PDA

View Full Version : Life As A Dogman, sci-fi, Short Story (2378 Words)



Daniel Loreand
October 27th, 2014, 10:18 PM
Thanks to anyone who is reading this. I was in the middle of writing another short story when I had this idea that I just had to write down. This short story was done very quickly and I have only gone through to edit it a few times so it is a bit raw at the moment. Ok it's very raw. Hoping to hear how you all feel it reads, what you think to the story and what not.

Life As A Dogman
An Expansive Era story
Daniel Loreand.

Much like anyone else life as a Dogman has its ups and downs. Most people’s ups and downs are the product of promotions or demotions. Perhaps a bad trip on Trick or a relationship coming to an end. At worst for me the arse end of my day is spent chasing or helping a life come to an end.

My whistle blows. Like the flick of a switch my thought activates the nano chip and the call is answered promptly. No need for finicky holo devices. Professionalism is key. The nano-tech was expensive to buy and even more so to illegally modify.

I walk the crowded streets of Rodust and hear only the contact. The custom chip blocks any interference or prying eyes. Not many folk have the Creds for such things but my contacts needs be assured their conversation stays where it belongs.

The voice is unfamiliar and his tone direct and formal. I accept the contract. Ten thousand Creds. Nothing to shake my head at for a simple retrieve. The call ends and my ears are greeted by the roar of the three points.

Relic-4 used to be a frontier planet until the Earths United Nations set up camp. Unlike most frontier planets Relic-4 was a relatively easy catch for the EUN. Thing is, people here know no matter what banner this planet fly’s under, business’s gonna flow as usual. That was fairly recent as recent goes. Rodust is Relic-4's biggest city and here old habits die hard.

Famed for its black market goods and a racketeering business so rooted into the city's history you’d think it was a tradition. Rodust is Relic-4’s biggest and shadiest ant colony. People like me are common on Rodust. Dogmen been round long before the EUN was spreading its wings. Things need gettin' we're the ones to go fetch.

Droves of people squeeze and shuffle past me, all blots within a sea of writhing flesh. I keep my hands where they belong - inside my duster and close to my holster. The hums of patrolling EUN assault cruisers hang in the hazy orange sky above, gargantuan sentinels of alloy looming down upon the whiz of the non-stop air traffic.

Holo boards expunging the latest and greatest of the most superfluous products can barely be heard above the cacophony of noise. Towering blocks and sky scrapers covered with flashy signs offer everything and anything and shady figures reach out from the shadows offering the best of bad goods while street wise locals lead bright eyed, cred heavy off-wordlers down secret passages to browse illegal goods while seedy clubs flaunt their newest girls.

Dots in the sky smoke out of the small windows of their apartments that sprout up from the ground in tights formations, compact and cost effective. Bug eyed Orbaros lay out cheap jewellery throwing about their gangly arms and shouting their overpriced goods in high pitch shrieks. Some reach out for, get in my face. A flash of the iron sends em' packing.

Pairs of slumped and stocky Tourn poke at cheap meat frying behind ramshackle stalls while slumped silhouettes eat heads down on crooked stools. I wander through the streets and navigate through the herd driven highway. I get to a small alley and stop underneath an apartment’s railings by a hissing steamy grate.

With a thought I bring down my cyber HUD. I sift through the translucent menu until I get to the info my contact linked to me - the Intel is detailed. It must have taken months to accumulate. Whoever hired me went through hell to get all this info.

An image of her rotates slowly in my vision. Shellice Means, a managing director for Bright Star Industries Nanoscience division. Resides eastside in the EUN funded projects, a fancy district reserved for first class EUN citizens.

Her schedule habits and work hours are all there. And according to the data she left her apartment an hour ago for work leaving the target, a data drive, in a safe. No time like the present. I reach a cab point and order a Manta. It takes five minutes to arrive.

The Manta's auto-pilot guides the cab effortlessly through the chaotic blur of air traffic. The door whizzes open and the onboard AI asks for my destination. 'Erswell way apartment 6C.' I say quietly.

There is a small hum as the Manta lifts off. The ships sleek and graceful design is based on an Earth sea creature of the same name. I remember that they are extinct now. The morose thought lingers in my mind for the duration of the ride.

While landing I see Erswell flooded with security. There all private military goons - OneCall by the looks of things. The fleets and troops have their hands full trying to govern EUN space these days. That leaves former frontier planets to the mercy of PMCs.

