John Tower-Playing To Win

Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by Dayton3, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Tower woke up three hours later. The only light in the cabin given off by the 12 by 16 screen in the center of the forward console showing the data from the sensor suite. The rain continued and Tower had some concern for his two team members on sentry duty. They were still standing with their backs against either side of the truck. They would be replaced in a couple of hours by two now resting inside one of the APCs and then take their spots in the nice, warm and dry APCs for the remaining five hours of the night. One thing nice about this world this time a year were the nights being long.

    Speaking of warm with the 8 soldiers in the enclosed space it was becoming almost hot. Even without most of them wearing their field jackets. Tower noted that the soldier on his far left had slid back the side window a couple of centimeters. Tower did the same to the one next to him. The resultant cross breeze quickly brought the cabin temp down to a very comfortable level and only allowed a few drops of rain to blow in occasionally. Tower glanced over his shoulder at the cargo area in the back. Tavor and Ahmed had each made what looked like pretty comfortable nests for themselves among the extra field jackets and other gear stowed back there. They were probably resting better than anyone else. The team was fortunate that no one in the close confines of the truck were snorers.

    Tower's tactical tricorder vibrated gently. It was Lt. Robinson in the most distant APC relaying basically a general "all clear" and status update to the lower level commanders. Tower knew the sensors in the turrets of the APCs were good but he really wished they had real time aerial support. Some drones overhead at least but command had transferred all his unmanned units elsewhere to say nothing of the actual manned units. Still Tower couldn't complain.

    Then it happened....
  2. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Tower as he was prone to do once again switched reading materials. Once again to "The History of the Earth/Romulan War":

    The destruction of the U.S.S. Balboa near the Romulan home star system marks the traditional "start" of the Earth/Romulan War but of course given the level of technology at that time the war such as it was took a long time to truly get rolling. The Romulans within a few months defeated the U.S.S. Stone Mountain by using particle beams to superheat the hull and overload its environmental systems, killing the crew. The Romulans towed the dead hulk of Stone Mountain back home and examined it in detail, in particular the warp drive which they began to quickly reverse engineer. Before that could be completed a Starfleet task force comprised of the Constitution, Intrepid and Grissom entered the same area. The three ships were set upon by nearly 100 small Romulan ships which surprised the sophisticated starships with their numbers and sheer ferocity.

    Constitution and Intrepid were crippled and self destructed with the loss of all hands. Grissom launched at least 16 shuttles crammed with survivors before its own self destruct systems activated. Unfortunately the Romulans destroyed all but five of these shuttles. The 63 Starfleet crewman aboard the shuttles were taken captive and harshly interrogated. The intelligence gleaned by the Romulans from their human captives combined with their possession of the Stone Mountain enabled the Romulans to quickly begin building warp drives similar to those of the Earth ships which they learned worked well with their fusion powerplants. Though the Romulan ships were limited to just over Warp 3 due to the less powerful fusion engine cores compared to the antimatter used by the Earth ships, these early warp drives served the Romulans well.

    Capturing the crewman from the Grissom also had a profound psychological impact on the Romulans. Learning just how close humans resembled them physically, the Romulans became obsessed with the fear that humans would be able to successfully infiltrate their worlds undetected. Romulan paranoia always at a high level escalated dramatically. Because of Romulan fears of human infiltration they became obsessed with allowing Earth to even know what their true appearance was. To this end not only were Romulan ships equipped with redundant self destruct systems, but Romulan crewman aboard them also wore sophisticated devices capable of incinerating their bodies if they did not die with their ships. The Romulan planning worked well. Despite more than 4,000 Romulan ships destroyed during the war with at least 250,000 Romulans aboard them killed as far as is known the Earth/Federation never recovered an intact corpse of a Romulan.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  3. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Interestingly enough, when transferred to a word document, my story here is about 55 pages long. about one sixth of the way to a short novel. or one eighth the way to a medium length one.
  4. Stallion

    Stallion Team Euro!

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    Honest question, what do you think the length would be if a professional editor (not a bunch of wordforgers) had a go at it?
  5. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Honestly, I've never thought of that. You think a professional editor would trim it down a lot?
  6. Stallion

    Stallion Team Euro!

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    I would think @garamet or someone else with experience of the industry would be best placed to answer that.
  7. Paladin

    Paladin Gunner Joe

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    In his book On Writing, Stephen King said a guideline he lives by is: Second Draft = First Draft - 10%

    It's probably a good rule, as your text reads better the more efficiently it communicates your ideas. Cut out anything superfluous, be succinct. Or, as Mark Twain wrote: eschew surplussage. :diacanu:

    Here's the quote from King's book:
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  8. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Sounds like good advice but given who it comes from it begs the question: Why do the endings of so many of Stephen Kings works suck so badly? It's almost as if the 10% he cut was entirely from the end of the stories.

    At any rate what I've written thus far is not really supposed to be a coherent story. It is more of experimentation with different characters, settings, and plots.
  9. K.

    K. Sober

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    Thomas Mann famously said about his favourite editor, 'they have cut a quarter out of my book, sometimes a third, sometimes more -- no-one misses it -- I don't miss it -- who knows what I ever said there.'

