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Jagunco
January 20th, 2013, 01:30 PM
Little something I've been pottering with for the last few days and I wondered what people thought about it. Its not meant to be very deep and I hope people don't think the language is inappropritate.

PS made a few adjustments now enjoy

Darkness was the first thing Tony noticed when he became aware of himself. An act of will opened his eyes to reveal a ceiling. Pale and sanitized. The deliberate breath brought the smell of antiseptic cleaner. He was in hospital.
'Tony? Don't speak pal just lie for a bit.'
No amount of persuasion could make him want to speak, the act smacked of impossible effort. The form that had spoken suddenly loomed into view. A rough hand plucked his from his side and clasped it. As if that was going to help him rest.
'Lie still mate. Lie still.'
The act of lifting his hand brought his arm into view and his last though before sleep took him again were 'Where've my tattoos gone?'
It was several more awakes and sleep before he had the energy to ask.
'Doctor?'
'Hello Tony, feeling stronger?'
'No.' It took several seconds to form each sentence, 'What happened?'
'I'll get your friends in. You'll prefer to hear it from them and there's not been a second one of them hasn't been in the hospital with you.'
Soft sods. Tony let him mind wonder as the quack called out the door and gave the normal instructions not to tire him or upset him and so on and so forth.
'Tony!' another deep voice. Steve, a brutish look man. Heavily jowls and a shaven plate suddenly appeared. 'We got a minute or two before you have to kip again son. They put you into a coma to get you to heal for a bit.'
'How long?'
'Its been a good few weeks now. You remember anything?'
'No.'
'You had an accident. You'd went down to fix the driller and it opened up a gas vent, It just about melted you from the inside out. We managed to get in when your alarm went off and slap a cold bubble on you and get you here.'
Tony took a deep breath and moved his head slightly. It felt like bench pressing a lorry to raise his arm but he managed.
'What happened,' pause, rest, 'to my tats?'
Steve's big face crumbled, 'Oh bloody Jesus you don't know?' spilt out before he thought better.
Tony pondered why it was a big thing to loose tattoos. He'd been considering getting them inked over anyway. Steve promised to return in a moment and moved quickly to interrogate the doctor. From the tone of voice that drifted back to Tony he was less than impressed with something. Tony found it took to much effort to care and drifted off to sleep another five hours.