I pay the fare and get off at the western checkpoint. There I am approached by a lurching Tourn. He stands about six foot in height slightly slumped with a strange boulder like head and narrow suspicious eyes. His skin is hard and cracked, the texture of ash.

I give him a good once over. 780 MM laser rifle, a quality weapon and not something you see every day. Decent make military grade alloy body armour too. His right arm was prosthetic, a sleek chrome alloy that promised to pack a nasty punch. OneCall are being paid a pretty credit to keep Rodust under heel.

The Tourn snorts and asks me for ID. I chuckle a little inside, the irony. Most of these OneCall uniforms are off-wordlers and aliens protecting the interests of wealthy first class human citizens. I place my thumb on his scanner while he stares disinterestedly at the screen. A small flicking noise, then the scanner flashes green. Custom ID is risky and expensive. But a Dogman worth calling can get around and to get around you needed custom ID.

Erswell is a world different to Central. White arbors coiled in vines and bright flowers lead to small garden pods in the apartment courtyards while soothing music is broadcast throughout the whole district. People weren't rushing. They walked slowly and languidly reading or chatting in calm hushed voices. I follow the directions until I arrive at apartment 6C.

They all look the same, bar the numbers. The Intel included her apartments pass code. I punch the code in and the door opens soundlessly. I enter as if the place is my own, inside is standard fare. The room is an eye melting combination of white and black walls and floor. The living space is large and open.

I stand there for a moment, take it all in. There is a small dint in the seat facing the large rectangular window. Bowls and other appliances are left scattered about and a long smart black overcoat is hung on the door. I look for the access point. Access points fulfil many needs but my concern is alerting security. Points can be accessed manually or by an integrated nano device such as the one sitting on my frontal cortex. I spot it by the door on a small terminal.

I bring down my holo HUD and connect it to the device. I begin the hacking process. It doesn't take long. Reams of code and digital information scans by my vision in seconds. I'm past her security. Shut it all down.

'Nice place isn't it.' the voice is calm with a touch of sadness to it.

I look up sharply, gun at my hip. Even for a Dogman plasma and laser weaponry is hard to come by. Military boys like it that way, gives em’ the edge. Besides I've become accustomed to my Colt single action - a replica of course.

'I was getting curious how long it would take for a dog to wander in.' She stood one foot crossed over the other in high heels that gave her a foot of height over me. Her raven hair knotted in circlets looks like a nest of adders while her bleach white dress clung to her curved frame.

'I'm here for the data drive.' I state.

'I know.' She takes a seat on the couch which faces a large window. The world outside is calm.

'You weren't supposed to be here.' I say blankly. She chuckles at that.

'It will be easier if you hand over the data drive.'

'I suppose it would, wouldn't it.' She replies sounding unconcerned. I move closer and stand over her. See her reflection in the mirror, steely blue eyes stare right back at me.

'Do you even know what is on that data drive?'

‘I'm not paid for my curiosity.' I mumble with a cursory shrug.

'We knew someone like you would be let off the leash. So, you’ll track me to the ends of the universe for your employer. That’s what I’ve heard of you Dogmen. Is that true?’

I can’t help but let loose a crooked smile.

‘Yes, of the good ones ma’am.’ She folds her arms slowly

‘And not once are you curious about what it is you are chasing?'

'I'm not the curious type.' Within the reflection I see her brow curving downwards in a frown.

'What type of man are you then? The type negotiable to new employment perhaps, Bright Star could make use of your talents.'

I softly place the barrel of the gun against the back of her head 'I'm the professional type. The data drive, please.'

‘Let me clue you in on what’s going on here. You are going down a rather steep rabbit hole that ends in a sharp drop. I’m offering the only clean way out.’ Her eyes narrow ever so slightly from within the windows perfect reflection.

‘Last chance Miss Means.’ My finger hovers over trigger. It’s an approach I’d rather not take as security could be here leaving me less time to crack the safe.

In a demonstration of surprising agility, Shellice Means twisted her body around and sends my iron half way across the room with the lash of her hand, the force sending a quake of pain through my body.

Caught off guard. My first mistake of the day.

Like a panther Miss Means lunges at me from over the couch and is on me in seconds. I throw my best punch I’ve got at her but it doesn’t even elicit a blink. Her elegant pale hands reach out for my throat but I manage to wriggle backwards suddenly feeling very out of control. I turn and crawl on all fours to my gun which is beginning to look like a shining beacon of hope. Inches away from the grip I feel a cold grasp take hold of me.

