Enough procrastinating:; the plot needs to move forward, as does the novel. As an experiment I split out the two story-lines into separate plots. It works quite well so I will continue with the two novel approach. I’m currently working on revised story-lines; they both look a lot simpler than the original, which is good. Both stories come out at about 40000 words which is too light for a novel, but gives both a good start.
I intend to finish the second novel first as this is the most developed plot so it’s back to the last seven chapters with a vengeance.
However, I have drafted out a 700 word prologue for the first book. I’ve reproduced it below:
Deep in the uncharted wastes of the Galaxy a time-bubble popped into existence. It bobbed around on the gravity currents of a black hole’s event-horizon: the point of no return. Any closer and even the Mage’s awesome command of matter would not save it from destruction. Slowly, the bubble expanded until a watcher, had there been one, could have seen two beings appear inside it. Only through such extravagant precautions had the Mage continued her covert fight against the Centaph for so many decades. Her people were few and their powers failing steadily. Unless she could drive the Centaph from the sacred spaces her people would lose all their extraordinary powers and their one remaining homeland.
The Mage’s companion was a sacred futurologists. "Your Holiness," he said bowing a wrinkled head. "We have identified a new flash point in our campaign against the Centaph," he pointed to a telepresence representation of the Galaxy floating beside him. As he pointed, the image zoomed towards a central cluster of stars near the galactic hub. The cluster nestled a safe distance from the red sphere marking the extent of Centaph control. Even as they watch the red sphere expanded towards their star cluster.
"The Galactic Republic of Free Sentient Beings; pretentious, are they not?"
"Yes, your Holiness, but well intentioned and formed with our help."
"And the odds?"
"The odds of success are low, but can greatly improve with our intervention – this could become our best opportunity yet."
"What sort of intervention?"
"Two races are of interest. Neither as yet part of the Republic: Ethigians and Humans. Using the Grositack classification: lone hunters, social herders and social hunters, we would identify Ethrigians as social herders and Humans as social hunters. Either has the ability to lead the Republic against the Centaph."
"Social hunters; like the Centaph – rare indeed. Tell me more of these Humans?" The bubble lurched as a yellow sun, stretched into an oval by the black hole’s immense gravity, shot over the event-horizon and was torn to shreds. Even the light from it’s dying burst was sucked towards the hungry giant ahead.
"The humans are few, maybe only hundreds in number. Refugees from the galactic slave trade ."
"Can we trace their home world?"
"All attempts have failed – even they have no idea. They are adventurous, resourceful, aggressive, and adaptable; Like all hunters they are risk takers."
"And the Ethrigians?"
"Dominated by tradition and rigid social rules; highly politicised; great negotiators; feudal of course, and they exist in vast numbers on their home world of Ethrigia. Intriguingly, the humans are drawn to the Ethrigians by their remarkably similarity – they could almost have evolved from the same stock."
"Convergent evolution probably: species occupying the same niche in different eco systems often resemble each other. Though, there is some evidence the ancients seeded species on new worlds before the great merging," the Mage said. "How do you propose we maximise the chances of success?" A planet broke into uneven chunks as it followed it’s unlucky sun. The Mage wondered briefly if the planet harboured life, if so extinction was only seconds away.
"With respect, your Holiness, only the most difficult scenario comes top in every simulation."
"The more difficult a thing is to achieve the more worthwhile it becomes."
"Yes, your Holiness," the futurologist bowed low again.
"You have identified the individuals whose lives we can manipulate?"
"We have a number of interesting candidates. Some may require major intervention. If we had more time..."
"We have none. Now is the time to take risks."
"As you see fit, your Holiness. Intervention is not an exact science – some candidates squander their opportunities, others pursue a goal which is not in our interest." The Futurologist showed a list of all the candidates and their opportunities.
The Mage nodded her approval, "We must watch and learn. I want a short list by the end of the year." The bubble lurched towards the event-horizon – another sign of their failing power. Time to go.
A watcher, had there been one, would have seen first the figures evaporate and then the bubble shrink until it disappeared into nothingness. The black hole continued it’s frenzied feeding undisturbed.