They can preserve peace and shatter worlds; shape lives and cut them short. They have no power except that of the spoken word, yet there is no empire so strong that it might not crumble under their weight.
What is stronger than the impulse to know? Is it not quintessential human nature to peer around the corner, even when we’ve been told we should not?
The Publishing Desk – Upcoming Novels
The Drafting Desk – Novels in Progress
Welcome to the realm of the
Generation Ship Inspiration and the Usuriel Family.
Like a floating jewel, the Inspiration slid through the emptiness of dead space. The people slept within her round depths with the ignorance of innocent babes.
The darkness that surrounded her was nothing like the dark of night, that breathes and rushes and hums with small, living sounds. The darkness around the Inspiration was empty but not echoing, a vastness that sucked at the very edges of consciousness. Colder than iron in winter and deeper than any ocean, the blackness seeped into the corners of things, filling them up with emptiness. Yet, within her bulk heads, secrets lingered. Those secrets were seeds to a darkness that went even deeper than space. It was a darkness that would take a thousand lives and ruin a thousand more. It was a darkness that lurks in human hearts and festers there until there is no other word for it but hate.
The Inspiration held back the void with tight sheets of light, sturdy alloy and thick, curving slabs of clear plex-glass. Her outermost hull showed the wear and pock marks of a long journey, but her joints and engines showed the polish and fingerprints of constant care. However, there are no walls that can truly hold a living secret.
The great lustrous sphere at her center glowed with the green light of life while the tiny windows about the doughnut-like main ship surrounding her center shone yellow as firelight. For there was hope in the Inspiration’s precious cargo as well – love and life and green growing things. The ship had been built to carry the seed of a civilization and that is precisely what it contained. In cabins no larger than their closets back on Earth, colonists curled around their children with stories of home and dreams of a future. In her holds were physical seeds to flowering, fruiting plants which would feed Earth’s children when they arrived at their new home. Also, vials upon vials of zygotes and embryos, waiting until the day when their mothers and fathers would set foot, hoof, and paw upon the solid ground of their new home.
Four great engines, like huge, stubby wings, protruded from the flat side of the Inspiration’s ring. Had there been sound in space, they would have roared with a noise so deafening no one on board could have heard anything else. Rather, space is silent, and so the vibration absorption of the engine arms kept the Inspiration’s interior as quiet as a drowsy child’s nursery. Of course, there is nothing harder to keep a secret in than silence.
On the rounded ends of the great main ship were three protrusions. At one end, what all the inhabitants called the ‘front’, though the Inspiration could move as easily in one direction as the other, was a curved section almost like the shape of a capital letter ‘d’. It connected to the ship with two arms that were thinner though no less sturdy than the engine arms. The light that shone from the large plex-glass windows in this section never went out. Like the dreams of the colonists who brought her frame to life, the Inspiration was a ship that never slept.
At the other end of the ship’s rounded section were two boxy compartments that looked as thought they’d been tied on with clear string. In truth they were connected to the ship via plex-glass transit tubes that allowed entrance and exit to be aesthetic as well as easily monitored. It was here in these odd additions that the young minds of the ship were educated and the creative minds of the colonists worked. Art, music, research, genealogy, history, writing, all of these things were practiced and perfected in the REA, preserving the history of the colonists as well as fostering the skills they would need to have a full and cultured life on new soil. In the Schola, the future of the colonists was shaped in the minds of their young. They were taught to read, write, cipher and then groomed for apprenticeships all over the Inspiration.
Working close by the vast generation ship was a small, round craft with great, dark sails. This little ship glided towards one of the few asteroids in this vast, empty space between stars and sank hooks into the passing hunk of rock and ice. Panels slid back on the belly of the tiny beast and ore processing equipment emerged to chew and devour the asteroid’s wealth. The Inspiration slid on, leaving the mining crew to catch up with the main ship once their task was done.
They floated on, harboring a secret. Onward they flew, drifting ever closer to the star they hoped their children would call the ‘sun’ and the planet they hoped would one day be called ‘home’.