A cold and calculative expression is on the face of Miss Means as she crawls her way up my torso like a spider, hands reaching out seeking to choke the life out of me. I try throwing myself backwards, buying myself a few more inches closer to my weapon but her grip is one of iron.

She is on me, those cold dead eyes staring down as her hands wrap around my neck like a cobra squeezing the life out of a helpless goat. My hands are flailing about like a fish on water. I feel something between my fingers as my vision blurs and black dots creep at the corner of my vision. I grab hold of it and pray it's my gun.

I fire the first two shots blindly, managing to put a hole in the wall and window. I barely manage to bring the next two into the woman’s stomach. Her grip does not loosen in fact there is no sign she registered the bullet wounds at all.

Using what little strength remains to me I raise the colt action in a shaking hand. The raven haired woman glared at the barrel at her throat as if it were only a mild distraction for only a second before the shot was fired. She releases me from her grasp to slump to the floor. It’s like I’ve returned to the surface from the ocean floor, my breathing is heavy and my hands shaking. There are two bullets left and they have her name on them.

The floor is stained crimson. Almost believable but at second glance the texture isn’t there – not as thick as blood ought be. The hole went through her chin and out of the top of the skull. There's some cursory twitching of the body and one eye was darting about helplessly.

‘You must have cost a cred or two. Bright Star sure ain’t handing Androids like you out in spades.’ I mumbled to myself.

Her core systems were exposed out of the wound in her chest along with red liquid, and her CPU chip was most certainly compromised. Even for an MD, to have possession of an Android double was exceptional as it was unusual. Most were used on colonies, manual labour or frontline grunt work. An excessive ploy to protect the data disk that was most certainly not in the apartment.

I put two more bullets into the Androids head putting a stop to any further twitching. Security would be on the scene any second. I rush to the doors, tails of my duster chasing behind. I make my way north side keeping to the shadows of the apartment complexes. Word to seal off the district exits would be buzzed in any moment now.

I'll need to call in a favour in order to leave. Not a problem. The real problem remains the data disk. I look up to the sky above. EUN cruisers yawn like huge metallic whales, slowly cruising the sky above. The Creds should have told me this would be no simple retrieve. I straighten my jacket and calmly bring down my holo HUD. The data disk isn't going to find itself. It's like the Android said: to the ends of the universe.

Bishop
October 28th, 2014, 08:55 PM
The core of the story is good; the description is overwhelming. You have a strongly built world, a rooted backdrop to place any number of stories into. But the issue is that the patience of the reader might be tried. Each paragraph seems to contain some hint of background that's not plot relevant. This sort of descriptor push is accepted in literature, and is expected in science fiction. But in a smaller format, it begins to try on the reader. The first twelve paragraphs all occur before the main character arrives at the true setting for the story, where the confrontation will take place. We see that he gets a job, takes it, we see his uber high tech gear, and we see a whole lot of the city. But the issue is that once we leave that city in paragraph twelve, all of that description becomes nothing more than background for a stage we're no longer on.

I think you can get this story down to 1000 words, and retain all of the core features of the plot, the action, the characters, even the feeling of the city as we go. You're very good at describing things, we just don't need so much of it ;) Similarly, there's a lot of similies that aren't really necessary. They substitute one image for another, and while this can be powerful (blood smelling like pennies is the most commonly used one I can think of), it can also be distracting. You do a fine job with descriptors without them--I'd trim them.

'Dogman' gets a little overused as well. Within the conversation with the android, it gets said many many times. We know what he is, and while the term is another part of the world building, I just started to think that real people (and androids!) would not be so repetitious in their speech.

Good read, thanks!

EDIT: Also, when I think of the term 'mantis' I think of the bug, the praying mantis. Did you mean mantas?

Daniel Loreand
October 28th, 2014, 09:44 PM
Thanks for reading through mate! I really appreciate the feedback and I'll try and trim it down. And Mantis LOL! what a mistake, thanks for pointing out - I did mean Manta lol, what a fool. Also thanks so much for saying it's descriptive I thought my descriptions were completely useless and that it didn't build an image in the readers mind at all - I'll try and tone that down as well. If I may ask did you have any thoughts on the dialouge and such. Thanks again and I'll revise the story, you've been a big help.

