- Aug 2, 2002
Will take Mr. crabrock's line-by-line.
Two wolves howl at the moon, one a wild animal, the other a holographic decoy for a cyborg mouse
John‘s ship decoupled from the docking station. I already commented in my main crit about how boring this is. A screen in the cockpit came alive and how passive this is with the face of a dock attendant. Bleary eyed and with a sagging cigarette at the corner of his lips, he blurted out “all clear”
or something to that effect. who is your pov or your narrator here? why can't they remember what he said? wishy-washy stuff only does well when it's coming from a character. Right now you're telling me about john, so just stick with the facts. John had never seen an enthusiastic attendant, and neither had most people on the Big Grandia Great Circular how do you know this? is this 3rd omniscient? stick with telling me stuff from john's pov. Rumour had it that they all came from a malfunctioning cloning vat. rumors among whom? Having spent most of his life aboard the lumbering vessel, John was not inclined to disagree. barf with that wording.
His little ship, the Red Lightning, had to clear away before he could engage the main engines. man this poo poo is boring. like right now you're telling me about the finer points of docking protocol rather than telling me a story about john. In the mean time, cliche John watched the surface of Big Grandia float by. zzz. sensing verb, pointless really. a more action-oriented sentence here would build a better mood and let you add some detail. "Big Grandia floated past John's window, its surface studded with dildo-like protrusions that ejaculated tiny space bees." Like all circulars, she possessed a spherical design and the side with inset engines was considered “the back“. telling me the placement of engines is really not as exciting as you think it is. this is the same as giving me a detailed layout of the warehouses in an industrial yard. (somebody did this once) Grandia used to be round (before several collapses and expansions happened) this is passive and confusing without backstoryand probably white (the Imperials where the only ones building golden circulars, because they could). don't know why you're telling me this. what are you trying to accomplish? right now it's a bunch of facts. furthermore, reading this for the second time: i don't remember ANY of this, which means it really failed to stick in my head. It's like reading a text book. The years had not been kind to her, and John wasn‘t going to be kind, either: judging that he‘s far enough from the ship not to care, he fired the engines. Off to meet Alice! what
Red Lightning looked, as one technician described her, “like a World War Two fighter stuck atop a pair of torpedoes” – not that it meant much to John. HERE ARE THINGS MY CHARACTER DOESN'T UNDERSTAND OR GIVE A gently caress ABOUT. then why bring it up? tell me what is meaningful to HIS life. As a so called who calls him this? why doesn't he feel like one? “manager”, he didn’t have time for history – he had to do things. like? this is just a tepid cliche in lieu of any REAL characterization you could have put here. it's lazy. Like many other members of this loose caste huh? the caste of people with things to do? (Alice included), he didn’t know what those things were or how to do half of them. this is.... just vague bullshit that sounds like you have no idea either. People said who are these people? do they say it to his face? does he share this opinion? stop telling me poo poo about other people while your main char sits around and says "DERP" that “manager” was an animal on Old Earth, that looked busy, but was entirely useless and sometimes dangerous, and so the name stuck. HURP HURP I GET IT! have "clever" poo poo like this come out in dialogue, or else it looks like you think you're super funny. this line could have been good, but instead it's smug.
A six legged hyphenate creature rubbed against John’s leg. The metacat was the reason why John couldn't go with Alice when she left on her expedition a year ago where dat period?
. thar it is. why it on its own line?
“This is big business, babe,” John told her while she was packing her plasma torches, “everybody knows what a cat is but nobody has seen one in three sectors. We can be rich.” this is an ok setup of motivation for the story.
Since Alice believed that both boyfriends wording is a bit ambiguous. i was like "wait, BOTH boyfriends? who is this other guy!? and managers are a lot more pleasant if you’re not criticizing them, she kept her peace. a bit awkward Of all the things one can do after hooking up with some geneticists on the ship who hooked up? her? John? I think you meant John, so throw a noun in there, or else this reads like she went and banged a geneticist. which is fun and everybody should do, btw., trying to engineer cats was probably the least deadly one. line breaks are your friend.
