PDA

View Full Version : >insert title here< Chapter 1



Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 03:39 AM
First chapter of my book! Not final, but enjoy!


--


Monday, June 1st, 2020. New York City, western Manhattan Island. Early morning mist covered the quiet city like a thick cotton blanket. From above, only the tops of the tallest of buildings were visible in the fog, save one, a slender silver needle stabbing skyward in a display of glory unmatched by any other of mankind's creations. The Freedom Tower, 1,776 feet of gleaming steel and tempered glass, reflecting the first rays of the golden morning sun across the layer of fog surrounding it. It was a rare sight, and the few people who happened to be stuck on the flights holding their positions until the fog cleared were either asleep or too irritated to take note of the fantastic view waiting just outside their tiny windows.

One of these passengers was a young man by the name of Jeffrey Tyler Baron. He was 23 years of age, thin but well built, five-feet-ten-inches tall with straight blond hair that covered his forehead in limp spikes. His bright green eyes were the only pair that seemed to notice the breathtaking sight of the Freedom Tower that morning. In fact, he was the only person on a flight that morning that wasn't irritated or asleep. His mood was different. He was fully awake and loaded with energy and tension, anxious for the fog to clear and allow the plane to land. Today was to be his first day on the job as a security guard for the the World Trade Center complex.

He had worked long and hard to obtain the job. Due to massive flares in terrorist activity, the federal government had since passed numerous laws and regulations, and any job that required the bearing of a firearm was now considered part of the Armed Forces. It was quite a controversial move, but the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. Any person in any position within the forces could be called on for help in another unit at any time without the need for extended training. However, the process through which one had to fight to become a security guard or even a mere police officer was one that took intense focus and drive, the intention behind which was that terrorists would be scared away from the idea of infiltrating these forces and resort to things like car bombs instead. After all it was a lot easier to track down an automobile and some explosives than a spy or undercover insurgent.

Jeff had passed this training. He had been put through obstacle courses of every shape, size, and lethality. He learned the basics of flying and could pilot almost any aircraft known to man. He was a black belt in martial arts. He could operate almost any weaponry you could care to name. The World Trade Center Security Unit hadn't exactly been his first choice though. He had scored very high in his training and originally applied for a position with Special Operations as a military agent. He had been literally minutes away from packing up and heading for the Middle East to begin his work when he was called to the General's office. There, he was informed by a very cute red-headed woman that he had been reassigned to the World Trade Center Security Unit. His command officer had agreed with her statement, telling Jeff it would all be "for the best." Then he and the red-haired woman had left the room. He credited her attractiveness to being probably the only thing that kept him from blowing his top then and there, that and the Special Ops badge on her jacket. Something important might be going on.

Three days later there he was, on the plane, about to land in New York. Some of the initial fury still lingered deep inside him, but in the end, he felt that, somehow, the correct decision had been made. The World Trade Center was where he belonged.

His family blood ran through that soil, almost literally. His parents had died there in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The memories from that day flashed through his mind as he looked out over Manhattan at the Freedom Tower. Dark, frightening memories.

Smoke filled stairwells. Hundreds of people crammed inside, desperate to escape. A white and blue Ford Crown Victoria. His father digging furiously into a pile of rubble. A cityscape covered in thick gray ash.

His mother standing at the window, silhouetted against a brilliant burst of red and silver light.

He felt a lump form in his throat, but no tears came to his eyes. He hadn't cried since that terrible day, not once. There was nothing, it seemed, that was worthy of his tears after having experienced what he did. He hated himself for it. Even at his own brother's funeral he found himself dry-eyed, while all around him friends, neighbors, soldiers, and Justin, wept silently for their loss.



From the day of September 11th onward he had been raised by Jordan, who had just turned 19 at the time of the attack. They had moved to a tiny apartment on the north-east side of Manhattan Island and provided for themselves by working various jobs at metal shops. When his Justin turned 18, the eldest left the two of them and enlisted in the Air Force. He was killed three years later when his F-16 was blown out of the air by terrorist missiles.

When Jeff himself turned 18 and found work, his remaining brother left him on his own and joined the Marines. Jeff had never seen him since, only received the occasional holiday email. Soon after, Jeff put in his application for the Armed Forces and flew to Utah to begin his training. And now he himself was about to take on the role of protecting the country's citizens, as had his older brothers. It seemed the place for the Baron family was defending their country and it's people.