Thanks again,

Daniel.

Bishop
October 28th, 2014, 09:56 PM
Thanks for reading through mate! I really appreciate the feedback and I'll try and trim it down. And Mantis LOL! what a mistake, thanks for pointing out - I did mean Manta lol, what a fool. Also thanks so much for saying it's descriptive I thought my descriptions were completely useless and that it didn't build an image in the readers mind at all - I'll try and tone that down as well. If I may ask did you have any thoughts on the dialouge and such. Thanks again and I'll revise the story, you've been a big help.

Thanks again,

Daniel.

My pleasure, was a fine read!

Loved the dialogue--aside from the overuse of the title term. Very straight, classic sounding sci-fi characters with a hard edge. It had some cliche moments, like "Last chance, Miss Means.", but I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. If you wanted it to be totally unique, maybe trim those sorts of statements out. If you want to appeal to guys like me who read Harry Harrison and Robert Heinlein like the gods they are... well, you get the idea. ;)

And about the descriptions: in a novel format, it'd be easy to get all of that in there and have it flow naturally. But it only sticks out because of this short format.

Daniel Loreand
October 28th, 2014, 10:02 PM
Wow, I don't think you know what this means for my confidence as a writer. Iv'e been practising my pros with short stories like this and the odd novella for about a year and a half now before delving into anything like a novel to get my skills up and it really helps to hear stuff like this. I just couldn't help myself with the 'Last chance, Miss means.' part haha. I totally get what you mean about the excess of the title and I'll try and trim that down as well. Again thanks so much!

Daniel.

TKent
October 29th, 2014, 12:19 AM
Hey Daniel,

Great job! I really loved your world building and the language/slang [creds/tourns/mantas - great stuff] you use in this piece. Great sci-fi. I'm writing a sci-fi short story myself and I have just put normal words in for now (like rap sheet) and hope to go back and think up some creative stuff to replace it!! Your story is very interesting as well! Grabbed my attention. I have gone through and provided some feedback. I will give you the standard disclaimer, that I'm just a hobbyist, but I do read a lot so hopefully I have brought a little value from that aspect..!! Keep up the great work!



Most people’s ups and downs are the product of promotions or demotions. Perhaps a bad trip on Trick or a relationship coming to an end. At worst for me the arse end of my day is spent chasing or helping a life come to an end. My whistle blows. Like the flick of a switch my thought activates the nano chip and the call is answered promptly. No need for finicky holo devices. Professionalism is key. The nano-tech was expensive to buy and even more so to illegally modify.

I walk the crowded streets of Rodust and hear only the contact. The custom chip blocks any interference or prying eyes. Not many folk have the Creds for such things but professionalism is key [repetitive] and my contacts needs be assured their conversation stays where it belongs.

The voice is unfamiliar and his tone direct and formal. I accept the contract. Ten thousand Creds. Nothing to shake my head at for a simple retrieve. The call ends and my ears are greeted by the roar of the three points. Relic-4 used to be a frontier planet until the Earths United Nations set up camp. Unlike most frontier planets Relic-4 was a relatively easy catch for the EUN.

Thing is, people here know no matter what banner this planet fly’s under, business’s gonna flow as usual. That was fairly recent as recent goes. Rodust is Relic-4's biggest city and here old habits die hard. Famed for its black market goods and a racketeering business so rooted into the city's history you’d think it was a tradition[period] Rodust is Relic-4’s biggest and shadiest ant colony.

People like me are common on Rodust. Dogmen been round long before the EUN was spreading its wings. Things need gettin' we're the ones to go fetch. Droves of people squeeze and shuffle past me[comma] all blots within a sea of writhing flesh. I keep my hands where they belong - inside my duster and close to my holster.

The hums of patrolling EUN assault cruisers hang in the hazy orange sky above, gargantuan sentinels of alloy looming down upon the whiz of the non-stop air traffic. Holo boards expunging the latest and greatest of the most superfluous products can barely be heard above the cacophony of noise.

Towering blocks and sky scrapers covered with flashy signs offer everything and anything and shady figures reach out from the shadows offering the best of bad goods. Dots in the sky smoke out of the small windows of their apartments that sprout up from the ground in tights formations, compact and cost effective.

