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Notes on fiction I am planning (repost)

Lost to the same technical hitch as my modified Eagle model, I am still interested in people's thoughts on a fiction idea I have.

At the close of the 23rd century more than a dozen planets and moons of the solar system have been colonised and there is considerable friction between Earth (including the moon) and the other colonies who resent the Earth's domination of the system. There are independence movements on almost all of them and terrorist groups have sprung up on many. The greatest political concern is that the local government of Mars will carry out threats to unilaterally declare independence and nationalise Earth government and corporate property - an act that will undoubtedly trigger armed conflict when troops are sent to take it back.

The moon has been settled for more than a hundred and fifty years, expanding from a small scientific and defence post to several settlements of various sizes identified by letters from the Greek alphabet, most dedicated to a single purpose. Recently work has been undertaken to reinforce the moon's defences so that it can be used as a military command centre if war does break out between Earth and the other colonies. In addition a program of relocating nuclear waste left over from the fission era on Earth is now nearly complete. This is secretly another military project to mass produce nuclear weapons for use in the expected war. Also a physicist has recently arrived on the moon from Earth to carry out his research. He has been studying the remains of alien technology left behind after a series of attacks on Earth during the mid to late 22nd century and has a theory that by directing a great deal of energy at a Lagrange point it is possible to open a wormhole in space that can be used to get around the restrictions of relativity on space travel.

Mars backed terrorists plan to attack the moon, specifically the nuclear weapon manufacturing facility. The first attack is directed against a transport ship bringing nuclear waste from Earth. A bomb is set to trigger when the ship reaches a Lagrange point. The bomb goes off as expected but an investigation reveals no debris. Further study suggests that the blast combined with the release of the radioactive cargo opened up a wormhole as theorised by the scientist.

It is later discovered that one of the newly produced nuclear weapons has been rigged to explode in the storage facility. Combined with the vast amount of other nuclear material in storage at the base this releases enough radioactive material to open a wormhole that is big enough to drag the moon itself in before depositing it around Jupiter. However, there is still significant radioactivity being emitted from the remains of the waste storage facility and this is enough to open a second wormhole before the moon can be evacuated.

The moon now begins to move at random, the emissions from the nuclear storage facility being able to open up wormholes after a number of hours, depending on how close the new Lagrange point is where it has arrived.

Over time the inhabitants of the moon construct a retractable cover over the nuclear waste facility so that they can block the emissions. This will enable them to delay the moon's departure. Movement will still be at random without the ability to navigate though. Gaining this ability will not happen for some time.

The arrival and departure of the moon in a system will create significant gravitational disruption and the damage if it appears close to an inhabited planet can be great.

There will be three main ongoing themes:
1. The adjustment by the moon's inhabitants to living as interstellar nomads as they gather what they need from systems they arrive in before the moon departs again. Also how they adapt their equipment to suit their new needs (such as the retractable cover over the nuclear storage facility).

2. The Mars backed terrorist faction. The terrorists on the moon get carried along with it and they are just as eager to find a way back home as everyone else. However, they wish to do so to return everything discovered on their travels to Mars rather than Earth and despite their limited numbers and resources they will attempt to take control of the moon.

3. An aggressive alien species that controls an empire that has subjugated several other species. This species is advanced enough to be able to travel through the wormholes in a controlled fashion. The moon's first interstellar journey will bring it out of a wormhole close to one of their colony worlds and it will be badly damaged by this. They take this as a deliberate attack and swear revenge, hunting for the moon. The capture of some of their technology later on will give the inhabitants of the moon the ability to better control their travel.

2 & 3 ought to get around the basic "planet of the week" limitation of the original Space:1999 by allowing more ongoing story arcs.

Beyond these notes I also have ideas about which characters from the original series I will be using and also of some of the new one I'll add. Also I have notes on the functions of the main settlements on the moon and the vehicles and equipment that are available.
So far I have basic ideas for about a dozen stories. Three of these draw inspiration from the original series. "Breakaway" is essential, a story called "The Empath" will introduce my version of Maya as well as the hostile alien empire and I also want to include a version of "Dragon's Domain".

