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View Full Version : Sci-fi with heavy Japanese/Native American influences. Rough Intro. 1500 Words.



Hopeful Writer
August 9th, 2014, 10:15 PM
Hiii~!

I have a lot of other things to post too, but they are mostly short stories, so I figured I should post them all together? (Please answer if you know!). This is a story that's been going through my head recently, though I'm 'gutting' some older stories to blend their ideas into it. It's the first thing I've written in a year, and one of five things I've written in two decades. I'm sure there's a LOT of errors for you to find. I'm kind of spazzy, and I struggle with grammar - so please point out everything you see that's off!

It's Unnamed as of yet, also please ignore the blank names. I have to explore some characters more to find out their names, and the one is intentional for the story.



The old speakers cracked, echoing through the cafeteria, its static reaching out for the hallway, into the ear of a young cadet. Her cleanly pressed uniform almost sparkled in the overly bright UV halogen light as she rushed into the cafeteria. Her friends followed quietly, as everyone was hushed. No one dared to eat. These speakers only came on during an emergency.
“All able bodied Rank D and above cadets, report immediately to port side launch hangars!” the grizzled old voice of the Commander shouted. The speakers cracked again, and shut off without another word.
“What does this mean, Alissa?” a blonde cadet asked. His uniform not as freshly pressed.
Alissa spun around, her short red hair bouncing and her piercing green eyes narrowing. “It means, move cadet. Now! Go!” she almost shouted, her high grading rank giving her the right.
Without a moments hesitation the cadets that followed her into the kitchen rushed out into the hallway, heading towards the nearest hangar, all those formerly eating falling in line. Alissa lagged behind to make sure there were no stragglers, then went on herself.
As trained from a young age, all the Rank B and below cadets formed an orderly line on the left of the hallway, while Alissa and the other Rank A and above cadets were able to rush forward to the right. In times of combat, it was her responsibility to lead other cadets, and communicate efficiently with the other makeshift leaders.
Even with all the training and preparation, she still found her heart was about to burst from her chest. Her guilt over nearly yelling at her friends was barely even registering in her mind at the moment. What could be going on was a dominant thought. In her entire, albeit short, life thus far she had only once heard the commander shout through the military speakers. The last great battle with the _____ had taken place that day, a day many had lost their lives. Even on that day, the commander had asked only for Rank C and above cadets.
It only took her a few minutes to make it to hanger 374. Other Rank A and S cadets were already launching off with their teams. Most of the Mecha pilots were out, few of the Jetter pilots were unloaded yet. Most of them were out near the small lake ____, a day off. It would take them a while to get here, they would be at a disadvantage if the _____ were attacking again. The Mecha units were designed to attract their attention, due to their hatred of human shapes, while the Jetters would fly in fast and bomb/fire hard.
“Looks like we're alone in this one, I'm scared Alissa.” Ethan's mousey voice whispered to her, apparently caught up. His long blonde hair was already pulled back. Despite his vocal fear, he was a capable soldier. Though much like Alissa, he had no experience with real combat.
Under her, and the other Rank S/A cadets direction, everyone was suited up in short order. As they were loading into they Mecha units, the S and A ranks heard their speakers crackle as the delicate, yet firm voice of Captain _______ rang through.
“Jetter Cadets for units 200 through 400 are having issues getting to the hangars. S-Rank's will command the A-Ranks. A-Ranks will relay appropriate orders to their teams. You can breathe a slight sigh of relief for now cadets, we are not fighting the _____ this day. For now, all Mecha pilots are to line up in Formation W-C and hold fire. We seem to have encroached upon the territory of a limited space bound species.”
“A sight of relief?” Alissa spoke to herself, feeling a bit perturbed. Though she didn't want to face the _____ this day, she could hardly see a reason to be relieved that they may have inadvertently started a war with an entire species. Their last contact with another species had been before Alissa was even born. How she yearned to meet someone from another land.
Alissa's reverie was broken by the ever mousey voice of Ethan. “Orders A-Cadet, Alissa?”
With a moments hesitation, she pressed the com button to reply “Ethan, Rick, Sherry, you heard Captain ______. Stay on my 3, 6 and 9 while waiting for orders from S-Rank cadet Aiden.”
With that direct command issued, they launched. Their first emergency launch, and potentially their first taste of real combat. As the humanoid appearing Mecha units fired out the side of the ship into near complete silence, everyone was greeted by the sight of an apparently heavily armed alien armada that outstripped their numbers by a large margin. For the second time in her life, Alissa felt afraid.








