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The Nemesis Mission (Chapter 1)

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Old 10-11-2013, 06:22 PM
Writingfan27 (Offline)
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Default The Nemesis Mission (Chapter 1)


Plot. Fresh off the heels of a not so pleasant personal issue. Admiral Eli is given command of America's newest Beowulf class battlecruiser and embarks on a series of missions with it.

Eli Residence

Richmond, Virginia

November 11th 2101, 5:17PM

In the living room of the house, Eli and his wife Jennifer were having a discussion which was not going well for Eli in terms of the topic being discussed.

Two minutes ago, Jennifer dropped a major bombshell by announcing that she wanted to divorce him.

Her reason for being this upset with him wasn’t because he was a terrible husband, he was far from terrible, Eli fitted the description of an officer and a gentlemen perfectly.

But to her, his military career was finally starting to put an unbearable strain on their marriage due to the limited quality time they spent together and that time was going to become even more limited due to his recent promotion to Rear Admiral and the new assignment he would soon be given.

Eli tried to make his case for keeping their marriage intact as calmly as he could, but he didn’t appear to be having any luck.

“Honey, I know the time we spend together is limited. But it’s not like I don’t come around at all and spend time with you. Even with my new assignment, I will still come around and thanks to the bigger salary that comes with this space assignment, we will be able to take more of those long distance vacations you love so much.”

“You promised that you would retire at the rank of Captain, but now you change your mind because you get to fly around in a space ship.”

“Not just any old space ship but an intergalactic battlecruiser. A job like this is something that many people would kill for and besides, I always wanted to be in space in some extraordinary role. I just never thought the Navy would present me with the chance. But like I said before, I will still take time for you like I’ve always done.”

“But the amount of time you devote to our marriage isn’t good enough for me, and after eleven years of marriage with you hardly being around I’ve finally had it,” Jennifer said.

“If a divorce is what you wish for, then all I can say is very well,” Eli replied and the conservation was concluded with that.

Before he even got to thinking about which divorce lawyer to call, Eli walked to a nearby park to get some fresh air and collect his thoughts.

One week later

The Pentagon, Washington DC.
November, 17th 9:01AM

Admiral Eli walked through the busy hallway of the building with his suit case in hand and a unhappy look on his face which was a result of the divorce he went through during his final week of leave.

Even though the divorce was final, there were still a lot of questions going through his mind such as did he not make a strong enough argument for keeping their marriage and was he in wrong about the whole thing

Prior to all of this, he was the commander of the Halsey class aircraft carrier USS Thomas Jefferson until a change of command ceremony in which he was replaced by his XO who rose to the rank of Captain.

Once he reached the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Rick Nader, he cleared his mind of the divorce situation as he knocked on the door and was cleared to come in.

“Reporting as ordered sir,” Admiral Eli said then Admiral Nader motioned for him to be seated.

“So how was leave?” Admiral Nader asked.

“It was all well and good until last week when my wife decided to divorce me because she could no longer handle the strain that my military career was putting on our marriage. It was not a very pleasant moment for either of us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but can I still assume that your head is in the game before and not all over the place before I announce your new assignment or should I find someone else to take your place? An intergalactic battlecruiser is no place for someone with a clouded mind, especially if the mind in question is that of its commanding officer.”

“Absolutely sir. I’m a hundred percent ready.”

“Nader looked at Eli for several seconds considering whether or not to believe him. He knew family issues such as deaths and divorces could take a great toll on a person, especially to the point of interfering with their ability to do their jobs.

As the Chief of Naval Operations, it was his job to ensure that the right people were put in the right places especially when it came to the intergalactic warships.

Admiral Nader had finally decided that Eli was telling the truth and opened the folder in front of him.

“Admiral Eli, you have been given command of the USS Nemesis. Our newest Beowulf class ship.”

“Thank you very much sir. I have heard a great deal about the intergalactic battlecruisers used by us and our Earth defense partners, I feel greatly honored to be commanding one of them,” Admiral Eli said with a beaming look of excitement on his face.

