After years of passing it up, I've decided to take it up this year! The focus of my novel will be the history of Terranis, the fantasy world where my PC RPG I'm making takes place. Essentially, I'm filling in a thousand years of history prior to the game taking place, starting with The Fall, when the interstellar civilization of mankind collapses following a brutal war against an extradimensional alien race, through a thousand years of mankind struggling to survive and rebuild civilization despite ongoing predations by the Great Enemy.
I haven't decided on the exact layout and structure of the novel yet. I guess I'll mostly just write the history out and see where it gets me. I know how this time period begins, and I know how it ends, but the space in between is about 2/3 empty, and I feel like most of what I DO have already needs some serious revision.
Anyway, here's an except from the beginning, when the Great Enemy first invades!
The Chronicles of Terranis
Part I: The Fall
Lieutenant Hercule Girard felt his head come to rest against the back of his seat as his eyes drifted closed. His feet were propped up on the sensor console, the lights dimmed. His control room was identical the other eleven on the small station, floating a thousand miles above the planet of Belladrix, its sole function to monitor and coordinate interplanetary and extra-system space traffic. No one lived on the station; they relied on one of the thousands of shuttles used to travel between Belladrix, its moon Terranis, and the dozens of various orbitals and stations scattered around the system. Perhaps in ages past, some might marvel at the idea of living on a planet and going up into orbit to work every day, but to Hercule it was as mundane as going for a stroll outside his house.
The only thing that distinguished Hercule’s room from the others on the station was a small picture of his wife and newborn son he stuck to a blank piece of wall to his side. Erika’s blonde hair seemed to glow in the sunrise of the photo, and baby Andre had his glittering green eyes, a trait that had been passed down among the men in the family for generations. Hercule knew most men in the Solar Alliance military weren’t lucky enough to be stationed with their families nearby; for all the tedium of his post, that fact alone made it all worth it.
Speaking of tedium, today was particularly so. There were no scheduled arrivals from out-system today, and the interplanetary traffic was especially light, so there was virtually nothing to do. But he still had six hours to go on his shift before the shuttle would arrive with the next crew, and he would take down his picture to keep in his jacket until tomorrow morning.
Just as he was finally drifting off and beginning to dream about swimming among the Sural Mountains on Terranis, the console beeped to warn him of a new contact. He tried to ignore it for a second, hoping the central computer would route the contact to one of the operators, but the beep continued its gentle chirping. Hercule rubbed his eyes with one hand and sat up, hitting a button on his other to bring up an information display. Blinking, he stared at the readout on one of his screens. A half-dozen ships had just come to sub-light speed on the edge of the system, at the very extreme edge of the station’s sensor range. They were moving in-system at a decent pace. At this range, the station couldn’t get a positive ID on the ships, but Hercule’s brow furrowed in confusion.
The ships had entered the system outside the normal entry points, above the orbital plane of the system’s various planets. They were heading almost directly towards Belladrix and Terranis, the only inhabited worlds in the system. There were some mining posts around the inner worlds and gas harvesters orbiting the gas giants further outwards, but the only civilian populations were here.
Hercule was about to send a standard hail to the unknown ships, but his suspicions got the better of him. Keying his console, he sent a low-level tachyon pulse towards the ships, and tapped his foot while he waited for the pulse to reach them. A couple minutes later, additional data began to filter in, giving him a better idea of the size, mass, and constituent elements making up the unknown ships.
Staring at the numbers, his confusion quickly gave way to fear. The ships were not of human manufacture. Their configurations and compositions were intimately familiar to anyone serving in the Alliance military. Hercule’s jaw went slack for a moment before he regained his composition, and he bolted from his chair, throwing it to the floor and dashed out of his room. He sprinted down the short hallway towards Commander von Braun’s office. He unceremoniously barged in, throwing his hands on the Commander’s desk, and leaned in to stare directly at him.
“We have a problem,” Hercule said.