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Thread: Exercise #2
January 29th, 2001, 02:14 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2000
- Louisville, KY
The first one went pretty well, so here's a second. Take your time, no limit on length or deadline, and feel free to keep submitting on the first exercise as well, it's all about self improvement (ala practice makes perfect)
Describe an action in first person (ie from your own perspective)- it can be anything, but keep it simple. examples include anything like walking through a wood, jogging, riding a horse, driving a car, shining a sword, cleaning a room, etc.
the only rule here is: No Dialogue. It must all be narration.
January 30th, 2001, 05:25 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2001
- Columbia, MS, USA
"Unlocking the seeker head in the missile, it starts to rotate on its gimbals, free, searching for a target, ravenous and it doesn't know why. It doesn't care. It's hungry. Its cryogen cooled superconducting quasi-sentient brain seething with a primal ferocity, a trait manufactured and programmed into it by its designers. The missile's intelligence was born in a flash, and it opened its eye, scanning for its prey. One primordial avian instinct drove its newly born consciousness; to kill. A primal hunger coursing through its very existence, a need to fly, a need to hunt, and a need to kill that could not be ignored. The fury boiling within the hardware was tantamount to berserkerism. The missile received information from the pilot on where to look for its prey. The seeker head whined, rotating as the various sensors sought the prey.
Silhouetted against the cool sky, a hot flare of an exhaust. Ecstatic joy! The olfactory sensors detected a faint trail of exhaust vapor and encoded the chemical pattern into the search protocol. The smell, so sweet and primal, driving the intelligence to greater levels of heightened animalistic sexual awareness. The missile gave a howl of challenge that was echoed loudly in the cockpit by a target lock tone in the pilot's ten helmet speakers. Internal pre-flights were completed by the missiles onboard diagnosis systems, once, ten times, a thousand times in the space of time that it took to positively acquire the target. The missile chomped at the bits to be loosed upon its prey, its corrective vanes clicked open and closed. Silent, cold variable pitch jet nozzles rotated throughout their axis, reversed, adjusting the perceived flight to try to reach the prey. It sent several short, sharp beeps to the pilot's headphones, a steady digital growl of impatience, of readiness to begin the hunt, of a desire to be set free. Its growl rose in intensity until the missile was positive that it could overtake and neutralize the target. Positive that if it did not get released, it would go mad!
After what seemed an eternity, the pilot hit the release locks and thumbed the firing stud, watching the target off bore site through the projected HUD of his flight helmet. With an almost visible exultation, the missile released its hold on its launcher and, like a feral avian dropping from its inverted roost, fell a full three meters before its motor coughed once and flared to life with a white hot pulse jet of stored chemical energy. The missile was supersonic within a second and a half of being released, undergoing an acceleration that would have instantly killed anything living, dumping its primary booster stage behind it and accelerating to terminal maneuver phase within two more seconds of having crossed the trans-sonic threshold. The control surfaces of its wings clicked, powered canards, rudders, stabilizers, and elevators moved in incremental amounts, carefully adjusting the pitch of the missile to match that of its prey. Small correction jets lifted or dropped the missile in incremental amounts, constantly rotating on their axis in anticipation of the target's next maneuvers. The predictors in the missile quickly learned from the evasive maneuvers of the prey, building a complex subroutine of patterns and solutions to match. If not for a weapon of war, its movements could have been considered a dance, poetry in motion, a macabre movement.
The target began evasive maneuvers that took it to the limits of its airframe and crew G-load tolerances. Flares were dropped from airframe mounted dispensers, but the missile was smarter, the flares looked different to it, not the same thermal level, smaller, and not as fast. The flares were at trajectories that the missile understood the target could not have taken. It plotted the course of the target through the flares and the defensive maneuvers, and followed. The flares smelled different too, not the scent of the target, false, wrong, bad, uninviting, unwanted. The missile continued on its chase.
