As I work on my current project for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been thinking about the importance of the work that never makes it into a published novel or another piece of fiction. Sometimes a single throwaway line in an author’s collection of notes is precisely that, something to help constrain the more extensive work. However, there are other times when those few words spark an entirely new storyline that yearns for exploration. Colonization and its sequel series, Discovery, both sprung from a single line highlighting a point that I would ultimately reference, I never planned on exploring. And if I hadn’t discovered the concept of Flash Fiction, courtesy of this article, these storylines wouldn’t have been explored. As I embraced this style of writing, I looked through my notes and found other aspects of this galactic empire that would be interesting to explore.
While Colonization is ultimately a tragedy, the exploration of the world and the characters that populated it was fun to craft. The moment I finished writing Closure, Colonization’s last entry, I started painting the broad strokes of the storyline that would become Discovery. Thankfully, just like with Colonization, only the beginning and end were written in stone. This series’s open-ended nature gave me a lot of room to explore a planet and people that wouldn’t get a chance otherwise.
Unlike the events of Landing on Morven, the ship in Awaiting Confirmation experiences no turbulence as it enters the planet’s atmosphere. The ship’s command crew locate the previous colonization ship and set a course to land on the planet. The moment the vessel lands, Jarvis assumes command of the expedition, and the crew disembarks and begins cataloging the wonders of the unknown world.
“That was one of the best landings I’ve ever had,” Dyrk said as he powered down the ship. He unbuckled and stretched his arms over his head. “After establishing base camp, what do you expect Jarvis’s first course of action will be?”
His co-pilot turned toward Dyrk, pulling her legs tightly into her chest. “We’re a good hike from the remains of the previous ship,” Diana drawled as she rubbed her chin. “I say it’s even odds between dispatching a team to explore that vessel or cataloging the local wildlife.”
“Let’s find out,” Dyrk shrugged and activated the internal comm. “Jarvis, as you can guess, we’ve touched down. However, that brings my expertise to a close. What’s first on my new agenda?”
“How far away is the missing ship?”
“It’s a bit of a stroll,” Diana replied as she worked at her console. When her fingers stilled, she leaned back as her mouth curled into a tight smile. “I’ve sent everything to your links. You can debate the distance shortly.”
The responding silence died with a curse from Jarvis, “In what special world is that considered a stroll? That stretch is the definition of a day’s march. Couldn’t you have gotten closer?”