Progress Report

3146 words written tonight between 10.00 and 4.30.

I threw out my last idea. My wife, aka my muse, gave me a better one. Just have the hero, Menelaus Montrose, go shoot the villain, Ximen “Blackie” del Azarchel.

Good guy and bad guy shooting each other in the face with futuristic hand cannons. That is what makes science fiction! (I ask you: Did Frodo Baggins ever shoot the Dark Lord Sauron the Great in the face with a high-caliber pistol? No! And that is why LORD OF THE RINGS is not science fiction. Whereas did robot Agent Smith ever shoot VR-ninja-messiah Neo in the face? Yes! And that is why THE MATRIX is indeed science fiction.)

The two agree to a duel. They are arguing, of course, over a woman, the Space Princess Rania, and over the coming world war, in that order. On his way to the agreed-upon showdown, Menelaus phones the computerized and superintelligent copy of Del Azarchel’s mind and memory that the two men made together back when they were friends.

Here is a snippet:

Menelaus said, “You are the old Blackie, my Blackie, the one I knew! And the Blackie I knew would not stand idly by and let this all happen.”

“And the Montrose I knew would not repay my saving his life by taking mine, any version of me. You know there is a means of avoiding this war, and yet you pretend not to see it.”

“I ‘spose you don’t mean having Blackie abdicate?”

“Certainly not.”

“I ‘spose you don’t mean me divorcing Rania?”

“Certainly not. I mean you die at his hands, and let Blackie marry your widow.”

“Oh, good. I was going to say my wife’s religion prohibits divorce, and so that is clean out of the question.”

“Your life is meaningless compared to the lives of countless millions, not to mention the loss of more than just life if civilization burns.”

“Maybe I should say my religion prohibits letting a low-down murdering skunk shoot me in the ass, so that is likewise clean out of the question, as I hold my ass to be sacred.”