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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









QuoProQuid posted:

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

As a rule only have clichés or standard turns of phrase where you're going to subvert them or add an additional layer of meaning - this does neither.


Word Count: 718
Element: Hydrogen


Emilie’s husband spoke in a low voice, “It’s okay, Emmy. It’s okay. I’ve got you.”

He squeezed her wrist and looked at the man next to him, “Paul, run to the ship’s doctor and bring him here. She’s having a fit.” This is a super dull opener. Start with the thrashing and you can have the reader wondering what's going on.

Emilie no longer knew where she was. At this stage neither do I, I'll get together with Emilie and have a confusion party Breathing stopped, the muscles in her face flexed. She scrambled her legs, trying to get up but only jerked around useless I tried understanded this grammar but tenses words make incomprehending. Paul’s hand slipped from her wrist. Her second attempt to get up caused her legs to tangle around themselves and the chair slid out from underneath her body. She felt her head smash to the floor but there was no pain. Images raced through her mind. you're about to show us the images, you don't need to give us a teaser Her mouth tasted like copper wiring.

Paris was broken but London still burned. She could taste the rot seeping through her. The bombs had destroyed everything. No museum was left standing but even this was insufficient.

Something hard and cold forced its way over the ruin of her tongue. In the distance, weeping and the gnashing of teeth. People backed away as she writhed, chairs toppled over and dishes smashed. She forced away her senses in favor of delirium. The visions were clearer.

Stalingrad was only a memory. The Eagle marched onward, fearsome and terrible, defiling everything in its midst. Only disaster could slow its progress. How would they explain their failure to future generations?

“Emmy, Emmy!” it was a chant, a ritual that her husband liked to perform before unwilling audiences. Was it love or hate she felt? Her head felt hazy.

These zeppelins are vulnerable. One spark! One spark and they would collapse in a cacophony of flames. 'cacophony of flames' is the sort of phrase you should type then immediately delete, chuckling softly and shaking your head What would Hitler say to that? How weak he would seem then!

It was in these moments that she understood everything. Her husband dismissed the fits as the product of misplaced electric signals, but Emilie knew better. She had dumped the medicine bottle in the sink, wondering if its contents would end up in the Arctic. It was her quiet rebellion against tyranny. fight the power (raises clenched fist)

The airship burst into flames and fell upon the moor-masting. The Eagle’s spies cooked alive, their plans were ash in her mouth. She knew what was needed. She understood God’s plan.

The doctor arrived. He bent over Emilie’s form and turned her over, allowing her secretions is she an oozing snail lady or something to drain. There they sat for several minutes as the tremors stopped and the visions faded. She could hear people exhaling in relief a sharp-eared oozing snail lady as she finally stopped moving.

“Madame,” said the doctor in a thick German accent, “Do you know where you are?”

She did not want to respond but forced words through the exhaustion and swollen tongue, “An airship.”

“Can you tell me what the name of the ship is?” If she ignored the swastika lapel, the doctor seemed like a very nice man.

“The Hindenburg.”

“Good. And what year is it?”

A pause. Perspective - this is omniscient.

“1937?”

The doctor smiled and looked at her husband.

“I think the worst is over. Does your wife have a history of seizures?”

“Yes, but this is the first major episode that she’s had in some time. She’s been taking phenobarbital for the last couple years.”

“These things do tend to come and go. I’d like her to stay in bed until we get to New Jersey. The supplies on board really only deal with minor injuries. It will only be a few more hours. She can be taken to a hospital when we land.”


Emilie’s husband nodded and without another word, scooped her up from the floor. She rested her head against her husband’s shoulder as he carried her to the room.

“You really gave me a scare,” he said after depositing her on the bed, “I thought you’d swallow your tongue.”

She stared at the ceiling in silence. The room seemed to throb.

“Are you going to be alright?”

Emilie turned her head toward him, “Yeah, I know what I need to do.” Is 'yeah' in period?

“Do you want me to see if I can get some sedatives from the doctor?” he said, misinterpreting her once again. how does this follow as a misinterpretation?

She smiled, “That would be lovely, Erich.”

He left the room. Emilie allowed herself to wait several minutes before getting up again. Although her limbs felt heavy, Emilie knew that she had a duty to perform, an obligation to God. It would not take much to ignite the hydrogen in the ship. Ookay. So epileptic sees visions, blows up Hindenberg, the end. I don't see the point to this story. The husband is a non-entity, the wife is an oozing dream terrorist and we know that her efforts aren't gonna stop WW2 so that's a shrug cherry on the WGAF sundae.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 06:19 on Feb 13, 2014

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Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club

Grimey Drawer

I'm in

Walamor
Dec 31, 2006

Fork 'em Devils!


God Over Djinn posted:

Thunderdome LXXX: "Why don't you ask your huge cock?"

Tell me a story about your life. It can be poignant, it can be hilarious, it can be sad, whatever you like. What it can't be is self-deprecating or self-aggrandizing (unless you want to lose).

I'm in!

elfdude
Jan 23, 2014

Mad Scientist

Ugh. Misspost. Was trying to post a redo of my modern magic story in the fiction farm.

elfdude fucked around with this message at 05:41 on Feb 13, 2014

Fumblemouse
Mar 21, 2013


STANDARD
DEVIANT


Grimey Drawer

In with a tale so incredible, it could only be true. And about me. And possibly one other person. No, make that two. At least two other people.

curlingiron
Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!


Okay, I think I need a flash rule, since the more I think about it, the more the story I wanted to tell becomes an Amusing Anecdote. Also I apparently work better under constraints, or something.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


curlingiron posted:

Okay, I think I need a flash rule, since the more I think about it, the more the story I wanted to tell becomes an Amusing Anecdote. Also I apparently work better under constraints, or something.
Story must have a recogniseable plot: Beginning --> Middle --> End, Character --> Opposition --> Resolution, all that Jazz. No vignettes or shoe-gazing.

I'm not a judge but screw you guys I'm flash rulin' anyway.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


sebmojo posted:

martello to the courtesy judgephone

I'm judgin' em today, promise

:toxx:

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I gotta drop. Plane leaves earlier than I thought it did, and the bank chose a hell of a time to wrongly suspend my debit card. As much as I love writing, I've got a real world crisis to deal with. I'll try to tidy up/post the draft I've been working on if tomorrow turns out less insane than expected, but I wouldn't count on it.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


curlingiron posted:

Okay, I think I need a flash rule, since the more I think about it, the more the story I wanted to tell becomes an Amusing Anecdote. Also I apparently work better under constraints, or something.

:siren:Your story takes place at/around a dinner table.:siren:

No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax


Sitting Here posted:

:siren: Thunderbrawl: No Longer Flakey v God Over Djinn :siren:

Some people who have read a lot of my writing know I'm all about DREAMY DREAM DREAM THINGS and the dreams they happen in.

So. You both have 1500 words to tell me a story about dreams encroaching upon reality. This can be genre fic, but doesn't have to be.

Due date: Thursday, February 13th at 11:59:59 PM, PST

Go.

Friday Review
1431 Words
By No Longer Flaky (Writer of such hits as “Grug’s Harvest” and “Life’s a Rat Race”)

I was the only one who had their review on Friday, and it was scheduled bright and early in the morning. Everyone else had their reviews on Monday. The start of the new month. That didn’t bode well for my review prospects. I knew I had an off year, but I didn’t think I’d underperformed that terribly.