The captain's voice came over the intercom, in one of Jeff's ears and out the other. The only words that connected in his brain were "landing shortly." All others were shunned by the thoughts that already occupied it. Part of his anxiety melted, the part that was sick of being up in the sky flying in circles. The rest tightened its grip on his gut as the fog melted away and the plane began to descend.

The fog continued to clear and Jeff's gaze was once again drawn to the Freedom Tower. The base of the Tower was now visible, sunlight scattering off of the panes of glass that covered the walls much like shingles on a roof. The whole structure was radiating magnificently, and now the eyes of many more passengers were glued to its brilliance.

Then the plane banked sharply and headed eastward, passing directly over the Tower and sinking lower toward the seemingly endless stretches of buildings. A thud, a couple rattles, a vomit from one passenger a couple rows up and the plane rolled to a halt on the Tarmac, awaiting orders.

Boring again. After taxiing to a holding area and waiting there for about ten minutes, the plane finally rolled into the terminal. The walkway sealed itself to the fuselage and the passengers, stretching, groaning, and yawning, slowly began to file off the plane into the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

His welcome to New York came in the form of two serious-looking men in military dress waiting just outside the terminal. "Greetings, gentlemen," said the older of the two. He was a good deal older, in fact. Silver-haired, mustached, lines of age crossing his face. Jeff assumed he was also superior, as he sported many more badges on his uniform. The other man looked almost as young as Jeff, but his eyes made public the fact that he was much more experienced, much more battle-hardened. He was short, stocky, clean-shaven with his dark brown hair almost completely buzzed off.

Five other young men fell into line beside Jeff. More recruits. He immediately felt a little better knowing he probably wasn't the only one dealing with intense stress that morning.

The recruits exchanged salutes with the two men, and the elder spoke again. "My name is General Derek Hunter. I am the head of the World Trade Center Security Unit. As you have probably guessed, I am here to see you to your new assignment. Please follow me, and hurry, our time is short. The Navy has requested that we be ready to provide our assistance and we may have to leave at any time."

The two men turned and moved out of the terminal at a brisk walk. Jeff and the other recruits followed suit. General Hunter led them down a series of hallways and staircases, and they soon found themselves on the tarmac again, a massive black helicopter crouched before them, its rotors already spinning and buffeting them with strong winds.

Jeff had never seen a helicopter like it. The machine was easily 150 feet from nose to tail, matte black and very angular with two massive jet engines resting on small stubby wings on either side. The tail rotor was housed inside the tail fins, which were situated in a three-pointed configuration like an upside-down Y. The chopper rested on large wheel-bearing pontoons that appeared able to raise up into the fuselage during flight. Two huge missile pods were situated above and slightly behind the jet engines.

The back of the helicopter opened downward below the tail, creating a ramp allowing access to the troop carrier hold in the belly. The hold seated up to fifteen men and their equipment. Ports in the ramp could be opened up, allowing use of the 50-caliber machine guns that hung on the walls at the opposite end of the hold.

The recruits ascended the ramp and took the bench on the left side of the hold; the twp officers seated themselves on the right.

The engines began to roar and the helicopter surged into the sky, carrying them westward away from the airport. Jeff caught a brief glimpse of the sparkling ocean in the distance before the ramp clanged shut.

General Hunter radioed a few words to the pilot of the helicopter, then turned his attention to the recruits. "While we've got a few moments, I'd like to make a formal introduction. I am, as you know, General Derek Hunter, head of WTCSU as well as foreign relations officer of Special Operations Command Central, or SOCCENT, if you prefer fewer syllables. I served in the marines for thirty years, retired, then a while later decided I preferred life in the service of my country and took the job with SOCCENT and later the post of WTCSU head when our armed forces were reformed. The men at WTCSU call me Chief, but you may call me by my official rank if you please."

Chief gestured to the man seated to his right. "This is Colonel Garrett Patterson, assistant to both me and General DiLero. He is our armed combat specialist and chief aircraft mechanic."

Colonel Patterson nodded. "I'm also licensed to work on any motorized yard tools you might have as well."

Chief shot an annoyed look in his direction. "The Colonel and I will be conducting your orientation when we reach the World Trade Center complex. You will have a short break to collect yourself before we begin." He glanced at the radio device clipped to his belt. "We should be landing soon..."

One of the other recruits asked a few questions, and Jeff felt the helicopter slow and begin to descend; his anxiety returned, stronger than ever. His mind abandoned the conversation and began to crank.
This was really it, the start of his service. From this point forward he put his personality on hold and became disciplined, silent, and watchful. It was going to be hard.

