Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Land Leave Rethink


Ok, so maybe instead of trying to follow the military aspect, I instead follow the path of a cop or a loner. No bounty hunter. Or rogue space traders. Too cliche. I need someone mobile, tenacious, and on the fringes of the society without being cliche. Maybe a spy for a corporation or a government. Very cliche but I want to emphasize the character's mobility and very low stakes. If the main character is a spy or a clandestine operative, then he has more mobility and can have conflicting motives.  For the spy it is about getting miniscule tasks done, not about a larger outcome.

Drop the conspiracy. At least, change it up. The original point was to do epic space battles but I would much rather focus on the political landscape.  One where the citizenry is free but rarely makes their own choices. A place where the attacks are simultaneously desperate, extreme,and totally reasonable.  Drop the Ares colony, at least for now. Focus more on the mega structures and the imperial arrangement of the Jovian moons.

Emphasize the supremacy of the American military. That's why there had to be a coup before. No space battles without equal forces.  But how does that fit into the narrative? Jovian rebellion? What weapons could any one faction have that aren't overpowered by the might of the AmU?

And what about alien tech? How do I keep the expansiveness without losing the heart of the plot?  I want to emphasize technological might but the feel of discovery still has to emerge somehow.

I think I have screwed myself.  Too big and no end to the story.  This is how Orson Scott Card made everyone hate him--that and the homophobia.

So, what I have in my head.  Some rebel faction is trying to get a hold of power and technology to cut down the AmU.  This comes in the discovery of alien tech out on the fringes of the solar system.  Ship to ship communication is handled by radio transmission.  Quantum entanglement breaks down over great distances due to sensitivity near gravitational fields, or some bs like that.  Most of the navy travels in fleets except for Asimov class ships which serve as vessels of discovery and humanitarian aid.  The mega-structures have many defenses and are equipped to deal with external as well as internal threats. Short of a nuclear detonation or demolition charges, there are few ways to damage the buildings.

The jovians are poor due to institutional failures and the mining corporations control them more or less.  The mining corps want more control over trade agreements and looser regulations.  The AmU, being in a period of relative peace and progressivism, is unwilling to grant these requests.

In a bid to weaken the AmU, the mining corps start gaming financial markets and buying sympathetic representatives. In this way, they change the discussion of security and rights to fit their agenda, garnering support from a sizable minority.  Some form of tiered class system is proposed. Ultimately these proposals are rejected, but not without sowing discontent amongst the different perspectives and skewing the political landscape toward the mining corps views.  This is less a conspiracy and more powerful interests leveraging their resources to acquire their desired outcomes.

In doing so the mining corps also gin up international discord.  This is done as a means to weaken governmental power and distract. The leaders of the mining corps and every powerful character believes they are in control.  No one is in control.

Individual interests collectively make bad decisions that weaken the overall strength and trust in individual institutions.  Why should the AmU be trusted when they are responsible for several international atrocities? Why should the mining corps be trusted when they have seemingly no allegiance other than wealth? Why should Jovian dissidents be trusted, they are terrorists?

And no one has enough information to make prudent decisions.

So war breaks out, and many lives are lost for nothing but the egos of people who think they know more than they do.