Effing Feline sings heroic songs

Photos: DepositPhotos

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf. Click the pic for info.

I, Effing Feline, talked about my least favorite music last week, but I never got around to sharing my favorites. I don’t have many, and I’m sure you can understand why.  Most songs are about people not cats, which is ridiculous, and to make matters worse, music playback devices are all designed for human hands, not cat’s paws.

I greatly prefer heroic song about felines like The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Just the other night I yowled it five times through while thinking of the Siamese down the lane, and I did a marvelous job of it.

Today, another selection from Constellation XXI, which will be released this year, though the publisher has not yet set a date. Sienna Dukelsky pilots a tugship in charge of guiding incoming freighters to a safe docking at Farflung Space Station — but her brand-new ship has suddenly lost all power, even backup power.  From there, we segue back to events leading to the power failure.

P.S.  There’s no tyrannosaur in the mess hall.  Sienna used the tyrannosaur metaphor in last week’s snippet because her long-lost first lover (whom she’d betrayed to the authorities years ago) awaits in the mess hall.

Earlier that morning…

Sienna’s big day had finally arrived.  Excitement fizzed like champagne through her veins, but she ruthlessly popped every little bubble.

“Step thirty-eight of Monitoring Hyperspace for Incoming Ships,” she said in the cool, forceful tone of a spaceship captain rather than her real voice, which was too gentle, too feminine, too darned nice.  She coughed, cleared a salty taste from her throat, and continued: “Upon reaching alpha position, turn on gravitational-wave sensors.”

No one answered, of course.  She was alone on the DA387 for the first time.

She thought a sequence of colors to enter command mode.  She would’ve preferred flipping switches with gratifying clicks, but DA387 was a Thought Ship, with a limited array of manual controls.  It had been delivered only two months ago with every bell and whistle, costs be damned.

Effing Feline here again. What are your favorite songs about cats?

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

Effing Feline divider

The Repelling the Invasion series

theguardianangeloffarflungstation--thumbnailThe Guardian Angel of Farflung Station

The space pirates think they succeeded in invading Farflung Space Station — but they didn’t count on Sandrina. The attractive young waif has discovered so many of Farflung’s secrets that she’s the most powerful person on the station … though nobody knows it yet.

They’re about to find out.

Escapeeescapee smaller

Catt Sayer just wants to survive.  The working-class fugitive delivers military supplies on a decrepit airship, but her hard-won livelihood vanishes when invaders overrun her harsh moon. Even worse, an idealistic, upper-class officer wants her to risk her life on a hopeless trek to attack enemy headquarters – manned by 10,000 soldiers!

The African Queen in outer space

And coming soon Constellation XXI

Sienna Dukelsky’s unglamorous job is to guide incoming freighters to a safe docking at Farflung Space Station. But when aliens with a startling secret seize control of her tugship, Sienna’s job suddenly becomes the most important in the entire galaxy.

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58 comments

  1. Oooh! Intriguing ship. And I love her self talk.

    As for songs about cats, I just know one my maternal grandfather used to sing, and it’s… well… Not one Effing would probably like.

    1. The song not be something Effing would like is a mark in it’s favor?

  2. I love that line about champagne!

    The first feline-related song I can think of is The Monkees’ “Shorty Blackwell,” from 1969. It’s their longest song.

    1. Leave it to you, who is so knowledgeable about pop culture, to dig up a song by the Monkees.

  3. A thought-controlled ship sounds cool, but I can think (HAR!) of a few ways that could go wrong quickly.

    1. I can too, and I use some of them. Thing is, technology is moving more and more in this direction; I’m extrapolating, not making this up out of whole cloth.

  4. A thought-controlled ship? What a great idea. How about a thought-controlled laptop? I could do with one. I wonder what would happen to both after a couple of glasses of champagne? Could spell disaster.

    1. Imagine the kind of story a thought-controlled word processor might produce. Ulysses, anyone?

  5. Diane Burton · · Reply

    I liked that line about champagne, too. Very effective. Thought-controlled ship? That’s going to be interesting. What if she gets distracted? I can imagine problems.

    1. I picture one of my former dogs, snapping merrily at soap bubbles when the kids blew bubbles out in the yard.

  6. Ed, your creativity boggles my mind. Really-as everyone commented-Thought controlled? Total WOW for that one, my friend.
    The one at the controls had better watch her thoughts very carefully. . .

    1. One of the items I read while researching this book involved thought passwords, which are currently in development. Brainwaves and thought patterns are even more distinctive than fingerprints or retinal patters, and thus are more ‘foolproof’. Supposedly.

  7. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Great internal dialogue! I wonder if the thought ship picks up on all of that.

    1. Nope. Commands must be preceded by specified thought pattern, such as a sequence of colors; random thoughts are ignored.

