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Author Topic: Re: He's back! Run! He has artwurk!  (Read 34392 times)
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BEEEHOOOOOLD MAI POWAH! 'Explodes into ashy mess'

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« on: September 19, 2009, 11:42:15 pm »

Thanks, Cheez! It's the little things that count.
Anyway, here's the first two chapters of my story, Flare.
They've been heavily edited, but they still suck, so I'd greatly appreciate any help you guys can give!

Chapter 1
Welcome to the Galaxy.

This is space. Mostly it is nothing more than a vast, unending emptiness, spreading out in all directions, an empty, weightless wasteland. But in other places, Life thrives. A million stories could be told, at any second. some so fast, they would hardly dignify a sentence. Some so large, that all the time in the universe would not be enough to adequately describe them. What follows is a tale of one galaxy, one universe, one system A small planet with a population of sentient beings, known in but one of their many languages as 'humans', are one of the many inhabitants of this system. They call it, in their own tongue, 'The Milky Way'.

One of this 'human' kind's greatest dreams since primitive beings looked up at the night sky, space travel, has been fulfilled. Now, metallic monstrosities, starships, regularly move from planet to planet, using the Earth as their hub. Naturally, people looked even higher, from leaving the boundaries of the little blue sphere they called home, to building massive, self-contained cities on other planets and colonizing. These magnificent colonies have been built within the star system, and human science is making grand new advances seemingly every day.

Explore as they might, humankind haven’t discovered alien life, but they are confident that technology they have invented may eventually discover traces of it. Until that day arrives, however, humans have been doing their daily business as normal,and been moving on with their lives and routines as they always have.
For all of their technology and advancement, they are still a frail, superstitious, and self absorbed species, and so the grandeur and splendor of the universe is rather lost on them, as they simply live their lives.

Until, in the year 2216, when a chain of events came crashing down on these people, and shattered those lives.

This 'human race' has a long and magnificent history, filled with grand discoveries, first contacts, unimaginable technology, and among the most savage and barbaric wars ever to be seen in the universe. There are, among these, many things that humanity would like to forget, and erase from the past. Oftentimes, as the years move on, these events fade into obscurity, known only by the most dedicated of scholars.
But, this is not always the case.
This is a tale of warning, of adventure, of terror and fear, and of human nature.

It is a story of what happens when the past comes back to haunt us.

Let us follow the life of a young citizen of one of the aforementioned colonies, one man, Kale Andare.

Kale stood on the walkway over one of the massive, multicolored gardens. The leaves and fronds spread out for miles beneath him, stretching beyond his vision. Gardens, which grew almost all of the food for his colony. For, you see, Kale lived and worked on the planet Mars.
The red planet had been finally conquered by mankind, and they built massive, domed shaped colonies across the red, harsh landscape. The human population had been growing hugely ever since, because of the growing housing problems on earth, the comfortable living in the colonies, and the plentiful job opportunities provided to their citizens. Kale had come to the planet over ten years ago, a young immigrant with his family, from that overpopulated, unyielding urban sprawl they called Earth. He had come to Mars, to his current home, seeking his fame and fortune. After deciding that maybe this lofty goal was a little out of his league, he eventually settled for a job as a police officer in the colony of Arisea, one of the largest colonies on the planet, with a population well over one billion.
Kale was a well-meaning, quiet young man, with pale blond hair and a slightly shaggy goatee, and went about his job in a relative calm. He walked the streets of Arisea nightly, keeping the peace in his own, quiet way.

He was on guard duty on this day, on late watch over the sprawling gardens, and enjoyed his time as he watched the white suited workers tending the beautiful plants. The colony, being almost entirely self-sufficient, grew millions of plants and vegetation in the huge plantations, some of which were for consumption, some for medicine, and others just for the natural beauty that Mars and it's sandy surface was so devoid of. The buildings of the city rose around Kale, their gigantic, gleaming bulk towering over him as He scratched in his uniform of a blue shirt, black vest with the letters A.P.D. emblazoned on the front, with some over-starched black pants and a slightly smudged badge on his lapel. He scratched somewhat more, both admiring the view and wondering if the local dry cleaners were doing such a thorough job with the starch just to spite him.