Day and night were things that happened to others. Not that Mars was a place where it made much difference. The room was windowless so Tony measured time in sleeps. Three sleeps later He felt ready to sit up. Wakeful moments became longer. He took his food with a knife and fork, the drip was taken out of his arm.
His arm... it didn't look like his arm. It was thinner, weaker. Tony put it down to being convalesced for an extended period. Except it didn't look like his arm. Neither did the other one for that matter. And his chest. The very feel of his skin wasn't natural.
'Any danger of taking a walk?' He asked the nurse one awake.
'Sure Tony,' said the man in that somewhat patronising tone that all medical staff seemed to have. He shrugged, the poor sod was only trying to be nice. The nurse scurried out the room to leave Tony to wonder if he was supposed to get himself out of bed. He was making the attempt when the nurse came back and rebuked him gently for it. Any he was helped out of the bed and took a second remember how to stay vertical. Then it was a slow meander down the hall.
'Hey mate,' said Tony, 'lets stop off at the bogs,'
'You need the toilet?' the nurse was taken aback, 'you've got a catheter in.'
Tony winced at the thought of that coming out, 'Ta mate, really wanted to know about that. No I just want to look in the mirror.'
'Well if that's all best not then, you still need your rest.'
'We're up walking for God's sake.'
'No come on back to bed.'
Now he was sure something was up. With the scant strength he could muster he dug his heels in and demanded, 'OK lets have it.'
The poor bloke had the grace not to act innocent, 'When you're back in bed I'll send in a Doctor and they can explain it all.'
That was enough to get him limping again.
With what Tony thought was a malicious set to his shoulders the nurse left. The Doctor took his time appearing and judging by the look on his face he had steeling himself for the talk.
'Mr Gauger as you know you had an accident that...'
'Get it out for fuck's sake!' It was meant to be a shout anyway. The Doctor ignored it.
'Left you with severe internal and external burns. There was no way to repair your previous body.'
'Hang on. My what?'
The Doctor realized he'd botched up that one and flinched.
'Its a new procedure in which, where when ones condition is terminal, the body is placed in a suspended state and when a body is made available...
'Hang fire there... this isn't my body?'
The doctor obviously swallowed the words “It is now” and tried the more gentle approach of 'It's a new body Tony. We...'
'Get out.'
'I'll send.....'
'Just fuck off a minute I need to process this.'
The Doctor retreated leaving Tony to wonder about his new body and just what the Doctor was going to send. It became apparent a few seconds later when big Steve tumbled in.
'You OK man?'
'What the fuck Steve? You knew?'
He shrugged, 'You were the only one who didn't mate. Said you should get your strength up before they broke it to you. You need a cup of water or anything?'
Tony was sent dumb with shock for a moment and shook his head. Steve rambled on, 'I was there when you had your accident man. It looked like they'd poured lava on you. We thought you'd had it. You would have if they hadn't wanted to test this lot out on you.'
'Who gave permission?'
'Your bird back on Earth. She's still down as next of kin.'
There had probably been a few men in her body as well since the divorce and Tony leaving for a mining job again, but there had been no one else to put on the form so he'd left it. At least she didn't wish him dead.
'We divorced you know?'
'You mentioned it.'
'Whore.'
And there seemed nothing else to say except, 'So whose body is this then?'
Tony suspected the Doctor would have corrected him to 'was this' but Steve was beyond such pedantics.
'You remember that bloke on the news? Got the death sentence for murder and that?'
'You're kidding.' It wasn't a question he knew it was true.
'Sorry mate.'
Tony tried to take that in and it didn't quite work. He sighed, 'Its not your fault. Can you get me a mirror?'
Steve returned with it in a moment. Apparently they'd been careful to remove them all until he'd had the tidings.
Tony took a long look at his new face and decided he didn't like it. The jaw was too pointy, the hair was the wrong colour and he felt shifty. He wouldn't loan himself money now.
Steve saw his distaste and tried to look on the bright side.
'Well at least now you're a celebrity.'
'Eh?'
'Pioneering surgery! They reckon the news will be on the next shuttle for an interview. You might get on a chat show or something. Make a bit cash eh? You'll need it for the divorce.'
Tony gave him a flat unfriendly state.
'Well whatever its good to see you alive man. And the quack says that when you're up to it they'll alter your looks so you feel more yourself.'
Tony looked at his arms, 'When I'm up to it I want my tats back. And Tell Doctor bloody Frankenstein they can pay for the fuckers. And I'll need to get back to the weights I feel like a stick insect'
Steve smiled, Tony was obviously feeling a bit better 'You'll probably get back home on the next shuttle away. Bit of convalescence and all that.'
Tony sucked his chest in and felt the strength of anger and pride build up. It was false of course but when faced with a life changing event there was only one way to go: pretend it was a frustrating inconvenience that could be blustered through. With that issued orders.
'They can fuck off with that. I'm not going to lurk about the house and stew on this. I'm up to walking now and when I can walk far enough we're off to that tat parlour. There's nothing wrong with this body anyway. Why's it so hard to use it?
'Never mind. Help me up man. The food in here's horrendous. Lets go and get something proper to eat. Help me up for fucks sake! Where's my clothes?' He looked down and remembered something, 'And tell that nurse to come and take this fucking catheter out.'

James_KirkPatrick
January 20th, 2013, 02:37 PM
"Tony took a long look at his new face and decided he didn't like it. The jaw was too pointy, the hair was the wrong colour and he felt shifty. He wouldn't loan himself money now."

My favorite line in the story.

I haven't been here long, so I don't know how long this will hold the spot, but so far this is my favorite thing I have read here. I enjoy the fact that it's Sci-Fi and also comedy. In a genre where everyone seems to be a nuclear physicist, it's refreshing to see characters that are working class. It's quirky, like Naked Lunch or something by Chuck Palahniuk. I really like it.

There are obviously a bunch of grammar errors but I don't know if I could be much help in that department. I assume there isn't any thing I could fix that a spell check couldn't take care of. Any issues beyond that, I'm sorry to say are beyond my expertise.

One thing that did disappoint me was the mention of Tony's new face being altered to resemble his own. As the piece is, Tony's new, alternative visage seems to be what makes this story. As the plot develops, this may be a smaller issue and it may not matter if he goes back to looking like himself (if that is what you have planned) but just based on what you have here, letting him have his old face back would kind of waste what you have set up so far.