The missile found its prey. For a split nano-second in time, the missile knew the intensely orgasmic joy of the kill, rising, bubbling upwards in a white hot release as the missile drove itself into the soft, waiting underside of its target. A perfect copulating embrace completed while the target was inverted and in a eight G swooping dive, the missile swinging around and driving in from an 65 degree off center angle, striking the prey in the center of the fuselage, just forward of the aft tip of the wing assembly.
The warhead's thirty kilos of explastic had detonated well within the fuselage of the target, indeed, right at the main reinforcing brace for the powerful fuel cell fed turbofan that the prey called a heart. The explosion blossomed like a ugly orange and yellow cancer rippling through the air skin of the prey with fiery lesions. The turbine compressor assembly disintegrated into jagged shrapnel, most of the turbine exited the plane in one large piece, torn from its mounts, and pushed out the top of the plane by the force of the explosion. Shrapnel penetrated the crew bay, jagged pieces of debris from what parts of the fuselage and turbine that didn't exit the plane, driven at tremendous velocities through the softer material of the control systems, computers, backups, hydraulics, life support, and the softer components of the pilots. A superhot rolling sheet of flame followed in the path of the shrapnel, liquid, flowing over every interior space of the airframe. The forward access panel of the crew bay blew out in a blow torch-like tongue of yellow and orange flame five meters long. One of the branching tongues of superhot metal-plasma from the explosion managed to pierce a bulkhead seal and entered the port fuel tank, the rolling liquid firestorm that was brewing in the cavities of the airframe did the rest.
And then it was over, in the blink of an eye. A blinding flash and thunderclap accompanied by a expanding white concussion ring of destruction and flame wrapped debris. Contrails and swirls of black and lighter colored smoke followed burning debris as they cartwheeled through the sky, their non-aerodynamic shapes decelerating rapidly and careening unceremoniously in the face of the wall of solid air each piece encountered at three times the speed of sound.
There were no chutes.
A single, broken wing tip, trailing black smoke through the sky, began its lonely fluttering descent toward the ground fifteen klicks below.
- From the forthcoming "Where Angels Fear To Fly"
[This message has been edited by Black Echo (edited January 30, 2001).]
January 31st, 2001, 04:12 AM #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2000
- Louisville, KY
Pretty good, Let's write these from the author's own perspective, as if you were a witness to the events. the key to excercises to to learn to use various different writing styles, perspectives, techniques, and tools.
That was a good piece of writing by the way, but it was not from your perspective. Try re-writing it from an observer's standpoint- what someone in a plane or on the ground would see.
February 1st, 2001, 04:36 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jan 2001
- Columbia, MS, USA
The Morning After (I quit Ideal software)
.... I gripped the Winchester pump tighter as the sixth and seventh rounds smacked into the frame of the GMC. Another round, a different caliber by the report, whined off and into the distance. I could feel the impact through the frame of the truck, my back against the front fender where the engine block and aluminum wheel could offer the most protection from stray penetration. I always carried artillery with me when I went out and usually kept it in quick reach in a rack behind the front seat of the little truck, down where prying eyes couldn't find it.
Whoever they were, they were just playing with me right now, wasting ammunition. Amateurs. Amateurs wasted ammunition. Professionals shot only when they had a clear target.
People were coming out of the apartments now, forming a motley crowd dressed in overnight t-shirts, pink slippers, hair rollers, and early morning shadows of beards. My neighbors. Ordinary people, human cattle grazing in the fields of life. People who spent their day watching gauges or answering phones or using white out to correct other people's memos.
Each totally forgetable.
There came the sound of small caliber rounds flattening themselves against the frame of the truck, instantly pulling me back into reality. Shattered safety glass fell onto me as the driver's side window exploded. I shook my head, watching the pieces of glass fall around me. The smell of burnt propellant was heavy in the air now, sweeter smelling than any woman's perfume ever could be, an aphrodisiac to the nose that knew of such dark things.
The gunfire scattered the crowd amid cursing and flapping nightgowns, but not far. Human curiosity is hard to override, even in the face of obvious danger. Curious faces soon appeared again, behind trees, in the entrace walkway to the apartment complexes, from over fenders of parked cars...
