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Peace Keepers

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Wombat-Slayer, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Wombat-Slayer

    Wombat-Slayer IncGamers Member

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    Peace Keepers

    I've dropped Ghost Hunter, and... well I couldn't help but post this here, even though it's not Blizzard related!

    *Covers face and braces for teh flames*

    This is the short prologue, and I'd defenatley be honored if anyone would review for me :)

    Wombat's...

    Peace Keepers



    Prologue
    They are kneeling- facing each other. He looks at her. She looks at him. The barrel is pressed against the crease of her skull; she can feel its circular shape and cold metal. He whispers silently to her, telling her everything will be all right. His face; it is beaten about the eyes and nose; his cloths were torn, as if he got into some kind of shuffle. His left eye seems to be bleeding, and she can not be sure it is still there. But the clear eye, the right one, is shimmering with tears. She can watch the light play off and on his pupils as the fan rotates in a constant circle, passing over them again and again… She does not say a word, for the man holding the gun demands her silence, but nods slightly even so. They both know why the gun is behind her head and not his.

    The gunman thumbs back the trigger. For a moment, the man with the gun hesitates; his finger is resting on the trigger as if considering the action itself. But only for a moment.

    The murderer pulls the trigger, and the bullet exits the barrel noiselessly; we can not be waking the neighbors, can we? It crawls slowly it seems, tearing through air only several inches from the skull. It makes contact with its target. The man screams. She is smiling, the last smile she ever smiles.

    A thick mixture of brains and fragments of skull plasters his face and wall. The crying man blinks and spits out blood. The mutilated head drops down into his lap.

    But before that can occur, the gunman has already left, already made his grand but silent exit into the still and silent night. He moves with less noise than the wind.

    The two are left together; one dead, one alive. The living rests his head in his hands; he is too shocked for tears. He does not think to call the police; he is too wrapped up in his grief. It would not matter. The assassin is already gone.

    He wonders why it has happened to him. Death. It seems to come without noise; only a silent shadow that devours all and leaves no hope. He is alive, but that does not mean “hope†to him.

    He takes his eyes from the corpse to look around.

    His sweater and jeans are covered with blood. Her dress is a soaking mass of blood; the skull constantly leaks blood onto the purple satin dress. Blood has covered the couch and wall. The lamp on the soft wooden nigh-stand flickers on and off. He looks forlorn, and pushes a lock of dark, black hair aside. He releases his breath, and then tears begin to flow. He begins to weep uncontrollably.
     
  2. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    Hrm...not sure where the story’s going, but it’s not bad so far. The description’s good at times, though there are a few points where this feels like a list of actions. It’s interesting that you’ve decided not to do any dialogue in this part...I think it works for the most part, though I suspect it’d be difficult indeed to write an entire story with no dialogue and a third-person narration. Anyway, some specific comments:

    I don’t think the semicolon after “face†works; having just “His face†as a sentence doesn’t seem complete. To address this, Also, those should be “clothes†and “scuffle,†and “were†should be “are,†since all the rest of this is in the present tense.

    I liked this, though “clear eye†suggested to me that his eye was glass or something. I’d change it to “good eye,†if you mean that it’s not wounded like the other one.

    This was unclear on a first read, though I think I caught your meaning in a second look. For clarity, I’d rewrite this to read something like “off and on in his pupils†and add the adjective “ceiling†(or some other phrase that makes it clear that this is a ceiling fan) to “fan.â€

    Hrm...that should be “hammer,†not “trigger,†if you mean the lever at the back of a revolver or similar sidearm.

    The image at the end of this sentence is good, but I don’t know if “resting on the trigger†is really that unusual; I’d imagine that most assassins or whatever would keep an index finger on the trigger at all times during this part of a hit. If you want, you could emphasize the hesitation a bit more by replacing this with something more active, like “his finger tightens on the trigger, then releases, and closes around it again, as if...â€

    I’d remove the direct address (we.) It suggests a level of familiarity between the narrator and the reader that usually doesn’t work too well.

    This part and the next segment read a bit like a list (Something happened. Then this happened. Then this happened. Et cetera.) The first sentence has a nice image in it, but after that the story starts to sound a little monotonous. If you vary the sentence structure so that not all of them are of the structure “subject, verb, predicate,†though, this would hopefully read pretty well.

    I’d drop “grand but silent†since you already have “still and silent night†and “moves with less noise than the windâ€; it feels a little like you’re repeating yourself unnecessarily.

    Nice touch.

    This felt too general to me. Maybe he doesn’t have much that could be put into words going through his mind, but you could still spend more time on his reaction (physical and mental.)

    That should be “nightstand.â€

    This has the same monotony of sentence structure mentioned above; with a little editing, this should read much easier. You could rework it to something like “Letting his breath hiss out from behind his teeth, he pauses for a moment, and then blinks as tears begin to flow from his eyes...†perhaps.

