A short descriptive excerpt from the sci-fi book I am working on...
|This was written based on a scene I intend to write into my book, but as it stands, this version is no more than a stand-alone practice piece for me to get myself away from the notes and into the feel of actually writing...
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It's peaceful, standing here looking out into the distance. There's something about the simplicity of a bare horizon in the new light of morning that somehow allows you to lose track of time and just... stare.
It's beautiful, too. The glimmering surface of the ocean sparkling as far as the eye can see, each wave clamouring for your attention as it dances away amidst a million others. Each one lost in the anonymity of sameness and then gone, only to be replaced be the next. Endlessly.
Even the repetitive lapping of water against the hull below me can be mistaken for a song, a great hushed chorus of whispers in some ancient unknown language. It would be different if the engines were running of course. Out here they'd drown out all other noise quite effectively, but for now they were idle and I imagine that I can even hear the strained cry of those gull s a mile off, circling over a school of fish that are too close to the surface. I watch them for a few minutes until the sun, rising slowly above the horizon and reflecting from a billion edges of moving water, starts to hurt my eyes.
Leaning forward a little I look down at my feet, dangling over the edge of the ramp a handful of metres above the ocean. I wiggle my toes, stretching them in the crisp morning air and watch the dark surface rise up and drop away as the ship rides the waves. How far to the bottom was it again? I had been told last night before I slept, but the number was a little hazy now. 10? 20 kilometres straight down? It didn't bear thinking about.
^It was 22 kilometres last night. We've probably drifted since then though, so your guess is as good as mine now,^ my brother reminds me. I smile at that. I'm usually the one to remember useless details like that, after all. I guess I've been distracted recently, but a lot has happened in the past few weeks for me to get my head around. The specific depth of the ocean is hardly one of the important things to worry about right now...
"Captain says you got to come in now." A tired voice announces from behind me. "It's time."
Sighing, I swing my legs up and around, dangerously close to overbalancing and tipping over the edge as I miscalculate the motion of the vessel beneath me. My arm jerks and my heart threatens to climb out of my throat and leave me for a more responsible host, but then a hand flashes out, and saves me from the ice-cold soaking embarrassment I was so close to. I allow myself to be helped up before leaving the incredible view behind me and going back inside.
"Thanks for that. I feel like an idiot for nearly going in, so... thanks." I grin awkwardly and she smiles back, eyes twinkling mischievously as she seems to contemplate telling the others how I nearly drowned myself.
"Well let's just say we're even now, kay?" She decides, then laughing to herself prances off to make herself busy somewhere else. Typical.
Shaking my head, I hit the controls to retract the ramp and seal off the airlock. She'd better not tell anyone. We've only just come aboard. I don't want that to turn into some stupid nickname this early! I check the doors are locked off and head in across the cargo bay. It could be worse though. If I'd gone in, that is. I spring up the steps and make my way towards the bridge as the rumble signalling the engine startup has begun sends vibrations through me feet. The vibrations ease off quickly though, and are almost unnoticeable by the time I reach the top deck. I like this bit and don't want to miss the best view this time, so hurry forward. At least it's not a big ship.
I'm there just in time, and I take a seat in one of the vacant gunner positions. I don't say anything to the Captain though. She's busy enough in the pilot's chair and I don't want to risk being sent away for this. Her hands fly over the controls and we start to move. The ship tilts forwards and through the canopy I can see the ocean approaching. It takes no time at all for us to be totally submerged, but a little longer for the daylight that filters down through the waters to disappear and leave us in eerie blackness. The internal lights dim and the externals flare on to reveal the subaquatic world we now inhabit and are rapidly descending through.
I lean forwards to get a better look out of the weapon dome at all the little creatures that flash past, but that activates the chair and I slide forwards in it while the straps tighten around me.
"What the hell are you doing up here?" comes the demand from the captain. "Get out of that damned chair this bloody instant! Get off my bridge!"
"Er..." I begin, not sure how to address her. "Aye aye, cap'n?" I try.
"Don't get smart with me, boy. Just get going."
I find my release control and reach for it. "What... what is THAT??"
Out of the murky liquid night the floodlights have picked up a shape moving just at the edge of their range which is keeping pace with us. Something big. And now it's getting closer...