Launching Romance into the stars.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What I'm working on this week.

I'm on vacation, and while on that vacation I tore something in my knee and now have crutches and a leg brace. Which means there will be no more house painting for the rest of my time off. I've been critting, reading and the worst, I've started a new story. Now anyone that knows me would probably yell at me for this, because they know how many I have sitting on the hard drive in various states of being completed, but it called to me. I swear, I had to start it. The dang story wouldn't leave me alone and it had a captive writer.

This is in fact what I called planet based science fiction. To take it further, I'd call it otherwold dystopian. Now, if you've read my science fiction, you know a personal favorite is planet-based science and crossing genres. My stories are not always up in space, in fact, I love taking them down to the surface of whatever world my characters are from. My soon to be released story, Rebel Souls takes place mostly on a planet.

This story is no execption, actually, the people can't leave their world, but that comes later, when their Frankenstein creation turns on them. Here's the start of my unamed WIP, and perhaps you'll get a feeling, "something wicked this way comes...."

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
It wasn’t like they were playing God. They just took what he’d designed and made it better. Iia continued to tweak the programming, working out the kinks in the hive’s micro-processor. The robotic bees each had a computer for a brain, which responded to the hive’s commands. They could run for ten hours before they had to return to the hive to reboot their drives.

The planet didn’t have a natural insect population, but that had been considered a minor hurdle, since the world had an abundance of fresh potable water and breathable air. The algae covered lakes created oxygen, combined with the vegetation they’d planted since they landed on the surface two hundred years ago.
In addition, mankind had built a engineering marvel to power their cities. The power net blanketed the planet, providing a clean, safe, and remote energy source. No fuels, no emissions. Anywhere on the surface, available power could be found. Vehicles traversed with it, ships flew across the surface using it, communications ran on it. Anything technological used it.

All these things created a hospitable world for mankind. Except for one minor problem. Something about the planet confused the bees.
The bees were unable to locate their hives and would fly around in circles confused, until they dropped dead. Over and over Earth’s scientists tried to introduce them to the world with the same result.  No matter what species of bee they brought in, they found themselves with empty hives and piles of useless carcasses. The plants wouldn’t fruit and had to be hand pollinated, preventing the ecosystem from creating enough food to support a population of living creatures and mankind. And for over fifty years, man struggled with a solution.
It took the genius of a nano-scientist to create a bee the planet would accept. From there, the efficient ento-robites went to work, creating a Garden of Eden for mankind. After it became habitable, the population on the planet exploded. Even so, the bees kept up, providing all they needed.
The bees were twice the size of a bumble bee, something necessary to house the energy pack that would harness power from the net. They were without stingers, but had over twenty-four legs to make them more efficient with their primary function, pollination. More like a flying brush, than a bee, they appeared scary, but were designed to be completely harmless and safe to other living creatures.

They had the ability to collect data and learn from that data, like when, where and what plants or trees needed pollination. They did their jobs and then some, developing hybrids and creating new species of fruit bearing plants and trees. They were even smart enough to know what plants should be cross-pollinated to get the best results.
Then a storm on Radum, Noveae’s radiant star, similar to the Earth's own Sun flared up, sending out electromagnetic pulses, resulting in the robot bee's refusal to pollinate. Not only did they stop working, many shut down before they made it back to the hives to refresh their programming. Every day, workers had to go out and collect the disabled bees and return them to their stations to reboot. Some they never located. The scientists couldn’t keep up with building new ones to replace the lost.

In the last one hundred and fifty years, nobody had seen anything like it, and the population began to panic. Ships off-world could take months to reach them, so mass evacuation was not an option, and neither was re-supply. Earth simply could not keep up with the demand for a planet the size of Noveae and they informed them under no uncertain terms, they were on their own. They didn’t have room for refugees and they didn’t have food.
The government of Noveae declared martial law. Rationing began, and a curfew went into effect, preventing people from going to the fields at night to steal food. All of this had been preplanned, in case of a natural disaster. Even with a plan in place, the people became violent, breaking into government food storage and other colonist’s homes. Killing and taking what they wanted and more than they needed. Riots were everywhere on the streets.

Anyone caught out after dark was shot. Iia shut the panel on the hive and checked the readouts. All clear. She tipped her chin to the sky and knew she only had an hour before she had to be in quarters. No exceptions, even if she was responsible for bringing the life-saving technology back online.
As the storm settled down, the bees returned to normal, with a few errors that Iia was sent in to correct. The crops would be weak this harvest season, there was nothing they could do about it, but with the bees back to work, they should be able to salvage some of the later fruiting crops to replace the stolen stores, and that should get the colonies through the difficult winter ahead, or so she hoped, if the government could stop the raiding.

Iia glanced over at a soldier guarding the field. He nodded at her and she smiled. It gave her some comfort knowing he was there. Many of the bee-keepers had been kidnapped lately, probably in hopes that they could get private hives up and running, or at least that’s why she surmised they did it. She wondered if that was why he stood over a fruitless field.
Finished with her task, she took a moment to look over her companion. Not a bad looking man. Tall, with dark hair and eyes, he wasn’t the usual kind of man she went for. She didn’t particularly like the soldiers. They hung over the planet like a threat. The colonists had always been peaceful and she’d never understood the need for armed warriors.

Until now.
If the storm had gone on much longer, the planet would have starved.
She had an important job, made lots of credit. But all that wouldn’t be worth a damn if she were dead. This wasn’t about the money anymore, it was about survival and the more viable the hives, the better chance Noveae stood. God help them if another storm flared up.

Okay, I need help naming this story. I usually have a title whenever I start, but I'm lost on this one. Any suggestions? There are multiple threats that will emerge and things will get much worse before they get better. I'm going to be flexing that evil author muscle for this story. So hit me with the suggestions, name the unamed science fiction/thriller romance.

1 comment:

Barbara Elsborg said...

I'm yelling at you, Dawn!! Though not too hard because you have such a fantastic imagination.
I'm no good on titles. I either have them before I start or I panic by chapter twenty!! But this sounds great.