Tag Archives: Admiral Ravindra

Another take on writing what you know

Picture of RavindraIn the last few days I’ve been writing a short story to do with one of the major characters in my Morgan Selwood series. Admiral Ashkar Ravindra is commander of the Manesai fleet which ‘rescues’ Supertech Morgan Selwood and her shipmate, accountant Tony Jones, from a slow death on their freighter Curlew, which had a failed shift drive. Having a failed shift drive means the ship can’t go to hyperspace and is stuck with traveling through real spacetime, which means you’re going to run out of air, food and water long before you’re likely to get anywhere. That story is told in Morgan’s Choice.

Anyhow, back to Ravindra. He comes from a very regimented society, where everyone belongs to one of four classes, which are unable to breed together. The original intention of the people who genetically engineered the Manesai may well have been “a place for everyone and everyone in their place”. But as I’m sure you can appreciate, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Ravindra is a member of the military class, the Mirka. Naturally, each class had developed its own sub-classes (because people are like that) and Ravindra’s family is part of the Darya group – from which most Manesai admirals are recruited. His father was an admiral, his grand-father was an admiral, young Ravindra is going to be an admiral, he will marry the daughter of an admiral. His path is mapped out for him.

And yet, Admiral Ravindra has a tattoo. Not some small, discrete bit of ink that people wouldn’t notice. He has a bloody great vulsaur tattooed all over his right shoulder, down his back and over his bicep. That photo at top left doesn’t really do it justice, but you get the idea. So why does that matter? Ah, you see, Mirka – and most especially Darya Mirka – don’t have tattoos. Troopers have tatts, admirals don’t. So what in the wild world would have resulted in eighteen-year-old Ravindra, with school finished and the acceptance to the Fleet Academy in his pocket, having a tattoo?

You’ll have to read the story to find out.

However, I’m not giving much away to tell you it concerns a vulsaur, which looks a bit like our mythical dragon. In one scene in the story, I need to have the vulsaur take off from quite a low start. Large flying creatures (on our planet, anyway) either leap off high places and glide or they need a long takeoff. But I didn’t want to do that. So rather than emulate an albatross or a swan, the vulsaur acts like an osprey.

I took this series of pictures down the beach a couple of years ago. The osprey has gone for a bathe in the shallows. Now he’s finished and he wants to take off. Basically, with his wings raised vertically, he jumps, then brings those wings down hard. And he’s off.

Osprey lifts its wingsIMG_0684IMG_0685IMG_0686IMG_0687IMG_0688

And this is just one more example of ‘write what you know’.

Morgan’s Return – a sneak preview

picture of cover of Morgan's ReturnI’m on the last lap of preparing Morgan’s Return for publication. Just a few, nerve-wracking, spine-tingling tweaks to go.

Here’s the blurb

When you delve into ancient history you never know what strange forces you might unleash.

When Morgan Selwood and Admiral Ashkar Ravindra travel to Morgan’s Human Coalition to learn more about the origin of Ravindra’s people, their relationship is soon sorely tested. Morgan is amongst her own people and Ravindra is overprotective and insecure, afraid of losing her. But not everyone is keen to welcome Morgan home, not when they’d gone to all that trouble to get rid of her in the first place. Soon Morgan and Ravindra have a rogue Supertech on their trail with only one goal – kill Selwood.

Together, Morgan and Ravindra follow a tenuous trail back into humanity’s past, to the time historians call the Conflagration. But what begins as an innocent archaeological investigation escalates into a deadly peril for both humans and Manesai, when Morgan and Ravindra are thrust into the middle of an unexpected conflict. And that rogue Supertech’s still out there, itching for revenge.

And here’s a tiny excerpt.

Morgan and Ravindra’s ship is stopped and searched when they arrive at their first Coalition planet. Here, they are talking to the commander of the boarding party.

“You’re with a Coromandel admiral?”
She chuckled. “You know what they say? Join the Star Fleet and see the planets? Well, I did. We met when I was on leave a year or two ago. He offered me a job when I got out. And it really isn’t any of your business.”
To his credit, the man laughed. “If the docking fees fall through, you won’t be going anywhere. But I guess you know that.”
The other three troopers, still anonymous behind their helmets, joined their leader, their armored footfalls loud in the confines of the ship. He gestured the troopers to the airlock. “You run a tight ship… Admiral. Enjoy your stay on Iniciara.”
He stepped back into the airlock. Morgan slapped a hand on the hatch release.
Ravindra turned to Morgan, and raised his eyebrows. She would understand.
She shook her head. “No surveillance. They checked the holds and all the cabins. I wish I knew what they were really looking for.” She let out a breath. “We still have to get through Customs.”
“Would they recognize you for what you are?”
“A Supertech? No. They linked to my implant, of course, but the other piece of hardware in my head is hidden unless I want to advertise.”
“Well then. We have nothing to hide. We really are just tourists.” Ravindra used his sanvad to contact Davaskar. “Take her in, Captain.”