    In my own experience, practically any aesthetic text can be made better by condensation. But even with factual and scientific texts, where you sometimes have to expand on explanations to improve legibility, the best question to ask over and over again, for every sentence, for every word, is still: Why is this needed? Why is this needed? And can my readers tell?
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  10. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    From "A History of the Wars with the Borg" by Jake Sisko:

    "April 4th, 2433 is celebrated across the galaxy as the day the massive combined fleet appeared in the skies of the Borg homeworld and Fleet Admiral Tower's brilliant counterattacks caused the Borg to hastily recall their forces from all four quadrants to defend their endangered home.

    It wasn't that easy of course and years of hard fighting were still ahead, but it marked the beginning of the end for the Borg Conflict."
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  11. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Borg showing an unusual interest in a single human.
  12. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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  13. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Tower dragged himself slowly down the hallway toward his room. He had just finished helping one of his team members to his door. The transport had dropped him and three of his teammates at the dorm entrance after they completed a 200 hour survival training mission. During those hours the team had only each managed a handful of hours sleep and eaten only sporadically. The infrequent meals had not provided enough calories to power his endoskeleton which meant he was basically dragging 10 kilos of dead weight internally.

    Tower staggered through the door and collapsed on the couch. "Ah back so soon!" his roommate Alidar said with way too much cheerfulness from the next room. "You look like hell!"

    "I feel like hell so its a matched set", Tower responded with massive heaviness in his voice.

    "Well, I'm on the way out until late. If you're interested there's some chicken sandwiches in the kitchen."

    "Grilled or fried?" said Tower as he perked up with interest. "A few of both." replied Alidar as he finished adjusting his uniform.

    Tower got up and ventured in to the small kitchen area though it was really no more than a table, two chairs, sink, refrigerator, and portable reheater. There were indeed more than a dozen chicken sandwiches on a large tray. "I'll need something cold to go with it" thought Tower as he opened the fridge. He looked, did a double take and looked a lot harder. Left, right, up, down, finally he yelled at Alidar who hadn't made it out the door yet.

    "What happened to the beer!" he called to him.

    "Tavon and a couple of his buddies came by last night. They couldn't get evening passes and wanted to get a buzz going"

    "No one can get a buzz on 3.2 beer. Especially not Rigellians." Tower objected with rising annoyance.

    "Hey, I thought you were the only one who liked that chilled piss water." Alidar said defensively. "Who knew that Rigies would drink it too? Anyway I've got to drop by the commissary on my way. I'll pick up a new case my treat. No problem."

    "No kidding" Tower said slightly mollified in the direction of the closing door.

    With that more or less resolved Tower turned his attention back to the refrigerator. He didn't like to drink milk with sandwiches but he spied nearly a liter of lemonade and poured a glass, downing one quickly before pouring another. "Not bad" Tower said to himself. The lemonade was probably stronger than the 3.2 beer anyway.
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  14. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Tower turned the page in the biography of a noted 21st century American president

    …President Kitchens became noted in part for establishing literally a new type of international diplomacy. In addition to the various types of diplomacy such as "gunboat diplomacy", "shuttle diplomacy", "dollar diplomacy" and "Tomahawk diplomacy", Kitchens would add "starship diplomacy". Though there was no such thing as a real life starship during Dayton Kitchens lifetime nor would there be until the 22nd century, he preferred the term "starship" to simply "spaceship" and said that "starship" was also an aspirational term.

    After the positive response to the U.S. including a European Space Agency crewmember aboard the first Mars landing mission in 2033 (three full years prior to his election as president), Kitchens realized the possibility of using foreign participation on high profile American manned space missions as a tool he could use diplomatically. He also realized that including foreign astronauts (for a price to their native countries) aboard U.S. led manned space missions also had the effect of generating domestic support for funding the missions in the first place and made their cancellation when he left office much more difficult.

    The culmination of starship diplomacy were the 12 man crewed missions to Jupiter (Callisto landing) and Saturn (Titan landing) in the early 2050s. Both of these missions reserved one third of the crew slots (4) for foreign astronauts. The 16 man crewed missions to Uranus (Titania landing) and Neptune (Triton landing) reserved 6 crew slots each for foreign astronauts. Given the length of these missions (5 years for Jupiter, 7 & 8 for Uranus and Neptune) it also had the effect of binding various nations diplomatically to the U.S. for prolonged periods. Per Kitchens planning, the U.S. had no problems featuring the foreign astronauts in very prominent roles including being among the first to set foot on various newly explored moons and in the cases of Mercury and Venus, planets. Most of these foreign astronauts became national heroes in their own countries and major advocates for cooperation with the United States in the future.
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  15. El Chup

    El Chup Fuck Trump Git

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    Would pro-foreign co-operation fan President Kitchens be the same Dayton Kitchens who has been robustly defending noted 21st Century American President Trump for working to destroy relations with Europe and other western nations? :chris:
  16. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I don't think a discussion related to current events and the current president is really warranted outside the Red Room. Suffice it to say that what President Kitchens in 2037-2045 deems appropriate policy isn't necessarily appropriate in 2018.

    Though maybe it is. If the current president called for international participation in new manned space exploration I wouldn't complain.
  17. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    Seeing as Captain Tower is very obviously an expy of Dayton, having "President Kitchens" exist within the same fictional universe surely causes some kind of continuity snarl-up?
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  18. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Yeah. Kind of like you don't see any evidence of Star Trek in those Trek episodes taking place in the late 1960s or anytime since then. But the hell with it. Let Temporal Investigations figure it out.