Writing a Sci Fi Novel, Would Love Some Feedback

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by BeastWars 4ever, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    I’m writing a sci-fi epic about the lost continent of Atlantis. It’s still untitled. I would love feed back and constructive criticism. I’ve written 5 chapters so far, and I’m almost done with the sixth. Thanks for your time.

    Chapter 1

    As he descended the stairs, Hayden Riesser caught the railing to keep from falling. He stopped and looked up to the passerby and smiled, embarrassed by the the looks he was receiving. He took a deep breath and exhaled, trying to calm his nerves. It wasn't everyday that his future was decided.

    Today, on his twenty-fifth birthday, he would be judged. It wasn't that he lacked confidence in himself or his abilities, it was the lense through which he was being judged, that gave him pause.

    This is what he had worked all his life for, to become a member of this ancient order, The Pax Olympia. If he was rejected... Banish the thought.
    Hayden was a slim, healthy looking young man. Average height and build. Straight dark hair and brown eyes sat above a sharp nose and a narrow jawline. He had dressed more formally for the occasion. His tanned complexion contrasted nicely with the dark blue suit he wore.

    Hayden eventually reached the bottom of the stairs and took a right. The corridor opened into an immense atrium with sunlight pouring in from the blue sky above. The sound of busy people roaming about met his ears.

    He looked up to see the shimmer of a force-field that kept out the elements. The insignia of The Pax Olympia, forged of highly magnetized steel, hovered thirty feet in the air in the center of the room. Contrasting sunlight cast the insignia in shadow on the marble floor.

    White columns created the frame of a circular network, five stories high, each leading to a labyrinth passageways that stretched on for miles.

    The walls were made of glass, a giant touchscreen computer that could be accessed at any time. When not in use, the glass would project the illusion of marble walls, keeping with the whitewashed "clean" feel of the massive complex.

    The headquarters of The Pax Olympia was as impressive a feat of architecture as anything you could find on Atlantis. The place inspired wonder, which properly harnessed, hoped to produce greatness.

    Across the atrium Hayden saw his father, Danyll, waiting for him. He made his way across the room and stood, meeting his father's warm smile.

    The man looked to be about 50 years old, tall and broad, dressed in heavy white robes. Deep creases were set in his expressive face. His features we similar to Hayden's, though with thick locks of gray hair falling to the sides.

    Hayden's father gripped him by the shoulder and looked him over. He adjusted the young man's collar and rank.

    "You look sharp, son. New suit?" Danyll asked. Not waiting for a reply he said, "Don't be worried. I'm sure you will get through. You have been one of my best students, and I'm not just saying that because you are my boy." He paused and did his best to look reassuring. "I had to go through this too. I remember how nervous I was. Nowadays, I'm generally conducting these little...interrogations. But of course, due to the circumstances, I can only stand as a sponsor today."

    "I understand," replied Hayden, with a smirk. "Nepotism doesn't really become you."

    Danyll smiled. "They are waiting," he said motioning to the door behind him. "Are you ready?"

    Hayden straightened and replied, "Yes sir."

    The pair walked through automatic doors and entered into an immense audience chamber, about seven stories tall and about 100 yards in diameter. They took their place on a small circular platform, with no railing or barrier, in the center of the room. The platform raised about ten feet in the air and the room went dark. With a loud click, a spotlight activated and shone down on Hayden and his father.

    Hyden raised his arm, shielding his eyes, allowing them to adjust. He lowered his arm to see a trio of inquisitors seated in suspensor-chairs another ten feet higher.

    There were two men and a woman, all approximately the same age as his father, dressed in the same heavy white robes, with tablet computers in their hands. They sat expressionless, unnerving, letting the silence reek havoc on the young man's mind.

    Hyden did his best to hide the dread he felt in this moment. He simply starred back, confident but not cocky.

    "Mr. Riesser, welcome," said one of the male inquisitors. "I am, Solic. This is Ryhan and Nora," motioning to the other two. "What an honor it is for you to be standing here today. I'm sure you feel the gravity of this moment."

    Who wouldn't? They have all been in the same position. The statement did not shake Hayden.

    "Yes, sir," he replied. "I've been working for this my entire life. I am sure you felt similarly many years ago." He let it sink in. Let them know think they don't scare me.
    "Did you have this appointment in mind when you were given formal reprimands...What was it? Let me see here...five times?" Nora shot back, her beady eyes glaring.

    The question startled Hyden. So this is how it's going to be... He stood silent, measuring his words before replying.

    "You did say you have been working for this your entire life, isn't that correct?" asked Nora, growing impatient with his silence.

    "Yes ma'am, I did," Hayden answered. "If you notice, the reprimands were all within the first two years of university. Generally minor pranks and one unfortunate altercation with a classmate. I went on to have a spotless record for the remainder of my time here. Young men make foolish choices."

    "You are still a young man," stated Ryhan, a dry raspiness in his voice. "Do you still make foolish choices?"

    "I like to think I've matured," Hyden answered. "But if a person was able to judge themselves objectively, there would be no need for meetings like this."

    Hyden's father smiled at his reply.

    "I will admit," interjected Solic, "your academic record is remarkable. Major in robotics and coding. The very top of your class. But academia is not the same as application. Knowledge must be coupled with wisdom and discernment to be of any use to our people. With every great advancement and breakthrough, there is potential for exploitation. We must have every confidence in the integrity of our members."

    "I regret that my indiscretions have raised doubts as to my trustworthiness," Hayden stated contritely.

    "Not your trustworthiness," replied Nora. "Your judgement."

    "No disrespect," said Hayden, "but what does my judgement have to do with teaching and philosophy?"

    There was no answer. Instead, the three inquisitors turned to each other, whispering among themselves. After a brief exchange, they nodded in agreement.

    Ryhan looked to Hayden's father and asked: "You're sure he's ready?"

    Danyll stepped forward to reply. "You know my feelings on the matter and my feelings on the criteria with which we judge. But he is my son. I stand here, today, as a sponsor, proud father, and teacher. I cannot make this decision. You also know the situation we are facing. We have grown too rigid, too afraid of anyone who does not fit exactly into our mold."

    The older man stopped and looked at his son. "This is not some rebellious hoodlum we are talking about. I have watched my son grow into a fine young man, worthy of this position. We need the very best. Let us not waste time squabbling about pranks and fisticuffs."

    "Very well," said Ryhan, looking squarely at Hayden. "Atlantis stands divided, as you know. The Congress Chamilia, representing Lokner, Thallus, and Ritos; The Stritan Monarchy in the central region; and the Hollander Faction in the south."

    "Basic knowledge," replied Hayden, confused by the geography lesson.

    "Vital knowledge!" exclaimed Nora, turning red in frustration.

    "The most basic principles are the building blocks of all societies," interjected Solic.

    A wise pleading stood out clearly in his voice, emphasizing the need for patience. "This 'basic knowledge' is the web that binds our world together. You have no idea what we really are! The function of The Pax Olympia is far greater than you can imagine."

    Nora leaned forward. "We are much more than a prestigious university and society of great thinkers. This is just a front for our real purpose. Everything you see around you technologically, we are responsible for. Every break through, every advancement, every cure, we did it! The real power of Atlantis sits not on thrones and seats of congress, but in labs and classrooms. The governments appreciate our innovations, but we-" she broke off.

    "Distribute the wealth," Hayden interjected.

    Amused by his son's perceptiveness, Danyll spoke up, "Gone are the times of the Titans, Hayden."

    He paused, looking back to the inquisitors who nodded, signaling for him to continue.

