A new "Finish the" story will start this Wednesday, use this thread for Q&A

The third story in Baker’s amazing Finish the Sci-Fi Story series will be starting Wednesday evening when I post the first installment of the new story. (Please don’t jump the gun.)

Why the advance notice? To give people a chance to familiarise themsleves with the universe that we have created.

Please join in the fun!

This one will be a murder mystery, set in the universe of characters, places, politico-religious systems that has become as involved as real life. Here are the first two stories of our series:

Finish the Science Fiction Story

Finish the Science Fiction Story, Part II

After the end of Part II, we had a bit of a Writer’s Guide started, some of it discussing what has become canon in the series, some of it merely speculation and/or impressions.

Also, Baker has a couple of recaps of major plot points and character developements that anyone is welcome to (via e-mail).
There’s only one rule, more of a guideline, actually:


Part of the fun of having several (hopefully many) people writing a story is watching it grow and go to unexpected places. And watching an idea you inserted on a lark take on a life of its own. But, needless hijacks and detours can make the story tedious to read when done. Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t think it’ll happen here, but I felt it was something that needed to be said.

Don’t feel pressured to add huge posts. If you have an idea/person/plot point to add, add it. Whether it’s two sentences or 9 paragraphs. ALL ARE WELCOME. Some people excell at characterisation, some at action, some at mood or scene setting. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Once the story starts, use this thread for internal writer’s discussions
Actually, there is one more rule:

So, look for me to begin the Finish the Science Fiction Story, Part III Wednesday evening. I’ll post the link here, so no one misses it.
btw, you all can begin asking questions now, however, nothing of Part III will be posted until the story begins.

I can’t add much to what NoClueBoy has said, he did it so well.

But I will repeat that I have character and plot recaps for both stories. The one for the second story only goes through about 75% of it. However, I may get more done, and if I don’t it’s not too bad to just skim through it oneself, because most folks who may add to the third story will have taken in the first two.

I thank NCB for his characterization of the tales as “amazing”, but the real kudos, ahead of any of the rest of us authors, should go to ivylass. Not only has she been an active participant in both science fiction stories, but she was the one from whom I got the idea in the first place, to write a “Finish the…” story in the first place. She started the “Finish the Western” story that gave me the inspiration for using another genre. And without Jeff Olsen we would have missed some really good plot development. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and his last post in the second story pleased me especially!


As NoClueBoy said, make it fit, and have fun. I like humor too, and if you have read the first stories you will no doubt notice little in-jokes and nods to other works of film and fiction.

If you have any questions feel free to email me, or post them here. I’m looking forward to this!

I started to read through the first one, but it’s rather long and I have textbooks to read. A plot recap would be awful nice, sho’ nuff.

I’ll see about sending you the recaps, Johnny Bravo. I hope you decide to include yourself, I liked that short story you were writing. BTW, did you ever finish the revision? I’d still like to see it.

Oh, yeah. I did finish that. I’ll send you a copy if I can find it.

You can be sure that I’ll make contributions to the new thread whenever an idea hits me.

For those wanting a writer’s guide*, check story #2, page 4, from post #166 on.

Also, request, either in this thread or via e-mail, the recaps which outline quite a bit more and they will be e-mailed to you.

Looks like we’ll have more than four writers this time!

*of sorts

A couple of folks have asked me about a writer’s guide, listing major characters and how they are connected(or not!) Like NoClueBoy said, there is some stuff at the end of the second story, and I have a 75% done recap(sort of like Cliff notes) done of the second story, as well as a complete recap of the second.

But since the start of this story is just over 24 hours away I am going to try and hurry up a really condensed list of dramatis personae that were involved in both stories, and, whether alive or dead, may still have influence in the next tale. I will try to get it out by 10:00PM CDT this evening(3:00AM GMT) for anyone outside the US. If you won’t be up at that time, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you that way.

I hope we can bring the Han Solo-esque Zora into the new one since he was absent from the last.

Apparantly, he was frozen in corbromite. It shouldn’t be hard to work him in now that the princess thawed him out.

Another hint about my starting post:

(Another? I haven’t hinted at all, yet…)

As I speculated in the after posts of Story II, Robert is back, M’Artel (nee Martel) is a major player in the story, it begins on Forsetti, there is murder (murder most fowl) in it…

Oooh, I’m gettin’ all tingly!