“She’s standing by in orbit as we speak and will teleport you up when you’re ready.”

“I’m ready to go now sir,” Admiral Eli replied then Admiral Nader contacted the Nemesis on his earpiece to let them know that Eli was ready for teleport and then Admiral Eli was beamed out of Nader’s office and onto the bridge of the ship where everyone saluted him the moment he appeared.

“Admiral Eli, welcome aboard. I’m Commander Shelby Fey, the ships XO and this is Lieutenant Moss, the ships weapons officer and this is Ensign Doyle, our navigator.”

“We have an incoming message from Admiral Orson on the Athena,” reported one of the console operators.

“On screen,” Admiral Eli ordered then Admiral Orson appeared on one of the screens.

“Admiral Eli, I just called to welcome you and your ship to our fleet of intergalactic battlecruisers. Normally Admiral Roberts of the Beowulf would be the one giving you the welcome message but he is currently away on the ELP-101 mission and Lieutenant General Heinz of Air Force Space Command sends his regards,”

“Thank you Admiral Orson. I’m very happy and proud to be here.”

“That’s good to hear, and my sensors have detected your airwing climbing up through the atmosphere,” Admiral Orson replied then the screen went to black as Lieutenant Moss took his seat at the weapons console.

“Juggernaut Squadron this is Nemesis, we have you on radar,” Lieutenant Moss said.

“Juggernaut 1 to Nemesis, requesting permission to land.”

Granted. Juggernauts 1 through 40, you’re cleared to enter landing bay one and Juggernauts 41 through 80, you’re cleared to enter landing bay 2,” Moss instructed.

“Roger that,” replied Juggernaut Squadron leader, Commander Jason Stafford as the Space Hornets which were fresh off their pre delivery test flights at Area 51, left Earth’s atmosphere and switched from their rocket boosters to afterburners and continued towards the Nemesis.

“Commander Stafford report to the bridge,” said a voice over the PA system as Stafford and his copilot, Lieutenant Caldwell climbed out of their plane and took off their helmets.

“I’m on my way,” Commander Stafford replied into his earpiece as he proceeded to leave the hanger.

A few minutes later, Commander Stafford made it to the bridge and saluted Admiral Eli who in turn saluted him back.

“You’re right on time for the presentation we’re about to give our new commander,” Lieutenant Moss said then Commander Fey turned on the flat screen located on the left side of the bridge which showed an image of the ship and started the presentation.

“The Nemesis is the eighth ship of the Beowulf class. She’s 520 meters long and weighs in at 643,000 tons, the engine array of this ship consist of four hyper drive engines which gives us intergalactic travel capabilities and six sublight engines which propel us through space.”

“How much thrust is generated from these engines?” Admiral Eli asked.

“Enough to propel us twelve times the speed of light at top speed and this ship does have a decent rate of maneuverability sir,” Commander Fey replied then continued on with the presentation. “The ships crew is 370 including members of our airwing and marine detachment which is meant to conduct operations and fight off hostile boarding parties in the unlikely event that they manage to boards us.”

“Rest assured that no enemy will be boarding this ship on my watch and if they manage to do so, they’ll rue the day,” Eli stated sternly as Commander Fey went on to talk about the layout of the bridge.

“The bridge is an inconspicuous looking module located behind the launch cells. Its layout is similar to the combat direction center on an aircraft carrier in terms of having consoles and monitors of various sizes. The plotting map is located behind the command chair and the navigator sits on your left and the weapons officer sits on your right.”

“I could already tell that the console left of my chair was navigation by the way it looked and right was weapons because it Lieutenant Moss sat there when he contacted the fighters,” Admiral Eli commented.

“Oh. Now Lieutenant Moss will explain the ships communication and combat capabilities,” Commander Fey said then she stepped away from the screen as Lieutenant Moss took her place.

