Friday, April 18, 2014

Story Thoughts --- Groundpounder

Groundpounder was the fifth story that Battlecorps published, and comes in at 6500 words. For those of you that don't known, "Groundpounder" is a slang term used by the Air Force, helicopter, or VTOL personnel to describe the Army or ground-based units. Simply, put, an infantryman,

This was one story in which I had the title before I had a story to go along with it. I was still expanding my Universe worldview, looking for another faction to write about. For some reason, I looked at the Outworld Alliance. The OA doesn't have a large or well-funded military, but they do have some of the best Aerospace fighters in or out of the Inner Sphere. I decided to base the story there.

At at first wanted to do a story about the aerospace fighter pilots, but that didn't seem to fit in with the title. I then thought about someone who had been an aerospace fighter pilot, but for some reason wasn't anymore. From this thinking came Corbin "Razor" St. Cyr, an OA soldier who had been one of the best pilots to come out of the OA's training program, only to be injured and unable to continue as a pilot. A man who can't fly anymore, yet can't walk away from a family tradition of military service. A soldier with both physical and spiritual wounds who withdraws into himself. He becomes a scout, a solitary task that allows him to wall himself away from his friends, family, everything he has known.

The Snow Ravens were introduced to give an outsider's view of the situation, both overall in the OA, and with Corbin himself. There wasn't much written about the Snow Ravens and the Outworld Alliance at the time, only the Ravens were impressed with the OAs pilots' skills, and were looking to make inroads with the Periphery state.

Now that I had established a man hiding from everyone, I needed someone or something to force him to care. Enter Doctor Danaka Hemmer, damsel in distress. A woman who doesn't flinch at the visible scars like so many others had.

With these two, I wanted to try something I hadn't yet written in a story; romance. Most of it happens off-screen, but it does begin to play into the second half of the story, to show while Corbin maybe a groundpounder, he still has a Aerospace pilot's mentality, and now that he has someone to care about, a determination to throw himself into harms way, against a much stronger foe to protect that person and the people around her.

At the end, Corbin isn't the same man. For the first time in several years, he has hope --- maybe to fly again, maybe have a life in which he isn't alone. For him, I wanted him to have some brightness in his life, mostly because writing a dark character is depressing.

I may visit Corbin and Danaka and see how they're doing in a future story. For now, they're fine where they are.

Next Tuesday, I may start serializing a Battletech novella I wrote that is based on a (somewhat) shorter story I wrote for a contest. This was the story that gave me the drive to start writing for Battlecorps, and I hope you like it.


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