    "Turmoil and betrayal rule our land. There is a fragile balance of power that must be maintained. We have never set out to rule Atlantis, son, but to guide it. We fear our hold is slipping, though." He continued warily, "We have distanced ourselves too far and Atlantis is slipping out of our control. But it's not too late to salvage the situation."

    Turning to the inquisitors he said, "I hope that you will grant Hayden entry into our ranks. I wish we had a thousand more like him."

    Hayden stood nervously, the weight of these revelations sinking into his very bones. Almost in an instant, his perception of the world around him shattered. How different his future suddenly seemed.

    He looked back and forth between the inquisitors, gauging their expressions, looking for the slightest glimpse into their thoughts.
    Do I even still want this? What am I getting myself into? He fought to keep the newfound doubts from festering. Surely my father has steered me towards something great.
    Ryhan spoke up, "It seems we have little choice. He knows too much, now. And we cannot ignore the winds of change. Before long the remaining Olympians will be gone and a new generation must take their place."

    The inquisitors again nodded to each other. Nora then pulled out a small card from her robes and threw it into the air. It spun in a circular motion and slowly descended towards Hyden.

    He reached out and caught the card. It's was small and translucent. He examined the card closely. In the corner there was an etched barcode and a name.

    "Hercules?" he read aloud. He looked up to the inquisitors, clearly puzzled.

    "Congratulations Mr. Riesser," said Solic. "You have been accepted into our ranks. A Master of The Pax Olympia."

    "Thank you, Masters, for this honor," replied Hayden, an odd sense of relief and frustration coming over him.

    Pride filled the eyes of Hayden's father. He embraced his son, then turned to the inquisitors.

    "You honor my family with your decision."

    "It's not everyday that we judge the son of an Olympian," replied Nora.

    She turned to Hayden, "Your father is one of our highest ranking members. His confidence in you is taken very seriously. If you turn out to be half the man he is, we will have gained a great asset today." She paused..."Do not make us regret our decision."

    "The name on your security card," interjected Solic. "You asked about it...The identities of our members are no secret to outsiders. But their rank and the nature of their projects are strictly confidential. So, every Master of The Pax Olympia is given a code name. It will be attached to all of your projects and records to protect you from the possibility of blackmail or torture in the event of a hack or leak. This is your identity when you are among us...Hercules."

    Hayden smiled, "I'll have to get used to that."

    "Your father will brief you further about the history of this order and the nature of your assignments," said Ryhan. "You are dismissed."

    The platform Hayden and Danyll had been standing on slowly returned to the ground. They walked off of the platform in a slow pace. Hayden took several steps looking to the ground contemplatively.

    When they reached the door to the atrium, he then looked up to his father and asked, "You've kept this secret, this whole time? Why didn't you tell me?"

    "I couldn't," answered his father, putting his arm around Hayden. "I knew that you would find out when you joined us. I had complete confidence in you son. I never doubted for an instant."

    "Does Mother know?" Hayden questioned.

    His father grinned. "Alcmene? Of course she knows. It's hard to keep something like this from your spouse. They are the only ones who are allowed to know."

    Hayden nodded in understanding. "What is your code name, Father?"

    "Oh, right," he replied. "I didn't tell you, yet..." He paused, pulled out his security card and handed it to his son.

    He smiled and said, "Zeus."
     
  2. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2

    The majesty sickened him. The ostentatious displays. The regal surroundings. The delusions of grandeur. Greggor fought to keep from vomiting.
    What have we become? he thought.

    He grew rigid with a growing look of disdain. How often he wanted to burn the symbols of his office. What I would do to give it all back!
    "What troubles you, my friend?" asked a deep voice from Greggor's side.

    "Dreams lost in the cloud of war," replied Greggor. "Promises left on the doorstep of revolution..."

    They stood silent for a moment. Greggor studied the demeanor of his friend who was hunched over a large stack of documents, preoccupied with his own aspirations. A tall man of about thirty years. A shaved head, sitting atop sharp features. He wore black combat fatigues and a jacket of black leather, symbols of his rank attached to his collar. His bewilderment was plain and unhidden.

    Greggor broke the silence and asked, "What have we become, Hollander?"

    "What we were destined to be!" replied Hollander, clearly wondering what Greggor was getting at.

    Greggor stood coolly and said, "When I look in the mirror I see a two-headed monster. Just like the one we fought so hard to keep off our backs."

    "You compare me to The Monarchy?" asked Hollander, his countenance dropping.

    "Look around you, Hollander! Your 'Empire' is on the verge of civil war! This god forsaken palace, draped on your ornaments of despotism!" screamed Greggor. "Your people are starving. Thank god I'm your right hand or I would have gone hungry tonight!"

    "Such conditions are typical of any young government." Hollander paused and walked slowly toward his friend.

    Greggor was approximately the same age, and stood about six feet tall. He was a muscular build with dark straight hair, clipped short on the sides. He was dressed, not as much for combat, but more for his duties in the government administration. He presently glared at Hollander with icy blue eyes.

    Standing now face-to-face, he gripped Greggor by his shoulders and said: "We go way back, you and me. Can you even remember when we first met as boys?... Way back, Greggor. We've been through it all! Stick with me through these growing pains."

    "The people won't wait any longer," replied Greggor. "The voices of dissent grow louder."

    "They will be silenced," said Hollander in a low growl.

    "Listen to yourself!" shouted Greggor in reply. "We were revolutionaries. We led the revolt against The Monarchy. We were ready to die for our ideals. Now you dare to kill those willing to die for their beliefs?"

    "We must protect our government," said Hollander grimly.

    "It hasn't been 'our' government since we defeated The Monarchy," replied Greggor. "The Eve changed you."

    "That was an accident!" snapped Hollander.

    "Still... You were labeled," said Greggor. "And that gave you license."

    Hollander stiffened, "If you were another man, I would have you executed."

    Greggor stared coolly at Hollander and replied, "I died the day we defeated The Monarchy."

    *****************************************

    Storming away, Greggor made his way back to his suite in the palace. It was a workout just walking from one place to another in this monstrosity that he now called his home. Hollander had the palace commissioned soon after the revolution was won. Everything in the palace was completely automatic. It was the latest fusion of technology and classical design.

    How many people could be fed with the cost of this mountain of steel and bricks? How did I let this happen? thought Greggor.

    They had led simple lives once, mere peasants and slaves with unseen potential. So many like them now being crushed under the foot of their government.

    We haven't fixed a thing! So many lives lost. And for what? Peace, equality, prosperity? No! All we've brought is sickness and misery... I can't let this go on.
    Greggor feared he was already too late. He had slowly let his power slip away. Hollander had so much influence and so many who feared him. Not discounting Hollander's ruthlessness and hunger for power, Greggor knew he would have to tread carefully.

    Hollander was paranoid, with eyes and ears everywhere. He still thought that Greggor hadn't noticed the signs of Hollander's suspicions shifting toward him. But both of them knew that Greggor was the one with the wit and brains. It wasn't long before Greggor had spotted the signs of Hollander's spies and bugging devices and had learned to evade them. After that night's argument, surely the suspicions and paranoia will increase.

    Greggor turned the corner leading to his state-room when he felt a sudden shift in the air. A hand covered his mouth and a knife pressed firmly against his behind his back, right by his kidney. He froze wondering if Hollander had finally been pushed too far.

    "We need to talk," whispered a figure from behind. "Move."

    With his mouth covered and the knife fixed in the same position, Greggor could do nothing but comply. Slowly pressing forward, captor and captive moved to the I.D. lock on the front of the door. Shifting his body so as to not provoke his assailant, he unlocked the door and proceeded inside.

