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 Power of Force

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Umbrangelus

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PostSubject: Power of Force   Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:24 pm

Hey,

This is a new short story. Please help me out on it.
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Umbrangelus

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PostSubject: Part 1   Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:33 pm



“Mrs. Sheppard? I’m Doctor Turner. I was the Doctor who worked on your daughter. I’m so sorry, but the damage was just too extensive. We couldn’t do anything. You’ll be happy to know that she died in her sleep; no pain. Again, I’m sorry.”

He led the grieving woman into a darkened room with a body covered in a thin white sheet.

“It would be best if you don’t look at her face. She is beyond mangled—”

Mrs. Sheppard ripped away the veil, shrieked in horror and consequently vomited all over Turner’s blue suede shoes. He simply nodded respectfully, re-covered the body and offered her a towel. Silently, attendants quickly disinfected the floor and hyper-vacuumed Turner’s shoes, even taking the time to polish them before scuttling out of the room.

She stood before the veil for what seemed like a hour crying and babbling some attempt at a prayer, but she couldn’t get passed the “Damn you, God…” part. Twice she came back around at Turner, swinging wildly. He easily side-stepped her pathetic attack and held her in his arms until she ripped away and started the cycle all over again. Finally, a kindly old woman stepped in and pulled Mrs. Sheppard away.

He watched her leave respectfully and waved goodbye when she turned one final glance in her daughter’s direction. As he waved, she turned her head towards him, glared, and flipped him off. He simply smiled mournfully and turned back to his work.

The smile vanished. “Thank God. I thought she would never leave. Get her back to the base and onto an operating table. We’ll cut this bitch up and see what we can do,” Turner muttered to one of the nurses.

“Yes Commander.” Instantly, all involved were no longer the kindly people who took great pains to ease Sheppard’s troubled mind, but were parading around with the calculated precision of a well trained S.E.A.L. team. In fact, they were much better than any Special Forces team. They were elites, soldiers/scientists who usually used their own bodies as test-tubes for experiments normal channels considered too dangerous to pursue. However, occasionally, they find their own bodies are not necessarily ideal for certain experiments. This was such an occasion. They had tried it once before, but that trial ended in dismal failure and continues to haunt their halls. But this was their newest cache, a seventeen year old female specimen in pristine condition, perfect for the new implants. All the calculations had been done and she expressed the greatest potential. It just had to work.

Turner was getting excited. “This might just work,” he thought whimsically to himself, “but it is better not to get my hopes up.”

Ten minutes later, they had the body of Saelyn Sheppard carefully positioned on a sterilized operating table about a ˝ mile underground in a military base long ago condemned because of high concentrations of asbestos.

“Let’s slice and dice. Hurry up people, core temperature is falling into the optimal range for implantation in… 5, 4, 3, 2, …now!”

------------------------------



I stood before an old grave yard ordained with bear skulls as well as claws and teeth of all kinds. Off in the distance I heard chanting and the gentle beat of drums. Shadows danced upon the crumbled walls of old huts and spirits trickled through the air.

“Am I dead?” I asked one of the spirits. She simply smiled and turned away, vanishing into a nearby hut. Again and again I asked this question, but only got the same response. Finally, when I was about to give up hope, I heard a girl’s voice laughing from across the bonfire.

She was an adorable spirit child with a feather in her hair. She pointed at me and giggled a playful laugh. “Follow me! I will lead you to her.”

“Wait, who’s her.” But the girl just darted off behind some rocks. I ran after her, painfully aware that I was out of breath and that my head was throbbing.

“Hurry up. She’s waiting.” She lead me for what seemed like an hour through a maze of sharp rocks, twisting and turning through the tunnels like a pit viper.

“Wait," I gasped for breath and held my throbbing skull. "Your moving too fast.”

“Then I’ll come to you.” Instantly, the scene vanished and before me stood a little imp with deep black hair and dark auburn skin. Her eyes had a depth far greater than most galaxies and they cut right through you. We were completely surrounded by absolute nothingness, its black depths were cold and uninviting.

“Umm… hi. Who are you?” I didn’t know what else to say.

“You don’t belong here. You need to go back. It is not yet your time. This is no place for you.”

“I don’t even know where I am, let alone where I need to be.”

“You are in the space between life and death. You are hovering on the edge of oblivion. Go back."

"Just because I know where I am, doesn't mean I know the way back."

"Then I’ll guide you. Com’n, hurry up.” She took off straight up into the air. I stood puzzled, too many questions, too little answers. “Oh, common. That’s the easy part. Just come up here.”

“And just exactly how am I supposed to do that?”

“Oh, brother. Perhaps I should just carry you for now. Turner will explain the rest.” She came back to my level and held out her hand, “Come on.” I took her hand and was amazed at how alive it felt. It wasn’t the typical feeling of blood coursing through veins and muscles flexing. It almost felt as if each cell was existing on its own, had its own life, its own purpose. It almost felt like I could feel every chemical in every cell in her hand. It freaked me out and I wanted to pull away, but my fear of heights trumped my desire to avoid this freaky feeling.

“It’s okay. Turner will explain everything to you.” She dropped me off at a door which was positioned above my head. For some reason, even though I knew I had just come from below, I didn’t fall. But I couldn’t open the door either.

“You’ll have to change the orientation of the door if you want to go through it,” she said as she backed away and leaned against a wall that didn’t exist.