Chief spoke up again, bringing Jeff back out of his thoughts: "Alright men. Your new life begins in fourty minutes. Take a moment to get some air and then meet in the Freedom Tower lobby for your orientation."



The chopper touched down at the Downtown Manhattan Helipad, and from there the men rode in a blacked-out Hummer to the World Trade Center complex where they were dropped off around the back side of building Seven. Chief and Patterson left the recruits on their own and headed to the Freedom Tower to take care of a few matters.

Jeff visited the restroom first thing when they arrived. He and anxiety were not good friends; he always got sick when he was nervous. There were a lot of things he was going to need to get a grip on in order to do well at his coming job, and a roiling gut was one of them.

Water fountain, restroom, pace for a while, more water, more pacing. Finally the thirty minutes were up, and Jeff and the five other recruits stepped out into Vesey Street and crossed to the Freedom Tower.

The building was even more impressive from the ground. Jeff had to crane his neck just to see the top; he felt dizzy trying to fathom such great heights. The Tower was so tall it looked as though the jet passing low overhead would surely crash into the side of the building if it didn't pull up sharply.

A car honked. Jeff pulled his eyes back down to ground level and continued up the stairs, past the fountain, and into the lobby of the Freedom Tower.

His first impression was Wow. Shiny. The silver walls of the majestic lobby reflected the light streaming through the high, arch shaped windows in a way that was stunningly beautiful without being harsh on the eyes. Men and women dressed in business attire flowed through the lobby, stopping at the long black marble desk, sliding through turnstiles, entering and exiting the elevators, and disappearing into hallways that cut through the large square center structure of the lobby. Exotic wood paneling and massive canvas artwork ornamented the walls, and short trees with deep green leaves stood in shiny metal pots around the area.

Jeff and the five other recruits threaded through the sea of civilians until they found there way to the base of a staircase where Chief and Colonel Patterson were waiting for them, talking quietly to each other.

The recruits stood to attention, and after a swift exchange of salutes, Chief spoke up: "Your orientation must be conducted quickly; our summons to the Navy headquarters is official. We have a serious matter on our hands, so we'll be splitting this up to make it faster." Chief produced a handful of thick yellow envelopes and handed one to each recruit. "Wait until your orientation is completed before opening these. The packet on the top is everything we don't have time to tell you, the rest is self-explanatory.
"Andersen, Quinn, and Sotu, you're coming with me. Baron, Jackson, and Hamilton, you're with Patterson. Now move."

Jeff listened carefully to Colonel Patterson as the group traveled up, down, and around the massive Freedom Tower and the surrounding grounds where he was assigned. He was shown the guards' locker room, the skylobby, some of the mechanical floors, the various escape routes. He was instructed in the operation of the security center surveillance equipment. He learned how to activate the many alarms and call for outside help.

All in all, his job was pretty much what he expected. Patrol his assigned floors (which rotated regularly), take note of who came and went, make sure everyone was abiding the law, and apprehend or remove anyone who posed as a threat, using force if necessary.

Much to Jeff's distress, the Colonel left to see to his duty before he could ask about where he was going to live for the next several years. He stood in the lobby, feeling confused and alone despite the masses of people weaving their way around him. After finding a bench to sit on for a few minutes, he rebuked himself for forgetting the envelope he still held in his hands.

The packet, on top like had Chief said, led him to the PATH transportation center, which resembled a massive spiky white bird, and from there to a taxi which then took him south across the Brooklyn Bridge to the provided apartment building Columbia Street.

It wasn't a particularly fancy apartment, by most standards, but it was nice. Obviously fairly new, too. The place still smelled of fresh carpet. Stainless steel and wood added a slight resemblance to the Freedom Tower that Jeff wasn't entirely sure if he liked or not.

A quick chat with the lobbyist, a flash of his new ID card and driver's license, and a few signed documents later, Jeff rode the elevator up to the fourth floor. He unlocked and opened the brushed steel door of his suite to find a decent sized main room split down the middle by a black marble counter that divided the room into a sitting area and a kitchen. The back wall was nothing but a gigantic window, looking westward out over the Upper Bay and Governors Island. Just like the Freedom Tower, which could also be seen from the kitchen stabbing up out of the city, the apartment was themed around black marble, stainless steel and wood. It seemed the military didn't want its employees to ever forget their duty.

