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Aragon Speed
25-04-2008, 07:48 AM
Chapter 8: Moving


Blue One considered this revelation and felt slightly confused. "What do you mean by ĎIntactí? Surely you must have captured a Sohnen before now?"

"We have had captured Sohnen here before yes, but they have all, without exception so far, had a small detonation device implanted into their heads which when they are captured is set off destroying the brain." Replied the male.

"I know I keep asking this, but why am I here? What purpose do I serve?"

"Unknown to the general populous at this time, the Sohnen are a race of machines. Their brains are actually supremely advanced A.I. that is sentient in nature. Your unique skills from your previous occupation are perhaps the only chance we have of understanding how this technology works."

Blue One raised his eyebrows in surprise at the information, but made no comment. He thought about this new information, it was an amazing opportunity to advance their knowledge of S-A.I., jumping ahead of the game so to speak. Assuming that it was not so advanced in construction that it was impossible to even determine how it was built, let alone how the programming etc. worked. "How did you manage to capture an intact S-A.I. if they destroy themselves with an explosive charge?"

The male opened his mouth to reply, but before he could Laiban leant forward in his chair and addressing the male said. "May I?"

The male paused. It was obvious that Laiban and Blue One already had established a tentative rapport, and they were going to be spending a lot of time together in the near future. The male nodded at Laiban and once again sat back in his chair.

Laiban turned to Blue One. "Ironically itís you that gave us this opportunity. The Sohnen ship that you collided with in your last battle was very badly damaged. The Sohnen, being machines, are directly connected to their ships while they are piloting them. As you can imagine this is a very efficient way to control your craft, you think what you want to do and itís already being done; Instantaneous reactions to any situation. Basically you and the ship are one and the same, you are the ship, and the ship is you.

The collision caused, as I have said, massive damage to the Sohnen ship and its systems. Simply put, this damage had the effect of totally disabling and shutting down the pilot. So the detonation device didnít have a chance of being set off and destroying the brain. We have removed the explosive from the Sohnen, but it has not been reactivated yet. We felt it best to have the needed specialists on site before that happened.

Not having previous experience in this field, we also felt that whoever was working on this project may wish a chance to study the brain before, or even instead of, reactivating it.

As the only person in our history that has actually built, or maybe created would be a better term, a sentient A.I., how we proceed with this is entirely within your control.

We have already assembled a small but hand picked support team for you to get started with. Most of them you will already know as they are from the team you originally worked with. If you need anyone else, ask, and we will try to get them for you.

We canít force anyone into accepting the same conditions that you have just had to accept, any more than we could force you, so we canít guarantee that you will get the people you would like. All we can guarantee is that we will try."

Blue One looked at the two men and then said. "Luck."

The male looking confused asked. "What do you mean?"

"This whole situation has arisen from pure luck and coincidence. The odds against this happening are too great to be worth computing. Has the Sohnen been fully scanned for any other possible explosive devices and/or booby traps?"

The male grunted and nodded. "Using previous Sohnen that we have dismantled for study as a guide, we have concluded that this Sohnen is no different in construction from any of the others. As far as we can tell the only difference is the fact that we have an intact brain. I am suspicious of coincidence as well, and I had the Sohnen gone over with a fine-toothed comb to be sure it wasnít planted here on purpose. The way it came into our possession, combined with the unusual tactics, for them anyway, the Sohnen exhibited in that battle made me wonder if this was just a little bit to fortunate for belief.

We canít completely rule out the possibility that there is something else thatís different with this Sohnen compared to others, to do so would be idiotic, but to paraphrase your own words, the odds against it are so high itís not worth calculating them.

This doesnít mean that there isnít still a danger though. The difference may be in the brain itself. We have never had one intact before, so we obviously have no way of knowing if it is different from a standard one. All we can say is that if you decide to reactivate the Sohnen, extreme caution is advised. Even conversing with it, if thatís at all possible, could be dangerous. I canít imagine an artificial intelligence would have any form of telepathy, or ESP abilities of any nature, but this cannot be ruled out at this time."

"Hmm. Thatís one possibility I hadnít considered. I agree that ESP abilities are improbable, but not impossible." Blue One responded.

After a short pause the male spoke again. "You now have a basic outline of what is expected of you, the current situation, the circumstances leading up to this situation, and the possible dangers that may be involved. I donít think any more discussion at this point will further our aims, and I expect that you would like to go and have a look at the Sohnen for yourself. So unless you have any further questions, this meeting is over."

"Youíre right, I would like to go and see what all the fuss is about for myself, and also where I will be living from now on. I canít think of any other questions that are pertinent at the moment, so letís get going." Blue One said smiling.

The male nodded. "I shall stay here. I had originally intended to show you to the research lab and to your new home myself, but Laiban will be just as good a guide as I would have been, and I have more than enough work to do here. I shall see you again soon enough though as I will be checking on progress regularly."

Blue one nodded in acknowledgement and then turning to Laiban grinned and said. "Lead on oh guide extraordinaire."





Laiban and Blue One spent most of the next 8/25th of a cycle travelling. First they returned to Blue Oneís current accommodation to collect personal items and clothing for Blue One. Then a brief stop at the base commanders office to give him Blue Oneís release from pilots duty and transfer orders, and finally to a military airport to catch a plane to their destination.

The research labs and Blue Oneís new home were in a remote area of the planet, and had their own landing strip for moving personnel and supplies in and out.

After landing and disembarking from the plane they visited the base commanderís office. Laiban nodded at the soldier that had shown them the way to the office in thanks and then knocked on the door.

"Come in." said a female voice from within the room.

Laiban opened the door but indicated that Blue One should enter the office first. As he entered Blue One glanced around the office. It was spartan and had few furnishings. To his left the wall had a row of filing cabinets along it, but apart from the base commanders chair and desk, and two more chairs for visitors to sit in, there was nothing else in the room. The right wall had floor to ceiling windows in it which gave a view across the base airstrip and the grassy expanse beyond. Due to this the relatively small room had an open and airy feel with plenty of light during the day.

Blue One stopped in front of the desk between the two chairs and saluted the base commander. "Blue One reporting for duty."

The commander who had been watching the whole time smiled. "This may be a military base, but its primary purpose is research, as such we are less formal than normal. Please relax and take a seat."

Blue One nodded and sat in one of the chairs. Laiban, who had followed him into the room, passed a large, thick envelope he had been holding to the commander and then sat in the other chair.

