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StevenW
April 18th, 2013, 12:55 AM
[My last story for awhile. Let me know your feelings on this dialogue only style. Like? Hate?]


“Tell me your plans, lieutenant.”

“Yes sir. I must admit a visit from the supreme commander to this backwater is unexpected. The fact that a junior officer is charged with this assignment underscores the insignificance of this mission.”

“This planet isn’t as important as subjugating, say, the Terellian Empire, but all species must be conquered. I like to visit these outposts, to learn how young officers such as yourself are doing. What are your invasion plans?”

“I have no plans to invade, sir.”

“You’d better have a good explanation.”

“Yessir. We plan to conquer without firing a shot and without a need for occupation forces.”

“You have my undivided attention lieutenant. How?”

“Our chosen vector is called an ‘English Teacher’. We’ve been abducting and implanting them. One of the results is a compulsive desire to teach their adolescents certain authors and writings. Here let me show you. This is a video stream from one of their classrooms. The teacher is reading from someone called ‘Melville’. Notice the vacant stares, the glassy eyes.”

“Whoosh. Whoosh. Zoom. I’m a spaceship. Whoosh…”

“What - no, who was that?”

“That was our psychologist, sir. He subjected himself to twelve hours of someone called ‘Shakespeare’. He hasn’t been the same since. I had a navigator who tried to read Thoreau. He’s catatonic, curled up in a ball, sucking his thumbs. We’re all a bit worried about him. I wouldn’t mind if you took him back, sir. He needs some serious help. I’ve issued orders banning any more reading of their literature.”

“What kind of savages are you dealing with here?”

“It isn’t as detrimental to their minds as ours. Most just assume a hypnotic state, as you noticed. They become highly open to suggestion, and through the implants the teachers are able to plant subliminal doctrine. Why, in 60 years…”

“Sixty years? No planet this size took more than ten to pacify. I’d say you’re a goldbricker.”

“I did the math on it, sir. For the cost of one month’s occupation forces, we can keep a skeleton crew on station for those 60 years. That’s to give us time to indoctrinate every generation.”

“To what end?”

“Sir, I believe we will only have to announce ourselves and be hailed as saviors or returning heroes. No resistance. No guerilla warfare. Humans will become our most loyal subjects.”

“Loyal?”

“Fanatically, sir. More than the Axians even. The kind you can use as soldiers or trusted bodyguards.”

“Amazing! Excellent! You have a shrewd mind captain.”

“It’s lieutenant, sir.

“Are you in the habit of correcting your superiors? It’s captain now. Leave your XO in command here. I’m putting you on my staff. I want your thoughts on a planet in the Gamma Sector.”

NathanBrazil
April 18th, 2013, 01:38 AM
I like it. The humor works for me, but the ending is a bit flat. I wanted more of a punch at the end.

pdwalke4
April 18th, 2013, 05:04 PM
Is it supposed to be a script or a story? Nothing there that gives any indication of who/what is talking, where they are ect to give the story a context and setting.

carastone
April 19th, 2013, 05:25 AM
I also like the humor of the story, but I think I'd appreciate it more if the visuals were included: gestures, action, description, etc. The glassy eyes effectively describe the students, but when the psychologist whizzed by, I'd like to have the visual image. What exactly was he doing?

I really appreciated the strong vocabulary!

Good luck,

Cara Stone
sites.google.com/site/carastonenovels/

twentysix26
April 19th, 2013, 09:36 PM
This was good, I like the humor of it. I'm sure this was just a quick writing done out of boredom, but it was good and would be better with some descriptive work.

StevenW
April 20th, 2013, 12:37 AM
Thanks all. It wasn't necessarily boredom; I got the idea to "trash-talk" some of my old English teachers, remembering some of the crap I had to read (I shudder at Thoreau).

I also got the idea of the all-dialogue style from radio spots and serials. I wanted the readers to use their imaginations, but wrote it short so as to hopefully avoid confusion.

NathanBrazil
April 20th, 2013, 12:57 AM
Thanks all. It wasn't necessarily boredom; I got the idea to "trash-talk" some of my old English teachers, remembering some of the crap I had to read (I shudder at Thoreau).

I also got the idea of the all-dialogue style from radio spots and serials. I wanted the readers to use their imaginations, but wrote it short so as to hopefully avoid confusion.

What better impetus than having to deal with snobbish teachers.

I was able to paint a picture from the dialog, and you announced this was a dialog only piece from the get-go. It would be unnatural for you to break out in a sultry tourist voice - "And to your left, notice the lush, green . . ." - just to fit in some scene building.

Pelwrath
April 20th, 2013, 05:25 AM
The humor was enjoyable and also the irony of using teachers to indoctrinate others.

Fei
April 20th, 2013, 11:26 AM
I didn't recognize the names from any literature I've ever read (which would consist of harry potter, lord of the rings etc :) but I got the idea which I think is great since not everyone reading your work will know what you know. Appreciated the humor and the neat dialogue, though a bit more description would have been nice too.

Rfurness
April 27th, 2013, 01:55 AM
I enjoyed it, sort of reminded me of the episode of the Twilight Zone were the martian says "Turn some light on and off when no one is looking and they'll destroy themselves."

Folcro
April 28th, 2013, 10:23 PM
Personally, I'm of the belief that plays are meant to be submitted to theater and acted, not read. One of the reasons for this is the inevitability of expository dialogue (although it was not so bad on your part).

I appreciate your reasoning behind the style: that the reader should use his/her imagination. Many authors ingratiate themselves far too heavily to leave any room for that. There needs to be a balance, and scripts---in my opinion--- always sit too far on the opposite side of the scale, unless made into a narrative (be it a motion picture or a book).

But I think you are on a much easier path than someone who wrote too much description and now must carve away at their baby. I would start by adding tiny things (show me real people in real time: how he/she says it, what they are doing while they speak, their facial expressions, mind the motivation behind their every word). Then move on to something bigger, like deciding from whose perspective the scene is taking place, if anybody's.

I would be more than happy to read this same piece over and over again with such small changes implemented each time, and watch it become a story.

mblank
May 9th, 2013, 03:15 PM
What a brilliant takeover plan! I really liked your description of the invader's reactions to our literature.

The dialogue only works well enough here, since you gave us distinct characters, but I feel like a bit of narrative might have added to it. Since it's a piece of flash, though, it's also a good story as is.

Thanks for sharing!

BobtailCon
June 21st, 2013, 09:54 AM
I like it. Humorous, but also keeps your attention.

escorial
June 21st, 2013, 12:39 PM
A fun piece which kept me going until the end..well done.