Sabotage (1500)

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Avid Scifi Fan

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This is a typical action scene, several chapters into the rewrite. Someone sabotaged the main chracters ship and was trying to kill them.

POV should be a close third with Bremick to start and then switches to close third on Beth.

I was aiming for some tension with Beth between her fear of spiders and then going adrift. I wasn't sure if it was too abrupt or was missing something. (spoiler: everything works out fine, so don't worry about the characters...)

I tried to clean up some of my past writing errors in the rewrite, but I was hoping you would point out the ones that slipped through.

******

After watching a few uneventful orbits go by, with no signs of anything following them, Bremick stood up from his chair and pat Roz on her shoulder, "I'm going to go check on Beth and Jake and see how they're doing."

"I'll give you a call if I find anything."

He strolled down the hall and entered the observation lounge. Jake and Beth were at the table attaching the completed scope to Jake’s rifle. He the sun immediately drew his eyes to the observation windows. It was directly in front of the ship with no planet in sight. With energy in his voice, he called to Roz and Silack over the coms. "We're not in orbit anymore!"

Roz crackled back over the coms, "Yes we are. I can see the planet below us".

Bremick looked at Beth and Jake, “when did we leave the planet?”

“It was there about ten minutes ago. Then we slowly changed course. Why, is something wrong?”

“Suit up, something’s not right.” Bremick ran out of the observation lounge and down to the personnel ramp.

He smacked the control and the ramp opened into space. When the gap opened and started venting air out into space, Maggie extended the hull re-enforcing fields to cover the opening and retain the atmosphere.

Beth and Jake grabbed their helmets and slipped them on. They activated their suits and could hear their respirators purr to life.

Bremick climbed to the bottom of the ramp and peered out into space. The planet was the size of a ball and slowly shrinking behind them, confirming their course had changed.

Silack, with bubble shield around his head, appeared next to him at the bottom of the ramp, "This isn't good. What do you suppose happened?"

“I don’t know, but I’m willing it had something to do with that shadowy figure we saw.” He called out to Roz on the coms, "I just confirmed we're off course. We need to start troubleshooting."

He ran up the ramp and went straight for the AI core room. The door wouldn't open. He asked Maggie, “open the door to the AI core room.”

“It is open.” she replied.

With a blank face and no sign of a smile, Silack looked at Beth and Jake, "I never saw this happen to Maggie before."

The coms rang with Roz’s voice, "Bremick, there is something interfering with navigation and ship sensors. I've tracked it to the forty third data junction on the bottom deck, outside the hull."

"I'm on it." Bremick replied. He turned to Silack and Jake, while he points at the AI core room door, “Get that door open even if you have to cut it open!”
Bremick motioned to Beth, "Come on. I need your help. Bring your fabrication beam."

With her eyes opened wide, the only thing visible to anyone outside her helmet, Beth froze as she stared at Jake. Her respirator purred like a kitten as her rapid breaths sped up the cycling.

Jake reassured her, “Don’t worry, you'll be fine. Just stay with Bremick.”

She climbed down through the force field at the top of the ramp. As she entered the vacuum of space she could feel her suit getting stiffer as it held in the air pressure.

An eerie silence instantly set in, only broken by the sound of her breathing. Descending to the bottom, the vast emptiness of the space around her was contrasted sharply by the harsh sun rays reflecting off of Maggie’s hull.

Bremick was in the process of opening a panel on the belly of the ship several yards from her position. His toes and knees were sticking to Maggie’s plating with the magnetic anchor points on his suit.

Remembering her training, she activated her maneuvering thruster and leapt off the ramp in Bremick’s direction. She felt the vibration from the exhaust when they activate, but heard nothing except her fast pace breathing and pulse. Floating by the hull, her legs dangled freely above tiny planet far below. As she drifted next to Bremick, she fired her thrusters again and came to a stop.

With the latches undone, Bremick lifted the hull panel off and let it float nearby.

