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Of Man and Machine- Chapter 1

classifications: Science-Fiction / Action

This is the beggining of the chapter. it's a bit weak, but it's what I've got... Enjoy, and tear it apart. I'll get on to the system explanation down on the field... That makes it much easier for the reader. I think this new dialogue is more... humorous.

More like this / More by this author

Chapter 1

R & D Department Hospital Area # 001

0750 hours


Brown eyes opened and looked around the sterile white room. He looked out the window to his right, setting his eyes on what seemed to be a training complex. To his left he saw the door and a series of machines displaying all sorts of medical data.

He took his right hand to his chest, feeling the small disk rooted to it like a seedling to fertile ground. He continued to the smaller disks around it, each directly connected to the larger one in the middle and to each other and to even smaller disks in his arms, hips, back and the back of his neck.

Now he took his hand to his face. Beard stubble... The operation must have been longer than expected.

Torres heard footsteps entering the room and turned his head to the door, watching as Dr. Gumbert entered the room and walked towards him, stopping next to the bed.

- Good morning.

- Morning Dr. Gumbert... Um, how long did I sleep?

- Just about three days.

- Strong anesthesia.

- You wouldn’t have lasted the operation without it, a necessary measure.

- And how come I’m naked?

- You didn’t think one could install a Biomech system while you were clothed, did you?

- Eh...Right.So... How does this thing work?

- I’ll explain everything on the Training Field. You can see it through the window to your right. Just go down to the field like that.

- Naked?!

- Um, yeah. You see, when the armor externalizes, it tears apart whatever piece of clothing you’re wearing.

- So?! I don’t want to go down there naked! That’s a violation to my privacy!

- I don’t care about your privacy. That’s wasting a good uniform.

- Then I’m not going.

- Look, the team already saw you naked during the operation. They don’t give a crap.

- So?! I wasn’t conscious then!

- Just do it... We’ll activate armor first then, you sissy. Feel good about your manhood!

- Bleh... Ok then...

“I can’t believe you talked me into this.” said Torres over the communicator now attached to his body.

Dr. Gumbert just replied with silence.

Torres was now down at the training field, Dr. Gumbert watching from the control area attached to the R & D Hospital.

“Torres.” Gumbert’s voice rang in his ears

“I will activate the armor, as promised. This might hurt, but only because it is the first time. This might just be the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Are you ready?” continued Gumbert

“Yes, sir.” answered Torres

“Ok. Activating...” replied the doctor, his voice trailing off.

It started small. Pieces of metal sprouted from the smallest disks, expanding, growing spreading like light in a sunrise. As expected, it was painful. He could feel the skin around the small disks stretching, the muscles stretching, everything stretching, pushing against the other muscles and the skin around them, like a growing tree pushing the earth around its roots. Then he felt the expanded metal slap against his skin, attaching to it. Almost like a parasite. At last it was complete, sheets of metal covering his whole body, except for his head and the disks on his chest, which sprouted above the armor, like prairie dogs peeking out of their burrows.

He felt the doctor’s voice.

-Torres, I will now engage the HvMS. You understand that once it has been activated it will never turn off?”

-Yes. replied Torres.

-Good. I have just started the activation sequence.

Five seconds. Torres felt a jolt of energy sprout in his chest, forcing him to kneel on the training field’s hard ground. The pain didn’t last long, but he felt something other than pain. He felt another entity inside his head, scanning his thoughts and his memories.


Narainsbrain (January 13th, 2003, 2:31 pm)

The physical aspects are well described - I love the analogy with a growing tree. And the whole sequence of the armour activation seems well thought out and is very convincing. That's good stuff.

There's a lack of feeling in the story, though.

The thing is, we don't really get any idea of what Torres is going through. They're all very neutral descriptions, which don't help any in building a feel. Like in the second para, what is Torres' reaction to the implants? Is he startled, intrigued, acceptant, excited? Indifferent seems hardly appropriate.

I felt the armour activation section had the same problem. It's all an external description of the activation, and needs more from Torres' side. "As expected, it was painful" doesn't seem to cut it.

Actually, these are the kinds of things I have difficulty with myself, so while I can point out a problem I can't help you fix it. Hopefully the others will stop by with a prescription. =)

Though it occurred to me that one way to add some flavour could be to put some feeling into the dialogue: "Yes, sir," answered Torres resignedly.

Btw, you should add a separator (like a "- - -") between the initial conversation and the training field section. HTML eats the extra line breaks you probably had.

Ignore that man

cruise (January 13th, 2003, 2:46 pm)

Don't do stuff like answered Torres resignedly unless you really need to. What he's feeling should be obvious from what he says and your surrounding descriptions of his reactions.

Unfortunately, we have no surrounding descriptions, and it's very short text :P

As Narain said, we need more detail about Torres' reaction to the activation...did he grit his teeth and take it? Gasp? Think he couldn't take anymore? Torres is the important thing in this story, not the armour...concentrate on him and his feelings.

Ignore that man

Eldritch (January 13th, 2003, 4:08 pm)

Thing is, I did put a separation, but It gpt erased it seems. And I don't like using adverbs often :P. I will describe the training field, give me time, ut it's always good to leave some fof the layout to the readers' imagination. You want pain description? I'll get to it. But not any time soon, I start school tomorrow, so I'll have less time.

How mean?

Semirrahge (January 14th, 2003, 1:08 am)

:P I just wondered... Have you taken into account the overall relative level of technology this would require? This can't be done even 50 years from now. Well. Maybe, but not very likely.

Don't get me wrong, it's TREMENDOUSLY sweet stuff (reminds me of Spawn), but I just want to make sure you keep this in mind. And, too - if it's new tech, then there won't be many other iterations of this around - but you'll see hints. Like advanced uses of memory metal, neural interfaces, extreme biometrics (voice recognition, self-aware AI (or nearly so))... Do you follow me?

I feel like I'm being rather degrading, but just understand that the closest we could come to this RIGHT NOW is nerve-feedback attached to a external computer. I LOVE this, but nothing makes cool un-cool faster than cheap science. :)

Yeah. Cool.

How mean?

Eldritch (January 14th, 2003, 8:59 pm)

You did notice this is a whole other planet, so probably about 1000 years from now? Hmands by then already have mastered inter-stellar travel... Besides, I don't know enough to explain. Perhaps you could help me there? I'm friggin' 15! I have enough trouble keeping up with school AND technology...

short, short

Siedhr (January 19th, 2003, 10:36 pm)

I usually don't have that much to say until i see the final product or at the very least a more consistent chunk of it(not longer, just more meaty). but in this case, i'll make an exception.

most has already been said. i don't agree with semi about the tech stuff. as long as it makes some sense, it can be anything from body armor to cybernetic thrusters or something.

but, I have a bone to pick with your dialogue. it's funny and flowing but it's not realistic. no doctor would speak like that, even if they were close friends(and it does not seem to me that they are). i say you try to distance yourself a bit from the effect you're trying to achieve and make it more realistic. the idea is to master your story and not to let it run an erratic course. have fun with it(although i personally have no fun with mine until they're finished), but don't let it out of your hand.

short, short

Eldritch (January 20th, 2003, 11:57 am)

I considered the dialogue to be too familiar as well... But I just write it in lack of something better

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