Nanowrimo 2009

Now why would I bring up something ancient like a story from 2009? And you may ask, dear reader, what is a Nanowrimo?

Last things first: Nanowrimo is a challenge to write a novel in a month. A novel of at least 50,000 words. This amounts to around 1680 words per day, and more if you slip a day. Think of a book of about 100 pages, for easier reference.

In 2009 I did Nanowrimo for the third time. The story developed from a very short story I had written on the prompt of a friend. The prompt was: “Did they use Bactine?” At that time I was not even aware that Bactine is a first aid liquid, as it is an American product and unknown in the Netherlands.

The story is about a soldier on a star base who gets hurt badly, fixed up, set up, thrown out of the military in a halfway decent manner and ends up with a ‘special assignment’. He is sent to a planet far away, where a number of interesting things are waiting for him in an equally interesting environment.

It came out a cross between science-fiction and steampunk, at least that is how it feels to me. I am currently editing the book (trust me, writing 136,000 words in one month desperately calls for editing), so it is acceptable for publishing on Smashwords and affiliates.

If you, dear reader, have an appreciation for scifi and steampunk, it might be an idea to keep your eyes open for “Bactine”. Of course, I will keep everyone informed about the progress on this book, on this very weblog.

Below is a small snippet from “Bactine”, at the point where Daniel has returned from a mission that almost went wrong. It is the point where his future will change dramatically.

“I did what I could, Daniel.” Burt sat down on the chair in the conference room. “I won’t make things pretty: I doubt it will make a difference. General Rudyer is very strict on protocol and following orders, and his word will make the verdict. Sorry.”

Daniel nodded.

Upon their return to the star base, Troy had filed a serious complaint against Daniel, for insubordination, leaving his designated station before notice and even endangering the lives of military personnel and civilians.

“I guess I should count on being thrown out, right?”

“Yes. Which is better than…” The trainer did not finish his words.

Wilma came in, bringing coffee. “Here. How was it?”

Burt filled her in. Wilma’s face grew dark. “That sucks. Troy made mistakes and Daniel has to take the fall because Troy hates his guts.”

“That sums it up. And he got Rudyer.”

“Damn it.” Wilma put a hand on Daniel’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

Daniel shook his head. “You can’t help it. No one can. It can happen and it happened.” There were no people left alive that would stand up against Troy for him. That made things even more sour.

Two days later, Daniel and Troy were present in the office of General Rudyer. An official read out the verdict. Daniel was found guilty of endangering the mission on Hargha 9 and disobeying orders of the assigned leader. Troy had tried to make him responsible also for the death of some of the scientists, but that accusation had been rejected for of lack of proof. Daniel’s counters that Troy had failed to listen to Daniel’s experience as assault marshal had been brushed aside, which was hard to swallow. He had to, though, or suffocate on it.

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