Monday, April 02, 2007

Where it all began...GAMES OF COMMAND original files

I've received a lot of fan mail (thank you!) since Games of Command came out the end of February. I'm just tickled that readers so love Sass and the admiral, Jace and Eden. A lot of my fans know--since I'm not shy about it--that the original manuscript ran over 300,000 words...and was a series of emails between a dear friend and myself. Rather a "continuing adventure" just for fun and never meant to be published.

Readers have also been clamoring for all those scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor.

I thought I'd lost a lot of the original, due to computer crashes and such. But I did come across a few files from 2001. They're not the FIRST original files but pretty durn close. I'll share them with you over the next few blogs...

Please note some names/scenes/settings may NOT match the book. This is the seed from which the book was sprouted.

Enjoy! ~Linnea

ORIGINAL CHAPTER ONE from my notes dated 2001

Sickbay, Triad HUNTERSHIP Vaxxar

There might be worse things in the galaxy than a lethal alien virus. An admiral with an attitude, and an agenda, could well be one of them.

Chief Medical Officer Eden Fynn glanced at the time stamp in the corner of her screen. “Damn!” She increased the document’s scroll rate. There was a required staff meeting in five minutes, and she had fifty more pages to review. A second outbreak of Nar’Relian flu had inexplicably surfaced at three United Coalition spaceports in the past month, resulting in five more deaths. Finding a cure was now a race against time. She’d waited for two days for this critical analysis. Yet when it finally arrives, she had to go play Dutiful and Obedient CMO because Kel-Paten had his proverbial cybernetic knickers in a knot over something. Again.

“Cal, can you load these stats into my medalytic program? Got another command performance with the full staff in the ready room in five.”

The portly, gray-haired doctor smiled knowingly. “He’s overdue by about thirty-six hours this week, isn’t he?”

“The admiral just likes to be efficient,” Eden replied as blandly as the tired grin on her face would allow her.

“The admiral likes to see how high we all can jump, and when.” Caleb Monterro accepted the thin data-disk that Eden held out to him. “Be glad to help. We need some fast answers on this one. But I’ll tell you, I don’t envy your having to go to these meetings of his. Especially this late.”

"The admiral has his own view of time," Eden agreed as she straightened a stack of files on her desk. It was already a half hour into Third Duty Shift, which was Cal’s shift, not hers as ship's CMO. But medical work rarely respected schedules.

“It’s been different working with the Kel Triad these past six months." Cal absently tapped the thin disk against his palm. "Not like on the Regalia, with Captain Sebastian.”

“Tell me about it,” she quipped. A med-tech interrupted any further conversation, handing a new patient file to Monterro to review.

They parted with an exchange of tired smiles.

But, yes, what Cal had said was true. Their captain had her own way of doing things, and in Eden’s opinion, that to a great extent was what caused some of Admiral Kel-Paten’s problems. The other cause was a supposition she’d only recent begun to consider. It wasn’t one she wanted to explore further, right now. Especially because if she were right, and the bio-cybernetic construct in charge of the newly formed Alliance Fleet was actually experiencing emotions. Then she, as Chief Medical Officer, might just have to Section Forty-Six him.

She didn’t think that would go over well in the Triad part of the Alliance. It might even start another war. Then a puzzling virus would be the least of their problems.

The lift door pinged. She spent the short ride up to the Bridge Deck searching for more pleasant thoughts: the meeting shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half, two hours at most. That would leave her just enough time to get back to her quarters, change into some comfortable hiking gear and unwind with a leisurely late-shift stroll through one of the simdecks’ “Scenic Trails of the Universe” programs. It would unkink muscles now tense from hours of sitting. And maybe would unkink a mind tired from staring at medical data that made no sense.

Eden entered the stark ready room, a relaxed smile on her face. She only had to play “dutiful and obedient officer” for another ninety minutes and then she was free to do as she pleased.

Unfortunately, Fate and the Universe, as they often do, were just at the moment making plans of their own.

Ready Room, THS Vaxxar

Admiral Branden Kel-Paten noted the exact time of Dr. Fynn’s arrival in the same way he noted the exact time of every one of his officers’ arrivals: on a digital read-out in the lower left corner of his field of vision. The angular numbers were a bright shade of yellow-green, a color he'd found disruptive at first, as he'd found disruptive many of the bio-mechanical enhancements that had been added to his human form. He’d said something about the color choice to the Bio Engineers, hesitantly, as he'd been young enough then to still experience the emotion of shame. And the engineers had been sharp and caustic in their reply: he was a fifteen year old child and in no position to dictate preferences to these experienced and degreed professionals.