“Like all of the intergalactic battlecruisers in our fleet as well as those in the fleets of Russia, England, France, and China, the Nemesis is meant to slug it out with hostile alien ships above Earth and in deep space. In addition to being equipped with advanced shields capable of withstanding fire from an armada of enemy ships for a great period of time, the Nemesis is also armed with an impressive arsenal of weapons.

For starters, the Nemesis is armed with eighty-seven railguns which are very effective against unshielded targets and have an impact velocity of Mach 9 with a rate of fire of 7000 rounds per minute from each battery.”

“The railguns on this ship are more impressive than the ones used by our destroyers and cruisers back on Earth,” Admiral Eli commented as Lieutenant Moss pressed a button on the keyboard and another set of arrows appeared which pointed to more of the ships weapons.


“Now when the Beowulf class ships first hit the drawing board, the original plan called for their arsenal of SM6 missiles and plasma warheads to held in 113 vertical launch cells. But some very important people thought that more would be better and so the number was increased to 150. The launch cells are located in the forward section ahead of the bridge and thanks to some recent upgrades given to our ships including this one while it was under construction, our launch cells are now capable firing our newest weapon known as anti-matter warheads which are like our new WMD.”

“How so?” Admiral Eli asked.

“The anti-matter warheads which were built and at Area 51 and tested at their offworld testing site on Mars before being put into service, pack an explosive punch, two times greater than that of a 30 megaton nuclear warhead and while our plasma warheads can blow huge chunks out of enemy ships, the anti matter warheads can destroy a target with one hit and the blast radius can inflict massive damage on nearby targets if not destroy them. Now our missiles and warheads are fitted with phase-shifting modulators which enable them to bypass enemy shields by turning them holographic and back to solid form before impacting the target. The SM6 missiles can also be used against enemy ships, but are much more effective against medium sized targets like fighters and bombers.”

“Is this ship armed with anything else?” Admiral Eli asked.

“Absolutely sir, I was just about to get to that,” Lieutenant Moss replied then turned back towards the screen to continue his presentation.

In addition to our guns, missiles, warheads and fighters, the Nemesis is also armed with sixty beam cannons, thirty of which serve as plasma beam weapons while the other thirty fire off very powerful solar beams and both are capable of burning through enemy shields which was clearly proven when the Beowulf encountered two Borgan cruisers on its first mission. The other two upgrades our cruisers including those used by our Earth defense partners received to their combat capabilities are orbital strike and kinetic rod launchers.

For example, the weapons we use for orbital strikes are housed in a weapons bay located under the ship and we can use them against surface targets in a variety of ways. For instance, if we were fighting over another planet, and hostiles were trying to come up at us, we could rain down on them with a salvo of ERAAM missiles or fry them with solar beams. If we had to hit targets on a planets surface, we could fire down on them with a large salvo of Tomahawk cruise missiles or hit them with our internal solar beam cannons.

“Now for the last matter regarding the ships weapons is the kinetic rod launchers or KRLs as we call them. Each Beowulf class ships is armed with ten KRLs and each one packs twelve Kinetic rods each. The rods themselves are like supersized sabot rounds that when fired, they will slam into a target with a impact velocity of Mach 26 which when tested in simulation, was strong enough to blow an unshielded ship in half and were able to disable a shield after a few hits. The only noteworthy thing about communication systems is that we can now send real time messages to Earth when far from home, when these ships were first built we could only send pre-recorded messages from deep space.”

“What about communicating with other ships and stuff along that scale?” Admiral Eli asked.

“All of that was possible when these ships were first constructed and still is, the real time deep space communication ability was an upgrade received a few weeks after the first ships entered service,” Lieutenant Moss replied.


“Good job on your presentation Lieutenant. Admiral Eli, our squadron leader will now brief you about the fighters we carry,” Commander Fey said then Commander Stafford went up to the screen and the changed the image on the screen from that of the Nemesis to that of the Space Hornet as Lieutenant Moss stepped away.