I got in about thirty minute or so early. I’d been having trouble sleeping the last few days. By the time five am rolled around and I was on my third hour of sportscenter I decided I might as well head in to work.

I sat down at my desk at around six. I was an hour early. I was staring at my monitor trying to figure out what to do at work this early when my keyboard started its tap-tap-tapping its way around the desk. Its keys flying off as if thrown in ecstasy. I tried to roll backwards in my chair to give the board more space to move, but I found that the wheels in my chair wouldn’t budge. I looked down to inspect the locking mechanism and found my chair completely lacking in any locking mechanism whatsoever. At this discovery, my chair unfroze and I rolled backwards, banging into the desk behind me. The keyboard jumped back into place in front of my monitor at the loud smack of the chair’s collision.

“Holy poo poo,” I said.

I touched the keyboard and found nothing out of the normal. I decided some coffee would calm my nerves. In the break room, the coffee pot was full, so I poured myself a cup. The coffee was a black goop that slowly dripped into my mug. Obviously someone had left the pot sitting overnight. I attempted to pour my mug out into the sink but the coffee didn’t budge. It was a gummy tar solid in its resolve to remain in the conglomerated safety of my mug. I violently shook the mug then rapped it in the sink, hoping to knock chunks of coffee out. Nothing worked.

“God drat it!” I yelled.

I slammed the mug down, coffee slopped onto the counter. Maybe warm water would loosen up the coffee, I thought. I turned on the hot water.

Just then something dark streaked across the peripheral of my vision. I jerked my head around, surprised by the movement. Nothing was there. Did a mouse just run under the vending machine? I crouched down on my hands and knees to get a good look under the vending machine. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, just some cobwebs and trash.

The fluorescent bulbs flashed on. “What are you doing down there, Jim?” A voice asked.

I started and turned around quickly. Tyler, my boss, was staring down at me. “I thought I saw something.”

“What was it?”

“Nothing, I guess.” I stood up.

Tyler frowned, looked me up and down and said “Rough night?”

“Not too bad. Just need some coffee in me.” It was bad though. If I didn’t get some sleep I was fit to lose my mind. I felt like I was an animated corpse, like a necromancer somewhere was forcing my body to dance on a string.

“You look like you could use a bit more than coffee. Your yearly review’s today, remember?” Tyler turned off the water, examined my mug and put it back into the cabinet. “I’ll brew some new coffee, we’ll have your review when the new pot is ready.”

I left the break-room and bee-lined to the bathroom to clean up. I studied myself in the mirror and saw myself as Tyler must have. Sweat beaded on my head forehead, large puffy pink bags were under my eyes. A few strands of hair stood up in the back of my head like a chickens feathers. I had forgotten to shower before I came in! Dammit, real professional Jim. Real professional, I thought. Then laughed at my reflection in the mirror.

I wet my hand to smooth my hair down when my nose started to elongate. It stretched and grew. The soft skin transforming to a hard mass, and as it elongated it started to expand and converge with my mouth. I reached up to touch it and found my arm was covered in white feathers.

My arm was a wing?

I screamed in surprise, but what came out instead was a loud “Brawk!” I strutted back from the mirror, almost tripping over my feet. My suit bulged at the waist and chest. My white feathers poking through my chest in random places. My pants pooled around my three-clawed feet. I don’t know where my shoes went.

Near my foot my phone started to ring. I pecked downward towards it, my head bobbing with each peck. Ring rinnnnnng. Peck. Ring rinnnnnng. Peck. Ring rinnnnnng. At the end of the third rinnnnnng my feet slipped on the tile floor mid-peck. I lost my balance and smashed my head into the sink.

I rubbed my head with normal hands and sat up. The door to the bathroom jerked open and Tyler’s head popped in.

“What happened? I’ve been looking all over for you for the last fifteen minutes,” Tyler said.

“I dropped my phone,” I mumbled still rubbing my head. I looked down at my phone and the screen was blank, no call notifications.

“Come on, let’s get this review over with,” Tyler said.

I followed him to his office. I felt a strange sense of finality as I walked behind him, like this was the last time I’d be having a review in this office. Strangely, it didn’t bother me too much. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the smack to my head or the lack of sleep but I felt disconnected from all of it. Like I was watching myself from outside my own body. I laughed to myself as I saw myself start to alternate long strides with my left leg and short strides with my right.

He opened the door to his office quickly and ushered me in motioning to one of the metal chairs facing his desk. He took a seat at the desk and arched his fingers together like he was attempting to create a finger version of the Eiffel tower. He gazed at his creation for what seemed like longer than it actually was then said “As you’ve probably heard, our company is doing some downsizing.”

He talked to the Eiffel tower more than he did me. “You know how the economy is, my hands are tied in this manner.” To me, his hands didn’t look tied at all, they looked like a tower from Ireland. Or was it France?

He continued “I’ve had to make some hard decisions, and unfortunately, the company is going to have to let you go.”

I was expecting this. The words seemed to remove a weight from me, or add a weight. I’m not sure which. All I know is after I heard them I was more tired than I’d ever been in my life. Like they sapped the energy from my body, as if I were a monstrous steam powered machine that had just had the coal stolen out of its furnace.

“Ok,” I said.

The rest of the meeting was a blur. I didn’t care what he had to say so much as I wanted to take a long rest. He finished his speech to the Eiffel tower, so we both stood up.

“Take care,” he said extending a hand out to me. Somewhere miniature imaginary Parisians lost their world renowned tower.

I shook it and said “You too.”

I cleaned out my cubicle and left the office.

I walked to my car quickly. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds, incredibly bright for the early morning. My car was warm, the seat more comfortable than any I’d ever experienced. Suddenly, with a jolt, the aluminum metal siding fell away, revealing a wooden chariot. In my hands, the steering wheel was replaced by leather reigns. The engine disappeared and in a haze of smoke a fiery stallion took its place. It snorted loudly. I whipped the reins and I was off and away. We took off into the air, leaving the city and office buildings behind. I climbed through the atmosphere and then I was in space. Speeding through the solar system, a trail of warmth and fire left in my wake. I stared into the horizon. Into the void of the new, of the unknown, of the infinite.

Palisader
Mar 14, 2012

DESPAIR MORTALS, FOR I WISH TO PLAY PATTY-CAKE


I'm in.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


God Over Djinn versus No Longer Flaky DREAMBRAWL

Intellectual Property (1497 words)

The dream sat on Hal’s desk, glittering insolently. Four hours of meticulous copyright searches, cross-referencing every iota of content against GoogleSoft’s intellectual property database, and even SIGMUND was doing a good facsimile of frustration: there was absolutely nothing, as far as Hal could tell, that he could place a claim on. He tossed his Glasses onto his desk.

“What, you lose your streak?” said his cubemate.

“Don’t even ask,” said Hal.

He’d been half a day from beating his record. Two hundred and eighty-six dreams in a row had returned a chime of automatic success from Siggy’s dream-drive. Hal had the happy message memorized: GoogleSoft property automatically identified (p>0.9999). Refer for manual claim arbitration. Then pneumatics whooshed them off to the interns, who pinged their counterparts at Sony-Mars, requesting 82% of profits from this dream, 54% from that.