Since some of our minor characters don’t have any canon backstory to them, I frosee some interesting developements if they get used in this new story.

yes, I said fowl

I also forsee many spell checks done on actual story posts…

It’s fun to teach my WP all the alien words and names we came up with. God forbid I ever have to do a resume again!

Okay, here is the first part of a “sort of” writer’s guide. I’m going to do this thing in more than one post, as they will be rather long. It’s sketchy, an introduction at best, but if you go through the recaps too, (and even better, read the stories!), you will know what I am talking about. Bolded items have entries in the recaps, for further explanations and background.

Katherine Irene Swanson Channing- introduced in the very first post of the first story, as Kathy Swanson. At the time presumed to be in her early twenties, as she had finished university, and was teaching on Ceres, as a payback for having her way through school paid for. Red-head, good looking. After many twists and turns of plot she learns that, unknown to her, she has a **crystal ** implanted in her body, which item has many uses. She develops, thanks to the crystal, powerful mental and physical powers. Others have been watching her, in particular a professor and mentor **Jacob Kenezr ** The professor presented her, when she left school, with the gift of a cat(Terran, felis domesticus), named Tobermory. Kathy is the daughter of Eric and Jacine Swanson, who are thought to be dead, but later in the first story are found to be alive, victims of a plot against their daughter, who takes part in their rescue and revival. Marries Victor Michael Channing Jr at the end of the second story.

Tobermory-also introduced in the first post, we think he is a normal cat, until his peculiar shape shifting abilities are revealed when the school Kathy is teaching at is invaded. He is found to be a Xavvian, member of a race humans refer to as felinoid, because of certain features that hemans see as catlike. Most of his race can’t shape shift, his ability is almost unique. He is very tall, and green in color, as most Xavvians are. Tobermory also bears a crystal, as do other people called couriers. He aids Kathy in fleeing the danger at the school, and together they attempt to reach Prof. Kenezr. Through both stories Kathy and Tobe remain fast friends, looking out for each other, At the end of the first story Tobe takes a position in the school Kathy and her parents organized, but at the beginning fo the second story Tobe is off on a different assignment. In the second story we learn that Tobermory has very high status on his homeworld, being third in line for their throne. His title is “Favored One”, and his real Xavvian name in q’Stant’Lit.

Granthiaxav-Xavvian, former officer under the command of Tobermory. He is of the high nobility, and overly proud of it at first. Devout in the Xavvian religion. Deep inside he carries a sense of sorrow that, because of family pride and status, he gave up the Xavvian girl,** Lissie**, he wanted to marry. Grant is active with the main characters throughout both stories. By the second he is working security on the planet** Sevastol**, so-called “paradise planet”, when two characters from the first story, Kal Trontian and M’Kayla arrive for a vacation.

Crystals- due to the gradually developing ideas in both stories, of what crystals are and what they can aid their bearers in doing, I’m going to just paste here parts of the crystal recaps. Crystals: a device implanted in certain people with proven sensitive abilities. It can enhance those abilities. It takes training for a courier(crystal bearer) to use them to their full potential. Some individuals can use them to greater effect than others. Also can be used for data storage and messaging, hence the use of “courier” to denote those who carry a crystal. Kathy Swanson may have abilities, that, enhanced by the crystal, are unique in their power. Their power and technology is still being explored. Numerous references. If crystal frequencies don’t match, the attempt, one by the other to make contact, can be excruciatingly painful, with sedation needed to control the agony A skilled courier can ease the pain, and gain information, with a three way crystal syncing, but this is usually done in a hospital. M’Kayla plans to use the dangerous technique to aid Kathy. The exercise is successful but leaves Kathy easier to locate by Vorpal The discovery that** Robert** and Martel made in the book from Kenezr’s residence is this. A crystal that has been properly conditioned and manipulated, and then installed in a host of the needed level of talent, can use it not just for recording and information gathering, but to manipulate minds and emotions. It could be a fearsome weapon in the wrong hands. Modifying a crystal frequency can ease the pain of a rogue crystal contact, but it makes the courier easier to locate. Description of a crystal discipline learning session in post #140 of the first story
Vicki Channing Peterson**- sister of **Victor Michael Channing Jr ** and daughter of Victor Michael Channing Sr. Vicki is prominent in the first story, aiding Kathy and the other characters, but she is barely seen in the second story. She has married, and is now pregnant by, an Adrian Peterson, who is the son and heir of Matthew Peterson. Peterson Works is a company with close business ties to VMC Corporation, a developer of spaceships and the hardware associated with them. Late in the second story we learn she has had her baby, a girl.

