write the reviews to entice the common people to take a cruise to a semi-literal new world, and he’s just the man to do it. Or, rather, they are: the Don shares his body with another person, who sometimes takes over when the circumstances are right. Vicky is a hitchhiker to the stars, and she’s in it for the fun and sights where the Don’s in it for the business.
Though the connections between worlds have been made, it’s not a safe job. There’s no central government, and the dangers of the Spheres come from hostile environments, alien monstrosities, the paranormal, and men with hearts for malice. For the sake of business and pleasure, every day is an adventure for the Don and Vicky, and life is never quiet for them. They’ve survived many harrowing experiences. These are their tales.
“Any Port in a Storm”
Melville’s Mooring is a port city in the middle of an asteroid archipelago. All manner of astral fish swim through the sky, and the fishermen who call the archipelago home have spent generations reaping the fertile space, taking in huge catches that can feed millions.
But this comes at a price: the currents in the region can be unpredictable, and violent squalls sometimes smash unlucky ships to splinters against the rocks. And every few decades, a powerful storm rips through the region. Called the Widow’s Screams, the hurricanes have claimed thousands of lives and wiped out whole towns in the archipelago. Fishermen have claimed that they’ve seen the ghosts of the dead in the astral winds. Legend states that a ghost drives the storm, and that she’ll continue to assault the archipelago until either the end of time, or she can be lain to rest.
The Don puts in at Melville’s Mooring, deep within the asteroid, to escape the storms picking up. And, in learning about the Widow’s Screams, he finds out that the next one is overdue. The residents all hunker down for the biggest hurricane of them all.
He tries to make the best of his confinement, taking in the sights and distractions of Melville’s Mooring, but the Widow’s Scream cracks open the asteroid and fills it with the ghosts of all she’s claimed over the centuries. Wind and rocks and phantoms assail the survivors, and they can’t put it off any longer: the widow must be appeased before they all die. It’s just a question of whether they’ll live long-enough to succeed.
“The Moons of Tycho”
Tycho has five moons. Whenever they come into alignment with the sun, the citizens celebrate. There have been two- and three-moon conjunctions, and ancient accounts speak of a four-moon conjunction. But, in all of recorded history, Tycho has never had a five-moon conjunction. Only in legend can the alignment be found. Today, that changes: the alignment will happen for real, and legend will become fact.
Yet the legends also speak of a sixth moon that only appears during the five-moon conjunction, and that it serves as the prison for a being from before time began. On the night of the conjunction, it can finally be released by anyone daring or foolish-enough to try. Only death awaits the world once this being, a dark god of chaos, is released.
Coming for the festival, the Don stays for the bloodshed. The Cult of the Sixth Moon, long in waiting, takes the world by surprise and enacts an ancient ritual that will crack open the god’s prison. The Sphere is locked and its residents trapped. With the world in disarray, the only way for Don to save himself (and, coincidentally, the entire Sphere) is through the maniacal clergy of the evil god and a long road filled with murder, destruction, and black magic.