    As soon as the door had sealed behind them, the assailant removed the knife from behind Greggor's back and then shoved him to the ground. He didn't want to give Greggor a chance to retaliate. Greggor picked himself off the ground and turned to face a man in a dark cloak with his face hidden. He stood erect and then tugged on the bottom of his shirt, straightening it out.

    "You wanted to talk," Greggor said, plainly aggravated. "Talk, then. I'm a busy man."

    The assailant removed his hood to reveal the face of a dark-haired young man, barely in his twenties. The look in his brown eyes betrayed his nervousness, though he was clearly trying to exude confidence. He looked around the room and couldn't help but notice that it was a fairly modest dwelling, sparsely furnished and plain.

    "I was right," said the young man, breaking his silence.

    "Right about what?" queried Greggor.

    "You're not like him, are you?" Not waiting for an answer the young man said: "I'm Rion."

    He stepped closer to Greggor, then said: "The time has come. You need to fix your mess. Undo the atrocities you have permitted. I know who the real monster is. It's no secret."

    "It's not a secret, huh?" asked Greggor sarcastically. "If I feel guilty as hell... How am I supposed to believe that others don't think the same thing?"

    "There's a reason it's called 'Hollander's Eve'," Rion replied. "That's why I'm here."

    "Kid, I'm sure you mean well, but you pep talk isn't going to help me fix a thing."

    Feeling as if his head was spinning, overwhelmed by the whirlwind of their discussion, Greggor sighed and motioned toward a pair of chairs next to a hovering desk.

    "Sit down, Rion."

    Rion hesitated, not sure if Greggor was being genuine. Greggor smiled, appreciating the young man's caution. He's no idiot, this one.
    "Kid, I'm not going to hurt you. Sit," ordered Greggor.

    They both slowly took a seat by the desk, not breaking eye contact, uncomfortably studying each other. Rion finally looked down to his lap and closed his eyes, holding back tears. He took a deep breath and returned his gaze to Greggor.

    Rion started by saying: "My parents and sister died in The Eve. I just happened to be away from Lospr on business for my father. Our home was left in shambles. Everyone I knew died. And if that wasn't enough, when your faction broke off from The Monarchy, I now had to live under the government that had killed and taken everything I ever loved."

    Greggor stirred nervously and let out a heavy sigh. He measured his words carefully. What could I ever say to this boy to make things better? How could an apology or condolences ever be enough? he thought.
    Finally he broke his silence, knowing he couldn't sit there forever: "I'm so sorry for what happened, Rion. I hope that you understand what we were trying to accomplish. The misery our people lived under."

    "Do you think that you've made it better?" snapped Rion.

    "I never meant to imply that we did," Greggor answered. "We had the people's support at first. They wanted freedom and The Monarchy was never going to give us that. And the rest... I had no idea what Hollander was planning."

    "What's done is done," sighed Rion. "Now we need your help to bring Hollander down."

    "We?" asked Greggor.

    "You're the only one capable of starting a revolution?" asked Rion sarcastically.

    Greggor shook his head. "Boy, I'm sure you mean well, but you really don't know who you are dealing with-."

    "You don't understand," Rion interrupted. "The trap is set. We just need you to pull the lever."

    "Why do you think I haven't done something already?" Greggor countered. "I was in shock after The Eve. I couldn't think straight with the guilt crushing me. Hollander took advantage of the situation, consolidated his power and has been slowly cutting me out ever since. My role is now damage control, keeping him reigned in."

    "You're afraid!" said Rion cuttingly.

    "I'm too late!" Greggor snapped. "My only options would surely get me killed if I failed. Then Hollander would have no one to restrain him or keep him in check."

    "Join our rebellion, then. Rally our people. We can take him down, together. You can call him out, you can-"

    Greggor cut him off, "You're mad! Open rebellion against Hollander? He'll crush you before you can blink! Years of undermining, sabotage, and the will of the people are all things you need to pull something like that off. These things take time, resources, and people in the right places. All of which I doubt you have."

    He paused, clearly in deep thought. Is it really that insane to think that forces are in motion against Hollander? Maybe he has overplayed his hand and the tide is turning against him. Maybe I really am afraid.

    A silence lingered between them. He let out a deep sigh and finally he said. "I should apologize, Rion. I have grown too complacent. And I think I've lost hope... But if you and your friends have a plan, a real plan, then I will do whatever I can to help. It always helps when you have friends in high places..."
     
  3. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3

    As sunlight shone through the window of his private office, King Atlas Stritan paced back and forth, crossing the light cast upon the floor, creating a shadow, an imposing figure of darkness against the wood grain.

    He was not a man to be trifled with. His servants would tremble at the sight of him. Knees quaking, sweat breaking out on terrified brows. How much they feared, and though they would never admit it, hated their monarch.

    But much to his dismay he could never produce the same effect upon his daughter.
    That infuriating girl!

    Nonetheless he stood...waiting...calculating, positioning himself for maximum effect. He knew the secrets of fear lay in the theater of the other persons mind. To create a danger that lurked, an unpredictable force waiting to pounce on its ever suspecting host. Intimidation was a necessity. But how can you intimidate someone who knew there was no real danger? What leverage can you have?

    He stood erect, his head held high in the aura of light surrounding him. The door to his office creaked and his chamberlain took a step forward. The chamberlain stooped, lifting his eyes just high enough to gaze upon his lord.

    "Sire," said the chamberlain, "your daughter has returned from her...ahhh, retreat to your hunting grounds."

    Before the chamberlain could properly introduce her, the door burst fully open. The princess had little patience for the sniveling man. She shoved him aside and walked hastily toward her father, stopping only a pace or two in front of him. She looked up to him meeting his eyes with hers. Hand placed firmly on her hip in obvious defiance, she stood...waiting.

    Silence lingered between them. She too knew the art of intimidation, not that she thought even in the slightest that he would feel even an inkling of such an emotion.
    Look at him! Does he think I'm still a girl swayed by a stern look and a towering figure?

    Her father was a large man, tall, a muscular build giving way to the more robust waistline that comes with age. His graying hair sat atop a square jawline and piercing red eyes. How much she hated that she inherited the genetic anomaly from him! Silence still lay thick in the room.

    "Leave us Rohan," said Atlas to his chamberlain, never breaking eye contact from his daughter.

    The chamberlain quickly exited the room, softly closing the door behind him.

    "I've heard about your stunt today, Skylar." The King looked down at his daughter, letting the words sink in. "Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

    "If I was a boy you would be having a feast!" she snapped angrily.

    She turned to walk away when her father's arm grabbed her shoulder. He spun her back around and gripped her firmly with both arms.

    "Skylar, you know I love you-" Atlas abruptly stopped as she tried to pull away. He strengthened his grip and resumed, "I know you hate what your birthright requires, but it is a requirement nonetheless! I put these restrictions on you for your own good and for the sake of this kingdom. I will not have you tear it apart!"

    "You've done a pretty good job of that without my help!" Skylar rebuffed.

    "We are on the brink of war, Skylar! This is not the time for your games!"

    The King tried to calm himself, "We cannot afford any further losses. I have had enough with mad men with their fingers on the trigger, waiting for any opportunity to blow my government to hell! We need solidarity. We need to calm our people. They need a princess. Not a thrill seeking huntress who thinks she is above our way of life!"

    "Hunting your precious boars is hardly thrill seeking," retorted Skylar.

    "Oh really?" asked Atlas sarcastically. "What would you call it then? A record! Never before in the history of all Atlantis! It's all over the news reports...What you did."

