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01 April 2008 @ 02:33 pm
I am officially over 40K on the novel.

I think this calls for a snippet.

By the time she reached the flight deck, Mercy's anger had reached a low and constant simmer, just waiting for another kick of heat to boil over. So many things had sent her reeling in the past two days. So many shocks, that finally having something to focus her maelstrom of emotion on was actually a relief.

Reaper was with Ghost, the two of them inspecting Black Squadron’s Titans. She swept onto the deck, saw them, and marched over. Heads turned as they always did.

The flight deck on the Nemesis was a lot bigger than what she was used to. Bigger, less crowded, and populated with Titans as old as her own. She noted the distinct lack of uniforms among personnel, but it hardly mattered. She could identify techs by the smudged and stained overalls most of them wore, and pilots in general had a bearing she could spot from a hundred paces away. It seemed all of them stopped whatever they were doing to turn and track her progress across the hangar. She ignored it, and when she moved, people got the hell out of her way.

Well, most people.

When a familiar face suddenly filled her vision, entirely unexpected, it threw her completely. She stopped dead, staring, while her mind tried to make sense of it.

Square jaw, affable smile, messy dark hair, and bright, intelligent blue eyes that techs and pilots alike on the Typhus had always feared, to a degree. Though several among the pilots had outranked Chief Warrant Officer Ryan Doren, on his flight deck, he was quietly known as God and treated with respect accordingly. His hands were magic on any Titan, and the efficient way he ran the deck crew kept pilots alive. Everyone knew it. Even Captain Hades had afforded Ryan an obvious admiration.

Mercy couldn’t fathom why he was here. How he was here.

He grinned.

“I know, you’re shocked to see me.”

“That’s…an understatement.” To put it mildly.

“When word came you’d sent for Frank, I couldn’t let my boy come over here alone.”

She glanced around, suddenly completely disoriented. And saw Frank, over by her Titan.

“We’re out of jump space?” It was a stupid question; leaving jump space was the only possible way Ryan and Frank could be here. Damn it. How did this stuff keep escaping her notice? God, she was off her game.

“Yep. And, ah, I wanted to tell you personally.” Suddenly Chief Warrant Officer Doren was looking more sheepish than she’d ever seen him. His eyes dropped away from hers while his big shoulders bunched.

“Tell me…wait, what’s wrong?” Her first, horrible thought was that someone on the Typhus, someone she cared about, was hurt. Maybe dead. “Is Captain Hades all right?”

“Oh, yeah. He’s fine. Well, as fine as can be expected, under the circumstances. No, I, ah, wanted to tell you about me, before you heard it from someone else.”

“About you.”

“Yeah.” He rubbed at the back of his neck, and when he met her eyes again, his held an apology. It was the first time she’d ever seen that expression on his face. Usually it was what the hell did you do to your Titan? Or, get your lazy ass off my deck. “You see, I wasn’t on the Typhus without cause. I, uh, arranged the assignment right after your transfer went through.”

“Wait, no one in the navy arranges their own assignment.”

He shrugged.

“Grease the right wheels, and you can arrange anything.”

“But I don’t – why?”

“To look out for you.” When she just stared at him, a horrible realization dawning, he sighed. “Mercy, I’m one of them. A pirate.”

“Oh, God.”

“Reaper wasn’t the only one sent to find you, look out for you.”

“And what? Arrange my kidnapping?”

He took a step back, lifting his hands. 

“Okay, you’re angry.  I thought you would be.”

Angry didn’t even begin to describe what she was feeling.  Her hands fisted as she took a step toward him. 

“Who else?” she demanded, her heartbeat thundering in her ears.  “Reaper, you, Black Squadron…who else on the Typhus was a fucking spy?”

“Spy is such an ugly word.  We were more like caretakers…”

She didn’t realize she’d closed her hand around the grip of her new gun until fingers, hard and unyielding, encircled her arm.

“Mercy.”  Cool.  Collected.  Reaper.

Furious, she let go of the gun and yanked away from him.

“Get off me!”

“Lower your voice, and calm down.”

She took a breath, slow and deliberate.  If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be responsible for her actions.  And Reaper had suddenly made her aware again, of where she was, of all the eyes on them.  Of why she’d come here.  All of her anger at Ryan suddenly transferred back to her original target.  She met those pale blue eyes of his without flinching.

“Oh, I am so calm, you have no idea.”

The corner of his mouth twitched, and she thought, I swear to God Almighty, if he laughs, I really will shoot him.

“Yes,” he said dryly.  “Your screaming at me comes across as completely composed.”

“Screaming?” she asked, voice low as she leaned closer.  “If you think this is screaming, you—”

“No, Mercy.  Not verbal screaming.”  Very deliberately, Reaper tapped a finger against her temple.

Comprehension rooted her feet to the deck.  She felt her eyes widen as she went first hot, then cold.

“Wait.”   Her stomach dropped as she quickly thought through everything she’d been angry about.  “I’m…yelling at you telepathically?”

“Oh, yeah,” said Ryan, from a safe distance away. 

She flushed. Oh my God.

“Does everyone know—”  She stopped, swallowing mortification, unable to finish the sentence.

“Precisely why you’re angry with me?”  Reaper finished for her.  “I’m afraid you weren’t bothering to censure your thoughts.”

Mercy didn't embarrass easily, at least she never used to.  But being on a ship full of telepaths was playing havoc with her ego.  She closed her eyes.  Wondered if she could make the deck beneath her feet open up and swallow her.

“Now.”  Reaper’s hand closed around her arm again.  “I think it best if we take this conversation off the flight deck, at the very least.”

Yes, indeed. Events are starting to weigh on my poor MC, though she has no idea that this ain't nothin' yet.

ETA: I should also mention that this snippet will probably only really matter to those people acting as my beta readers.
Current Mood: workingworking
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on April 1st, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
She's catching on....


Poor baby!
rhienellethrhienelleth on April 1st, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. Just wait til Reaper joins the conversation. Poor Mercy, indeed.
Dragonsinger: McKenna happydragonsinger on April 1st, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
*Pops the cheap champagne* Awesome!
rhienellethrhienelleth on April 1st, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, it seems unreal. 40K is one of those mental milestones for me, where it begins to feel like a real novel.
Dragonsingerdragonsinger on April 1st, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Man, I hope I get there...20K more to go.:)
rhienellethrhienelleth on April 1st, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
I have faith. :) You can do it!
StoryDivaGirl: writingstorydivagirl on April 2nd, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
Congrats darling! Way to go! The snippet has me intrigued.
rhienellethrhienelleth on April 2nd, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank-you! - I added the second half of that short scene above, as a 'second snippet'.

As a note, Mercy is angry at Reaper over an intensely personal matter.
Elle: this lj needs and iconquiet_elle on April 2nd, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
i know nothing about this but im in love with it :D I will greatly be looking forward to reading.
rhienellethrhienelleth on April 2nd, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, perhaps I should do a sort of introduction post to people new to my f-list...

Outside of fandom I write and make jewelry (and work a really boring day job as a government contractor). I write books, and I query to agents in the hopes of being published, and hope to one day be able to quit my boring day job and only write and make jewelry.

Anyway, the current WIP is science fiction - actually, more space opera - and features telepathic space pirates. Which always sound horribly funny when I type it like that, when the book is not, really, as the conflicts are things like genocide and politics and survival.

I have a group of beta readers who read chapters as I write them and give feedback, and then a second group that reads the entire manuscript when I'm done and gives feedback. You are welcome to join either group, if you like.