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JRMurdock
July 28th, 2004, 10:36 PM
I see a lot of people who've participated in earlier exercises are not writing for the recent string of exercises. Here's one for any who wish a 'one off' exercise.

Sole Survivor.

Sometimes getting into a character's head isn't as easy as it may seem. How about if it's the last person on earth. Sure I know it's cliche, but it's fun, right? Dig into your character's head. What would he/she do being that last survivor? No cop outs with 'look other people survived' and the person get's rescued. Please be light on the 'gore' if you choose to go that route.

Dawnstorm
July 29th, 2004, 12:44 PM
I see a lot of people who've participated in earlier exercises are not writing for the recent string of exercises. Here's one for any who wish a 'one off' exercise.

Currently, my online time is reduced, and I use that time for other things. I am following the exercises though, and think you're doing an excellent job.

If there hadn't been as many replies, I might have joined to entice others. But as it is, I enjoy seeing the threads thrive. I might be back full-time, some day.
:)

JRMurdock
July 29th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Thanks Dawnstorm, that means a lot. I'm having fun with this series of exercises and it'll go on for a bit longer. I'm working on the story for the exercise now. It's an interesting one :). I also need to prepare my piece for Chezron tomorrow so I can post that when I post the exercise. Of course I'm still doing a couple 'other' short stories and editing my book. I hope to get in some reading in there. Gosh. I need to make some time. Glad Red Bull is in abundance. :D

SubZero61992
July 29th, 2004, 02:11 PM
Thanks Dawnstorm, that means a lot. I'm having fun with this series of exercises and it'll go on for a bit longer. I'm working on the story for the exercise now. It's an interesting one :). I also need to prepare my piece for Chezron tomorrow so I can post that when I post the exercise. Of course I'm still doing a couple 'other' short stories and editing my book. I hope to get in some reading in there. Gosh. I need to make some time. Glad Red Bull is in abundance. :D

What about if it was a pregnat woman?
Could we atleast bring that little soul out during the Exercise?

I am un-familiar with these exercises so sorry if I am a bit rude.

JRMurdock
July 29th, 2004, 02:20 PM
Hey Subzero. Run with that slant. I like it.

The only hard and fast rule is 400 words. We don't want to write something too long that most people won't read through. Mainly what I want here is though. The thoughts of your character. How do they feel about being absolutely alone with no hope of rescue.

JRMurdock
August 2nd, 2004, 12:22 PM
"CQ35 to base, CQ35 to base come in base."

Base -- or anyone else -- hadn't responded for days, yet Lieutenant Daniel Larson continued to try. Stars filled his view port. He'd seen nothing but stars for the last fifteen days. He turned off his communications screen and turned up the personal log.

"Day fifteen: I've stopped caring about the time, or the date for that matter," His voice was low and sullen. "We didn't even notice when they took Pluto. Even Neptune and Uranus went unnoticed at first. But when they started mining Saturn, the scientists really took notice. That's when NASA started a world wide effort to communicate with the aliens. Their efforts were fruitless even throughout the ten years it took the aliens to remove Jupiter from the sky.

"Finally the ship they'd been working on was finish and they hoped to meet up with them at Mars. If only they'd gotten that base built like they'd planned we would have been there already. The asteroid belt disappeared and they moved onto Mars. Earth looked doomed, so the planet united and a fleet of defensive ships was constructed. I'm sitting in one.

"The ships are nice. I've enough food and water to keep me occupied for a month. I'm being very sparing with it though and it should last me much longer than that." Daniel took a moment to cough and take a sip of water.
"Anyway, they took Mercury and Venus next. I don't know why, but they left earth for last. It wasn't even a fight. Most fighters were knocked out before it even began. I was one of the unlucky who got to go up against them. What a joke. I took one shot to my engines and I've been floating ever since. They didn't even have the decency to come back and kill me.

"Earth disappeared from my view in hours. They apparently became more efficient in planet removal as they progressed through our solar system. Nothing left but stars and the sun. I don't know if they'll be back for that. Hell, I don't even know if I'll be here. I don't even know why I'm talking into this stupid machine. It's not like anyone will ever hear this."

Daniel flipped the log off. His fist clenched and he gritted his teeth as he smashed his fist down onto the emergency canopy release.

SubZero61992
August 2nd, 2004, 12:42 PM
Nice, kinda scary story.
It reminded me of the end of the book Terminater 3: Rise of The Machines.

