Ceres, part 10. End.

And here we all are: 5300 words older. I had one reader ask if it could continue; that’s a two part answer. One, of course: on their way back to Earth I’ve seen where Minerva invades one of Les’ dreams and later where, embarrassed, she asks for him to “feed” her (just attaching her TPN bag, but she’s self-conscious about it). Two, in the broader sense of the word, I could see my next short story collection having one for each son mentioned in “Obligations of Rank.”

While, as I mentioned last time, I am making way into my next short, I’d like to try to make another podcast tomorrow but do not have any subject ideas right now? Anyone?

Otherwise, thanks for reading and I hope y’all enjoyed it. Cheers!

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Ceres, part 9

Following on Laszlo’s idea, the “PR stunt,” our two explorers step carefully out onto the dwarf planet. After Les alleviates a point of concern for him.

The next entry, part 10, shall be the conclusion of this story. I am pleased to know Minerva a little better as she, per se, had only a few lines toward the end of “Obligations of Rank.” And even Les seems to be starting to heal from his emotional damage of coming to terms with and rejecting his past deviant behavior.

Yesterday I began my next short, “Tillamook.” For a moment I considered a working title of “Mac & Cheese” (the main character’s wife is named Mackenzie and Tillamook is famous for its cheese) but that was too trite even for me. Look for that to debut early next week.

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Ceres, part 8

Yes, I actually did basic research about taking a dump in free fall. We’ve not yet solved that issue so given that the Polar Alliance is only just now returning to space, I’m guessing no further development went on during the Breakup/Change. I’d clench and wait for acceleration, too.

In loo of that (swidt), since I cannot assume everyone reading this serialized short story has read the American Imperium trilogy or “Obligations of Rank” – but you will – we get a little background about Laszlo’s family, mentioned only in bits and pieces up until now.

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Ceres, part 7

Wherein we finally hear them name their destination. A little back-and-forth between Les and Min (swidt) tells the read the why of this mission. And we get a tiny lesson in Roman mythology.

I find the mental image of the non-existent Mission Control to be hilarious.

In other news, now that I’ve stuck a fork in this story, I took copious notes today about my next. Not even tentative title yet, but I am trying to not only tie up one loose thread, but tie it to the rest of my tapestry of Machine Civilization. That is, [SPOILERS] at the end of “Foes & Rivals,” Nicole 5 pushes her two friends together and runs away. These friends become a couple and settle around Tillamook, former Oregon. That’s the first thread. The second is just over twenty years later when, out on his little commercial fishing boat, Gil Haven gets pointedly invited aboard a Guided Missile Destroyer of the Russian Empire, who are systematically taking one region after another (Alaska, British Columbia, and looking at the Kingdom of Columbia) into their hegemony.

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Ceres, part 6

Never send a woman to do a man’s job. And never send a demi-human to do a Machine’s job.

I appreciate in the middle of this little addition we see again that, once again, these two keep talking right past one another as their backgrounds are so different.

Turns out my guess in the previous post of a total length was a bit too short; imagine that. While I did have two more scenes in mind, where I decided to stick a fork in “Ceres,” for emotional impact, was just over 5300 words. Those other two scenes? No one says I cannot write another story about these two…

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Ceres, part 5

A spaceship, especially one using new technology, is going to have problems, and they just ran into one. Literally.

I have been pleased to stay several days ahead of these releases and in fact I think I am within striking distance of the end. All in all, I think this will be about 4800-5000 words. Unless, of course, I’m told to keep going. I hope not, at least in the short term, as I’ve a few other ideas to share with everyone.

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Ceres, part 4

With the brief exposition of some things about Minerva, the plot shows up again, and the android does her best to get a-hold of things before the come to a head.

God, I’m awful.

Anyway, it is obvious that Minerva is fond of Laszlo Hartmann as he played such a role in her becoming an independent entity. My mental model for this are those animals who hatch or are born and “imprint” on the first living thing they see, loving it unconditionally. The dual problems here are one, Les has been a practicing homosexual for the past six years, at least, and is not attracted to young women; two, even if he were, his mother the empress would not allow her Crown Prince eldest son to marry an android.

Now, technically, I don’t know something yet. We know her skin is organic and she speaks to “other modules,” but I simply do not believe that the tech has reached the level of a mobile womb. So to be honest, I don’t know where this will go for them.

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Ceres, part 3

About the only way I write exposition is to have one character explain something to another. To have a character think or talk about what has happened or what might be coming next is just a cheap way for a writer to tell the story. If something is really complicated, then, yes, I’ll have to fall back upon that trope, but I try to avoid it.

To wit, below the fold, we learn a little more about Somi Corporation’s Model 12 androids; they are sort of reverse-cyborgs. Like the Terminators (from movies one and two, back when I went to see movies; a lifetime ago) Model 12’s are fundamentally machines but with biologic additions. A writer could have a lot of fun exploring that…

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Ceres, part 2

While Minerva is off tending to those biologic parts of herself, and yes, I’ll get to that later, Laszlo reflects upon how they arrived were they are. As this is nothing more than a quick but total summary of Part III of “Obligations of Rank,” double-plus spoiler warning.

Personally, I seem to have contracted what is becoming my annual February bad cold. My wife came back from Galveston around 0100 Monday, so it is likely that the recirculating air on the plane carried something onto her which she was kind enough to pass onto me. Growing up, I was a sickly kid but grew out of it around puberty. Now 55.5, and drinking too much (hey, gotta keep these stories coming for y’all!), perhaps those days are returning. I hope not.

So, enjoy the flashback below the fold. More coming soon!

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Ceres, part 1

I got caught up in research about crab boats vs. fishing trawlers for the Tillamook story, so this next short is what I started writing first. This is about Crown Prince Laszlo Hartmann of Faustina’s imperium not quite alone on high-speed space ship. Not quite alone? The android Minerva is with him. Ordered by his mother, the Empress, their first scouting mission is to the asteroid belt, to assess not only mining possibilities but also colonization.

Because this takes place seven weeks after then conclusion of “Obligations of Rank,” spoilers are unavoidable. Unless you think it will be some months before you get around to reading that book – and you will – and might have forgotten this, go listen to one of my podcasts or something if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Again borrowing an idea from another writer, in this case Michael Chricton, I’m taking two very, very different people, packing them into a sardine can, and sending them somewhere they cannot escape from.

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