Covering the maze of winding streets and plazas are makeshift stalls selling rusted and broken goods. [this was a little weird for me being separated from the comment above – sort of felt redundant so take a look if there is a way to get this thought together somehow – I loved the imagery of the shady figures in the above paragraph!!] Street wise locals lead bright eyed, cred heavy off-wordlers [sp] down secret passages to browse illegal goods while seedy clubs flaunt their newest girls.

Crowds of off-wordlers [sp] and aliens peddle their goods to a never-ending herd. Bug eyed Orbaros lay out cheap jewellery [sp] throwing about their gangly arms and shouting their overpriced goods in high pitch shrieks. Pairs of slumped and stocky Tourn poke at cheap meat frying behind ramshackle stalls while slumped silhouettes eat heads down on crooked stools.
[A lot of description here and it is all really good to me – paints a very vivid picture… for me personally though, I don’t think you need all of it. I’d suggest going through all of this and eliminating ‘ideas’ that you are repeating – you mention the peddlers selling stuff in 3 paragraphs in different ways – so there is an opportunity to cut/combine/rework that so that it is more efficient. There may be other opportunities, that’s just an example. It was a speedbump for me to hit that ‘idea’ in three separate paragraphs. I do this in my own writing by habit and am learning to go through and look for things I’ve said three times in different ways and cut some of it. Also, I might think of whether there is any interaction with a peddler or something that could take some of this ‘tell’ and turn it into ‘show’. Like maybe a peddler reaches out and grabs him or becomes overly aggressive trying to sell him one of the ‘bad goods’ and you could have a little dialog that would give the flavor of the peddler and get some of that out at the same time, maybe he is jousled by the crowd, etc.]

I wander through the streets and navigate through the herd driven highway. I get to a small alley and stop underneath an apartment’s railings by a hissing steamy grate. With a thought I bring down my cyber HUD. I sift through the translucent menu until I get to the info my contact linked to me - the Intel is detailed. It must have taken months to accumulate. Whoever hired me went through hell to get all this info.

Her image rotates slowly in my vision. Shellice Means, a managing director for Bright Star Industries Nanoscience division. Resides eastside in the EUN funded projects, a fancy district reserved for first class EUN citizens. Her schedule habits and work hours are all there. And according to the data she left her apartment an hour ago for work leaving the target, a data drive[comma] in a safe. No time like the present. I reach a cab point and order a Manta. It takes five minutes to arrive.

The Manta's auto-pilot guides the cab effortlessly through the chaotic blur of air traffic. The door whizzes open and the onboard AI asks for my destination. 'Erswell way apartment 6C.' I say quietly. There is a small hum as the Manta lifts off. The ship’s sleek and graceful design is based on an Earths sea creature of the same name. I believe they are extinct now. The thought fills my mind for the duration of the ride. [hmm… that last sentence sounded a little formal or something…maybe just: I think about blah blah blah …]

While landing I see Erswell flooded with security. There all private military goons - OneCall by the looks of things. The fleets and troops have their hands full trying to govern EUN space these days. That leaves former frontier planets to the mercy of PMCs.
I pay the fare and get off at the western checkpoint.

I am approached by a lurching Tourn. He stands about six foot in height slightly slumped with a strange boulder like head and narrow suspicious eyes. Their [I am not an expert but this didn’t sound right – I’d say ‘his’ since you already said ‘he’ above.] skin is hard and cracked, the texture of ash. I give him a good once over. 780 MM laser rifle, a quality weapon and not something you see every day. Decent make military grade alloy body armour too. His right arm was [tense change] prosthetic, a sleek chrome alloy that promised to pack a nasty punch. OneCall were [tense change or is this okay?] being paid a pretty credit to keep Rodust under heel.

The Tourn snorts and asks me in that broken voice of theirs [awkward to me to keep popping over to ‘their’ – I might try to word this differently so it isn’t necessary] for ID. I chuckle a little inside, the irony. Most of these OneCall uniforms are off-wordlers and aliens protecting the interests of wealthy first class human citizens. I place my thumb on his scanner while he stares disinterestedly at the screen. A small flicking noise, then the scanner flashes green. Custom ID is risky and expensive. But a Dogman worth calling can get around and to get around you needed custom ID.

Erswell is a world different to Central. White arbors coiled in vines and bright flowers lead to small garden pods in the apartment courtyards while soothing music is broadcast throughout the whole district. People didn’t [tense?] rush. They walked slowly and languidly reading or chatting in calm hushed voices. I follow the directions until I arrive at apartment 6C.