    A more important thought: the ending doesn’t feel that much like an ending. While I can see that it’s a pretty good break point in terms of the plot, the end here comes rather abruptly. I’d try to work in another sentence or two to try and ease this chapter to a close.

    Anyway, looks like an interesting start. I’ll read more, even if it’s not Blizzard. :p Thanks for posting!
     
  3. Wombat-Slayer

    Wombat-Slayer IncGamers Member

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    I think I was shooting for an almost... strange kinda of odd point of view, as if the reader were actually there. Eh, wahtever. Besides that, I can see most of your reviewing things make sense, and I obsearved that I am repetitive a lot. Maybe that can be fixed.

    I really appreciate the review :) , and I will be showing the first chapter.
     
  4. Wombat-Slayer

    Wombat-Slayer IncGamers Member

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    The changes have been made.



    Chapter I
    “Remind me again, Bill. Why am I here?â€

    “To serve the Balance, Morgan, as do all the Peace Keepers.†William answered serenely without taking his eyes from the speaker.

    “Right, the Balance.†Morgan said to half to himself half to nothing in particular. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He couldn’t stand regulation uniforms, they were so… uncomfortable. Each Peace Keeper in the auditorium was clothed in a bright blue button down vest, underneath a clean white shirt. Black slacks and dressy shoes could easily mislead anyone into thinking the men were not some of the highest trained soldiers on the face of Earth. If we’re the best, why do we wear the worst clothing? He thought to himself.

    His eyes rolled as he thought this, and his gaze fell from his partner to across the stone hall. Around him, carved on the walls of the Hall of Peace, were engraved all the “heroes†of old- all the rich, stuck up kings that kept the people of America under an iron heel. It almost made Morgan sick to think he was on the current ruler’s paycheck. He rolled his eyes again at the thought.

    “Morgan, are you listening?†William asked suddenly, distracting Morgan’s mind from its daydreaming. Morgan barely noticed the quiet, yet audible voice of the Commander droning in the distance. William bestowed him a hard glare.

    “Yeah, yeah; I’m awake.†Morgan answered sleepily. He turned his gaze back to Collins, Omega’s current “Head Keeperâ€. Just thinking of that made his eyes roll yet again. Yes, the Balance was definitely going to hell with men like Collins in charge. He even speculated the closest thing to friend he had, Bill, was well on his way to becoming one of those stuck up pansies himself.

    “- Ah, so you’re taking the assignment then, Mr. Oxford? Is your… partner in agreement?†The voice asked over the speaker system; Ernest Collins’ voice.

    “I am ready to perform the will of the Commander, sir.†William answered boldly; he straightened his back and sat up straight as he said this. One hundred eyes were looking at him. Collins, from the stage on the floor, gave Morgan an expecting look.

    “I am ready to perform the will of the Commander.†Morgan answered half heartedly. He slouched deeper in the soft velvet chair as he said this.

    “Very well, report to my office immediately preceding this conference.†Collins ordered. William nodded; Morgan stared off into space.

    “What’s going on, Bill; what did you just volunteer us for again?†Morgan asked. William shushed him with a silent finger to his mouth. Questions later, the finger said. Morgan sighed. It did not matter. He would soon be out of this stuffy hole, and anything, even doing his job could motivate him. The Halls always seemed so… dank and seemingly dead.

    Minutes past found him staring off once again, revisiting memories and trying hard to ignore the Collins’s monotonous voice. But the memories were what he dwelled on most. There were those that haunted him and few that cheered him. His felt up towards his eye. That was not a good memory. Williams’s oversized hand shook his shoulders and brought his head back into reality.

    “Hey, are you awake?†William asked with a hint of compassion in his voice. He knew Morgan’s situation had not gotten any better the last few weeks, and his eye gave him more and more trouble. He had been on leave for a month now, and the lack of exercise had made him go lax.

    Yes, the eye. Only a year ago, he was involved in a brutal homicide. His wife was killed, and he spared. No one could guess why, but even more so, guess who had sent the assassin. Maybe the killer had been ordered; maybe he had experienced the feeling of mercy for the first time in his murderous life. Of that, no one was sure.

    Prey haps the Balance had spared him.

    But Morgan had been beaten about his left eye- his shooting eye severely. It was saved, but now it was a pale iris surrounding a permanently dilated pupil. His beaten body had rejected the rest of the treatment, throwing him into worse conditions. The scientists went mad trying to cure him, but only one solution was conjured.

    Gene splicing.

    They took Morgan Eschella apart. Took him apart and made him something else. Muscle cells were altered until they learnt to recover themselves, and be strong. His brain was altered; turned into an efficient machine to cope for the loss of coordination and motor functions Morgan had lost during the fight with the assaulter. And though he had recovered since, the genes were still there. Morgan was not human anymore, but he looked it. He acted it to an extent, but mood swings and his light-sensitive eye often made him stand out. But internally, he was another creature.