Regardless, Jeff felt they were being very generous. His apartment was well furnished with a black leather couch along the wall, a large flat-screen TV, and plenty of kitchen appliances, none of which he would probably ever figure out. The best part of all was his luggage, waiting for him in the middle of the floor, a set of car keys and a folded paper on top.

Jeff smiled.

The phone rang, which made him start, that being the last thing he was expecting at a time like this. He found it in the kitchen, bleeping loudly next to the shiny black microwave oven. The caller ID read "Private Number." Slightly confused, Jeff picked it up. "Hello?"

"Jeff?"

"Uh... Justin?"

"Hey! Hey hey! What's up bro?! How's the new job?"

Jeff laughed. "It's been too long! I just got started this morning, and it actually looks like it'll be pretty cool. I actually ended up getting transfered..."

"I know. Don't ask how. I bet you're ready to explode."

"You have no idea, but Special Ops seems to have something in mind, so I'll try to make the best of it."

"Good to hear. Listen, I've only got a moment..."

A thought sprang into Jeff's mind. "Wait a second, if you're allowed to be calling me, that means..."

"That means I'm coming home on Friday, bro. Although I'm not exactly 'allowed' to be calling just yet."

Jeff laughed again, his entire body flooded with relief. He hadn't seen his brother in almost five years, and that was a long time to be fighting overseas. The war stories that Justin had sent him through emails were incredible, and it was nothing short of a miracle that he had survived this long.

"Hey you still there Jeff?"

Jeff pulled up a stool and sat down. "Yeah... I'm just happy you're alive. You've made it."

Justin chuckled. "It's not quite over yet, bro. I'm set to lead one last critical strike on a terrorist hotspot in exactly twenty minutes. I don't anticipate too much danger, but I wanted to call you now just in case something happened."

Jeff breathed out slowly. "But this is your last assignment, right?"

"Yup. I can't tell you much, but if we pull this off, there are going to be some very miserable terrorists crawling around out here when we're through. They've got big plans, and I'm going to have a good time ruining them."

Jeff half-smiled. "Then I'll let you get to work. Just keep yourself alive, OK?"

"Don't worry bro. I've made it this far. This should be easy."

"Knock on wood. Hey, thanks for calling. It's been good to hear from you."

"You too. I'll see you in four days."

"Good luck."

"Thanks bro. See ya."

"See ya." Jeff hung up the phone.

Deeohgee
September 15th, 2010, 03:53 AM
did you serve?

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 03:54 AM
did you serve?

Too young. I've definitely thought about it though.

Deeohgee
September 15th, 2010, 03:59 AM
Well, from experience, it's beyond life changing. You become a separate entity within society, whether thats good or bad.

Only reason I ask is we use a lot of stupid jargon, it was sort of lacking in that haha...other than that it was a good read

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 04:09 AM
Only reason I ask is we use a lot of stupid jargon, it was sort of lacking in that haha...

Maybe you could fill me in :D

Deeohgee
September 15th, 2010, 04:11 AM
lol, when I have time to be thorough with it, I'll go through and replace words with jargon someone of that placement would use.

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 04:16 AM
lol, when I have time to be thorough with it, I'll go through and replace words with jargon someone of that placement would use.

Haha sweet!

Bruno Spatola
September 15th, 2010, 04:24 AM
Can you break this up? It's just in a massive lump at the moment which deters people from giving thorough reviews.

Don't break it up into a few paragraphs either please, do it properly :P

No offense or anything, it just makes it much easier to critique and you'll get more replies I think.

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 04:25 AM
Can you break this up? It's just in a massive lump at the moment which deters people from giving thorough reviews.

Don't break it up into a few paragraphs either please, do it properly :P

No offense or anything, it just makes it much easier to critique and you'll get more replies I think.

I realized this, I'm just too tired/lazy at the moment. Maybe after I get myself a snack.

EDIT: Snack gotten, paragraphs spaced. Rock on.

Bruno Spatola
September 15th, 2010, 06:22 PM
From above, only the tops of the tallest of buildings were visible in the fog, save one, a slender silver needle stabbing skyward in a display of glory unmatched by any other of mankind's creations. -- Isn't it through the fog not in the fog? I think you should put a full stop after save one. Looks a little odd with a comma going straight into describing the thin silver building.

reflecting the first rays of the golden morning sun across the layer of fog surrounding it. It was a rare sight, and the few people who happened to be stuck on the flights holding their positions until the fog cleared -- I'd make it reflecting the first rays of golden morning sun. You say fog again too, try not to repeat yourself. Mist, fog, fog. My mind has already made it misty and foggy so, don't think you need to describe it again.

