10 June, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 4:12

This is the twelfth section of the fourth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.

I'll say now I hate this section. I needed to have it happen but I don't like how it happens. I think this is the only place though that I have a character (Alice) acting against their character. I guess I can justify it my saying that I'm making the character more human by having them make mistakes, but I still hate it.

“Coming through” shouted James at the top of his voice as he charged into the bridge. People milling about the command deck leaped out of his way as best they could in the low gravity finding themselves bouncing off bulkheads and trying to slow themselves down on their ricochets.
“What’s the matter?” asked Alice
“I left you in charge we were supposed to be separated by now”
“No, in another hour”
“No, now or we’ll miss the rendezvous, check the schedule again”
“Shit” cursed Alice “That was”
“Explain later” interrupted James grabbing the main announcement microphone “All hands brace for separation”
James scrambled around for something to hold onto.“I really hate this in freefall.”
Alice grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to one of the acceleration couches on the wall “Be glad for confined spaces eh?”
“How long to separation” asked James
“Oh a few minutes I guess, takes a while for all the bits to be processed and items to be secured. Look I’m sorry about that cock up”
“No harm done, that’s why we check up on each other, this isn’t some stupid military vessel here we’re here for each other”
“Still, thanks for understanding”
James shuffled nervously in his seat, “I always hate this bit, always worried something will go wrong”
“I never realised you were such a nervous traveller, you spend your entire life flying around in an asteroid”
“An asteroid isn’t a spacecraft though with thin walls”
“Erm actually it’s exactly like that” replied Alice. “You know as well as I do what most of those habitats used the same process as this ship.”
“Look just allow a man his eccentricities eh? It’s not like there’s any spiders here to for me to be afraid of so let me be irrational about something.”
“How come I’ve never come across this before?”
“I’ve never been this far from support before”
“Okay, fine, brave commander” she said finally finishing strapping herself in.
“Look I can pretend when I need to, but there’s only you around now”
“What if I need a brave strong commander to reassure me like the men do?”
“Then you’re the wrong woman for the job”
“Thanks, that gives me hope for the future”
A short bang rattled the hull reverberating through the ship
“See” said Alice “All done, fancy going back to pretending now?”
“Let’s let them fly off shall we, there’s a few course corrections yet.”
“So you were born out in the asteroids then?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” asked James
“Not really no” relied Alice, “Sure your bone structure gives you away as having spent most your life in freefall, but you’re also quite fit.”
“Adapted well to the requirements I guess, only have the bits I need. Once you get over a few teething troubles the human body is remarkably good at adapting itself to new environments. Well optimised I like to think of it.”
“Yeah, I grew up on the Habitat though, came here in my teens. I got fed up of having nothing to do.”
“I’ve heard you mention that before, I thought there was nothing but leisure there”
“That’s what I said, nothing to do. Plenty to occupy my time, but nothing to do.”
“So why us?”
“Where else was there, I had no qualifications, I’m of no interest to the corporation, I couldn’t go back to Earth without nearly killing myself so to you I went”
“We really should start checking our CVs better”
“Or not. How would you know what to look for?”

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