Sorry about the lack of updates as of late. I’ve been trying my best to put my nose against the grindstone, but it’s sadly still something I can only really do on the side. As the title of this update denotes, I’ve changed the title. Since the length and scope of the story has changed from the original intent, I felt the old title didn’t really work anymore. The novel shall be henceforth referred to as its final name, Apocryphal Son.
Originally, I had the story revolve almost entirely around Harold Conrad’s mission to procure top-secret data on the development of lightspeed drives. However, I also intended to tell more of Conrad’s story through flashbacks towards the latter half of the second act, and I realised that the more I wanted to divulge, the more I screwed the pacing.
So now the story is going to start much earlier in the story. Rather than have the plot proper begin during Conrad’s final mission following the flashback prologue, I’m going to have the action pick up shortly after the events of the prologue and then move forward, giving reader’s a closer look at what causes him and his crew to make the desicions to do what they do.
I know I’m being pretty vague here, but I’ll hopefully be able to provide more excerpts soon. For now, here’s a segment from what was going to be a flashback chapter, which will be moved to the front end of the book.
Conrad shuffled through the crowd exiting the hyperspeed shuttle only to find himself in a larger crowd.
Guess she’s using the population density as natural camouflage.
Conrad eyed the massive blob of a crowd shifting slightly ahead of him in the terminal. Orion X-92 was one of the smaller stations in the constellation, and yet, one of the most populous. The lax local laws and light Federal supervision made it a hotspot for criminals, thrill seekers and fools all over the galaxy. Looking at the bustle evident in the public spaceport alone, he thought back to life on the central ring of Tau Ceti Central Station. Sparse, light crowds coming and going, empty pathways and bustling hoverways, it all seemed so serene now. He never realised until just then how much crowds unnerved him.
The messy crowd of travellers barely moved at a half cargo haulier’s pace through unrestricted space. As he shuffled along with the ill-formed line pouring out from the shuttle, he almost amused himself with the notion that his journey from Tau Ceti to Bellatrix took less time than his trek from the shuttle to security.
Seventeen agonising minutes later, he arrived at the gate, where a young woman greeted him in a tired, worn-down tone.
“Please state your name and purpose.”
Conrad paused as his chest tightened. “Isaac Emmons. Err, Emmons, Isaac. Pleasure. I’m here for pleasure. To uh, gamble.”
The security officer blinked at him and spoke in a droning voice. “Is this your first visit to X-92?”
Clad only in a utilitarian set of black underclothes beneath a light vest, Conrad passed through the security scanner with no trouble. He made way through the routine checks and scans between the terminal and the lobby in just a couple short minutes. The mundaneness of it all was starting to eat away at him, even as part of his mind yearned for a quick end to the ordeal that would surely ensue in the coming hours.
He stepped forth into the main lobby of Orion X-92, a grandiose plaza with three great statues of stone erected in the centre as monuments to grandeur. From their mouths came forth a trickle of azure water like vomit pouring into a cerulean pool.
Conrad thought back to the last time he stood before the three marble men, when an act of terror brought him halfway across the galaxy to this godforsaken scrap heap to put down an organised band of insurgents started opening fire into the crowds in the plaza. He looked at the edge of the fountain that was just high enough to be used as cover and ahead where he dropped one of the shooters with a quick shot to the skull.
Conrad pushed aside those happy memories and tried to focus on the task at hand.