    But now he was drifting off down memory lane. William has paused momentarily, and was now resuming his walk. Morgan followed behind his partner, not quite aware of where he was going. He did not care. It was always the same. Get in, stop the problem with little casualties, and get out. Morgan tired of it. Always he and Bill were sent on these “small missionsâ€; another way to describe something “uselessâ€. As far as the Peace Keepers were concerned, Morgan was damaged goods, and would probably be out before the year’s end. William was just stuck with him. One of the hardest working, aspiring Keepers stuck with Morgan; a slack off. They knew it. Morgan knew it.

    Ah, Bill. Morgan smiled. His birth name was “Williamâ€, but Morgan preferred plain old “Billâ€. They were friends, true and true, and even though at times they seemed so far apart, they always shared that special mind link only two friends can share. The Keepers neglected this, of course. In their minds, Morgan was far from his prime, and until his stubborn partner learnt he was not going to go any higher in his standings, William was just another leaf in the wind, drifting aimlessly without purpose.

    But he had potential. Dreams, hopes; something only the best men accomplished in this age; the age after the death of Jesus Christ. But despite his dreams, William stayed true to his partner. Morgan could only speculate why.

    “Alright we are here.†William whispered, as if the Commander were pressed against the other side of the door, waiting and listening venomously for something to go wrong. Morgan nodded. He was still tired from the day’s workout, and his lack of sleep was not helping him either. The nightmares were getting worse.

    They stepped through the double wooden doors into the luxurious office of the Commander. Commander Ernest Collins.

    “Come in, soldiers.†Collins beckoned. He was seated at his desk; the desk that always faced the door when you went through. It was simple, wood paneled, and only a few cluttered file cabinets resided beside. Beyond the desk was a door Morgan guessed led into the Commander’s personal quarters. Morgan took a seat immediately, slouching slightly and leaning back on the back two legs. William sat down and resumed his usual perfect posture, sitting on the edge of his chair.

    “Do you know why I requested your presence?†Collins asked. He folded arms and leaned in across the table as he said this.

    “Our assignment, sir.†William answered promptly. Collins’ face went blank. Then a look of realization passed over his face.

    “Ah, yes the assignment. Well, we’ve had a little change in plans, boys.†William’s face only brightened for a moment, and then resumed its dignified state. Maybe the Commander didn’t think they were second rate after all. Maybe the Commander could use them! Morgan merely drifted off. His eyes went across the siding on the floor, counting the grooves in the wood as if he were genuinely interested in them.

    “Morgan, your eyes, please.†The Commander snapped. Morgan lazily turned his gaze and sat forward in his chairs, letting the front to legs connect with the ground with a “thudâ€. William shifted uneasily in his chair. What if Morgan screwed this up? His mind raced. Hopefully Morgan would stay silent and hold his wagging tongue. If the Commander had plans, William did not want to give him a second thought about not giving them a better assignment.

    “There’s a… a problem,†Collins began. William’s heart skipped a beat. “The problem resides on a small island off the coast of California. We’ve gathered it’s called “Stowawayâ€, and judging by its size and population, it’s a privately owned resort.â€

    The word “resort†perked Morgan’s attention. Maybe he could get some good relaxation in this job. The Commander saw they were interested. That was good. Good for him. Maybe not for the duo.

    “We’ve been reported some strange incidents in the area that may be connected with a series of murders in the area. It’s only a simple checkup; to make sure the island is safe, and demon free.†Collins continued.

    Demons. William’s heart sank a bit. He’d had little experience with demons, and as for Morgan, he could not tell. The man had been in the service of the Keepers for as long as he had, but ever since his beloved wife’s murder, he could only speculate on Morgan’s experience. He had defiantly faced demons before; his inner conflict.

    “Like I said; only a checkup. We don’t expect there to be any resistance, and the owner, a retired "General Katsimoto Tran", is more than happy to open his house to you two. He doubts any existence, but says it is fine with him if you take a look around.†The Commander folded his hands and leaned back in his chair.

    “What will we need equipment wise?†Morgan chimed.

    “Only your usual attire… oh yes, one more thing. The General doesn’t allow weapons in his champers. You will have to leave your equipment with the guards at the door.†Collins added. Morgan thought he saw a smile trying to emerge on the man’s face. That sly bastard.

    William was stunned and surprised. He shot a look at Morgan. If his partner were as confused as he, he couldn’t tell. Morgan’s face was expressionless.

    “You’re asking us to go into a building with armed soldiers without weapons ourselves?†Morgan asked emotionless. William bit his lip in anxiety.

    “No,†Collins said, “I’m ordering you in there. This needs investigation.â€

    “I thought it was expected to be safe anyways. Why send us off?†Morgan shot back.

    “We need you there any how. You are going to go there.†Collins said angrily. Or was it nervousness? Morgan couldn’t tell for sure. He smelled a rat, a very fat rat in a blue, button down shirt sitting in the desk in front of him.

    “What if I say “no�†Morgan answered with a wry smile.

