I’ve decided to set Book 1 aside for a few week to a month. When I come back to it, I won’t have the close attachment to it I do now and will better catch any remaining errors.
So what to do? Start book 2, of course. Working title is “Legacy”.
I’m three chapters in, and have written my first chapter to include the POV of a Hive “character”. I have that in quotes because the Hive are not individuals as you and I are. The Hive are much more fluid, exchanging bits and pieces with each other in order to maximize computational strength.
Anyway, here is a taste of the Hive. ______________________________________________________________________
Bn76249x00 orbited over ZD2383. The humans called it Hamor. The small scout moved into a slightly higher orbit with each revolution around the planet. It had sensors extended, a woven web of nanites a dozen kilometers in diameter. Within the woven chain individual nanites had configured themselves to detect individual elements or compounds. Alliance ships were each different, each left its own distinct trail of chemical detritus for Bn76249x00 to catalog and, if need be, follow.
Bn76249x00 replayed the open signal it had captured during the battle over this particular world.
“Mr. Gilbert, notify all surviving fleets that Seventh Fleet is retreating to rendezvous position gamma.”
Bn76249x00 cross indexed the voice print with the chemical signature it was currently detecting. The voice print and chemical signature matched a human battlecruiser designated Michael Stennis and the captain of the vessel, Captain Sarah Dayson. Captain Dayson was designated a top priority for colonization or elimination. Bn76249x00 assigned the location of the chemical traces top priority in its search. It used subsequent orbital passes to detect a projected path for the Michael Stennis based upon density and composition of the chemical signature of the trail.
Several dozen orbits later, Bn76249x00 determined the projected path of the Michael Stennis, but it made no rational sense. The path was clear, but in a direction unexpected by Bn76249x00. That was not the only problem. The dispersal pattern for the trail was different than usual, and the density of the chemical trail indicated an unexpected rate of speed faster than light. It paused for several billion calculation cycles while it considered the possibilities, and decided that the calculation limits of Bn76249x00 required a larger network. Bn76249x00 changed course and approached a mobile base for docking and network integration. Bn76249x00’s computational ability would increase orders of magnitude once docked.
After docking with mobile base FWt78Ydn857, Bn76249x00 integrated itself into the larger neural net of the base. Moments later Bn76249x00 jettisoned its propulsion unit, a decision having been made. Captain Sarah Dayson and her fleet must have a new drive system, and an unknown base existed upon her departure vector. Calculations indicated a high probability the base lay withing the Abzurrin Abyss, a bubble of deep space with few stars near the top of the Sagittarius arm.
Bn76249x00 was outfitted with an FTL capable drive core and departed to pursue the Stennis into the Abzurrin Abyss with the intention of locating the base and directing node fleets to destroy it.
Bn76249x00 followed the chemical trail away from ZD2383 to ensure it was on the proper vector, then withdrew its nanite lattice into the body of the spacecraft. Once secured within, Bn76249x00 spun up his singularity and entered FTL. It jumped a short distance, found the highest density of molecules indicating the proper vector for jumping after the Stennis, then jumped again. Bn76249x00 jumped about one light year at a time, reverifying the scent and vector, then jumping again. The scent was very diffused, much more than the trail left by a ship moving at regular FTL speeds. Bn76249x00, however, was an experienced scout. Its subroutines had been optimized for difficult hunts, and expanded to consider the irrational responses possible by a human prey.
Months later Bn76249x00 stopped at the edge of the Abyss, and scanned. It detected nothing, but there was a lot of space to search. Bn76249x00 set to the task with machine efficiency.