Beth peered into the into the data junction and immediately tensed up. Shivers ran down her body and she froze in place. She pulled her hands back to chest and flailed her leg in an attempt to get away, but it had no effect. She gasped and let out a scream as she thought ‘Spider!’

This was no ordinary spider. It was the size of a dinner plate and made of metal. Long spindly legs protruded from the center mass and clamped on to the various lines within the data junction. Sharp fangs had bitten into several of the cables as though they were sucking out the juices.

Bremick pulled out his pistol and aimed at the small droid that was tapped into the ships control center. Without a sound, a bright flash of high energy plasma shot out from the gun and slammed into the target. A shower of molten metal and broken bits silently flew out into space. He surveyed the damage for a few seconds before he ripped the remnants of the broken droid out of the system. With some molten parts of the droid still glowing red at the edges, he tossed it away from Maggie into space.

Beth calmed down and began to breathe easy again as the dead droid disappeared into the background. Her com system broke the silence and she heard his voice, “Roz, there was a small droid in the forty third data junction tapping into the systems.”

He looked at Beth and pointed into the junction at the mess of shredded cables. “Do you think you can start repairs?”

She nodded and activated her tool. She aligned the first cable and the beam began its work. First it joined the wire core with a few back and forth sweeps of the beam. With a few more strokes it re-jacketed each strand until the entire cable was mended.

Roz broke the silence, "I'm still having trouble regaining access to the controls. I may have to disconnect Maggie and tap in manually."

With the sizzling of the plasma cutter in the background, Silack shouted, "We almost have the doors open, just a few more inches to cut through. It's a good thing Roz is small, or we would be cutting all day."

Focusing on the repairs inside the junction helped Beth forget all about the where she was. Just as the last cable was joined back together, a bright fiery trail shot out from Maggie’s ion thrusters and lit up the space behind them.

Maggie quickly accelerated and began to pull away from Beth and Bremick. Beth reached for the edge of the junction opening, but it pulled out from under her finger tips before they could get a proper grasp. She clawed at the hull as it started to speed by, but the magnetic anchors in her gloves weren’t strong enough to overcome the force. With the hull plating zipping by at an alarming rate, she frantically scratched at the every inch with the hopes of regaining a grip. The smooth plating continued to slip by with increasing speed until Maggie’s belly pulled upward and away near the engines, leaving Beth floating in space.

Beth saw the rapidly approaching exhaust plume from the ion engines and fumbled for the controls of her maneuvering thrusters. Beth's heart pounded as she slowly accelerated off to the side, but there was not enough time. The super heated gas jet quickly out paced her and soon engulfed her entirely.

The silence was broken by the roar of the exhaust as the turbulent gases thrashed her about and blew her deeper into space. Her shields lit up like beacon as they strained to fend off the assault. Some of the radiant heat from the high energy ions penetrated her shields and scalded her body through her suit.

As the distance from Maggie increased, the plume slowly dissipated. The thunderous roar of the ion thrusters died down to a quiet breeze and eventually the eerie silence settled back in. Her smoldering suit quickly cooled and stopped smoking.

The stars spun all around Beth as she tumbled through space. It didn’t take long for the nausea to set in. Not wanting to vomit in her suit, she used her thrusters to stabilize her position and align the planet below her. She looked around and saw the last hint of Maggie’s silhouette vanish into the blinding sunlight. She scanned around for Bremick, but saw no sign of him anywhere. With her voice quivering, she called out on her suit's coms, "Bremick! Where are you? Roz, can you hear me?" She paused for a moment, but there was no reply.

She looked at the tiny ball of a planet below her feet and couldn’t tell if she was moving toward or away from it. She turned up the heat in her suit and quietly floated. Her respirator purred away, providing a brief interruption in the emptiness.

*****
 

tinkerdan

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I would guess that we need more information about the ship to understand some of the problems.
What I mean is::

I can only guess that Bremick and Roz are somewhere where they have a lot of sensor information being fed to them but absolutely no window to the outside so they rely on the readings and the computer or AI or whatever named Maggie.