I read this to my roommate and he speculated about the body retaining memories from its previous owner. That has certainly been done before but it is an interesting idea I thought was worth mentioning.

It drives me nuts when people suggest particular lines of dialogue for my stories, but I thought it would be funny if when Tony says to the Doctor...

"So this isn't my body?"

if the Doctor replied...

"It's yours now."

Bleh, I feel dirty just being that guy. Like I said, I hate making such specific suggestions but I thought it would be funny.

Anyway, I hope that helps some. I really, really like this. Please keep at it and sharing with us.

Best wishes

J

Kevin
January 20th, 2013, 02:51 PM
Not bad. There's a few minor spelling errors.
'Sleep' should be plural; 'sleeps and awakes'. Interesting usage as a noun. You use it in the plural afterward.
'...and when a body is made available.'- Huh? I read it a couple of times. Unfinished sentence maybe...
'Any he was helped...' ?
"...Who's body...?" whose. Who's is a contraction of..
pedantics or semantics? Seems sort of out of place, anyway. Too writerly maybe; jat.
Tony was send dumb with shock. Sent?
"There's nothing wrong with this body why's it....? Two sentences? Comma?
'The food in here's horrendous lets go....' - another one
As far as the language, I don't think it's too much at all. In the dialog you used 'larva'. That's how they say it, right? 'Larva' intead of 'lava'. Well, that's how I took it.

Jagunco
January 20th, 2013, 03:43 PM
Thanks :) I probbly should of proof read it better :) glad you enjoyed it :)

I had toyed with the doctor saying 'its yours now' but it didn't sound like a doctor to me so I didn't

I'll do some corrections later thanks again

Kevin
January 20th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Proofreading: For me, it's all part of the learning process. I swear I'm so much better at proofing my own work in just the year or so that I've been here. Now, stuff I never would have seen I pick right up on. I wonder what it'll be like (my abilities) in another year? Happy writing- K

jedellion
January 20th, 2013, 04:42 PM
Hi and thanks for sharing. never easy to put work out thee for scrutiny.

For the most part I quite like this, I like the characters voices who came across as space Aussies.

But I have two issues.

Numnber 1 - The procedure

okay there is not much detail on the how and that is fair enough, this is a very far fetched concept so we can leave this vague as any scientific attempt to rationlise would end up full of holes. So keep it vague. But I would expect and procedure to require Tony time to adjust to the new body. It would be nice to see him struggling with talking, actually getting the muscles to work how he wants them to. slowly coming to use the body. That would make for an interesting journey and would help with issue 2 below.

Tony's reactions.
He has lost his entire body and is in someone else... a killer...

You could do some much with this...the shock, the horror... the lack of.... feeling real, we experience life through our body, but this body is new, reacts differently, will be taller, shorter, stronger weaker... play with these things, he would not be able to reach accurately... he would stumble.

I can imagine tantrums, despair... horror... much anger...

better to be dead...

Instead, he seems to adjust to the idea amazingly quickly...too quickly...

sorry to sound negative, I do think this has lots of promise, but at the moment I can't accept those reactions, it feels false.

Hope this helps.

Jed.

Jagunco
January 20th, 2013, 07:57 PM
The two Characters are british mate and I was going for the traditional Bristish reserve when confronted with such dire and out there situations.

Of course there will be very serious emotional reactions but I the only one fit for public display is anger and never helpless anger.

You're right though I will be writing more and see where it leads me there is going to be some stuff happening....

Higurro
January 21st, 2013, 10:01 AM
Hi, this is fantastic - held me effortlessly the whole way through. Apart from one or two small typos I thought this was pretty much spot on. Well judged humour, interesting premise, plausible characters. All looks good to me!