Kale’s uneventful, quiet shift ended a few hours later, with only a minor incident involving a worker losing control of a small cargo truck and plowing through a field of cabbage. It could have been a lot worse, thought Kale as he wrote up his report. A few weeks back, he remembered, a series of solar flares had started up. This made travel off of the planet nearly impossible, and also torched most of the communication satellites in orbit around mars. People had been getting more and more tense as the colonies remained cut off from Earth and off planet transportation, and crime had been on the rise.But, thought Kale, you wouldn't know in this part of the city, thanks to him and his fellow officers. He finished writing up his report, and started the short walk back to his apartment, observing the sights. He took his time walking back towards his home, greeting the people he knew in his neighborhood, and watching the ones he didn’t. He tuned his police cap's built in radio to a local music station, and let himself slip off into a relaxed mood as he passed by the towering glass and gleaming metal buildings lining the streets, like trees in a very organized forest.

After a short stop at a local cheap takeout for a snack of some crunchy, slightly soggy rolls, he stood at the door of Galactic Apartments, which was one of the cheapest and corniest named chains on the planet. But he liked the price, and his room was perfect for him. He took the stairs up to the top floor, greeted a few of his neighbors, whose names he could never quite recall, in the hall, and entered into his small room. He greeted his only roommate, large brown mutt named Bandit, with a scratch behind his floppy ears and a tired 'good boy', and went into his small bedroom. He threw his policeman's peaked cap onto his bed, changed into his red nightshirt and some soft pants, and lay down on his small bed, looking up at the white, smooth roof of his apartment. He flicked a switch on the nearby wall, and the whole roof started to almost magically change. A set of black and white tiles at the top slid aside, revealing a beautiful view of the stars and black sky.

“Wow.” he breathed, marveling at the sight. It never ceased to amaze him after a long shift. “It gets more and more beautiful every day.”.
Not that I care, sometimes, he thought.
after a few minutes of quietly gazing and contemplating his day, the events of the week, and the neighborhood, he got up, had a nice warm shower, watched a popular comedy on his little flat screened television, and walked back, tired, to his bed. He lay down onto the soft sheets, flicked off the lights, and with bandit curled up beside him in a warm ball, soon drifted off into a peaceful, dreamless sleep.

Kale awoke the next morning from his slumber to the obnoxious beeping of his little alarm clock. He stopped the beeping annoyance, and slowly got up. He sighed, his recognition of a new day, threw off his soft, warm sheets, and showered. After a short trip out of his room, he turned on the news channel as he ate a fresh, hot pastry he had picked up from a Vendi-Fresh machine in the hall.
He heard the familiar, droning tones of the news anchor, continuing a report Kale had already missed most of. “…and scientists still aren’t sure as to what is causing those signal disturbances between us and Earth. They are saying that the effect is a lot like that of a solar flare, only much, much larger and longer. As you've probably seen and observed, it has knocked out most of our satellites, and ships are staying grounded. We currently have no method of communication with earth, but our experts say that it can’t last too much longer.”