Then Bremick discovers the planet isn't there when he can see out the observation window- how large is the window and could they have rotated so the planet is on the other side of the ship or does he have 360 and if he does how narrow is the view that the small planet is not visible. Not sure he would assume right away that they had left orbit.

Then he queries Roz who says she can still see the planet-apparently on some screen or sensor equipment. This begs the question of whether the computer is compromised or just confused but then there is the spider bot outside ripping things up so is this two separate events or are they intimately tied together.

If the computer is compromised then it might have been expedient (for the evil plotters) for it to just open the hatch and remove the force field rendering everyone inside either dead or helpless.

Why do they space walk without tethers; I know I wouldn't.

There are some grammar problems but I'll let someone else address those.

I just wanted to throw out some food for thought. And perhaps with more setup about the ship and equipment it would be easier to relate to what's happening and why someone in one part of the ship felt the ship moving away and the people monitoring the sensor felt nothing.
 

Avid Scifi Fan

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Thanks for the feedback tinkerdan. Most of the points you brought up are explained (to some degree) in earlier chapters.

Heres a little more background:

Before they left the planet, they did see a strange figure leaving the underside of the ship to foreshadow something. (I didn't include this because the sample was getting too long as is.)

The open hatch thing wouldn't work as well because two of the main characters are androids. In this particular setting, most everyone's outfit is a space suit of some kind, due to the frequency of the space travel. Although you could catch some off guard if they left their helmet somewhere else, but I already hinted in an earlier chapter that the helmet on some suits is just a bubble shield of sorts activated at the collar of the suit.

The cockpit has no windows, just sensor displays, view screens and controls. (Not sure why I made it that way, because I like real windows. Maybe it was for battle protection.)

Maggie is the ships AI computer and the ship is her body. ( I thought this would make for an interesting character) She can fly the ship without the assistance of the others, so there is no real need for the others to even be in the cockpit. I'm not sure how to address this so I just assume by the others doing some hands on navigation/sensors/piloting that they do it because they want to and enjoy playing with the controls (or maybe it lightens the workloand for Maggie)

The observation lounge has real windows with a 360 view around the top of the ship. (your right, the planet could be out of view, but the main character is experienced with space travel so I was hoping everyone would just go wit his assessment of the situation.)

As for the space walk, they do have maneuvering thrusters in replacement of the cumbersome tether. They just aren't meant to keep up with a ships engines.


Thanks again for your input. I'll revisit the earlier stuff to try and clarify some these details.
 

Brian G Turner

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My biggest concern with this piece is the POV use - you have everything in a distant omniscient, so we never really get very close to any of the characters. Because of that, there's less sense of immediacy, or immersion.

For example, the opening part is clearly from Bremick's POV:

After watching a few uneventful orbits go by, with no signs of anything following them, Bremick stood up from his chair and pat Roz on her shoulder, "I'm going to go check on Beth and Jake and see how they're doing."

Later on, we are in Beth's POV:

Beth saw the rapidly approaching exhaust plume from the ion engines and fumbled for the controls of her maneuvering thrusters. Beth's heart pounded as she slowly accelerated off to the side, but there was not enough time. The super heated gas jet quickly out paced her and soon engulfed her entirely.

These days close third or first seems much more common in SFF, so I would recommend you read up more on POV use, and then think carefully on how to apply it here.
 

Avid Scifi Fan

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Thanks Brian,

I am still having trouble with POV. I didn't want to "head hop" too much as there are other parts to this chapter (although I may be able to shorten the chapter).

I think your right about the first person. It would help to put more life into the characters. I may try to re-write this section in first to bring more feeling and thought into play (I've had a hard time doing first person, but this bit may be meant for it).
 

J. L. Holtz

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It is not so much head hop, but the scene could possibly use the POV from a main character to show the brevity: There was nothing there to insinuate that the danger of the maneuvers in space had far reaching consequences: There was no action to give reason for any of them to take on grave decisions.

No tension, no tango.
 

Avid Scifi Fan

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Wow, your right!

I can't beleive I forgot the mention that those droids were in control and were driving them into the sun. (must fix that).

Thanks for the catch J.L.
 