    The King released his grip and motioned with his hands proclaiming a headline, "Princess kills largest boar in history!"

    He brought his expression down to a serious inquisitiveness. "Do you have no respect for who we are? For your future?"

    "Why should I when it's already been decided for me?" the Princess replied.

    "Don't whine to me, Skylar. You don't even have enough respect to wipe the dirt from your face before speaking with me." The disgust was plain in Atlas' voice. "It's no way for The Princess of House Stritan to behave."

    "Oh yes, well, you would have me all primped and pampered, hair done and sleeping in a ball gown. Maybe the next time I go hunting, I'll go in my finest dress and heels. Get my picture taken in front of a giant boar, blood gushing out of its head and your little princess standing there all prim and proper. That will make quite a sight! The reporters will have a field day," the Princess mused, smiling at herself.

    The King turned his back on her in frustration and paced slowly to his desk. He stood behind the many papers and looked at his daughter. How her hard-headedness and tomboyish behavior pained him. He studied his daughter.
    She is so beautiful, thought Altas. Regal almost. Even in the ghastly camouflage jumpsuit she is standing in. Tall for a woman. Blonde hair accenting the red eyes that she hates so much. How she surely must make the blood of young men boil! What a wonderful tool, when used properly.
    "Skylar," said Atlas, " normally I would just kill someone who frustrated me as much as you do." He said it matter-of-factly, not trying to intimidate, just stating a simple truth. "Fortunately for you, you are my daughter and only heir."

    "What an honor for me," she replied cuttingly.

    Though she really did love her father, they had their parent-child struggles just like any other family. Unfortunately, the stakes, and therefore the emotional turmoils, we're so much higher.

    "Here is what it boils down to," said the King.

    "I know what it boils down to," replied the princess, not letting her father finish. "Image. Your precious image. Look at you! Even in your private office, outside of the sight of your sycophants and servants, you stand here dressed like you are holding court. Your lavish purple robes, your crown on your head. Does it make you feel more powerful? Does it make you feel in control?"

    "I am in control!" snapped King Atlas, pounding his fist on his desk.

    Not expecting the King's outburst, the Princess replied, betraying the slightest quiver in her voice, "Then why did you call me here, Father?"

    "We have been over this so many times, Skylar. But you are twenty years old now. Time is running out and my patience is running thin. Soon, you will have to be married. One day that young man will inherit my throne. I have no tolerance for the decay of society around us. I will not permit you to marry a man who is willing to throw away centuries of our traditions. I need you to conduct yourself as a 'lady'. A beacon, a shinning example of what a young woman should be. You cannot attract a proper kind of man behaving the way in which you do."

    "And what if I don't care to attract a man?" asked Skylar defiantly.

    The King's blood ran cold.
    Surely he must have considered the possibility. Wether he wants to confront it or not, isn't that really the undertone of his concern? Not really the attracting of the right kind of man, but a man at all. The thought amused Skylar but clearly disturbed her father.

    "I won't hear such talk," replied Atlas, a nervous edge in his voice.
    "Don't worry, father," said the Princess with a smile. "As much as I love seeing you squirm at the thought, I don't feel that way. And perhaps you should be thankful that my hunting records are the only news of my conquests in the headlines, and not those of the male variety."

    The thought had not occurred to Atlas. Perhaps things could be worse. He suddenly felt a sense of new perspective on his daughters behavior. Maybe I am too hard on her, thought Altas.

    He took a look at the room around him. His daughter spoke truth. He did care about image. They were royalty! His family had ruled Atlantis from it's beginning, going back beyond recorded history to the time of King Poseidon. There was a decorum, a respect that must be maintained. Not only by the people, but by the monarchs themselves. His dress, his palace, even his private offices, demanded the respect of history!

    Gold trims, the finest woods, ornate carvings, and exotic furnishings surrounded the two royal figures. Ancient books lined the wall behind the King above a raging fire place. A testament to the knowledge that built their society. It set them apart from the barbarians that lived on the other continents.

    The King returned his gaze to his daughter. "Look down at your feet, Skylar. What do you see?"

    The Princess looked towards her feet and saw her family crest painted on the wood floor: A warrior battling a dragon, the dragon's throat in one hand, his tail in the other.

    "The coat-of-arms for House Stritan," she replied.

    "Yes," acknowledged King Atlas. "And you know what it represents. Our history. Our culture. We have lost too much, Skylar. We once ruled all of Atlantis and now, after two damnable civil wars, what do we have?"

    "A dying kingdom," Skylar replied grimly. "A third of what we once were."

    "And yet, you don't seem to share my concern," said the King, clearly exasperated.

    "If we shared the concerns of our people maybe there would not have been two civil wars," countered the Princess. "Maybe Hollander and his little band of of lunatics would still be happy on their farms. Maybe the city of Laspr would still be inhabitable, instead of being fried in an instant along with the millions who lived there. Maybe if we were a little more 'concerned' about the common people and the slaves, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

    "For a girl so intelligent you can be so naive sometimes," sighed Atlas. "With out us they would be barbarians!"

    "Without the Pax Olympia you mean," said Skylar. "Hollander and the Congress Chamillia seem to be getting along just fine with their support."

    "Hollander's people are dying of starvation in the streets. Fallout that close by can make growing stable food sources a bit tricky. They won't last long. It's only a matter of time before his people turn on him like rabid dogs. War is brewing all around us. But that's not the point," the King paused...

    "Skylar, we have a responsibility to Atlantis. A responsibility to history. We are the power that guided this great civilization! To let it decay, to mold to the will of these so called 'progressives', would be a betrayal of all that our House represents. I will not let it happen. You will conduct yourself in a manner that befits your station. You will find love, Skylar. A man worthy of taking on the mantle of this House. And he will guide our people through these dark times to prosperity, with you lovingly at his side."

    "You speak as though you are already dead," whispered Skylar, her voice cracking.

    "In this time of uncertainty, who can know one day from the next?" asked Atlas rhetorically. "I feel like I have the world on my shoulders."

    "And you won't change your mind?" asked Skylar.

    "No woman will ever rule this land. It is our law. Congress Chamillia and their ideals be damned! I will not let our society be adulterated."

    The King paused and smile broke out on his face. "Do not worry, my dear. I will let you have your pick among the 'worthies'. I may rule with an iron fist, but I am not without a tender side. I truly want for your happiness, Skylar. One month from today we will be hosting a ball. A great extravaganza! Many young eligible men from fine noble houses will be in attendance. I trust you will be an accommodating hostess?"

    Skylar clenched her fist, anger simmering underneath the surface. She slowly raised her gaze from the floor to meet her father's eyes. She grit her teeth and replied with all the sweetness she could muster: "Of course."
     
  4. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 4

    In the weeks since he was accepted into the Pax Olympia, Hayden's world view had very much changed and he still wasn't sure how he felt about it. His own father had been lying to him his entire life! The career for which he thought he was being groomed was nothing more than a facade. And now he had to join in putting on this pretense. He wondered how much simpler things could be if common people were just told the truth. Why the need for all of this smoke and mirrors? Danyll had explained that it wasn't about deceiving the common people, but more about protecting their own.

    "Look at what they have done with our technology in the past!" Danyll had explained. "They built ships and sailed to the other continents, enslaving the barbarians and bringing them back here, massacring all that resisted. They used what we had built to dominate the rest of mankind! If given the chance, they would do it again."

    "But that was ages ago, Father." Hayden replied. "Surely we have grown as a society, grown past the desire of conquests and crusades."

