March 26th, 2000, 07:04 AM
MegaOpolis (Please Read)
Please read my story and give me a review. Im talking with some publishers in the comic industry and these could help me alot.
Itís a dark night as a helicopter makes a fly by past a crystal building. With its windows displaying the images of the rock and roll group Tetsuwan Atom. Raindrops begin to fall in little scatters each one bouncing off the crystal tower onto the broken pavement. Suddenly a man covered in head to toe in a brown tattered trench coat. Makes a sudden turn down circuit rat alley. He runs frantically as though being pursued heavily by someone or something. Approaching him steadfast are the heavy steps of his dark clad assailants. Finally reaching the end of his run he comes upon a brick wall. Heís trapped with no way of escaping. The heavy steps from his assailants turn into a thunderous sound of marching. As the pursuers come into full view they resemble a mixture of nazi and old south KKK. With and open eye emblem blazed across their chest. Each one holding what seems to be a classic civil war rifle.
The frightened man turns around to face his enemies prepared for what will happen next. With the fear of death still in him, he backs away hoping that by some luck heíll be saved. Not knowingly though while backing up he steps upon a broken manhole and drops himself into the muck filled sewers. Forgoing any bruises he has brought upon himself. He gets up and immediately continues his get away.
As he makes his way down the sewage he can hear a rather quite loud echoing march. It seems his fall into the sewers has not steered his pursuers of his track. The man not able to take anymore of this constant running decides to take some rest in a sewage duct. Hoping that after some time his enemies will pass him and lose interest in his apprehension. After this entire tireless running he decides to sit himself down. From under his coat he takes an old torn book out and a broken pencil from his pocket and begins writing. From the looks of it outside the time must be anywhere from 6-7pm.
Which means I have about an hour before the ferry closes to Manhattan Island. Still I canít figure out how the eyes were able to find me. The NEXX chip isnít inside of me anymore. (He unwraps his left hand to show a charred hole that goes right through it) Probably one of the Artificial Intelligence workers noticed I wasnít in the system anymore. That would be the only way for them to alert the eyes for my disposal or reinstatement into the system. Depending on how large of a threat I am to them.
They canít catch me though, if they do the purpose of my fighting will have gone to waste. Now with that being said letís see where I was in this book. (Flipping through the pages) Here we are Chapter 10 Novus Ordo Seclurum. I donít think anybody ever saw it coming. Usually based on the fact if you couldnít see it being done it wasnít. In the end though we were wrong. Some would come to call it the beginning of the Orwell generation. For on July 4, 1984 the United States government passed a law called Big Brother. From what was stated in the papers this proposal would allow the U.S. to set up a system of networks. In which its citizens could be watched, protected and maintained safely and respectfully. Still like many things in the face of politics there were those who undeniably needed to voice their opinions. They proclaimed that the act is a threat of privacy and a hypocritical statement on America. Surprisingly though that was only a few for the rest saw it as a joy. Bringing the safety and comfort we all sought for. I will admit who ever thought George Orwell was going to be right. The man wrote 1984 so long ago that to many people it was nothing more than over stated work of fiction. Something now I wish we had taking more seriously. Never the less by the time things began we were already in full swing. In the winter of ď88Ē NEXX was revealed and everyone stood in awe. Quite an ode to modern technology it was, the ability to shop, eat-out, go to the doctors and do everything else we did. Without ever having to use money, credit cards or any other form of payment. All you had to do was swipe youíre hand across the scanner and what was needed was acquired. Of course there was the matter of having placed a tiny square size chip in your left hand. However nobody ever saw that as a threat or problem just a small price to pay for something unbelievably marvelous. A price we would soon learn not to be worth it. The Romans had the same problem it was called the Trojan horse attack and just like them we blindly accepted our gift with open arms. In time though as the system became more structured within our society. We learned to love and accept the care of Big Brother.
Canít say he lied though everything that was promised was given to us. Just in his own ways and means. There were those few that didnít take a bite from the forbidden fruit. The C.O.R.E was their name, no one knew what the letters in their name stood for or ever saw them. However in the news there was some talk of them. So at least by that we thought they had to be real. However after awhile like time does to many things they slowly became forgotten. Urban Legends they were referred to, stories told to children to warn them of the frightening acts of terrorism. One thing was certain their acts of bravery never got them anywhere and just came to show the power of our caring older Brother. Some say they never did exist and were just media hoaxes to raise dwindling ratings, but that would go along into the pile of the many myths and tales about them. When I finally was released from my prison of faith. I knew they would need to be found to help me in my quest. One-man armies just didnít offer any possibilities of hope. Even dark defenders of justice had a sidekick. Someone to help him in the most dire of situations. Where they were going to be found was the problem. You canít just open the yellow pages and look under freedom fighters, for the address and phone number.
