…And leave no breadcrumbs

Instead of doing all my Odyssey II rewriting behind closed doors, I thought it would be best to use these update logs to track my progress. This is more for myself than anything.

Specimen 14.2Odyssey

in “Guinea Pigs”

Overhaul Report #1

“Murder your darlings.”

This is sound advice, but what I’m doing is more like “abandon your darlings in the wintry forest with only the wolves for company.” The original ending of Odyssey II’s story is sitting on a shelf while I rewrite it. I’m not even looking at it. I want to build a good plot from scratch without my favorite passages tempting me to steer it back to the mess it was before. I will write my new ending and only then will I return to the forest to see if the bones of my darlings are worth salvaging.

Here’s what I’ve written so far:

Last Minutes

Meeting: Odyssey II Emergency Meeting
Date: 22 January Year 4 (Day 93)
Time started: 13:20
Location: Polyxena Base Camp

In Attendance:

Erin S. Carellos, Acting Commander
Caroline L. Mercer, Head of Safety
Grant M. Irwin, Acting Secretary
Yuzo Yamamoto
Yerem (Nemo) Hovsepian
Alex Ostrovsky
Alex W. O’Hearn


Kim Seong-Ja, Commander

  1. Status Report


  • Food for 25 days at full rations
  • No change to disinfectant, power reserve, medical, or mechanical supplies. Refer to previous minutes.

Science Schedule

  • All outdoor investigations and sample collections suspended indefinitely
  • Continued limestone microcore processing, ventifact wind mapping, and upkeep of marine algae
  • Began formulating new experiments and analyses that can be performed indoors. All are still in drafting phase.
  1. Activities

Scouting Report

  • Scouting group consisted of Carellos, Irwin, and Hovsepian. Their primary goal was to locate the antenna that blew off in the storm, causing ground crew to lose contact with Odyssey.
  • Antenna was not found.
  • Secondary plan was to locate the shuttle Sunset and utilize its communication systems.
  • Sunset was not found.
  • Inspection of the reactor yielded no immediate concern.
  • Air intake vents now require clearing every 8 hours.
  • Irwin reported that the water pipe insulation is showing wear from the wind and ice. If stripped, pipes will freeze and cut heating and water to the polar havens.
  • Ostrovsky suggested that body heat may be sufficient when the havens are buried in snow. He will run models to determine if an additional heat source is required.
  1. Motions
  • Mercer recommended cutting rations to 80% while reducing nonessential activity. Motion passed 7:0.
  • Irwin proposed amendment that crewmembers eat a full ration if shoveling that day. Motion passed 4:3.
  • Carellos proposed a plan to search for Sunset. The outside team would add an hour to their maintenance activities to search a set area for the shuttle, three times a day.
  • Mercer vetoed the motion on the basis that risk of injury is unacceptably high if the scouting team is fatigued. She put forth a revised plan using two separate teams for scouting and cleaning, with rotation of duties. A team of two performs maintenance three times a day while a different team of three searches for Sunset for three hours once a day. Yamamoto is exempt due to injury and the remaining crewmember gets the day off. Motion passed 6:1.
  1. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at 12:00 on 24 January Year 4 (Day 95) in the Eurasia haven of the Polyxena Base Camp and (hopefully) the Coms Deck of Odyssey.

Submitted by Grant M. Irwin

Party of Seven

Our motion to stretch the food supply fell through.

Here’s the problem. Caroline’s scouting plan puts five of us outside every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re shoveling or taking a stroll. Being outside in this weather burns calories like nothing else. Your body is constantly trying to heat itself and the snow is so soft you might as well swim in it. It’s the ultimate weight loss plan. At this rate, we’ll be more famous than the Donner Party.

It comes down to an all-or-nothing decision. Either we gamble on finding the shuttle and coordinating a rescue with Kim, or we lie in our beds and try to burn as few calories as possible. If we take the first option, we might lose lives. If we take the second, we might lose our minds. The decision goes to vote tonight.

– Alex Ostrovsky (Day 97)



This entry was posted in metaphor abuse, odyssey, overhaul, The writing process. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to …And leave no breadcrumbs

  1. aprilholland@comcast.net says:

    Cool! I’ve never seen a story told through meeting minutes.

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