    "You are smarter than that, Hayden. Stritan still has slaves! Look how hard they fought to keep some of them from gaining their freedom. It took a lunatic with an atomic weapon to get Stritan to concede. As for The Congress Chamillia, it feigns tolerance and inclusion, only to fight tooth and nail any idea that does not fit within their agenda. Our society cannot be trusted with the power that we hold. Not only for their own protection, but for the world."

    "Does it really make a difference though? The governments are not ignorant to the truth of the situation."

    "True, but secrecy equals security. The governments are happy to take credit for the advancements we make and are happy to play along. The more people know, the more prying eyes cast upon us, the greater the danger to our organization and our projects. We must have control."

    "So we pretend to be nothing more than philosophers..."

    "Most of us are philosophers, Hayden. Don't trivialize it," Danyll replied. "Son, we have been operating this way for generations. I know that it's been an unsavory realization, but it does nothing to degrade the value of what you will be doing here."

    "It'll just take some getting used to."

    Danyll gripped his son by the shoulder, "I'm sure you will adjust. In the meantime I have an important assignment for you...and you will be getting to work with one of our oldest members."

    "An honor for me, sir," replied Hayden.

    "It's not... The project is important, but Jhon is a pain in the-" Danyll sighed. "Learn what you can from him."

    A puzzled look shot across Hayden's face. "Is there anything I need to know about him?"

    "He and I have never gotten along. He is also the last living Titan. But I chair the executive council, and he feels that I stole his place."

    "Did you?" asked Hayden, sharply.

    "So untrusting all of a sudden...I wonder why?" said Danyll, his eyebrow raising with sarcastic inquisitiveness. "It's nothing like that... The council trusts me, son. They don't trust him. Jhon has never liked to play be the rules."

    "Then why do you all tolerate him?"

    Danyll shifted uncomfortably, then said: "Because he is brilliant. The greatest technical mind Atlantis has ever seen. Jhon specializes in robotics and is working on a project of the upmost importance. I want you to be of assistance and..." he sighed. "And I want you to keep an eye on him."

    This did not sit well with Hayden. "What is it that I am supposed to be looking for?" he asked.

    "I'm not entirely sure, son. Just call it a hunch. If you see anything suspicious, please let me know immediately."

    "Understood," Hayden replied. He was becoming increasingly aggravated by the distrust and secrecy growing around him.

    Hayden's attention returned to the present. He stood at the door to the main robotics lab, several floors underground at The Pax Olympia headquarters. He reached out and touched a nearby wall. It turned from an illusion of marble to a computer display. He pulled up the register to see who can was in the lab. The register showed only one name: Prometheus.

    Hayden waved his ID card in front of the door and it slid open. The register updated to include his code name: Hercules. He slowly entered the room and examined the interior. Dozens of partially constructed mechs and machines littered the sterile room. Bright lights from overhead illuminated the laboratory. Hoses and pulleys hung from the ceiling, mechs being suspended from them. Tools were laid out neatly at several workstations.

    An old man stood hunched over one of the stations. He froze as if feeling Hayden's eyes upon him. Slowly he turned around, meeting Hayden's stare. The old man was short and extremely thin. His eyes sunk deep within his aged brow. Wrinkles ran awry across his face. Thin white hair ran down to his shoulders. He looked Hayden over and grimaced.

    "You're Danyll's boy, eh?" asked the old man, his voice gravely, but surprisingly powerful. "He sent you here to keep an eye on me?"

    Hayden stood silent, not sure how to answer the man. My mission is pointless already, he thought. He decided to exhibit confidence and prowess. Perhaps I can convince him of my usefulness and prove his trust to be a worthy gamble.
    "You must be Jhon," Hayden responded.

    A look of anger flashed upon the old man's visage. He pointed a finger towards Hayden and exclaimed: "You will learn respect, young man! Here...here in this sacred place," he drifted off. His eyes circled the room as if drawing power from the sanctity of its walls. "Here, I am to be afforded the dignity of my station! I am the last for The Titans. You will address me by my true name."

    Taken aback, Hayden muttered softly: "Prometheus."

    "That's right. My life, everything that I am, is within these walls. This is my temple, my sanctum. And here I will be shown respect!"

    "I meant no disrespect, sir. I apologize for any offense I have caused."

    Hayden walked towards Prometheus confidently, his hand extended in greeting. "I am," he paused smiling, "Hercules."

    "I know who you are," replied Prometheus, shaking Hayden's hand. "And I know why you are here. Zeus, doesn't trust me and he wants you to be his spy."

    No sense in lying, Hayden thought. "You're correct. But if you have nothing to hide, then I have nothing to find. So...I'm sure we both have nothing to worry about."

    Prometheus' anger began to subside and his features softened, appreciating Hayden's candor and honesty.

    "Very well," he replied to the young man. "I saw that your Major was in robotics. Top of your class...Perhaps you can be useful to this project."

    Hayden stepped forward, a reassuring smile breaking out across his face. "What exactly is the project?"

    "Your father didn't tell you?"

    "No, sir. Does this surprise you?"

    "Not entirely. But I would've thought that he would jump at the opportunity to indoctrinate in you his philosophy."

    The statement left Hayden confused. "And what is his philosophy?" he asked in reply.

    "Peace, dear boy. Peace, prosperity, and the purity of the human soul. Freedom to choose, and when given that freedom, the inevitability of good prevailing over all."

    "I've never known him to be a man of such sentiments," countered Hayden. "Quite the opposite, in fact. If anything, you have more described my thoughts."

    "Is that so?" asked Prometheus with a sigh. "Well, if he already sees that within you, logically he would encourage that line of thinking the best way he knows how."

    "We argued about these very topics not one hour ago. He did nothing to encourage my philosophy. To the contrary, he quite forcefully argued against it."

    "And did his arguments change your mind? Hmm? Did they?" Silence hung in the air like a thick smog. "I didn't think so... One of the best ways to reinforce and idea is to challenge it. Force the subject to argue the point, further convincing themselves that they are correct while trying to persuade another..."

    A look of anger, confusion, and realization swept over Hayden. He cast his eyes to the ground as if afraid to confront these thoughts any longer. Hayden felt he was failing in exuding the confidence he was hoping to portray.

    Prometheus leaned in close and whispered: "Don't confuse rhetoric with action, boy."

    Shaken, Hayden was desperate to change the subject. "What are we working on?"

    "We are not working on anything," replied Prometheus. "I am working on a project to save Atlantis."

    "Save it?" asked Hayden. "I didn't know it was in danger."

    "Perhaps that's because of your philosophy," replied Prometheus. "It blinds you to reality. Blurring the facts of the situation to fit more closely to the tapestry of your mind. Don't try to create the narrative. Work with the situation to mitigate consequence. Few men can truly change the world."

    "What consequences does your philosophy predict?" asked Hayden sharply.

    "War! Terrible war," Prometheus answered. "And it's not philosophy that predicts this. It's fact."

    Hayden pondered these sentiments and came to a realization. He can't be alone in this thinking. At least in probable outcomes, though there might be disagreement over motive. Even my father feels this project is important, so the danger must be imminent.
    "You are working to prevent a war?" Hayden asked.

    "No." Prometheus shook his head. "This war can't be prevented. So we are going to equip the participants to fight it safely."

    "I'm confused," Hayden admitted.

    "A child will play, even in inappropriate places. They will misbehave at times, this is a certainty." The old man paused, waiting for affirmation.

    "What does this have to do with preventing war?" asked Hayden.

    "You are not listening!" replied Prometheus angrily. "You are as dense as your father! We are not preventing anything, just as a parent cannot stop a child from wanting to play. So they discipline them, provide them with outlets to release their pent up energy, and create a safe environment. That is where we come in."

