Jekkasantyle goofy-footed the runner of the cargo hover as it contoured the snow-melt wet mountain plain. Resting on the support of her taut safety line she reached less of the flora than she’d like. But at the easy pace the pilot set for the convoy she expected to set a colorful centerpiece of snatched wildflowers on her table at mess.
Snow still clung to the shadows and where the shadows had been, but the warm sun steamed the moisture up from the lumps of black rock spattered along their path. Tendrils of this ground fog mixed with the microthermals she could feel on her face as they dipped in and out of the cooler zones. Occasionally she’d turn to look into the hold where the rest of her squad hunched. Aubrelia smiled at her each time, but more than once patted her weapon and then pointed Jekkasantyle’s attention back to her perch on the mini-gun. Jekkasantyle checked her gun was safed and then glanced at her line to make sure it was secure. She returned to her high speed gardening unconcerned.
Some more stuff to set a peaceful mood. Maybe even dialogue to convey they are on their way back from battle or that all is well.
Jekkasantyle thought she heard something. Then she did.
Four, maybe five, hovers–at least half a mile–ahead the smooth regular flow of the convoy churned. A Whale cart wheeled into chunks of earth, metal, and flesh. Jekkasantyle’s hover wheeled starboard and she wrapped over the top of her mini so fast face collided with it before she could get a hand up.
Going to give myself another pass of narrative tonight.
I keep a record of every writing idea I’ve had or stolen in Evernote. This past week I organized the straggly bits it and discovered I am frequently drawn to stealing photos and art of mech. Robotic exoskeletons, pure robots, scifi weaponry and vehicles, and armored soldiers. I probably never write about such things though—once (I checked).
Each time I see these martial themes in print I respond as most men might, “That’s bad ass.” As I consider writing though, I struggle to find ideas that do more than just shoot shit up. I’m all for explosions and improbably aerial vehicles–the starker and more angled the line the better—but I how do you wrap a storyline around pyrotechnics and gunships? My instinct tells me the Millennium Falcon suffers serious loss of cool points in an all text rendition.
Not that it couldn’t be done. I think you’d need to treat the mech as a character of sorts or maybe like a pet. Give it coincidental dialogue or make it an aspect of a character’s personality the same way you might a horse or dog. You’d need a memorable possibly poetic name. A name that could stand in for the whole character when needed.
You risk humanizing a piece of metal, of giving a bolt more significance than a nail and both more significance than they deserve.
Also, I don’t know how well I’d do at a military storyline implied by many of these types of inspiration. I often career off opposite to the initial reaction I have about such things. How can I make this weapon an instrument of peace? How can I make this robot a gardener? How can I make this soldier a life bringer?
I wish I didn’t do that. Writing anything is hard enough without me making it harder.