“This is the F/A-18S also known as the Space Hornet, it is a two seat fighter with a tri engine propulsion system consisting of a rocket booster for climbing through the atmosphere of planets like my squadron did on our way here, and two afterburners for normal flight through space and they have three dimensional thrust vectoring capabilities so we can pull maneuvers like the Air Forces F-28 space fighters and F-27 which will replace the Raptor when it enters service. The Space Hornet has an advanced radar system and is armed a 20 millimeter cannon, a dual beam cannon under the nose, two heat seeking AIM9X sidewinders on the wingtip rails, six plasma enhanced harpoon missiles and eighteen radar guided ERAAM air to air missiles. Its airframe is made of Altanium which is an advanced material that makes it extremely durable in space combat and planetary environments that would be unbearable for normal aircraft And the last bit of information regarding this fighter is that this ship like all the others in her class carries a squadron of eighty Space Hornets housed in two hanger bays in groups of forty.”

“Thank you all for the great presentations. Now I want as many personnel as possible to report to hanger bay one for my speech and the rest of the crew can watch my speech on the TV monitors in the mess halls or the other monitors throughout ship after I get suited up,” Eli ordered

“Yes sir and your jumpsuit is in your quarters,” Commander Fey replied then everyone left the bridge.

Chapter 2 coming soon.

Note. I don't know the width, depth and height of 520 meters. Any help on that front would be nice.


Last edited by Writingfan27; 10-13-2013 at 06:47 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2013, 09:18 PM
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Alright, so I admit that this is the first time I am attempting a detailed critique, because I just can't figure out all this HTML business. So I apologize in advance if my computer skills let me down. In general I really liked this, so I think it's worth it.

First off, the story was pretty interesting there for a while. It had some boring parts, but on the whole could be going somewhere cool.

Second, the font is TINY. Man, it was hard to read...

Originally Posted by Writingfan27 View Post
In the living room of the house, Eli and his wife Jennifer were having a discussion which was not going well for Eli in terms of the topic being discussed.
Not my favorite opener. Seeing as how it ended in a divorce, perhaps you could bring that in earlier to build the tension.


Originally Posted by Writingfan27 View Post
Two minutes ago, Jennifer dropped a major bombshell by announcing that she wanted to divorce him.
The tenses here shift. Try it like this:

A few moments before, Jennifer dropped a major bombshell when she announced she wanted to divorce him.

That way you stay in past tense the whole time. (I'm assuming you wanted this in past tense, since it was in past 90% of the time). There are lots of little bits here and there that have similar tense issues, but an easy comb through should fix those.

Originally Posted by Writingfan27 View Post
Her reason for being this upset with him wasn’t because he was a terrible husband, he was far from terrible, Eli fitted the description of an officer and a gentlemen perfectly.
These should really be two sentences.

She wasn't upset with him wasn’t because he was a terrible husband. He was far from terrible; Eli fit the description of an officer and a gentlemen perfectly.

Again, several sentences have this same problem. Try to break them down into a few shorter sentences and add semi-colons where needed.

“Honey, I know the time we spend together is limited. But it’s not like I don’t come around at all and spend time with you. Even with my new assignment, I will still come around and thanks to the bigger salary that comes with this space assignment, we will be able to take more of those long distance vacations you love so much.”
These sentences aren't necessarily wrong, they just don't sound all that natural to me. A man in desperation to keep his marriage together wouldn't talk calmly, or at length.

Honey, I know we haven't spent much time together lately. I'm sorry about that. But I'll still be around, even with this new assignment. Plus, with the salary we can go on more vacations like you want.

I still think this isn't great, but hopefully it demonstrated the point about the dialogue a bit.

“If a divorce is what you wish for, then all I can say is very well,” Eli replied and the conservation was concluded with that.
For real, no one would say that.

"Fine, if that's what you really want." Eli blurted desperately. With that, the conversation and the marriage was over.


