It seems like it’s been an eternity, and, in some ways I suppose it has. This blog was originally intended to track the progress on my Wyrmweaver novel series. Admittedly, I’ve been a bit off track with writing for awhile and focused on art instead. While this hasn’t been a bad thing, I’ve often felt guilty as book two of my series lay partially complete and virtually untouched for so long.
Well, good news for those who may have been hanging on for the next part of the story. I’m back to work on the novel and determined to finish it this time around. Of course, I still have a couple of freelance art things to tie up but I’ve set the goal to finish the draft for this novel by the end of the year. Thankfully, it’s already over a third of the way finished. 🙂
As a little bonus, here’s a sample scene from the chapter I’m working on. Those familiar with the story already know of the sky cruiser CAS Adamant. This ship plays a vital role in the story and book two begins to let us see a bit of the inner workings of these powerful floating combat vessels. Enjoy.
Lieutenant Vasser switched off the comm and settled back into his reclined chair in the Plot Room, sometimes called “solitary” by the crew. Vasser was the only one stationed here, deep below the CoC in the armored bowels of the ship, and that’s exactly how he liked it.
Completely surrounding him was a wavering, spherical holomagic display of the Adamant’s surroundings, seen as though the ship itself were invisible. Overlaid on this display was a dizzying dance of icons and informational panels. The displays were superfluous for the most part, since Vasser could sense nearly anything about the Adamant or its surroundings via his mental link to the ship’s systems, almost as if her eyes and ears were his own.
In days past, navimancers were necessary to pilot skycruisers, since the early helms required direct mental control by a channeler to function. Since the invention of sympathetic helm controls, it was no longer necessary to commit valuable channelers to steering the ship, freeing them for more important duties.
Still, there were certain tasks that could only be achieved through this kind of human/machine link. The ability to spontaneously adjust the complex schema of the ship’s hull was one such task, and a vital part of creating gateways.
Few civilian ships had need of a dedicated navimancer, as they generally stuck to well charted travel routes. Military vessels, on the other hand, needed the ability to gate nearly anywhere, often with little notice, and skilled navimancers were necessary to delve target locations and calculate the complex plots to arrive safely at the destination.
Vasser was certainly one of the best, despite being only twenty-five cycles old. Still, he’d had to fight hard to be here, bypassing several more experienced applicants to get posted to this ship. Adamant was one of the newest and most powerful battlecruisers in the fleet and Vasser had been determined to sit in this chair. Captain Geoffrey Halvere might command the Adamant, and Vasser unquestionably respected that. But everyone knew the truth — this ship was his.
Vasser focused his mind to the Etherum, reaching out for the unique signature of the Galas navigational beacon. As expected, it was mired in a violent storm of etheric turbulence, a side-effect of the powerful magical weapons being employed in the battle. Pushing through the noise, he focused on the beacon, noting the distance, direction and local etheric density.
The last part was the hardest, as the constant fluctuations made pinning down a hard value nearly impossible. This was why simple fixed navigation charts did not work with gateways. There were too many variables and human intuition was often a key factor in a proper plot.
Trusting that intuition now, Vasser tapped away at the keypad to his right, working out the complex array of runic symbols that would be plugged into Adamant’s open gateway matrix to complete the schema needed to form the gateway to Galas.
Satisfied that he’d gotten an acceptable reading, Vasser pulled his mind back to the relative calm of Adamant’s present location. With a final flurry of taps, he finished computing the plot, then activated the ships comm system.
“Engine room, go ahead.”
“Course plot complete. Please adjust output to nine-seven kD.”
“Copy nine-seven kD. Ready when you are.”
Vasser switched to the ship wide channel. “Gateway plot completed,” his voice echoed through the corridors. “Stand by for inter-spatial transit.”
Vasser now turned his attention to the ships hull matrices, the complex array of schema that managed the ship’s levitation, barriers, and control systems. Specifically, he tuned in on the gateway sub-matrix.
Intertwined with the massive, multi-layered, levitation matrix, the gateway schema was only partial inscribed on the hull. All of the primary runes required to construct the gateway were present, but the final pieces, those that Vasser had just calculated, would be manually added by him just before engineering shunted power to the schema. This would complete the circuit, and, if all went well, construct a stable gateway to the destination.
With one final look over the plot on his display, he again activated the comm.
“Bridge, Navigation. Plot complete, ready to initiate gateway on your order.”
“Stand by, Nav,” came the captain’s response.
Vasser settled in to wait, listening to the Adamant’s sensor grid. To the north, the relaxing harmonics of the Lanley/Kustov ley line echoed like music over the seemingly endless grassy hills. Very soon, he would, once again, gate the ship into combat, and the terrible grating noise of battle. For now, he reveled in the peacefulness of this place, wishing that he could somehow bag it up and take it with him.
“Does it hurt?” crackle the EComm. It was Rena.
Vasser turned his head and glanced at the CAS Nadjanna, floating a few hundred mets to starboard.
“Does what hurt?” he inquired.
“I have never been in combat,” she said, “Does it hurt when the ship is damaged?”
“A little. You must not allow yourself to focus too heavily on the hull matrices. Only enough to help the damage control teams find breaches.”
“Don’t be,” Vasser tried to send a sense of reassurance through the EComm link. “Always remember that you are not the ship, no matter how much it may feel like it. You will be fine.”
“Ok. Thank you.”
Vasser settled back in his chair and listened to the gentle song of the ley line. He stared up at the blue sky, soon to be replaced by the roiling black of an etheric storm. His hands clutched the armrests tightly, trying to control the sudden trembling. In a barely audible whisper, he muttered to himself, over and over.
“You are not the ship. You are not the ship.”