Kal Trontiann- (from first story) captain of a second ship sent to escort Kathy and Tobermory to Laxis Prime. His vessel has also been sabotaged, as was that of Granthiaxav. He has a mistress/companion named M’Kayla, who is also a courier .More of his history is in post #55 of the first story. Rumored to have had aid in ship design from Victor Channing. He us human, skin color is a darker shade of brown. He’s very upset at the sabotage to his ship, and he speaks of Kenezr as a “sneaky bastard.” Will be the first captain of an Echo II class ship.(post 188) *In the second story * he is traveling to Sevastol with M’kayla when the shuttle he is on is attacked, by “rogue” droids. Survives, with moderate injuries.(#1)Did riot control work on a penal colony(see Riqaska)Suggests making a decoy to throw Tag off their track(#54) Is of great help throughout the second story, and is killed when he deliberately flies his ship into a “planetbuster” droid, as there was no other way of being sure the droid would be stopped.


That is some post.

Is writing kind of drinking (or drugs) for you? I know it is for me. It’s so much fun to do and I get a real rush out of it. Then, after some time, I must have another hit. One of the reasons I like Doping so much.

And the story threads are like freebasing, man… Not that I know anyhting about that, actually. Okay. I shut up now.

I know the regulars will post and a few others have expressed great interest in joining the new one, but I want to let all you others know this: Just join in. It’s really quite a lot of fun to do, and reading them afterwards is still a real hoot for me.

Tomorrow, the next episode of our continuing saga begins. And no one will ever be sure of anything again…

Okay, second part of the guide. There may be one more yet tonight. Like NCB said, it’s kind of like drugs! Just kidding, just kidding! :smiley: The problem is, once I start, I see more I want to include. And if I did that I might just as well copy the whole darned story.

Again, anyone who wants them can have the more detailed recaps I did, just email the request.

M’Kayla- a female Xavvian, she is the mistress/close companion to Kal Trontiann. The two definitely are an odd couple, as M’Kayla is Xavvian and Kal is human. Star Trek to the contrary, true interspecies romance is not common,(although casual sex may be another matter, heh, heh) but Kal and M’Kayla have been together for years. She is quite a bit younger than Kal. M’Kayla is a courier, and is related to Martel, another courier. These two have a special talent, being able to communicate through their crystals over great distances. This ability is an important point very early in the second story, as Martel feels the pain of M’Kayla when she is gravely injured. M’Kayla has highly trained mental talents and in the first story is of particular aid to Kathy in developing Kathy’s own abilities. In the second story she is badly hurt in a shuttle attack, and while in surgery her crystal is sabotaged by a nurse/med tech named Shaista. Her crystal is dead until Kathy helps revive it. M’Kayla’s distress at the death of her lover is compounded because she is approaching a periodic stage in the life of a Xavvian female called “boosting.” It’s a time of heightened hormonal activity comparable to “heat” in Terran animals. Not desiring to make a spectacle of herself with multiple partners, her dilemma is (sort of) solved when she consents to marry Tobermory/q’Stant’Lit. She promises to be loyal to him, but does not love him.

Martel-(from the first story recap) Xavvian, male, one of three couriers who are helpers to Kenezr. Attempts solo thought messaging for the first time after he and Robert are set upon by Flogonim/Wayre.
(from the second story) His name isdecidedly non-standard. Cousin to M’Kayla, and also a courier they share the rare talent of being able to use their crystals to communicate over vast distances. He has been teaching at S-KI, cryptography and crystal communications.(#4)Having traveled to Sevastol with Kathy on the Searcher he is extremely frustrated by not being able to contact M’Kayla. (#44)While agreeing to aide Kathy in a three way syncing attempt at restarting M’Kayla’s crystal, he refers to their relationship as “pouch cousin”(#47) See also Xavvian in recap of first story. Is frustrated by failure of three way syncing attempt. Does not feel the fourth presence that Kathy does during their three way sync attempt(#50)Following the disaster at a Xavvian Death Rite on Sevastol he does research with Xavvian adept priests, and is considering a course of study with them. In post # 161 of the second story the Council on Forsetti gives him a new form of his name, M’Artel, and assigns him a scientific post.