The screen flashed rapidly, harshly contrasting against the darkened room, shining on a heavily bearded face. The man grumbled as he woke up from his impromptu nap, rubbing his wrinkled forehead and letting out a deep sigh. After a quick stretch he reached out and pressed the intercom button. Ending the annoying white flash, replacing it with a darker screen.
“What is it?” an appropriately rough and deep voice called out from his chapped lips.
“I'm not sure Rick, we're getting a lot of signal interference. What we do know for certain, is that the military is launching everything it has.” a younger and gentler voice crackled back through the intercom.
With that news, Rick nearly flew out of his seat, grabbing his coat and rushing for the door. With a quick pause, he turned back to the computer.
“Do everything you can to find out more. Have Kevin use protocol B. I'm heading to the nearest base.” He didn't wait for a reply, instead clicking off the intercom, and rushing out the door.
Fortunately for Rick's tired legs, he lived near the base, which was really just an outpost of the ships exterior. The exterior, 100m thick, housed all the military personnel, nuclear arsenal, Mecha units, Jetter units, and who knows what else. The what else had been an obsession of Rick's since he was little and found his way somewhere he wasn't supposed to.
He was only 11 at the time, playing a game of hide and seek, which certainly seemed innocent enough. They had wondered into a derelict part of the city, that has since been repaired. Rick's curiosity got the best of him, when he found a poorly hidden trap-door in his perfect hiding spot. It took a bit of work to pry it open, a bit of work he quickly regretted.
As he heaved it open, he slipped, grabbing onto the door to stop his fall, instead pulling it shut behind him. The ladder to his left broken and decaying, he tried to grab onto. Neither him, nor the broken down ladder had the strength to support. With a boyish scream he fell, for minutes, into what seemed it would be his death.
Instead of the hard surface he was expecting, he fell into what he could only recall as a gel. What happened after this is something he was ever unsure of. By the time he had pulled himself out of the strange liquid, masked military men had set upon him. They didn't bring guns or sword, but instead clubs and shots. He was hurried into a sterile white room and given several shots. The rest is just flashes of images. They had tried to convince him he'd suffered a hallucinatory reaction to a plant that had been growing in that section of the city for decades, pulled from an alien world by a naive, though well meaning botanist.
He pretended to believe it, of course, and nodded to his parents, accepting the appropriate punishment for playing where he shouldn't have. His friends had likely faced the same, though he wasn't sure, as he never saw them again. That was when the obsession had started. No matter how much he buried himself in homework, how much he trained in the yards, or how much VR he immersed himself in, he could never get that image out of his head. That horrifying creature, which evoked a true terror, floating in the strange liquid, its mouth large enough to consume him. How could he ever forget that. How could he ever forget that strangely human face amidst the nightmare.
Despite the promises made to his parents, he had gone back to that section of the city the day after, only to find something that caused him to question his own memory. The entire side street he had gone down to find the trap door into oblivion had been replaced by a building. He had to find a new hiding spot when he was almost caught by patrolling guards, in turn making him pause to question. That's when he had noticed that the sidewalk cut off in front of the building. Had he been older, and braver he would have found a way back in there. Instead he went home, to start a lifetime of seeking answers, and questioning their military.
As he reached the base, he shoved his memories to the side, putting on his press face. Its ominous Earth styled towers stood tall and piercing the holographic sky. From them a metal, retractable bridge extended to the path on his side. Protected by a fortified guard station, and two guards. Lifting his badge out of his pocket, he flashed a smile at the human gate guard. It was not returned.



