Here’s an opportunity for you to choose between two scene endings for the new military SciFi Space Battle- MILK RUN! You can indicate your choice via the comment section of this post.
Just to review, MILK RUN is a military SciFi novel about a young captain fresh out of space command school on his first mission as captain of the USS Princeton, an old destroyer class spacecraft. But what our hero thought would be an easy first mission turns out to be a test of his ability to lead a crew and ship much older than him against an enemy that is using his own fiancée to destroy him, his ship and his mission. Can our young captain complete his mission and save his fiancée too?
My writing process for creating new content (or major rewrites) starts off with “beats,” which are short numbered sentences or paragraphs that show/describe what is happening in the story. If I like it, then I grow, refine, then weave those beats together to become a full narrative complete with dialog and action.
In this alternate version of Scene -17, “Standoff,” the story goes in a different direction where the USS Princeton is under attack from the Telrachnid gunship. It feels like the USS Princeton is being cut up to pieces and Captain Toby Louis has ordered the ship to cease fire hoping his ex-fiancé, Smriti, in the gunship will convince the Telrachnids to also cease fire. But (second in command) Commander John Emerson wants to continue the fight and countermands Toby’s command then orders the security guards to remove Toby from the bridge. Toby and the commander go back and forth at each other trying to get the crew to follow their lead. Meanwhile, the USS Princeton continues to disintegrate.
The new beats pickup after the following paragraphs in the original Scene-17. Click here to see the entire version 1 original scene.
- “Second and third level decks now compromised and exposed to space. Deck isolation bulkheads closed and holding,” announces the ship’s deep voice.
- “Chief, we don’t have time, make a decision!” warns Toby.
Alternate story line beats begin here as follows:
- An explosion rocks the ship pushing Toby to the side
- In the smoke-filled bridge flying debris strikes Chief Stockton down
- Stockton’s head hits the floor hard. He’s knocked out blood gushing from his head. He’s unable to ‘make a decision.’
- Seizing the opportunity, Emerson again orders the bridge security team to remove Toby from the bridge
- More hits on the Princeton push the ship again and again. The ship’s stabilizing thrusters begin to compensate.
- The ship wobbles back and forth wildly as the thrusters overcompensate then try to correct back.
- A loud metallic ripping sound is heard each time the ship rocks into then out from the Telrachnid gunship’s constant stream of cannon fire.
- The rhythmic pounding gets louder with each swing of the ship
- Toby sees fear growing in the bridge crew’s eyes as Emerson yells over and over again to have him removed or he will surely cause the USS Princeton’s final demise
- The security guards finally move to remove Toby as others rush to aid an unconscious and bleeding Chief Stockton
- At first Toby resists the guards but decides to acquiesce. But he continues to warn the bridge crew cease to fire so that the Telrachnid gunship will also cease fire
- Emerson counters Toby’s suggestion saying, “that will surely get us killed.”
- Emerson then orders the ship to change course away from the Telrachnid’s stream of cannon fire.
- The bridge security guards escort Toby off the bridge then through the tight and narrow metal ship corridor as the ship’s 5-foot-thick magnetized double armor hull continues to take a beating from the gunship
- With each bang Toby, held by the security guards, passes another crew person rushing off somewhere while also avoiding being struck by flying debris.
- Toby makes eye contact with each passing crewperson. There’s fear in their eyes that seem to ask what is going on? Their eyes also bring a shameful feeling in Toby.
- They finally reach the ship’s security area. Inside is the brig; a very small room with iron bars that suddenly swing open.
- The security guards close the bar doors behind Toby with a loud metallic thud that sounds just like another hit on the Princeton’s hull.
- As the guards lock the jail bars, the pounding on the Princeton’s hull stops.
- Now, there’s nothing but silence accented with the occasional crackle from the outer brig room and the acidic smell of molten magnetic hull armor plating somewhere.
– Scene Ends –
Click here to read the original version 1 of this scene.
OK, Let me know your thoughts. You can indicate your choice via the comment section of this post. Which one do you favor: this alternate version 2 or the original version 1? If you think this version 2 scene ending rewrite is better, then I will do the rest.
Don’t forget that you can signup (click here) to be a MILK RUN beta reader and influence the story’s progress and actions.