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The Specters (Chapter One Draft) (2 Viewers)

Cpkeyes

Senior Member
The Specters.
Chapter One.
“New Beginnings”

The building was of Moderne style, a strange sight compared to the Post-Modernism style buildings surrounding it. It was smaller too, only about seven storey’s compared to the ten or more storey buildings around it, it also lacked the vibrant neon signs and futuristic look of it’s neighbors, instead with a average commercial sign and a stone foundation. That is the Office of Intelligence headquarters, and walking towards that building was a man in military uniform with a tablet tucked under his right armpit. The man was handsome, with a brown struble and moustache and his brown hair well kept. He paced up to the front door of the headquarters, after giving his certifications to the two guards at the door they let him through. The interior of the building looked as outdated as the outside, a green rug and the paintings on the walls were the only thing that sparked any interest in the man. The man stood still for a moment, looking for someone until a hand grabbed his shoulder, he quickly turned only to find it was his father figure-John Miller. The man face gave a smile and he hugged John for a second before letting the formalities go and going back to being professional. John through seemed to not care.
“Nice to see you Nick,” He said, shortening his friends name, Nicholas.
“You too,” Nicholas replied. John smirked, the scar on his left cheek now noticeable. Nicolas knew that there were many scars on John’s body, he always wondered how John seemed to be a good mood all the time, judging by the story his visible scars told, no doubt he had more, ones that told more tales. Nicolas thoughts were broken by Johns voice.
“So, ready to see them?” John said, confusing Nicolas before he remembered what John was talking about. The unit that John chose Nicolas to lead which had brought great anxiety to Nicholas through the last few weeks not wanting to disappoint his father figure. Of course, if Nicholas failed, it was likely humanity in it’s entirety was doomed.
“Yes sir” Nicholas responded nodding while doing so. John smiled and turned towards a door, waving for Nicholas to come who followed. As they walked to the room that Nicholas would be meeting the soldiers chosen to put under his command, Nicholas went through the team composition on his tablet before something caught his interest.

There was only three of them. What? Only three guys? Nicholas thought, looking up from his tablet.
“Um, John, am I reading this right?” He asked, John turned his head towards him, still walking but a little slower.
“Yes, what, does something bother you?” He said.
“Yes, there’s only three guys on this. Is this is a mistake?” Nicholas questioned, he heard a sigh from John who stopped suddenly.
“No, that is your entire team” He said, a hint of annoyance in his voice, Nicholas worried if he annoyed John, but decided to continue to ask.
“What? Four guys against an alien empire?” Nicholas responded, confusion and disbelief in his voice.
“Yes” John replied, another sigh coming from his mouth. Nicholas eyes looked back at the tablet. He has to be bluffing he thought, he has to be.
“Why?” He asked, John took a minute to think on how to explain this before speaking again.
“They didn’t want to waste the money and time to train a whole platoon of elite soldiers, only to see them fail” He paused before speaking again.
“Hell, were lucky that they said yes to giving us power armor and specialized equipment” He finished.Nicholas knew who he was talking about, the heads of the Office of Intelligence and Gaia Defense Force. Nicholas never liked either, to him they were incompetent and made up of senile senior citizens that knew nothing about modern warfare or how to actually win a war. All Nicholas knew they did was accept, deny and cancel projects but they couldn’t even do that well. Nicholas nodded and they continued walking, Nicolas reading his tablet while they did so, reading the three others dossier's to himself.

Revan Kiowizk, likes to go by Rev. Noted for his skills in hacking and medical treatment, was a part of the Hussars before being put under my command. Good, we have a guy with drop pod experience he thought as he read through the first mans file, noting his experience with drop pods, and affinity to hacking. He looked at Rev’s picture, he was bald and had fair skin, besides that, nothing really noteworthy about his appearance, Nicolas slid down the scroll bar to the next one.

Malcom Snider, likes to go by Mac a GDF marine chosen for his marksmanship that puts most men to shame. Was a part of a gang before joining the marines to get away from it all. Noted for never questioning orders Nicholas thought while reading Mac’s dossier. He again looked at his picture. Mac was black with a crewcut and black moustache, the only other noteworthy feature was scars, probably from his gang days Nicolas inquired before sliding down to the last person.

