Life, as we know it. Sci-Fi novel work in progress

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posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 01:31 PM
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Constuctive criticism, critique, thoughts and views? i know the foramtting is attrocious but i havent got time to indent ever paragraph for ats since it wont do it itself im pasting from Word. sorry.
all work ©Jonathan W. Herndon

Chapter 1: revisiting our past
Morning on Tarvin is a beautiful thing; for the most part we all tend to take these small momentous occasions for granted but not me. I look out at the rolling hills made gold by the lush Grantine reeds that grow so prevalently on the plains of New Cydonia as they crawl up to the base of those jagged peaks of the Tayn Rawliss mountain range reaching up to the skies, almost as if they are trying, with every fiber of their being, to escape this place beautiful as it is. Today Ryck wants me studying with Galendra “no Spider of mine will go ignorant of our past” he says. She and I are to meet at noon. I’ve got hours till then but I still feel anxious knowing I must simply meet with Galendra let alone actually study in her presence. I sweat and shake like a nervous schoolboy and I’m sure she notices it. This, of course, makes it all the more awkward. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just Ryck being cruel.
A bank of clouds has rolled in obscuring my view of the sunrise. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and I’m beginning to feel hungry anyhow. I drop from the window seat overlooking mother’s less than legal vegetable garden, beneath the orcwood out in the yard and begin my descent to the lower level of our modest but large home. My father purchased this house three and a half or so years before I was born. My sisters barely even remember him any longer and I never knew the man, though mother and Ryck both seem to think he was the epitome of what a man should be, still I wonder if he would be proud of me, mother says yes but she’s a mother so the verdict is still out on that one.
A waft of grey smoke greets me halfway down the stairs, Tanya must be cooking breakfast this morning and that can only mean mother has gone into Vertis Proper to do some shopping, I hope she has seen my note. We’re out of hot pickled sausages. I move to the cupboard above the sink to get a coffee cup, the water begins running, stupid sensors, who thought these things were a good idea? Every time I go to get my coffee cup the sink spews a gallon of water, and the global allowance just went down so I’m thinking we should probably take the sensors out before we all die of thirst. Tanya walks in hastily as something is burning on the stovetop, she curses and quickly removes it from the frying pan before cursing again more loudly as a grease bubble bursts and leaves my older sister with a rosy little red splotch on her forearm, I chuckle, she shoots me a disapproving glare, I look away still grinning.
Tanya speaks up “want a piece Kal? It’s burned but don’t dogs like it like that?” it’s not amusing. But she seems to think so judging by the smug grin she’s wearing.
“Yeah, I think I’ll pass sis, as always. This dog is more apt to have a few slices of bacon.” I say. She replies “this is bacon Kal.”
To which I perform a startled jolt and begin to peer suspiciously at the charred meat she has presented me with. “Looks like charcoal.” I say. “Bet it tastes like it too.” I try a small burnt corner and feign vomiting.
As I move to the sink to strengthen my jape the sensor takes it upon itself to discharge another gallon of water, I really need to fix that.
Laughing lightly under my breath I open another cupboard, the one with the coffee, as Tanya says “we’re out.” A deep dread fills me to the very core. Now I know where mom went.
I say with an urgent tone “when did she leave, when will she be back?” Tanya doesn’t appear to get it. I clarify “Mother, when did she leave?”
Moving to the sink to wash her hands Tanya replies in a sing-song manner “about twenty minutes or so before you crawled down from your cave, little brother.” She finishes, “she should be back soon with the coffee.” Rolling her eyes she leaves the kitchen area dumping the charcoal bacon into the waste bin as she moves past it.
I fix myself a small but filling breakfast of fried eggs and un-charred bacon with toast and finish it off with a glass of fresh ice cold milk with just a bit of cream still floating on the surface. Life is simple out here on the outskirts of Vertis District Tarvin a large city by any standard but paling in comparison to the city-states of the Tallando-Graff District of the north or the Basz District which are both over one hundred square miles of unadulterated inner city. I often wonder if those Districts have organizations similar to Webs. Ryck says that information is more valuable than any resource at our disposal you can use it to make a friend or make an enemy twist in the wind, as he put it to me once, thinking back on that moment I see the validity of his view, so it only seems natural that other intelligence syndicates would be at work in the larger Districts.
Working with the Webs Intelligence Syndicate has proven to be gratifying work. More so than any other work I have performed. Having permemploy on Tarvin is a luxury. Whereas most residents are given menial but meaningful tasks to perform based on a government organized work schedule I have the joy of being permanently employed. In other words, I don’t have to worry about losing out on resource allowances because I wasn’t good enough at my current station.
Everyone from age sixteen on up is mandated by the Tarvinian Royal Council to work sixty hours at least on a weekly basis in order to maintain their resource allowances at a suitable level. If a family uses all their resources for a given month they have to go the rest of the month living in veritable poverty, no power, no water, no food. If a family goes too long without maintaining their allowances, the Family Protection and Child Development Assurance League will allow you to “voluntarily” enroll your children into a development academy. If you refuse? Well…
But that’s life on tarvin, The T.R.C. keeps us all happy, healthy and fed so long as we don’t use more than they tell us we can use, though I have never once seen a starving Vertis council member. A starving pleeb, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. No one ever complains regularly though, people that voice their complaints are usually never heard from again, given they voiced said complaints where others could hear them. Everyone simply assumes the complaintant leaves the District. Though I’m sure their loved ones feel differently. Being an intellegence agent, I know exactly where they go. A titanium hole. Some of them become “terrorist” leaders though they died from starvation in pitch black trying to eat the flesh off their own fingers. Others, mere memories.
I never said working with Webs was a pleasant business only that it is gratifying. Gratifying in the sense that my mother and sisters will never have to want for anything, though they must still work based on the Resource Accrument Guidelines, which aren’t actually guidelines at all but rather state mandated work schedules.
edit on 9-11-2012 by CagliostroTheGreat because: to add




posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 01:33 PM
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Finishing my breakfast I get up from the table and rinse my flatware, down a quick glass of water and head towards the viewing room. The viewscreen is one of the newer paper-thin models which is essentially pasted on the wall. I pick up the controls and sit on my favorite bagseat. Reclining I turn on the viewscreen, switch it to the global newsfeed.
A few pointless stories about social servants rescuing pets, a spiel given by a young looking old woman, now a man reporting the latest terrorist activities on Tedin. It seems extremist elements of the Planetary Resistance Alliance are fighting skirmishes on the borders of two countries called the U.S.A and Canada. Fighting has been fierce and it seems the P.R.A. insurgents have the upper hand.
Tarvinian forces have never dealt with a threat like this. Rebellion simply does not occur on Tarvin. It seems the insurgents have recently developed a new projectile weapon system. A handheld firearm that, when the projectile strikes its target, a small explosive device embedded in the projectile detonates, turning the target into a chunky crimson stew leaving no hopes for survival. Though only prototypes according to the reporter they are effective nonetheless. On top of their rapid weapons development programs the P.R.A. insurgents battle using something they call “guerrilla warfare” apperantly this fighting technique can be attributed to a warlord from a country on Tedin called China, from centuries before the Tarvin/Tedin planetary brotherhood pact back when the most common name for Tedin was Earth.
The total casualties of the skirmish have not been determined as of yet, however, estimates range in the upper hundreds for Tarvin and only about a dozen P.R.A. insurgents. Though, if the reports can be belived (which they cannot) the Tarvinian Planetery Peacekeepers have taken a high ranking insurgent as prisoner.
In the family study I hear the telecomm bleeping and blooping, its way of letting me know someone is hailing the household. Standing I move through the archway that leads to our study and remove the telecomm from its cradle.
I answer, “Fynns”
A brief moment before Ryck’s voice floods my ears, “Kalvyn, good your up, you watching the ‘feed?”
“yeah,” I say, “sounds like the P.R.A. boys aren’t taking ‘please, backdown and submit’ as an order. They really hate us.”
“them Kal, they really hate them.” Ryck replies in a stern voice.
Them? Ryck has always had a distaste for the T.R.C. but he has always referred to the collective as ‘us’ never ‘them’. Something has changed.
“them?” I ask.
“yes, Kal, them. You’ve got an hour till study with Galendra, be there.” Ryck says.
“right. Ryck why-“
A boistorous click invades my ear canal. He knew what I was going to say, he usually listens patiently to my complaints regarding study with Galendra, bastard. Ryck seems somehow different today. I must have a word with him in person before I resign the evening.
Last I heard, todays assignment is a quick ‘listen in’ at a local restaurant in Vertis proper nothing too serious or dangerous. In the intel game, however, things can go bad real quick. You have to become a nobody, a nothing. Suspicious people attract attention, I’m never a supicious person. I was trained by a man that is widely considered to be a living legend in the tight knit intellegence community. Ryck Razer, my fathers best man. My only true friend on this planet.
Returning the telecomm to its home, I make my way back to the viewing room, the time display in the bottom right hand corner of the viewscreen reads ‘0.1.5.7’ less than an hour, Ryck. I head up to my cell to wash and dress for my study hall with Galendra. After my shower I go to the closet, still drying my hair, to pick my clothing for the day. Looking outside it seems there is a brisk wind blowing judging by the ballet the branches in the orcwood tree are performing, its nearing the middle of Harvest so it will be chilly outside.
Appropriately, I choose a black and yellow coat with slightly rubbery ridges running along the sleeves, a simple black under tunic and a pair of pleated black work trousers. The coat is one of my favorite garments, personally. Galendra once said it brightens the flecks of yellow in my light green eyes, plus I think it looks great with my dark shaggy hair. I take a final look in the mirror before departing my washroom, I should really shave but I don’t want to be late to study hall. Actually, I want to be early, Galendra admires punctuality.
Returning to my cell I take a seat on the edge of my bedding to slip on my boots. they are made from sturdy synthetics like most materials on Tarvin, but the soles of mine are a super soft polymer designed specifically to cancel out noise when I move in them,once I even jumped from a crate of about two meters only to land on the concrete floor below with the sound of a shadow passing. They work phenomonally.
From the lower level I hear the portal open from the outside, yes I really can distinguish the difference; its part of the training.
Mother calls out, “ Tanya, Litia?” she says, “Kal?” both sisters would be at work by now.
“Up here mother, in my cell. Have you got the coffee?” I ask plaintively.
“of course Kal, oh, I also seen the note you left on the preserver. I got the really hot ones your sisters hates so much.” I can hear the smile even if I cant see it.
I reply gratefully, “Thank you Mother! How thoughtful of you!”
Sliding the secondary boot onto my left foot I stand, straighten my coat and begin the descent to the lower level which still reeks of burnt meat. Mother is waitng in the kitchen. Already brewing is a pot of coffee, it smells incidiously delicious. I kiss my mother on the cheek and proceed into the viewing room once more where the viewscreen is babbling about some man out of Gloori District which has been detained on suspicions of being a “supporter and cohort” of the P.R.A. I ignore it for the most part and glance at the time display which now reads ‘0.1.8.3’ I better get going. But not before I have my cup.
After I enjoy my coffee I feel much more apt to tackle the day, though still queasy over the encounter to come, I bid farewell to my mother and exit the house through the rear portal which leads to our hangar where I keep my scooter.