Post #161 of the second story-Several important jobs and situations are assigned here by the Council of Forsetti. It is here we learn Tobermory will take the throne of his world ahead of the one he is heir to. (Hmm, the Council says the one he is supplanting will be compensated. I wonder if they will feel REALLY happy over it, or will the passing over come back to haunt Tobermory?) Victor Channing Jr. receives a position in line with his past business talents. Kathy is put on special assignment for what seem to be diplomatic activities for peace.

Post 166-177 of the second story- These are sort of a “writers’ guide” in themselves. Written after the second story was over they contain some of the author’s speculations on character’s appearances, attitudes, and so on. Also included are ideas about political groupings and motivations. Not necessarily canon as written, unless specifically mentioned in the stories(like Kathy’s red hair)

Xavvians- (See also post #170 in the second story!)one of the two most numerous or important races mentioned in both stories. Because of what humans see as a “catlike” cast of facial features, humans refer to Xavvians as felinoids. They have tails. As in humans females tend to be shorter than males, but there are exceptions. Females experience several periods during their life called “boosting”, in which the old biological urge is hiked WAY up. It is the only period during which a female can become pregnant, although they can have sexual relations at any time. Boosting is perhaps a response to a time in Xavvian evolutionary history when there was a high mortality rate. Feamles bear their young from a pouch that develops when boosting is imminent, then presumably is absorbed back into the body when gestation is complete.

Xavvians revere a figure called the Great Mother. She had a Consort, but he has not been named(if indeed he has one)
Depicted as always with a pouch. The Xavvian afterlife has been mentioned as returning to Her pouch. Religious rites are elaborate and can be painful, as priests in public rites, or private worshippers making solemn vows, may gash themselves to let blood, showing the sincerity of their worship. Granthiaxav let blood in the first story, as did Martel in the second, when he took part in the Death Rite held to replace the one that Tag disrupted.

Xavvian society has a hierarchy of nobility. In families line of descent passes through the female, although with the imperial line a male always rules. The heir of a Xavvian male is the oldest son of his oldest sister. So Tobermory’s heir will not be from any child M’Kayla bears him, but will be the oldest son of his sister Corianiav(see post 160 of the second story)

Okay, okay, just one more post in the guide. Like I said before, the details are like drugs to me. Oohh, the colors, the colors! But to potential authors, don’t let my anal ways with minutiae put you off, posts to the new story do not have to be long and involved if that’s not the way you like to write. There’s a story about how a well know orator named Edward Stanton preceded Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the new national cemetery at Arlington. He spoke for two hours, and the Lincoln’s Gettysburg address lasted just over two minutes. Some papers made fun of Lincoln’s remarks, but Stanton lauded Lincoln, telling him that he wished he could have said in two hours what Lincoln said in two minutes!

Robert - human, an important supporting character in the first story, he is not included in the second. He is a good friend and companion of Martel, a fellow student associated with Professor Kenezr. Although young, he seems highly intelligent. He does like to party and in post 187, after a lot of stress that came out okay, he’s last seen going to find a drink. This would be a good character for further development, as Martel/M’Artel has come into greater responsibilities.

Professor Jacob Kenezr Originally an academic mentor to Kathy Swanson, he and Tobermory arranged the gift of Tobermory(in the form of a cat) to Kathy when she went to teach on Ceres. He intended for Tobermory to keep and eye on Kathy and her crystal. Kathy had never given consent to the fiddling around with her body, which her own parents may or may not have known about. Kenezr and Kathy can work together but Kathy is cool to him, for his secret actions have cost her dearly. One result, she absolutely hates to be managed, or “pushed around” as she calls it. Kenezr was a cousin to Astrid Vorpal, chief villain in the first story. They were at university together. At the time jacob was a student of more conventional music, but Vorpal fried his own brain on illicit drugs and the old Earth music called “rap” Kenezr partially redeems himself in the first story by refusing to cooperate with Vorpal in the entrapment of Kathy Swanson, even when he is tortured almost to the point of death. Not quite as important in the second story, he is still there, and annoying Kathy as he still occasionally seems to view her as a “successful experiment” Not a bad guy, just wrapped up in his own ideas, and not always understanding the cost of the things he has done.