Jonas Hendraz, a former member of the combat engineering corps, wow I wonder what his thing is Nicolas remarked on Jonas’s dossier before continueing to read he is trained in demolitions and repairing vehicles, didn’t see that coming Jonas sarcastically remarked before reading the rest of Jonas’s dossier, not seeing anything else of note on his appearance besides his hispanic features. He looked up to see that he was at the door where he was meeting his new squadmates. He felt anxious, not knowing what to expect from the other three or if they would make an effective squad. But they had to otherwise why would John pick them over thousands of other candidates like when he chose Nicholas to be the squad leader. John was the first to walk in, saying “Hello guys” before introducing Nicholas as he walked in.
“This is Nicholas, your squad leader” He said, Nicholas scanning the room before the three waved at him which he nervously returned. The mens appearances matched their pictures in their dossiers. John began to shake their hands, Nicholas followed through a bit nervous and worried, going through horror stories of what this squads fate would be.

Deep breaths Nick, Deep breathes he quietly said to himself, trying to calm himself down. John began to introduce Nicholas to the three through Nicholas only payed attention out of respect, he already knew what he needed to know from the dossiers.
The men looked at Nicholas as John introduced Nick in more detail, Nicholas could feel the panic coming through him, but kept himself calm. The men then stood up, shaking Nicholas’s hand one at a time before going back to where they were seated.
“You will be fighting together depending on each other for your survival and perhaps humanities survival. You are no longer grunts, but an elite squad of soldiers now” He said, Mac rose his hand.
“So, you expect us, four strangers to help your little experiment succeed?” He said. John nodded.
“Somewhat, you and your squad are a part of a project known as project greenhouse, the goal of this project is to find a way to bring this war into a stalemate until the Ragon give up” He said, Jonas raise his hand.
“Wait, we're not going to beat the Ragon but bring them into a stalemate?” He asked, John nodded.
“It has been decided that winning this war is impossible, but bringing the Ragon to a halt and forcing them to sign a peace treaty is our best option” He said, Nicholas was still disappointed by that decision, but was not surprised these guys didn’t know. The three men looked at each other, confusion on their faces. Rev then raised his hand.
“So, how is four guys going to help?” A hint of disbelief in his voice as he spoke, Nicholas shared the sentiment.
“Simple, do things that were once thought impossible” John said with certainty, something Nicholas liked about him, his ability to keep with his ideas and fight for them. The three men still looked questionably at John who maintained his composure as Nicholas expected from him. After a moment of silence Mac posed the inevitable question.
“Why us?” John took a minute to figure out how to word this.
“The reason I chose this lot is simple. You all perform your duties beyond expectations. The most important aspect of my choice was your loyalty to both your squad members and humanity itself” He said noticing the men were about to voice their objections he quickly added an important detail.
“This decision is final, you cannot leave this unit unless you get my permission” the three men eyes went wide before John pointed at Nicholas who stood straight.
“This is Nicholas, your squad leader. If you watch the news you will know that Nicholas is the youngest person to ever graduate the academy.” He waved goodbye.
“Good luck” He said as he walked out the door.

All three of the men stared at Nicholas with curiosity in their eyes. Mac was the first to stand his tall and well built frame now obvious. His was black like John and had a scar going down his cheek, his black hair was cut in a crew cut and his eyes told the story of man who had gone through hell and back. On his right and left arm were sleeve tattoo’s, some looked to be marine in origin other seemed to be gang symbols. He looked at Nicholas, before walking up to him, standing an inch over Nicholas. Nicholas couldn’t tell if he was trying to intimate Nicholas but stared him in the eyes, matching Mac’s stare.

“So, you OI?” Mac asked.

“Yes” Nicholas confirmed. Mac looked him up and down before smirking.

“I expected you to be a little taller and bigger” He said a hint of cockness in his tone. Nicholas looked at him, before sharing the smirk.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s color they always say” He retorted before Mac brought out his hand and shook hands with Nicholas. He then walked back to his seat before Rev got up. Rev was Kolandish in figure and his facial features gave it away. He was bald and had a Jroviast cross hanging on his neck. He also shook hands with Nicholas, not saying a word while going back to his seat. Jonas then stood, he was shorter than the others and had a headful of brown hair. He was young, not much older than twenty nine and shorter than Nicholas, who had to look down on him slightly. He also shook Nicholas hand winking while doing so. As Jonas took a seat Nicholas took of his hat wiping his brow with it. He pulled out his tablet, going through what was next. After a minute of flipping through his tablet he tucked it under his armpit and spoke.

