1. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    20

    space mission

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rumwriter, Dec 15, 2011.

    I'm writing a short story, and I have the general idea secure in my mind.
    I just need a reason that ships (bare essential small cramped ships) manned by two people are being sent on long journeys into the middle of nowhere in space. The thing is that I think I want the ships to be almost completely automated so that the people inside have no control over where they go, but I need them to have a purpose. Maybe analyzing data or something? Or are they just there for simple repairs? I don't know enough about this stuff to have an idea that I really firmly like. Suggestions please.
     
  2. sithkittie
    Offline

    sithkittie New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Anywhere in space is kinda the middle of nowhere, unless you stay in the solar system... I think it depends on how advanced your tech is. Can they leave the solar system? Are they in some kind of stasis? I wouldn't buy analyzing data because robots can do that better than humans, and at less risk. If they're there for repairs, what are they repairing, and why can't a robot do it? I think your qualifier of "middle of nowhere in space" is catching you. Anywhere you go in space is going to be a long journey, and your characters are going to be isolated no matter what. Think of just the distance between planets in our solar system and how long it would take to not only get a signal from, say, Mars, but then if someone needed help? Unless you have light speed. I would narrow down your tech a bit, see what it can and can't do, why it can and can't do those things/what it was made for, and you might come up with an answer by yourself. I think you need more background to find that idea that you're going to like.
     
  3. RW James
    Offline

    RW James New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the best way to approach this, is to have the ships in complete control of everything and that their mission is to take these people somewhere. If it were more than two people I would say to colonize a planet. But with only two, then it would be just to transport them somewhere. The idea here is that they would have no more control over the ship than passengers on a train or a plane would have - assuming the transports were completely automated.

    To be in the middle of nowhere, would require a long journey - perhaps a little odd for just two people. Unless there some kind of mishap that took the ship off its original course. If you are committed to having only two people on this ship, then you will need a bit of back-story to explain it. If you could manage more people, it might be a little easier to explain. Think of it this way - would it be logical for a train to take only two people any great distance?
     
  4. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    20
    I've thought about them somehow getting off course. It's just a matter of them going away for a year or so and then possibly coming back. I'm thinking of a round trip kinda thing, but there is no leaving the ship -- at least there are no planets or anything like that. I agree, it seems like robots or something would be able to handle things like that, so I just need to figure out why these two guys are in this ship. It can be a huge program where they send a lot of these ships out but i need to come up with something. oh well. i'll figure it out.
     
  5. UnknownBearing
    Offline

    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Void
    They are there because they are criminalized crewmembers sent on the ship as unnecessary personnel as punishment or exile or just to be kept out of the way for awhile. Or something. If you're going to write about useless characters, make their uselessness intentional, and therefore interesting.
     
  6. RW James
    Offline

    RW James New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    They could be lab rats sent to a specific region to see if they would survive or how the region might affect them. I thought of that when you said there could be multiple ships like this and it made me think that they were searching for a solution to some kind of problem in deep space.

    There used to be a notion that the upper atmosphere contained a region with intense radiation and there was concern that we could never travel through it safely. There was a lame episode of Star Trek that tried to claim something similar at the edge of our galaxy. Lame our not, there could be a similar problem at the edge of our solar system, kept at bay by the solar wind. Just a thought...
     
  7. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Oh my god, the bolded bit. That is perfect.
    I don't recommend putting criminals in charge of expensive machinery, though.

    In a year, you're not going to get very far, unless you travel at the speed of light, but a year at the speed of light will be a few years here on Earth, and a year on Earth will be barely anything to the guys on the space ship.
    I mean, say you've got shuttles orbiting Mars. You could probably get to Mars quickly enough with light-speed travel. Send them to shuttles on Mars with supplies. They dock momentarily, push the supplies across, and then they're off. Maybe they've got to go to a few shuttles. Maybe the shuttles are manned by robots and they just need to do minor repairs to make sure they're recording data correctly and such.
     
  8. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    Perhaps they are workers building a space station, tarraforming a planet, building a death star, or something along those lines. The working have no control over where the ship goes because they are under contract to go right to the job and do it.
     
  9. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    20
    Actually, I think I have an idea now. So now I need to know something that might cause a ship to malfunction in space? Like an electrical storm -- except there aren't electrical storms in the middle of space, right? I guess I could have a small piece of debris hit the ship or something or maybe a piece becomes dislodged
     
  10. sithkittie
    Offline

    sithkittie New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    There is so much debris in space, especially around planets, that there'd be some sort of protection around the ship... unless it's a really big chunk of something, then you have to ask why is it there? Depending on where you are in space, a solar system or outside of one, I think you're going to have trouble finding debris unless you have really bad(?) luck. One thing that could cause the ship to malfunction - it's old. Or the computer is buggy, or someone sabotaged it. I would do something internal, personally, an accident or a design flaw. Something as simple as the sewage system getting buggy seems like it could complicate a lot and make things dangerous (I'm thinking recycling for water). Hope that gives you ideas.
     
  11. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    20
    what do you mean some sort of protection around the ship? there aren't force fields and things in my world
     
  12. Metus
    Offline

    Metus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Omega 4 Relay
    Space dust can erode ships and suits quite quickly. If you want to thicken the plot, you could use sabotage. If you want to comment on the sad state of modern society, make it a simple malfunction.
    As for protection, many items in space are magnetic. Tanks and APCs in America are now receiving electro-magnetic shielding which has much the same affect as a force field, but is real and much more grounded. You may want to look into it.
     
  13. Felipe
    Offline

    Felipe Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Texas!
    This is an escape pod that was jettisoned just before their mother ship exploded. These two, minor characters are now to fulfill the mission that called for dozens.
     
  14. sithkittie
    Offline

    sithkittie New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    This is what I meant by some kind of protection. Earth has so much crap floating around it that even now we have to have some kind of mechanism to protect stations and satellites. I couldn't tell you exactly what, because I don't know that much about it, but at the very least I know they're aware of when larger debris comes close and they have to maneuver around it. I remember an article coming up in BBC not too long ago about that. Even if they don't have Star Trek like shields, a ship capable of traveling any distance would have some reasonable mechanism to protect itself from chance encounters with small space junk. That's not to say accidents wouldn't happen though, but since it's Sci-Fi, as a reader I'd need a good reason to make me accept it as part of the story rather than just a plot device, you know?
     
  15. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Actually, there's streak lightning in space the length of the milky way and longer.
    http://www.cracked.com/article_19479_the-6-most-mind-blowing-things-ever-discovered-in-space.html
    There's a cracked article about crazy things in space.
    There you go.
     

Share This Page