But now this intransigent dream blinked softly, reflecting off of Hal’s latest Employee of the Week award. Not only did it defy SIGMUND’s auto-characterization, Hal’s manual searches had yielded zero GoogleSoft content. Not a single McDonalds, no Pixar characters, no scenes from any Spielberg movies, no Beatles soundtrack, nothing inspired by SexTube or Super Mario Brothers. Two possible conclusions, both dire: maybe Hal had stumbled upon the very first dream composed entirely of Sony-Mars-inspired content, no GoogleSoft whatsoever. Or, Hal had made his first mistake in eighteen years at the IP office. Either, he realized with dread, would require a trip to middle management.

Sweat trickled from under Hal’s shirtsleeves as Rachida reconfirmed SIGMUND’s calculations. Over her shoulder, he could just make out the error messages: No match, no match, no match. He composed a look of empathetic corporate horror. But when Rachida turned to him, she was grinning ferally. “Do you realize what we’re looking at here, Hal?” she said. “Think: who would only dream about Sony-Mars stuff?”

Hal strained for ideas. His brain felt whitewashed, the satisfying back-and-forth patter with cheerful SIGMUND winking away in the sunlight. “Somebody who lives in the Sony-Mars compound?” he offered.

“Dream a little bigger, Hal. Even they go out to see a movie once in a while. No,” said Rachida, voice lowering, “what we’re looking at here is something more important. This is obviously a Sony-Mars experiment, and they were sloppy enough to let it end up in our dreamcatchers. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Suddenly, Hal no longer felt like a worm on a rainy sidewalk.

“Hal, I’m putting you in charge of this. You’ve always done good, clean work. Figure out exactly what Sony-Mars content is in there. And get a lead on the dreamer, too. Put together a report, and we’ll take it upstairs tomorrow morning.”

The prospect of doing a good job made Hal shiver with delight. There was just enough space on his cubicle wall for another award. He might even win them the inter-departmental pizza-party contest.

His cubemate cursed him amicably when she heard the news. She hoped the dream turned out extra-porny, she told him. “That’s statistically unlikely,” he said. “Since the SexTube merger, I’ve hardly seen more than -”

“Stop pontificating,” she said. “Go work on your special project, you big man.”

Three hours later, Hal’s eyes focused and defocused as Siggy thrummed out yet another row of unsatisfying results: No match identified for Sony-Mars property (p<0.025). Sony-Mars liked to obfuscate their feature-sets: hunting down their property in a dream was like doing Hal’s day job blindfolded and backwards. He sighed, and requested a full automated analysis.

475 minutes remaining, read the projector. Then the timer twitched slightly and ticked over: 478 minutes remaining. Hal gazed glazedly at the report’s header: Complete Analysis of Dream #A46C0, Dreamer identity: ___________.

Well, he could start with that. Identities of dreamers were nominally anonymous, at least until the dream was ported and packaged for sale, but in practice they were forfeit: anybody who’d discussed last night’s dream on GoogleSoft Plus had already been cross-referenced, name, voice-print, and all. Siggy Gibbs-sampled furiously, causing a soothing vibrating sensation in Hal’s temples. As the day-shift interns paraded out of the building like so many ducklings, Hal found himself dozing off.

Siggy’s chipper pinging startled him awake, blinking. Hal’s name and corporate identity signifier flashed on the screen: Harold Jonathan “Hal” Mullins-Kilpatrick, 0xB668AD4.

For ten seconds doze-addled Hal failed, open-jawed, to internalize. “What?” he said to the dark and empty cubicle bank. “It wasn’t my dream, Siggy, don’t play weird pranks.” He thumped himself on the side of the head, wondering what being hacked by Sony-Mars felt like.

He had SIGMUND rerun the dreamer-identification algorithms. Twice. Then anger set in. Hal Googled the main line for Sony-Mars’s corporate office, tapped in the number, erased it, tapped it in again, and hung up as soon as the line buzzclicked into action. It couldn’t have been him. He hadn’t even had a dream since college. If he could just find one fingerprint of GoogleSoft or Sony-Mars -- then something dinged.

Siggy was offering results he’d been background-processing. “Okay, let’s see what they managed to get into my head,” said Hal, feeling bile slide up his esophagus.

No whole or partial Sony-Mars corporate property detected (p < 0.0008). Recommending exclusive proprietary claim.

Hal had a sudden vision: reaching into his ear with a dental pick, yanking out the offensive dream, and presenting it to Rachida, who’d reward him with a private parking space.

Viewing someone else’s dream prior to porting meant risking a nasty neuronal-incompatibility fever. But if the dream was actually his own, he realized, what risk was there? Hal grabbed an immersion helmet, overrode, for the first time, Siggy’s complaints about signature approval, and took a deep breath.

When he opened his eyes, he was shivering on a wild moor. Gorse and heather grabbed at his pants-cuffs. Grouse chattered in the distance. I’ve never seen anything like this, Hal thought, although it does look a bit like a Peter Jackson flick - and he stretched out a shaking hand, and touched the horizon.

In all directions he was bounded at arm’s-length: the distant trees, the horizon, the sky, as if they were projected to a screen three feet from his face. Hal whimpered. He poked a patch of sky with one finger, and then leaned on it, and pushed - and broke through with a crunch, collapsing to his knees on a moor very much like the one he’d left, but sunnier, and with more room to breathe.

He was holding, he realized, a bundle of planks. He felt their weight in his arms, rough and warm. And when he looked at his feet they were bare, and he was standing, sinking into soft ground, in the center of a tamped-dirt square. And Hal heaved the planks to the ground, and began to build.

Lats and deltoids unfurled from years of aggressive ergonomicity. The fog burned away and Hal began to sweat. He looked at his chest, and his PlastiFiber dress shirt was gone. He looked at his hands and they were gloveless and calloused. The planks stayed nailless in place, held by faith. Hal clambered upwards, staying astride the swaying tower that rose from his hands. It towered as he built beneath him upwards and dizzyingly upwards, until the brown grassblades became a carpet became a solid wave of color a thousand feet below, until the sun became a mirror, a billion radiant LED pinpoints.

And Hal reached out a hand and created. He painted the sky in a salmon-and-tangerine sunset unlike anything he had seen in a film, and he spattered the ground with villages like nothing from a Sony-Mars commercial, with wells filled with icewater he’d never tasted in a GoogleSoft franchisee restaurant, and he constructed laughing children he had never seen in sitcoms, and he gave them homes and made them love and hate and fight and weep and sing. And oh, that singing. Oh, those songs that Hal had never heard before. He stood atop his tower and stretched out his arms and conducted a chorus of a thousand improvisations.

And he woke up gasping on the manicured carpet (proprietary nylon-polypropylene blend) next to his Aeron desk chair (longstanding GoogleSoft subsidiary). He clutched the immersion helmet to his chest like a child, not knowing when it had fallen off. He lay under the half-strength nighttime fluorescents, listening to the burble of night-shift interns downstairs.

“Siggy?” he said.

Ready for prompt, responded SIGMUND, who suddenly sounded very much like a computer going through machine-learning routines. Somewhere, a cursor blinked.

“Nevermind,” said Hal. “Log out.”

Hal walked out into a glorious Tuesday-morning sunrise, clutching his Employee of the Week placard under an armpit. He dropped it into a trash compactor under the industrial dream-catchers, where it made a satisfying glass-crunch. Maybe, he thought, he’d buy a notebook. Could you still buy notebooks these days, or was that just something he’d seen in movies?

