Below is the rough outline for a short story that is in queue for this year’s June Camp NaNoWriMo. You can see a list of all of the stories here, or you can just click on the Camp NaNoWriMo tag and get all the planning goodness.
Working Title: Bringing Sarah Home
Blurb: Some Firsts fall further than others.
- Rafiq is back to piloting, months after his encounter in The Rabbit Who Ate the Moon. He’s picking up another First, this time they aren’t dropping off Seconds, just giving up on communications with the local sentient.
- The First is openly hostile when they show up, refusing to get on the ship or anywhere near the recovery team. They end up tranking her to get her on board, something Rafiq objects to but is overruled.
- They plan on keeping her drugged for the entire trip back, but there’s mechanical problems with the ship and they lose the ability to keep her asleep. She’s not stupid so the first thing she does is hide.
- The other crew members are freaked out that there’s a possibly homicidal maniac loose on the ship with them and Rafiq has to talk them out of just killing her off.
- He goes out, alone, to try and talk her back into rationality.
- She is not impressed.
- But he’s used to Firsts, more so that anyone else at this point, and he’s the only one who had been studying her broadcasts. The aliens were too far removed from us to communicate with, they never recognized us as intelligent—but the First had really tried, and got a little lost in-between.
- So he stops trying to convince her to act human and starts acting alien himself. Which makes the rest of the crew panic more, until he shuts them up. He’s basically acting as her First, tapping into her innate mimicry talent.
- They get home about the same time he gets her close enough to normal that he can convince her handlers that she hasn’t gone feral. At which point the agency realizes that he might have learned something useful from the Rabbit adventure and recruits him instead of acting like he’s contaminated.
I still haven’t finished writing The Rabbit Who Ate the Moon, but I know the storyline well enough that I think I can pull this one off without problems. I just need to come up with an alien race whose method of communication is just out of our reach, so that it was worth a try, but not something we could pull off successfully. *ponders*