As Red Lighting was accelerating away from Grandia, leaving behind a tail of flame and a horrid plume of smoke (“gently caress me if I know” was the official explanation of the shipboard scientists) Ha. Again, this line would be good out of an actual character's mouth. but you're just kind of telling me that somebody said it once. it's weird. this story has no real POV, John picked up Moneybags and set him on his lap. awkward introduction that the cat's name is moneybags. just flat out tell me this earlier. The venture to produce metacats was successful-ish. Not having any DNA samples, they had to get creative. Six legs weren’t ideal, but John marketed it as an improvement or, at the very least, a bargain: 20% more cat for the same low, low price!
Bags yawned and his jaw unfolded into a six pronged abomination of a meat flower filled with jagged teeth not a good description no matter what your brain tells you. John hoped the boys would iron out this kink for the introduction of Metacat X.
“Mroo,” said the critter.
With rendezvous coordinates punched in, the Red Lightning could handle the flight all by herself, leaving John free to mull over his thoughts. The year without Alice had been full of activity, but somewhat... hollow. Her laugh, her breasts meep, the way she held a knife while approaching a rube – all those little things. Space Rocket Jesus right here is where i rolled my eyes hard and said "oh jeeze.", did John miss her. thanks for telling me what you just showed me.
Still, love or no love, he had to decline when Alice invited him on an expedition to Alter. “Alterians are filthy creatures“ was one of the gems of wisdom passed down by his father, and John never doubted him, not even after the old man spaced himself what's that mean? while drunk. Plus, with the plague (which may or may not have been of the zombie kind according to...?), Alter had to be really filthy. Yet Alice insisted on going – she loved expeditions.
“Looting is like reading a book about new and interesting people,” she insisted, often while rummaging through stuff that didn’t belong to her, “but you get richer both spiritually and financially”. I like this line, but you're telling me things about the past, and I'd much rather see things that are happening now. right now you're keeping me at arm's length. Being a rather curious and adventurous soul, she couldn’t wait to go to Alter – and the plague meant that there was a continent free of Alterians who’d get in the way of her getting to know their culture. all in all this isn't a bad paragraph. it's got some good characterization, but it's just this random narrator telling me facts. i would have liked to actually witness this convo and have her speaking the lines.
Speak of the sexy devil! no Alice’s ship appeared on the radar, a sizeable sp, or is this is a british thing? ping on the radar. It was a tug, a gift from Grandia Security Authority for John and Alice’s help. Without their knowledge of back passages, unused maintenance shafts and tunnels built by crazed engineers, the Third Honourable Republic of Atmosia might have been able to actually hold a deck not familiar with this phrase in their air and water supply based tyranny need some hypens here, as all this stuff is describing tyranny, and it's hard to parse without it.. Alice called the tug „Venture“ guessing this bottom quote is an ESL thing? we don't do that here in 'Merca... and almost forgot about it, as managers rarely have business outside Grandia.
The tug – the elongated round forms gave it a streamline moderne sp look – was now closing in quite rapidly. John hoped it was laden with loot (some of which could be invested in Metacat development) – as for Alice, the ship’s on-time appearance meant that she was at least relatively OK. All was right in the void.
Bags jumped in surprise at the first wail of the lock-on alarm. A quick scan revealed that Red Lighting was being chased by two lumpy assailants. Without a doubt, those were hull gulls, the strange people that lived in shanties on the outside of Grandia and dealt in petty thievery, small scale piracy, and minor nuisances. Clearly they were after Red Lighting – or Venture. this sounds like the exact opposite of "clearly." because i don't know who they're actually after.
John took the ship into an evasive spin, and the g forces were almost as painful as metacat claws sinking into his thigh. The maneuver, combined with the engine smoke, had to confuse the enemy targeting. Checking the weapon systems, he glanced at the live feed trained on Venture. It showed the ship surrounded by two quickly dissipating streams of azure.