Outside it is colder than I had anticipated, at least 12 barriks, natural for this time of year but unwelcome nonetheless though still not cold enough to cause a freeze. I zip my coat to keep the wind at bay. The large double portals of our hangar are not closed entirely as per usual when mother opens them. Inside I reach immidiately to the left,the action is rote by now, flipping the switch that activates the lighting. There is a flight of stairs crawling to an upper level, I follow them to the top.
To the right is my fathers old Transer Model Number Two, an antique worth more than its weight in food. I stare at it for nearly a full minute only breaking the trance when I hear Mother’s voice yell my name from below.
I answer her call “up here Mother, readying my scooter.” I lie.
“Kalvyn, theres no need to lie, you always prep your sccoter before you resign the evening.” She knows me far to well. Because I’m most like my father she says. Its true, I can tell.
“you know, Kal, it’s yours whenever you want it” mother says arriving at the top of the stairs.
I glance quickly, unbidden at Father’s Transer, it’s red enamel gleaming in the light peeking through the portals on the lower level, motes of dust apply a certain aesthetic to my view as though the Transer were tearing through a cloud at mach speeds. I know the Transer Two can’t go that fast but still.
“I know it Mother, but I can’t, I just can’t. I mean, I’ve never even sat in the thing, for Ura’s sake.”
A silence falls on the hangar that nearly deafens me. I look to my mother. Tears are beginning to well in her eyes and I feel that cold stone in the pit of my stomach turn, seeing my mother like this is almost enough to make me hate Father. Why did the bastard have to leave us? I feel immidiately guilty upon completing the thought, Father was no bastard, not by a long shot.
“don’t cry mother.” I say moving to embrace the woman that birthed me all those twent-two years ago. “you and I both know Father had his reasons for leaving, there was nothing that could be done, Ryck said-“
“Damn what Ryck said Kal, he’s the man that sent your father away! You know that Kal, you now that.” She says with anger in her eyes. She continues, “Still you work with the man.”
“He swears it’s what father would want and all I want is to believe Father would approve of me.”
“he would Kal.” She says, begginning to weep now. I hug her once more tighter this time kissing her on the cheek before disengaging the embrace.
Holding Mother at arms length I say to her quietly, “I know mother I believe you.” Not exactly a lie but nor is it the truth. “what is it you came out here in the wind to tell me, Mother?”
“Right,” she says rubbing at her now red and puffy eyes. “Ryck was on the comm he wants you to report in at Webs earlier than he told you last evening.”
“Really,” Its not a question, I’m a too dumbfounded for questions. Why would Ryck ask me to report earlier than scheduled? Between his behavior over the comm earlier and now this, I am begginning to feel uneasy about the rest of this day. Ryck has never had me report early.
“and what time am I to be there Mother?” I ask dutifully.
“now.” Comes her response.
“Now!” has Ryck gone mad? What about study, what about Galendra? “did he give any reason as to why I need to be at Webs immediately, this doesn’t make sense Mother, Ryck has never asked me to come in early.”
“none, Kalvyn. Just said he needed you there now. His words.”
Needed me. “right. I suppose I had best get moving then.” I give my mother another hug and kiss her again on the cheek before mounting my Deltax 3200 airscoot. I press a small button on the control panel below the steeringbars, a portal begins sliding upward into the roof allowing me to maneuver the airscoot out of the hangar with ease. Pressing the ignition my deltax screams to life with an electronic whir like a breeze of lightning caressing your face, a brief static charge makes my hair stand on end then I’m off out of the hangar and into the windy New Cydonian plains.
