Back To Basics (Chapter 5 up 11/22)

This is a remake of a story I tried to make earlier, but failed. I am only including the Prologues in this section, so if no one wants to see more, I understand. But please let me know if you like how its going so far, and if you have any critiques, I will take them into consideration. I already wrote out the next two parts, so if you like this, I will continue posting!

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Prologue 1

It was a dark and stormy Thursday morning, but no one paid it much mind. It seemed like it was always raining in Transford, the smallest, in fact almost unknown town in northern Alabama, though it was closer to Tennessee than any populated, large or otherwise, residential area in Alabama. However, since the current US President was from here, it got a little bit of recognition. There were only about 300 adults and about 80 children living in Transford, making it a very small area. In fact, if you didn’t know where to go or just got distracted, you could walk right past it, and you may as well dump your car as you get close and hike the rest of the way on foot. This seclusion led to a townwide belief in Christianity, and a lot of available jobs needed just to keep the town stable, such as farmers, teachers, and firefighters. Also, some specialty jobs just for this town, such as town psychic, town singer, and town informant.

However, this Thursday in particular was different. The Head of Transford Construction, Carrie Gelant was in the hospital building with the only doctor in the town, Nicole Greathes who, despite the secluded town had enough medical know-how to rival most successful New York EMTs, and the town priest Harold Lepturn, who had a basin of Holy Water at the ready for baptism. Carrie was holding in her arms her newborn boy whom she looked at with an intense love, as any mother would. Carrie however, knew that she didn’t have much time, the birthing took too much out of her, and it would soon take her life as well. She looked at the baby one more time, her hazel eyes peering into his green ones, and whispered “My time has come. I name you Leo Jared Gelant, and wish you the best.” She then leaned back, closed her eyes, smiled and exhaled her last. Both Harold and Nicole lowered their heads in respect of her meeting God, and took the child to be with his new guardians, the married sister of his mother, and her husband, Fiona and Adam Greendale, co-teachers of 5th grade at Transford General Education, the only school in the town. The two new guardians of this boy looked at each other and agreed to raise him like their own.

Prologue 2

“Mr. President! What an unexpected pleasure!” The government agent stood at attention, shaking to try to control his elation that he was standing in front of the 56th President of the United States, Jason Bennet, arguably the most powerful man in the world.

“You don’t have to stand at attention. Relax. I am just curious how Project R is going. Come. Walk with me.” The technician eased up, and walked with Jason. They walked down a hallway until they came to a metal door marked “Storage.” The two of them swiped security cards and opened the door, and Jason stood in awe. The machine that had taken 5 billion in excess tax money was nearly finished. The machine looked like a dentist chair, where the dentist has you sit while he works on your teeth. The only difference is instead of the x-ray machine, there was a helmet-type machine in its place, and a large metal container attached to it. Also, there was a keypad on the arm of the chair.

“Does it work yet?” Jason asked.

“In theory. We are finished with the hardware and software, we just have to test it. We need somewhere remote and fairly unpopulated. The ideal place would have less than 500 people, so that we can test the device in a small, quarantined area. Can you think of a place, Sir?” Jason paused.

“Sir?”

“…We’re going to Alabama.”

Re: Back To Basics

Hard to tell at this point, if this is worth reading. Not enough details to get into the characters. I’m intrigued by the chair so I will keep reading. Hopefully, you develop the characters in the next update.

Re: Back To Basics

yeah. I just thought no one had liked my post, so I thought the story was dead. The next 5 chapters are already written.

Re: Back To Basics

It had been fifty years after Carrie had passed away, and thirty years spent searching for the man who fathered the boy that took Carrie’s life. It had been a bit somber since, but Clyde had been a very successful man despite this. Ever since President Jason Bennet had unexpectedly paid a visit to Transford some three years ago, Clyde had earned job working directly under him and the United States. He was a guinea pig for all the Government’s technology not ready to be shown to the general populus. Clyde had been successful in not only the career he led, but also in the romantic aspect.