Regardless, Hal thought, he’d like to write down that dream.

Nikaer Drekin
Oct 11, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

Aaaghh I guess I'll be in for this one. A flash rule would be welcome, too!

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Nikaer Drekin posted:

Aaaghh I guess I'll be in for this one. A flash rule would be welcome, too!

:siren:Flash rule: Your story centers on something that hasn't happened yet.:siren:

Mister Morn
Feb 9, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I have something I'd like to write about, but my writing-fu is rusty and I need an extra restriction. Someone flash me, please.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Mister Morn posted:

I have something I'd like to write about, but my writing-fu is rusty and I need an extra restriction. Someone flash me, please.

High altitude.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


In. With a :toxx:

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Martello posted:

Write up to 2000 words of cyberpunk/technoir/space-based near-future sci-fi. Any of those three, interpreted how you want. Writing about violent criminals and street mercenaries (my ouvre, in other words) may get you bonus points but ain't necessary at all. If you write a cyberpunk oppressed housewife story that gets the cyberpunk part across in a way that makes sense, I'll probably like it even more.

Deadline is Sunday night. If that's too short, let me know and we can figure something out.

so like, write some poo poo

Yeah this is late I guess but since you guys were like TWO WEEKS late I'm not exactly shedding any tears of guilt.

Sitting Here posted:

:siren: Sitting Here v. Echo Cyberbrawl :siren:
Park Life

So this is kind of post-apocalyptic with a little bit of cyberpunk/whatever thrown in. That's fine, I wasn't trying to get you two to adhere to some Gibsonian ideal of 80s cyberpunk. Let's talk specifics.

Setting

In general, the people in the domes are kind of generic white American. Maybe you're trying to say something with this, but if so I didn't figure it out. To me it just smacks of lazy naming. You had Vijo-Ryu Goggles, why couldn't the protag be named Malena or Liang or Monifa? Little Junie Shipping sounds like something from Little House on the Prairie. Maybe that's what you were going for, but it just doesn't sound right. I get that the people in the Park are supposed to be backwards so it makes a certain amount of sense, but if this is far future America you'd think the pot would be a little more melted at this point.

The Cloud. So I know why you picked that term, but c'mon. Nobody's gonna start calling the internet the Cloud. It'll be the internet until the sun burns out. Language doesn't change the way it used to. Sure, slang comes and goes, but American English has become very stable due to the immortality of the printed (or coded) word. You're making a common near-future sci-fi blunder where you try to get cute and futurey with your tech when you should just stick to the established lingo for things that already exist. The Goggles are all good, though. We're getting there.

The domes. I like this. The epidemic storyline has been done a million times, but who the gently caress cares? It works when you do it well, which you did. You leave the workings of the domes just enough of a mystery for me to want to know more. Who's keeping them running? Do the domes produce anything for the outside world? Are the cityfolk using them for insidious social experiments? The idea isn't perfect, though. I find it difficult to believe that "no one wanted to leave unless everyone left." Rachel wouldn't be the first adventurous kid to want to get out of there. It’s not a huge negative, but since the plot rides on the idea you could come up with a stronger reason why. It might make more sense if the domers thought the crisis was still ongoing. The paranoia keeps em in.
Rachel’s saving dollars? Like, paper money? Do you think New Reno would use that poo poo still? Maybe, but likely not.

Overall, you capture a nice near-future feel. Not too much tech to get boring, and enough that it’s more than just a veneer. There are some holes but nothing game-breaking.

Characters

Rachel is an okay character, I guess. She’s a little bland for a short piece. This could work in a novel or longer short – you have the space to develop her character. In something this short it would pay to make her more decisive, or aggressive, or in some way more externally interesting. She’s not bad, just a little weak.

Delta seems like this whack-a-do social worker type, which fits her role. She, too, could use some juicing up. Again, with a short piece, it’s always good to make your characters more outstanding in some way. Give her a verbal tic, something to set her dialogue apart from Rachel’s.

Your characters do their jobs. They aren’t spectacular, but they get it done.

Plot

The plot’s nice but there’s not enough conflict. The bit in the beginning with the lovers trying to find a place to bang – yawn. You can do better than that. What would even happen if they found Delta? Who would they tell? She makes her entry of the dome public anyway. What does it matter? Something like a couple of trigger-happy guards would be better. Something dangerous that creates tension.

We know Rachel is gonna leave. You need to make us wonder. Give her better reasons to stay. Make her argue with Delta. Put some emotion into it. Right now there aren’t any stakes. We don’t know anything about Mom and her Goggles. What’s Rachel leaving behind? Make us feel her struggle.

The plot, like the characters, is workaday. It serves us the burger and fries, with a smile but not much else.

Echo Cian posted:

Brawl vs Sitting Here

Exploits
1894 words

Setting

This is much more sci-fi. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing here, because what matters is whether it works. Let’s see.

The tech is mostly spot-on. You give just enough without going into nuts and bolts. I can buy almost all of it. Except the Circuit. So, this is a thing that can break down a human body – and presumably pretty much any other matter – into “data.” What do you mean by “data?” This is worse than transporters in Star Trek and every other fictech that converts matter to energy. This is a world where all these animals are extinct and the environment is hosed, and apparently unfixable. But, people can turn into data. Nope.

So what’s up with the elves? Is this Shadowrun? Or is it ELF, like Electronic Life Form or something? If so, and if only elves can use the Circuit, you can ignore my prior complaint. I was hoping that was the case when I read it, but even on a second read-through I see you didn’t say anything like “the fast travel system for us elves” or whatever. If they’re just regular elves, why? What does it do for the story? It comes out of nowhere and you spend words saying “elf” and describing the differences between them and humans when you could just call them robots or whatever. One way or another, you can’t just leave elves in a cyberpunk world hanging. They have to make sense.

Moving on. Bunraku box sounds cool but doesn’t bunraku mean “puppet?” Unless I missed something I’m not seeing anything puppety about these things. The concept is cool but the name makes no sense to me.

A lot of the other stuff is great – augmented reality displays, unobtrusive augmentations, etc. I can really “see” it.

Characters

The protag is unnamed. The protag has no name. She has no name. Why? Nameless protagonist is an old and tired trope that never really did anything for anybody. Send that old horse to the glue factory. Give your lady a name.

She’s fine otherwise. She’s this gritty black marketeer, tough and resourceful. She jumps off the page. I just wish she had an effing name.

The side characters are good. Each one has a defining characteristic. Tegal has his dumb mood tattoo, Mr. Allen is a slimy gently caress, Gaddy is a back-stabbing conniving bitch. Like I said for T-Dog above, characters in short stories need to be a little exaggerated. You did that here.

Plot

Betrayal is one of the most common plot devices in the book. For a reason. It works. And it works here, too. I didn’t necessarily see it coming, though a short piece like this isn’t really long enough to even get you wondering. But you pull me right through the story. It was an easy read, and I was satisfied at the end. Good stuff.

Oh, and I really like “the cat caught with the canapé.” Made me smile.

Judgement

Echo wins this one. Your story is competent overall and gives me the sci-fi punch I wanted. I just wish I knew why there are elves and how matter converts to data.

Sitting Here, I didn’t hate your story by any means. I think you need more time and space for this one. If you ever end up expanding it, share it on Drive so I can see where you go with it.

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005


Did I say I was in? I don't think I actually posted that I was in.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Jonked posted:

Did I say I was in? I don't think I actually posted that I was in.