Bowler1

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After watching a few uneventful orbits go by, with no signs of anything following them, Bremick stood up from his chair and pat Roz on her shoulder, "I'm going to go check on Beth and Jake and see how they're doing."

"I'll give you a call if I find anything." Said whom?

He strolled down the hall and entered the observation lounge. Jake and Beth were at the table attaching the completed scope to Jake’s rifle. He the sun immediately drew his eyes to the observation windows. It was directly in front of the ship with no planet in sight. With energy – electricity, or is it worry? in his voice, he called to Roz and Silack over the coms. "We're not in orbit anymore!" – This section is worded/structured badly and needs some sorting out.
Roz crackled back over the coms, "(small y, as there is no full stop) Yes we are. I can see the planet below us".

Bremick looked at Beth and Jake, “when did we leave the planet?”

“It was there about ten minutes ago. Then we slowly changed course. Why, is something wrong?” - Said who again as one of three people could have answered.

“Suit up, something’s not right.” Bremick ran out of the observation lounge and down to the personnel ramp. – I’m not feeling much tension here if I’m honest.
He smacked the control and the ramp opened into space. When the gap opened and started venting air out into space, Maggie extended the hull re-enforcing fields to cover the opening and retain the atmosphere. - I assume this is Bremick, so why split his actions away from his dialogue?

Beth and Jake grabbed their helmets and slipped them on. They activated their suits and could hear their respirators purr to life. – Bremick is no longer in the room, having run out of the lounge above, so this is a clear break in POV.

Bremick climbed to the bottom of the ramp and peered out into space. The planet was the size of a ball and slowly shrinking behind them, confirming their course had changed. – Does it?
Silack, with bubble shield around his head, appeared next to him at the bottom of the ramp, "This isn't good. What do you suppose happened?" – I’m having trouble with all these characters popping up, it’s getting confusing.

“I don’t know, but I’m willing it had something to do with that shadowy figure we saw.” He – he who? called out to Roz on the coms, "I just confirmed we're off course. We need to start troubleshooting."

He ran up the ramp and went straight for the AI core room. The door wouldn't open. He asked Maggie, “open the door to the AI core room.” – He who on the last two lines as it could be Silack or Bremick.
“It is open.” she replied.

With a blank face and no sign of a smile, Silack looked at Beth and Jake, "I never saw this happen to Maggie before." – I have no idea of your character placement now, who’s where and doing what is a mystery.

The coms rang with Roz’s voice, "Bremick, there is something interfering with navigation and ship sensors. I've tracked it to the forty third data junction on the bottom deck, outside the hull." – Roz?? More characters.

"I'm on it. (no full stop here, should be a comma)" Bremick replied. He turned to Silack and Jake, while he points at the AI core room door, “Get that door open even if you have to cut it open!” – I would not have had a new paragraph here. Bremick motioned to Beth, "Come on. I need your help. Bring your fabrication beam."

With her eyes opened wide – useful, or she’d bump into things!, the only thing visible to anyone outside her helmet, Beth froze as she stared at Jake. Her respirator purred like a kitten as her rapid breaths sped up the cycling. – Ok, this is the POV switch. SFF is the place to experiment alright, but the POV jump only adds to the confusion for me.
Jake reassured – the reassurance is in the dialogue so I would consider this to be poor telling her, “(small d after a comma) Don’t worry, you'll be fine. Just stay with Bremick.”

She who?? climbed down through the force field at the top of the ramp. As she entered the vacuum of space she could feel her suit getting stiffer as it held in the air pressure. – At least one Beth in this section would have helped a lot.
An eerie silence instantly set in, only broken by the sound of her breathing – then it’s not silence, but the sound of her breathing!. Descending to the bottom, the vast emptiness of the space around her was contrasted sharply by the harsh sun rays reflecting off of Maggie’s hull.

I did read on, but it didn’t change my opinion in any way. To be fair I can see you playing and experimenting here mate, so keep at it, it is how you learn.