    “It does not matter. You’re going in, and that is an order!†Collins shouted. He pushed his chair back and bolted to his feet. His hands came crashing down on the table in anger. Morgan got up and promptly left the room.

    William was now aw struck. They were definitely deported. The Peace Keepers would express their asses’ right out of the service to the nearest factory. He got up and follow his comrade out the door.

    “William, stay here please. I need to have words with you.†Collins said quietly. He had sat back down, and was now apparently calmed. William swallowed a wad of throat, turned around, and took his seat. A bead of sweat drifted down his neck.

    “Yes, sir?†He asked shakily. He could point a gun, but to talk to the angry man that held his future; that was another thing.

    “I’m concerned with your partner, Morgan Eschella.†The Commander started.

    “Sir, if I may, he only has a bit of a temper, sir. He meant no harm.†William stuttered.

    “Mr. Oxford, your partner is insubordinate. As soon as your next assignment is finished, I will see to his deportation. You will be assigned to a new, more competent partner.†Collins said. William now felt his blood boil. But he had control. He would thank the Commander- for now.

    “Thank you, sir.†He found his mouth saying.

    “Good man. Now do a thorough job, and if you find anything, contact us.†Collins said getting up from his chair and opening the office door for William to exit.

    “I shall, sir. Good day to you.†He responded politely.

    “And you, soldier. Goodbye.â€

    William took a hard left towards his chambers as soon as he was out of the Commander Collins’s office. Within the office, Collins chuckled to himself silently. Sad he’d be losing such a worthy soldier But Morgan was figuring things out too fast, and as long as William Oxford was involved, he was just as dangerous.
     
  5. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    This was interesting, so far. I’m a little unclear on some of the details and such, though it seems like that might be your intention. Other than that and the occasional grammar error, this read pretty well. Anyway, some thoughts:

    You need commas before and after “half to himself,†and the “to†right before that is extraneous.

    The comma after “uniforms†should be a semicolon.

    I’ve heard “highly trained†before, but “highest trained†sounds off to me. Perhaps “best†or “most trained†would suit your needs.

    I don’t think you need to capitalize “he†here; while it does come after a question mark, “he thought to himself†cannot stand on its own, so this whole bit is one sentence.

    “Carved†and “engraved†seem a little redundant. I’d word this as “...carved on the walls of the Hall of Peace, were the names of all the...â€

    I think you mean “payroll,†not “paycheck.â€

    “Bestowed†should be “bestowed upon,†though I’d just switch it for something more direct, like “shot.â€

    Couldn’t hurt to detail, very briefly, why Morgan hates Collins as much as he does. I think you touch on it enough later, but a quick note here would help.

    That should be “...closest thing to a friend...â€

    The “the†after the speech shouldn’t be capitalized. Also, in all the sentences above, “Collins’†should technically be “Collins’s,†since it’s just one person possessing the object in question. However, I’ve heard people argue this down as a stylistic choice. Your call, I suppose.

    That should be “expectant look,†I think.

    The period after “Commander†should be a comma; if an attributing phrase (a phrase that identifies the speaker) follows a spoken part, then the two are one sentence, not two, so a comma is appropriate.

    The problem detailed above is here too. Also, I think you mean “following†instead of “precedingâ€; “preceding†describes something that comes before, not after.

    Heh...nice.

    Hrm...I think I get what you’re saying at the start of the sentence, but if I’m reading it correctly, then it should be more like “Minutes passed, and he found himself staring...†Also, the “the†before “Collins’s†is unnecessary.

    “He felt up towards his eye,†perhaps?

    A subtlety: what you have here suggests that the eye in question belongs to William, as it reads “William knew X, and his eye...†Add “that†before “his eye,†and it’ll refer to Morgan, which is what I think you intended.

    This narration of Morgan’s past felt a little dry to me; it’s basically a break in the action where the narrator drops in with some information, and I think that this shift could be minimized by placing this information in a flashback or something else that can be told from Morgan’s perspective. However, it’s probably the case that this sort of thing is unavoidable to some degree, and it’s not a major problem here.

    I didn’t understand what you meant here with the part after “guess why.†My guess is that you’re saying that nobody knows who sent the assassin, but I can’t be sure.

    Perhaps that should be “perhaps.â€

    That should read “his left eye – his shooting eye – severely.†Also, I don’t know if it makes much of a difference whether one aims with the right eye or the left.

    “Worse conditions†sounds odd to me as a plural noun; I’d word this as “into worse condition,†though even that doesn’t seem to read well to me. Maybe something like “...placing his survival in doubt†would work.

    Erm...“gene splicing†has a technical definition, and what you describe here doesn’t match it. In the biological sciences, “gene splicing†refers to the recombination of DNA in vitro (i.e. before birth), which does not cause anything like this. This sounds more like gene therapy, or perhaps cybernetic modification, depending on what happened with his brain.