I was tired and my head hurt. I was in no mood to play so I just turned by body, grabbed the doorknob and fell.

“Ahh, your awake. I guess Aliera did her job, she’s the telepath that brought you back. And I am Dr. Turner.”


Last edited by Umbrangelus on Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Add all of italisized part and edited some parts.)
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Large Orange Creature

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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:19 am

I like this. You are good at dropping us into the middle of things and keeping our interest. You seem to be interested in the psychological struggles of characters in difficult circumstances. I would say that the biggest problem you have at this point is with dialog, both internal and external. Some of the things your characters say are unintentionally mundane and funny. It breaks the mood. Dialog is tough, though. You have to think, what would this character say in this situation? What is the linguistic background of this character? What would she say under duress? What would she say when she is at home? What would she say in polite company? It is hard to get this all right.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:47 am

Alright, thanks. I'll work on it.
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PostSubject: Part 2   Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:37 pm

I blinked, utterly and completely confused. “I thought I was dead.”

No, I told you you were in the space between life and death,” said Aliera from somewhere.

“Okay, okay. Very long story short. You were dead, for about an hour. You died in a car accident. It was pretty bad. But, we managed to bring you back. In order to do that, we had to give you a lot of implants, implants that help stimulate your neural network. As a result, you may become partially telepathic. We used these implants on one other, Aliera. She died in a plain crash. We recovered her body in time and performed the same surgery with older implants. They were prototypes and had a couple of bugs, but now—”

“Woa, pause, rewind and freeze. I was dead and you brought me back to life.”

“Sounds like a freaking miracle doesn’t it? Well it’s all well and good except for the fact that the implants do more than cause you to become ‘partially telepathic.’”

“Yes. Aliera was the first we tested these implants on but there were a few complications. The details would bore you. But the point is, your alive, we still have some work to do, we have a couple of tests we would like to run, and then, when we are done, we’ll send you home, okay? I have to go prepare the next set of surgeries; I’ll be back in a few.”

“No they won’t. The work they have to do is basically reconstruct your entire body. When they engineered your little accident, they didn’t factor in a possible train derailment into the equation. They hit your car and your car hit a train. That’s how they function.”

“Wait, so you’re saying I was murdered by the same people that brought me back? Why?”

“Damn. For being their last hope for success, you are pretty damn slow. Okay, let me break this all down for you. Turner and the rest of these psychopaths are military scientists gone crazy. They are geniuses that lost control of the mental facilities for reason about 30 years ago. They conduct experiments humanity views as unethical, usually on themselves but sometimes on others, like us.

“In these experiments, they test all kinds of things. Turner’s pet project is telepathy and telekinesis. We are his guinea pigs. The complications Turner referenced were the fact that they had absolutely no control over their creation, me. In order to try to correct that mistake, the demobilized me and tried a full frontal lobotomy, then they just went back in and reconstructed the pieces until they had what they wanted. It didn’t work, but they don’t know that. I just pretend to be their little slave.”

“Their last hope of success? Huh?”

“Okay, so you are either really self-centered or really freakin’ slow. Yes, you are their last hope of success. If you do not produce satisfactory results, funding is pulled and they frag the experiment (which is to include us). Therefore, since I really have no desire to die, again, I will get you ready. In a few minutes they are going to come back in and put you under again. When you are down, follow my voice back to the grave yard. We’ll talk there where they can’t find us.”

“Okay. Thanks Aliera. I have a lot of questions.”

“Yeah, well I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you what I know. Now, shut up and relax. Here they come.”

“Okay Saelyn. Just relax. This won’t hurt a bit,” Turner said.

He lied.
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Large Orange Creature

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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:10 pm

For example, let's take "freakin'." It's a euphemism for the more offensive Anglo-Saxon term for sexual congress. It's been in current use in this mode for about four years, maybe a little more. Before that, I think people were saying "fricken." In ten years, this will seem really dated. Slang terms keep cycling, the real terms last for hundreds of years. So, if you want to establish a real turn of the millennium realistic slang, "freakin'" will work. If you want the character to sound like she is in the future and the future is not 2004, it probably won't cut it.

Some writers invent new slang, like Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange, where he has words like "horrorshow" which work in both English and in Russian. He has actually triangulated the linguistic and cultural development to make his slang terms reasonably believable.

Most writers avoid slang because it is really difficult to get right, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:29 pm

The story is meant to have the setting of now. It is not meant to be in a futuristic society. The technological advances are because these scientists are opperating on their own without government supervision. They develop these technologies through inhumane methods because they are unsupervised and are allowed to bypass the beurotratic crap. That was hinted at when it was said Turner and the others are soldiers/scientists who experiment in directions most normal chanels view as too dangerous. Such experiments include cloning and implantation of technical parts.

Perhaps I should try to stress these points a little better.
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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:26 pm

That's fine. I was making a general point about dialog and slang.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:45 pm

The story is interesting. I agree with Mr. Orangey, some of the things they say don't really flow with how their character is coming off. I don't know how serious you are about this story, but I would say make some of the talking shorter. Like Aliera's last comment, it sounds streched and not something you or I would say. It seems like she would just say, "Ya ya, I'll tell you what I know, now shut up and relax! They're here." something like that. It is just my own opinion. Other than dialog I really like the concepts, keep it coming. cherry
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PostSubject: Re: Power of Force   Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Thanks guys, I'll work on it.
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