JRMurdock
August 2nd, 2004, 01:03 PM
I like the premise I created here, but it does read more like a plot line. 400 words is just so limiting. Fun, but limiting. So much more I could have added in here. More agnoy and despair. :)

World Builder
August 3rd, 2004, 09:07 PM
I probably failed this exercise :). I went a little over the 400 word limit (~470 words). The character is the last person on earth on a technicality, and the basic concept is probably unclear. I wrote it to fit into my major SF sequence, at a time period I haven't wrote in yet but would certainly exist at some point in the future history of Earth. So the concepts are rather detailed in my mind, but not in a way I can express in 400 words without becoming an essay... Anyhow, enough rambling.

*****

The twisted bundle of flesh came lifeless from its mother’s womb.

The midwife gasps. I snatch it away before my daughter could see the stillborn… I can’t even bring myself to call it a “baby.” It’s not human. Of course, neither is my daughter, not fully. No more than mules were horses. I can’t deny that any longer.

Another crowd has gathered outside the midwife’s home, mostly village females. They jostle for a better look at the bundle I have wrapped up under my arm. They must be wondering if my daughter had done the impossible. The trees are silent; the females know now is not the time for having babies.

My attention jerks at one group of females to another. They have no right to call themselves women. Only I can now. The throng of brown faces melt together like reflections in a muddy puddle. I wipe the tears from my blood-shot eyes and flick them into the crowd, beating the females out of my way. Their eyes follow but only for an instant. The rabble explodes in a roar for whispers.

I dash past the males’ long house and spit on the deer hide covers hanging over the wood frame. Smoke curls from a gap in the roof and voices leak through the walls. They plan the cicada harvest for next summer and divide up the females for mating as an their elder rattles off a list of females who will soon begin their once-every-eighteen-year period of reproductive viability. One of the young males requests the “freak.” The others laugh. My daughter’s current mate laughs loudest, a high stuttering laugh. I spit on their long house again and kick dust. I want to burst into the council and beat them all to death, with the corpse of my own failed grandchild if I could not find something heavier.

Running through the forest I ignore the naked branches slashing my face. Warm blood trickles down my cheek, mixing with my tears. The salt from my crying stings the wound. I pant for breath as I begin running up hill, reaching out for a branch or a sapling for help. Dead leaves crunch underfoot. At the top of the hill I collapse at the base of the metal god-tree.

I lay there, gaping like a dying fish. My chest rising and falling almost as fast as my heart hammers inside of it. The god-tree looms over me, scraping the sky—rusted metal struts visible under bare, ragged vines. My right hand fumbles through the soggy detritus of the forest. I find the pointed slab of slate and roll over. Kneeling before the god-tree I hold the slab overhead and slam it into the brown leaves and black dirt, scraping out a shallow grave beside fourteen other tiny mounds.

Expendable
August 4th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Hi. I hope you like my story.
__________________________________________________ __

The hatch slid open and two ratings appeared, both fighting to keep hold of the woman in the orange prison coveralls struggling in chains between them.

“NO!” she screamed, seeing the inclined chair in the middle of the pod. Frantically, she tried to grab the hatch frame. One of the men grinned savagely and punched her in the stomach, driving the air out of her lungs. She fell to the floor in a puddle of orange and laid there gasping for air.

The two ratings scooped her up and dropped their prisoner in the chair, getting her arms into the restraints just as she managed a thin ragged breath. Ignoring her, they knelt down and shoved her feet into the leg restraints, snapping them shut, and then one who punched her started undoing her cuffs while the second began strapping her into the seat.

Coughing, she balled her hands into fists and lifted her head to glare helplessly at the two men.
“Bastards,” she managed weakly as the last cuff was taken off her wrist. The two ratings finished up then faced the view screen where the Captain waited.
“Pod ready, Sir.”
“Clear the pod.”

“Samantha Chandler,” The Captain said sternly on the screen, “We are aware of the effect of today’s crowded living conditions has on citizens such as yourself, but treatment in your case has failed. To prevent further attempts at riot and revolt, we are marooning you here on Terra Six with a fully equipped pod. Terra Six won’t be ready for colonists for another seventy years, but it has a breathable atmosphere. Conditions may be harsh but livable. May God have mercy on your soul.”

“Don’t I get any last words?” she demanded bitterly.
The captain turned his head to look at someone off camera. “Jettison the pod.”

There was a clunk, and then a loud roar that filled the tiny cabin of the pod, drowning out her screams.

It was quiet when she woke up, stiff and sore. Her restraints had opened automatically and she quickly undid the straps, pulling herself out of the chair to stumble to the hatch control.

The hatch slid open and she stumbled outside, looking wildly around. The sun was going down on the horizon of an ocean while waves crashed nearby on an empty sandy beach.

Taking a deep breath of cold air, she smiled grimly.
“Alone at last.”