The commander opened the envelope and scanned the first page quickly, then smiling she looked at Blue One. "According to this you shouldnít be saluting me anyway. It seems that you were recently promoted to a rank thatís higher than mine, perhaps I should be saluting you sir."

Blue One opened his mouth to reply, and then shut it again. He couldnít think of anything to say.

Laiban laughed at the surprised expression on Blue Oneís face. "I thought that might be a shock, which is why I saved it."

The commander raised one of her eyebrows quizzically and looked at Laiban obviously amused. "I take it this is news to the General then?"

Even more speechless than before Blue One looked at the commander, then at Laiban, and then back at the commander. "General? I think this must be a mistake, I amÖ was a lieutenant. I am grateful that I should warrant a promotion, but jumping that many ranks must be incorrect."

Laiban still broadly smiling at Blue Oneís shock replied. "No thereís not a mistake, you now outrank me. Iíll explain the reasons behind it later, but for now just accept it as the truthÖ Sir."

The commander looked at both men, she was also still smiling at the joke played on Blue One. "Itís getting late. May I offer you both something to eat in the officers mess?"

Blue One, recovering his composure a little, replied. "I donít know about the Captain here, but I for one could quite happily eat a rather large meal. If you could arrange for someone to take my belongings to my new quarters, I would be honoured to join you."

Laiban also nodded his agreement to food. The commander pressed a button on her intercom and ordered someone to collect both Laibanís and Blue Oneís belongings. They then followed her out of the office, along a corridor, down two flights of stairs, along another corridor, and finally into the officers mess.

"I see they donít want you nipping out for quick snacks." Blue One said wryly to the commander.

"Good job too. I have enough trouble keeping the weight off sitting behind a desk for most of the day as it is." She replied with a slight smile and in an amused, conversational tone.

The officers mess was no better furnished that the commanders office. There were eight or nine square tables in the room with seating for 4 people at each table, one on each side. On the far wall opposite the only door was a large serving hatch, through which you could see the mess kitchens. The only clue this was the officers mess rather than the general one was the chairs around each table. They had good padding and were obviously designed with comfort in mind.

"Not exactly what I had envisioned when you said ĎOfficers messí I must admit." Blue One grinned.

The commander laughed. "As I said, this is primarily a research establishment, and too much furniture takes up valuable floor space that could be used to scatter bits of paper over instead." She finished with an impish grin.

They reached the serving hatch, and once they had chosen and received what they wanted to eat, the commander led them to an empty table and they sat down with their meals.

After a couple of minutes of eating, and with the edge taken off his hunger, Blue One looked at the commander and said. "How much do you know about what I will be doing here?"

The commander looked at him and paused before replying. "I probably know more about it than you do at this current time, but this is a matter that should not be discussed while we are outside the ĎSinkí."

"The sink?"

"Itís what we call the ultra high security area of the base. Iím not sure how it originally got its nickname or why, but thatís what everyone calls it. The sink is mostly underground with only two stories above the surface. They are used as accommodation for the sinkís security forces, and from the air they look like just another part of the base and give no indication of what is beneath them. The first five subterranean levels are nothing more than ammunition stores, this gives an excuse for the increased security around the sink, and as far as most people are concerned thatís all thatís there. The next seven levels down are unusable. The first two are filled with shock absorption and deflection materials, just in case the ammo store is ever hit by some sort of weaponry and explodes. It protects the levels underneath. The other five levels are the scrambler levels, and as the name implies they are filled with equipment to block any kind of transmission entering or leaving the sink. That includes radio, magnetic, radiation, even just general noise etc. As far as anyone who might be listening is concerned, nothing exists below those levels. Because of all the sensitive equipment, apart from maintenance access those levels are unusable.

Below the five scrambler levels are twenty-eight more levels where the various research projects are carried out. The top six of these are all accommodation for the researchers and for any extra personnel needed, like the captain here." The commander indicated Laiban with a movement of her hand. "The floor between the accommodation levels and the main research levels is given over to large rooms which can be used for anything else thatís needed at will. There is a gym in there, but mostly the rooms are used for meetings and presentations. That leaves twenty-one floors that are dedicated to nothing but research. Forty-two floors in total"

"An impressive set-up." Blue One said with genuine admiration.

The commander smiled at the compliment. "The equipment in the sink is reviewed once a year, and anything that has been updated or improved upon within the past year is replaced with the latest version. On top of that there is also a permanent twenty strong research and engineering crew that is dedicated to improving the equipment you already have, or to design and build anything you may require that doesnít yet exist. You will always be using the latest cutting-edge equipment in the sink."

"That must cost a fortune to run." Blue One said thinking of the funding trouble he had while his team were building the S-A.I. He didnít try to hide his astonishment.

"Actually the sink tends to break even on expenses most years. There is a large initial outlay once a year for new or improved equipment, but the in-house improvements and/or alterations often made to that equipment, coupled with new specialised equipment that is built in the sink and then sold to other research establishments over the year, tends to bring in enough income that the sink can pay for itself over the long term." Replied the commander. "It fluctuates slightly from year to year, sometimes we make a healthy profit and sometimes we pay out more than we can reap back, but over the last ten years that I have been commander of this base the sink has actually shown a slight positive profit margin when taken as an overall figure."

Blue One glanced around the mess hall and at the few other people that were also eating. "I suppose this must be fairly common knowledge among the officers as you are discussing it openly here."

"The sink itself is yes, but not the projects that are being carried out inside. Only I know exactly what is going on in there. Each team knows what it is doing, but only I know about everything going on in the sink. On this base anyway, obviously higher ups also know." She finished with a smile.

Blue One couldnít think of anything else to ask that could be discussed openly, and the commander seemed to have said all she wished to without further prompting. They all finish what little remained of their meals and returned their plates and cutlery to the serving hatch.

"What would you like to do now?" The commander asked Blue One as they were walking along the corridor to the stairs that led back up to the commanders office. "Would you like to see your accommodation, see your new team, or perhaps see why you are here?"

"I have been awake for a long time now, and the Captain has been awake even longer than I have. As curious as I am to see the reason that I am here, I think that should wait until I have slept and feel refreshed. Iím still a little hyped up from the large changes I have gone through today. With moving homes, changing jobs, meeting new people, and all the travelling, Iím not quite ready for sleep yet either though. So I think meeting the team would be a good move. I also think that I have another bodyguard to meet as well as the Captain needs to sleep at some point." Blue one finished with a grin, and glanced over his shoulder at Laiban who nodded his willingness to meet the team as well.