Kale groaned at this. He leaned back in his chair, swallowing the chewed remains of his breakfast.Way to make everybody less tense, news guys. Remind them of what they're missing at every turn. The flares were still a major problem, he knew, but they usually didn’t last this long. They were also supposed to be predictable, he knew, so why weren’t they warned about it?
He shut off the screen as it went into a report about a meteorite landing in the southern city, undetected because the array designed to do so had been fried by the flares.Worrying about things which he had no control over was a futile excersize, at best. He had to get ready for work, regardless of the flares.
He walked slowly and groggily into his washroom, and looked at himself in the small, smudged mirror.
He looked pretty haggard, he thought, his blue eyes half-closed, his short hair and goatee in a mess, and he still had that nasty scratch from when the ratchety elevator in the hall malfunctioned and slammed him face first into the ceiling. Twice. He winced at the recollection, and got back to work. He contained his tangle of hair in his cap, tucked his black, electrically tipped baton into its holster on his side, got into his uniform, still starched within an inch of it’s life, and stepped out into the hall. He enjoyed the moment for a second. the starch seemed to have worn off, for the most part. It was a new day, and he could go see his friends back at the station, now. Maybe catch a movie later, maybe see Julie.....

Suddenly, his cap’s built-in police radio sent out a blare of life, startling him into leaping back into a wall. It shouted:
“all units in area B-43, please report to 1859 Jenkins’ residence, we have reports of an accident at the scene, and need clarification.”
Kale broke into a run down the hall, hardly even thinking as he did. He was operating almost solely on his instincts as his thoughts arrived back on track. He was in the area in question, and he had no doubts he'd be the first at the scene. Whatever it was, it didn't sound too serious.
You never know, though, he thought grimly. It was part of a cop's life. always be prepared, no matter what it could be. He ran down the stairs, not trusting the elevator, and sprinted through the crowded, sparsely decorated lobby, much to the annoyance of a group of tattooed teenagers in the doorway. “Scuse me, sorry, police business. Sorry”
The automatic door opened, and kale ran out into the white, smooth streets, towards the Jenkins’ residence. It was just a block over, and soon he stood at the scene, eying the large, grey house. He was the only officer there so far, and, to his relief, the Jenkins’ family stood outside the house, all evidently unharmed.
“Officer Andare! There you are!” wheezed Patrick Jenkins, an elderly man with a potbelly and little hair gracing his gleaming scalp. “You have to come quickly! I-it’s in the living room!” and with that, before Kale could ask him what was wrong, he ran back into the house, Kale following him. The living room was a wreck, Furniture flung around the room, and with the wall between it and the kitchen demolished by a huge, shiny stone, a meteorite, at least a meter wide and long. It glowed red hot from it’s entry through the dome, and later, the Jenkins’ roof. Kale was stunned. "Is that a meteorite?". The little man beside him groaned, and responded sarcastically "Of course not. it's my new coffee table. Of course it's a meteorite!". Kale gave Patrick a glare, and responded "I am an officer of the law, Jenkins. I was just expressing surprise at the large, glowing rock in your kitchen. There's no call to be rude."
Mr. Jenkins sighed, and rubbed his forehead. "I know, Andare, and I apologize. It's just, you know, with the flares up and everything, and my family kind of being delayed from our yearly vacation to New York on Earth, things have been kind of tense here." Kale nodded, he knew how the man felt. People had been fairly tense and a bit belligerent since the start of the flaring, and seemed to be getting more so by the day. But enough of that, thought Kale as he glanced up at the colony's vast 'roof', to check for damage, but the emergency airlock system already had the hole sealed with thick metal plates, and a vahicle with 'MAINTENANCE' was fast approaching from the east. besides the surprisingly un-damaging rock, there didn’t appear to be any other problems. Kale turned to Mr. Jenkins, who stood there looking worried, and cleared his throat.
“Pat, this is certainly an amazing thing, but I can’t really do anything about it. I’ll call in some techs to take it away, and you get your insurance checked out. I’ll write out my report, but I’m already late for reporting into the station.” Mr. Jenkins gave a look of horror, possibly concerning the part about insurance. He bid Kale goodbye, and wandered back out to talk with his family.
Kale walked out, flagged down the nearest yellow taxi, and told the man inside to get him to the local station as fast as possible. A few minutes later, Kale stood outside The massive marble building, still shaking from the lightning quick, terrifying ride, remembering to always end any request of the sort with 'as legal' than 'as possible'. He shook it off, and wrote out a quick speeding ticket to the irate cabbie before reporting in.


