I got to the writing cabin late this morning. Payday finally rolled around, so I paid all the bills before the sun even came up. I also started my boiling pot to get some humidity into the air. Really helps with my sinuses this time of year.
When I walked inside the place was quiet. I found hot coffee, but Lisa Burton was nowhere to be found.
Percy the Space Chimp was prostrate on the couch in my office and playing a phone game of some kind. He wore lounge pants and a bathrobe.
“What’s going on around here?” I asked.
“Nothing as far as I can tell. I’ve been here for weeks after you abandoned me for a better story.”
“Don’t get snotty. I told you that’s how it works. And don’t say better. It’s a different story, and I hope they’re both good. Where’s Lisa?”
“She made coffee, then left. Said you were coming eventually, but blah blah, something about boots.”
“Is she still shopping with the Sirens?”
“I think they left. She said there’s a character in your alternate story with some kind of over-the-knee boots, and she thought she’d better have some for work.”
“What? That just a peripheral character. She’s kind of a slutty vampire that shows up sometimes. Lisa’s been cooped up out here for a long time. I think she just wanted to get out for a while. Let’s see if we can get some work done.”
“Finally! My story’s been stuck in the science and spy city forever, now. Let’s get this adventure rolling.”
“The city’s cool, and we’re probably going to come close to leaving, but you have a few things to deal with first. If you’re good, I’ll let you take your new transport for a spin.”
“Maybe a mock dogfight?”
“Don’t push your luck, but we’ll see. First, I’m going to saddle you with a new mission and a temporary crew member.”
“Who’s that going to be?”
“She’s someone new, and a Classic alien.”
“Noooo! Not just another chick, but a Classic to boot. You must hate me.”
“Heroes have to grow and face issues along the way.”
“Maybe I like being grouchy and prickly. Did you ever think of that?”
“I did, and you certainly are, but you’re still going to do this before going back deep into enemy territory with nothing more than a nearly unarmed ship and a transport.”
“Okay. I want to take a flight. What do I have to do?”
“Look out on the landing strip.”
Percy ran to the window. “It looks like a shrimp.”
“Why does everyone say that? It’s based upon something called a slipper lobster, and it’s manuverible as hell.”
“Sooo, I’m not hearing fast.”
“Fast enough, but not like a fighter. You’re going to have to be tricky to get away from problems.”
“I can be tricky. Let’s take her out.”
“Okay, but remember it’s a test flight. Then we’re going to tear the door off and park her in the loading bay.”
“Because that’s part of your next mission.”
“This story sounds like bullshit so far.”
“Might be, but now that war’s broken out, you have to do more covert activities. Your days in the fleet are over, but there’s a need for good pilots outside the squadrons.”
“Do your readers actually have that kind of faith in you? I mean something starts sounding cool, then we tear the hatch off and park it away somewhere. Why should they read along?”
“Most do, but some things aren’t for everyone. I’m having a great time. You’re having a good time. I’m sure Lisa’s having a good time. What’s not to like?”
“I might be able to send you a list, but I’ll play nice. Let’s take that flight.”
Somewhere around 2500 words today. Percy still hasn’t left the Snakeworks, but he’s pretty darned close.