Before he even got to thinking about which divorce lawyer to call, Eli walked to a nearby park to get some fresh air and collect his thoughts.
I'm not sure this bit is needed.

One week later
One week? As the child of divorced parents, I would offer up a more reasonable time scale like six months to a year. Perhaps this could be solved by saying his divorce was 'pending' or something so it doesn't throw off the rest.



Admiral Eli walked through the busy hallway of the building with his suit case in hand and a unhappy look on his face which was a result of the divorce he went through during his final week of leave.
Again, a lengthy sentence that could be boiled down.

Eli walked through the busy hallway with a suitcase and displeased look. He had spent his last week of leave in lawyer's offices working out the details of his pending divorce.

Prior to all of this, he was the commander of the Halsey class aircraft carrier USS Thomas Jefferson until a change of command ceremony in which he was replaced by his XO who rose to the rank of Captain.
This bit seems to come out of no where and have no relevance here. Perhaps there's a better place to put it?

“Absolutely sir. I’m a hundred percent ready.”
When making a statement that includes someone's name or position, there should be a comma.

Absolutely, sir.


“I’m ready to go now sir,” Admiral Eli replied then Admiral Nader contacted the Nemesis on his earpiece to let them know that Eli was ready for teleport and then Admiral Eli was beamed out of Nader’s office and onto the bridge of the ship where everyone saluted him the moment he appeared.
I think this is a missed golden opportunity. Teleporting is COOL and here you've sailed right over it. Maybe describe what the apparatus that does the teleporting looks like, or what it feels like to be broken down to a molecular level and then reassembled. There could be so many awesome things going on here, but it just sort of gets skipped.

“Admiral Eli, welcome aboard. I’m Commander Shelby Fey, the ships XO and this is Lieutenant Moss, the ships weapons officer and this is Ensign Doyle, our navigator.”
For some reason I missed the fact that this Shelby Fey was a chick. Perhaps I just made the assumption that these are all military folk, so they're likely to be all men, or maybe I just skipped over it in the mess of info dropped into this one sentence. I guess technically Shelby is a woman's name, but I just missed it. Maybe change it to something really obvious like Sarah or Megan. Or maybe describe her military uniform as being different because of her gender?

“We have an incoming message from Admiral Orson on the Athena,” reported one of the console operators.
What's an Athena? I want to know...

For starters, the Nemesis is armed with eighty-seven railguns which are very effective against unshielded targets and have an impact velocity of Mach 9 with a rate of fire of 7000 rounds per minute from each battery.”

“The railguns on this ship are more impressive than the ones used by our destroyers and cruisers back on Earth,” Admiral Eli commented as Lieutenant Moss pressed a button on the keyboard and another set of arrows appeared which pointed to more of the ships weapons.

“Now when the Beowulf class ships first hit the drawing board, the original plan called for their arsenal of SM6 missiles and plasma warheads to held in 113 vertical launch cells. But some very important people thought that more would be better and so the number was increased to 150. The launch cells are located in the forward section ahead of the bridge and thanks to some recent upgrades given to our ships including this one while it was under construction, our launch cells are now capable firing our newest weapon known as anti-matter warheads which are like our new WMD.”

Alright, so this is where things really started to get interesting. Really, I'd much rather read about space ships then struggling marriages any day. This part also feels like a GIANT info dump. From here it feels like a giant list of what's on the ship. I get that these are all weapons and probably will be useful to know about all this when the bad, bad aliens come to kill everyone. But really, it reads a bit like a list of what's in the pantry. There has to be a way to break this up or reduce the length some how. It was pretty hard to get through. (Keep in mind: I'm a chick so maybe guys will find all this big-gun, little-gun stuff more interesting...)


