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Hideout
August 23rd, 2010, 02:23 AM
Well, this is one of my first few attempts at writing, I know I'm not very descriptive and need to work on adding detail, and any critique is welcome no matter how harsh. :D
This isn't the beginning of the story, it's just where I started writing from, I'll go back and write a beginning once I think of how to start it.
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I don't know what I expected to see. I thought he was going to kill me, and yet for some reason, I kept following him. What can I say, I was intrigued. We finally stopped at about the 50 yard line, or at least I think it was the 50 yard line. The only light we had was the flashlight Roger was carrying. He turned and faced me, "Well, here we are." I looked around. "This? You're really going to stand there and tell me that this is what you wanted to show me? We're just standing in the middle of a football field!"

He laughed slightly, "No, there's more to show you, this is just where we're getting picked up. The boys should be here any minute."
"Couldn't we have just driven there ourselves?"
Again he laughed, "No, I don't think we could have."

We stood there for a few minutes, me in silence and him whistling to himself. Suddenly, I was blinded by light, I guessed someone had turned the stadium lights on and my eyes weren't adjusting too quickly. Through the blur that was my vision, I saw Roger walking over towards me, about the time he was 2 or 3 feet away I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach. The wind was knocked out of me, I couldn't breathe, and I blacked out.

When I woke up I kept my eyes closed. I didn't want them to know I was awake. I could hear people talking though it sounded like the were in an adjacent room. So Roger was a psycho after all, I knew it. He had kidnapped me and was probably going to kill me. I tried to make out what they were saying.
"--ever go there again."
"Don't worry, you can stay here, I'll make the delivery"

Delivery? Was I being held for ransom? No, I'm not anyone important. Was someone paying to have me kidnapped so they could finish me off themself? I didn't have many enemies, and any that I did have wouldn't go to this extent, they were all just other science and computer geeks I had pissed off at one point or another. What was going on?
I heard someone else speaking, but in a language I didn't recognize and couldn't place. It almost sounded Russian, but at the same time it sounded slightly Arabic. I stopped caring, I had to get out. I opened my eyes, I was in a dimly lit room laying on a cot. What looked like a steel hatch door was on the east side wall. No other way out, I'd have to go out and face them.

I opened the door and half expected to get punched out right there. Instead, I was the recipient of a warm greeting. "Well, look who's finally awake! Did you have a nice nap?" It was Roger, he was sitting and an expensive looking grey leather chair. "What's going on? What do you want from me?" I heard my voice crack in fear as I uttered the last syllables. Roger gave a sarcastic look to a large man standing next to him.
"Mike, I think you need to look out the window. Come on, walk over here with me."
I cautiously approached him. The large biker looking man next to him looked even bigger up close. He stared at me as I walked past him and too a left into another room with Roger.
As soon as I entered the room I realized what he meant when he said I needed to look out the window. The entire wall opposite me was a solid sheet of what appeared to be glass, and outside that glass, was nothing. Black, seas of endless black. Every now and then a speck of light would appear only to be snuffed out of existence in the next coming second. Was I..in space? I felt light-headed, woozy. I looked at Roger with what must have been a look of nausea because he instantly grabbed a chair and told me to sit and rest. I must have just sat and stared out that window for a good half hour before I spoke.

"So, where are we exactly?"
"By now, probably just on the outskirts of the Milky Way"
He said it so nonchalantly. Did he mean the Milky Way galaxy?
"You mean the galaxy?"
"Yeah, if you want to call it that. I mean, technically it's a galaxy, but considering Earth is the only planet in there with life on it, I would hesitate to call it that."
"So, where are we going?"
"Well, we're headed to what you're planet calls the Triangulum Galaxy, there's a binary star system there and for some reason the locals pay big bucks for beef."
I think at that moment I was still in shock by this whole situation, because the fact that we were headed out of the galaxy and toward another one didn't seem to phase me at that time, and in reality, didn't phase me until the next day when I actually got a chance to talk to Roger about this whole situation. The thing that bugged me was that we were headed all this way, just to sell some beef.
"Beef, really? There's no way that it's worth all this trouble just to sell some dead cow"
"Are you kidding? They pay the equivalent of $1,000 a pound for some good quality beef out there. I thought, hell I'm in the neighborhood, why not stop in a get a few cattle? Earth beef is top quality, raising beef cattle on Iudoh just brings up inferior product."

