Secret Weapons of the Resistance #5: Ding

In “High Steaks“, the most recent addition to the Quantum Series, a resistance rises to meet the fascists who’ve overthrown the legitimate local government of the Terran colony Deanna – a resistance with friends in low places. Together with bovine torpedoes, time travel, a mad scientist, an invisible space ship, and a well-camouflaged operative, the nasties must also contend with another unseen enemy: morale.

“Wait…” I hear someone say, “is this the right article? I thought it was about Ding?” Oh yes, and I also heard that other voice ask “What’s a ding?”

[Incidentally, in order to see the rest of these articles in this series, click on the category name Secret Weapons of the Resistance.]

I’m glad you asked! Ding is the name of one of the two quaint little moons belonging to the Terran colony called Deanna. It’s a small moon only around 50 feet in diameter, and consists entirely out of titanium. As you might imagine, it’s very shiny, and when it’s not in orbit, it’s presence in the night sky is easily missed. Wait – when is a moon not in orbit? Why, when it falls down to the ground of course! Surprisingly, Ding makes regular and frequent visits to the surface of Deanna! Visiting space ships don’t always notice it in time you see (they don’t) and the resulting collisions knock the small moon out of orbit, sending it down to the surface. Consequently, as a result of the earliest collisions, pilots referred to the damage to their ships as ‘dings’ in their fenders – and from there the name stuck to the moon itself – hence Ding! You can view a short animated video of how this happens here!

Where Ding lands is of course a matter of science, trajectory, trigonomenometry – and luck! Of course whenever Ding falls, the insurance industry’s other lips chew chunks out of it’s underwear – because someone might call to claim for the destruction of an apartment building, a factory – or a boarding house occupied by 20 people! 

Okay, if Ding keeps falling down, it has to get up again – so how does Ding get up again? Well, the small titanium moon doesn’t bounce, that’s for sure! Over the years since the founding of the colony on Deanna. the unusual little moon has become something of a landmark, and as a result of pressure on the local government from the residents, each time the moon got knocked down, the Tourism Office sees that it gets recovered, polished up nicely, and returned to orbit by three dedicated space tugs piloted by a select elite of tuggers – the Moon Jockeys!

You can view a short animated video of Ding being put back in orbit here:

Ding As A Secret Weapon

How does Ding figure into the Resistance’s campaign? In order to explain this adequately, I’ll have to talk about symbols – and flags. Flags are basically just pieces of cloth with different colors and other symbols on them – and as entities they are universally viewed as symbols of something: a city, a state, a country, a national identity, an ethnicity, a gender or sexual orientation, or a religion – just as examples. Now while a flag itself is a symbol, so is the act of raising it – or tearing it down… and burning it. Everything connected to symbols and articles of symbolism, including actions taken for or against them could also be said to be symbolic as well… but we’re getting a little off track here, so right: back to the small moon Ding.

Ding itself is a symbol. Although it doesn’t appear on a flag, it is unique to Deanna as a Human colony. It’s rise and fall (literally) has become so firmly entrenched in Deanna’s culture and lore, that when it’s no longer in the skies, it’s sorely missed – and this too is an important symbol for our story.

Consider this – in “Prodigal Sun” we’re already aware that Ding has once again fallen to the surface. It’s whereabouts remain a mystery for now, and there are no apparent efforts underway to return it to it’s proper place. At the very same time – almost as if by coincidence, the colony finds itself under the heel of revolutionary neo-nazi jackboots, and the Resistance is having to contend with flagging public morale and a populace whose sentiment and support could be swayed towards either side. The general public of Deanna isn’t used to being ruled by iron-fisted fascists declaring martial law every other day, roadblocks around every corner, or a state-hijacked media service pumping the airwaves full of lies, damned lies and propaganda 24-7!

The fascists, being mostly imported subversive agents not from Deanna, don’t care much for Deanna’s small moon, in fact some of them don’t have any kind words for Ding or the tradition of putting it back and keeping it in orbit – to them the idea seems somewhat frivolous, wasteful and silly. The Resistance realizes that they need to gain the support of the people – and to do that, they need to build public confidence in their ability to mount a resistance… and to build morale! To do that, they need a symbol – a symbol more visible and more significant and inspiring to the masses than having watched the visiting Prince Justin’s dreadful and graphic assassination on live TV, or the sight of fascist DRA troops ripping down the flags of the Terran Empire and the colony Deanna and trampling them on the cobbles of Lupini Square – better even than just raising those pieces of cloth again – and what better symbol than to restore Deanna’s most well-known landmark to its pride of place where all can see it?

If you want to read more about the planet Deanna, download the free guide by clicking on the cover below:

Click the cover below to view the short animated movie “Bang, Splat!” (FREE!)

…or you might want to pay a visit to Deanna itself – well, good, I’m sure they won’t mind! Here’s the address:

Feel free to email or message me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you have any comments or questions!

Cheers until next time!


A little about “High Steaks“:

Troubled times had come to the small Terran Colony planet of Deanna – and having amusing names for its sun (Ramalama) and two moons (Ding and Dong) hadn’t made this quaint little world immune to bad things. After a shock assassination, the three largest cities on Deanna have been overrun by separatist troops and the former Governor has gone into hiding! The quirky little world seems about to be enveloped in a destructive civil war – replete with a supporting cast of heroes, villains, aliens, victims, perpetrators, volunteers, vampires, war veterans, space battles, bovine torpedoes – and a little time travel on the side.

“High Steaks” is the sixth title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela.


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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.

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