I steadied the Winchester 1200 Defender, clicking off the safety behind the trigger guard. A three inch magnum Hydro-shock(tm) slug was already hot in the chamber, I had pumped the slide by instinct the second that I had gotten both hands on the weapon. I leaned down to my left, peering out under the truck from behind the left front wheel and sized up the situation.
Two cars. One a black '95 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR4 and the other a white '95 Ford Mustang GT convertible, tan interior and top, were blocking the entrance to the apartment parking lot in the classic V formation, hood to hood, where the weight of the engine would make either car hard to push out of the way.
Well, the roadblock had been set up well, I had to give them that, but who were they? I leaned down again and looked at my opponents. Five men in dark suits and sunglasses slowly leaving the protection of the two cars and starting toward the GMC and I.
A slow, intimidating walk. Overconfident, but then overconfidence breeds stupidity. If you've played the game as long as I have, you learn to take advantage of other people's stupidity.
I leaned down lower and looked again to see what kind of hardware they were packing. I jerked back up when one of the suits saw me, and a new salvo of various caliber rounds slammed into the GMC. The reports were a cacophony of music to my ears, and sang terror to the soul that knew the music only too well. I looked at the Winchester in my hands and remembered what I had just seen.
I seriously began to think that I was outgunned...
Among the suited muscle was a wide variety of handguns and other weapons. I know that I saw a Colt Python .357 revolver with a scope, a couple of Glock automatics, a Colt CAR-15 5.56mm carbine with a 4x scope and collapsable stock, and what looked like a thirty round magazine, another fresh magazine duct-taped to the first magazine for speed loading. The suit bringing up the rear had been holding a Mossberg twelve gauge pump, definitely ex-USMC issue by the look of the flat black scattergun.
I replayed the last minute and a half in my mind. It was the Colt that had been chewing up my truck a few seconds ago. No mistaking the sound of a .223 busting caps .... It was the little brother of the M16A2 and I had plenty of training on *that* toy. The glint of empty .223 brass casings caught my eye, beautiful laying there in the early morning sun, scattered out around the feet of the gun's owner as he slowly walked forward.
A thought crossed my mind ....
"Do I know these amateurs?" I asked myself under my breath.
In the distance I heard the sound of sirens, locals, but they would take their time getting here. This all looked too prearranged for me to trust in the locals to save the day. It was then that I remembered something that Bob Covert had told me only a few days ago;
" Christopher ... No one quits the Goldmans! Ever! No one. ..."
I remember that his laugh had been a little too forced, a little too artificial for my liking. What had been put forth with so much effort as a joke now rang as an omen. Still, it was a bum company, and I needed a change. Even though their business practices were less above the law, I didn't think that their dark roots ran this deep! If the owner's hired muscle was anything comparable to the quality of the products he used to make me hustle on unsuspecting customers, then this shouldn't take long.
Five suits and me with just six slugs in the Winchester.
I sighed and leaned my head back against the cool fender of the GMC Sonoma. The little 2.8 liter EFI V6 under the hood burbled and loped, shaking the truck slightly as the engine idled on, the keys in the ignition.
All of that felt like it had happened a lifetime ago.
Maybe Mr. Rogers Bakery would still have some fresh doughnuts left over after I had finished dealing with these small time corporate samurai ...
I hoped so.
That's the only reason I had gotten out of bed this early in the morning.
[This message has been edited by Black Echo (edited February 01, 2001).]
February 1st, 2001, 07:01 AM #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2000
- San Diego, CA
Why the heck not....for your reading pleasure:
Settle, I thought. My breathing slowed and I sank into my stance, pushing my weight onto my front leg. I rolled my shoulders forward. I tucked my hips. Root.
Our right wrists pushed against each other, back to back. My left hand was on her right elbow, her left hand was on my right elbow. Push, redirect. Push, redirect. Everything begins with the circle. Back, forward, and again.
I felt it in her elbow, the tensing before the strike. She came at me like an avalanche, crashing through my guard, too fast to redirect.