One of these passengers was a young man by the name of Jeffrey Tyler Baron. -- I have to say, Jeffrey Tyler Baron sounds clearly made up to me, don't know why.

He was 23 years of age, thin but well built, five-feet-ten-inches tall with straight blond hair that covered his forehead in limp spikes. His bright green eyes were the only pair that seemed to notice the breathtaking sight of the Freedom Tower that morning. -- You just described his entire appearance in 31 words, it was too much to take in. Ease it onto the reader, don't throw it at them.

anxious for the fog to clear and allow the plane to land. -- We really don't need to be reminded of the fog again. Say anxious for the elements to grant us landing permission or something, just not fog again that's all.

Jeff had passed this training. He had been put through obstacle courses of every shape, size, and lethality. -- Remove comma after size, broke the flow.

He was a black belt in martial arts. -- Unnecessary? Seems a bit silly for some reason, and which martial art? Sumo? Jujutsu? Kenpo? There are loads.

Then he and the red-haired woman had left the room. -- We know she has red hair now, just say woman.

He credited her attractiveness to being probably the only thing that kept him from blowing his top then and there, that and the Special Ops badge on her jacket. Something important might be going on. -- as being not to being. Remove probably, and semicolon after then and there me thinks.

His parents had died there in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The memories from that day flashed through his mind as he looked out over Manhattan at the Freedom Tower. Dark, frightening memories. -- This would be the first thing I thought about, I don't understand why he was even angry. Small gripe.

Smoke filled stairwells. Hundreds of people crammed inside, desperate to escape. A white and blue Ford Crown Victoria. His father digging furiously into a pile of rubble. A cityscape covered in thick gray ash. His mother standing at the window, silhouetted against a brilliant burst of red and silver light. He felt a lump form in his throat, but no tears came to his eyes. He hadn't cried since that terrible day, not once. There was nothing, it seemed, that was worthy of his tears after having experienced what he did. He hated himself for it. Even at his own brother's funeral he found himself dry-eyed, while all around him friends, neighbors, soldiers, and Justin, wept silently for their loss. -- I don't think this gave off the effect you quite intended. I didn't feel sad, describe it a bit more. I'm not getting the intensity or desperation, the frantic madness of people trying to claw their way out of the building you know?


From the day of September 11th onward he had been raised by Jordan, -- We know what day you meant. Just say from that day forward.

He was killed three years later when his F-16 was blown out of the air by terrorist missiles. -- Terrorist missiles? Where did it happen, did it affect Jeffrey the same way as it did when he found it his parents had died, or was he becoming desensitized? Just felt a little vague throwing that in.

It seemed the place for the Baron family was defending their country and it's people. No apostrophe in its. That's only for it is.

The captain's voice came over the intercom, in one of Jeff's ears and out the other. -- Came over the intercom?

Part of his anxiety melted, the part that was sick of being up in the sky flying in circles. The rest tightened its grip on his gut as the fog melted away and the plane began to descend. -- You say melted twice and fog again. Repetition.

The fog continued to clear and Jeff's gaze was once again drawn to the Freedom Tower.

A thud, a couple rattles, a vomit from one passenger a couple rows up and the plane rolled to a halt on the Tarmac, awaiting orders. -- Too much crammed in here.

"Greetings, gentlemen," said the older of the two. He was a good deal older, in fact. Silver-haired, mustached, lines of age crossing his face. Jeff assumed he was also superior, as he sported many more badges on his uniform. The other man looked almost as young as Jeff, but his eyes made public the fact that he was much more experienced, much more battle-hardened. He was short, stocky, clean-shaven with his dark brown hair almost completely buzzed off. -- I think you describe people a little too much, too quickly.

Ports in the ramp could be opened up, allowing use of the 50-caliber machine guns that hung on the walls at the opposite end of the hold. -- I think you should name the guns. M2 Browning's or whatever.

The recruits ascended the ramp and took the bench on the left side of the hold; the twp officers seated themselves on the right. -- Spelled two wrong here.

The engines began to roar and the helicopter surged into the sky, carrying them westward away from the airport. Jeff caught a brief glimpse of the sparkling ocean in the distance before the ramp clanged shut. -- This all happened too quickly for me. I'm sure a helicopter taking off is quite exhilarating but you just sort of skipped past it.