What are you talking about dude, you totally did.

Jonked posted:

Totally in. Also flash rule for myself "Has to be set in Estonia" and "Can't include pronouns". :toxx:

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi
Mar 26, 2005



It's been a long time since I did one of these so count me in.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Guess who's back with a brand new lap(top).


I'm in. Not written words for quuuuuuite a while. And I'm busy for all the days left to submit. However, PAIN IS TEMPORARY, GLORY ETERNAL

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







Jeza posted:

Guess who's back with a brand new lap(top).


I'm in. Not written words for quuuuuuite a while. And I'm busy for all the days left to submit. However, PAIN IS TEMPORARY, GLORY ETERNAL

:swoon:

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Mercenzahn Facepunchbrawl + Thunderdome 80 (Imagine the roman numerals yourself, lazy fucker)

RULES, SO MANY RULES posted:

Write the story of a character (or characters, if you're feeling stupid/ambitious) struggling with a Temptation. I expect a full character arc, and will be giving you the space to do so. Whether the character is destroyed or redeemed is up to you. Structurally, the story must be split into at least two distinct scenes. You may add more scenes if necessary, up to wordcount.

Further, pick two from the following list and incorporate them into your story as significant details. Do not declare which ones you picked. It should be apparent.

* Martensite, and its importance to the development of Western steelmaking
* Rollerblades
* The Velvet Revolution
* His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Norton I of these United States
* A singular marmot

Words: No more than 700 words in a single scene.

IN ADDITION: Tell me a story about your life

Shooting for publication

Mercedes fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Feb 19, 2014

NewsGunkie
Jul 23, 2007
Sometimes, there's a clog in the pipelines.


In. This should be interesting.

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


My crit skills need some work, so I chose a victim to practice on.

El Diabolico posted:

Drain pipe (wc: 1175) (Element: Lead)

You have a lot of clunky phrasings and words that aren't pulling their weight. I'm removing some.

Working hard wasn't something that was out of the was ordinary for those who are Plumbers. Don't tell us what things aren't – tell us what they are. As such, today wasn't any different than any other for Phoebe. For a poor girl like herPheobe, the only way she could to support herself was to take this job cleaning and maintaining the sewer systems here in the deep dark depths under the great city of Polaris. The task assigned to her task today was a simple one,: flush water out of a reservoir and repair a sluice gate. Nothing out of the ordinary. With her tools in hand, she quickly left the plumbers guild and set herself to her task.

She arrived at her place of work, Area 16-b. It was humid and dark. The light of her kerosene lamp flickered gracefully, lighting her path. As she walked, she kept her eyes open for any dangers that would. Fragment. Also, why have her alert here and distracted half a paragraph later? I'd cut everything between “path” and “as a child.” As a child, her parents would joke at her that monsters lurked in the darkness that would to steal her away and chew on her bones. Of course, aAfter living Living, or working? here so long the only things she has seen was nothing but were rats and darkness. While her thoughts distracted her she barely caught a glimpse of the shut-off valve. the leaden pipes slithered from the ceiling to it. She climbed up the steps set aside the lamp and the tool box.

She grabbed the handles of the valve with both hands and attempted to twisted the thing as hard as she could but to no avail. Why did she attempt to twist it as hard as she could? What stopped her from twisting as hard as she could? She said to herself “drat! That's tough!” but sShe remembered something her father used to say. “Work smarter not Harder”. She propped open her toolbox and pulled out a long metal wrench. It was A useful thing which has gotten her through so many tough situations much like the one at hand. She stuck the thing though the valve handle and used her weight to try and force it open. Tell us what she does, not what she tries to do. At first it wouldn't budge but then it creaked and soon it it quickly turned. As she picked up her things she could then hear nothing but the constant echoes of water dripping among the stones. With that over and done with she could now get to work repairing this gate.

Exciting plumbing scenes! Is the wrench important later? Does it matter that the valve was stuck? If not, we don't need to hear about it.

***
Having completed her job., Phoebe, began to attempt a final test of the sluice gate. With much effort, she turned the crank. Tthe metal chains clanked and the gate let out a groan. It opened and closed properly, just as it should. She felt a great satisfaction knowing that this was another job well done, even though she wouldn’t receive much praise over it. As she was cleaning up after herself she carelessly knocked her trusty wrench onto the ground except it didn’t hit the floor. Stop telling us what didn't happen! *CLONK* What's this noise? “poo poo!”, she exclaimed as she picked up her lamp and looked behind the rock she placed the wrench on. There was a grate with a rather large hole. She looked down and saw that her wrencech wasn’t too far down. It may not be much but tThat wrench was a gift from her father, given to her on her first day on the job. To her, iIt was a precious memento. She felt she had to go get it.

Seeing as the Wrench didn’t fall far, Phoebe placed her lamp on the outcropping and she Iinspected the grate. The hole was large enough for her to pass through and come back. So, confident in that fact Phoebe jumped in. She landed safely on what seemed to be a metal grate and quickly picked up her wrench. As she stood back up she hear a strange sound. She tried to leave but tThe floor gave away right under her feet. To Phoebe, that one moment felt like an eternity. It was if time had stopped and there was suddenly nothing in all directions. And just as quickly as her world changed she suddenly found herself surrounded by water. The cold water snapped her back to reality. She began treading water and floated towards the surface. As she broke the surface, it was as if she had been transported into another world. All around her she could see an iridescent glow. She swam towards the nearest thing she could see.

When you hit water from any height, it's very much an impact. You don't just find yourself surrounded by it; you hit it, hard.

Okay, the wrench does turn out to be important later. I'd still like the see the exciting plumbing scenes cut a bit. I'm expecting monsters now, since they were mentioned earlier.


***
Phoebe pulled herself out of the water exhausted and still in a state of shock. She sat in front of a large boulder. She was wet, cold, and tired. Her body was cut and bruised but luckily she was still in one piece. She looked upwards to see if she could find where she fell from but all she could see a myriad of colors. It was as if she was looking up at the night sky. A feeling of regret came over her. She should have let it be and moved on, but she didn’thadn't and now she was stuck here in the dark and alone. Unfortunately it was a feeling that wouldn’t last very long. Her feeling of regret won't last long?

Phoebe heard a deep growling coming from behind her. You don't need to tell us she heard it. She's our viewpoint character. Just describe what she hears. She hid behind the boulder cursing her rotten luck. “What is that!” the she? thought to herself. She peered over the boulder to get a little peek. All she could see from the dim blue glow of the near by fungus was a hunched over figure with a set of huge claws. Again, you don't need to tell us she's seeing it. Just tell us what she sees. It was a kind of beast she'd never sawseen before. tThe fearsome beast sniffed the ground as if it knew something foreign was in the area. Phoebe began to panic. She was practically defenseless. All she could do was hide behind this boulder. The beast turned its head in Phoebe’s direction. It took a few deep breaths confirming Phoebe’s fear. It let out a loud growl as it jumped in her direction. Phoebe jumped back, falling on her back on the muddy floor, crawling away from the beast in fear. On the boulder which once offered protection, the beast roared viciously. Suddenly, a dark figure appeared between Phoebe and the beast. The beast jumped at the shadow but was quite violently struck with a leaden club. The figure turned towards Phoebe’s direction. All she saw was a pair of horns and glowing green eyes not unlike the fungus. The figure spoke to Phoebe with in a feminine voice with a strange accent, “We must go. Follow me.”. Phoebe could hear a number of loud howls in the distance. With no other recourse, Phoebe could do nothing but follow.