The cuddly super-strong cyborg mercenary whose clothes never seem to stay on!

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 11:43:02 pm »

Apologies for the double post, chaps, but here's chapter two!

Flare: Chapter 2

Now, we move up across the city, to another scene all together. a scene taking place, in a small dirty alley.

Jess Shelden handed a brown paper bag to the two young men in front of her, their eyes red and their faces hidden. Wordlessly, one of them snatched the little package and replaced it in Jess's hand with a wad of greasy paper, the number 200 barely visible under the grime and stains. Jess pocketed the money in the pocket of her large, black coat and adjusted her olive green bandanna. a lock of her long, red hair swooped down out of it's covering, as if yearning to be free from its prison.
"pleasure doing business with you, gentlemen." She said, and watched as the two scurried away, their eyes flickering nervously from object to object. Jess shook her head. She didn't like dealing, but she had to help her friends somehow. Duke would be happy with that 200. Probably blow it all on guns, though. That's all he ever talked about now. The 'Great battle' that he said was coming. sheesh. she hoped that he'd reconsider. She'd seen enough of her brothers and sisters fall on the streets, and didn't want any more fights. She turned to leave the alley, and froze. A white van with the Letters A.P.D. printed on the side in blue ink, stood at the end of the alley. Two people climbed out, and began to walk towards Jess. Crap! Lightheads!

'Lightheads' was the street name for Arisea's brutal inner city police division. They tended towards shooting first, asking questions, and if dissatisfied or just irritated, shooting again. Their White bodysuits could stop anything up to military armor piercers, and their helmet's relays could scan the entire surrounding area for movement, and even identify potential threats. The two approaching, a man and a woman, had sting pistols at their sides, And white stun batons in holsters on the other side. Jess stiffened, and put on a cheerful face, happy for the second bandanna covering her face. You couldn't run. If you did, they'd be right after you.
"Good afternoon, officers. How can I help you?" She said, trying to remain calm and ordered.
"We've been receiving reports of dealing and gang activity in this location, Ma'am. We're after a notorious dealer who works this area."
"Maybe I could help. What do they look like?"
The Lighthead's hand flew to his holster.

Without thinking anymore, Jess threw off her grimy old coat and ran down the other end of the narrow alley. There was a sizzling noise and a 'foomp' as her coat was disintegrated by Stinger shots. She heard the female Lighthead's voice. "Dammit! I said use stuns!"

Jess ran even faster, feeling her face cover slide off. Now they know what I look like! Dammit! She turned her eyes to the other end of the Alley and almost stopped dead in her tracks. Another Lighthead stood at the end, with her customers lying at his feet. One of them wasn't moving. she ran straight towards him, hoping to catch him off guard. Nothing in her twenty years of life had prepared her for this. The Lighthead flicked a button on his wrist, A large, black shield began to emerge from a large slit at the top. Carbon Fiber. It could stop an artillery round. He took out his baton, but she could see that he was shaking.
"H-halt! Stop!"
He was new. That's great, thought Jess, staying her course. She jumped up, and gave a cry . The man was terrified. he was bringing his baton out of its holster. Jess withdrew her pistol, an old-style 9 chamber semi, and fired 3 shots. The Lighthead was flung backwards, unharmed but winded, and was tossed to the ground by a following kick from Jess. She grabbed his pistol, and mounted the nearby police bike. More laser shots sizzled on the walls behind her, but they were too late. She was already speeding through the alleys and backstreets, hoping to confuse and lose any followers. Just like gramps had taught her. She sped away.