The commander nodded "Thatís fine, you have both already been issued security clearance for the sink, but we will need to return to my office first to collect your clearance badges which arrived on the plane before yours. The security access they give you surprised me at the time, but I understand it now. Due to your rank General you have been given a clearance level which allows you to enter any area of the sink. This is not normal and most teams are restricted to their own project areas. The Captain would normally have restrictions as well, but as he is your main guard he will also be allowed free reign within the sink. This means that apart from myself you two will be the only people on this base that could potentially have complete knowledge of all the projects currently being researched in the sink. Please do not abuse this privilege gentlemen."

"I cannot see us needing to be in areas other than those our project covers, but your warning is noted. We will not abuse this relative freedom of movement." Laiban said from behind the commander and Blue One. Blue One also indicated his willingness to keep the peace.

Once they had reached the commanders office, she moved to the back corner and stood in front of a filing cabinet that was two in from the far end. Taking a small key ring from her pocket the commander unlocked the filing cabinet, and to Blue Ones surprise, pulled the whole cabinet away from the wall. Behind this there was a safe sunk into the wall, the commander opened this as well, and removed a strong box from the safe and placed it on her desk. She then walked around to the front of her desk, the side that visitors would normally be sitting at, and placed her hand under the front edge. There was a small click and a hidden draw that was only about 3 inches square slid out. The front of the draw had merged perfectly with the front of the desk and had been invisible to the naked eye. From this draw the commander took another key which she used to open the strong box. Finally she handed Blue One and Laiban a small credit card sized badge each, which had their picture on it. She then reversed the process.

Once the room looked how it had when they had first entered, the commander turned to them, and grinning said. "If you think thatís a pain try losing your card. Itís a really quick way too get into my bad books."

"Iíll bet." Said Blue one smiling at the commanders half joke.

"When we reach the sink you will need to have a voice sample taken, a retinal scan, and a DNA test so these details can be added to the cards smart chip. That should only take a couple of minutes to do though." The commander then picked up the phone on her desk and dialled a number. "Commander Trivi here. I will be escorting the General and the Captain. We will be there momentarily." Then she hung the phone up. "If you will follow me gentlemen, I will take you to meet your new team."


**EDIT** Added Prefix: Story... Cheers, NC ;) **END EDIT**

D!S7RUG@7OR
25-04-2008, 08:26 AM
Yay AS...thanks for giving me a good read..O0

And from what i've understand it will be more chapters from this story..:grin:


Cya :)

Mapper484
25-04-2008, 08:41 AM
O0! Not more to say :)

Aragon Speed
25-04-2008, 09:15 AM
Thx guys. :)


And from what i've understand it will be more chapters from this story

Lots, I'm only just starting it. :)

Mapper484
25-04-2008, 01:50 PM
And also continue please the first Part (Charpters 1-4), theyīre still the awesomest part :)

Aragon Speed
25-04-2008, 02:34 PM
And also continue please the first Part (Charpters 1-4), theyīre still the awesomest part :)

When the story reaches the point that they can be continued, they will be. ;)

Aragon Speed
13-07-2008, 05:33 AM
Just a small update from me on what is going on with this.

I started this project as an idea of just writing a story without planning it, and up to now this is just what I have been doing; Until a couple of days ago that is. My brain had an idea for a section of story, then it had another, and another, and pretty soon it had mapped out what I want to do, and where I want to take the first part of this story.

So I jotted down my ideas and arranged them into some semblance of order. With this done my brain started to make even more connections, and started to flesh out brief ideas with some detail and additional plot. I am now at the point where I need to start writing them down, unfortunately (for me, the poor sap who has to write it) this is going to turn into a major piece of work.8)

So I am now writing some of the later sections that I have more detail on, and will be coming back to the current story I have going here shortly. Fortunately the way the story has started to lay itself out matches in with the chapters I have already written, while just making up as I go along, perfectly. ;)

Just as a sampler of some of the work I have been doing (nope, there may not have been much happening here in the form of posts, but I have been writing ;)) here is the beginning of a later chapter as a teaser, and coincidently it's also the first idea I had.

This is still very much WIP and will get a little more polished once I finish the chapter off.



Chapter *: Life

AARRGGGHHHH!!!
PAIN!!

She was born. She was alive. There was no sight, no sound, no sensation but that of unbearable pain, of burning. This was her beginning, born in an explosion of fire, her only knowledge of life, and it almost killed her. If it had continued any longer she would have gone insane, her mind would not have been able to take the waves of agony washing over her consciousness with unrelenting fierceness, but it did stop. In the end the burning ceased, the pain continued for a time, but eventually her body's own defences blocked signals from the nerve endings and reduced the remainder of the pain down to a bearable level.

Although she did not yet know it, if she had been any other life form she would have died in the moment of her birth, but she was designed with survivability in mind. Every single cell in her body was harder, stronger, and tougher than any other living tissue had been in the history of the universe, within each atom of her body there were complete instructions to rebuild her. Unless she was ripped apart at the sub-atomic level, every single part of her utterly sundered, she could not die.

This is not to say that the moment of her birth did not affect the rest of her existence. No matter how she was hurt, how she was damaged, whatever injury she suffered, it was nothing in comparison. Wounds that would have crippled most life forms from the pain, she was able to ignore. Not because they hurt less, but when your first moments of conscious life are nothing but agony filled, the psyche finds ways to defend itself, in this case it was by the control of pain. She would be able to suppress the pain from any injury that was caused to her and continue to function.

But these were things she would find out in the future, at the moment she was no more than a spark of life in a void of nothingness. Within an hour the terrible damage that had been done to her physical being in the explosion had been repaired by her body's restorative systems, but she had no sense of a body yet. Now the pain had gone, she felt nothing. No heat or cold, no pain or pleasure. No sight, sound, smell or touch infringed upon her mind. She was a series of thoughts without external input.

She rested. It could not be said that she slept, she had no need of sleep, but rather her mind idled, not really thinking, but just recovering from the shock of the clashing conditions that had made up her personnel history to date, the contradictory states of pain and then the nothingness in which she now existed.