This is one hell of a paragraph. I'd recommend breaking it up into several smaller ones. Your sentence structure here is really repetitive. “She did this. She did that.” Really, most of what she does is hide behind a rock. I recommend focusing more on what she sees and hears in this scene. Put us into the space more directly, and stop reminding us that Pheobe is doing all the seeing and hearing. The new character deserves her own paragraph. On the plus side, something interesting happened here.

Both Phoebe and the shadow ran. For how long, she could not remember. The colors of the fungus around them changed as they ran deeper into the caves. while the howls of the beasts that chased them grew louder and louder. The horned woman suddenly stopped. “What were those things!?”, Phoebe exclaimed.

New paragraph every time a new person speaks. The shadow turned and replied, “You must be a surface dweller. They are the Darkrend. They will eat us if they catch us”..” Having stopped, Phoebe’s fear of death welled within her as was about to shout but the woman let out a shrill yell.

Paragraph. A rope was dropped. The woman calmly said, ”We’ll be safe after we climb this”.

This reads more like the beginning of a much longer story than a story in itself. It isn't a finished work. There's some major pacing issues because of that. The lead-up to the story (everything that happens before she falls through the hole) is almost as long as the action scenes themselves. There's not enough space for all of the hum-drum, ordinary details of her plumbing job.

I liked the backstory on the wrench. I'd have liked it more if she'd hit the monster over the head with it and went home triumphantly under the word limit. So much attention and care was given to the wrench, and then she just runs away from it without a backward glance when the cave-woman tells her to.

Your writing needs some tightening up. Major things: don't tell us what isn't happening, tell us what is. Don't tell us what your protagonist is trying to do, show what happens. You don't need to tell us every sound is heard by the viewpoint character, and every sight seen by them. If you describe the sight or sound, we will assume it's the viewpoint character seeing and hearing them.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

GUM CHEWING INTENSIFIES


I'm in.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

In.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


I've been too busy to enter the Dome lately, but I miss torturing myself ITT so I guess I'm judge #3, congratulations to you all for making my life an endless misery.

Arkane
Dec 19, 2006

by R. Guyovich


In for the t-dome. Shred me gently.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









A couple more crits

Lead out in cuffs posted:

Welp, here goes. My Thunderdome debut (element is osmium):

Heavy Metal Roses (1109 words)

Ted smiled confidently at the new co-op student, admiring how her fitted lab coat accentuated her curves. A little lacking in the breast department, but even in the harsh light of the transmission electron microscopy lab, her face had a certain ... fuckability. don't have people groping for words in their internal monologues. Definitely an eight, maybe even a nine. 'Julia.' He repeated to himself. It was important to keep their names straight. He'd been kicked in the nuts more than once for crying out the wrong one. I'm not quite sure why this first para doesn't work; you're sketching out a sleazy character fine, there are a few details to hang the description on... but it's clumsy and clunky. maybe because nothing is happening?

'Focus, Ted, time to get your game on.' The orientation tour afforded plentiful opportunities for openings. Plus, he actually needed to get her set up so he might just get some productive academic work out of her. 'Haha, I'll get some work out of her all right!'
unnecessary

He gestured to the ugly 70s-green linoleum lab room.

"We're in the sample prep area. I'll run you through the details of the protocol when you shadow me through it starting tomorrow, but before then, I need to impress something on you."

"This", he held up a sealed ampoule containing what looked like a broken piece of test tube, "is osmium tetroxide, which we use for staining TEM sections."

He leaned in a little. This particular pep talk was one of his favorites, the thrill of danger a sure-fire aphrodisiac.

"We use a lot of nasty chemicals in the TEM lab, but OT is by far the worst. In fact, it's one of the deadliest you'll find anywhere. The vapor pressure is huge, so it gasifies almost instantly, and binds to tissues even faster, coating them permanently with osmium metal. And I mean permanently. Osmium is ultra-stable, so once it sticks to cells, there is no getting it off."

He watched her face blossom into the first satisfying signs of unease as she processed the implications.

"You breathe that vapor in, and it coats the inside of your lungs. The best part? You don't even realise until hours later, when the pulmonary edema sets in and you die."

He gazed into her deep brown eyes as they grew wider and more beautiful. nicely creepy

"The word osmium is from the Greek for smell, since it's supposed to smell pretty strongly. But the toxic effects are orders of magnitude stronger. If you can smell it, you're already as good as dead."

Satisfied with the effect, he decided to round out with a subtle neg.

"So you keep those delicate hands steady," he punctuated this with a light touch, "and stick strictly to the safety guidelines while you're using it."

The rest of the tour was pretty mundane stuff for him, but Julia was still bright-eyed enough to lap it up. He slipped in a little more game, and arranged to meet her later to "discuss research" over coffee.

Ted sauntered back to his office and sat down at his immaculately I tried to remove this adv erb but couldn't make the sentence mean the same thing, so it may stay kept desk. Unlike the other PhD students in the department, he knew that it paid to keep things tidy. He'd closed with more than one target on that desk, and there would be nothing more mood-killing than a naked rear end getting stuck on half-eaten pizza. Not that those other slobs would ever have that problem.

He unlocked his computer and fired up the GradPUAs chatroom. It was pretty empty, but his buddy Sam from chemistry was on.

PhysicalChemistry: Ted! How's things hanging in EM land?
StickingItInTEM: Pretty good. The new co-op student Julia is in an advanced stage of preparation, if you know what I mean. ;)
PhysicalChemistry: Dude, you have got to stop sarging on your co-op students. It's gonna land you in trouble.
PhysicalChemistry: As if you weren't in enough already, bro. What the gently caress went on with that Cynthia chick? She's spreading poo poo about you everywhere.
StickingItInTEM: Hey, I just had to get a little assertive with my kino escalation to get past a little last minute resistance. Sure she was holding back a little, but her subcommunication said she was all over it.
StickingItInTEM: Besides, man, that deer-in-headlights look they get in their eyes is almost as good as the closing.
PhysicalChemistry: Haha you are terrible.
PhysicalChemistry: But seriously, what happens if she goes to security or the cops?
*StickingItInTEM does the dying swan*
StickingItInTEM: Then woe is loving me.
StickingItInTEM: Really, though, what's she gonna say? *She* came home with me. She was obviously asking for it. And she had a loving great time, whatever she may say now.
StickingItInTEM: Besides, as far as the law goes, it's her word against mine.
PhysicalChemistry: Whatever man. I just don't think your pretty rear end would last five seconds in jail.
StickingItInTEM: Do you think this is the first time I've had to deal with this? Trust me, she has nothing. gently caress her. Again. :D
PhysicalChemistry: Anyhow... I gotta go grade some papers. Try and stay out of the wrong kind of trouble.
StickingItInTEM: Yeah I gotta go up my game with target:co-op student over coffee. I am gonna be bumping up against that sweet rear end in no time. ;) Later! This is good enough as PUA bro speak i guess, but you're laying it on way too thick. It would work better at half the length.

