The Idea Mill #30

It’s been a long time since I trotted out an Idea Mill post here. Honestly, the feeds I got weren’t that awe inspiring lately. I also got busy with my own writing projects.

I checked my folder, and some of the things I earmarked really weren’t up to snuff, so I went looking.

All authors need inspiration. I get mine everywhere, but I use push feeds to send me news of things that are more my style than what the Kardashians might be up to. When I get a few decent ones, I assemble them into one of these posts. The hope is that one might inspire your next bit of fiction, or enhance something you’re already working on.

Let’s start off with Congress and the Military. You could write any number of horror stories just on those two words, but I found an article. A bill apparently moved from a sub-committee toward the floor of the House that would split the United States Air Force in two. The Air Force would remain, and the new group would be called The Space Corp. It hasn’t happened yet, but the fact they are discussing it lends all kinds of swagger to all those space military stories out there. You can read more here. The military hasn’t done this since the Army Air Corp was turned into the Air Force in the first place.

Let’s throw in the job announcement at NASA too. The one for Planetary Protection Officer.

The timing is ripe for one of those ground floor kind of stories. Maybe set the stage with top secret information that something is out there, and we need protection from it. Then introduce your first group of cadets and start outlining. Can’t find a threat? Let’s give honorable mention to this flying bat-monster over Chicago.

This is a well worn trail, and we all know it. Today, you have a point for some research to add a degree of realism to the piece you create.

Our next story is about unsolved languages. Apparently Facebook’s robots created a language of their own to interact with each other. The punchline is that we don’t know what they’re saying to each other. That could be a story all on its own, but a researcher brought us this cool article about Researching Lost Languages.

To me, this article has more interest than the Facebook news. Robots with a secret language is another well worn trail. There are all kinds of ancient languages out there that we’ve never been able to crack. Without the Rosetta Stone, we may not have cracked hieroglyphics. Other ancient languages don’t have a handy Rosetta Stone lying around. There is even a wonderful Nazi tie in that adds a veil of evil to the whole thing.

An ancient language researcher would make a neat character. It has shades of Dan Brown and Indiana Jones all at once, particularly with the Nazi tie. Maybe we wind up cracking one of these languages, and find out something that we really don’t want to know.

The last one involves a revelation that blood from young animals can slow down the aging process in older animals of the same type. This all started with dental research in the 1950s. Dentists are evil enough to make decent bad guys. Ever seen Marathon Man? It even had a Nazi tie in.

The research led to sewing lab rats together, and intentionally wounding the older of the pair. An unstitched rat was given the same wound. The one with access to young blood healed faster and better. There is even more potential in this research because the article delves into modern stem cell potential. To get more information, read the darned article.

I think I’m going to borrow from this one myself. I still have that Grinders novel I want to get to, and it fits right in. This could fuel any number of mad science type stories. It lends credence to some kind of Lady Bathory tales too. Need a modern day Fountain of Youth, maybe you just found it.

Just for fun, I try to come up with a corny story that uses all these elements. That young-blood story is going to be rough, but I’ll try.

The Men in Black captured a flying bat monster over Chicago. (Extra credit for using him) They tried to communicate with him, but couldn’t understand him until they found a researcher into ancient languages.

The researcher discovered he was speaking one of the ancient languages, but he needed time to interpret it. In the mean time, the Space Corp is formed and the first volunteers join up.

Eventually, the threat is revealed. Bat Monster is a spy, and the researcher recovers his communication kit. This allows eavesdropping on the invaders.

Our Space Cadets, (I hope they call them Space Cadets) ship out. They are going a long ways, so they have to be in suspended animation. Part of the process involves the Cadets donating their own blood as part of their revival process. The blood of eighteen year old Cadets will help reanimate the thirty year old soldiers when they arrive. Then, of course, they have to battle the hideous bat monsters.

How’d I do? More importantly, what will you do? Did you find a useful story element here? Maybe an entire plot?

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “The Idea Mill #30

  1. I’m not inspired by any of the topics, but I’m always inspired by your imagination with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like how you can move on a story with the hint from the mill.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know me and creatures. The giant bat sucked me right in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t stop thinking about the obvious:

    1. First step toward a version of Starfleet.
    2. First step toward Terminator or Matrix.
    3. Vampires. Forgot the woman who was said to bathe in the blood of young girls to retain her youthful looks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. love this…especially Space Corp. So many possibilities! Though the one that’s running through my mind has it morphing into a shady (bond villain-esq) business that wants to mine the moon or something πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hell. I think I am going to apply for that NASA job…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Had to laugh at Space Cadets. (I hope they call them that, too.)

    Don’t know if you are/were a Stargate franchise fan, but many of the elements above found their way into those series. Part of the Air Force became space explorers through the Stargate. They needed a linguist to crack the code, and they kept him on the team for research and communication purposes. Once on other worlds, they ran into all sorts of crazy aliens, including some evil parasitic ones (Stargate SG1) and evil wasp-like people (Stargate Atlantis). Cool stuff. Both franchises had to deal with computer bug/creature things (replicators) that were a threat to all civilizations, and people couldn’t communicate with them when they were in that state because of a language barrier. (It gets more complicated later, but that’s not relevant here and now.)

    I love your idea mill posts. Haven’t seen one in a while. Really enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I so want them to call that new division of the Air Force Star Fleet.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tiny point: “corp” is short for corporation. “Corps” (pronounced like “core”) is a military group. Congress would need to create a Space Corps, unless of course they envision a corporate space force.

    Which, actually, is the direction space exploration has already been going due to limited government funding for NASA. Because what’s Space-X, right? A space corp.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congress would demand to produce a Space Corps, unless of course of study they fancy a embodied place strength. I imagine I am going to employ for that NASA line…

    Liked by 1 person

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