Truth was, he was more than just a fifteen year old child; he and eleven others had been human experiments, lab-bred from the best genetic materials available so that the Triad could produce five Senior Captains to helm and command the Triad’s five quadrants. But out of the dozen crèche-lings that had fertilized in the test tubes, only three had lived past their tenth birthday. And only one -- Kel-Paten, literally “Kel” (for the Keltish Triad) P.A.-Ten -- Paracybernetic Augmented Humanoid Ten -- survived past his fourteenth birthday and into enough human maturity where the mechanical enhancement procedures could begin.

The psycho-synthesizing had started three years later.

Over the years -- almost thirty more of them -- he'd gotten used to the putrid yellow-green color of his visual readouts. So now when he noted his CMO’s arrival it meant nothing, other than she was on time, and Sass wasn’t.


Oh, Captain Sebastian still had seventy-two point four seconds in which to arrive on time, but he knew she wouldn’t. The look she’d given him over the vidcom when he’d told her to be at the ready room at 2030 hours had portended that. She was off-shift at that time-- as most of his command staff would be-- and was scheduled to play a zero-g racquetball game at 2030 with a certain unmarried commander from Engineering who, Kel-Paten felt, was a little too attentive to Captain Sebastian lately. The info packet he’d downloaded from HQ after they’d cleared the ion storms could’ve waited until First Shift, until the “morning” as dirtsiders would say. There was no reason for a 2030 hours conference, other than such a meeting would keep Sass where he could keep a eye on her. And that was something he lately felt more and more inclined to do.

Sass... Captain Sebastian arrived at exactly 2034.43.2, her bright pink cropped t-shirt top and side-slit work-out shorts still damp from her recent exertions.

Something heated flared correspondingly inside Kel-Paten, his gaze taking in far more of her than he was used to seeing. At least, not while he was awake. He didn’t miss her playful tap on Dr. Fynn’s arm with the tip of her racquet as she strode by.

“Whipped his ass, 5-4!” she rasped, still somewhat short of breath.

(to be continued... more of the ORIGINAL Chapter One next time...)


  1. Anonymous10:20 PM EDT

    'Again.' Marches to her own drum, she does, our Lady Sass.

    'Whipped his ass...' Yup! That's her! ::grinning with glee::

    'cropped pink T-shirt and slit-sided shorts' That little minx! ::smiling approvingly::

  2. Anonymous11:36 AM EDT

    More, more, more! (please)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'll try this again. The last post was a grammar nightmare!

    Thank you! The deeper I read into Games of Command, the more curios I became about where Brandon came from. This answers a number of questions. I'll be sure to keep reading!

    (ahhh - that's better)

  5. I had the opposite issue, Kristie. I just finished reading GAMES and the only question I had at the end was "When's the sequel coming out?" But, now you've got me wondering too! GAMES is the best Linnea book ever and Kel-Paten's the one who made it happen. My humble opinion. He's the best, most real, most human (ironically enough) hero I've read in a loooong time.

  6. Anonymous9:50 PM EDT

    I got an email today from a friend who just finished reading GAMES. She wanted to know more about Sass and Kel-Paten's earlier encounters. That's the prequel! I wonder, should we start begging the publisher for both? ::mischievous grin::

  7. That's not a bad idea, David. I wonder how we'd go about that?

    FYI: I'm doing a full review of GAMES on tomorrow.
    There's a link to it on my home blog too, which you can get to by clicking on my username.

  8. The only problem with doing a prequel of GAMES, David, would be there'd be no HEA. I couldn't resolve the relationship between Sass and Kel-Paten because it resolves in GAMES. So it would be an 'unhappy ending' or a nebulous one at best.

    Plus, Sass's upbringing was fairly dark. You've read the unfinished COMMAND DECISION so you know about the 'pawn shop' scene. The one Bantam and my agent felt was too dark for GAMES. That's still her background and I don't think at this point it would fly in a prequel. The only thing would be to see if it could be worked into a sequel--though I really dislike backstory and that's how it would come out. Unless I had part of the sequel be her and the admiral hunting down the Kel captain who abused her...

    Hmmmm... ~Linnea

  9. Anonymous1:46 PM EDT

    I'd love to see a prequel published, too!