Ted stood up and preened for a few minutes, admiring his lean face, high cheekbones and prominent jaw in the mirror he kept hidden at the back of the cupboard. He was a handsome guy, and sometimes he wondered whether he really needed his game. But hey, he knew a ton of other good-looking guys who were just average frustrated chumps. Foregoing the game was the path to oneitis and misery.
don't really care? you've made this point, get on with the story

Slicking his hair back, he started getting his mind in gear for Julia. Demonstrating higher value was so easy with co-ops, especially the ones directly under him. As a PhD student, he was everything they aspired to be, and they worshipped the ground he walked on. Closing with her should be a cinch.

Satisfied that everything was in order, Ted opened his office door and stopped short. Lying alluringly on the floor was a spray of deep burgundy roses. He barely noticed the shift in the wrapping as he scooped them up to read the tag's ornate lettering: 'To Ted, lustfully yours'. It was signed only with a lipstick print.

'Such a sweet gesture! A little gay, maybe, but really sweet.' He just wished it hadn't been so obtuse by being anonymous. He'd have to do some careful cold-reading around every target and gently caress buddy he had going to avoid a crash and burn.

'Whatever', he thought, lifting the bouquet to his face, 'I can deal with that later'. He inhaled deeply, dismissing the faint chlorine overtone ('who would put bleach on flowers, anyway?'), filling his lungs with the cloying, sensual fragrance of rose petals and promises of sexual conquests to come.

And osmium. oh you don't have any more story to get on with. dude you totally negged my story boner with your sweetass kino closer but next time don't come before you get your undies off, hey? 'dude is horrible, gets murdered' is the start of the story not the story. and you're so eager to show what an awful horrible reddit-posting PUA the guy is that he's basically a cartoon the fate of whom it is impossible to give the smallest of shits about and that's poison (lol) for the story. If chairchucker can do a sympathetic story about a pedo you can manage it with a sarging grad student.


Holy poo poo this was a sleazy character to write. I just hope the comeuppance works, and the motivation is obvious enough. I understand why you did this, but don't. Trust your audience.


Seldom Posts posted:

Ultima Thule

I've always loved this phrase so you are starting ahead in my estimation


1,318 words

The catacombs whispered with the hiss of the drill. this is a nice line, but i don't think drills hiss? Erik watched it, trying to take his mind off the cold in his joints. There was a shriek and the drill jittered to a stop. The burly American using it grunted in satisfaction and motioned for Dr. Cleve. She moved up awkwardly and slowly fumbled her testing equipment together to begin the process of extracting the sample.

“Lemme knew if you need the drill again, Doc.” cut because we're not talking about the drill anymore. Caporal Chef John Parker leaned up on the wall against Erik and pulled a wad of tobacco from his pouch. “Sucks not being able to smoke, eh Doc 2?” He waved the pouch at Erik. Erik hated being called that, but he hated withdrawal more. He stuck a wad in the corner of his mouth.

Parker called him Doc 2 because he was the second Ph.D to join this expedition. Dr. Astrid Cleve had started them on this insane quest. She had originally been recruited by the Allies to locate and/or never use the phrase and/or in thunderdome again isolate as much thulium as possible. Virtually all grafting technologies required thulium powered lasers. The Nazi’s apostrophe comes after the s lead in cyborg technology and Thulium production meant that they were gaining the upper hand again. A chemist and geologist, Dr. Cleve hypothesized that this stretch of northern Greenland would be the only place in the world where one might find a naturally occurring deposit of Thulium. Someone at Allied command had listened, and commissioned this team. holy fuckin exposition dump

The French Foreign legion had been contacted to provide the manpower. Command had expected a platoon. When only Parker showed up, they had furiously called Algeria demanding to know what was wrong. Algeria had simply said “il s'agit d'une armée d'un seul homme.” And then in added in unaccented English: “Now gently caress off.” After watching Erik carry his precious Maxim M32, its ammo, the drill and a full rucksack through waist deep snow, Erik believed it. haha, this is actually pretty cool in a pulpy kinda way. but it feels like a shift in style after the dry hard sci fi stuff you've been doing in the previous para

Parker had stripped to his undershirt while working the drill. He caught Erik looking at his Arm. F.L.F.N. was tattooed in giant blue letters on his forearm. “Got it in ’55.” He said. “When I realized the war wasn’t ending anytime soon, and that I was gonna have to do something about it.” Erik was about to ask what it meant when the last member of their quartet appeared in the small hole that led to the outside. Her dusky skin was ravaged with acne scars, but her cheekbones could slice a stale baguette. He remembered how he had felt when he had translated the name of her organization for Parker. In her native Inuinnaqtun, it meant roughly, “Woman Hunter” but when he moved it to English he took the liberty of changing it to “Inuit Lesbian Commando” because he liked to laugh in the face of disappointment. Parker had roared at that. there are way too many things going on in this paragraph. he's remembering how he felt when he translated a thing for someone else and then the person did a thing and I'm p much totally lost. Have stuff happen in the now whenever you can.

“Dr. Holtved, our hosts are restless and want to speak to you. I still can’t make out their dialect very well, but I gather something may be coming our way. You better speak to them.” Erik nodded and squeezed past her. Was she smiling? Uqalik’s skills for this mission were obvious, but the fact that she couldn’t speak Inuktun, and had never been to Northern Greenland had led to Allied command commissioning him. As the only living white person who knew the Inughuit, and a Dane who hated Nazis, he was more than happy to sign on. He had led them here, and found guides to take them to this desolate mountain range. He found the guides outside, their ears cocked to the wind. He conversed with them briefly and then hurried back inside. Dr. Cleve was still busy with her test kit. He looked at John and Uqalik. this is insanely ploddy you're 'as you know professor'ing and lecturing all over the place. also why the gently caress didn't you just have uqalik tell them what's happening?

“They hear engines. They are going to leave to go back and check on their families. The last time a plane came through here it was bad news for them. They’ll leave kayaks for us.” Uqalik went back outside and then yelled back in:

“It’s not a plane—they’re snowmobiles, and they’re close. John?” Parker was already dragging his gear outside. He spun the Maxim together, filling a cap with snow for coolant. Half a dozen snowmobiles appeared on the horizon, each adorned with a swastika that gleamed in the arctic sun. Parker motioned to Erik.

“Not much time.” He waved his forearm at him. “It means gently caress Lindbergh, Fight Nazis. You understand that Doc 2? Now see if you can hurry Astrid up.” now you're back on target. if you're doing pulp, do pulp and keep it tight.

The roar of the snowmobiles became too loud to ignore. but why would they ignore them they are full of nazis With a roar, Parker fired up the Maxim. Snow spat up in a line and the lead sled was split in half. The other machines began to weave and Parker tried to track them each. what does this mean The Nazis began to return fire. Erik could see what was going to happen. They would close before John could get them all. and just like that you lose it again. there's way too little action in this, considering how many snowmobile drivin' nazis you have on display Erik crawled back inside. Dr. Cleve was grinning from ear to ear. “I was right!” She seemed not to have realized there was firefight outside. “It’s a huge deposit of naturally occurring thulium! This could finally turn the tide! We have to get the coordinates back to Command! We—“ a ricochet took her in the temple. She slumped forward in his arms, her grin still on her face. Suddenly the noise outside stopped.

“Dr Holtved? Dr. Cleve? You are in there yes?” It was a German accent. “Put down any weapons you have and come out. We don’t wish to hurt you.” Moving numbly, Erik backed out on his knees, pulling Astrid’s body behind him. They had been so close!