Jagunco
January 31st, 2013, 09:35 PM
OK next installment here

II


Tony was looking at the new hands. They were about shoulder width apart on the floor as he did press ups. He was still in debate as to weather they were his hands now. His hands had been rough paws calloused by tools and work. They were bigger, more sure and, he was sure, didn't go as far away from his body.
These before him were the hands of a keyboard warrior. Smooth and long fingered. Nimble he supposed, but not adept at playing a guitar as the last set. Nor as good at catching a rugby ball, or anything else for that matter.
Tony possessed all his memories of course. He remembered school, and Engineering in college. He remembered (regretfully) meeting his former wife and (happily) divorcing the slack legged bitch.
He remembered all of the rules to a rugby match and how to play. It had been made apparent though that the new body knew none of these things.
It was like he'd woken up in a new make of car and had no idea how to operate it. Essentially he could drive it, but The indicator was on the wrong side and he kept switching the windscreen wipers on by accident. The bonnet was longer than the last making it harder to park, the gears were in different places and he had to constantly grind them to change speed making his driving clumsy. He knew how to drive still but it was an awkward ungainly affair.
The most pronounced difference was the power. If he'd fell asleep in the a 4x4 he'd woken up in a golf cart.
And someone had taken a shit in the back seat.
The arms and legs were too long. The feet were too small, the fingers were too long and none of it was strong enough. He tripped and stumbled so much at first that it looked like a new dance. When he reached for something it was even money if he grasped it properly. Trying to play the guitar had driven him to the point of insanity.
And he felt dirty.
He still possessed defiance in droves though and so he took steps. The steps that had carried him through his dad's death, the stress of redundancy and the insult if not great disappointment of divorce.
He did as many push ups as the weedy body would churn out. And when it could take no more he did sit ups, then chin ups and all the other ups he could think of that the last body had been good at.
He did everything he could to forget that this was not his body and somehow it never failed to remind him that it wasn't.

Press ups done Tony stood with some difficulty. He still got a fright when a mirror surprised him. He had done everything in his power to customize the new body. His first act had been to get the hair shaved off. The next was to try to wear his favourite jeans which, in hindsight, he should of known better than trying. In a fit of rage all his clothes nearly went in a bonfire. Bonfires being inadvisable in Oxygen rich minings structures on Mars a charity shop got them instead.
He told himself a shopping spree might cheer him up and let the computer scan the new bodies sizes. He then sat in a now over baggy tee shirt that didn't quite reach his waistband with shorts that he'd had to belt to stay about the rake thin waist. Thus he sat and bought suitable attire heedless of expense.
All receipts were saved for the renamed and notorious Dr Frankenstein.
Tony had yet to decide if it was less difficult to be grateful to him for saving him, or to loathe the bastard for putting him in a serial killers body. He still didn't know if he would rather be dead in his own body or alive in this one.
It was maddening. The first thing he had done when returning to his quarters was to pour all the alcohol down the sink. Drunk was the last thing he wanted to be. No that was wrong it was exactly what he wanted to be, but that way lay madness. There stood the slippery slope. He didn't dare touch a drop.