Vertis proper is less than a ten minute ride on my Deltax. There is something freeing about opening the throttle out on the plains pushing the airscoot to its limits, around fifty knots of wind blowing through my hair around the plastiglass windshield that protects my face from anything that might be unlucky enough to get caught up in the vortex of my airscoot.
Arriving at the border of Vertis District I slow the Deltax to around seventeen knots. Cruising the wide thoroughfares at a height of about three meteres. The pleebs below look up at me as though I were flying on a sow. Most of them see me daily, but still they never get enough, on the outer ring of Vertis District Council members are rarely seen, most of these people have never even ridden in a flightcar let alone driven their own airscoot.
The most these pleebs see of flightcars on a regular basis are the black specks zooming about the inner ring where the Council Chamber and all its members live in the three-hundred-thirty-three meter tower that houses all Vertis District Tarvinian Royal Council members of which there are seven-hundred for Vertis alone, larger districts like Tallando-Graff house even more.
Ahead I see the headquarters of Webs. Slowing to less than ten knots, I flip the switch labeled descension, another static whir and the Deltax begins hovering in place as I twist the trottle lightly the airscoot begins to descend with the grace of a Novus bat. I park the vehicle and flip the switch back to its original position. Dismounting the scooter, I reach into my pocket and pull out the airscoot controller pad, press the button that shows a pictogram of a little man being zapped by a stylized lightning bolt and head inside to see what has Ryck behaving so peculiar.



posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 01:58 PM
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You are giving it away for free here. Copyright what you have and only post parts of it. It wouldnt be anything to steal.

If you ever got an offer to publish...you'll be thanking me. And you dont legally own anything until you do.

Good luck with your work.



posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by mysterioustranger
 


thanks for the advice i read under the Berne Convention of which the US is member that all IP is copyrighted upon completion.




1.1
Be aware that if your country is a signatory to the Berne Convention that you automatically own the copyright in any literary or creative work that you make yourself.[1] In general, your copyright is protected in the countries that are signatories to the Convention as well. And while there is no need to place the © symbol on your works, it is advisable as it acts as an alert to other people that you claim your copyright rights over the written work.
◦This protection covers all of Western Europe, the USA and Canada, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, and many other countries. You can find a list of all the country signatories at WIPO's site: www.wipo.int...
◦The World Intellectual Property Organization does not offer a registration service for copyright because a created work is protected by copyright as soon as it exists but it does acknowledge that many countries have national registration systems in place and that for some countries, this serves as prima facie evidence in a court of law as to copyright ownership.[2]


is this right do you know?



 
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