    A perplexed look seemed painted upon Hayden's face. Prometheus could see he wasn't getting anywhere with the young man and decided it would be best just to show him.

    "Follow me," Prometheus ordered.

    He turned a walked at a surprisingly brisk pace. Hayden followed him to a lift that took the two of them to a lab deeper underground. The lift reached the bottom and everything went dark. Prometheus held up his security ID and the lights cut back on and the door to the lift opened. An immense rock chamber stood before them. It stretched for miles in every direction. Legions of armored mechs stood littering the metal floors.

    Hayden gulped. He had no idea that the underground complex was so large. "What is this place?" he asked.

    "I like to call it: The Toy Box," replied Prometheus. He turned to Hayden, looking at the young man's reasoning face. "Now, do you understand?"

    Hayden stood aghast trying to let the scene sink in. Finally he spoke: "You're going to reinvent how war is fought."

    "Now you're using your mind," Prometheus smiled. "We cannot stop the war that's coming, but we can make it safer. The coin of war has always been human life. But that's only because we've had nothing else..."

    "So you give the participants toys to play war instead."

    "Exactly," replied Prometheus, glad that the young man was starting to piece the endgame together in his mind. "These politicians, these leaders, these fools... They simply need an outlet, toys to make them feel powerful. We create a safer environment to let them try to settle their differences, not that they really can be."

    "And you really think they will go along with it?" asked Hayden.

    "They will be made to. Comply or face sanctions from The Pax Olympia. They won't refuse," Prometheus replied. "Besides, they wouldn't dare put flesh and blood up against one of these drones. After all, only one faction has to accept and the rest will fall in line."

    Hayden was intrigued by the concept, the possibility to change how wars are fought. He was beginning to see the gravity of the work that The Pax Olympia was engaging in. He felt renewed interest by the importance of what they were trying to accomplish. He disagreed with Prometheus, this really could change the world!

    "What do you call the drones?" asked Hayden.

    "I haven't decided yet," replied Prometheus. "Perhaps you can help me choose a fitting name. Would you like to see them up close?"
     
  5. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 5

    The two cloaked figures made their way through the darkness. Moonlight shone down on the filthy street. Dirt kicked up with every foot print, mixing with the foul burnt air.
    Everywhere I go there is a reminder of our sins.

    Passing through the dark alleyways, clinging to the shadows, Greggor tried to keep his head low. He didn't want to take the chance that some spy or surveillance camera might recognize him. He and his companion, the young man Rion, had been making their way through the shamble of a city for over an hour now.

    "How much farther?" inquired Greggor, knowing every second he spent lurking through this hellhole was bringing unnecessary danger to himself and his companion.

    Rion turned his head, looking back at Greggor. "Why? Don't you trust me?" He paused, smiling. "Don't worry, we are not far."

    In truth, Greggor did not fully trust the young man. He wanted to believe him, that these rebels really had a plan and needed his help. That there was still a chance to redeem himself.
    In my desperation to cleanse my conscience, have I fallen into a fools snare? he thought.

    But Greggor wanted to believe, needed to believe. That is why he found himself crawling through the shadows.

    He had been quite surprised when Rion had found him earlier that day in one of Hollander's army barracks. Greggor was there inspecting the base, speaking with the commanders about their shortages of rations and supplies. He spent most of his time thanking them for their loyalty and 'patriotism', and lyingly assuring them that soon more supplies were on their way.

    Shortly thereafter Rion made himself known. The young man had snuck on to the base and stolen a uniform. Evidently, a Sergeant Kline was missing his clothes. Greggor had just returned to his temporary quarters when Rion appeared at his door.

    "Have you lost your mind?" Greggor asked angrily.

    He grabbed the young man by the collar and pulled him inside the doorway. The room was barely furnished with only a cot, a desk and chair. The walls were a dark green metal, except for the computer panel next to the desk.

    Rion was clearly amused by the reaction he had received from Greggor. After Greggor released his grip, Rion stood up straight and dusted himself off as if Greggor had just drug him through the dirt. They stood silent while the young man briefly gazed around the room.

    He smirked and said: "At least when are sent out on these inspections, you can relax in the same level of comfort you are used to at home."

    "Look, smart guy, just because Hollander has a taste for obscene luxury, it doesn't mean that I follow suit. We were simple. I've never forgotten where we came from. And I will not sit here day after day drowning my conscience with every indulgence that pops in my head." Greggor paused then said bitterly, "I know people are starving. Fallout was never part of the plan."

    An uncomfortable silence hung in the air between them. Greggor looked intently at Rion and asked, "What are you doing here?"

    "Things are moving faster than we anticipated," Rion replied. "They need to meet with you tonight."

    "Ah, your band of rebels," said Greggor almost sarcastically.

    "This is not a joke! We are not a joke!" snapped Rion. Anger flashed across his heavy brow.

    "I apologize," said Greggor in all sincerity, throwing his hands up. "I shouldn't make fun. In truth... at times I wish I had your courage."

    "For our sakes," sighed Rion, "I'm hoping you still do."

    Greggor shook his head. "There are people watching me here," he replIed. "They will notice if I just disappear. Surely it will be reported back to Hollander."

    Greggor then closed his eyes as if thinking deeply. He walked over to his cot and pulled out a case from underneath it. He opened the locks and started rummaging through it, then pulled out a large bottle of liquor and turned around facing Rion.

    He smiled and said with mock innocence: "I do have to drown my conscience with something...I wonder if the top brass here would like to join me tonight for a drink? A token of my appreciation for their loyalty and sacrifices for 'the cause.'"

    Rion stern countenance turned to a grin. "Midnight. Southern side of Lospr on the outskirts by the fountain. I'll find you."

    Greggor let out a small chuckle, "You always do."

    His attention refocused on the moment at hand. The pair had been continuing to walk through the alleys. After several turns they finally reached their destination. Rion held up his hand signaling a sudden halt.

    There was small wooden door in front of them with a frosted window beside it. Extending his hand, Rion knocked on the window instead of the door, knocking with a two-three-two pattern. They waited for what seemed like an eternity. Greggor raised his hand this time, preparing to repeat the same pattern when Rion grabbed his arm.

    "Wait!" he whispered.

    They stood there watching. After a few more seconds the door creaked open and the end of a rifle emerged from the darkness.

    "Come in," said a low voice from the black.

    Greggor looked warily over at Rion.

    The young man met his gaze and said, "Trust me."

    The pair entered the room and the door quickly closed behind them. They stood in utter darkness when they felt knives against their throats and strong hands grabbing their arms.

    Dim lights turned on and softly illuminated the room around them. The light revealed four men restraining the two visitors. It was a small room that looked like it used to be a kitchen. But that was obviously a long time ago. Dirt and dried grease covered the floors making it harder than usual to keep sure footing. A single door adorned the wall opposite the room's entrance.

    It opened revealing a man of average height who walked slowly towards Greggor and Rion. The man's face was grizzled with a long scar running from his temple to his lower jaw line. He stood toe-to-toe with Greggor. The man was a few inches shorter than Greggor and had to look up slightly to meet his eyes. He was unintimidated, a look of disgust and distrust plainly set in his features. He stood, not breaking eye contact, not uttering a word. When the silence bordered on absurdity, he broke his stare and stepped over to Rion.

    He snapped: "You're late!"

    "I'm sorry," Rion conceded. "It was a long trip."

    The man moved his tongue over his teeth then flicked. He wasn't interested in excuses. He took a step back and extended his arm towards the door from which he had entered. "What are you waiting for?"