They all look the same, bar the numbers. The Intel included her apartments pass code. I punch the code in and the door opens soundlessly. I enter as if the place is my own, inside is standard fare. The room is an eye melting combination of white and black walls and floor. The living space is large and open.

I stand there for a moment, take it all in. There is a small dint in the seat facing the large rectangular window. Bowls and other appliances are left scattered about and a long smart black overcoat is hung on the door. I look for the access point. They [the access point? Wasn’t clear to me…] fulfil [sp] many needs but my concern is alerting security. They can be accessed manually or by an integrated nano device such as the one sitting on my frontal cortex. I spot it by the door on a small terminal. [you switch between ‘they’ and ‘it’ and it is awkward to me]

I bring down my holo HUD and connect it to the device. I begin the hacking process. It doesn't take long. Reams of code and digital information scans by my vision in seconds. I'm past her security. Shut it all down. 'Nice place isn't it.' the voice is calm with a touch of sadness to it.

I look up sharply, gun at my hip. Even for a Dogman plasma and laser weaponry is hard to come by. Military boys like it that way, gives em’ the edge. Besides I've come [become?] accustomed to my Colt single action - a replica of course.
'I was getting curious how long it would take for a dog to wander in.' She stood one foot crossed over the other in high heels that gave her a foot of height over me. Her raven hair knotted in circlets looks like a nest of adders while her bleach white dress clung to her curved frame.

'I'm here for the data drive.' I state.

'I know.' She moves to the view from the window, takes a seat. [this wasn’t clear to me – moving to the view from the window?] The world outside is calm.

'You weren't supposed to be here.' She chuckles at that. 'It will be easier if you hand over the data drive.' [Hmm.. the She chuckles at that made me at first think she was talking so the 2nd sentence didn’t make sense so I had to go back. Should this be broken up so that “she chuckles” is on its own line? I really don’t know…]

'I suppose it would, wouldn't it.' I move closer and stand over her. See her reflection in the mirror, steely blue eyes stare right back at me. [same thing here, having his movement with her line and her chuckle with his lines above are making me think that the dialog is from the other person.]

'Do you even know what is on that data drive?'

‘I'm not paid for my curiosity.' I reply adding a cursory shrug.

'You're a Dogman, let off his leash as it were. We knew someone like you would come. So, you’ll track me to the ends of the universe for your employer. That’s what I’ve heard of you Dogmen. Is that true?’ I can’t help but let loose a crooked smile. [same comment as above, move his smile to a separate line I think.]

‘Yes, of the good ones ma’am.’ She folds her arms slowly ‘And not once are you curious about what it is you are chasing?'

'I'm not the curious type.' Within the reflection I see her brow curving downwards in a frown.

'What type of Dogman are you then? The type negotiable to new employment perhaps, Bright Star could make use of a good Dogman.'

I softly place the barrel of the gun against the back of her head 'I'm the/a professional type. The data drive, please.'

‘Let me clue you in on what’s going on here Dogman. You are going down a rather steep rabbit hole that ends in a sharp drop. I’m offering the only clean way out.’ Her eyes narrow ever so slightly from within the windows perfect reflection.
‘Last chance Miss Means.’ My finger hovers over trigger. It’s an approach I’d rather not take as security could be here leaving me less time to crack the safe.

In a demonstration of surprising agility[comma] Shellice Means twisted [tense] her body around and sends my iron half way across the room with the lash of her hand, the force sending a quake of pain through my body. Caught off guard. My first mistake of the day.

Like a panther the managing director [who is the managing director? Miss Means? You call her Shellice Means and Ms. Means, I’d try to be consistent] lunges at me from over the couch and is on me in seconds. I throw my best punch I’ve got at her but it doesn’t even elicit a blink. Her elegant pale hands reach out for my throat but I manage to wriggle backwards suddenly feeling very out of control. I turn and crawl on all fours to my gun which is beginning to look like a shining beacon of hope. Inches away from the grip I feel a cold grasp take hold of me.

A cold and calculative expression is on the face of Miss Means as she crawls her way up my torso like a spider, hands reaching out seeking to choke the life out of me. I try throwing myself backwards, buy myself a few more inches closer to my weapon but her grip is one of iron.

