I could exaggerate how busy my life is and tell you I have been sooo busy I’ve had no time for a blog post today. But I’m generally pretty honest so I won’t. I have in fact just left it rather late on in the day to get the blog post done and I have to start get ready to go to work shortly.
But I’m not without a back up plan that has the added advantage of possibly giving me a kick up the bum. I’ve not been doing much when it comes to my novel writing of late, and when I say not very much I’d say I’ve written about 400 words in the last month… Pretty slow progress really. In a bid to get more writing done I’m going to start posting parts of the second book in my 25,000 Light-years series. It is as yet untitled and no doubt during the editing process what I post on here will get altered heavily but here’s the introduction to the sequel of Closer To The Core.
The planet of Qashmar was a sprawling trade hub for the lawless people of the Qasheim Empire. The intense heat of the planet’s star beat the inhabitants away as they took shelter under the vast canopies of the markets. The dry soil tended to hang in the air making it a popular place to cover any breathing features, which often meant covering up any recognizable features. This also made it a popular place with the galaxies hunted people. The market air was always filled with the smell of sweat, dirt, burning scava leaves and whichever alcohols were cheapest at the time. This variation in alcohol prices depended largely on who was fighting whom and which planets were clamping down on smuggling at the time. It never mattered to the Qasheim whether other races thought a product illegal, if you had it to sell they would find a buyer for you, for a fee of course.
Through the dirty, hot streets the market canopies stretched on. Traders called out to potential customers or potential thieves. Hidden amongst the noisy, disorientating mess of mercantile profit was a hanging rug. The rug was beaten and worn, it consisted of a faded shade of crimson interspersed with black and mustard yellow in an unattractive pattern. Behind the rug was a hole, some might consider it a doorway but it had never held a door and the edges were crudely crumbled. The room beyond was free of the powerful starlight and after a moment of adjustment a small group of figures could be seen huddled over a table. Past them another door. Through that door another room. This room contained a conversation.
‘I don’t like it when people come to me and ask me for favours. I don’t do favours. Why would I do something for anybody else when I get nothing from it?’ He stood up from his desk as she sauntered further into the room. His dark scaly body stretched out and his three arms splayed outwards before he relaxed and opened a draw.
‘Oh Maja, Maja, Maja. How wrong you are.’ Her steady and cold voice was muffled by her clothing. She disguised herself with soft white material allowing space for a darkened pair of goggles to rest over her eyes. The smallest amount of pale skin could be seen around the googles before her body was hidden away from the planet’s fierce star.
‘I have a title you know.’ The voice hissed out. He had been calmly spraying water around the room when his shaved head turned to speak and his neatly braided beard waved with the motion.
‘Qasheim titles mean nothing to me. And yours is barely that.’
‘Is this how you treat the people you make requests of?’
‘It seems to be how I treat you doesn’t it Maja.’ She untangled the fabric covering her face and let it slip down revealing the rest of her pale face.
‘This is becoming a very hostile conversation.’
‘And yet you still live.’ With that they smiled at each other and seated themselves. ‘It’s good to see you are still alive Maja.’
‘It has been too long Slikdrima.’
‘Well you know how it is, I have things to do, and you have things to steal and people to kill. Time just slips away from us.’
‘What can I do for you?’
‘Nothing too taxing. I just want you to hire a crew. A particular crew.’
‘Don’t tell me you made a friend? I thought I was your only friend.’
‘No not a friend. An interest.’
‘No. Not a love interest. Stay focused Maja. They are on Qashmar right now. This is their ship.’ She tossed a small pyramid onto the desk and it lit up to show the image of a ship. ‘Give them something simple. And by that I mean don’t get them killed Maja.’