That...was cutting it close. I literally finished that story with a half hour to spare until people started showing up for a movie night I'd planned. I almost didn't think I'd make it all, that I'd have to suck it up, call this week a loss and start wracking my brain for the most appropriate group to give that $50 to. Are there any dinosaur protection societies? There should be.
I'm really happy with it, for a first draft.
As usual for first drafts, especially the flavors which run longer than a few thousand words, there's some things I'd want to change. Bits which ran too long, places which need more oomf. I'd like to expand Dr. Beckett into more of a character, give Sam more opportunities to be impetuous. I want more jungle life, dinosaurs and nasty bugs and grotty details of life in the depths of the Venusian forest.
I'd also like to have the Venusians have more of a part in the story--perhaps a named role or two. I'd originally planned the boilerplate Venusian personality to be rather sarcastic. It'd be an entire planet of sarcastic philosophic lizardmen designed from the bottom up to take the piss out of Sam no matter where he went.
Instead this all took a bit of a back seat to things I wasn't expecting to write about, but turned out pretty cool anyway. The silk tunnel, for example, was something of a last minute thing because I didn't want to go the obvious route and have to have Sam hack his way through several miles of ultra-thick jungle. It worked extremely well, and fit, I think, the story/background on several levels.
Overall, fun as always. Turned out to be much more of a "classic" format sci-fi story than the pulp I was originally going for. Closer to Asimov than Lin Carter, I suppose.