Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Chapter 11 Excerpt

"The likelihood of anyone surviving is very slim Captain." Arizona slipped the environmental suit helmet over her head and clicked the air locking mechanisms into place before turning toward him.

The ten people leaving the ship in order to explore the Mars Colony were pressed together in a small hold as they donned the suits. "Perhaps, but we'll still have a look and not give up all hope eh Ms. Kowolski?"

"Hope. The notion of holding onto a belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary." Arizona looked unimpressed, frowning under the visor of her helmet.

"That's about the whole of it." James said, shaking his head in disbelief. "Everyone ready?" He was met with a chorus of affirmatives so he stepped forward and pressed the buttons to release the airlock. Encased in the suit, his fingers were at least three or four times their normal size and moved somewhat awkwardly over the keypad but the hiss of the door seal releasing reassured him.

They moved together from the landing pad to the mostly intact corridor that attached it to the rest of the pods that made of the Mars Colony. From there, the three teams were forced to separate in order to accomplish their individual missions. "This feels like we're robbing a grave." Frank Canton was clearly upset by the mission allotted to him but waited to say anything until James was out of sight and earshot.

"The occupants of this facility have no use of the supplies now as they are dead." Arizona stepped up beside the first person they came across and stooped to examine the body. "Female, non-violent death – I'd guess oxygen deprivation after the life support system went down." She ran her gloved fingers under the collar of the dead woman's jumpsuit which had a small silver caduceus pin attached to it. "She was medical staff."

"They may have no use of it anymore but it still feels wrong Arizona!" Frank swore a few times before stomping onward.

Arizona looked toward the other two in confusion but they simply shook their heads, imploring her not to continue the line of discussion. But she hurried after Canton anyway, "How can it feel wrong exactly? The dead can't use stored food or medical supplies but we can."

"It just...." Frank stopped so suddenly that Arizona piled into him and they almost tumbled forward. At their feet, a woman clutched two children in her lap. The small family looked to be completely at peace despite the terror that must have been surging through the woman – presumably the mother - as she tried to find a way to save her children. "Can you honestly look at these people and not feel compassion?"

"It's not a matter of not feeling compassion Mr. Canton." Arizona knelt before the family and examined them again, to confirm her suspicions on the cause of death. Still kneeling, she looked upward, "it's simply a matter of practicality. Our futures are uncertain and it is logical for us to outfit ourselves in such a way to survive. If this topic is uncomfortable for you, I will desist questioning. Though I still do not understand your thought process."


  1. The excerpts are great! The pieces have all fit together very nicely and still left gaping holes the size of the Milky Way to be discovered!

    *is glad James made the trip* ;)

  2. Arizona seems very...Android-esque. Like somethings data would have said. :D

    I like her just the same. :D