"While we've got a few moments, I'd like to make a formal introduction. I am, as you know, General Derek Hunter, head of WTCSU as well as foreign relations officer of Special Operations Command Central, or SOCCENT, if you prefer fewer syllables. I served in the marines for thirty years, retired, then a while later decided I preferred life in the service of my country and took the job with SOCCENT and later the post of WTCSU head when our armed forces were reformed. The men at WTCSU call me Chief, but you may call me by my official rank if you please." -- Is this realistic? Would he actually say something like this, because it sounds a bit out of place but, I wouldn't know.

The chopper touched down at the Downtown Manhattan Helipad, and from there the men rode in a blacked-out Hummer to the World Trade Center complex where they were dropped off around the back side of building Seven. Chief and Patterson left the recruits on their own and headed to the Freedom Tower to take care of a few matters. -- Again, so much happened so soon. There must have been something that caught his eye between getting in the Hummer and reaching their destination, no?

Water fountain, restroom, pace for a while, more water, more pacing. Finally the thirty minutes were up, and Jeff and the five other recruits stepped out into Vesey Street and crossed to the Freedom Tower. -- Thirty minutes just went by in a sentence. I'm just not getting enough of Jeff's surroundings to be fully interested. What's he actually thinking? I still don't care about him yet, after all this time.

he felt dizzy trying to fathom such great heights. The Tower was so tall it looked as though the jet passing low overhead would surely crash into the side of the building if it didn't pull up sharply. -- Better. This makes him sound like a little kid looking up at a big building which made me smile.

His first impression was Wow. Shiny. The silver walls of the majestic lobby reflected the light streaming through the high, arch shaped windows in a way that was stunningly beautiful without being harsh on the eyes. Men and women dressed in business attire flowed through the lobby, stopping at the long black marble desk, sliding through turnstiles, entering and exiting the elevators, and disappearing into hallways that cut through the large square center structure of the lobby. Exotic wood paneling and massive canvas artwork ornamented the walls, and short trees with deep green leaves stood in shiny metal pots around the area. -- Too much again. You're not giving me a chance to experience the same wow as Jeff. Give us a chance to soak everything in steadily.

Jeff listened carefully to Colonel Patterson as the group traveled up, down, and around the massive Freedom Tower and the surrounding grounds where he was assigned. He was shown the guards' locker room, the skylobby, some of the mechanical floors, the various escape routes. He was instructed in the operation of the security center surveillance equipment. He learned how to activate the many alarms and call for outside help. -- Woah what are the surrounding grounds like? Locker room? Sky-lobby? Now he's learning something, wait! - See what I'm saying?

The packet, on top like had Chief said, led him to the PATH transportation center, which resembled a massive spiky white bird, and from there to a taxi which then took him south across the Brooklyn Bridge to the provided apartment building Columbia Street. It wasn't a particularly fancy apartment, by most standards, but it was nice. -- And bang we're in a different place. A little dizzying.

It seemed the military didn't want its employees to ever forget their duty. I like that.

"Don't worry bro. I've made it this far. This should be easy."

"Knock on wood. Hey, thanks for calling. It's been good to hear from you." -- You write it as if something bad is going to happen to Justin. If that's the case, don't make it obvious.

This was quite hard to read. It was a bit boring and I didn't connect with Jeff at all. Fair enough if he's had a bad life and isn't exactly the life and soul of the party, but I need to feel for him or something. The dialogue was pretty stilted. They may be military figures but, that doesn't mean they're programmed machines. Even when he was talking to Justin, there didn't seem to be a connection at all, just words.

You describe things too quickly for me to take in and it was difficult to imagine Jeff's surroundings. It just needs a little work, like all of our stuff has needed at some point. You need to help me connect.

Good luck with this :D

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 10:55 PM
From above, only the tops of the tallest of buildings were visible in the fog, save one, a slender silver needle stabbing skyward in a display of glory unmatched by any other of mankind's creations. -- Isn't it through the fog not in the fog? I think you should put a full stop after save one. Looks a little odd with a comma going straight into describing the thin silver building.

reflecting the first rays of the golden morning sun across the layer of fog surrounding it. It was a rare sight, and the few people who happened to be stuck on the flights holding their positions until the fog cleared -- I'd make it reflecting the first rays of golden morning sun. You say fog again too, try not to repeat yourself. Mist, fog, fog. My mind has already made it misty and foggy so, don't think you need to describe it again.