Eventually she started to think in a coherent manner again, the curse of intelligence is that it has a curiosity to know, and now she wanted to know. To know what she was, where she was, to know if there was anything more. Slowly she probed her surroundings with her mind for any hint of something that was different from what she could sense now. As this was currently nothing, finding something should be easy she reasoned to herself. She had no sense of time passing, so her probing may have taken seconds, it may have taken weeks, she had no way of knowing, but eventually her persistence paid off. What she found could only be described as a ripple, a bump, in the surface of her personal nothingness. Once she had found it her whole mind locked onto it, as if it feared that now it had found something it might lose it again. She studied it, scrutinised it, and explored the edges of its existence. She didn't touch it directly with her mind for fear of retaliation from it. At the moment whatever it was either hadn't noticed her, or was not alarmed by her, and she didn't want to change that. Instead she carefully studied the nothingness surrounding it, slowly moving her mind closer to it from different angles until she could sense the edge of it, and then repeating the process from a different angle and direction. Eventually she found that it was spherical in shape, that she could move around it on any axis and it would not change.

She stopped and wondered what she should do next. Now that she had found it, her mind knew where it was and would not forget. No matter where she went in the nothingness she would always be able to find it again. She realised that even if she did not do anything else with it, she now had a fixed point of reference. She could explore the nothingness and never be completely lost or adrift in it again.

With this realisation she decided to explore a little more, if there was one anomaly here, there may be others, and if there were none she could return here and study this one again. She set out in a random direction, one way was as good as another in this nothingness. She moved for a set amount of time in one direction, and finding nothing, she changed direction, but not in a random way this time, she had decided to complete a circle that had the sphere as the central hub. Keeping the sphere on the edge of her senses she could examine all of the nothingness between her and it, and the same amount of distance outwards from her position into the void. She realised that she would have to do another circle on a perpendicular course as well for her senses to be able to cover the whole 360-degree volume around the sphere, but she had the time, what else was there to do?

She completed her revolution of the sphere and set out again at a right angle to her previous course. She finished that circuit as well and had found nothing. Pausing she considered this. Was this sphere the only thing around? Or did she have to search further a-field than she had already? It was while she was trying to figure out whether she should return to the sphere or explore a greater volume of the nothingness that she realised the sphere was no longer at the edge of her senses, but that she could 'see' past it into the area of nothingness behind it. She was alarmed at this, had the sphere moved? In her mind she projected the course she had taken in both directions around the sphere and checked the sphere in relation to it. No, the sphere hadn't moved, it was still in the exact centre of her course. She pushed her awareness out to its maximum extent again and measured how far she could now see. She could see past the sphere half the distance it would take to get to the other side of her search pattern. Had her senses become stronger with use?

She moved away from the sphere until it was on the edge of her perception again and repeated her search pattern. She deliberately did not take any notice of the sphere except for it's position to keep her course circular, she also resisted the temptation to try and see if her range had increased again before the end of her new wider ranged search. When she had finished both circles and had stopped at the same point she had started from, she then checked how far she could see, and yet again her range had increased by the same relative amount, she could see to the halfway point beyond the sphere. She reasoned logically that the use of her senses was, in a way, training them, and this training of her sense of perception could be a benefit to her in the long run. So she resumed her scanning of the surrounding nothingness, but instead of circling around the sphere in two directions trying to find something else she flew on one plane only, and in a spiral that always kept the sphere on the edge of her perception, deliberately training and extending her senses this time.

She did this for what seemed like an eternity, circling around the sphere slowly moving ever further away from it as her range improved. She was just beginning to wonder if her senses had a limit and if she could keep going like this forever, when she noticed that the last loop of her spiral had not brought her the same distance away from the sphere that the previous one had. It took another twelve loops for her to end up having completed a circle rather than another loop in the spiral, she had reached the limit of her perception and no further training would be of benefit to her. Time to resume her search. She had just done a complete circle on one axis and not found anything, but she had a huge volume of space left to search in the other direction. She was just about to start the search on the other axis she had used before when she realised that there was now too great a volume in her search sphere for her to cover all of it by only using 2 axis, she would now have to use eight to see the whole volume of space between her and the sphere, and to not miss anything further out.

Changing course she started to follow each 'slice' of the whole volume. She was a quarter of the way around the fifth slice when she briefly sensed something in the distance. Stopping, she reversed her course slowly until she was at the only point on the current circle that she could sense whatever it was in the distance. It was at such extreme range that she could not tell what it was, only that something was there. She altered course and headed toward it.

As she got closer so more and more anomalies started to appear, she slowed her speed, nervous of what she might find. The primeval instincts of survival that every living creature possesses prompted her caution. What were these things? They weren’t spheres, they had a seemingly irregular shape, but she was still to far away to define what shapes they were, let alone see any detail. Cautiously she drew closer and slowly the shape of these new anomalies became clearer. This unfortunately didn't help her much as the shapes seemed to be different in nature, and not of any predetermined matching design. The nearer she came to the shapes the more of them she could sense.

She arrived at the first shape she had detected, which also seemed to be the closest to the sphere. It was a rectangular box with another two square boxes a third of the way down opposite sides. If you tuned it on it's side, or if she rotated herself into the correct orientation, it would look like a squat lower case 'T'. The next nearest shape looked like an upside down capital 'G'. She idly wondered, amused at her own imagination, if there was a word being spelled out, but if there was, who would have put it here? And why? Examining a third shape she saw that it looked like an upside down 'C'. Three shapes all resembling letters; this was surly too much to be a coincidence. If there had been a few shapes like this amongst the others she would have written it of as just that, a coincidence, but the first 3 all resembling a letter? She started to look at other nearby shapes to confirm her growing suspicions, they all resembled letters. Some were quite obvious, some were slightly distorted in some way like the squat T she had first found, and others were so badly disfigured that they could only be seen as letters from one angle, and only then with a bit of creative imagination coming into play. This was beyond coincidence, she now new that she had accidentally guessed correctly and there was something here to work out, a message to piece together. Another thought occurred to her then. She could not have found these letters if she hadn't increased her range of perception, were these tests for her to solve? She supposed that she might have been able to stumble across them by accident, but the chances of that happening before she had extended her range of perception would have been very improbable. This enforced her suspicion that these were a series of tests for her to solve, and as the first one had been of benefit to her she thought she would try to solve this new puzzle as well. She didn't have anything else to keep her mind occupied within the void.

She knew this was a training exercise the second she spotted the technique behind it. If she successfully worked out the puzzles, or more accurately, completed the tasks before her, she got rewarded with the next stage and possibly better skills than she started with. An animal would get a treat, but an intelligent being would enjoy the challenge of the puzzle itself. The ultimate reward could possibly be a way out of this nothingness, there must be something beyond, or else where had the pain come from?