Right then - not much really happened, only some spider thing and as you failed to develop tension it didn’t have much impact. Emotions and feelings of your characters really has to be developed and there are writing tricks to do this. I’m sure there will be a thread around SFF somewhere dealing with these issues, search it out and study. Because there was little emotional connection to your characters, the section was flat.

The POV switch was you having fun, fine, keep playing and trying, I applauded you for it. It didn’t work for me and the main character POV was confused for both Bremick and Beth. It really is what your character would see, hear and feel – stick to that and focus on getting closer to your character. Develop your female traits, expose your emotions on the page and let the reader see and share your thoughts too. This is why we read, you don’t get an inside track on feelings while watching TV. More emotions, be willing to risk putting yourself on the page, which you’re not doing at all right now.

More clarity and control is needed. I know you know what is meant to be happening, but with all your character movements and characters coming and going it got very confused. I don’t usually write with more than four characters at any one time (there are exceptions, but these are uncommon for me and this is what I see in published books too) and usually less. Keep it simple and keep it focused. Write for the reader and make sure it’s easy to understand – resist the urge to complicate and work hard at making it easier for the reader. Great writing is when your reader doesn't notice all the hard work you the writer has put in.

Grammar – small errors, but there should be fewer errors on a section this short.

More work to do, but keep going and keep trying.
 
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Avid Scifi Fan

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Thanks Bowler,

I've got a bit of clean up ahead of me (Grammar, pronouns, structure, etc). I still strugle with adding life to the characters. Some of them always seem flat in the various sections, must be the emotion thing or lack of first person thoughts and feelings (maybe altering POV in a few areas will help this).

The spider thing was brief with no build up, so I may change that part a bit. I'll most likely keep the POV switch, but I'm going to have to clean it up and make the transition a little smoother (somehow...)

I was hoping the five characters wouldn't be too much here. Two of them only pop in for a short time. I could probably cut Silack and Jake out of the Scene if I had to. For me, the scene revolves around Bremick and Beth with minor input from Roz over the coms. The rest just provides some insight as to what the others on the ship are doing to help out.

Time to get busy on some more editing...
 

Bowler1

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I still strugle with adding life to the characters.

We all do. You'll get better at breathing life onto your characters I've no doubt, but this skill is hard to master. Keep at it, we've all had the same struggles to improve. Don't lose the joy you now have at writing and you'll be just fine.

Laters.
 

willwallace

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Overall I liked the scene, while Bowler has pointed out a number of simple to correct errors. Cutting down the number of characters would make the action flow a bit better, I feel. And the spider thing could definitely use some work, as you say. Overall I do like what's happening, it needs to be presented a little more logically, though. Feels like it jumps somewhat from bit to bit.
 

LittleStar

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I'm a little late to the party, so I'm not really going to add any critique (everyone above has already done that) I just wanted to say its really heartening to see how much you've improved in such a short time. Yeah there are still some issues with the writing, but you've taken everything the members here have said and applied it. It's good to see the critiques are doing their job. So compared to the first things you posted for critique and this piece, they are worlds apart. There's always more for us writers to learn and improve on, but youre definately on the right track. So very well done and please continue :)
 

Avid Scifi Fan

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Thanks for the help all,

I am trying to implement your advice the best I can, but it will take a while. I do apreciate the time you take to struggle through my pieces and provide the feed back. Even if they're just opinions about the piece (it's good to get a feel for what a sample audience thinks).
 

