I reached “midway” point, that is 25k words, yesterday afternoon. The story itself is going like molasses. Probably because I’ve realized that I had planned for more plot than would fit in fifty thousand words. Oh well.
The story also has developed an unexpected running gag which I’ve called “name the gerbil.” In an earlier chapter, my main character had managed to acquire a genetically engineered blue gerbil from a contest she didn’t even know she had been entered in. So far, the main character has resisted naming the gerbil although the other characters have been particularly helpful in suggesting Bob, Balthazar the Terrible, Blueberry, and Killer.
Onward to more ridiculousness. Here are some excerpts from some of the more recent writing:
From Part IIIc:
“Not everything is a conspiracy, Mr. Zero,” Mot told George. “As far as we know, this is a perfectly innocent gift from the Antarians. What I can’t really figure out is, what is this thing in the middle? It looks like a fruit cake.”
“God, I hate fruit cakes,” Annette replied. “I had a particularly traumatic experience with one when I was a kid.”
“Did you get hit in the head with it?” I couldn’t help ask.
Annette looked at me wide-eyed. “Yes. Of course. How did you know?”
“Because I got hit in the head with one when I was five.”
“Me, too,” said Commander Tautu.
I exchanged meaningful glances with the other women in the room. Fruit cake was a menace.
From Part IIIe:
After carving a hole in the ice boar, the minister took off his gloves and then reached into the chest of the creature to pull out its heart which steamed and dripped blood. The minister was grinning in triumph and holding it up for the holographic projection before directing it toward Mot. “You have the honor of the first bite, Mr. Mot.”
If Mot was green before, he was now positively flashing the color as he looked from the freshly torn heart to the minister’s expectant face. He pointed to himself and then to the heart. The minister nodded encouragingly. He looked briefly at Annette who simply shrugged and mouthed, “Do you want to cause an intergalactic incident?”
Mot visibly swallowed before taking the heart from the minister’s hand. He stared at the heart for a long moment before he closed his eyes and put the organ to his face and took a bite, smearing blood all over his lips and cheeks.
The minister and the other Antarian hunters yelled in approval. Quickly, Mot gave the heart back to the Minister of Defense who took the second bite of the heart with relish.
From Part IVb:
“Can’t handle the capsaicin?” Vyne inquired neutrally, still not looking at me.
“Not when it’s been shoved down my throat,” I retorted. “What about you?”
He shrugged. “Most things don’t bother me. I have nanobots that help neutralize anything harmful that I might inadvertently ingest. And speaking of ingestion of harmful substances, you might not want to drink too much of that water.”
“What? What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s heavy water.”
“Holy f—,” I capped the bottle hastily and stuck it back on the ledge near the monitor where I found it. “The damn thing’s not even labeled. And why the hell is there heavy water in here anyway? I would have been guzzling the stuff non-stop to get the spices out of my mouth—enough that the crew would be one less holographic projectionist before the next episode.”
“Mrs. G’pin put the bottles here thinking that we might need a drink while we’re working. She mentioned that the heavy water was great for growing the engineered heavy watermelons that seem to thrive on this planet.”
The cyborg finally looked up from his data pad with an indulgent look on his face. As if he thought I was an idiot. My hands itched to wipe the smirk off his face, but practically, if I tried to do that, I would break every bone in my hand.
Follow along here for more culinary sci-fi insanity.