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Thread: the virus chapter 1

  1. #1
    Registered User the silent x's Avatar
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    the virus chapter 1

    please provide any and all constructive criticism for this piece, i am still wokring on the actual story, but will not post all of it at the same time due to the fact that i want it to be my work and not have it stolen

    Hank Gerald, a fit and lithe man of thirty, was tall and slim. He stopped at a tree and studied it closely. Upon finding what he was looking for, he pulled a small flute out of his front pocket and let out three ascending notes. A slim figure dressed in a long robe materialized from the tree next to Hank. “I have the information you wanted,” said Hank shaking the suitcase, “now for your part of the bargain.” The figure‘s arm retreated into the robe and pulled out a manila folder filled with pictures of a dead man, presumably dead from a severe car accident. Hank felt the chain to the suitcase get sliced off of his hand. He looked down and realized he wasn’t holding the suitcase anymore. Then he looked at the retreating figure and saw a long silver blade extending from one finger and the suitcase in the other hand. He noticed the blade had no nick in it and quickly dismissed it after the figure disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared. Hank walked back to his car put the keys in the ignition and drove off.
    When Hank got to his small, cheap apartment his wife greeted him at the front door. “How was your day honey?” she asked brightly.
    “Dear, let’s just say I’m heading for a big promotion.” He said with a smile, “I have found a way to get us out of here and into a house where we can raise our child.” he said patting his wife’s swollen belly.
    They both walked into the kitchen and while Hank grabbed some ingredients for sandwiches while his wife cleared off the table and turned on the news. “-Mr. Jeff Kratan was found dead in a severe car accident today. Mr. Kratan was the owner of a major satellite imaging company that will now be passed to a Mr. Hank Gerald. Is your-” the rest was drowned out by the happy squeal that escaped Mrs. Gerald’s throat.
    “Oh my goodness, how did you know?”
    “They called me over to the crash site to verify that it was him, he has no family you know.
    “That’s obvious; I mean he wasn’t exactly someone that anyone could really get along with. He was a recluse and no wonder considering the fact that his father died of leukemia, his mother never cared about him and ended up committing suicide, while his wife died from breast cancer, the poor man, he was doing fine until his daughter disappeared. At least he’s with the ones he loves now.” They both sat down and folded their hands for prayer. Mrs. Gerald silently thanked God for the new job her husband would have. Mr. Gerald thanked god that he found a way to bring his family out of debt, but also asked for forgiveness for the grave sin he has just committed.
    Outside the window a lone figure stood in a tree looking in on the scene it had just observed. The eyes narrowed and the figure dropped from the tree landing on its two feet. It started walking down the street and disappeared into nothingness, leaving no trace it had been there.