Thanks in advance for any feedback, negative or positive!

jerich100
August 9th, 2014, 10:47 PM
My comments are petty, but aren’t those the most fun ones? In the first paragraph, referring to speakers, you use both “cracked” and “static”. You don’t want to use too many words for the same thing or people might accuse you of trying too hard.

Delete “almost” in front of sparkled. Either it did or it didn’t sparkle. Use words like “almost” and “nearly” rarely, if ever, as it makes our writing less confident.

Don’t mention “crackled” again in 2nd paragraph. I believe it best to have them just shut off.

(Put spaces between paragraphs.)

Consider changing, “the cadets that followed her” to “the cadets following her”. Try to avoid the word “that” also.

It seems to take a long time for the mystery of what is going on to unfold. In fact, is it ever explained? This is desired in a novel, but deadly in a short story. No extra words are allowed.

Hyphen required: “space-bound”, not “space bound”?

You change POV characters half-way through. Is that permissible for a short story?

Are the two 1/2 stories (about Alissa and Rick) related to each other? I’m having a hard time visualizing the two story’s settings. Maybe that’s because I’m such a bad reader. My advice is to strip away every non-critical word, which will shorten the story by up to a half, then rebuild slowly with more focused, linear words that lead the reader along. Also, do everything you can to make the two stories tie together, at least by the end.

Hopeful Writer
August 9th, 2014, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the reply, Jerich! That went better than expected. I'll look into other words to use, I was just writing what I heard. It actually is not a short story. I'm not even done with introducing all of the main characters. I plotted the greater story out in my head over the past few weeks. It's probably going to end up being pretty long. ^,.,^


Rick and Alissa both live on the same ship. The third part of the intro will sort of wrap up that concept.

InstituteMan
August 9th, 2014, 11:04 PM
This has a good flow to it, and on a sentence level it all reads pretty darn well.

My petty nit, which jerich100 hit, is just formatting. Returns between paragraphs and lots of white space really help oldish dudes like me read on the interwebs. I found the various letter ranks a bit confusing, but I think that was from feeling optically smushed more than anything else.

This is definitely a food beginning.

Lucydity
August 10th, 2014, 01:42 AM
I really enjoyed reading this, it was easy to get into and grabbed me early on.

Hopeful Writer
August 10th, 2014, 02:41 AM
This has a good flow to it, and on a sentence level it all reads pretty darn well.

My petty nit, which jerich100 hit, is just formatting. Returns between paragraphs and lots of white space really help oldish dudes like me read on the interwebs. I found the various letter ranks a bit confusing, but I think that was from feeling optically smushed more than anything else.

This is definitely a food beginning.

Thanks for the feedback! This is going way better than expected. =P I'll work on the formatting. It's formatted all pretty and double spaced locally, but for some reason it doesn't copy over well. >.>


I really enjoyed reading this, it was easy to get into and grabbed me early on.

Thanks Lucy! ^,.,^

MizzouRam
August 10th, 2014, 05:29 AM
I really liked it. It does have a good flow. I like central character too. There isn't enough written about women in positions of power, especially in a gritty wartorn environment, and when it is, it's usually done badly. Not in this piece, though. For some reason, I found this one unique. That's a good thing.

Hopeful Writer
August 10th, 2014, 09:17 PM
I really liked it. It does have a good flow. I like central character too. There isn't enough written about women in positions of power, especially in a gritty wartorn environment, and when it is, it's usually done badly. Not in this piece, though. For some reason, I found this one unique. That's a good thing.

Thanks! ^,.,^ Strong female characters are a big thing for me. I grew up not finding very many role models in media. Those that I did get, were generally turned into helpless damsels later on. Alissa isn't the hero though. A central character, yes. A very capable soldier, yes. Hero? No. I'm trying to write something that features hero's and villains, but through the eyes of the people that fight alongside them, or get caught up in their mess.