Later, Jess looked behind herself. No one. She abandoned the bike, stashing it under some garbage barrels, and continued on foot. She felt around in her pockets. Good. She still had that 200, along with her own meager funds and her pistol. She stopped in a nearby shop, a thrift store where she bought all her stuff. An old, wrecked plasma screen outside read 'Harry Shelden's fine garments' She passed through the door, almost having to pry it off it's hinges from the rust. An old, short man with a stout build and thin grey hair gave a start from his slumber on the front desk.
"Wssh..? Jess? Jess! My little girl!" He gave a wide, almost childish grin. "Where've ya been?"
Jess gave a smile, and gave the old man a hug. "Just out and about, Gramps. You know the sort of thing.
He gave her a sly look. "Yep. I watch TV, ya know. They've got footage of somebody beating the crap out of some Lightheads."
He pressed a button on a shiny, surprisingly new looking plasma screen, and an image flickered up. It was showing the inside of a Lighthead helmet cam, with everything slightly red tinged by the visor. Jess could see a figure dashing towards the camera, two more in hot pursuit. The figure continued to speed forward, gave a jump, and fired a gun. The camera stumbled back, and went pointing straight up into the air as a 'whoomph' noise echoed through the inside of the helmet. A figure, their face hidden, dashed across the screen. The sound of a motor went up.

Harry Shelden paused the recording. "I thought you'd gotten out of that sort of thing, Jess. Good job, though. They're not searching for you out of much more than spite, as the man was mostly unharmed."
"Big bruise on his ass, I bectha!:
Harry laughed a short laugh. "Now, I expect you need a new coat after that, eh? I've got just the thing."
He lumbered slowly into a back room. Jess followed him. The building was a lot larger than the storefront would suggest, as the building also served as a warehouse for the neighborhood.Harry rented it out for affordable rates, and no gangs would bother ol' Harry. he leafed through an aisle of musty clothes, and withdrew a large item.
"This," He said with a flourish."Is one of the best coats I've ever seen for someone like you." The coat was a large, thick. one. It was olive green, and had some impressive red braiding on the sides.
"An army coat? Nice job, gramps. I like it. Looks like one from Earth, Russian?"
"Yep. I got it quite cheap, from an old buddy down there."
The coat had some dim brownish stains on the inside. Someone had done some expert stitching of the back, leaving only a few small seams visible. Ignoring her comment, Harry passed it to her. "I don't think sergeant Wachazinsky is gonna be needing it any more. Have it on the house."
Jess took it gratefully. It was better than what she usually got, and the coat had a thin, silvery layer on the inside, which could dampen the effects of laser shots. It was definitely very valuable. She also took the belt it had attached, which had a holster, clip pockets, and a large container on the side that could hold anything that she needed. She thanked him, and in return slipped him the lighthead pistol she had stolen an hour ago. His eyes widened, and he smiled. They were worth quite a lot on the black market, as only the police could buy laser weapons legally."There's also a hovercraft outside by those trash bins. You'll be able to build a new storefront with that cash!"
Harry smiled widely, and kissed her cheek. "thanks Jessie, girl. Now, I think you'd best be off to your friends again. Adios, kiddo!"
Jess waved goodbye, and left the little shop. she walked for a few hours, loving her new, warm coat. The heaters never worked properly for this part of Arisea, mostly because tech crews were terrified of the gangs. the only guys who weren't were the lightheads, who tended to beat down anyone they suspected of being a threat. Regular cops stayed away from the Southern city.

