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For the longest time, a vague notion existed in the ADoF plot document which involved space travel. An early outline for Arc 2 included this:
While on the trail, the police start suspecting and move to arrest her, but she’s rescued by a Human. A completely normal Human, who is somehow on Locque and looking for Cal. Human has amazing technology, including space travel, and whisks her away
Back before I’d even barely written a chapter of the story, I fully intended to take Kay and A Day of Faces into space, revealing an off-planet base of operations belonging to the humans, from where they orchestrated their manipulations. That space station probably still exists, truth be told, but the story had no place going there and it was simply me getting over-excited about spaceships, as usual.
Despite jettisoning that entire plotline, some of the themes returned in ‘Orbit’, with this chapter delivering a moment of wonder for Kay as she comes face-to-face with the gulf of technological progress between their societies. The best of optimistic sci-fi creates a sense of hope for the future and I wanted to capture that in the journey.
This time round it’s not just about the tech, though. The sub-orbital flight is an impressive bit of engineering, but for Kay it’s representative of what is possible when a mass of people decide to work together rather than stay divided.