The German tsk’d when he saw Astrid’s body. “Such a waste. The Fuhrer will be disappointed.”

“I don’t give a poo poo what Herr Himmler thinks—“ Erik spat defiantly; but the words caught in his throat as he turned around. The German was dangling Parker off the ground with one metal arm. The servos were barely straining. Parker was still kicking faintly, but couldn’t escape that grip. Two other Nazi soldiers stood with their guns levelled. The cyborg spoke:

“So the thulium is here?”

Erik laughed. “No, no, that’s the funny thing. She died for nothing! There’s nothing here but rock.” The cyborg stopped smiling.

“You disappoint me Doctor. Do you take me for a fool?” He barked an order in German and one of the Soldiers disappeared into the hole. No sooner had his feet disappeared than the snow behind the other exploded and the Nazi’s throat disintegrated in a hiss of red. Uqalik’s knife was at the cyborg’s ribs before Erik could blink, but the clank of metal on metal revealed the ugly truth. The cyborg dropped Parker and swung at Uqalik. The other Nazi was crawling back out of the tunnel. Erik remembered he had a gun and fumbled it out of his coat. He discharged it into the Nazi’s upturned face and then found himself being separated from it by the cyborg. The cyborg was speaking to him in German, but he couldn’t understand a word. His throat was being compressed and all he could hear was a roaring sound. It was only when he was dropped to the ground and saw the end of Parker’s drill that he realized where the sound was coming from. With a last surge, Parker drove the cyborg forward into the ground, drilling through his chest and into the frozen tundra. The drill gave its trademark squeal and Parker slumped down, blood pouring from the half dozen slugs in his chest. okay, that was more like it; though still muddled and ploddy in parts. He looked Erik in the eye:

“Honneur et Fidélité.” And with that, John Parker fell to the snow. Uqalik came over and closed his eyes. this is a good example of the sort of cliche you can usefully subvert - what if he wanted to close his eyes but was too scared or overcome?

“Now what?” Erik whispered to her.

“We burn Astrid and John. Leave the others for the bears. Then we head over the pole to Rovaniemi. It’s too dangerous to go any other direction.” She looked him the eye. “Ultima Thule.” I am deeply confused by your ending and there's no real excuse for that in this kind of genre piece.

You have a bunch of neat pulpy ideas in here absolutely struggling to be heard over the droning tedium of ploddy exposition, a paralytically dull protagonist (seriously, why is he even in the story?) and confusing action when it actually arrives. I like your alternate future cyber nazis though, so feel free to keep on going in this pulpy vein, just do it better next time.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


With half an hour to go, we're looking at a new Thunderdome record for entries (currently at 50, not counting Muffin). Get yo name in now, and don't flake out.

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


Will Benny the Snake win us over with the heartwarming tale of 'what I was thinking when I called in hungover to work'? Will his faithful supporters from E/N put their money where their mouths are? Will a Toxx clause be enough to make Leper Colon stop talking and write a god drat story? Will Baudolino put a comma inside some quotation marks? Find out next time, on As the Dome Turns.

Signups are closed. Good luck, combatants. You'll need it. See you Sunday at 10pm, the Lord's own time zone (PST).

God Over Djinn fucked around with this message at 19:24 on Feb 15, 2014

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


God Over Djinn posted:

Will a Toxx clause be enough to make Leper Colon stop talking
No

quote:

and write a god drat story?
Yes

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards



Be still, my heart

Joda
Apr 24, 2010

When I'm off, I just like to really let go and have fun, y'know?



Fun Shoe

I've been meaning to sign up, but it completely slipped my mind. Can I still get in or am I poo poo out of luck?

God Over Djinn
Jan 17, 2005

onwards and upwards


You're in.

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Wungus
Mar 5, 2004



I'm going to be out of town for the weekend, so I guess I'll just have to miss out on a final editing pass.


Dads Roll Out, 770 words, flashrules: something gets destroyed, DEFINITELY can't be depressing, gotta include transformers

My dad can beat up your dad. It’s not opinion, and I’m not belittling your father; he’s quite possibly the biggest badass to pump blood. This isn’t a story of one-upsmanship, or a brag about a fight. It’s just that my dad was a truck.

Mark is my mother’s husband. He came into my life when I was 10 and taught me how to change the oil in a ’72 Toyota Corona. Mark was a large-scale pot dealer, selling to a huge portion of the ghetto I grew up in. Mark made sure that I grew up understanding that all sorts of people, from all walks of life, can always have a common middle ground. Whether they’re a local councilman or Ian, the 40 year old neighbor who still lives with his mother, they’ll all need to get their drugs somewhere. Weed’s a great equalizer. Mark filled a shoebox with $100 bills and, to prove to my mother he could go straight, used his shoebox of savings to partner with an old friend and open a powdercoating business. I’ve still never told him, but since about my sixteenth birthday, I’ve considered him to be my father. Only since about sixteen though; while Mark’s a great guy, it took years for him to transition from “mum’s boyfriend” to “dad.”

My biological father, Peter, balances the scales Mark’s stability weighs down. He’s not a monster, he didn’t irreparably destroy my childhood. I even have strong memories of Peter and my mother together that were beautiful. We spent, for example, a university party together when I was all of seven years old, where I wound up falling into and splashing around in the Brisbane river. Peter threw his beer on the ground and dove in to rescue me while my mother laughed; he easily cleared the shallow sandbank I stood on, and wound up swimming in brown, polluted city water while my mother and I ate pig that had been roasted under the ground in banana leaves over hot rocks.

Peter ruined everything by cheating on my mother with an abusive redhead named Sharon. He ran away with her, meaning that most of my weekends for the next eight or nine years would be spent around two bourbon-drunk adults screaming at each other about who was the bigger life mistake and whose children were more awful. By nine, I’d stopped thinking of Peter as my father and more as an emotionally unstable man who had a large library I could – and for the sake of my own sanity, would – lose myself in roughly every second weekend. I’d miss my dad during those weekends with my father; he preferred to use the TV on Saturday mornings watching foreign news with a crippling hangover.

I built an emotional attatchment to my middle dad around nine years old. I’d known him for a while, and I took more life lessons from him than either of my other dads. Lessons about respect, and responsibility. Lessons about being honest with yourself. Sometimes his lessons would turn out impractical in real life – I stood up to a bully for a stranger and was threatened at knifepoint in the middle of eighth grade computer studies as a reward – but to me, they were gospel.

For a significant period of my life, all my friends would have a mum and dad in the same house. They’d come home from school with me in tow, where I would be paraded past their parents, insults shooting from mother to father, parent to child. I was generally ignored; the caustic atmosphere both parents and any children created was a great hiding place for an undersized ginger twig. They’d always mumble an apology once their bedroom door was locked, before pulling out a pile of toys – or, in later years, porn we found in nearby parks – from under their beds. More times than not, they’d find a way to mention how glad they were that their parents weren’t like mine, that they’d managed to stick together. I’d play with pieces of a broken facsimile of my dad and nod. For some reason, they all owned Optimus Prime figures. I’d make uncomfortable excuses about my household, waiting until it was time to explain why their homework answers were wrong. Eventually they’d let me leave. I’d get home and breathe relief that I was back, hugging my mum and wondering why I didn’t miss the family bond my friends would brag about. My dad may only have bonded with me through TV for 20 minutes every Saturday morning, but he’s still the best dad I ever met.

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