The man stops his writing places his pencil back into the pocket and closes his book. (Yawning) That will be enough for now hopefully Iíve record enough information in the other chapters to help the C.O.R.E. Break down the files in Big Brother's system. (Slowly and carefully he jumps out of the duct and begins to walk back to his entrance.) Apparent sounds of marching begin to pick up as small waves break across the sewer water. (With a bewildered look on his face) Circuit rats it canít be they donít get scared unless (pausing to think) wait they couldnít have returned this way so soon its impossible. (He uncovers his sleeve to take a peek at his watch) Okay maybe they can. (The time declared on the watch is 8:15 p.m.) He tucks his book back into his coat and takes off. Just a little tip to myself I really need to get a watch with an alarm on it. (The marching sounds begin to increase heavily) These guys really arenít gonna give up on apprehending me. If thereís one thing to be said about Big Brother itís that heís very persistent. Too persistent for my taste so I think its about time they got lost. (He stops to take something out of the inside pocket of his coat. What seems to be a small pink colored stick of gum.)
Thank God for modern technology. (He then places the stick against the wall and makes his way) As the soldiers are making their way across the point, a sudden explosion goes off. Causing the sealing to collapse on the soldiers and sealing their fate. While running away the man takes a glance back. Like I said Thank God. Well now that there finished with. I think its time to make my escape back into the city. (When he makes it to the end of the tunnel.) He slowly makes his way up the ladder. Sticking his head out to make sure everything is okay. Suddenly he feels something against his head and looks up. (He notices a rifle at the end of the weapon an eye soldier and twenty more just like him all around.) So what brings you guys here the weather because I have to say itís been prettyÖ(Immediately there is an interruption as another one of the soldier places the point of his gun on the manís face) Ok I get the idea no need to get rough. (Two soldiers grab the sides of his arms and lift him out.) Well it seems that you guys finally caught me.
Which is kind of funny because as I was down theyíre hiding. It came to me to do the same thing. You know turn myself in, but hey you have done it for me anyway. So I think Iíll be on my way. (Without haste soldiers rally around him in a circle, each one lifting their weapon towards the apprehended.) Whoa! No need to get hasty here. I think we can all handle this little situation very appropriately. (The soldier standing in front of the man, drops his gun to the side, while raising his arm towards the captive) He opens his hand and standing in the palm of it is a silver colored robotic drone, with sharp knife like wings. Staring very awkwardly at the drone, the captive man wanders what will happen next. Surprisingly the little drone begins to flap its wings and hover towards him. (Speaking) Hmm a Mr. Aaron Grant I presume, lets see. (The drone begins to fly around him) 5 ft 10in yes, 200lbs yes, he then stares into the hood of Grants coat where his face is hiding. Brown hair, hazel eyes, scar on left cheek from childhood incident.
He then goes down to the top of Aaronís left hand and burns of the wraps. Finally the scars from taking out the NEXX chip. (Aaron speaking) You know this whole situation is rather quite amusing. If you look at it from my point of view, because just the other day I was saying to myself. Self, which is the way, I like to refer to my thoughts when speaking alone. What was to happen if by somehow Big Brothers eyeís been able to actually capture you? Well of course I immediately started laughing at such a ridiculous thought. Then I said to that no seriously what would you do? For awhile I stood theyíre thinking until I came to the solution. Hell if it does happen then I guess Iím screwed, but hey always look on the bright side of life. Thatís my motto. (The little drone takes to Grants face and stares at him) Was there a point to this inane and ill witted babble? (Grant replying) Um no, but hey I thought you would all get bored fall asleep and then I could make my escape. I tend to view the optimistic side of any situation. (The drone hovers away) Well letís see how optimistic you are when being reinstated into the system. Eyes please take Mr. Grant to the citadel. (The soldiers step forward to apprehend Aaron Grant) Wait lets not get troublesome here I can help you find (pausing) the C.O.R.E. I can help you with the location of C.O.R.E. (The drone suddenly turns around.) If this were true then as you would say Mr. Grant spit it out.