    Not sure what you meant by this...did you mean to say that he’s no longer in control of all his higher functions and is, in essence, an animal? If that’s the case, then a lot of what’s happening (his reflecting on his past, etc.) seems surprisingly advanced for his mental capacity.

    That should be “William paused...and then resumed his walk.â€

    I thought this did a particularly good job of illustrating Morgan’s apathy towards his job.

    I’d drop the semicolon here for a comma, and add “the phrase being†before “another way.†Also, I don’t think you need the quotes around “useless.â€

    I don’t know if I’d introduce this idea through narration, as you have done. It gets the point across very clearly, but it also seems to me that this would have a bit more weight if you held off from declaring this outright and instead showed this through their actions. As it is, though, this works, and as long as you support this idea later in the story, then it should be perfectly believable.

    I’m not sure what you were trying to say with this sentence.

    Hrm...this felt a little confusing after the previous declaration that they were true friends, etc. Are you trying to suggest that Morgan is not necessarily aware of the depth of their relationship?

    There should be a comma after “alright.â€

    Again, I’d try to avoid directly addressing the reader with uses of the second person, e.g. “you.†One possible rewording of this sentence would be “He was seated at his desk, which faced the door to the outside.â€

    That should be “Ah yes, the assignment.â€

    That should be “brightened for only a moment...â€

    Heh...good job with this part.

    The period after “please†should be a comma, and the “the†shouldn’t be capitalized, because this is all one sentence.

    That should read “sat forward in his chair†and “front two legs.â€

    That should be “about giving them a better assignment.†As it is, it reads as though Collins intends not to give them a different job.

    I’d try not to repeat the phrase “in the area†as you do; one possible way to deal with this is to drop its second use entirely. Also, “We’ve been reported some strange incidents†should be “We’ve some reports of several strange incidents...†or something like that.

    The semicolon after “checkup†and the period after “free†should be commas.

    Why would the death of Morgan’s wife change whether or not he had fought demons before? I don’t get what you’re trying to say here.

    I think that should be “definitely faced.â€

    “Any existence†seems to be missing something; the phrase suggests the question “existence of what?†which it doesn’t answer. “Any existence of demons on the island†would work fine, for instance.

    That should be “chimed in,†or if you want a slightly less...friendly expression, “broke in.â€

    Should that be “chambers�

    There should be a comma after “asked.â€

    That should be “anyhow.â€

    I’d imagine Collins would be sitting behind his desk, not “in†it.

    That should be “awestruck.â€

    The apostrophe after “asses†is unnecessary.

    That should be “followed.â€

    Er...a wad ofthroat? Not sure what you meant by that...

    Again, this is one sentence, so the “he†here shouldn’t be capitalized.

    Again, this is one sentence, so the “the†here shouldn’t be capitalized.

    The periods after “partner,†“sir†and “you†should be commas. Also, the two capitalized instances of “he†should not be capitalized.

    The “the†before “Commander†is unnecessary; articles are usually not used before a title and a name combined. For instance, there would be no “the†before “Captain Morstin,†if Morstin is a name, but the phrase “the commander†would be correct in reference to an unnamed officer who is responsible for a facility.

    You’re missing a period after “soldier.â€

    Well, this looks like a decidedly original bit of work...should be interesting to see where you take this government conspiracy sort of story. There’re some edits here that should be made, as well as a few general issues (the part about speech and a phrase like “he said†being one sentence comes to mind,) but on the whole this read pretty easily. Thanks for posting!
     
  6. proudfoot

    proudfoot IncGamers Member

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    I've only read the prologue so far, and my biggest comment is that you need to specify very quickly that there are three people in the room. About halfway through you separated "the crying man" from "the murderer," but until that point I thought there was just a gunman and a frightened woman. Clarify that.

    Also, the most basic punctuation rules must be adhered to. Dialogue: Sentences in quotations end with commas if the sentence continues. For example:

    "Hello," he said.
    --not--
    "Hello." He said.

    Partially a pet peeve, but if you are going to be putting creative effort into a story like this, and into your descriptions and plot, as it seems you have, put some minor effort into the grammar as well.

    Good luck with the story.
     
  7. Wombat-Slayer

    Wombat-Slayer IncGamers Member

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    Thanks so much! Especially Knight man!

    Well, I'll be sure to get to it. I've gotten much more written, I've just been away from this forum a while. I feel I"m pushing the limit by posting something off topic AND nonfanfic

    Proudfoot, I do see your little problem, but I have to point out:



    If the gun is to the back of her skull, and one guy is looking at her, then how can it be three people? Someone has to be behind her.
     
  8. Wombat-Slayer

    Wombat-Slayer IncGamers Member

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    Here's CHapter II...