“Clever girl,” though John as he watched Alice vent plasma. Her ploy worked – two hull gull pilots broke off to go after her ship, which they considered crippled. Yet one was still giving pursuit, so John had to concentrate on flying. Holding the flight stick in one hand, he flicked out a stun baton and gave Bags a prod. Dropping the “Kitty Napper”, he grabbed the (meta) feline and threw him into a Child Acceleration Box, for safety.
Making a hard turn that squeezed him deep into the pilot chair, John managed to get the hull gull in his sights and fired guns. On screen, green lines connected with the evil red triangle, but the attacker seemed undeterred. The ships passed each other, with one hull gull laser passing through the shields and grazing an engine.
Making another 180 turn, and thankful for those stamina boosting biomods, John decided to take desperate measures. With a few quick stabs at a touchscreen, he opened Mr. Target, the open source missile targeting software used by some of the off brand missile developers. And it didn’t get more offbrand than some crazy Grandian engineer living in a maintenance corridor behind a bar. As far as John knew, “bolted on” might have been a very literal description of the one missile that he had.
Flicking away a pair of nagscreens while trying to keep the ship in an evasive pattern, he finally goaded the program into working. An icon of a bug-eyed robot started circling the dot on the radar, representing target radar lock. The robot managed to cover the dot, transforming into a crude fire belching animation. John let loose.
To everyone’s relief, the missile decoupled without incident and streaked towards the enemy. The hull gull ship tried some evasive manoeuvres, but it was not enough to confuse the piece of ordinance. It struck the target.
Normally, one expects missiles to explode near the target, hoping to catch it in a blast of lasers, flak or other unpleasant things. This particular rocket buried itself in enemy vessel and didn’t even disengage engines for three seconds before going inert. John and, no doubt, the hull gull were both perplexed.
Then the enemy craft blossomed into a crimson ball, something totally different from a normal plasma explosion. Nevertheless, it killed the pursuer. In fact, it killed it so well, there was no salvage to collect. Breathing a sigh of relief, John turned his attention (and radar) to Alice.
Where there were two enemies and one friendly signature, only the tug remained. Careful optical analysis showed that the tug was, for lack of a better world, tugging one (much reduced) hull gull vessel. The other was caught in two mismatched actuators that were quickly gutting it for parts and precious metals. Stubby cannons were sliding back into their hidey holes. all this spacefight made me fall asleep IRL. seriously. i'm really tired, but still. just totally boring. writing isn't a movie. I have no idea who the enemies are, or what their real motivation is. all you said is that they're into petty crime, so this is basically like killing a child for stealing a bag of chips... BUT IN SPACE
John signaled for docking and got a positive answer. zzz
Ordering the ship on an automated approach, he took Moneybags out of the box. zzz The metacat was a little dazed, but still in good enough shape to be presented to Alice as subtle sign of at least partial success.
John straightened out his clothes and ran fingers through his hair. His heart swelled with anticipation of seeing her again. When the ships clanged in the embrace of docking, he was so giddy that it all felt unreal.
The airlock synched i['m playing a fun new game: sp or british? and opened with a hiss. There she stood. The haircut was a little shorter than John remembered, and he had not noticed the light plasma scarring on the cheek before, and the bionic arm – yeah, that was definitely new. Still, she had the same sparkly eyes, the same mischievous smile, and the unmistakable posture of someone who had shanked their share of bitches in maintenance tunnels.
Alice was back.
This story doesn't really have a plot so much. This guy is sitting around waiting for something to undock or whatever, while a narrator tells me things. Then he's like "ok, i'll go meet alice now!" and that somehow leads to a spacefight.
There were a few times were you actually bothered to portray some characterization. those were the best parts. all the space stuff was like a 12 year old writing a space story. you gotta have reasons and motivations for things. John wants to see alice, but it's never really clear WHY he thought she was so great. You could move this story into John's internal POV, wax poetic about poo poo, and then have him MEET her actually and have her say the poo poo that's currently said about her.
i'm going to go to sleep now.