I've done some crude artwork to accompany this so I have a cover for the stories:


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I've written some material now and although the proof reading is going far slower than I'd hoped I thought I'd put up a snipet. This is a scene from the first story where senior officers on the moon are gathered together. Basically it's intended to explain the initial setting.

"Okay now coffee and business." Simmons said and as the gathered officers sweetened and put milk in their drinks as they wished he began to explain why he had called the meeting, "GDF command has intelligence that Mars could be about to make a move soon and the moon could be their target." he began, "There's been a lot of chatter across the system about a push for the full independence of the colonies from Earth in the past few weeks but four days ago all of the chatter here on the moon went silent. Intelligence thinks that is because any insurgents here have gone to ground before they make their move."
"So Mars will declare independence and start nationalising assets?" Weston asked.
"That is what a lot of their congress has been calling for." Verdeschi answered.
"And then we go to war to get all our stuff back. You'd think they'd realise that it's not in their best interests to start a fight." Weston commented.
"Red Mars and its supporters only care about keeping Earth companies and nations out of Martian affairs. They don't care about the interests of anyone but themselves. Lee was working on a project to improve their aqueduct system when Red Mars killed him." Russell said, reminding the other officers of how her late husband had been murdered by the Martian terrorist group.
"What's the current military assessment?" Verdeschi asked.
"Well once the Anholt and the Schell are complete Earth will have a fleet of seventeen Anderson-class frigates, sixty Osprey bombers and just under two hundred Hawk attack ships. Plus we've got enough Condors and Eagles to move more than a hundred thousand troops to anywhere in the system we want to. Between them the colonies can muster about four to five hundred old Vulture gunships, about twice as many as we have of those old things held in reserve by the way and about a quarter of the dedicated transport capacity that we can lay our hands on. There is always the issue of the bulk freighters that the colonies might try and equip with weapons but they're so slow that they'd be sitting ducks for a frigate and its Hawks let alone any orbital or surface based defences they were used against. With only forty or so operating in total in the system they aren't considered a realistic threat." Simmons said.
"So we can out gun them wherever we want." Capston said with a smile.
"It's still not enough." Koenig replied.
"No it's not." Simmons agreed, "Of course we'd win any protracted war. We have four times the population and infrastructure of all the colonies combined."
"Not to mention the only functional and self sustaining biosphere." Russell pointed out.
"Exactly." Simmons agreed, "Starving the colonies into submission would work but that would involve massive civilian casualties and take time, neither of which the public on Earth is likely to tolerate. If it comes to war then Earth needs a quick and decisive victory but the colonies could scatter their ships and we couldn't hold every piece of rock in the system at the same time while we spent the time it would take to hunt them all down. That of course is where my project with Lieutenant Colonel Gorski comes in." and Gorski smiled.
"The first prototypes are ready general." he said, "Twenty-six of them each with a theoretical yield of five mega-tonnes. We'd have to test detonate one to be certain of course but I'm confident in our computer models."
"So after more than a century without them you've let the nuclear genie back out of the lamp." Russell said, "Are we going to threaten to start nuking colonies until they fall into line?"
"Of course not." Simmons said, "But if we can obliterate an asteroid base with one shot rather than having to invade it and take the associated loss in time and manpower then we can give the colonies nowhere to flee to."
"Meanwhile the public still thinks Mu is just some project to store waste here on the moon to protect the environment on Earth." Weston said.
"Yes and the longer they continue to think that the better." Simmons said, "If our program became public knowledge then the colonies could spin it as the threat Doctor Russell suggested it could be."
"So we're not planning on using it as a deterrent to war then?" Verdeschi asked.
"No. Our conventional build up will continue in that role." Simmons said.
"On that note it will take at least another eight months to get Lambda up and running." Capston said, "Then you'll have a base that can house another eighty Hawks and twenty Ospreys. That's more firepower than the whole of Mars can manage in a single base."
"Sounds like Lambda would be a good target for a pre-emptive strike." Weston pointed out.
"There is a Martian freighter holding further out. It would have a line of fire to the dark side." Koenig said.
"Forget the freighter." Simmons said, "It's too far out to be a threat."
"That's right." Verdeschi added, "I could have a flight of Hawks swarming it before it got close enough to launch a missile with any chance of success."
"GDF Command has still decided to deploy a frigate." Simmons said, "The GDS Landau will take up a position on the dark side of the moon to act as a sentry. No matter what secret modifications they may have made to that freighter, the Martians will think twice about taking on a frigate."