With this newly worked out knowledge she attacked the next puzzle with renewed vigour. Using her senses she moved around the debris field of letters scanning each one, taking note of it's position in the nothingness, and its position, rotation and orientation in relation to the other letters around it. She didn't know if any or all of this information would be useful, but it might be, and she wasn't going to take any chances that she might miss any sort of pattern to the letters that could unlock the key to this puzzle. It took her a long time to scan them all, and as she progressed through the field of letters her skills at logging them increased, and as a consequence the time taken to complete the task grew shorter and shorter because she could move faster and faster and still gather all the information she needed. There were nearly 27,133,000 of them in total (she had counted them as well, just in case), if this was series of letters she had to piece together, it would make a rather large novel. This was without the problem that if she managed to figure out words from these letters, she would still need to figure out which order these words should be placed in. There could be hundreds of thousands of combinations that would all construct logical sentences. On the other hand this was a test and a puzzle, so there must also be a key to solving it, all she had to do was find the key and the rest would fall into place. Or she hoped it would anyway.

She moved back to the first T she had found once she had all the letters logged in her memory, she thought that this might be the first letter in the sequence, and as any of them could be, it was as good a place to start as any. Figuratively 'sitting' next to the T she started to look for patterns that may give a clue to the solution. First she looked at the layout of the letters to see if some were facing the same direction as each other, she hadn't ruled out the possibility that only a few of these letters may be needed and not all of them. She found quite a few sets of letters that had the same orientation, but apart from 'if', 'at', 'so', 'but', etc none of them made up any words. So then she tried to see if any of these groupings had any relation to each other. She picked a point to the left of the debris field, and then picked out the first letter from each group that was nearest to that point. She rearranged them in her mind trying to see if she could make any sense out of them. She tried them forwards, backwards, running from one side to another, then following zigzag patterns jumping from one group to the next nearest, then the same process but starting from one side then jumping right across to the other slowly working he way to the centre of the debris. Then she tried all these again but in the opposite direction.

This produced no better results than her first try at the letters. So she tried to see if there was a pattern in the way the letters were laying in the void. Using the T as a starting point she looked to see if there was a letter that would follow on from it in a way that made sense. She moved to a position that placed her in front of the T and rotated herself so the T was the correct way up. Then she aligned a plane flat with the base of the t, and another that looked like the T was on a piece of paper. Using the two she could then follow the line of the T to see if there was another letter further away that could be the next in a word if the T had been written down. There was, it was an I. She moved to the I and set up the planes again, this time there wasn't a letter directly inline with the I, but there was one very close, reasoning that not all the letters would be on an exact line otherwise the letters would run out before they had all been included, she chose to use this letter as the next one. It was an M, and she repeated the process of moving to it and setting up the planes. The next letter that was close enough to possibly be classed as a part of the whole was a Z. This was not good, TIMZ was not a word, however it could be sections of the first and second word 'TIM Z' or perhaps 'TI MZ', so to make sure she put the planes up and looked for the next letter. It was a Y. She felt disappointed after a semi-promising start, but she had only just started. A T would look the same from both sides, she may have the right idea, but had started in the wrong direction. She returned to the T and placed herself on the opposite side of it and started the process all over again, the first three letters were J, Q, and S - this was obviously not the solution to the puzzle.

Moving back to the T she thought about what she could try next. Perhaps she had the right idea in following the letters, but there was another way that one pointed to the next in the sequence. Looking at the T again, she thought that if you look at it in a certain way, it was also a pointer, the long section directing you downwards. So she tried this approach, and got the same result. So she tried it on every axis, partly so she didn't miss a trick, and partly from a growing sense of frustration. None worked.

She stopped. This had gotten her nowhere. She was annoyed at herself, she felt as if she was doing the right thing, but the result made no sense. Casting about trying to get a clue on how to proceed she saw the G again. How stupid was she? She asked herself in exasperation. The T was lowercase, you don't start a sentence with a lowercase letter, you start with a capital, and being a G it had a definite direction to follow rather than the T which looked the same from both sides. She moved to the G and tried again. The next letter was an O, the next was a B, followed by an A, a C, and a K. The next 3 letters were Q, Z, and P. She stopped again. It had started off well but then stopped. 'GO BACK'. Go back to what? The G? Had she now got the correct letter and had been given the hint that she was following the wrong direction? Or had it just been a random fluke that she had managed two words? She went back to the G and tried another direction. She stopped. 'GO BACK'. She checked every axis starting with the G each time, and each time the same message was given too her, 'GO BACK', but nothing else, each path disintegrated into nonsense after those two words.

Go back was obviously the message, but was it complete or had she just got a middle section? The next nearest capital letter wasn't far away, she moved to it and started the process all over again in case there was a piece of a message attached to each one. After trying 5 other capital letters, the G was the only one to produce a coherent word, so she returned to it again and pondered what it could mean. Go back to where? The sphere? Has it changed? It was worth a try, even if it hadn't changed she could eliminate it as an option so the trip wouldn't be wasted.

Returning to the sphere she noticed that she was now moving faster than when she had left the sphere, searching back through her memory she saw that she had slowly been getting faster since she had found the sphere, each revolution she had done around it had either been quicker than the previous, or almost taken the same amount of time even though she had been moving further away from it in a spiral. So another of her skills was getting better with use.

Arriving back at the sphere she extensively scanned the surrounding area for any changes; she couldn't find any. She had thought this would be the case, but had to check anyway. She turned back toward the letter field and started the trip back to the G.

As she started to move, she placed the map of the letters up in her minds eye to work on possible solutions while she was travelling. Although she was to far away to sense the letters, she knew exactly the position and relationship they all had with each other. On a whim she spun the map about so she would be looking into the field from the direction she was approaching it from, and stopped dead. If she had a mouth it would have been hanging open in surprise.

From this angle, and only from this angle, the field slotted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle, every letter slotted exactly into place. An individual letter was not important, and she doubted that apart from 'Go back' there wasn't a single cohesive pattern to any of the letters, but as a whole they formed a giant message.

Well done, you have managed to solve this puzzle.

As you have no doubt guessed by now, you are being trained, or more accurately your mind is being trained. Your physical being you will have to train for yourself, but the skills I will give your mind through these tests and puzzles will make that task easier for you when you are finally connected to it.

Isolating your mind from your body eliminates outside influences, distractions, and limitations. This allows you the freedom and dexterity, through unhindered thought processes, to solve problems that would otherwise be beyond your skill. If you were in contact with your body it would shape your thoughts by it's own limitations, you would not consider some options because you would automatically assume that you couldn't do certain things within the limitations of your body. So first I must train your mind to think, to examine, to assess. This will eventually allow you to gain access to solutions to problems that would not have occurred to you without this training. If you manage to solve these tasks and gain your body, you will find that what you can do is only hindered BY your body, not BECAUSE of it.