He stretched the new arms over the new head and looked down on the new shirtless, hairless chest through eyes that no longer had a slight astigmatism. The skin was white as the driven snow. Despite his announcements to the contrary Tony had not begun the tattoo replacement yet wanting to at least fill the body out first. Or so he told himself.
The lack of mass taunted him. He had played in the front row of the Scrum, he wondered now if he'd be better suited to the wing. He was still wondering what to say when he went back to the rugby and had to tell everyone who he was. Of course he would go back to rugby.
With a snarl he took a long pull on his bottle and washed his doubts down with water.
'Vicky? Put the news on pet.'
The quarters AI had taken some convincing who he was upon return. He had had to get Steve to let him in and then call HR to reprogramme her to accept him. It was heartening that he had not had to program his preferences into her again. When he had arrived on Mars again someone had wiped it and it had taken two hours to get something that didn't sound like Batman's Butler.
'Should I put the it on follow?' said a pleasant female voice with a light brummy accent.
'No thanks Darl. Stick it in the sitting room. I'll be in in a bit. Set the kettle going as well would you?
'Right oh.'
Tony detested crawling AI's almost as much as crawling people. Some of the lads thought it a great jest to make their quarters' AI as simpering as possible. Steve's sounded like a Filipino harlot. Greg got into trouble at home when his missus heard that his was a perfect mimic of her but called him 'Honey bun', the 'Sexiest man alive' and 'Oh great one'.
Mopping sweat from the body as he strolled into the sitting room. It was hardly worthy of the name. A self adjusting futon and storage shelf filled over three quarters of the room. The holographic image of the television ranged against the opposite wall.
'Lets have a lie down Vicky.'
The futon whirred to a suitable angle to accommodate this pose. Thus accommodated Tony threw himself upon the futon with pantomimed ease and tried to his best to look rather than glower at the news.
'Religious groups have once again called for a ban on full body transplants.'
Uncanny, was his first thought, This couldn't have been on thirty seconds sooner.
'Last month on Mars the Victim of a mining accident, who has requested to remain anonymous, had his memories and personality imprinted into an entirely new body.
'While scientific and medical circles hail this as a break through many spiritual and religious leaders claim it to be immoral.'
An arch bishop of some description appeared on the screen for an interview. Tony took an instant dislike to him.
'But how can he be a different person? You cannot transplant a soul. I'm sorry to say that whoever they took these memories from is still dead. He is who he always had been only with another's memories and mannerisms,'
Tony warred with himself. To turn it off would be to admit that this thought worried him. The act on that pompous git's words would be to admit he harboured some doubt as to their fiction.
The great urge to throw something at the hologram took him up and suddenly he gave way to it and hurled his water bottle at the image of weather lady, who had replaced the bishop.
The bottle ineffectually passed through the screen and succeeded only in drenching that far wall
He leapt to his feet.
'Vicky. Heavy bag.'
The futon folded into the wall and a hardlight heavy bag replaced it. Tony didn't even bother with gloves but gave it his full attention for several minutes. The arms, still tingly from far more press ups than they were used to, screamed protest. Tony vaguely noticed that pain felt different now.
Each blow felt different, not nearly as sure as before, which he began every other days with four five minute rounds of Thai Boxing. No matter how much feeling he put into each blow it never amounted to what he had been able to do. Venting only seemed to increase his awareness that this wasn't his body.
This needed to not be his body. If it was his body he had been a killer. He had killed a woman, her husband and three kids in their home in their beds and not even had the sense to cover up DNA evidence.
His strength spend he stood back hauling breath after breath into a chest that held far to little breath.
His name was Tony Gauger. He said it.
'My name is Tony Gauger.'
It didn't really work so he tried again.
'My name is Tony Gauger. I am Tony gauger.'
He listed his details. He was thirty five. The body wasn't but not matter his memories went back as far as as thirty five year old man's did. He was a drilling engineer with hostile and absent atmosphere qualifications. He was married ten years and divorced less than one. Childless. His star sign was both cancer and a load of shit like all the rest of them.
He suddenly needed a drink and was both relieved and appalled that he had gotten rid of the booze. He wished he could go back to work. Not because he enjoyed it but anything beat being stuck in the box all day wondering if he was himself.
'Vicky. Chair please doll.'
The futon curled away from the wall and he plonked himself down on it. He would have put the face in the hands but he knew what the hands had done and felt no desire to touch them.

Woodroam
February 1st, 2013, 10:09 AM
Very gripping story, loved it.

These sentences almost stopped me but once past them it was smooth as a frosty ice cream cone.

:Soft sods. Tony let him mind wonder as the quack called out the door and gave the normal instructions not to tire him or upset him and so on and so forth.
'Tony!' another deep voice. Steve, a brutish look man. Heavily jowls and a shaven plate suddenly appeared. 'We got a minute or two before you have to kip again son. They put you into a coma to get you to heal for a bit.'

Tony's POV? Doctor a quack? I don't believe someone who just woke in a hospital would even think about others -- too much shock. Wouldn't he be confused and self-absorbed with personal concern?

A brutish look man - Steve, a brutish looking man with heavy jowls -- sorry I don't know the slang meaning of plate or kip -- if writing for offshore readers you might consider explaining or not using.

Other than those sentences your writing is sterling.

Jagunco
February 2nd, 2013, 11:23 AM
Bald plate is a bald head mate.... I don't know if I spelt it correctly...

Kip is sleep and quack is doctor.

It is a bit of a thing with me that I never seem to find anything but american dialects in sci fi and when I do it never sounds right to me so I often sit down close my eyes and imagin conversations as I would have them. Hence a lot of local slang and what have you... Anything else to me at least just donesn't read right...

I'll try to put a glossery of terms in though :)

rave
February 4th, 2013, 01:39 AM
I like the character of tony the amount of swearing was perfect from a pissed off guy in a hospital, i would have liked more detailed descriptions of his new looks but im guessing they are going to change rather drastically in the near future, hope to see another post