We sat for hours, chatting about beef. The different cuts of meat, what our favorite dish was, stuff like that. After a while, I asked how long it would take us to get there. He said 3 days. Three days to travel 3 million light years. But I didn't question it, I didn't question anything that first day, and only a few things in the days following that. I didn't get any detailed information on, well, anything until after we sold our cargo. I went to bed at what Roger said would be 3am on Earth. I slept for 12 hours.

The next day I woke up and smelt bacon. I jumped out of bed and ran towards the smell, and was greeted by a sight that made me scream. The man, man being the only word I can think of at the moment to describe it, cooking the meat was not human. It was humanoid in shape, but with deep, navy blue skin, if it was skin. He turned around and looked at me and I saw three big dark pink eyes. One on top the the two, all smooshed close together. No pupils, no lashes, no eyelids, just dark pink, almost hypnotic. His mouth was vertical and open, revealing two vertical rows of what I can only describe as small tentacles protruding an inch or two from his mouth. He made some noise, it was the language I had heard yesterday and couldn't understand, I now knew why. Roger came running out, looked at me, and sighed before busting into laughter.
"He scare you? Don't worry man, that's just Fiial, he's our engineer."
He pronounced it Fee-ih-all, pretty awkward thing to say, but I repeated it and said it was nice to meet him, though secretly I was still scared as hell.
"He doesn't speak English, or any Earth language for that matter. No used in trying to introduce yourself, I'll give you guys a proper introduction later tonight, but for now, come here, sit down, and talk with me."
He said something in the alien tongue to Fiial and he went back to cooking his bacon.

"I know this must be kind of intimidating for you" Intimidating, what an understatement. "but I promise I'll explain anything and everything you want explained."
"I don't really even know what to say right now. This is all just so...impossible."
"I know what you mean, any time you visit a primitve planet and let the natives know whats going on, they get the same way as you are right now."
Primitive? I was offended, I mean sure, the people on Earth didn't know everything, but we were far from primitive. And after all, wasn't Roger human? Didn't that mean he was from Earth?
"How can you call your own people primitive?"
"Hah, those aren't my people. I'm from no where near Earth."
He apparently saw the puzzled look on my face and went on to explain.

"You see, back when civilization was first starting, Mesopotamia, and all that stuff, a few Rauncers, Rauncers being another species, you inaccurately call them "Greys" decided to collect some specimen, them being one of the most inquisitive races I've ever encountered, and study them. So tons of tests were performed, studies done on the human DNA, etcetera, and then the humans were adopted into the rest of intergalactic society. There are hundreds of planet where humans live, a few planets like Earth that are populated almost entirely by humans. I'm from one of those, though, it's damn far from here."

"So, is Earth a popular planet?"
"Does it seem like it is? How many aliens have you seen recently? Not counting Fiial. No, it's not popular by any means, but it's not unpopular. People just don't go there, it's too far away from anywhere. Like I said, it's the only planet in the entire milky way galaxy that has life on it, that's something you guys can be proud of I guess, most other galaxies are teeming with life. Now, that being said, it's not that no one goes there, its just mainly people like me, merchants and exporters selling Earthling stuff. Stuff gets exported from there all the time, Earthling philosophy is very popular back where I'm from. You guys aren't too bad with numbers either, a lot of your work in physics, engineering and mathematics has circled around a few star systems. Though, I'd say 90% of it has already been discovered, it is interesting to see how you figured out the same things as us in completely different ways."
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So that's all I have so far. What do you guys think?

Popsicle Season
August 23rd, 2010, 03:38 AM
This has better detail than anything I've written, and an interesting story.
Just wish I could read the beginning so I understand everything.

thewordsmith
August 23rd, 2010, 04:47 PM
Despite the fact that, by the beginning of the second paragraph I was waiting for the 'alien abduction', it was an interesting read. It does have a long way to go, a lot of clean up work but the basis is sound and it's got legs. I don't see why you would need to embellish the beginning. What you have now could easily work as the opener and do a good job of it. There is something intriguing and enticing in that opening that makes the reader curious and wanting to see/know more. That's pretty much what you want in a good opening paragraph. Stick with what works.

I do like the first-person narrator internal dialog. It makes the events very immediate and gives the story more of a pulse.

I did take issue with the comment "...technically it's a galaxy, but considering Earth is the only planet in there with life on it, I would hesitate to call it that," simply because I'm not sure why the number of planets with viable life forms would dictate whether a cluster of planets qualifies as a galaxy or not.