    By the way Revenants Knight, I can't thank you enough for editing my last chapter. I don't really expect you to edit this one (or edit it so helpfully detailed as to put up with my repetitive mistakes for that matter). You can if you want, though :D

    Chapter II
    “Hey. How are you doing, honey?â€

    “Just fine; where are you?â€

    “At the Academy.â€

    “Oh, that’s nice.â€

    “Yes…â€

    “…â€

    “Listen, honey; I’ve got a job.â€

    “Another job? You promised to be back in a month!â€

    “Look, it wont take long… it’s only an investigation.â€

    “Will, when are they going to send you to do some real work again?â€

    “I’m not sure. Listen, I’ll be back in about two months, it’s all the way in California.â€

    “Oh, I hate it when they send you off on these retched things!â€

    “I’ll be fine… and maybe I’ll get a raise.â€

    “That’s good. I still want you to come home, though.â€

    “Yeah- me too. Hey, I have to go, my time is up.â€

    “I love you.â€

    “Love you too.â€

    Click.

    ----

    “What did Kara have to say?†Morgan asked from his bunk. He didn’t even look down at William as he entered the room.

    “Ah, just the usual. She wants me home; she misses me, “when will I move up?â€.†William answered casually.

    “And the Commander?†Morgan asked uninterested. “Probably wants my ass deported, huh?â€

    “Eh, he didn’t say much of anything. He just wished us luck.†William said nervously. He didn’t mention Collins assigning him a new partner when they returned, or the deportation.

    Morgan knew he was lying. Good ‘ole William; always easy to guess. “So we are going, then?â€

    “So it seems.â€

    “That’s good. I’ll enjoy a rest.†Morgan responded. He heaved a deep sigh and turned over in is bunk to face the wall. William fiddled with his knapsack, contemplating whether to tell Morgan about what Collins really said or not.

    Quite really, Morgan did not care. What is happening to me? He thought. A year ago I’d be at the top of my game. I could even be a high ranking Keeper… now the officials are wondering whether I’m worth something!

    What did it mean to be a “Peace Keeper†anyway? Morgan couldn’t answer for that. For six years he’d been part of the war, part of the peace, and part of the slow rot of all the Peace Keeper’s former glory. No one needed them now, the world had peace. The only thing profitable was being a Commander, and that only gave you political profit.

    Morgan heaved another deep sigh and jumped off the top bunk. William was sitting at a desk, and turned around to see what the noise was as Morgan was putting on his coat and starting out the door.

    “Where are you going?†William asked expectantly; probably a little too expectantly. He wondered if his friend knew what was really going on; that Collins really planned to have him fired. He bit his lip.

    “Out.†Was all Morgan responded.

    “The plane leaves in three hours. Be back in time.†William said quickly, turning back to his desk work. Morgan nodded and walked out of the door.

    ----

    Morgan’s feet took him where they wished. Down the corridors of the Hall, and out side to the court yards they took him. It was raining outside, but only lightly. Morgan didn’t mind. He enjoyed the rain. It seemed to come down like a gentle wave of life, dampening the earth and feeding the plants and ground. His left hand absent mindedly pushed back a lock of black hair as he strode around the fountain in the middle. He peered into the water.

    He almost laughed at his appearance. He was already beginning to look like Commander Collins himself, very “weightfulâ€. His hair was a bit shaggy and overgrown, and he hadn’t shaved since yesterday. He watched the gentle ripples made from the rain distort his features over and over again in the water.

    His thoughts swam.

    His head reached to his temple suddenly and he groaned. Those memories. Those damned memories. They had tried hard to take them from him, but his mind just wouldn’t let go. Now they came flooding back sometimes like tides of darkness, consuming his mind with grief.

    He could remember a figure standing in the mirror. No, not the mirror- behind him, reflected off the mirror. He reached instinctively for his gun, and fast. Yes, he was faster and younger then; only a few years aging had brought about a veteran-like demeanor to Morgan Eschella. But despite his efforts, he was still human. The assassin moved with an almost inhuman speed and quietly drew a knife. It bedded itself in his left shoulder.

    Morgan’s hand reached out and stroked the scar as if to remember. Yes, remember. He hadn’t done it in so long.

    But now it was growing dark. He groped for the memory; that thing he loved and hated. It was a piece to his past. Then he felt the hand of someone grasp his shoulder firmly. Morgan broke the hold and spun around, the gun was already in his hand. This was no memory. Someone had snuck up on him.

    “Hold it there, son. Yeh wouldn’t want to go pulling a fast on your old Commander, would yeh?†A raspy voice said. Morgan smiled big for the first time in weeks and holstered his weapon. The figure stepped forward and tipped his hat to reveal a gruff face. Rain water that had gathered on the brim poured down his face. The new comer coughed and spluttered.

    “Commander Smith,†Morgan acknowledged, bowing deeply. He bit back a smile- the first real smile in a while. But Morgan knew to give respect when respect was deserved, so he had bowed. “So good to see you, sir.â€

    “Ah, ah- formalities. Get up, old friend.†Smith said warmly. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to merely converse with someone like a normal human being.â€

    “You are High Commander.†Morgan reminded him as he got back to his feet and sat down on the fountain’s stone lining.