Jess opened a door of a small, warehouse that her and her friends shared. Gary greeted her at the door, his brown eyes, black hair, and black hoodie with a yellow smiling face on the front greeting her as well. "Hey Jess! Heard about the fight! You kicked those monster's asses!"
Gary was a nice guy, just 16 and one of their most upbeat members. Duke had found him wandering the street, his parents killed in a hostage taking and shoot-out. They'd taken him in, and he treated Duke as a mixture of father and brother. Violet, a girl Jess's age, was sitting on an old, moth-eaten couch, clicking together a little machine. Violet was strange. She had short, dark pink hair, and had never spoken in the entire time they had known her. Ten years. She had shown up at their doorstep one day, alone, and tired looking, with a note that said her name was Violet, and nothing else. Se was a genius with electronics, and also an amazing doctor for the group. She never said or wrote anything about her past, so Duke had assumed that something happened which had traumatized and muted her. Jess greeted them both, and continued on her way to find Duke. She found him in his room, staring at a computer screen. He saw her, stood up, and stretched his arms. "Jessie! How are ya, babe? I was worried about you with those lightheads."
Duke was a tall, 32 year old man. He was a little podgy, but made up for it with his personality. He was a happy, pleasant guy, a brilliant planner, and a great leader. He'd picked Jess from her Grandpa's care after her parents died, and had raised her well ever since. His minor flaw at the moment was that he was becoming increasingly paranoid. The flares hadn't subsided yet, which was itself something remarkable. This cut off all communication and transportation with earth, and was making people tense. Duke had started stockpiling weapons, as he thought that soon, people would start problems, and the lightheads would come in full force. To finance this, the group of four did many different things. They would do jobs for Harry, deliver items for the local merchants, and deal.
Duke was a nice person, and didn't believe in the more dangerous and addictive drugs. He still had to make money though, and jobs were short in the slummier areas, so he tended towards whatever Harry could supply, refusing those that were too dangerous or addictive for his liking. It was still dealing, though, and would get all of them jailed if caught. None of them liked doing it, but they had to make money somehow. Duke always told them that when they made enough money, they could leave that life. But jobs were getting shorter and shorter in supply, and so they'd been forced to do more dealing than any of them were very comfortable with.
Jess handed Duke the wrinkled 200, and gave a grin. "I'm glad that we've got you, Duke."
Duke smiled back, and happily accepted the 200, pocketing it. That brought their grand total money to around 7600, a decent amount. It would soon be enough to buy the group a decent used car, or even an apartment in one of the nice parts of town. Then, duke said, they could get a real education from real teachers, not just some musty old books her gramps had given her. Jess wasn't so sure about the education, but realized that it wasn't actually to late to get a decent job if she did. She kind of liked how she lived now, though.
"Please don't use that money to buy any more guns, Duke. Please?"
"I won't. We don't need any more, now. But, hey, something weird happened on TV before the Flare started."
He showed her the screen of the computer. It was showing a newscast recording. Apparently, Tim Anderson, had died in his sleep.
Jess was instantly absorbed. She'd heard of Tim. Everyone had. He was one of the strangest subjects of modern history.
Tim was a mystery to science, as it seemed he could literally predict the future.
A monarch falling from favour, the start of a war, a simple robbery, halfway across the world, it didn't matter what. Tim had seen them, and sure enough, he'd seen the truth. Natuarally, his homw country, the famously seperated and aggressive United States, had claimed him as a govermnent property, and confined him to a scientifov research facility, hoping to take advantage of his unique abilities.
but, sadly for them, these predictions were rare, and often random in time seen. Apparently, his caretaker at the scientific research center in Maui had heard him scream in the middle of the night, flailing and shouting. She'd dashed up the stairs, only to find the 55 year old dead in his bed, his eyes wide open. The news show flashed a picture of him. Jess gasped, and stared. He had his eyes wide open, as if in terror, and his fists were clenched so tight that his palms were bleeding. His entire body was as rigid as an iron beam, and his pale blond hair stood out at crazy angles. But as for his face...
"Oh dear God." Whispered Jess, staring.

His face was frozen, his mouth locked in a silent scream. His nostrils were flaring. His eyes were wide with mad terror.
It was the face of pure, undiluted fear.
The face of a victim a nanosecond before the mushroom cloud.
The face of a man who couldn't take what he'd seen.
His health had been in perfect condition. He hadn't been poisoned, or depressed, or even mildly sick, but he was dead.

Tim Anderson, the only man to see the future, was dead from terror.

Jess was starting to see why Duke was so paranoid.

The cuddly super-strong cyborg mercenary whose clothes never seem to stay on!

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