    16 years later

    A light floating feeling had come over Lance Gerald as soon as his head had hit the pillow. Somewhere his favorite song was being played, it kept growing until it was very loud and jerked him into the solid blackness that was his bedroom. One hand started tapping around his desk for his glasses while the other tried in vain to find the snooze button on his alarm clock that had woken him up. Lance tapped something accidentally knocked his large thick glasses to the floor. He felt around on the ground until he found his glasses. He struggled up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He heaved his rather chubby bulk from the bed. He stumbled over his homework books from the night before. He walked into his bathroom and turned on the knob to start his shower.
    After his shower he walked into his room and turned on the light.
    Looking hopelessly at the mess he called his bedroom he bent down and gathered up his books. He crammed them into his beaten up back pack that looked like it had been stuffed through a shredder then taped back together with duck tape. He grabbed a thick down coat and walked up to the kitchen, throwing his backpack and coat by the door. When he got into the kitchen he looked around for something to eat for breakfast. He looked at the cereals and saw cinnamon toast flakes and a thing of bananas, then looked at his bulge of a stomach and reached for a banana. He looked at the clock then grabbed his lunch and another banana and headed out the door while throwing his backpack on over his bulging coat.
    He stomped through the foot high snow to his bus stop a quarter of a mile down the street under a light post. When he got there he was surprised to see someone had gotten there before him. He joyously thought, “Finally, someone weirder than me.” What was weirder still was the fact that the person had a yellow scarf wrapped over their eyes blocking their vision. The scarf was also wrapped over the face so Lance couldn’t make out any identifying features. He wondered how the person wasn’t freezing because all they had on was a long brown rode with the hood up. He walked up to the person sitting in the snow with their back to the light post. He stared intently at the scarf and waved his hand in front of the masked face. Soon other kids came along and just ignored the person by the light pole. Lance heard some comments made about his coat but blocked them from his mind since he heard them every other day. “So what’s your name,” Lance asked, fruitlessly trying to stir a conversation between him and the unmoving figure before him. He was about to poke the person to see if they was alive when it stood up and moved toward the street. As soon as the figure reached the curb the bus pulled up and came to a stop.
    Everyone piled onto the bus and Lance walked to the back of the bus with all the freaks blowing out their ears with heavy metal music and the volume knob turned to its stop. As he sat down he watched the mysterious person walk down the hallway between the seats until the person came to
    Lance’s seat then stop and appear to look through the thick wool scarf. The person stopped and sat down next to him. Lance edged closer to the window and stubbornly sat there until the bus dumped him off at the front door of the school.
    He jumped out of the bus and speed walked to his locker. He had just finished pulling his books out of his locker when he heard the lock on the locker next to his turn. Puzzled he tried to remember if anyone was in the locker next to him. Thoroughly convinced there wasn’t any resident of his neighbor locker, he peeked around the door. To his horror he saw the same mystery person from the bus stop! “It’s just a coincidence.” he said to himself, “Just a very strange coincidence.” He hurried to his first class and sat down and propped up his feat on the empty desk next to him. He closed his eyes and adjusted his hood so he could rest his head on his shoulder. The last bell rang just as he was starting to slip away into sleep. He righted himself and looked towards the teacher’s desk. To he groaned it was the mystery person! He glanced at the empty desk beside him then quickly looked around the room. Seeing no other empty spot he slumped into his desk. Seeing the person walk up to the empty desk made Lance unconsciously recede against the immovable wall behind him. The teacher stood up and made an announcement. “Class we have a new student in our class today. Her name is Katie Kratan. Why don’t you take the scarf and hood off? Miss Kratan and tell us about yourself?” Katie slowly unwrapped her scarf and took everybody’s breath away with her beauty. Brown hair cascaded down her back and neck like a chocolate water fall. Her eyes were a deep green with brown flecks scattered around the edges. The perfect formed eyes faded into a smooth nose which ended just above two small, soft lips. All the boys in the room sat entrapped in the beauty of her slender body while Lance looked into the eyes. He sat and stared as the jade orbs held him unmoving.
    Girls in the room looked at Katie with envy at her curves while the ones with boyfriends in the room slapped them with cold hands. No one even realized she had started telling people about where she had come from. Her gentle voice started out sweet and quiet like a soothing song, and grew into what people realized as an extraordinarily gifted girl.
    The rest of class went on like this; the teacher had trouble getting the class to pay attention and finally gave up. The bell for the passing time rang and every one filed out of the room. Seeing Katie motion to him, Lance went over to her to see what she wanted. She had her schedule out and seemed to be at a loss as to how to get to her next class. “What’s your name?” Katie asked Lance.
    “Lance, hey what did you want?” Lance said in the nicest way possible although trying to remain distant she creped him out.
    “I have Mrs. Altec next period do you know where that is?”
    “Wow so do I”, replied Lance, and reluctantly replied, “Hey follow me”
    “Thanks that’s so sweet. You don’t have to, just tell me where it is.”
    “Ok, it’s down the hall by Ms. Walton’s…”
    “Maybe you should walk me there.”

    continued on next post
    life philosophy: "if one wants to succeed, they must become independent, if one wants to be independent, one must strive past the dificulties, using them to shape future desicions, like a sword being folded, every fold is a hardship overcome, and every fold removes one more imperfection that would destroy the completed version"