psychotick

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Hi,

After watching a few uneventful orbits go by, with no signs of anything following them, Bremick stood up (from his chair) - Not needed as you would assume he is sitting in a chair.) and pat (ted?) Roz on her shoulder, "I'm going to go check on Beth and Jake and see how they're doing."
"I'll give you a call if I find anything."
He strolled down the hall and entered the observation lounge. Jake and Beth were at the table attaching the completed scope to Jake’s rifle. He the sun (?) immediately drew his eyes to the observation windows. It was directly in front of the ship with no planet in sight. With energy in his voice, he called to Roz and Silack over the coms. "We're not in orbit anymore!"
Roz crackled back over the coms, "Yes we are. I can see the planet below us".
Bremick looked at Beth and Jake, “when did we leave the planet?” (If they're in orbit than have they left the planet?)
“It was there about ten minutes ago. Then we slowly changed course. Why, is something wrong?”
“Suit up, something’s not right.” Bremick ran out of the observation lounge and down to the personnel ramp.
He smacked the control and the ramp opened into space. When the gap opened and started venting air out into space, Maggie extended the hull re-enforcing fields to cover the opening and retain the atmosphere. (We've vented air and now we're keeping it? This is confusing. It needs more explanation of what's happening.)
Beth and Jake grabbed their helmets and slipped them on. They activated their suits and could hear their respirators purr to life.
Bremick climbed to the bottom of the ramp and peered out into space. The planet was the size of a ball and slowly shrinking behind them, confirming their course had changed. (You need to explain why they have to go to a ramp to see this rather than say the bridge.)
Silack, with (a) bubble shield around his head, appeared next to him at the bottom of the ramp, "This isn't good. What do you suppose happened?"
“I don’t know, but I’m willing it had something to do with that shadowy figure we saw.” He called out to Roz on the coms, "I just confirmed we're off course. We need to start troubleshooting."
He ran up the ramp and went straight for the AI core room. The door wouldn't open. He asked Maggie, “open the door to the AI core room.”
“It is open.” she replied. (delete the tag. It isn't needed.)
With a blank face and no sign of a smile, Silack looked at Beth and Jake, "I never saw this happen to Maggie before."
The coms rang with Roz’s voice, "Bremick, there is something interfering with navigation and ship sensors. I've tracked it to the forty third data junction on the bottom deck, outside the hull."
"I'm on it." Bremick replied. He turned to Silack and Jake, while he points at the AI core room door, “Get that door open even if you have to cut it open!”
Bremick motioned to Beth, "Come on. I need your help. Bring your fabrication beam."
With her eyes opened wide, the only thing visible to anyone outside her helmet, Beth froze as she stared at Jake. Her respirator purred like a kitten as her rapid breaths sped up the cycling. (Bit of a mixed simile - if she's panicking, her breaths coming faster than normal, I don't want to hear about her respirator being exceptionally calm unless there's some point or itony to it. Also why is she alarmed?)
Jake reassured her, “Don’t worry, you'll be fine. Just stay with Bremick.”
She climbed down through the force field at the top of the ramp. As she entered the vacuum of space she could feel her suit getting stiffer as it held in the air pressure.
An eerie silence instantly set in, only broken by the sound of her breathing. Descending to the bottom, the vast emptiness of the space around her was contrasted sharply by the harsh sun rays reflecting off of Maggie’s hull. (POV change?)
Bremick was in the process of opening a panel on the belly of the ship several yards from her position. His toes and knees were sticking to Maggie’s plating with the magnetic anchor points on his suit.
Remembering her training, she activated her maneuvering thruster and leapt off the ramp in Bremick’s direction. She felt the vibration from the exhaust when they activate, but heard nothing except her fast pace breathing and pulse. Floating by the hull, her legs dangled freely above tiny planet far below. As she drifted next to Bremick, she fired her thrusters again and came to a stop. (Again POV - who's thoughts are we seeing through? Remembering is Maggie, but Bremick has up until now been the MC))
With the latches undone, Bremick lifted the hull panel off and let it float nearby.
Beth peered into the into the data junction and immediately tensed up. Shivers ran down her body and she froze in place. She pulled her hands back to chest and flailed her leg in an attempt to get away, but it had no effect. She gasped and let out a scream as she thought ‘Spider!’ (POV - also did she think spider - or did she scream it?)
This was no ordinary spider. It was the size of a dinner plate and made of metal. Long spindly legs protruded from the center mass and clamped on to the various lines within the data junction. Sharp fangs had bitten into several of the cables as though they were sucking out the juices.