“Okay boys, how that we have acquainted ourselves that’s all for today. We will be going to Fort Forney on Flesura for training tomorrow” He reported to the crew before straightening his posture and saluting. He walked out of the room, quickly taking out a pill box and swallowed two capsules. He felt anxious, the three in the room where the men he would be counting on to protect him and follow his orders. He doubted they knew each other before today and he barely knew them.

John, I hope you're right he thought as he walked out of the headquarters. As a taxi pulled up and began to take Nicholas to his apartment he couldn’t help but take out his canteen filled with alcohol and take a few sips, for some reason it helped Nicholas calm down, it just managed to slow down his thoughts and provide a stress relief.

When he arrived at his apartment it was twelve thirty, Nicholas was slightly wobbly but still managed to get himself to his room safely. He got in his nightwear and plopped himself on his bed, going to sleep.
 

Smith

The Fox
Senior Member
The Specters.
Chapter One.
“New Beginnings”

Changes will be made in red.

The building was of Moderne style, a strange sight compared to the Post-Modernism style buildings surrounding it. It was smaller too, only about seven storey’s compared to the ten or more storey buildings around it, it also lacked the vibrant neon signs and futuristic look of it’s neighbors, instead with a average commercial sign and a stone foundation. That is the Office of Intelligence Headquarters.

Instead of just telling us it was "of moderne style", and it "was a strange sight" and the surrounding buildings were "post-moderne", try showing it. I assume the story takes place in the United States. Try something like, "Amidst the buildings made almost entirely of glass and steel stood a smaller, modest stone structure. Where it lacked in the vibrant neon signs of its towering neighbors, it made up for in traditional architectural beauty, with the Great Seal of the United States carved into the weathered pediment." In that example I showed how it was out of place (i.e. a "strange sight") without actually having to tell the reader "it was a strange sight". I gave a good description that represented the older, moderne style of the headquarters, and the more contemporary offices and businesses surrounding it without having to say "this is moderne" and "that is post-moderne". Also, in my example, words such as 'smaller, modest, towering' all create a decent image for the reader without having to be awkwardly specific like "those buildings were x floors but this building was x floors".

That is the Office of Intelligence headquarters, and walking towards that building was a man in military uniform with a tablet tucked under his right armpit. The man was handsome, with a brown struble and moustache and his brown hair well kept. He paced up to the front door of the headquarters, after giving his certifications to the two guards at the door they let him through.


Adding onto my previous example, "Nicholas always thought you could appreciate it [the pediment] more without that old advertisement board plopped beneath. That's all he thought about while waiting for the guards to run his information. Well, other than how ridiculous it was that the same guards he sees on a daily basis still needed to check him, even in times like these. Hell, they even knew the names of eachother." That kind of thought adds a little depth to Nicholas. It makes him more real. This is important to establish in the beginning of a story. And the "even in times likes these" adds some foreshadowing to what he might do for a living, or why he is there.

The interior of the building looked as outdated as the outside, a green rug and the paintings on the walls were the only thing that sparked any interest in the man.

Semi-colon between "the outside" and "a green rug", not a comma.

The man stood still for a moment, looking for someone until a hand grabbed his shoulder, he quickly turned only to find it was his father figure-John Miller. The man face gave a smile and he hugged John for a second before letting the formalities go and going back to being professional. John through seemed to not care.

"he quickly turned only to find..." should definitely be a new sentence. "The man face..." should be "The man's face...". Apostrophe gives it possession. I'd also consider restructuring the sentence a little. "The man's face lit up for a second as they hugged, dismissing any air of professionalism. Not that they cared."

“Nice to see you Nick,” He said, shortening his friends name, Nicholas.

Don't do that. "... shortening his friends name, Nicholas." It is redundant, and almost a Captain Obvious moment. And 'he' in 'He said' doesn't need capitalization.

“You too,” Nicholas replied. John smirked, the scar on his left cheek now noticeable. Nicolas knew that there were many scars on John’s body, he always wondered how John seemed to be a good mood all the time, judging by the story his visible scars told, no doubt he had more, ones that told more tales. Nicolas thoughts were broken by Johns voice.