While the moon's senior staff continued to discuss the potential for war between the Earth and its colonies beyond the moon alpha's regular operations continued as normal and in main mission Alexander took note of a ship approaching the moon from Earth.
"I've got Condor six five on approach." she announced, "Distance seventy thousand kilometres."
"Is she on our roster for today?" Morrow asked.
"Yes major. Transport carrying more nuclear waste for Mu." Alexander answered.
"Okay give her express clearance. I don't want that stuff hanging around out there any longer than necessary." Morrow ordered and Benes signalled the approaching vessel.

A Condor transport was a larger version of the more common Eagle, possessing a similar though more bulky bullet shaped command module and modular space frame as its smaller cousin but capable of carrying bigger and heavier cargoes. Like an Eagle, the craft could be operated by a single pilot but it was more common for it to carry two crew as a precaution with the second functioning as the communication officer and navigator.
"Alpha calling Condor six five." Benes' voice said over the radio and the Condor's co-pilot smiled.
"Sandra is that you?" he asked, "The guiding light for us poor waste jockeys."
"Who else?" Benes responded, "What's your status?"
"Tell her we're bored as hell." the pilot said and his co-pilot smiled.
"Did you catch that Sandra?" he asked.
"I'll put in the log as 'situation normal'." Benes said.
"Well we're coming up on the L-one point and we're going to cut power then and let the moon's gravity pull us in." the co-pilot told her, "How's our clearance?"
"You've been given priority all the way to Mu." Benes told him.
"That's what I like to hear. No queuing." the co-pilot said.
"Nearing L-one point." the pilot said, "Stand by for main engine shut down in five, four, three, two, one-"

The explosion was visible from inside Alpha and the senior officers in Koenig's office looked out through the windows that faced towards Earth in shock.
"What the hell was that?" Simmons exclaimed when he saw the brilliant white flash in the sky.
"Main mission what's going on?" Koenig said into his comlock.
"Condor six five just exploded colonel." Morrow replied and Koenig opened up the wall separating his office from main mission.
"I should get to medical." Russell said, "If there are survivors-"
"Go." Koenig said and she ran from main mission while the other senior officers rushed to see what Alpha's instruments were showing.
"Explosion confirmed." Alexander said, "I'm not picking up Condor six five or its transponder."
"Launch search and rescue Eagles." Koenig ordered, "The crew might have been able to eject." then he looked at Carter, "Alan I want you out there as well. Kano go with him. Find out what the hell happened." and the two men hurried out of the room.
"Err what about the cargo?" Gorski said.
"Condor six five was en-route to Mu." Morrow pointed out.
"Oh that's just great." Weston said, "Can we tell if the containers survived the blast or are we about to be showered with radioactive debris?"
"Colonel sensors picked up a massive energy spike." Alexander said, "It could have been the fusion plant overloading or-"
"Or it could have been a gamma ray burst when a container cracked." Koenig said.
"Whatever it was the EMP was enough to blind our sensors in that area." Alexander told him.
"Which means our rescue ships are going in blind." Morrow pointed out.
"Pull them out and we could be leaving survivors to cook inside the command module." Verdeschi said.
"Or order them in and cook three crews of our own." Koenig replied, "Benes tell our Eagles to watch their rad counters. If there's any indication of elevated levels then they are to break off while we try to figure out if there's anyone left to rescue."
"And if there is?" Weston asked
"Then we'll fly an Eagle in by remote and use it to pull the command module out." Koenig said before turning towards Morrow, "Major, have the hangar prep a recovery Eagle for remote flight just in case."
"John, Gorski and I bet get to Mu." Simmons said.
"I think the rest of us should be getting back to our own bases as well." Verdeschi added and Koenig nodded.
"Lieutenant Alexander, make sure their travel tubes have priority." he ordered, "And where's Keynes? This could be a security matter."