Zora A character seen towards the end of the first story, a member of Alliance Security, friend/associate of Kal Trontiann. Flying a Trident class ship(post 179)His vessel is carrying a faux crystal, imprinted by Kathy, to fool Vorpal into thinking she is aboard(post 183)Shows Robert and Martel how the power recording graphs aboard his ship indicate that the power generated in the Swanson/Vorpal battle was “all Swanson” and not augmented by the generator. The graphs also showed a huge spike indicating the power of Wayre, although not their “location”.(post 187)Allows his pet tools and instruments to be mounted in Kal Trontiann’s new Echo II, in exchange for becoming a valued employee of VMC(post 189) Another character that is available for reuse.

Victor Michael Channing Sr. CEO VMC Corp. , involved in R&D on spaceships and the hardware associated with them. Father of Vicki(Channing)Peterson and of his son and heir Victor Michael Channing Jr. Widower, he almost died in the same shuttle accident which claimed the life of his wife. That he did not die was due to his stubborn nature, and that an entity of Wayre offered to revive and heal him, in return for Sr.’s hosting the Wayre. Sort of two souls in one body. This arrangement was unknown to anyone else until he revealed it to his son in the second story. Keen mind, with a sharklike business sense, is not above using a bit of industrial espionage. This backfires with his use of Shaista who is a double agent for Tag, the main “bad guy” of the second story. VMS Sr. is killed by Tag.

Victor Michael Channing Jr. son of VMC Sr… Skilled in business and research as well. Tends to be a workaholic, which his sister Vicki teases him about near the beginning of the second story. Has developed an affection for Kathy, which ripens into love. Is a little jealous at times of the closeness shared by Kathy and Tobermory, but those two are truly just “good friends”. Is injured twice in defense of Kathy. Tall and very fit, he fought bravely and well at the first Death Rite, even if he lost. Marries Kathy at the end of the second story.

Tag seen in the second story, he is a member of an ancient race called Kel. Tag is an all around “bad guy“, sadist, pervert, murderer and rapist… You name it, he’s done it. Has extraordinary shape shifting abilities. Is over three thousand Terran years old. See his long entry in the recap of the second story. He has two major battles with Kathy, whom he views with utter contempt. One is when Tag disrupts the first Death Rite, and motivates Kathy into her own first shape shifting experience. The other is near the end of the story, but surprisingly it is not Kathy who finishes him off, but M’Kayla, using a new weapon. Before he dies he speaks to Kathy words she does not understand, but which have dread import for the future, when others translate them. Tobermory tells Kathy the following "Loosely translated, it means: ‘We are not yet through with you.’ It’s a threat of sorts. But, it implies that plans are already in motion. Like the pogrom initiated against Xavvians at the Council massacre.

Here it is!
Remember, use this thread for discussion. Refer to the other thread with post #s.


How do you synchronize the postings? i.e. How do reconcile 2 simultaneous posts both of which are consistent with the story development up to that point but spin-off into two tangents?

We don’t really try to synchronize postings. Authors so far seem to have rather varied times of posting, so coordinating would be difficult. It’s kind of been by guess and by gosh. There’s no “turns”.

If the simulpost situation you described occured we would probably discuss it here and choose one or the other post to keep. Hasn’t happened yet in the two previous sci-fi stories, although it did happen a couple of times in the “Finish the Western” stories. You can see Johnny Bravo and I posted very close together in the new tale, but the two posts do not interfere with each other. We had all been anticipating the start of the story and were eager to get going, but as time goes on postings will smooth out, and not be clumped together quite as much.

Errors in continuity are sometimes made, when a name or situation acts contrary to something already written. These can be little and simply noticed, so the conflict doesn’t get further embedded. But once in the first sci-fi story I made a goof that annoyed me and wrote a post that, while awkward, resolved the issue.

Mainly we just try to have fun.

As far as tangents go, we can usually make them all work, like mini plots within the major overall one. One of the things that’s different about this type of story, as opposed to one you’re writing all by yourself, is that the real plot often isn’t evident until about a third of the way into the story.

We’re in no hurry, and I have no idea how long the story will end up being. Major plot points and when to end minor ones, or indeed the whole story, became completely and clearly evident in the last two stories. It should all work the same in this one.

Yes, I did that on purpose, btw. :stuck_out_tongue:

What am I talking about? You’ll see…