Sure of course just give me a sec toÖ(searching throughout his coat.) To what Mr. Grant please I donít have all the time in the world. To this (he take something out of his pocket. Curls it into his fist and aims it at the unsuspecting drone) However before anything can happen the drone sends out a small electrical shock. Knocking Aaron onto the ground and opening his fist to reveal what it is that he had. Mr. Grant an impact bomb shame on you. Did you really think that this little device were to actually help you escape? (In a faint voice) Well no you see I though it would be good for taking us all out since there seemed like no other way. Like I said Iím an optimistic person. (With that he goes unconscious as the drone and eyeís stand there above him)
Above a tower that slides down into the form of a pyramid, shrieking sounds can be heard emanating from it. In the top most part of the pyramid is a covering of eyes which stare out into the vast cities as if though alive. Huffing and puffing with blood pouring out of his mouth. Aaron sits their strapped to a wooden chair covered in wires piercing into his skin. Two soldiers are standing their each one at his side incase he were to escape. The drone looks into Grants eyes impatiently hoping for him to give up. Mr. Grant please make my life easier by telling me what you know on the C.O.R.E. Look like I told you before. I donít know anything at all. Well then Aaron if you donít know anything how is it (the drone reaches to a table, which is laid out with all his items including coat) in youíre book it details many of the key secrets of the Big Brother foundation. What can I say Iím psychic lucky me. (For his remark heavy sparks of electricity are poured into his head, as he scream from the pain) Quite humorous Mr. Grant and if I was human. That would have been very amusing.
(Before anything else happens. A man wearing glasses and a white trench coat walks in carrying a writing tablet and disk.) Excuse me drone 667 before you go any further upstairs would like me to take a DNA print of Mr. Grant. (The drone turning around) For what reason (the drone looking at the manís shirt pin) would that be Dr. Davis. (Fixing his glasses he replies) Well they figure as I do a man with such bravado. Would have the perfect gene needed for a new line of eyeís. (The drone replying) Then if it is what upstairs wants Dr. Davis by all means go ahead and take it. (Dr. Davis takes the disk up to Grant and places his finger on it. As he does this he proceeds to slip a small circular disk between Aaronís fingers. Grant looks toward him and the Doctor smiles) Ok I seemed to be finished here. Good then please leave and let me get back to where I was with Mr. Grant. Of course Sir right away (but before the doctor leaves he goes to the table of grants items and takes them with him) the upstairs thought since he will no longer be needing these. Then it would be within our best interest to dispose of what is of no use and keep the rest.
Yes of course whatever will please upstairs. (The doctor leaves, while Grant sits their waiting for what will happen next) Now before anymore interruptions occur. (The drone turns back towards Grant) If you will Mr. Grant the coordinates of C.O.R.E and how you were able to detail many of our governments secrets. If you still decide not to give the information, then be assured that the next shock of electricity will definitely be your last. (With his face drenched in blood and eyes tearing Aaron Grant slowly lifts his head.) For what might be his last look at drone 667 and comments. GO TO HELL! (And with this final comment he twists his wrist, snaps his fingers back and flings the disc onto the drone, then head butts it knocking the robot onto the floor) The drone explodes causing a shift in the electrical current of the roomís floor and causing everything to collapse inwards.
Grant lifts himself up with the chair strapped to his back. The eyes notice this and try to stop him but with the floor caving in they fall to their deaths. Aaron makes his rush to get out before the doors close in on him. With the floor falling in he proceeds to jump from one piece of drifting pavement to another, hoping he gets their in time. He reaches the exit and while making it in, the chair is torn apart by closing doors. Freeing him and also tearing the wires out of his body with extreme force. He hits the floor with such impact that when he looks up all that can bee seen are multiple flashes of red. Huh! Where am (pausing to think) oh wait thatís right Iím trying to escape. (Grant immediately picks himself up and begins running down the all white corridor.) I have to remember to stay on top of things. (A bullet suddenly streaks across his head) He stops. What the hell was that?