I think you have some interesting ideas, but the synopsis could do with a bit of a tidy up.

1. The solar system being colonised is a good idea, but I'm not sure why you chose the 23rd century. In fact, I think that a stronger story might work better in terms of early colonies struggling to survive on planets and moons within the solar system.

2. "Red Mars" seems a bit dated in terms of the Cold War being over - given that this is the 23rd Century, surely Earth's political systems have evolved since the Cold war?

3. We don't get a POV from the Mars colony, so it all seems very biased. Plus Captain Scarlet handled the "Martian Terrorist" idea.

4. The wormhole idea seems a tad too similar to ST: DS9 and Stargate SGi. However, the concept is called a Space Warp in the Season Two episode "Space Warp", so it could be made to work.

5. Also, you seem very close to the 1998 Lost in Space movie - as in terrorist activity plunging the moon into outer space.

6. Following from point 4, your "hostile alien species" is very similar to the Goa'uld from Stargate, but also the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.

7. In terms of Maya - the way I see her is as a development from Vana from "Missing Link", but also Marina from Stingray... both of which derive from Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest. (Oh brave new world, that has such wondrous creatures in it!)

8. In terms of your staff meeting, assuming that the characters are akin to their onscreen counterparts, I didn't get much sense of any opposition to the war. Especially Helena - remember: "You are killing three hundred people!" or indeed, the tension between Koenig and Simmonds: "Shut up, Simmonds!"

9. Just a suggestion, but it might be worth reviewing the UFO episode "Confetti Check - AOK" and Straker's presentation to get funding for SHADO, since it's on similar ground.

Just some suggestions :)
I picked the time frame at random really. With 1999 being far behind us I thought 2299 sounded better than either 2099 or 2199. I wanted a setting where a number of the colonies are getting to the point that they feel they can manage on their own. They won't actually be in the stories directly, only some of the terrorists groups that represent an extreme position but have been tolerated by the Martian government and possibly some more ordinary citizens who were also caught on the moon when it leaves orbit will be featured if I need them.
I'm not predicting any change in what humans are like compared to today. They are arguing over different things but they are still arguing.
The sample text doesn't include the character introductions so perhaps I should have explained that the officers in this are all military rather than scientific, including Dr Russell who holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. GDF is the Global Defence Force. They aren't making policy, just preparing for a war many expect to happen. General Simmons has already had his project approved and it is nearing completion.
Wormholes were the only way I could come up with get the moon between star systems quickly. The way in which they will work, the emissions from the destroyed nuclear waste dump acting to pull the moon back in, will give the moon's inhabitants only so long at each location.

My notes on the alien empire (I'm using the name Dorcons to match the aliens from the original Space:1999 that hunted Psychons) are:

Their empire is run by a single absolute ruler (Archon). It is divided into regions that are managed, as are military fleets, by male relatives of the emperor. New emperors are selected from among these by a council based on the renown of the candidates derived from the wealth they have accumulated for the empire or their military success.
Individual planetary and squadron commands are handed out on the basis of upfront payments and promises of regular payments to the superior.
Females of the species are very rarely encountered by others. The species' ancient tradition was that males were supposed to provide for all their female relatives' needs so that they would be better able to manage their homes and raise their young. As their technology advanced and this became easier the females ended up with more free time and they largely turned this towards art and academic study. Now while the males continue to run the empire, the females act as its creative and scientific core behind the scenes with most of the physical labour carried out by slaves.