Let’s Assemble Our Army

Posted: May 4, 2014 by writingsprint in Dubrillion Burning, Science fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

MandaloriansPost #21 of the Dubrillion Burning series

Risha said, “Our staging area is Dantooine. The planet is one step up the hyperspace lane from Dubrillion, and my father had a stronghold there. It’s actually where I grew up. Cousins of mine and Drayen loyalists have maintained it in secret ever since we were exiled. It’s well-defended, hidden from surveillance, and has enough weapons and supplies to outfit a small army.”

Raffa sat up. “Since when? When we visited it looked like an empty vault.”

She smiled. “You didn’t see all of it. And let’s just say I padded the manifests for the arms shipments we made for the Republic, and redirected the extras.”

Raffa held his chest in mock surprise. “You think you know a person.”

“Stop complaining. I was keeping up your reputation as a scam artist. We didn’t want the underworld thinking you were turning patriot.”

“Always looking out for me.”

Risha turned to look at Jeana. “In addition to our teams, we have at least two dozen others lined up to meet us there: friends and family, servants of my father — now me — and Mandalorians who are blood sworn to one of our crew.”

“I can offer troops from my personal guards as well,” Jeana said.

Raffa said, “Not Imperials. The last thing we want is to have the either of the big dogs — Republic or Imperial — thinking we’ve opened another front in the war.”

“They’re House Lysset, not Imperial. Their tactical training’s a mixture of Imperial, Republic, and Mandalorian. We can put them in your armor and weapons and no one will know the difference. I’ve handpicked the twelve best, most loyal soldiers I know. Some of them trained me when I was growing up.”

“My sister and others want to help, too. Six in all,” Vette said.

Risha asked, “Do they know what they’re signing up for? This isn’t a raid, or a bank job, or knocking over a den of pirates.”

“They know. I’m going in, so they want to be there. You can count on them.”

“Thank you.”

“With Cartog’s team, that gives us sixty,” Jeana said.

Raffa whistled. “That’s one… nasty… bunch of guns.”

Risha held her head. “But with nowhere to land. I was hoping we’d have regained contact with Merritt by now. I’m trying to work with people friendly to my family on Dubrillion. I made contact with some of them before everything went to hell. Since then, we’ve barely been able to exchange more than encrypted text messages.”

Jeana folded her arms. “That’s a problem. But one thing at a time. First, let’s assemble our army.”

Have you ever looked at your friends or your team and thought, “Not bad. Not bad at all”?

This feels like a good wrap on the conference room scene. We know what’s coming, who the players are, even some of the complications. I wanted to use some more special effects from the holo display, so I may throw more of them in during a rewrite 🙂 . All in all, not bad for a first cut.

For the next scene I considered jumping out of sequence again to show king Ro. The heroes have been busy but we haven’t seen who we’re fighting yet. It’s a good idea for me for the exercise.

In the actual story, the next scene would be either to show Raffa having his drink with Beryl, or to show him talking with the spacers the following day. Talking to Beryl would lay some context for Raffa and Risha’s underworld life and who their friends are. The spacers would be a more colorful call to arms than we just did with the conference room. It wouldn’t quite be as loopy as a room full of Jack Sparrows, but that’s the inspiration I have in mind.

PS: When I first wrote it, I had Raffa lift his drink to Risha before he said “always looking out for me.” I wanted to give him some body language to color up the scene. The problem with using drinks as a device is that your character starts to look like a lush. I took it out. I think taking it out makes the exchange more crisp. It turns it into playful banter.

Photo credit: Anna Fischer at Flickr.
Photo is unmodified.
Shared under Creative Commons license.

  1. I just remembered — I’ve made this Risha’s story, not Raffa’s. The drink with Beryl isn’t a big deal unless it substantially moves the story. Meeting with the spacers is something else. Now, they’re more Raff’s friends than hers, so there’s justification for having him involved.


  2. A.D. Everard says:

    You do want some body language in there – it doesn’t have to be drinking. Body language has a lot of communication by itself and will give the dialogue extra strength.

    I know what you’re talking about, re the drinks. In my story, I kept wanting to give Sevi a cigarette, but I couldn’t do it because she looks after her body too well. It was weird, though, as none of the other characters smoke and nor do I (nor does Greg). To me, I guess, it was a soldier thing.

    Anyhow, you can have other things they are doing. Walking around, sitting down, turning to face each other, or turning away, stuffing things in pockets, fishing things out, or folding their arms, smiling, nodding, winking – heaps of things. It brings visuals into the story. Do us a favour, though, not all at once. 😛



  3. I’ll give more thought to body language for all of them during edits. Thanks.

    Yup, there’s that whole image of tough guys smoking. I think you nailed it. Smoking looks tough and it conveys attitude, but it also conveys weakness, the need for a smoke. You can smell smokers downwind, too, and I don’t think Sevi would risk anything giving away her position, ever.


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