Saffron's Space

Hello readers.

Today I have a very special treat to brighten up your weekends; a taste test of my novel-in-progress. It is a bit of a change from fantasy into sci-fi and I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions- I always welcome constructive feedback. And, if you like the story let me know and you may be selected as a Beta-reader for the full book!

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Nova smashed the wrench down onto the metal desk once more and cursed under her breath. She dove back under the control board and began tightening bolts and rearranging wires. The small room filled with smoke as it hissed out from between the cracks in the control panel.

Nova’s blonde hair was pulled away from her face with a simple band. The one blue streak of hair glowed in the flashing orange light filling the command centre. Her legs poked out from under the command desk, encased in their customary black jeans and knee-high black boots.

“Arg! Why can’t you work for just five minutes?” Nova called out as an alarm began to sound and she worked even more furiously through the steam.

“If you had replaced the wires a month ago when I informed you their condition was poor we would not be having this problem,” said an exasperated voice.

Nova pushed herself out from under the metal desk for enough time to cast a glare at the metallic orb that hovered a little way back from the dashboard. The robot was round, about the size of a football with a digital eye that swivelled down to stare back at her. C4L or ‘Cal’ as Nova liked to call him continued to hover and stare at her with his dammed single eye.

Nova sighed in frustration and returned to her work. She was desperately tightening valves as they became lose while at the same time trying to find the source of the original leak.

“The ship’s maintenance log says the 5th input fuse has blown,” Cal said from his position, now even further away from the rattling, hissing set of controls which was the command unit. He wasn’t going to risk his metal casing if the main controls decided to explode.

“Got it!” Nova yelled as she pulled out the offending fuse and replaced it. The control board continued to shake and blow steam for several moments but then began to cool down. Nova breathed a sigh of relief and let her head fall to the metal floor of the ship. She wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand and pushed herself out from under the control board.

Nova pulled herself up and sat into the chair which folded out from the adjoining wall. She allowed herself to collapse down in it and brought her feet up onto the control board. The flashing orange lights had disappeared and the wailing alarm had stopped. Now before her were the many buttons and controls which guided her ship, The Crusader. In the very centre of the control panel was an old-style wheel which could be used to control the ship’s movements instead of the ever-present autopilot. The wheel could be turned left and right but unlike the original boats on which the design was based, this control could be pushed forward or back to lift or lower the spacecraft.

Above the metal control panel with its many buttons was the front window which currently looked out over the black panorama of space. Distant stars twinkled through the night but all around there was quiet. The window also functioned as a screen which could be used in communication, navigation or surfing the cloud.

With her legs still on the control panel Nova turned slightly and called over her shoulder, “Cal! You can stop hiding, it’s fixed.”

The robot hovered into view and came to a stop just in-front of Nova.

“I wasn’t hiding,” the voice emanated from invisible speakers, “I was taking inventory in the storage room.”



6 Comments so far

  1.    Sonny Maupin on August 3, 2013 4:29 am      Reply

    Great start! Just one little thing and I’m sure it’s just me, but The robot Cal with the single eye reminded me right away of Hal from Clark’s 2001 A Space Odyssey so I immediately started comparing your story with his. Like I said probably just me and no one else would even notice

  2.    Sonny Maupin on August 3, 2013 4:35 am      Reply

    Shame on me, not mentioning what I liked. Well, I immediately like the protagonist and I always like books that start out with the protagonist in a muddle over something and I suspect I’ll like the interaction between her and the bot

    •    saffron on August 3, 2013 6:53 am      Reply

      Thank you for your feedback! I haven’t seen Space Odyssey but it’s good to know that that’s what you were reminded of- I’ll have to see if I can describe Cal better 🙂

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

  3.    Rachel on November 19, 2013 1:42 pm      Reply

    I wanted there to be more. I love Nova and how she’s arguing with a robot. I feel like some of this was a little rushed, I don’t know, that may just be me, but I finished it disappointed that there wasn’t more.

    •    saffron on November 19, 2013 10:02 pm      Reply

      Hey Rachel,

      Thank you for your feedback! I’m glad that you like the characters and I will have to have a look at the scene to see how I can expand it. Although, there is plenty more to this story… at this stage it’s planned to be 5 books but the story just keeps growing! (watch this space). 🙂

      Saffron

  4.    Larry McCl on March 28, 2014 6:48 am      Reply

    Great snippet of your Nova story. I like the nuts and bolts and the lead female character. The robot orb is a good sidekick to have for comedy and for dialog to see what Nova is feeling. I know you come from fantasy, but watching and/or reading “2001:a space odyssey” would be a good idea as soon as you can. They also have to repair their ship within the story. Best wishes and good luck on your new book. Your Nova seems to be a great character that can span many books over the coming years.

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