(The sound of footsteps can be heard coming in his direction.) Eyes I canít let them get me again. (He turns back around and proceeds toward the end he just came from.) Another barrage of steps can be heard coming down from that end as well. You have got to be kidding me. (With no way out a small militia of Eyes surrounds Aaron) Ok! Stop right there, all I want to know is one thing. Who did it come on you can tell me whoís the one who opened their big mouth and let everyone know I was escaping. (The eyes look at him with a blank stare) All right rough crowd tonight not what I was expecting. Suddenly the soldiers raise their firearms toward Grant. Seeing whatís about to happen Aaron puts his hands over his head and closes his eyes. Oh God I am so dead. (The soldiers click their triggers and each gun releases a bullet heading in the direction of Grant.) I donít want to DIE! (Slowly everything fades away) Aaron grant sits theyíre in a dark room with a pair of thick box like glasses over his head and a wire running down into his neck.
(He lets out a strong breath of air) Oh my god that was so real. (The lights in the room flicker on as the chair heís sitting in comes down and locks into the clamps.) A voice can be heard. So detective grant how did you enjoy my wonderful game. (Taking the goggles off of his head and pulling the wire out of his neck he replies) Wonderful just doesnít cut it amazing is more like it Dr. Vauhnigan. Iím glad you enjoyed Aaron you did enjoy it didnít you. Of course Dr. If I hadnít we would be having a different conversation all together. Good then there is much we need to talk about. Why Dr. I seem to have gotten the hang of this V.R. pretty well. Yes I can see that Aaron so well that you almost got yourself killed. Minor setback doc it wonít happen again. Will knock it up to a glitch in my system. (They both laugh heavily) Seriously though Aaron we need you to perfect this. We donít have much time left. The department wants the hyper killer contained immediately. Yeah well the department can wait if it wasnít for those geeks in network setups we wouldnít have to be going through this.
Whose fault it is does not matter anymore. Remember Aaron the hyper killer is a modern day jack the ripper, we donít want someone like that loose within the net. Well then Doc when you put it like that how can I not say yes? (Grant puts the V.R. headset back on and inserts the wire into his neck.) All right Doc when your ready lets jack me in for the final spin. Ok Aaron here we go in 5,4,3,2Ö(As Aaron takes another trip into the simulation. Will he when the time comes be ready for what he has to face in the world of Megaopolis.) THE END
March 27th, 2000, 11:10 AM
Well, MegaOpolis- here's my take.
I liked the story. It seems like something that might make a good comic book after a trip to the editor/proofreader's desk. I liked yourt descriptions- they were very crisp and detailed. They were definately the strong point of the story.
Since my career revolves around proofreading and accuracy, I'll comment on the technical aspects of the writing. If you think you can get published without changing your writing to make it technically correct, then don't read on. If you really want to make your writing professional, then by all means, here's an idea or two from someone who proofreads and critiques writing for a living (I won't comment on spelling because mistakes could easily be typos, and spell-checkers will catch them anyway):
You need to work on your structure and tense. The story begins in "third person specific." You write as someone who is observing the character, but knows what is going on in the head of the main character. You do not write from the perspective of others, just the main character. This is the most common form of prose, and considered the most professional for fiction writers. The problem is that you then switch to 1st person specific tense where you see and hear charaters thoughts and experience what they do as if that person is telling the story. The worst mistake writers make today is switching tenses. When I have a copywriter approach me looking for freelance work, I ask for samples of their writing. When I start seeing examples of tense-inconsistency, I immediately throw it out. It is a sure sign of an amateur.
The second thing to watch out for is passive voice. Editors and critics like action, not passive reaction. "The ball was passed to Him" is far less appealing than "He caught the ball." Editors and agents, like it or not, will be looking for that kind of stuff. The subject of the sentence should be doing the action, not having something done to him whenever possible.
I have heard from many copywriters (most of whom either tried to be or were published authors at some point) that the biggest problem with aspiring writers is that the draft they give to the agent to read is usually the first draft they have written- when it should be the tenth. It should be written, critqued, then revised, then all over again many times before it ever sees the desk of a professional agent. Agents arent interested in developing writers, they just want to take already developed writers and publish them.
On the whole, I really liked your story. I cannot claim to have worked with comic-book writers before, or even read any comic books in the last ten years, so I don't know if there are different rules and styles associated with the genre. I would say that you have a definate talent, and with just a little bit of revision, it could be a winner.
That's my take.
best of luck- I hope to see this in print someday.