Serial: Background #1
A look into my writing process
Tasha’s heart thudded as she raced down the corridor. The rustling sounds of waking people rang out in the stale morning air.
Write write write weiriw wr write write write write aiwrw wawrite write write write write ;lsdhasodh because the typing soujnd of the keys will get the ideas flowing and put me in the internal narrator monologue state that is essential to story telling and the more that I write the more that I think about what’s next and my muscles stretch out and I become accustomed to the click clack typing of my keyboard and the rhythm of the mind.
What is Tasha doing? She’s going about her day like normal but distracted by the events that she just saw. What does she do? She’s a waste treatment plant operator. She deals with poop and turns it into usable items. The working class of the city supports the ruling elite. The city is an oligarchy, founded on the principles that those with knowledge can rule. The ones with knowledge are descended from the engineers and cosmonauts who founding the stations on Venus, and the lower class are the colonists who were lucky enough to get off of Earth. The culture of the lower decks is an East-Germany-esque scene. There are little resources and even less help. People scrounge for themselves. The weak cannot be supported so they’re left behind. Russia values strength and self-sufficiency. The common people are distracted by gambling, games, drugs and VR. Gagarin station only has this slightly. There is a quiet rebellion brewing below decks that wants to overthrow the current ruling class. However, this rebellion might not be better than what is currently there. This is an analogy to the October Revolution.
On Venus there is little means for the stations to communicate except for mayaks which are tiny floating mining platforms serviced by zims, or kingfishers who pull up materials from the Venusian surface. Each station floats around the polar regions, with the North and the South rarely communicating. Tasha lives in the North which is isolated a bit more but has a governmental structure.
The South is a vastly different region with more of an oriental Japanese/Mongolian mix. They are nomadic and follow sulfuric storm systems to hunt lightning and gather rare water. The culture is very hierarchical and values honor and family over all else. Tribes have their own platforms and there is rarely any outside visitors.
There needs to be another couple characters in here to flesh out the story. So far I have Tasha and Lev. Let’s describe Tasha, or Natasha Buryevka Yelchin, a bit: she’s a 17-year-old girl whose parents disappeared years ago when she was 11 and Lev was 14. Lev has raised her ever since. She has auburn hair that is kept short, dirty and slightly spiked with the grease of the engines; she harvests it to print different tools for herself out of keratin. Her clothing is made from a combination of kombucha cloth, Nomex and chitin-leather. Her skin is tanned/freckled with the sunlight of Venus and with pale blue eyes like the skies of Earth. She has the elegant and slender strength of a gymnast, gaunt and skinny through malnutrition with a petite torso and small breasts. She moves like a dancer, trained to quickly shimmy through the ins-and-outs of the machines belowdecks. Scars crisscross her forearms and many of her coworkers are missing fingers and limbs. She and Lev fixed a broken flyer using scavenged parts and waste. She knows mechanical systems and how they interface with biology. Rapier wit has caused her to have few friends, but she holds an inner confidence and spunk that helps win allegiance from others in the patriarchal world she exists in. Mostly she’s lonely besides her brother who irritates her by being controlling in order to keep her safe. This loneliness is shown through her constant urges to explore and see new things. She was born at Gagarin station but longs to see the entire world. This manifests through her following in her brother’s footsteps to become a pilot. She is currently an amateur when the story starts.
The world of Gagarin station is dangerous. Tasha carries a sickle-like serrated keratin “linoleum knife” dagger. She uses it to work, pick locks, cut hair, eat. There isn’t much in the way of solid food except for dried algae. The diet isn’t varied, food is eaten for nutrition, not enjoyment.
She is optimistic but not happy. She knows every square inch of the station and wants more. She longs for adventure and when she finally gets it, it isn’t what she expected at all. She has never experienced death and dealing with the sudden death of people in front of her shakes her to the core.
The weapons that the station guard uses are EM rifles. These emit pulses of invisible electrons that disable the nervous system. Depending on the power, they can irreparably damage nerves. Prolonged exposure to these weapons cause radiation damage. The trigger fingers and arms of those who use EM weapons are disfigured slightly by radiation which is why they wear lead-woven sleeves.
There is a distinctive patriarchy at Gagarin station and Tasha breaks that mold. She isn’t content to just push out babies. Many female colonists just do that. It is their “duty” to repopulate the human species. Most families have upwards of 8 children. Tasha’s family rebelled against this norm and only had two. This was seen as suspicious to the station elite.
The rebellion operates independent platforms and has support in the South. These stations are hidden from view by existing inside sulfur clouds.
Mal is a mod, a modified human. He has electronic and genetic modifications. Many of the elite of the station modify themselves in this way but first try out experiments on orphans, prisoners and those that the society deems it cannot support. Some of the mods are given obedience chips and are meant to be personal bodyguards to the leaders of each station. Mal seems to be mal… functioning. He is bred to be strong, resistance to acid, radiation and low CO2. He has slightly green skin from chlorophyll treatments that have made him not need food for prolonged periods of time. His bones are adapted so that they do not deteriorate in zero g. He rarely sleeps and instead sinks into REM cycle for 10–30 minutes at a time by using a transdermal magnetic stimulation device cued to 7 Hz frequency. Mal has an interface attached behind his ear that connects to his CNS that allows him to interact with computers. He has chips that upgrade memory storage. His vocal cords were removed to punish him. He has a fast-acting genetic mod that allows foreign DNA to be quickly inserted into his genome.