  8. Intriguing – a thought ship. Going to be fascinating to see what trouble this causes. Tweeted.

    1. It’s the crux of the science fiction part of the story’s premise.

  9. Really like this snippet, especially the internal dialogue. As for cat songs, I like the theme from “That Darn Cat” and there’s a Roy Orbison song called “Domino” that starts out “There’s a cat in town you might know…he goes by the name of Domino…” Then there’s the cats singing Christmas carols. And I love “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

    1. “Domino” is about a cat. Never knew that. Guess I should’ve listened to the words more.

  10. Ed, how do you get any writing done with Effing yowling like that? 😉 Love the excerpt. One character in the scene yet I’m pulled right in.

    Marcia

    1. Marcia, you’ve hit on a real problem. Why do you think he’s name “Effing”?

  11. Always interesting twists and turns to your stories! Great snippet…

    1. Coming from you, that’s a real compliment!

  12. I love the glimpse into her “real” personality and how she has to squash it to be a proper captain. The ship sounds like trouble to me, with lots of new fangled bells and whistles to go horribly wrong. Does Effing know Señor El Gato? He probably shouldn’t – it ends badly for El Gato.

    1. Doesn’t the scent of food bring Don Gato back? Happy ending!

  13. A ship with so few manual controls … I sense trouble ahead when the power goes out!

    1. It’s very stupid, I think, to have few manual controls — but then, if the batteries die on my TV’s remote control, I can’t even turn the set off. The future is here, folks.

  14. Effing…Effing…have you forgotten about The Stray Cat Strut? 🙂

    This snippet sopld me on the story, Ed. I just bought it on Amazon.

    My Kindle is overloaded with TBRs, and I’m writing now so I tend to not read much. But, it is downloaded so I won’t forget to buy it later. 🙂

    1. Due to its physical presence on a shelf, my hardcopy TBR nags at me much more than my Kindle’s TBR. As a result, my Kindle is overloaded like yours.

  15. I think there might be many ways of interfering with “thought” controls and no manual override!
    We have the Christmas songs of Jingle Cats.

    1. I’d never heard of the Jingle Cats, but just now I turned off Haydn to listen to them on YouTube. It was kind of the very definition of “from the sublime to the ridiculous.” But I enjoyed it, so thanks, Aurora.

  16. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Great inner dialog. A thought-controlled ship should make this tale quite interesting.

    1. I think so, Karen. Glad you agree.

  17. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    Love your technology. Surely, nothing can go wrong on a thought-controlled craft. Unless your mind wanders…?

    1. But if nothing could go wrong, I don’t have a story!

  18. And here I was waiting for a T-Rex to be devouring the rations in the mess hall and generally wreaking havoc. Love the idea of a thought-controlled ship. Wondering what interesting situations could arise because of it.

    1. I admit, it’s an interesting scenario … but a totally different story.

  19. Excitement fizzed like champagne through her veins, but she ruthlessly popped every little bubble.

    Love, love that line and the images it conjures.

    What’s New Pussy Cat?

    1. “What’s New Pussy Cat” occurred to me, as well, even if it isn’t Effing’s favorite. I’m guessing it isn’t quite heroic or bloodthirsty enough for him.

  20. Interesting the way she’s trying to project a “captain” persona even though she is on the ship alone.

    1. She’s trying to cement a new self-image. By the end of the book she’s her own uninhibited self — and a much better captain for it.

  21. I like the way she’s forcing herself to fit some image she has of a ‘proper’ captain, even though no one else is there to see it. That’s dedication!

    1. It’s dedication and also a bit of insecurity.

  22. nancygideon · · Reply

    Oh, I don’t think she’s going to be alone for long . . . Can’t wait to see what perils you place in her way, Ed!

    1. That’s true. She realizes that her immediate duty is to her (small) crew.

  23. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Interesting ship. I bet many things could go wrong.

    1. Could go wrong and will go wrong.

  24. kimmydonn · · Reply

    Fancy ship! I want one! 😀

    1. That can be arranged. Simply send me a blank check.

  25. Great snippet! I like that she talks things through to herself. It really does help the thought process!

    1. Maybe that’s my problem: I don’t talk to myself enough.

  26. The ship sounds intriguing, but I think I want some other way to control it just in case. Great snippet.

  27. I really liked the insight into her ‘nice’ voice Great snippet! I’m afraid I don’t have any favorite cat songs for Effing, though.

    1. Thanks, Elyzabeth!

  28. A thought-driven ship. Interesting idea. I wonder how it differentiates whose thoughts to obey and how that changes if someone is asleep or unconscious…or dead. There don’t seem to be backup manuals as you mentioned few controls existed.

    Anyway, Effing, you may want to hum a few bars of Cats in the Cradle, What’s New Pussycat, or Everybody Wants to Be a Cat, from Disney’s Aristocrats!

    1. Great song suggestions, Elizabeth!

  29. Love the descriptions! Especially the bits about her voice and the champagne.

    1. I enjoy coming up with descriptions like this.

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