The new FOTS novel, the second in the series is coming along decently. I hit Chapter 7 and around 11-12 thousand words the other day.
A snippet from the FOTS WIP...
"Have we ever seen one outside of that armor?" Commander Ames on the destroyer Simmons asked.
"No, sir. The Hee'Dra are gas giant dwellers though their legends,
those they've shared and we've managed to decipher, say that that was
not their original form. They bioengineered their entire species and
civilization to allow them to live on gas giants millennia ago, possibly
as much as fifty thousand years ago or more."
"Why?" Simmons asked.
"To escape something their legends call the Leviathan," Blake replied.
"No, we don't know what this Leviathan was or if it's still out there
somewhere, but it scared the Hee'Dra so badly they re-engineered their
entire physical beings and civilization so they could hide from it under
the clouds of those gas giants."
Though there was no actual physical sensation, emergence from warp to
real space always felt like a near-physical event, like a sudden stop
from high speed to braking hard at a stop light for Rear Admiral
Margaret Bennings, commanding officer of the Terran Federal Republic's
6th Fleet. The sudden cessation of all sense of movement imparted by the
view screen's blue-to-red rendering of space around them to the actual
near dead black of the real universe
always left her reaching out for something to brace herself against
forward velocity. Even after twenty five years in the fleet she'd never
gotten used to it.
"Updates incoming. No hostiles detected in system" the Midway's Navigation and Tactical watch standers said almost in unison.
"Update. Five rocky bodies in system. Two gas giants at ninety and one hundred twenty light minutes from primary, Captain."
Benning's flag captain, the actual commander of her flagship, turned to Bennings. "No enemy contacts in system, Admiral."
She thought for a moment, reviewing her orders and the nearness of the
closest Pyronian and Q'Tez Hegemony colonies displayed on her personal
screens. Stiffening her resolve she looked up at Captain Mitchell Byrnes
and nodded. "Proceed with deployment of the spy drones, Captain."
"Aye, Admiral," Byrnes said. He turned to the Flight Operations Officer
who stood at his station nearby. "Release the Hounds,Mr Deng, if you
"Aye, sir," Deng replied. His fingers danced over the touch-sensitive controls on his own instrument panel. "Hounds are away."
"Tactical, confirm telemetry and tracking. Communications, confirm data uplink."
"Telemetry and tracking read fivie by five, Captain."
"Data uplink confirmed, sir. All drones are in the web."
"Excellent, people," Byrnes said. He turned back to Bennings. "Admiral,
all Hounds are on course and feeding data to the Midways data web."
"Hounds, Captain?" Bennings asked.
"Yes, Admiral. It's what the crew has started calling the drones. A
hound is an ancient Terran tracker dog. Given the spy drone's mission to
keep track of activities along the border between the Pyronians and the
Q'Tez, I thought it an appropriate nickname."
"How are the Hounds' stealth systems operating?"
Byrnes turned to check his own displays again. "Completely in the
green, Admiral," he said after a moment. "If we didn't already know
where they were and what course they're on, we'd have a very difficult
time finding them ourselves."
"Very good, Captain. Okay, make our heading zero eight eight to the warp limit and on to the next target system. Warp five."
This book's actually coming together quite nicely in my opinion and I'm not having nearly as much trouble writing it as I did the first (which, in my opinion, needs a severe rewrite as it's mostly backgrounding). There's a lot more action coming up in the next few chapters as The Unspeakable War spreads across known space and involves 8 different star nations (and none of them even know they're in that war yet).
Anyway, a progress report is always good for the soul, I think.