So “Donuts and Disasters” is the first short story of the saga of Aquarius Ascendant, or what I’ve been calling for short the “Veryverse.” Oddly enough, it was mostly written as a dry run for some of my sci-fi concepts (particularly the concept of spaceships that move all the time by warping space rather than by direct thrust), and was actually written about a year before I started to come up with the ‘verse as a whole.
“Donuts” was originally written for a very short-lived project of role-playing game related fiction, the “Monday Mekton Fiction” project, on the Mekton Zeta Mailing List. This project unfortunately folded after only three weeks, but it was a fun ride while it lasted. I may eventually publish its sister story, “Sibling Rivalry.” The final story that is now available for sale is roughly twice the original word count, and hopefully a better tale for the extra length.
I do, seriously, intend to show that there’s more to the Veryverse than just what the Navy can see – there’s a whole teeming world out there of people traveling between planets, living their lives without interacting with the military (this is part of why I’ve chosen to release its stories under a relatively permissive Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license).
Because nobody in the story actually sees a Sarisan face to face, I suppose I should describe them here:
To imagine a Sarisan, first imagine giving an otter an additional pair of paws so their forelimbs can develop into fully prehensile arms and hands; the otter is then flexible enough to rear back into a centaur-like stance when she comes on land, but retains the physical features that make her such a formidable swimmer. Her body is evolved for high maneuverability and pursuit in both environments, and she never loses the three-dimensionality that defines aquatic animals. However, in developing a body large enough to support a sentient nervous system, she grows in size until she stands at the shoulder from her rather short lower limbs a total of four feet. Body weights are in the range of 70 to 100 kilograms for females and 80 to 170 kilograms for males.
(Yes, the attack of the ‘taur people gets me too 😉 )