    Greggor and Rion were almost picked off of their feet as the captors moved them towards the door. They were led through a dark hall way and down a flight of stairs. Finally they were seated in a pitch black room.

    "Kid," said Greggor, "If this is some kind of trick...I swear to God, I'll-"

    He was cut off the by hiss of electricity and the sudden illumination of the room around them, revealing several figures seated in a crescent surrounding himself and Rion.

    "There won't be any need for that, Mr. Sorros," interjected a voice from the center of the group. "I very much doubt he hears your prayers anyways."

    It had been a while since Greggor had heard that name, and it sent a shiver down his spine. It was a reminder of the young man he once was. A simpler time, before he and Hollander had assumed the names of two heroes from Atlantean lore.

    He was born Mikos Sorros. Son of a farmer and a slave. He often wondered how his choices had affected his parents. Did they consider him a dreamer? A mad man? A revolutionary? All he had wanted was a better life for them. Freedom for his fellow slaves. In retrospect, he now believed that a hard life was better than no life at all.

    Greggor cleared his throat then said: "All this smoke and mirrors? You think this will protect you from him? Hollander is many things, but he is no fool."

    "You are here, aren't you?" the central voice, a short-haired woman of probably sixty years replied. "Surely you must feel some security from our precautions." She leaned forward bringing her aged olive-skinned face more fully into the light. "Or are you really just that brave?"

    "I'm simply offering you a warning," Greggor answered. "Hollander is more paranoid than ever. Be cautious...Act quickly."

    "Many thanks for your warning, Mr. Sorros," she replied curtly. "We fully intend to."

    "Stop playing games with him, Myra," interjected a male voice from her left. "We don't have time for this crap."

    "By all means, Sal. Take the lead," she replied.

    "I still think this is a bad idea," called out a small, red-haired man seated on the far right.

    "Good lord!" Greggor shouted in frustration. "You people don't have a chance in hell! Bickering fools."

    He went to stand up when a pair of hands grabbed him by the shoulders and held him down in his seat.

    "Get you hands off me!" he snapped.

    The room had obviously been set up to intimidate him. From the looks of it he was in some sort of meat processing facility. Hooks and chains hanging from the ceiling, large grinders scattered about. The smell of decayed flesh hung in his nostrils.

    Intimidation was an art. But as with many artists, the sense of wonder is gone when you are familiar with the techniques used to perfect the craft.

    "I'm sorry if we've given you a bad first impression," said Sal. He was a man close to Greggors age, about thirty. He had vey dark skin and short curly hair. He was dressed in loose fitting combat fatigues that looked like they were well worn. Dirt was caked on his calloused hands.

    "Rion here," Sal said, gesturing to the young man," has been one of your biggest advocates. He believes that there is something different about you. You and Hollander are not exactly cut from the same cloth are you?"

    "What is this? A job interview?" chuckled Greggor.

    "In a manner of speaking," answered Myra.

    "What my colleague, here, means is that we need your help," said Sal. "We have grown significantly in number. People flock to our cause every day. Young, old, man and woman. Doctors, lawyers, musicians, soldiers, slaves... All of them tired of waiting. The wool has been pulled from our eyes and we now see Hollander's promises for what they really are."

    His paused, studying Greggors reaction, seeing the evidence of the tormented soul that lay beneath the surface.

    The words cut Greggor to his heart. His hanging head swung up, looking straight at Sal. His eyes watered, filled with self-loathing.

    "I can't change what we did. I can't give those people their lives back." Greggor paused, his voice cracking, "But I'm willing to help make things better, if there really is a way. What exactly are you planning?"

    "Wait!" objected the small man sitting at the end.

    "Shut up, Golen!" replied Sal.

    "How do we know we can trust him?" Golen protested. "A few crocodile tears, and you think all is forgiven? This is Hollander's right hand we are talking about! He'll rat us out! How do we know he didn't already tell Hollander about this meeting?"

    A few other voices from the group began speaking up. Some in agreement, some not.

    "The council has already debated this!" Sal exclaimed. He looked to the woman in the center and said. "Myra, we know what we have to do. There is no other way."

    She nodded in agreement.

    Sal looked back to Greggor and slowly walked toward him. He spoke, "Our plan is simple, but the timing is crucial. As you know, outright assassination is not an option. Hollander's personal commandos and The War Ministry would likely step in and challenge you for command if something were to happen to him. The key to removing both problems lies in-"

    Before Sal could finish his sentence and explosion suddenly blew open the door to the room.

    Flash grenades deafened Greggor, leaving a ringing in his ears. In the ensuing chaos he darted for cover behind one of the large meat grinders.

    Trying to get his senses back, he took a few slow, deep breaths. He came to the realization that he had to identify who was responsible for this attack. Are these rebels trying to kill me? Or is Hollander responsible? Does he know I'm here or could this just be part of a normal rebel crackdown?

    Greggor peered out from behind the grinder, though the smoke, to see six of Hollander's commandos dressed in black combat gear with the insignia of their faction on their shoulders. They had laze-riffles in their hands and he saw them in a fire-fight with the rebel's that just seconds before had been laying out their plan to take out Hollander.

    "You've betrayed us, Greggor!" shouted Golen, ducking behind a wall.

    Greggor looked around for a weapon. He saw a set of butcher knives on a table next to the grinder he was hiding behind. Not ideal, but it would have to do.

    He grabbed a knife about eight inches in length and ducked back down behind the grinder. He peered around the side and saw a commando standing about four feet from him. The commando evidently had not seen Greggor and his back was turned to him. The commando was clutching his rifle with his elbow raised, finger on the trigger.

    As he fired towards the rebels who had bunkered themselves behind a large table and a wall, Greggor leaped out from behind the grinder and thrust the knife up underneath the commando's raised arm, though his armpit and into his lungs. With his other arm, Greggor grabbed the riffle and pulled it out of the clutches of the staggering commando, who then fell to the ground clutching his chest.

    One down, five to go.

    Greggor raised the riffle and fired into the back of another commando.

    Four.

    He dove back behind the grinder knowing that he had attracted the attention on the other commandos. Just before diving, he saw that one of the rebels had managed to fire off a couple rounds from a laze-pistol and hit one of the commandos in the head.
    Three.
    "You've betrayed us, Greggor!" screamed Golen again.
    What an idiot! A less experienced man may have shouted back in reply, but Greggor knew now was not the time. With his hearing starting to return to normal, Greggor heard the heavy footsteps of a commando coming his way.

    The commando fired at the grinder, but thankfully for Greggor it was made of a hardy metal. Greggor popped out and fired off a few rounds but then the riffle jammed. He quickly ducked back down.
    Just what I need!

    He looked up at the table next to him and grabbed a cleaver. The commando cast a shadow on the floor, closing in.
    Right where I want him.

    Greggor braced himself, knowing that the commando would never expect something this bold. He jumped out from behind the grinder and grabbed the end of the riffle, pushing it up toward the ceiling. With all of his might he swung with his other arm, cleaver in hand, slicing through the arm of the commando. Letting out a scream, the commando fell to the ground. Greggor flipped the gun around and tossed aside the forearm of it's previous owner. He then fired on the commando who was still in shock from what had just happened.
    Two.

    Greggor grabbed the corpse by the vest and drug it behind the grinder with him. Hanging low by the table, he grabbed a meathook and ran it through the commando's vest. Pulling on the other end of the chain, Greggor hoisted the corpse into the air.

    Startled, the other commandos, turned their attention to the swinging corpse and began firing.
    Now is my chance!