    “Yes; High Commander- Chief and commander of the Peace Keepers.†The Commander quoted.

    “Only the best, sir.†Morgan said admirably. He did admire this man.

    “Of course, the best. I wish yeh could join me.†He said thoughtfully.

    “You know I cannot. I am “taintedâ€, so they say.†Morgan refused friendlily.

    ““Tainted� I call it gene splicing.†Smith said with a smile.

    “Well, I suppose it’s not enough to be a Commander. I don’t need the responsibility any how.†Morgan said almost regretfully. He didn’t want the job. No way at all… but he always seemed to feel a pang of excitement when it was mentioned. Smith sighed and sat down on the stone lining of the fountain with Morgan.

    “I wish it was like old times again, Morgan.†Smith muttered. Morgan didn’t respond immediately, but merely sat in thoughtful silence. You have no idea, old friend, Morgan mused. “So what brings yeh out in the cold rain?†Smith asked suddenly. This question was unexpected, and as Morgan thought about it, he didn’t exactly know himself.

    “I can’t say, Rodney, I can’t say.†Morgan answered almost dreamily. He looked down at his watch. It had already been an hour. He had to be back and soon if he were to get on the plane. Of course, the High Commander was right here, practically at his service. If he could convince him-

    “What’s going on, Morgan?â€

    “I’ve got to… be somewhere.†Morgan answered standing up. “Good bye, old friend.†Morgan said almost gratefully turning to Rodney Smith.

    “Good bye, Morgan.â€

    Morgan left. He’d go alright. He wanted to see what was going on, and if William could explain what was going on. The rat’s stench seemed to be growing as he approached his bunk house.

    ----

    “Relax, Morgan; we’re flying at a comfortable and safe height of six thousand feet.†William reassured a very nervous Morgan. All the same, Morgan didn’t let go of his arm rests.

    “I don’t like planes, Bill.†He said stiffly.

    “Well, I guess some people aren’t meant to fly.†William said giving up. He reached down and plucked a magazine from the seat pocket in front of him. He idly thumbed through the pages, gazing over them with little interest. Morgan released his grip a little. Only a little. They had been flying for fifteen minutes now, and nothing had gone wrong. Maybe William was right; maybe planes were safe.

    He’d only flown once before, and that was long ago. Other than that, he always took the train or drove to his destinations. But crashing still haunted his mind. Man was so fragile, so vulnerable so… stuck to the ground. Man was not meant to fly, and Morgan was living proof.

    His flight fears soon subsided almost completely as he took in a view over William’s shoulders. People were by this time not visible, but he could make out large buildings and neighborhoods of Virginia. A nice lady offered him a drink, which he politely refused. Eating was the last thing on his mind six thousand feet in the air.

    He was taking in the view when a tug at his coat tail (which trailed to the floor) brought his attention to the aisle. Morgan’s eyes found a little boy, probably about seven, standing next to him, and eyeing his guns suspiciously.

    “Hey mister, those real?†The boy asked in a thick, southern accent.

    “Yes, kid, but don’t touch.†He said sternly. Then jokingly: “I’m required to break your arm if you do.†The child looked taken aback, and took a few steps backwards as if Morgan were a threat. Morgan shrugged; he was never any good with kids. Morgan turned his head back to the view to find it obscured by clouds. He was just about to ask William when they would land when-

    “Hey, mister, did you know it’s illeger to carry guns on a plane?†The boy asked suddenly (didn’t the kid know it was “illegalâ€?). Then adding: “Those men that made the planes crash had guns. That’s what my mommy said.†Morgan swiveled his head back around to face his guest. “Hey, mister, are you a bad guy?â€

    Morgan was taken aback by the statement. Could anyone think of the Peace Keepers as “bad guys� Of course, that was something William would think. The kid didn’t know what he was talking about. But all the same, Morgan didn’t think he could answer that question himself. “I don’t’ know, kid.†Morgan answered almost solemnly.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin our descent. The captain has asked that you please fasten your seatbelts.†A smooth, feminine voice said over the intercom. The little boy looked up at the intercom, and then ran back to his mother. Morgan tightened his belt. Apparently his question was being answered for him, with or without William’s help.
     
  9. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    Hrm...I liked this. There’re some good details on Morgan here; while the general concept of his character seems pretty common, you develop him enough that I can start to get into the story. Overall, this read quite smoothly, and in fact, I’d call it one of your best. There are still some things to fix here, but I really didn’t notice many of them until I read it a second time, looking to make suggestions. Anyway, some comments:

    The semicolon here could be a comma, and that might seem more natural, though I think this works.

    That should be “won’t.â€

    This seemed a little at odds with Kara’s desire to have her husband home again, since “real work†wouldn’t allow that. Not sure what you should do with this, but it did read a bit oddly for the above reason.