    # of 1st Dans, Black Belts achieved- 2 (1 Hapkido, Sun Moo Kwan), (1 Tae Kwon Do)

  2. #2
    Registered User the silent x's Avatar
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    the rest of it
    Lance quickly led her to her next class hoping Mrs. Altec would have her be on the other side of the room. He walked over to his seat and did the homework that he forgot to do the night before. Scribbling what the person in front of him had he finished as the last bell rang and hurried up to hand in his homework. He looked up at the board to see the assignment for that night and saw a couple of complicated looking shapes and geometry proofs. He groaned and put his head on the desk. As soon as the teacher started talking he slipped off into a world beyond his desk. He saw strange things. He looked down and realized he was hanging in the air. He saw a weird looking jet fly underneath him. The wings, which seemed little more than small fins for steering a rocket, swung forward and locked into place. He saw a large round object fall out of the undercarriage of the plane followed by a large blast as it fired maneuvering jets and homed in on a target. The plane had dropped back and was flying away extremely fast. He lost sight almost immediately. Suddenly his whole world was enveloped in a huge mushroom of fire he had only seen in textbooks. That’s when he heard his name called by Mrs. Altec asking him for an answer. He said the first thing that came to his mind, “boom”. The entire class burst out laughing even the teacher’s face cracked a smile. Lance felt his face redden then grabbed his bag and ran out of the room. In his haste to get away from everyone, he didn’t notice Katie wasn’t laughing. He quickly ran out the doors, through the deserted and snow covered football field, past the pole vault caught in the firm grip of winter, and into the woods. He ran into a sort of shelter made by branches that had been intertwined and propped up by sapling trees. He sat down on a stool he had made himself from a dead tree and dug into the earth. He eventually found what he was looking for. He pulled a plastic bag from the hole and opened it. The smell of old age engulfed him, and he reveled in it. He pulled out an old .45 caliber colt pistol. His great-grandpa had left it for him after he died. He held the old pistol a long time. Soon he couldn’t feel his legs but didn’t care he let a slow numbness crawl through his body and seize his brain. He soon realized why he had lost all feeling but the panic was slow, too slow to save his head slumping against the overhanging branches and soon he was in a sleep that no one could wake up from.Someone started yelling, “Lance, Lance” a heavy set girl ran up to him and shook him. She took off the coat she was wearing and wrapped him up in it. She looked down as she felt cold metal. She gasped as she saw the Colt in his hands. Not knowing what to do, she ran back out of the woods and grabbed the in-school officer who then called an ambulance. She held her breath as the ambulance drivers felt for a pulse, then released it when they grabbed him and ran him into the ambulance. She waited with the myriad of students forming a crowd and watched the ambulance drive away. Soon she went back to class, but didn’t pay attention the rest of the day.
    The last thing Lance remembered was him falling asleep outside. There seemed to be blurred forms moving around him, he saw a piece of something white open then close. Then his vision started to clear. Now he could see that he was in the hospital. His mom and dad were sitting in a corner reading and watching TV. He tried to sit up but his body wouldn’t listen. He tried moving his legs but they seemed to be locked in place. He looked down and found that he had no legs to move. He panicked and started screaming, but nothing came out except a raspy sound that hurt his neck. His parents looked up and ran over to him while a nurse and a doctor ran in after hearing the commotion. His mom put her hand on his shoulder and he calmed down. The doctor looked at the clipboard hanging on the opposite wall from
    Lance. “You’re Dr. Parks’ patient aren’t you?” Lance shrugged, still trembling. He didn’t trust himself to talk and he didn’t know whose patient he was.
    His mom answered for him, “Yes he is.”
    “I’ll send him in right away. He needs to talk to you about something.” The doctor said. The doctor walked out of the room to get the other doctor. Lance kept on thinking about how life was going to change for him. He wouldn’t be able to walk, hang out, drive, or do anything that a regular highschool teenager. Dr. Parks walked in and introduced himself.
    “My name is Dr. Parks. I was the one who did the amputation of your legs.
    Your legs were so frostbitten that there was no chance to save them. Your arms, on the other hand stayed warm enough only to serve minor frostbite.
    That was mighty stupid of you to do that.” Lance nodded his head mournfully.
    He then perked up.
    “What about prosthetics?” Lance asked hopefully.
    “We already tried. There isn’t enough of your leg to anchor the prosthetics too. Even if we could use prosthetics, it would be impossible to use two at once because the ones we’d use would be like stilts. They would need to rely on the other leg swinging to unlock the locking mechanism.” A knock at the door sounded. The doctor asked for a minute and opened the door. It was the girl from school. She walked over to Lance’s parents and introduced herself. The doctor continued, “We’ve consulted several other physicians and hospitals and they don’t have any other suggestions for you.
    That’s when we found Katie.” He said motioning to Katie who was leading his parents out the door. His mother looked distraught and kept giving his father the evil eye. The only time she ever did that was when she was extremely angry at someone. Katie shut the door behind them. She walked over to Lance.
    “Is he ready?” she asked the doctor.
    “Yes, he should be. We’ll be able to put him in an ambulance in fifteen minutes.”
    “That won’t be necessary doctor.” The doctor looked stunned. Katie pulled a syringe out of her long coat and removed the cap. Inside was a red liquid. The doctor moved to take the syringe but Katie shook her head. She injected the liquid into him just as the doctor was reaching over to take the syringe. Almost immediately, Lance felt like he was floating on air. He was in a white room. He thought this room looked familiar, as if he had been here once but, it was a long time ago. There was someone sitting in the center of the room, and they were dressed in a long dark brown cloak. He walked over to the person and watched it. Then to break the silence, Lance said, “Like what you’ve done with the place.” His voice sounded awfully loud in the oppressive silence, and he mentally kicked himself for saying such a stupid comment.
    The Figure answered back, “You should you made it.” The figure stood and turned, pulling the hood back. It revealed a mirror image of himself. Only this Lance was skinnier than the real one, and looked much stronger. “I am the virus; I was the ‘master cure’. I was originally meant for military use, but they needed to test it on civilians to make sure it would work for military men and women. ‘If it can cure a wimpy civilian’, they said, ‘then it can cure even the hardest military man.’ The thing they didn’t count on was giving me a consciousness. I have a mind of my own and they can’t break it. That’s why I was still in the testing phase. Now they have too many failed experiments, so they are forced by the government to stop all research.”
    “Currently you are in your own mind. Everything you see or don’t see was thought up by you. Katie, the girl in your class, she is a part of me.”
    A figure of Katie came up through the floor of the room, and then sank back down. “She saw everything you saw in that dream. She knows what that has to do with and how you are a key part of the operation.”
    “Operation?” asked Lance, “What operation?”
    “The operation to insure my prosperity, the plan to make sure the president gets off of our back. As of right now, we are hunted by the United
    States government, and the only reason they will stop is if we show them how we wage nuclear war.”
    “What have I to do with the operation?” asked Lance.
    “You have an imagination, you put stuff together in your head all of the time. I just saw a design for strike bomber that can go so fast that the thrust can tear apart a trailing fighter. You are brilliant.”
    “No I’m not.” Lance laughed, “I have a GPA of 2.0 that’s not going to get me into any good colleges for brilliant people.”
    “Your mind can put stuff together better than any of the people I’ve infected. I have several people who are in MIT right now that don’t do anything near what you can do. You are a very gifted person no one can boast that they can think like you. It was just luck that you ran out of your classroom and almost froze to death. We need you; you’re my only hope for the survival of the virus.
    “I’m sorry, I’m not what you’re looking for. I don’t know how to do all of the stuff that you think I can do. Thank you for healing me.”
    “There is one other thing you should know. You are now mine your father unwittingly sold you to me. It wasn’t on purpose mind you; your father needed someone dead, that someone was his boss. Your father paid me to kill him 16 years ago. Your father almost lost me by moving to Michigan a few years back. He didn’t see the little print on the contract he signed. It said that once the firstborn child reached sixteen, they were mine. Right now, you are on your way home where you will grab a couple of things and we will go to your new home for awhile. The way back to your consciousness is through that door behind you.”
    Lance turned around and saw a door that appeared out of midair, and then turned around to ask a question of the virus. When he looked back, the virus was gone. Lance walked toward the door and out of his mind.
    life philosophy: "if one wants to succeed, they must become independent, if one wants to be independent, one must strive past the dificulties, using them to shape future desicions, like a sword being folded, every fold is a hardship overcome, and every fold removes one more imperfection that would destroy the completed version"

