Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Need


I'm going to bore everyone with all my Strike Back talk, but holy hell, the hits keep coming. Poor Scott can't catch a break. I do have one wild hair theory of what I want for him at the end of the show's run, but I'll keep mum so I don't jinx it. :D

Tonight's post is from a manuscript that's a bit of a departure for me. It's got an omniscient narrator. I'm not completely sure it's going to work, but I love the flow so far. Need dives into how two people end up gravitating toward each other, almost in an inevitable way, because their need outweighs standard operating procedure, frat regs, and just about everything else. Very fun to write. :D

Here's the tagline:

Circe Nash and Oz Paterson, two top notch pilots, have the strangest courtship in the galaxy—one they swear doesn't even exist. But when the need to be together hits them, they inevitably find themselves in the same place at the same time, with a little help from their crewmates.

And the sneaky peek…

Circe Nash and Oz Paterson had the strangest courtship in the galaxy.
Sometimes the need to see each other hit them at exactly the same time. Sparks usually flew and they weren't the only two who noticed. The entire crew could pinpoint the exact moment it happened. And they had front row seats to the bizarre mating dance Circe and Oz would swear never actually took place.
Oh, but it did.
A top notch pilot, Circe could be out flying CAP, chattering away with the other pilots. She'd tease and lob insults and take her fair share of ribbing. Never one to dish out more than she could take, Circe usually kept the conversation going between the squad for the whole patrol.
But every once in a while, she'd go dead air silent for a few beats.
It happened to be one of those moments.
Oz would be deep into work on the comm deck, plotting courses, running coordinates and monitoring engineers and the deck crew. He'd be in the thick of his duties and stop, mid conversation with the landing station officer or keying in data, and go silent, like he'd heard something no one else did.
He'd get up, grab a headset and enter the discussion with the CAP. He could do that. As CAG, no one questioned his actions. It never took long for Circe to get back in the game and start trading barbs with her immediate superior.  
The over the air banter would take on a sharp-witted edge and everyone else would go quiet until end of shift, letting Circe and Oz carry out their weird brand of foreplay. Once the CAP landed, Circe met Oz or vice versa. Oddly, no words necessary, they'd exchange a look or a glance and fall into step beside each other then disappear. Or with a weird, silent communication make plans to meet without uttering a sound. The crew got used to the crazy interplay. They also knew not to go anywhere near Oz or Circe until both had laid-back smiles on their faces.
The two didn't start out so much in sync. In fact, Circe and Oz began their journey on opposite ends of the galaxy. Oz grew up on the central planet in their solar system. Commerce, education, and culture abounded in the primo location. A wide cross-section of every world shared the wealth of their knowledge and experience. Oz soaked it up and developed an appreciation for diplomacy.
Circe didn't leave her home world until a recruiter visited and offered her a chance. Street smart, she lacked discipline, but showed an aptitude for strategic planning. Razor sharp instincts kept her safe on the rough and tumble streets where gang law often trumped everything else.
She spoke her mind with fearless confidence and didn't suffer fools at all. She had some adjustment issues when she entered the military, used to living fast and free, coming and going as she pleased. But she quickly learned her natural ability to fly would buy lots of wiggle room. She also figured out how to walk the very fine line between skirting regulations and insubordination.
Their differences made things very interesting when Circe met Oz under less than stellar circumstances. She transferred in from a battle frigate, the Cyllene, and arrived during last dog watch. She discovered her tradition of entering the landing bay in an inverted position did not go over well with the CAG of the Titan.
Oz ordered her—from his bird out on CAP—to remain with her ship on the hangar deck until his shift finished…in two hours.
When he finally landed and the crew towed his plane to the hangar, he found Circe sitting on the wing of her ship, enjoying a meal from the galley. He completed his post-flight checklist in cold silence, giving the crew ample time to feel his wrath. Their always solid efficiency increased to superior levels and everyone gave him wide berth when he strode, slowly and with great purpose, to Circe's location.
Circe finished chewing her mouthful of food and washed it down with a long swallow of water. She slid off the wing, grabbed hold of the ladder and swung down to calmly wait for the CAG.
Everyone held their breath when Circe and Oz stood toe to toe for several long moments, taking each other's measure. No one knew what to expect when the CAG's gaze met the pilot's and sparks literally flew.
Circe gave Oz a cocky salute. "Lt. Circe Nash, callsign Trickster, reporting for duty." She waited a beat then added. "Sir."
Oz worked his jaw, silently clenching his teeth. "Wanna tell me why you disobeyed a direct order?" He completely skipped SOP and didn't offer the formal acceptance of her arrival.
Circe gave him an innocent gaze. "How do you figure I did that? I'm with my bird on the hangar deck…exactly as ordered." A slow smirk spread across her lips. "You didn't say anything about rations." She dragged the sleeve of her flight suit up and checked her watch. "And I hadn't anything to eat for ten hours."
Oz cocked his head to the side, silently regarding his new pilot. "You're gonna push the rules to the limit, aren't you?"
Circe's lips quirked and her eyes lit up. "That's what they're there for…Sir."
The deck crew waited for an explosion. The CAG's callsign of Wrath had been well-earned. He had a short fuse sometimes, and Circe all but lit the wick with her cheeky response.
The blast never came.
Instead, the CAG calmly responded. "I can see things will be a whole lot livelier with you around." He looked up, glancing at everyone on the deck. "They'll also be a lot cleaner." He shifted his gaze back to Circe. "You get to begin your tenure here with a week of detailing work on the planes." He turned and started for his office.
Circe grinned and called out. "Think I'm gonna like it here, Sir." When Oz angled his head around, she snapped off a crisp and precise salute, respect for the CAG clearly defined in her posture.
Oz snorted and shook his head. "We'll see about that, Lieutenant. We'll see."

Seriously, Circe and Oz's relationship has been so much fun to write through the narrator's eyes. I hope I can keep the flow going and finish it up soon.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip!

ML Skye

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