“The anti-matter warheads which were built and at Area 51 and tested at their offworld testing site on Mars before being put into service, pack an explosive punch, two times greater than that of a 30 megaton nuclear warhead and while our plasma warheads can blow huge chunks out of enemy ships, the anti matter warheads can destroy a target with one hit and the blast radius can inflict massive damage on nearby targets if not destroy them.
Is this really just one sentence? Man...
On the other hand, it talks about anti-matter, which again, is COOL. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing legitimately cool concepts to your work. I like it.

“Is this ship armed with anything else?” Admiral Eli asked.

“Absolutely sir, I was just about to get to that,” Lieutenant Moss replied then turned back towards the screen to continue his presentation.
Nooooooooo. More listing of guns n' stuff...


Chapter 2 coming soon.
Oh goody! On the other hand, not a whole lot happened here in chapter one. I would recommend adding some descriptions of the people (hair color, uniforms, heights, etc). At this time, they just all look like stick figures in my head. Also, description of the ship would be helpful too. Are the hallways so narrow you could touch both sides? Is the mess hall so huge it echoes? The ship itself sounds pretty intriguing (I mean, look at all those guns it has!) so I would like to have some idea of what it looks like. Also, the bit about the divorce seems disjointed from the rest. Perhaps that could be a prologue or something similar? This was a really cool piece with military sci-fi, but the start was all marriage drama, which could give readers the wrong idea about your piece.

Overall, it was quite interesting, if not tiny, to read. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to chapter two!
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:00 AM
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@RS McCoy. The Athena is just another Beowulf class ship.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:08 AM
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Hi Writingfan

First of all, I have to agree with RS McCoy, the fontsize was horribly tiny. I hope you will fix this when you post chapter two.


“If a divorce is what you wish for, then all I can say is very well,” Eli replied and the conservation was concluded with that.
If he was angry and upset, arguing loudly, I suppose he could have said something along those lines. It seems to me as Eli is a military career officer first and foremost. It sounds as if he wants to keep his marriage intact, but more as a convenience. As if he does not really want to fight for it or spend much time listening to her emotional outbursts. His duty as an officer takes precedence it seems.

The whole scene in Eli's residence do give me as a reader a glimpse into his personal life and helps to build a picture of who he is and his personality, so in this regards I think this part works well.


One week later

The Pentagon, Washington DC.
November, 17th 9:01AM

Admiral Eli walked through the busy hallway of the building with his suit case in hand and a unhappy look on his face which was a result of the divorce he went through during his final week of leave.
Here I must agree with RS McCoy again. One week is just too little time. However, if he walks through the busy hallway of the building, unsettled and unhappy by her announcement of wanting a divorce it becomes more believable in my opinion


“We have an incoming message from Admiral Orson on the Athena,” reported one of the console operators.
You may consider refering to the Athena as on the battlecruiser Athena. If the reader has not read any of your earlier work, it would be difficult to know this


Overall I think there is a noticable improvement in this piece compared to the Voyager Expedition. It feels more coherent and more polished. This style of sci-fi seems to be your thing, and I think you do it quite well. Although perhaps boring to some people, I find the high level of technical information very entertaining.


She’s 520 meters long and weighs in at 64,000 tons, the engine array of this ship consist of four hyper drive engines which gives us intergalactic travel capabilities and six
sublight engines which propel us through space.”
Note. I don't know the width, depth and height of 520 meters. Any help on that front would be nice.
This is a tough one, because in your future there might be new lighter and stronger material used to build the battlecruisers, so it can be difficult to estimate the ship's dimensions in relation to its weight.

However, as an example, the USS Enterprise 1701-D from Startrek is about 642 meters long, 467 meters wide (saucer section) and 137 meters in height, and has a mass of about 400,000 metric tons. ( http://mario.lapam.mo.it/enterpri/1701-d.htm ) So it depends on what shape your battlecruisers have. Based on this I think 64,000 tons sounds way too light. Another famous starship is Battlestar Galactica (from the remake) which is enormous, 1438 meters long, 536 meters wide and 183 meters high.
Hopefully you will be able to make some estimations based on this

Garviel


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