    Greggor leaped from behind the grinder and fired at the two remaining commandos. He hit one commando right in the chest. The commando fell to the ground and Greggor ducked back for cover.
    One.
    Greggor heard the heavy footsteps of the last commando. Instead of coming towards him, they went running out the door from which they had come.
    It can't be...coward!

    Greggor waited another moment. A relative calm descended upon the chaos, with only the sound of wincing breaths and flesh still searing from the laze-blasts. Greggor slowly peered out. The final commando had fled.

    He stood up and surveyed the room. Bodies lay strewn across the floor. Smoke thick in the air. It had been some time since he had been in combat. He was never comfortable with fighting, but he did have some skill in that area. He had hoped those days were behind him.

    Greggor started walking across the room and yelled out: "Is anyone still alive?" He paused and there was no response. "Rion?," he shouted, "Anyone?"

    From behind a wall Sal slowly limped out. He had taken a shot to the knee. "I think we are the only ones," Sal answered.

    "Where is Rion?" Greggor asked, his voice cracking.

    He looked frantically and saw the young man's body lifeless on the floor. He ran to Rion and fell to his knees. He looked and the saw the features still frozen on Rion's face, fear, pain...acceptance. Greggor closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

    Exhaling, he said: "I'm so sorry, boy. You deserve so much more than this!"

    Sal approached from behind and placed a hand on Greggor's shoulder.

    "It's never easy," said Sal knowingly. "But he knew what he was fighting for. At least there's honor in that."

    Greggor turned to face Sal. He stood and locked eyes.

    "You're right about one thing..." Greggor paused. "It's never easy."

    An uncomfortable silence lingered between them. Breaking it, Greggor said: "We have to get out of here before they order an air strike. We can't go out the way we came. Is there another way out of here?"

    "Yeah, follow me."

    Sal led Greggor through an air duct, straining with his injured knee. They eventually made their way to a series of ancient winding sewage tunnels that finally deposited them in a courtyard miles from where they had come.

    They looked around in the dim light trying to ascertain exactly where they were, glad to be out of the underground waste. But it wasn't much better in the land above. This was once a courtyard next to a busy city square. Shops, restaurants and happy faces had once adorned these streets. Now there was nothing but scorched earth, melted glass, and the bones of dead corpses. Their flesh had vaporized in an instant.

    Sal got his bearings and then asked "Do you think they followed you here?"

    Greggor thought for a moment before responding, then spoke up saying: "Either they followed me to your little hideout, or your security isn't as good as you think it is. Either way we have a huge problem. If Hollander knows I was here, I'm as good as dead."

    "You seemed to handle yourself pretty well," Sal countered. "Six of Hollander's commando's could take out a small village if they wanted to."

    "You don't help spearhead a revolution without getting into a few fights," Greggor replied. "I have no way to know if they were after me or if Hollander already had an assault planned to take out your little council of wise men. I guess I will know when I get back to my base."

    "You know how far back this sets our plans?" Sal questioned. "Why don't you come with me? Become a figure our people can rally behind. Help us rebuild."

    "I'm done building revolutions," answered Greggor. "I've seen first-hand what it does to a man. I was willing to help you, but that was all I was offering...help. I will not become your messiah."

    Sal tried to counter: "I wasn't asking you to-"

    Greggor cut him off. "You don't know what you are asking. You think you can come out on the other side of this the same man? Your soul will be so mutilated and scarred, you won't even be able to recognize yourself when you look in the mirror."

    "We've come too far. We are in too deep. I will not walk away from this!" Sal shouted.

    "This is my burden to bear," replied Greggor. "Tonight has reminded me of the debt I owe to our people. But I'm not willing to drag others down into the abyss with me. We will need pure souls to lead us out of this darkness. There is still good I can do as long as I haven't been found out. I'm willing to accept my fate, whatever it may be..."

    "If you could bring him down on your own, why haven't you already?" asked Sal.

    "I think I was still hoping I could save myself...But after tonight, I don't think it's possible," Greggor said grimly.

    "So what are you going to do?" Sal questioned.

    "I'm not sure, yet," Greggor answered. "But I'm not going to stand by and watch people continue to suffer. We need to get out of here before we drop from radiation poisoning. This place is not safe."


    ***********************

    "You're sure?" asked Hollander to the commando standing in front of him. The man looked like he had been through hell.

    "Positive, sir!" replied the commando.

    Hollander shook his head grimacing at the thought. "Did you get visual confirmation? You realize these are serious charges?"

    "I understand, sir," said the commando confidently. "It was dark and the room was filled with smoke. But I know what I heard."

    Hollander glanced down at the report and fidgeted nervously. "These exact words?"

    "Yes, sir," the commando answered.

    "Thank you, lieutenant. You're dismissed."

    Hollander turned his back and walked toward a window overlooking his orchards. He stared out the window as he crumpled the report he held in his hands. His eyes watered, finally cresting to a single tear running down each cheek.

    The words in the lieutenant's report played in his head again and again until they made their way out on his lips in a faint whisper: "You've betrayed us, Greggor!"
     
  6. RustyBarnacles

    RustyBarnacles Well-Known Member

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    You may want to not post stuff that you don't want stolen. I'm not saying anyone on the forums would do that, but if you care about your material, you may want to protect that and save it for those you trust that will give you honest feedback.
     
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  7. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    Copy and pasted. Now to just find and replace a few names.


    J/k
     
  8. RustyBarnacles

    RustyBarnacles Well-Known Member

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    Honest feedback...

    Chapters are really short for an epic.

    Go into more detail (descriptions )

    Combine into lengthier sentences when possible so it flows rather than seeming choppy.
    "The walls were made of glass, a giant touchscreen computer that could be accessed at any time. When not in use, the glass would project the illusion of marble walls, keeping with the whitewashed "clean" feel of the massive complex."

    ex: The walls were projected marble on a vast touchscreen computer. Each pixel flickered with the veins, cracks, and pure white detail of the artificial stone adding a sense of sterility to the environment casting a sense of endlessness upon the already expansive complex.

    Another thing too, is to try not to repeat the same prepositions, adverbs, and adjectives in adjoining sentences.

    Essentially...you have a story in your head, a complete world that you see. How can you make the reader see it in their mind as vividly as you do?
     
  9. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Try a fanfic forum.
     
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  10. Purple Heart

    Purple Heart Pure Passion

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    Tell me, what is the theme or your story?
     
  11. Scowly Prowl

    Scowly Prowl Still calculating variables...

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    A few thoughts:

    1. Where is this happening?
    2. What is your audience? Adult? YA?
    3. Think about what the dialogue is trying to convey. Are you developing a character? Explaining a scene? Adding humour? Less is more. Also, try to avoid using words to explain what the dialogue is portraying. For example, an interjection should be clear from the contents of the dialogue, and the sequence in the text; you should not need to state that a character interjected the comment with the given dialogue.
     
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  12. BeastWars 4ever

    BeastWars 4ever Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys for the honest feedback! I really appreciate that it’s constructive and it will be put to good use. I’m mainly trying to figure out if it’s worth my time to keep going. I enjoy writing, but it’s very time consuming...

    Anyways, to answer a few questions, the story is set in Atlantis and revolves around what led to it sinking. It also offers an alternate play on Greek mythology and “shows” where a lot if it came from. I don’t want to give too much away, but I imagine it as a sci-fi political/war epic, with an alternative history twist.

    Again, thanks for the feedback guys.
     
  13. moreprimeland

    moreprimeland Optimus told me to do it! Moderator

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    While not TF FF, it's a better fit in our Fan Fiction forum than GD. :)