One of these passengers was a young man by the name of Jeffrey Tyler Baron. -- I have to say, Jeffrey Tyler Baron sounds clearly made up to me, don't know why.

He was 23 years of age, thin but well built, five-feet-ten-inches tall with straight blond hair that covered his forehead in limp spikes. His bright green eyes were the only pair that seemed to notice the breathtaking sight of the Freedom Tower that morning. -- You just described his entire appearance in 31 words, it was too much to take in. Ease it onto the reader, don't throw it at them.

anxious for the fog to clear and allow the plane to land. -- We really don't need to be reminded of the fog again. Say anxious for the elements to grant us landing permission or something, just not fog again that's all.

Jeff had passed this training. He had been put through obstacle courses of every shape, size, and lethality. -- Remove comma after size, broke the flow.

He was a black belt in martial arts. -- Unnecessary? Seems a bit silly for some reason, and which martial art? Sumo? Jujutsu? Kenpo? There are loads.

Then he and the red-haired woman had left the room. -- We know she has red hair now, just say woman.

He credited her attractiveness to being probably the only thing that kept him from blowing his top then and there, that and the Special Ops badge on her jacket. Something important might be going on. -- as being not to being. Remove probably, and semicolon after then and there me thinks.

His parents had died there in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The memories from that day flashed through his mind as he looked out over Manhattan at the Freedom Tower. Dark, frightening memories. -- This would be the first thing I thought about, I don't understand why he was even angry. Small gripe.

Smoke filled stairwells. Hundreds of people crammed inside, desperate to escape. A white and blue Ford Crown Victoria. His father digging furiously into a pile of rubble. A cityscape covered in thick gray ash. His mother standing at the window, silhouetted against a brilliant burst of red and silver light. He felt a lump form in his throat, but no tears came to his eyes. He hadn't cried since that terrible day, not once. There was nothing, it seemed, that was worthy of his tears after having experienced what he did. He hated himself for it. Even at his own brother's funeral he found himself dry-eyed, while all around him friends, neighbors, soldiers, and Justin, wept silently for their loss. -- I don't think this gave off the effect you quite intended. I didn't feel sad, describe it a bit more. I'm not getting the intensity or desperation, the frantic madness of people trying to claw their way out of the building you know?


From the day of September 11th onward he had been raised by Jordan, -- We know what day you meant. Just say from that day forward.

He was killed three years later when his F-16 was blown out of the air by terrorist missiles. -- Terrorist missiles? Where did it happen, did it affect Jeffrey the same way as it did when he found it his parents had died, or was he becoming desensitized? Just felt a little vague throwing that in.

It seemed the place for the Baron family was defending their country and it's people. No apostrophe in its. That's only for it is.

The captain's voice came over the intercom, in one of Jeff's ears and out the other. -- Came over the intercom?

Part of his anxiety melted, the part that was sick of being up in the sky flying in circles. The rest tightened its grip on his gut as the fog melted away and the plane began to descend. -- You say melted twice and fog again. Repetition.

The fog continued to clear and Jeff's gaze was once again drawn to the Freedom Tower.

A thud, a couple rattles, a vomit from one passenger a couple rows up and the plane rolled to a halt on the Tarmac, awaiting orders. -- Too much crammed in here.

"Greetings, gentlemen," said the older of the two. He was a good deal older, in fact. Silver-haired, mustached, lines of age crossing his face. Jeff assumed he was also superior, as he sported many more badges on his uniform. The other man looked almost as young as Jeff, but his eyes made public the fact that he was much more experienced, much more battle-hardened. He was short, stocky, clean-shaven with his dark brown hair almost completely buzzed off. -- I think you describe people a little too much, too quickly.

Ports in the ramp could be opened up, allowing use of the 50-caliber machine guns that hung on the walls at the opposite end of the hold. -- I think you should name the guns. M2 Browning's or whatever.

The recruits ascended the ramp and took the bench on the left side of the hold; the twp officers seated themselves on the right. -- Spelled two wrong here.

The engines began to roar and the helicopter surged into the sky, carrying them westward away from the airport. Jeff caught a brief glimpse of the sparkling ocean in the distance before the ramp clanged shut. -- This all happened too quickly for me. I'm sure a helicopter taking off is quite exhilarating but you just sort of skipped past it.

