Naked, with a dead body at his feet and no recollection as to how it got there, Artim is in a world of trouble. Already blacklisted by the establishment thanks to his relationship with the beautiful, rebellious Katelle, Artim’s nemesis, Milden, is just dying for an excuse to get rid of him.
Ninety-eight years into its thousand year journey, the generation ship Destiny is home to an increasingly repressive system. From his privileged position within that system, Milden hungrily, lustfully watches Katelle as the broken, twisted AI under his command watches all that occurs on board.
Through the dangerously subversive recollections of an original crew member, Artim and Katelle begin to discover that everything the system has ever taught them is a lie; and worse, that they in turn have been passing these lies on to their students as truths.
With their existence thrown into chaos by what they’ve learned, the two teachers plot desperately to find a way to take on the might of the propaganda machine controlling them; but imprisoned on the ship itself, there’s no escape from the system, and absolutely no room for retreat. Can a spark of rebellion ever grow? Or will the system’s spies extinguish even the smallest flame before it can ever take hold?
Book One of Destiny’s Exodus takes readers on an epic journey through not only space, but also how history can be a tool for manipulation and control.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A conversation with a coworker about theoretical interstellar ships presented in National Geographic led to falling in love with a design that required a heat-sink a hundred miles long. It also summoned an old fascination with what life would be like on a generation ship. I kept thinking about the difficulties in maintaining a society under such circumstances and got inspired to write and rewrite until I had the skeleton of a situation I could write books within.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Katelle and Artim I came up with after imagining a pair of young teachers idealistically rebelling against a school system. I wrote a scene where they work together trying to convince a class of thirteen-year-olds to care enough to change things. I went on to build Katelle as a damaged alpha and Artim as a yearning beta.
Milden is a middle management bad guy with a substance abuse problem and an obsession with a much younger woman. There’s a lot of inspiration around me for him.
Bennie I built from several character parts, drawing from D&D, movies, and general imagination to put together a very complex guy that likes chocolate milk.
Destiny AI or Sodai I drew on research into brain damage, computer programming, and lots of fiction. She is very special to me.
The Ship Of Destiny’s AI reviews the path of the hummingbird with an unassigned facet, an equivalent to a daydream. The bird traveled erratically around the southern half of the ship’s habitat for hours before being captured.
The AI feels something akin to sympathy watching the hummingbird escape its sanctuary and drift up into lower gravity. The open-air part of the ship is a tube four thousand mrets long by four hundred wide. Full of air, dirt, and water, of flora, fauna, and people, it would spew very organic paste if squeezed by a giant hand. The habitable tube spins like a water wheel on a cylindrical hub that runs its full length. Rotating clockwise just over twice a minute gives the interior of the tube a surface gravity equal to Earth’s. The higher the hummingbird flew the weaker the centrifugal force became and the lighter it got, and as it got lighter it flew higher.
Not able to understand and compensate it drifted near the cylinder, named simply “Hub”, and passed out at a tenth of its normal weight. The AI watches, knowing it wasn’t dead as it drifts east, its unconscious body unable to keep up with the habitat’s spin. Gradually its slight weight eases it down to increasing gravity, which wakes it just in time. Destiny AI feels vicarious satisfaction as the bird beats its wings at an altitude with a familiar enough gravity that it can fly controlled. After buzzing in a couple circles, it heads towards some promising red flowers.
The daydreaming facet feels something complicated as men near the flowers with nets. The AI knows it called the men, and it knows what they did to the bird. An intense and familiar mixture of feelings destabilizes and disperses the facet. Then feelings of guilt, sadness, and helplessness spread throughout the whole of itself.
A facet watching the squat cylindrical structure for the human resources deputy manager is enveloped by a wave of helplessness. It happens to be focusing near where the bird was captured, and the AI wonders if the two occupants would have done something different if it had been them that had netted the hummingbird.
Akin to an elevator car but dedicated to promoting intimate encounters, the watched structure is called a love pod. A clear tube holds it, connecting the surface to the Hub, axle of the habitat. The pod currently sits half-way up. Seeing no hint of movement and concerned with emotional deviation, the AI slows the whole of itself, so it doesn’t have spare time to think through its harsh feelings.
About the Author:
I was born in California. I grew up in Hawaii. I went to junior high near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I went to high-school in southern Oregon, college in Salem Oregon, and am now living with my wife and five year old son in Portland.
I lived in a redwood house on a volcanic island, and played on a beach of my birth stone. My mother was a belly dancer. I can Cossack dance. I taught myself after I came back from Russia.
I’ve studied Hawaiian, Latin, French, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese in the classroom, in that order. Now I can’t manage much in any of them.
I drowned in the Hilo Bay after being repeatedly thrown in by drunk relatives when I was my son’s age. I still remember the moment when I gave up and breathed in the tea colored water. My lungs surrendered, but my heart never stopped. I forgave the foolish swimming lesson the moment a fear sobered relative resuscitated me.
I facilitated a consensus meeting in the middle of a downtown Portland street for several hours with several hundred people. We decided on one thing, to stay in the street indefinitely. Then, almost everyone left and the next morning the police opened it for traffic.
A police man broke my arm and I said, “Motherfucker, I’ll kick your ass with one arm.”
I organized a rave in my loft when my roommate was out of town. He almost didn’t find out. My wife was my student in Japan.
She said, “I love you.” Too late we realized she confused “love” and “like”. I was considered both the best and worst English teacher.
I was almost an Eagle Scout, but I got burnt out.
I never played D&D until college.
I play Eve Online and exclusively PVP.
I buy too many transformer toys and pretend it’s only because I love my son.
I got cauliflower ear from wrestling in high-school and broke a finger doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in college. I broke my hand on my friend’s head after he asked me to punch him. We kept sparring.
I burned my face while fire dancing. I am a fire dragon.
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