The following is posted as it appeared prior to my second-round submission. Unlike the last one, not much more needs to be added.
Okay, I really hoped I could do this tomorrow, so I'd have a day to digest what I wrote, but I want to go to bed now, and if I don't want to come on when I wake up and realise it's closed. Imperfect is better than nothing, I suppose. On that note, I should mention that I am really tired, I've been up all day, and now all night too; so please forgive me if you find any grammatical errors.
Now, I'm deeply fascinated (no, there aren't any snakes) by the things that feature in the story, and really, if you derive anything from it, I hope it'll be a newfound or continuing interest in astronomy. Stuff like supermassive black holes is really f'king cool, and unfortunately I spent too much time wanking over dialogue to delve deeper into their nature (what with a plot - if you can call it that - being required and whatmore), but I hope the little things in the dialogue or descriptions convince you to discover the supreme awesomeness for yourself.
I'm not going to post all of them, but the ones I can remember...
Okely dokely. The story!
I woke up Thursday, two weeks ago, with an image in my head. It was that of a man falling into a supermassive black hole. That was the inspiration for this story; no matter what, whether I got into the 2nd round or not, I knew the next thing I'd work on was that image.
Betrayal is a tricky subject to set in space, though (without being too clichéd), so my decision was to let that feed off the relationships between the characters. If you look for it, you're definitely going to find some of my politics in this one... I've deliberately avoided giving the characters names, and they're all men (to avoid the issue of sexism), so the system within the crew's relationship can shine through and maybe represent society as a whole... the hierarchy exists between scientists as it does with chefs, say, or whatever; it exists in society, so maybe, if you decide to go down that road, this is really a story about class. The mechanic is the peasant, and he is undone by the higher-ranked person, and, ultimately, for nothing more than pride. Really, it's an observation of society as a whole, and its betrayal of the lower class.
Well, you know, that's what it means if that's what you want it to mean. It could just be a space geek jizzing over space.
And it's coming tomorrow.