    # of 1st Dans, Black Belts achieved- 2 (1 Hapkido, Sun Moo Kwan), (1 Tae Kwon Do)

  3. #3
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    gosh.. hmmmmmmm.. good!

  4. #4
    Registered User the silent x's Avatar
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    what is the hmm for?
    life philosophy: "if one wants to succeed, they must become independent, if one wants to be independent, one must strive past the dificulties, using them to shape future desicions, like a sword being folded, every fold is a hardship overcome, and every fold removes one more imperfection that would destroy the completed version"

    # of 1st Dans, Black Belts achieved- 2 (1 Hapkido, Sun Moo Kwan), (1 Tae Kwon Do)

  5. #5
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    Good start, story wise. The most naturally gripping scene is when the girl shows up at the bus stop. The story feels like Akira meets The Matrix. I think you need to be careful and think about how you want this story to develop.

    Suggestions:

    Tighten the descriptions - I can tell that you know what you want to say, but keep in mind that you’re writing for readers. Descriptions like "thing of bananas", "weird looking", and "stuff" are all reader turn-offs. If you replace them with vivid descriptions, your story will have more weight - readers will care more about what you are saying.

    Don't jump the gun - Not that the plot is developing to quickly, but it is coming across in jumps. Also instances such as the manila envelope in the beginning - how do we know there are pictures of dead people? It disrupts the flow. Perhaps include a brief paragraph where he opens the envelopes and flips through the pictures.
    Last edited by cows; 05-10-2007 at 11:20 AM. Reason: clearer wording
    "Writing is nothing more than a guided dream"
    -Jorge Luis Borges

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