Her hands were on my chest, mine on her arms. I rolled my shoulders desperately, kept my trunk moving slightly, made her search to find my center. I sunk even deeper into my stance, ignoring the burning pain of my thigh muscles, worn out from doing performance forms earlier. I felt the force of her attack traveling down my back leg, redirected down. Her energy flowed through me to the ground, useless. I slid my hands underneath her elbows and lifted, trying to
neutralize her attack. She felt it, and as I started to twist her to the side, she slid her arms up and around mine, to come underneath and recenter on my chest. I centered up and steadied, sure she was about
Shuffle! Lifing her front leg, she flung herself off her back leg to try to push me off balance with the full force of all her
weight. Ready for it, I shuffled back, neutralizing her attack. Before she could center back up, I twisted my waist to my left while pushing on the outside of her shoulder with my right arm. Unable to save herself from committing to her attack, she fell to the side, defeated.
I could hear the cheers of encouragement from my teammates. I straightened out of my stance to stretch sore legs, and on the way up, realized I was grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. My opponent picked herself up and we resettled in the center of the mat. My first comepetition bout continued. Round two.
[This message has been edited by cassandra (edited February 01, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by cassandra (edited February 01, 2001).]
February 5th, 2001, 06:28 AM #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2000
- Columbus, Georgia, USA
WARNING: MELODRAMATIC MATERIAL BELOW!!
I have no excuse. I originally wrote this story to explore grief and despair. And frankly I thought it’d be the easiest to convert to first person, so here goes . . .
The night wind swam gently past me, ignorant of my loneliness. I could feel my golden hair twist and turn as it danced with the wind under the moon’s midnight gaze. I held my small frame rigid. It was the only way to keep from falling and if I fell, I didn’t know if I’d ever recover. The blackness of the night seemed to press in on me, almost pushing me to the ground. Even the hidden trees seemed to lean toward me in a vain effort to crush my life away under their extreme weight. Yet somehow I remained upright and rigid.
Then I made my mistake, I looked at the clearing. I allowed my eyes to see and my mind to comprehend. I fell helplessly to my knees. The mound of loose dirt clung coldly to my bare legs. Unable to contain the tears, salty wetness soon began to drip from my chin. I bent forward trying to control the tears that racked my entire body. As the tears fell, they landed on a rose that was lying on the dirt. I didn’t see the rose at first, but I knew it was there. It's brilliant red had faded to a half brown in its death. My hands slipped away from my thighs to find the loose earth, ignorant of the death that lay inches from them.
I lifted my face. As my gaze swept the rectangular mound of dirt, I callously ignored the haze that my tears created. I recognized the rose and vaguely remembered placing it on the dirt a mere two weeks ago. My vision failed me as tears completely obscured it once again. As my eyes left the rose they accidentally glimpsed a small wooden cross at the far end of the mound. Tears hid the name that was burned onto it. My body shook uncontrollably as the truth tore cruelly into my shattered heart. I didn't need to read the name; I knew what was branded into the cross, Mike Laneer.
The sun rose unsympathetic to the pain it brought. It's rays squirmed their way into my bedroom. I stared blindly at the ceiling, before closing my eyes as I twisted onto my side. Desperately I invited sleep to overcome my broken heart. After a few sleepless moments my eyelids slowly slid open. A proud picture, which stood upon my bedside table, attracting my eyes.
I started to examine the picture as I had on several previous occasions. Two forms stood, frozen in time. The young female wore a white dress. Her soft blue eyes were staring into his, laying her heart open for his inspection. A classic tuxedo covered his medium frame. He smiled broadly as he returned her gaze, equaling her display of love and trust. The same love that now tore into my heart, a mockery of what I’d lost.
At the woman's feet someone had signed the name Rhonda Laneer in blue ink. Their was another signature, below the image of the man, “Mike Laneer”. In-between the two names a large heart held these words inside, “True Love Always”.
I closed my eyes as the tears came again. Finally the tears stopped. I breathed deeply as sleep pitied me at long last. Alone and broken I slept another day away.
[This message has been edited by KATS (edited February 05, 2001).]