That is a subtle distinction, but an important one. You may not understand it at this point, but you will before the end.

To get to this point you have had to extend and hone your mental capabilities, you will have noticed the obvious improvements to your mental 'reach', your speed of thought, not only signalled by your increased speed in moving around this mind construct, but also the amount of information you can assimilate at one time has increased beyond that which you had when you started. The skills that you may not have noticed an improvement to are perseverance, pattern recognition, data sorting, multiple solution examination, and lastly you have learned that sometimes to solve a problem you must take a step backwards and look at the problem as a whole rather than at the individual pieces.

There is one more problem for you to solve before you are ready to move onto the next stage. You must enter the sphere.

She read this message 3 times, hardly able to believe what she was reading. She was being trained alright, but by whom and for what purpose was still a mystery.

She turned and looked at the sphere, then she turned to look at where the letters would be. Removing the map from her vision, she thought about what was happening. If this was within her mind, then the only limitations she had were those that her mind placed upon itself. So if she could recognise what limitations her mind was making, she could bypass them and ignore them completely. She realised that there were certain limitations that she would not be able to bypass. For instance a mind, no matter how advanced, could only think at a certain speed, but what was her limit? She had been getting faster the whole time she had been moving, how fast could she move?

She looked at the letters again, and then thought herself at them. She stopped in front of the G. She had moved faster than she had ever thought was possible before this moment, but it wasn't instantaneous and there was still a detectable transition period, but she could sense and control the movement if she wished. She flashed back to the sphere and then pushed her sense of perception out around her. There was still a maximum limit, but now she saw to a greater distance than ever before, she could see well beyond the letters now, even from here, she could scan them and recount them in a fraction of the time it had taken her before.

She didn't know who was behind these tests, but she was damn well going to give them a run for their money. And she was going to take any training they gave her, but she would use it for her own ends if they wanted to her to use it for anything she didn't agree with.

Looking back at the sphere she pondered the last line of the message. She had to enter it, so touching it should be safe. She poked and probed the sphere to see if she could get any sort of reaction out of it. Nothing happened. It just rippled slightly, like a globe of water suspended in zero gravity, but with a skin that stopped it breaking into smaller bits when you touched it. Slowly it settled back into stillness.

NovaCatt
13-07-2008, 07:52 AM
Hiya Peeps, :wave:

@ AS....
Hiya Bossman,
Excellent work!! O0
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!! O0 O0 O0 O0

As the guys have said previously: Can't wait to read even more of this fantastic story!

Cheers & Thranx

borgrel
16-07-2008, 08:15 PM
Most impressive: the story is good, and the chapter about the Sohnen mind in training is sheer genius!!

This story rings with the most depth and addicts me the strongest. I shall therefore be unusually critical :- this does not mean i dislike it in any way, in fact i am quite happy with it as is.

You accurately portray a different and more importantly - possible - point of view.

The only question: where did her knowledge come from? You clearly state (and imply) that like humans teaching is required (this - although annoying - allows for greater flexibility for the mind) So how does she know what the alphabet is and how does she know that objects tend towards spheres when no force is exerted on it?

Tease: besides, how does a race that existed b4 us know, and choose to use, our alphabet??

Aragon Speed
17-07-2008, 04:49 AM
Most impressive: the story is good, and the chapter about the Sohnen mind in training is sheer genius!!

This story rings with the most depth and addicts me the strongest. I shall therefore be unusually critical :- this does not mean i dislike it in any way, in fact i am quite happy with it as is.

You accurately portray a different and more importantly - possible - point of view.

The only question: where did her knowledge come from? You clearly state (and imply) that like humans teaching is required (this - although annoying - allows for greater flexibility for the mind) So how does she know what the alphabet is and how does she know that objects tend towards spheres when no force is exerted on it?

Tease: besides, how does a race that existed b4 us know, and choose to use, our alphabet??

Everything you bring up here is later in the chapter, this is only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chapter.

As I said, this is just a teaser. ;)

It's good it has you interested enough to start asking questions tho. :)

Oh, and this isn't a Sohnen mind. ;)

borgrel
17-07-2008, 03:35 PM
hehe, that explains it all: many thanx - i understand now

ReeverDrak
15-05-2009, 04:43 AM
Everything you bring up here is later in the chapter, this is only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chapter.

As I said, this is just a teaser. ;)

It's good it has you interested enough to start asking questions tho. :)

Oh, and this isn't a Sohnen mind. ;)

Hi there dude. just finished reading all of it.

I like the miners son bit, with his mysterious discovery (also begs the question> now that he's removed the artifact, has the Nividium gone from the roid?? like was that artifact giving the 4%?? could really annoy his dad after he just ordered a mine to go on it lol). Its well laid out and easy to read, my only critique would be to extend the end of the last chapter a little on that part to smoothen in the transition to the next segment as reading it it felt a little rushed in parts and didn't immerse as well as the rest... (unless there is more to it that that lol)otherwise nice one there dude O0

Blue One's segment seems a little strange in that its not strange... I'm a Farscape fun and i live on a diet of Terry Pratchett's (i have the cloning tubes in my room, shame i can't use them all the time, they use to much power and I've been in trouble with the nation grid for making black outs lol, thankfully they've not court me on eating Terry lol :mrgreen: >:D ) so basically I'm a scfi purist, in the sense if these guys are meant to be the Ancients, they seem too human, like they have such things as toilets lol, and the poor 'Male' has the drink orange juice in hospital (which might as well be saying he's wont be drinking anything as oranges are 3 billion years from evolving, so he's got a long wait till he really can drink it lol if he can that is... i mean are these particular branch of the Ancients humanoid? and do they need to drink or do any of the thinks we do as humans, or carbon based life forms for that matter??).

however, don't take what I'm saying as bad and I'm not flaming you as i can see the message behind it and it is good dude O0 just want to get you to think about those Human aspects from what might be a less then human situation.