She is on me, those cold dead eyes staring down as her hands wrap around my neck. I’m attacked with the vision [I think this could just be.. like a cobra blah blah] of a cobra squeezing the life out of a goat. My hands are flailing about like a fish on water. I feel something between my fingers as my vision blurs and black dots creep at the corner of my vision. I grab hold of it and pray it's my gun.

I fire the first two shots blinding managing to put a hole in the wall and window. I barely manage to bring the next two into the woman’s stomach. Her grip does not loosen in fact there is no sign she registered the bullet wounds at all. Using what little strength remains to me I raise the colt action in a shaking hand. The raven haired woman glanced [tense] at the barrel at her throat as if it were only a mild distraction for only a second before the shot was fired.

She releases me from her grasp to slump to the floor. It’s like I’ve returned to the surface from the ocean floor, my breaths [I’d say breathing is heavy] are heavy and my hands shaking. There are two bullets left and they have her name on it [them?]. The floor is stained crimson. Almost believable but at second glance the texture isn’t there – not as thick as blood ought to be.

The hole went through its [you have referred to ‘her’ up until now] chin and out of the top of the skull. There was [tense] some cursory twitching of the body and one eye was darting about helplessly. ‘You must have cost a cred or two. Bright Star sure ain’t handing Androids like you out in spades.’ I mumbled to myself.

Her core systems were exposed out of the wound in her chest along with red liquid[comma] and her CPU chip was most certainly compromised. Even for an MD, to have possession of an Android double was exceptional as it was unusual. Most were used on colonies, manual labour or frontline grunt work. An excessive ploy to protect the data disk that was most certainly not in the apartment.

I put two more bullets into the Androids head putting a stop to any further twitching. Security would be on the scene any second. I rushed [tense] to the doors, tails of my duster chasing behind. I make my way north side keeping to the shadows of the apartment complexes. Word to seal off the district exits would be buzzed in any moment now.

I'll need to call in a favour in order to leave. Not a problem. The real problem remains the data disk. I look up to the sky above. EUN cruisers yawn like huge metallic whales, slowly cruising the sky.
The Creds should have told me this would be no simple retrieve. I straighten my jacket and calmly bring down my holo HUD. The data disk isn't going to find itself. It's like the Android said: to the ends of the universe.

Daniel Loreand
October 29th, 2014, 02:27 AM
Woah... first, you're a legend. Second, you're still a legend. Third thank you so damn much! I have already amended the errors and jumbled sentences as best as I can per your suggestion - sometimes it takes a different set of eyes to point these things out. I really appreciate your feedback and critique - this is literally, exactly what I was looking for!

Also it means alot to hear you enjoyed the story. I have a real lack of belief that what I'm writing is visualised in the readers head or is at the very least entertaining - I appreciate the encourgment.

Thanks so much again,

Daniel.

TKent
October 29th, 2014, 02:35 AM
Glad I could help! Keep up the great work. Your descriptive skills are great and the story was very entertaining!


I have a real lack of belief that what I'm writing is visualised in the readers head or is at the very least entertaining

Bishop
October 29th, 2014, 03:55 AM
Woah... first, you're a legend. Second, you're still a legend. Third thank you so damn much! I have already amended the errors and jumbled sentences as best as I can per your suggestion - sometimes it takes a different set of eyes to point these things out. I really appreciate your feedback and critique - this is literally, exactly what I was looking for!


TKent is awesome; she's given me fantastically valuable advice on a big chunk of one of my novels.

Tyler Danann
October 29th, 2014, 04:51 PM
There's probably more tiny errors, but I noticed:

"A cold and calculative expression is on the face of Miss Means as she crawls her way up my torso like a spider, hands reaching out seeking to choke the life out of me. I try throwing myself backwards, buying myself a few more inches closer to my weapon but her grip is one of iron."

It reads nice and grungy, fitting the setting nicely. All the right balances and things are there. Short but sweet.

Daniel Loreand
October 29th, 2014, 05:54 PM
Thanks so much for saying it reads well and thanks for point out the error! I can't believe how helpfull everyone is being.

Bishop
October 29th, 2014, 05:59 PM
Thanks so much for saying it reads well and thanks for point out the error! I can't believe how helpfull everyone is being.

That's what we're here for!

pptranger
October 29th, 2014, 08:59 PM
Good story. I like the action, and the conversation / dialogue is good.

Two things. Longer paragraphs, and reading everything in present tense is difficult.