I also stumbled over the fact that this guy has just been abducted by a bunch of space aliens and a guy he thought, minutes before, might be planning to kill him. Now he's sitting calmly chatting about what basting sauce, spices, and garnish Roger is going to use to prepare him for dinner! Seems more than a little unlikely. Needs something to explain this guy's calm in the face of the absurd. If you want the improbable, unlikely, or too, too coincidental to work, you need your characters to acknowledge the improbability. Coincidences can happen but, the Deus Ex Machina only works in ancient Greek Theatre. So, if you want your readers to believe the unbelievable, make it just as unbelievable to your character. You made a pretty good pass at this but I still had a hard time accepting that this poor entree would be so calm as to sit and casually have a little chit-chat with Roger.

Overall, however, it has good substance. Do you see this as a short story or a full-length novel? Either way, it looks like you have a solid concept of what you are doing and where you are going with it. I'd like to see more of it when you are finished.

Thanks for sharing.

BTW: (with apologies to scully & mulder) Did you know our universe is not alone? Based on what they have been able to 'see' frobe deep space probes, scientists now theorize there are many ... many more universes (universi?). And, even in our own universe, the Milky Way is far from being 'the center of the universe' as it were. It is, rather, out on the fringe of our universe. (which may go a long way toward explaining the global lunacy here).

Hideout
August 23rd, 2010, 05:00 PM
Thewordsmith: Thank you very much. The whole, it isn't a galaxy thing, wasn't about the Milky Way actually being a galaxy, it was Roger's point of view on the area, he attributes the word galaxy to civilized star clusters and being that the milky way is far from civilized he doesn't consider it one, he considers it at best on the outskirts of civilization and a place to possibly pick up some exotic goods, but I see what you mean and I may change that line.

I fully understand your view on the main character being way too OK with this. I did feel it was a bit rushed and I will have to go in and add quite a bit more, I'll have to make him more uncomfortable with the situation. Thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.

thewordsmith
August 23rd, 2010, 06:30 PM
Thewordsmith: Thank you very much. The whole, it isn't a galaxy thing, wasn't about the Milky Way actually being a galaxy, it was Roger's point of view on the area, he attributes the word galaxy to civilized star clusters and being that the milky way is far from civilized he doesn't consider it one, he considers it at best on the outskirts of civilization and a place to possibly pick up some exotic goods...

Ahh! Got that now. Makes sense. (Sort of like a stagecoach station out in the middle of nowhere during the gold rush era.)



I fully understand your view on the main character being way too OK with this. I did feel it was a bit rushed and I will have to go in and add quite a bit more, I'll have to make him more uncomfortable with the situation. Thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.

I do look forward to seeing more of this in the future. Good luck!

Ilasir Maroa
August 23rd, 2010, 07:56 PM
To be fair, the Milky Way is actually a rather large galaxy, so perhaps that's not the best way to express his disdain for the boondocks.

thewordsmith
August 23rd, 2010, 08:09 PM
To be fair, the Milky Way is actually a rather large galaxy, so perhaps that's not the best way to express his disdain for the boondocks.

Yeah, but, on the grander scale, it is actually on the outskirts of our known universe and, since our universe isn't the only one 'out there', geographically speaking, it oddly works. Of course, to be fair, I'm not sure how much of the reading audience would know that.

Ilasir Maroa
August 23rd, 2010, 10:14 PM
I think you could argue that our universe is the only one out there, but whatever. I don't want this to drift too off-topic, since I'm not sure the poster is interested in strong scientific accuracy.

Hideout
August 23rd, 2010, 10:28 PM
I'm interested in scientific accuracy to an extent, I'm actually a physics student and quite interested in astronomy and astrophysics, so as I add more to this story, there will be quite a bit of scientific accuracy depicting the galaxies visited and the star systems and planets in those galaxies, but this is also a work of fiction, so I wouldn't want there to be too much scientific jargon in there and it ruin the story. Hopefully I'll have edited this first section and have a second section up in the next day or two, I look forward to your reviews again.

malvo4
August 24th, 2010, 06:32 AM
I really enjoyed it, and I actually liked the beginning just as it structured. It really grabs you and makes you ask why does he think that this guy is going to kill him? and why is he still following him? Which implies more than what was just revealed. I thought the description was great and it is going to build up to something good.

If the story is good enough, the scientific accuracy doesn't really matter as much. Really. I see that in movies all the time, if the movie sucks then I pick apart the science like crazy, if the movie is really good, I give it a big pass and enjoy the ride.

Great job.