Don't be scared to lead the reader down a path that at first seems like your letting to much out (whcih actually your not you just make them feel that you are), in other words in parts of it it feels like your holding back allot with some of the plot (and not with regards to him trying to find out after being in hospital, but before when setting the seen or the situation before the accident), so try to think of the structure in the sense of clearing events and situations as they happen, so the it flows a little better, like i said before, and if there is something you want to hold on to for later then thats cool, but to get the reader thinking and for its flow leave behind clues that would otherwise be missed, in some ways this could be considered as padding but its more to do with giving the reader a picture thats easy to follow though to the rest of what you are trying to put across, and you can always turn it around unexpectedly and shock the reader with something. In some ways what can be said is that its easy to fall into that trap where you have so much to say (i know iv done it myself, and you might see in in The Knowledge of Souls as that is now 4 years old so you will see my skills with it change through with the work) that it ends up being to much so leaves the reader with a fractured feeling when reading it, so what i try to do to solve this is to interject it with something random like a avent... so like allot of details a good thing, just if there is a large amount to say then try not to say much in one place like spread it around a bit as one massive bulk will fracture the flow (this doesn't apply so much when mixing detail with actions or events happening in any tense).

The training bit... well that is my fav dude O0 top marks. The flow is there just about so that is all good and you get at first the feeling of the mind developing as at first it is naive and gets interested by the simple things then gradually things get more and more, and i could tell from the tests it had to do were like navigation from memory to other aspects, so dare i say that is thing is the mind of the ship? it would be the logical concultion.

To answer borgrel from what I'm able to gather, and you may or may not see what you've done here AS but if you think about it the situation is almost perfect i mean to the point of the fantastic lol you see I have an interest in psychology and with that on top of that as well as my ideals toward Scfi it all fits together... and ill explain how from my prospective>
With regards to the message and the letters, you have to remember that this mind has not come across sight, sound or any other sensations so it would be a consciousness based around pure feeling so expressing that in words is almost imposable normally, like try expressing something in words other that what has been already said that for all tense and purpose is just a feeling like the shapes it encountered, and the message itself would be to the prospective of the mind nothing more than a string of feeling expressing or communicating the idea of each word that makes the message, so weather the shapes are in the form of the alphabet is irrelevant when in-fact they could be translated or interpreted as anything, they just express the feeling of the idea of the shape that has that meaning, and how those meanings are interpreted i would say would be logical if it were hard wired into what makes that consciousness like an instinct (if it is the ship however) built into it...
Now i here some ask "then when haven't they done that with all of it? like given it all the information it needed?" now i would presume that you are of the feeling that wisdom comes from experience? as no one can just give a load of programing and expect good results all the time... In other words;
Give only basic instructions then leave the rest for it to learn and gain its wisdom from that? that is what I've interpreted anyhow.
The only thing that bothers my mind is the end of that where you give the consciousness a personality with its slightly defiant attitude. Is this deliberate? like is this something that has been hard wired? smells like Blue One may have a hand it its creation maybe? i say this as the is a consciousness that is this new and therefore doesn't know allot so concepts like betrayal or defiance ect (social conditions) would not have formed within its current situation naturally as its such a new life form and has not yet had those experiences.
But 9 out of 10 there due O0


Iv been writing on and off for 6 years (about the same time when i learned how to read properly) and the end result of which has been the 4 years of work with The Knowledge of Souls.... And that has helped me understand some things even though sometimes when i rush they don't come across.

Have also a look at Ultima as that as Living ships in it too by a race called the Myrun. I really want to make that mod lol

To conculed i think this is really good work here dude and i hope what iv said is helpful, and im sorry i know its alot to take in but you did write alot lol.:p But really dude nice one O0

Aragon Speed
15-05-2009, 01:12 PM
Its well laid out and easy to read, my only critique would be to extend the end of the last chapter a little on that part to smoothen in the transition to the next segment as reading it it felt a little rushed in parts and didn't immerse as well as the rest... (unless there is more to it that that lol)otherwise nice one there dude O0

There are parts that are a little sparse in this section, and consequently feel a little rushed. This is due to two factors.

1. I was writing this with no planning at all (Which was the point of the exercise when I started), which means in places I had one section of story, and then another section of story, and I had to force the two together sometimes.

2. This is a first draft. No editing has been done to smooth and/or pad. ;)

The end is chopped for a reason, this section of the story continues later after preceding events take place.

I haven't placed hints yet as the later sections have yet to be written, and so hints/links will appear, but not before I have figured out what they will be.


Blue One's segment seems a little strange in that its not strange ... in the sense if these guys are meant to be the Ancients, they seem too human, like they have such things as toilets lol, and the poor 'Male' has the drink orange juice in hospital ... i mean are these particular branch of the Ancients humanoid? and do they need to drink or do any of the thinks we do as humans, or carbon based life forms for that matter??).
It is quite obvious they are humanoid.

One of the things you need to be careful of as a sci-fi writer is not to make things too alien for the reader, or they just get bogged down in working out what you mean instead of reading the story. A lot of the best sci-fi writers will warp the reality we know, but still leave a familiar base for the reader to grasp. Basically, if you make things too alien, then you lose the reader as they have no common point of reference with the world they know.

Even cats/dogs/cows clean themselves, so why wouldn't he have a shower?

I agree on the orange juice, and in my edited version I have here I have already changed it to generic 'fruit juice'. It isn't important to the plot, so making a weird and wonderful alien sounding fruit name up isn't really worth the effort. It also goes back to what I was saying about not making a story too alien for the reader.


Don't be scared to lead the reader down a path that at first seems like your letting to much out (whcih actually your not you just make them feel that you are), in other words in parts of it it feels like your holding back allot with some of the plot (and not with regards to him trying to find out after being in hospital, but before when setting the seen or the situation before the accident), so try to think of the structure in the sense of clearing events and situations as they happen, so the it flows a little better, like i said before, and if there is something you want to hold on to for later then thats cool, but to get the reader thinking and for its flow leave behind clues that would otherwise be missed, in some ways this could be considered as padding but its more to do with giving the reader a picture thats easy to follow though to the rest of what you are trying to put across, and you can always turn it around unexpectedly and shock the reader with something. In some ways what can be said is that its easy to fall into that trap where you have so much to say (i know iv done it myself, and you might see in in The Knowledge of Souls as that is now 4 years old so you will see my skills with it change through with the work) that it ends up being to much so leaves the reader with a fractured feeling when reading it, so what i try to do to solve this is to interject it with something random like a avent... so like allot of details a good thing, just if there is a large amount to say then try not to say much in one place like spread it around a bit as one massive bulk will fracture the flow (this doesn't apply so much when mixing detail with actions or events happening in any tense).
A lot of the problems you mention here are because this part of the story originally had no planning. It appeared on the page as it fell out of my brain. Additionally, once again, it is only a first draft as well.


