Rescue Insurgency underwent one major change while the story was in process -- namely, the role of D'ork, the upper echelon Sk'lan flipped by the Shrike Team. In fact his whole story grew out of the fact that I wanted to give Sonica a shot at one of those giant robots. Once I had that in place, it occured to me that she was just the sort who would try to "flip" the pilot to her side -- not just do away with him. From there, D'ork's role grew tremendously and into unexpected dimensions -- helping Cameron Derrick resolve his blind hatred for the entirety of that race; and rescuing him from that genetically-modified warrior. D'ork will no doubt appear again.
In fact, though, D'ork's shifting role typified the process for most of the story involving the disposal of missiles and the prison break. I had general ideas of what would happen and worked out details as I went along. Nothing else revolutionary came of that, though.
Cameron Derrick's disappointment at finding out that his fiancee had died was a central point in the story that is among the oldest conceived for it. One thing that was in flux for a bit was which of the former detainees would reveal it to him. In the end, I chose Dana -- but she was always the leading candidate anyway, because as you might guess from the rest of the story, she and Derrick are destined to have a history of their own -- not just as members of the Claw of Vengeance team, but personally as well.
One particularly hard detail to work out: How could it be arranged so that K'rn'x was forced to do M'l'strom's will (which will play a pivotal role in ST #10)? And how is it that he could not be forced to have done so before, merely because M'l'strom was the leader? To be quite honest, the whole idea of K'rn'x as a member of a ruling caste -- and the idea of the caste itself -- had just been conceived of for this story, and it was needed to explain exactly why K'rn'x was able to head the Faction without running afoul of M'l'strom's temper. After that, the idea of his family being held as a performance bond was a simple one. That it also worked out in terms of accusing him of treason -- why yes, he HAD been hosted by a female member of Brom Shriker's retinue (just don't ask which one!) -- was a bonus.
A reader asked how long Eidolon could stay underwater, as in the opening scene. I know the answer to this because of a MUCH later scene I have planned, but you can imagine he's probably trained himself to stay underwater for a long time. A quick check shows the human world record is over 18-19 minutes. He can probably do it for 30 if need be, and he'd have needed much less time than that to mind-blast those Sk'lan. Alternatively, he could probably use the power of the wind seraph to create a bubble around himself underwater. If he stayed under too long, he'd just go into hibernation until someone dragged him ashore. I know that because of a future scene I have planned too...though...not with him as the one trapped under water...
Range Patrol #10 will begin soon...it's time to go to war.