    The comma after “months†should be a semicolon. A tip here is that since you’re changing subjects, (from “I†in the first part to “it†in the second), this is probably not one sentence. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, so you’ll still probably need to check each on a case-by-case basis.

    That should be “wretched.†What you have here is a form of the verb “to retch.â€

    There should be a comma after “asked.â€

    This sounded a little redundant, given the context. I’d delete this bit.

    That should be “turned over in his bunk.â€

    Though the idea came across well, “really†sounded a little odd...maybe just “truly†or “frankly†would suit your needs.

    The “he†here doesn’t need to be capitalized, as it’s part of the same sentence. Proudfoot touched on this earlier, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to bring it up again.

    Hrm...not sure exactly what you’re trying to say here; did you mean maybe “I was at the top of my game...�

    If the above suggestion is what you meant, then this should probably mean “I could have been a high ranking...†If not, well, then I’m a little confused.

    The “for†here is unnecessary.

    I think that should be “Peace Keepers’ former glory,†since you probably mean all the Peace Keepers, not just one.

    The comma after “now†should be a semicolon or a period.

    Both semicolons here should be commas. Semicolons are used to connect two independent clauses, that is, two things that could be complete sentences on their own. In this case, both of the second clauses aren’t complete; for instance, “probably a little too expectantly†is not a complete sentence because there’s no subject or verb.

    See previous comment concerning capitalization after quotations.

    That should be “walked out the door,†unless you meant that he was physically in the door. :p Dang, that’d be weird.

    The first part here is a nice image. Good job with that. However, the second sentence felt a little awkward to me, as if you broke an idea in half and made it two sentences. I’d combine these into one, to something like “...where they wished, carrying him down the corridors of the Hall and outside to the courtyards.â€

    Another good image for the reader here. Also, this sort of subtle hint about Morgan is nice in that it doesn’t hit on anything specific, but suggests the sort of attitude or presence that he projects. A few of these can really help build on a character.

    I’d combine this into one sentence: “He peered into the water, and almost laughed at his appearance.†This cuts down on the number of sentences here that start with “He (verb)†or “His (something) (verb).†While both are perfectly legitimate constructions in general, it’s best if you don’t use them several times in a row, or the narration can start to feel like a list.

    Heh. On a side note, the period at the end should be inside the quotation marks.

    That should be “not in the mirror.â€

    I think that should be just “...his gun, fast,†though I’m not really sure.

    Hrm...this read a bit dryly for a vivid memory. I can see why you might want this to be fast, but this didn’t seem like it’d stick in my mind in the way you’re suggesting it does in Morgan’s. Maybe something like “Moving with an almost inhuman speed, the assassin’s hand stretched outwards, and the blade of a knife flashed in the light†might sound less like a report of what happened.

    That should be “embedded.â€

    Another nice detail on Morgan. :)

    I realize that this is supposed to be sudden, but “then†makes it sound as if this was a logical extension of what had just happened, which makes this surprising for a different reason. I’d use “suddenly,†or “abruptly†instead.

    If you want this to be one sentence, then this should read “...his gun already in his hand.†As it is, because you use “was,†the second part is a complete clause and the comma should be a semicolon.

    I think that should be “a fast one on your...,†and again, “a raspy voice†should not be capitalized.

    The period after “friend†should be a comma, inside the quotes, since the sentence doesn’t end after the spoken part.

    The period after “Keepers†should be a comma, inside the quotes, since the sentence doesn’t end after the spoken part. In general, if the spoken part is followed by a name/pronoun and a verb along the lines of “to say,†then the sentence does not end there and there should be a comma in the quotes, not a period. In this instance, question marks and exclamation points also count as commas. I suggest looking over your dialogue for this point; it’s pretty common. Let me know if you need me to flag the rest; for now, I’m going to hope that you can catch ‘em.

    “Admirably†doesn’t mean that he said that in an admiring tone; it means that his actions were commendable. I’d use “reverently,†perhaps, or “in an admiring tone.â€

    “Friendlily†is a word, but it sounds pretty clunky to me. You could stick with it, though in your position, I might use “cordially†or “amiably.â€

    Interesting...anyway, nice detail.

    Nitpick: I think that should be “it were like old times,†since you’re not using a straight past tense here.

    I liked this sentence, though I’d word it as “...he realized he didn’t know exactly himself.†Not sure if it really matters, though.

    There should be a comma after “answered.â€



    There should be a comma after either “said†or “turning,†depending on whether “almost gratefully†modifies his voice or his action of turning.

    That should be “He’d go, all right.â€

    There should be a comma after “said.â€

    I’d use commas, not parentheses, to set off this phrase here. I don’t know if it makes a big difference, but the parentheses seemed to break up the flow of the sentence a bit.

    There’s an extra apostrophe after “don’t.â€

    I wasn’t sure what you meant by this...

    Anyway, the ideas and characters you’re throwing around here look good, and I’m curious to see where this’ll end up. With a little cleaning, this should be a pretty strong piece. Thanks for posting!
     

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