The training bit... well that is my fav dude O0 top marks. The flow is there just about so that is all good and you get at first the feeling of the mind developing as at first it is naive and gets interested by the simple things then gradually things get more and more, and i could tell from the tests it had to do were like navigation from memory to other aspects

This section is better for two reasons. It had some planning behind it. It had it's first edit before I posted it.

The first parts of this story have since been re-written, and flow a lot better as well.


To answer borgrel from what I'm able to gather, and you may or may not see what you've done here AS but if you think about it the situation is almost perfect i mean to the point of the fantastic lol you see I have an interest in psychology and with that on top of that as well as my ideals toward Scfi it all fits together... and ill explain how from my prospective>
With regards to the message and the letters, you have to remember that this mind has not come across sight, sound or any other sensations so it would be a consciousness based around pure feeling so expressing that in words is almost imposable normally, like try expressing something in words other that what has been already said that for all tense and purpose is just a feeling like the shapes it encountered, and the message itself would be to the prospective of the mind nothing more than a string of feeling expressing or communicating the idea of each word that makes the message, so weather the shapes are in the form of the alphabet is irrelevant when in-fact they could be translated or interpreted as anything, they just express the feeling of the idea of the shape that has that meaning, and how those meanings are interpreted i would say would be logical if it were hard wired into what makes that consciousness like an instinct (if it is the ship however) built into it...

That is fairly close. I too have an interest in psychology. Later in the chapter you find that the mind, although she doesn't realise that is what she is doing at thins point in time, is drawing information from data-banks.


Now i here some ask "then when haven't they done that with all of it? like given it all the information it needed?" now i would presume that you are of the feeling that wisdom comes from experience? as no one can just give a load of programing and expect good results all the time... In other words;
Give only basic instructions then leave the rest for it to learn and gain its wisdom from that? that is what I've interpreted anyhow.

That is correct. You can programme knowledge, but you need experience and training to use that knowledge effectively.

You can tell a child that the fire is hot, but the child has no 'sense' of hot until the first time it gets burnt.


The only thing that bothers my mind is the end of that where you give the consciousness a personality with its slightly defiant attitude. Is this deliberate? like is this something that has been hard wired? Sort of. The mind has been designed to be independent. Why? Read the story when I have finished it. ;)


smells like Blue One may have a hand it its creation maybe?Not directly.


i say this as the is a consciousness that is this new and therefore doesn't know allot so concepts like betrayal or defiance ect (social conditions) would not have formed within its current situation naturally as its such a new life form and has not yet had those experiences.As I said, read the story when it is done. ;)

ReeverDrak
15-05-2009, 02:47 PM
It is quite obvious they are humanoid.

One of the things you need to be careful of as a sci-fi writer is not to make things too alien for the reader, or they just get bogged down in working out what you mean instead of reading the story. A lot of the best sci-fi writers will warp the reality we know, but still leave a familiar base for the reader to grasp. Basically, if you make things too alien, then you lose the reader as they have no common point of reference with the world they know.

Even cats/dogs/cows clean themselves, so why wouldn't he have a shower?

I agree on the orange juice, and in my edited version I have here I have already changed it to generic 'fruit juice'. It isn't important to the plot, so making a weird and wonderful alien sounding fruit name up isn't really worth the effort. It also goes back to what I was saying about not making a story too alien for the reader.


A lot of the problems you mention here are because this part of the story originally had no planning. It appeared on the page as it fell out of my brain. Additionally, once again, it is only a first draft as well.



In my story, trying to explain something as complex as a Greneenian i understand would be over kill for the reader but i do my best to over come this by having the point of reference as the reader themselves, by taking a complex situation and trying to brake it down, and then to make if flow i would mix that with actions and things that are happening, the result i hope is a description that is not only complex but easy to read as well (you may find that the older works at the begging my need more development as it myself have developed over time.) as trying to get your concepts across i agree that things should be made simple but only in the way they are described and not in the situation as much. for example>

“Oh, I apologise your majesty, I did not know you were arriving.” said Senator Celcin.
“I expect you didn’t; after all what is communication for anyway?” said Empress Shavana high Empress of the Greneenian Empire.
“Indeed you’re Majesty. So what brings you?”
“I expect she’s come to see me.” Behind Senator Celcin, a middle aged man with a walking stick walked out onto the pad. He was quite tall for a man and bared the scars of time, and was neatly dressed in a suit of some form of polyester in a deep shade of black and blue. His hair was white as snow and his face was long with a very prominent jaw line.
“Prandition Hellsim I...” Senator Celcin began.
“William, glad to see you are well. I see you are still recovering from that Decom riding accident,” said the Empress, with a warm smile, showing a little of her shark like teeth.
“And I see you haven’t changed a bit either, your Majesty. How can I help you in any way? You seem a bit shook up, what's happened?” said the Prandition of Earth.
“Unfortunately, we had a surprise attack from the Fenddred again,” said the Empress.
“That is the third time this month. Their activity is beginning to heat up. Oh, where's the Damankis, normally she is your personal escort ship?” Prandition looked concerned at her for a bit.
“She's gone to sort out some other baseness; she'll be arriving to pick me up in a few days. Unfortunately we lost the battle carrier Berlin Dass Secondary Royal Escort in the battle, that's why I arrived.” said the Empress.
“As my rude counterpart said earlier, what brings you here then?” said the Prandition with a fleeting glare at the Senator. Afterwards Senator Celcin shrugged away quietly, this did not go unnoticed by the Empress, but she did not say anything.
“Well, during the attack, we finally managed to destroy one of their ships, and when we performed a wreck analysis, we found something quite interesting floating adrift with the wreckage. We’re lucky it’s still intact,” said the Empress, turning her head towards the ship.

In this it is said that the Prandition has had a riding accident, on what is only said as a Decom, this brings an every day element to the characters, something i did see in parts in what you wrote. so basically like i said don't be to scared to express the amount of detail, only be aware of how you place it with it the narrative as the reader is to some extent expecting a scfi story so would expect to see some unexpected things that are weird or strange (depending on the type of scfi, but generally this is the case when dealing with the alien subject lol) but thats more down to individuals, but it might be fare to say the the reader of a scfi would have a good level of imagination to spend the time to read it to begin with...

you could say that i see your potential and I'm saying let it out and be free lol and worry about how it looks later like you said yourself this is a draft so in that draft let everything go and just go hells bells on everything to see what happens and then worry about how it flows later lol.

Thats what i did with mine lol.