Bremick pulled out his pistol and aimed at the small droid that was tapped into the ships control center. Without a sound, a bright flash of high energy plasma shot out from the gun and slammed into the target. A shower of molten metal and broken bits silently flew out into space. He surveyed the damage for a few seconds before he ripped the remnants of the broken droid out of the system. With some molten parts of the droid still glowing red at the edges, he tossed it away from Maggie into space.
Beth calmed down and began to breathe easy again as the dead droid disappeared into the background. Her com system broke the silence and she heard his voice, (New Para to separate actors - Beth's hearing but Bremick is speaking) “Roz, there was a small droid in the forty third data junction tapping into the systems.”
He looked at Beth and pointed into the junction at the mess of shredded cables. “Do you think you can start repairs?”
She nodded and activated her tool. She aligned the first cable and the beam began its work. First it joined the wire core with a few back and forth sweeps of the beam. With a few more strokes it re-jacketed each strand until the entire cable was mended.
Roz broke the silence, "I'm still having trouble regaining access to the controls. I may have to disconnect Maggie and tap in manually."
With the sizzling of the plasma cutter in the background, Silack shouted, "We almost have the doors open, just a few more inches to cut through. It's a good thing Roz is small, or we would (We'd) be cutting all day."
Focusing on the repairs inside the junction helped Beth forget all about the where she was. Just as the last cable was joined back together, a bright fiery trail shot out from Maggie’s ion thrusters and lit up the space behind them.
Maggie quickly accelerated and began to pull away from Beth and Bremick. Beth reached for the edge of the junction opening, but it pulled out from under her finger tips before they could get a proper grasp. She clawed at the hull as it started to speed by, but the magnetic anchors in her gloves weren’t strong enough to overcome the force. With the hull plating zipping by at an alarming rate, she frantically scratched at the every inch with the hopes of regaining a grip. The smooth plating continued to slip by with increasing speed until Maggie’s belly pulled upward and away near the engines, leaving Beth floating in space.
Beth saw the rapidly approaching exhaust plume from the ion engines and fumbled for the controls of her maneuvering thrusters. Beth's heart pounded as she slowly accelerated off to the side, but there was not enough time. The super heated gas jet quickly out paced her and soon engulfed her entirely. (Here I think there needs to be more desperation and panic - she's about to be cooked.)
The silence was broken by the roar of the exhaust as the turbulent gases thrashed her about and blew her deeper into space. Her shields lit up like beacon as they strained to fend off the assault. Some of the radiant heat from the high energy ions penetrated her shields and scalded her body through her suit. (Did she scream in pain? Was she hurt?)
As the distance from Maggie increased, the plume slowly dissipated. The thunderous roar of the ion thrusters died down to a quiet breeze and eventually the eerie silence settled back in. Her smoldering suit quickly cooled and stopped smoking.
The stars spun all around Beth as she tumbled through space. It didn’t take long for the nausea to set in. Not wanting to vomit in her suit, she used her thrusters to stabilize her position and align the planet below her. She looked around and saw the last hint of Maggie’s silhouette vanish into the blinding sunlight. She scanned around for Bremick, but saw no sign of him anywhere. With her voice quivering, she called out on her suit's coms, "Bremick! Where are you? Roz, can you hear me?" She paused for a moment, but there was no reply.
She looked at the tiny ball of a planet below her feet and couldn’t tell if she was moving toward or away from it. She turned up the heat in her suit and quietly floated. Her respirator purred away, providing a brief interruption in the emptiness.

(Hi, sorry about the amount of bold in there. Over all I think it has potential but needs work. In particular the jumping from POV to POV without any warning is an issue for me. I'd prefer one POV and having everything else described by either omniscient narrator or that POV)

Cheers, Greg.
 

Avid Scifi Fan

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Thanks psychotick,

I don't mind the quantity of bold, it helps in the long run. As part of the next pass through on the re-write, I'm going to try and tweak the POV for the characters and split up the chapters into smaller sections. I may even take a crack at a few first person sections.
 

Bowler1

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I've always found 1st person hard to keep going, it takes a lot of control to pull off, or so I think. Good luck with it and let us see how you get on when ready.
 
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