"Nicholas* knew that there were many scars on John's body." You spelled Nicholas wrong, marked by the asterisk. Also, put a period after 'body'. Actually, I think this section could just use a bunch of restructuring. "John smirked, the scar on his left cheek now noticeable, and there was no doubt he had more. Nicholas had heard the stories."

“So, ready to see them?” John said, confusing Nicolas before he remembered what John was talking about. The unit that John chose Nicolas to lead which had brought great anxiety to Nicholas through the last few weeks not wanting to disappoint his father figure. Of course, if Nicholas failed, it was likely humanity in it’s entirety was doomed.
“Yes sir” Nicholas responded nodding while doing so. John smiled and turned towards a door, waving for Nicholas to come who followed. As they walked to the room that Nicholas would be meeting the soldiers chosen to put under his command, Nicholas went through the team composition on his tablet before something caught his interest.

By the way, I forgot to mention that every time somebody new speaks it should be a new line. That's the correct way of formatting, at least for the sake of the forum. In other words...

"So, ready to see them?" blah blah blah...

"Yes sir" blah blah blah...

As you can see, there is an empty line in between. Again, you keep spelling Nicholas wrong. Make sure the spelling of his name is one or the other. Also, there should be a comma in the quotations of "Yes sir". Then it should be, "Nicholas responded, nodding while doing so." I would rephrase the sentence after that to something like, "John smiled and turned towards a door, motioning Nicholas to follow." Then following that, "Nicholas pulled up the unit composition dossier on his tablet, ready to meet the men."


There was only three of them. What? Only three guys? Nicholas thought, looking up from his tablet.
“Um, John, am I reading this right?” He asked, John turned his head towards him, still walking but a little slower.
“Yes, what, does something bother you?” He said.

Same thing about the formatting. The 'he' in "He asked..." shouldn't be capitalized. There should be a period after 'asked'. In John's reply, there should be a period after 'Yes' and then capitalize 'what'. Again, 'he' doesn't need capitalization. The only time you capitalize after somebody talking would be an example like this, [ "I can't believe you!" She said it with distaste dripping from her tongue, and proceeded to storm from the room on queue. ]

“Yes, there’s only three guys on this. Is this is a mistake?” Nicholas questioned, he heard a sigh from John who stopped suddenly.
“No, that is your entire team” He said, a hint of annoyance in his voice, Nicholas worried if he annoyed John, but decided to continue to ask.
“What? Four guys against an alien empire?” Nicholas responded, confusion and disbelief in his voice.

Period after "Nicholas questioned", not a comma. Then you would have to capitalize 'he'. You forget a comma after 'team' and uncapitalize 'he' again. Forgot a period after 'voice'.

“Yes[comma here]” John replied, another sigh coming from his mouth. Nicholas[apostrophe here] eyes looked back at the tablet. He has to be bluffing[comma here] he thought, he has to be.
“Why?” He[uncapitalize] asked,[replace comma with period] John took a minute to think on how to explain this before speaking again.
“They didn’t want to waste the money and time to train a whole platoon of elite soldiers,[remove comma, or replace with ellipsis] only to see them fail[period here]” He[good, this is when it is appropriate to capitalize] paused before speaking again.
[should be on previous line if he's still talking]
“Hell, we[apostrophe here]re lucky that they said yes to giving us power armor and specialized equipment” He finished.Nicholas knew who he was talking about, the heads of the Office of Intelligence and Gaia Defense Force. Nicholas never liked either, to him they were incompetent and made up of senile senior citizens that knew nothing about modern warfare or how to actually win a war. All Nicholas knew they did was accept, deny and cancel projects but they couldn’t even do that well. Nicholas nodded and they continued walking, Nicolas reading his tablet while they did so, reading the three others dossier's to himself.

...

Alright, I think that is enough. I think you would benefit first from better formatting, and improving your grammar skills and conventions such as using dialogue correctly. Keep writing, and keep those three things in mind when you go back and edit. Don't forget to revise. A lot of your sentences and dialogue can be improved by removing some things, rewording, restructuring, or adding some things. If you want me to go into more detail about that, or have any questions, let me know.

And like I said, keep writing.
 

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