(Confused? Don't worry. I am too.)
Then which ever one survived would continue onto the Second Draft.
But ah ha ha. I spontanously decided at one in the morning over a cup of tea that I wasn't going to finish version two and just work on the original.
Which means I basically just wasted all of August. (Why brain? Why do you do this to me?)
But it wasn't entirely a waste of time, since it was basically just one big character development project and you guys all get snippets! Yay, snippets.
And even better: You only get the good stuff.
Which isn't that good.
I would like to apologize in advance for this...
BEWARE OF TYPOS
So this scene was going to be a short story that might go with some version or other of the book:
It amuses me, so you get to see it. (and this is how Ivy went from sweet little assassin to sassy child)
Their head to toe flight suits and helmets made it hard to tell who they were or what they looked like. The taller, leaner man was holding a square device the size of a (I don't know what it was the size of...) and waving it back and forth at chest level.
“It’s not picking up anything.”
“This is where they said they thought it was.” His companion said. “Besides, we’ve already searched just about every moon in this system. And…Ivy! Come away from there!”
The smallest member of their group, a girl, had moved away from the group and was standing directly at the top of the cliff. She ignored him and hopped from one large rock to another.
“Ivy…” he said in a warning tone. “I can and will have you scrubbing latrines for a month.”
Ivy stepped back off the rock, but slumped her shoulders and tilted her head backwards, either rolling her eyes or pointing them skyward as she pleaded to the heavens.
She plodded back toward the others, her footsteps sending clouds of dust into the air, which floated back and covered her suit. They were all covered in dust. It turned their suits and helmets the color of dirt. Ivy reached up and drew a smiley face on hers.
“If you keep causing trouble, I’ll leave you at the ship next time.” Her mentor said firmly.
“What are apprentices coming too.” His companion said dryly, not taking his eyes off his device.
The dust recovered her helmet and she redrew the face, this time was an unhappy mouth.
“Ha ha.” Her mentor laughed sarcastically. “Keep this up and I might just…”
His lean companion interrupted him, swinging his free arm around and hitting his friend in the stomach.
“Elvin, what the...”
“Grant! Grant it’s picking something up!” Elvin said, moving the device around, his eyes glued on the screen.
Ivy cleared her throat.
Elvin kept walking forward. “Now if I can just...”
Ivy cleared her throat again.
“Ivy what?” Grant snapped. “Would you stop it? It’s very distracting.”
Ivy sighed and pointed off to her left.
Elvin’s head snapped up and in the direction and he started running. Grant hurried off after him a second later at a fast walk.
“My, my, what a big rock. It’s lucky we brought Ivy along. Who else would spot THE GIANT SPACE SHIP STICKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE?” she said to herself as she trailed along behind them.
And this scene where they are all sad because nobody knows the constellations even though they are literally in space and you get to learn the name of Elvin's precious ship.
After she had finished her quick scan of the cell, she had walked back out into the main room and sat down, crossed legged on the floor. And there she stayed, her back to the window, perfectly still.
She had changed out of her old clothes into a suit similar to the ones the others wore and hung her old clothes on its peg. The suit, similar to what the others had been wearing would be easier to wear under a space suit then the white blouse and black dress slacks she had been wearing pre-curse.
She wanted to test out the suit, but now was not the time. Now was a waiting game. The others were leaving her alone currently to see how she would react. Trying to judge her actions. Though she didn’t turn her head in their direction, she knew the cameras on the wall were watching her every move. Which was nothing.
They would want to sit and watch the cameras, judging her, gauging her, without giving themselves to her for inspection. The more they knew about her, the better. The less she knew about them, the better.
But she continued to sit there, unnervingly still. Even breathes, no clenching and unclenching hands. Regular blinks. No fidgeting. She kept all the emotion out of her face. She even managed to keep the triumphant grin off her face as Elvin walked around the corner and stopped in front of her cell.
She didn’t look at him, keeping her gaze calming staring in front of her. Even though she could see him out of the corner of her eye. Even though Elvin knew she could see him. He cleared his throat, annoyed.
She turned her head slowly and raised one eyebrow questioningly.
“It turns out you’ve annoyed everyone on the ship. Grant refused to be the one to bring you your meal and won’t let Ivy be around you when he isn’t.” he held up the metal tray. “Which of course left me.”
“You have a very small crew for the ship. Is the Corvus that easy to handle or are you that good of a pilot?” she asked impassively.
Elvin paused in the doorway, looking surprised.
“Of course I knew you were the pilot. You had that proud look when she first came into view and you looked the angriest after my capture, as if you had almost lost something very dear to you and it frightened you. No one else would be that emotionally attached to a ship.”
Elvin still looked slightly shocked. He hit the button on the key pad without taking his eyes off her. The door sealed shut
“What? Something else?” She asked, puzzled by his shocked expression. She rose to her feet, watching him out of the corner of her eye.
He opened his mouth and shut it again before saying hesitantly. “Nobody has ever remembered the name before.”
“Corvus? What is so hard about that? It’s a bloody constellation.”
Elvin was quiet as he set the food on the bar. “Nobody knows the stars anymore.” He said softly before he turned and walked out if the room.
(Wow. This is really painful to read through. I apologize.)
And I am 95% sure that I already gave you this snippet...but still.