"While we've got a few moments, I'd like to make a formal introduction. I am, as you know, General Derek Hunter, head of WTCSU as well as foreign relations officer of Special Operations Command Central, or SOCCENT, if you prefer fewer syllables. I served in the marines for thirty years, retired, then a while later decided I preferred life in the service of my country and took the job with SOCCENT and later the post of WTCSU head when our armed forces were reformed. The men at WTCSU call me Chief, but you may call me by my official rank if you please." -- Is this realistic? Would he actually say something like this, because it sounds a bit out of place but, I wouldn't know.

The chopper touched down at the Downtown Manhattan Helipad, and from there the men rode in a blacked-out Hummer to the World Trade Center complex where they were dropped off around the back side of building Seven. Chief and Patterson left the recruits on their own and headed to the Freedom Tower to take care of a few matters. -- Again, so much happened so soon. There must have been something that caught his eye between getting in the Hummer and reaching their destination, no?

Water fountain, restroom, pace for a while, more water, more pacing. Finally the thirty minutes were up, and Jeff and the five other recruits stepped out into Vesey Street and crossed to the Freedom Tower. -- Thirty minutes just went by in a sentence. I'm just not getting enough of Jeff's surroundings to be fully interested. What's he actually thinking? I still don't care about him yet, after all this time.

he felt dizzy trying to fathom such great heights. The Tower was so tall it looked as though the jet passing low overhead would surely crash into the side of the building if it didn't pull up sharply. -- Better. This makes him sound like a little kid looking up at a big building which made me smile.

His first impression was Wow. Shiny. The silver walls of the majestic lobby reflected the light streaming through the high, arch shaped windows in a way that was stunningly beautiful without being harsh on the eyes. Men and women dressed in business attire flowed through the lobby, stopping at the long black marble desk, sliding through turnstiles, entering and exiting the elevators, and disappearing into hallways that cut through the large square center structure of the lobby. Exotic wood paneling and massive canvas artwork ornamented the walls, and short trees with deep green leaves stood in shiny metal pots around the area. -- Too much again. You're not giving me a chance to experience the same wow as Jeff. Give us a chance to soak everything in steadily.

Jeff listened carefully to Colonel Patterson as the group traveled up, down, and around the massive Freedom Tower and the surrounding grounds where he was assigned. He was shown the guards' locker room, the skylobby, some of the mechanical floors, the various escape routes. He was instructed in the operation of the security center surveillance equipment. He learned how to activate the many alarms and call for outside help. -- Woah what are the surrounding grounds like? Locker room? Sky-lobby? Now he's learning something, wait! - See what I'm saying?

The packet, on top like had Chief said, led him to the PATH transportation center, which resembled a massive spiky white bird, and from there to a taxi which then took him south across the Brooklyn Bridge to the provided apartment building Columbia Street. It wasn't a particularly fancy apartment, by most standards, but it was nice. -- And bang we're in a different place. A little dizzying.

It seemed the military didn't want its employees to ever forget their duty. I like that.

"Don't worry bro. I've made it this far. This should be easy."

"Knock on wood. Hey, thanks for calling. It's been good to hear from you." -- You write it as if something bad is going to happen to Justin. If that's the case, don't make it obvious.

This was quite hard to read. It was a bit boring and I didn't connect with Jeff at all. Fair enough if he's had a bad life and isn't exactly the life and soul of the party, but I need to feel for him or something. The dialogue was pretty stilted. They may be military figures but, that doesn't mean they're programmed machines. Even when he was talking to Justin, there didn't seem to be a connection at all, just words.

You describe things too quickly for me to take in and it was difficult to imagine Jeff's surroundings. It just needs a little work, like all of our stuff has needed at some point. You need to help me connect.

Good luck with this :D

You, sir, just made my day. I've always felt that my writing isn't deep enough. You nailed pretty much every issue on the head. Thank you so much.

Bruno Spatola
September 15th, 2010, 11:02 PM
You're welcome.

I just want to say I can see where you are going with this. My crit seems really harsh but, I can see your story being really great. A guy who's whole family has had grief, military involvement has basically taken over what's left of it and now another one is off to make his mark. I got all of that and think it's a good concept, a difficult one to tackle.

Anyway I wish you the best with this, keep working at it :)

Eicca
September 15th, 2010, 11:05 PM
My crit seems really harsh

All I have to say is keep it up. Nobody gets anywhere when all they hear is "aww, you did so great :D "

tolleburg
March 22nd, 2012, 12:25 AM
Nice work, good use of imagery....

Eicca
March 22nd, 2012, 12:48 AM
Nice work, good use of imagery....

Heh... I totally ditched this and redid the opening chapter. This one is just toooooo boring.