The new suit felt reasonably comfortable and flexible so far, but she wanted to know how much they would hinder her the next time she went to kill someone. As the ship went to sleep, she put the suit through a basic workout; leg sweeps, a variety of kicks and punches and slowly moving into entire body moves. As she went through basic flips, twists and rolls, she was satisfied. Mostly.
She stood in the center of the room for a second, looking down approvingly at the suit and then she spun and sprinted toward the door, running up it a few steps and flipping over. And then she turned slowly to face the person she’d been ignoring for the past minute.
“What do you want?” she asked, tilting her chin up aggressively. Elvin was unimpressed.
“Nice wall kick-ey.” He said, ignoring her question. “Does it have a use in a real fight or is it just for show?”
“Come in here and find out.”
Elvin smiled mockingly and shook his head slightly as he put his hands behind his back comfortably. “No. I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
He stood there a minute with an amused smile playing on his lips until Keira was about to turn away in exasperation.
“Actually, I brought coffee. And an apology.”
“For what?” Keira said.
“Our scuffle this morning. If we are going to be working together, there shouldn’t be any bad blood between us.”
“There isn’t. I was egging you on to see what kind of person you were. I thought you knew.”
“And what kind of person am I?” he asked, a slight smile peeking out. This one looked real.
Keira didn’t say anything, just stood there and gave him an uninterested look.
“Do you want the coffee or not?”
Keira dipped her head slightly and stepped away from the door.
“You know, I rather thought you would.” Elvin said and leaned over to pick up two mugs and a small pot.
“You know, while I was up in the cockpit, I flipped through the video camera and looked up what you said to me.” Elvin said setting down his cup.
Keira ignored him and poured herself another cup of coffee.
“It wasn’t very nice.” He said
Keira looked up and raised an eyebrow.
Another five minutes ticked by in silence. The only sound was the spoons as coffee was stirred.
Ah.” Elvin said, breaking the silence. “The silent treatment.”
When Keira didn’t answer and the clock ticked on, Elvin added. “That’s all right. I can take the silence.”
“Apparently not.” Keira muttered over the rim of her mug.
“Aha! She speaks!” Elvin said a trifle smugly. “It was sarcasm…but still.”
Keira tipped her head back and let out an exasperated sigh.
AND THE PUMPKIN CART
The doors opened and Elvin strolled in, hands in his pockets and his trade mark smug smile.
“Hi Elvin!” Ivy said energetically. “Its weird mission story time. Did you know Keira once hid a bunch of bodies in a small pumpkin cart?”
“Oh, that’s not so weird.” Elvin said, sitting down between Keira and Grant as if he was completely comfortable. Keira on the other hand felt slightly off balanced and she couldn’t quite place why.
“I’ve hidden a few bodies in a trash cart and wheeled them off to be disposed of before. It isn’t that weird.” Elvin said as Grant poured him a cup of coffee.
They had a small supply of mugs now, since every time one broke Ivy was forced to go to the kitchen and get replacements. The last time, she had brought back as many as she could carry. Keira glanced over at where Grant was delicately setting down the coffee and passing Elvin the small sugar pot. They looked like two little girls at a tea party.
“Oh no!” Ivy exclaimed, worried that Elvin wouldn’t understand the full feats of Keira’s story. “The pumpkin cart was barely the size of two bunks side by side and it was already full of pumpkins. She hid FIVE bodies in them and then LEFT IT!”
Elvin blinked once in surprise and glanced out of the corner of his eye at Grant for confirmation. His friend gave him a small nod.
“And then she climbed up a nearby building and watched! It wasn’t even the assassination job she was on. She was after this noble-guy. A duke or puke or something. Anyway, someone picked up a pumpkin and there was a head!” Ivy said in a rush. “And then there was big ruckus and the guards were called and then the noble dude himself came out and found his five best guards there dead.”
Grant turned to Keira. “Yes, I forgot to ask last time, but you just sniped him then right?”
Keira gave him a semi-innocent look, her eyebrows raised in a silent ‘What?’
“You did, didn’t you?” Grant said, less certain now.
“Of course she didn’t.” Elvin snorted. He turned to her. “You let him live in fear for a little bit longer, let it consume him and then one day he rushed into his bedchamber to hide and you were….”
“Sitting there in his favorite arm chair?” Keira ended the sentence for him, a sly smile growing on her face. “Why yes. Yes I did.”
She froze suddenly, the smile disappearing. “How did you know?” she demanded her wariness growing.
“Common knowledge.” Elvin said airily, but he looked down at his coffee and she couldn’t see his eyes. Grant and Ivy she noticed looked like they had never heard this story before, but the quickly composed their faces to match his story. She narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
“Are we out of the asteroid field already?” Ivy asked quickly, changing the subject.
And Elvin learns what "keying" means and it scares him
“Good.” Elvin said, the professional mask returning as he stood. “The last thing we need is an emotionally compromised assassin.”
Keira gave a small laugh. “Exactly. Then why are you along?”
Elvin gave her a confused look and she gestured around the room. “You’re the one who’s in love with a ship.”
“I am not.” Elvin said with dignity.
She laughed again. “Keep lying and I’ll key the sides.”
“Key the…” Elvin blinked, more confused then before.
Keira sighed in exhaustion. “Scratch the paint.” She explained. “Really badly.”
Elvin’s eyes widened for a split second before he said, his injured dignity returning. “I’d just get another paint job.”
Did you make it through the post? Are your eyes bleeding?
Sorry, not sorry