Twenty-five years ago, when Clyde had been working a side job to help pay for college fees (still high as ever despite the small town) when he spotted the woman he loved with all his heart. He worked up the courage to ask her out on a date, being as romantic as you can possibly be wearing a news hat and a rose, and she said yes.

Two and a half decades later, Clyde had broken up with that woman and married another who treated him better, named Annabeth. Together they had four children. Percy, at age fourteen. If you had to pick one thing to describe him, you would generally say “high school gamer boy.” He never went one day away from his video games, and no one really tried to persuade him otherwise. Next, was Piper, at age 10. She was the kind of person who could stay calm while the world is falling apart around her. Finally were the twins, Frank and Hazel, ages 3. The two were inseparable, though the two were complete opposites. Frank always found a reason to smile at the world, and if you heard him cry, it was usually a sign that you were crazy. Hazel, however was the epitome of sadness. She was gloomy and usually never looked anywhere but on the floor where she was walking, and if you hear her laugh, it was usually another sign you were crazy. Why the two were bonded together is a mystery, but it was comforting knowing that the two can balance each other out, and either help you or make things worse, depending on who decides to talk.

It was raining, again, when Clyde came home one night. “Anna? Kids? I’m home!” The lights were off, and Anna didn’t greet him at the door as usual, and neither did the kids. She must be cooking dinner thought Clyde. He took off his coat and boots, and hung them up to dry off from the rain. As he entered the kitchen, he called again. “Anna? Kids?” He heard the snickering of Frank, and smiled as he turned on the light. “Happy Birthday!”

The kids and Anna lept out, except Percy, who was on his game system in his room. Clyde smiled. He had a busy day, and was physically exhausted. He needed this. He sat down and Frank brought him a slice of chocolate cake, his favorite. There were bits of chocolate cake in his hair, but since it was the same color, it was hard to tell. Anna probably didn’t notice because of all the preparation it took. Hazel was even putting on a slim lip curve that if Clyde didn’t know better, he would’ve sworn was an attempt at a smile. At least she wasn’t looking at the floor anymore, and Clyde could see the beady green eyes the twins had inherited from him. He smiled too, and tousled the twins’ hair.

Piper came over and Gave him the family gift- a small box wrapped up in multicolored wrapping paper. Clyde opened it up, and it contained a card. Clyde jokingly shook it and said “Hey! There’s no money in here!” All of them laughed except Hazel, who lifted her cheeks a half-centimeter. But for Hazel, that was a good as you were going to get. Anna, however abruptly stopped laughing as soon as clyde started to open it. “Hang on. Let me see that.” Before Clyde could open it fully, Anna took it, and looked it over. “Hazel! Percy! Why would you write this! Percy, turn off that system and get down here NOW!” Frank and Piper, scared out of their minds by the sudden anger in their mother’s usual kind voice, dove under the table and stayed there, Piper regaining composure as she tried to keep Frank calm. If he started crying, the whole town would think something is very wrong, as Frank was usually a kind and loving person.

Hazel’s Hazel-smile froze and died out, returning to her usual pessimistic glower, and Percy came down from his room, after having donned headphones in one ear. He looked like he just woke up, his black-brown hair standing on end and in no way organized, with bags under his eyes from playing in the dark, and his blue eyes half closed from squinting in the sharp change of light. His clothes were also on sloppily, giving him that “size-too-big” look that comes from lazily throwing on clothes.

Percy and Hazel stood in front of Anna, both looking at the floor, one being tired, the other being Hazel. “Explain this message in the card NOW. You don’t write this unless you mean it.” Clyde glanced at the card. It said “You get the easy life, while we suffer in silence,” written in red pen. Percy spoke first. “I meant what we wrote. Dad has the easy life. All he does is sit in a chair while the government does tests on him. The four of us have to wake up before him, go to school, and do homework!”

“That is the most-” “I’ll handle this.” said Clyde, interrupting his wife. “You think you have the easy life?” “Yes I do. We do more than you do!” “In that case, How would you like to make a little wager on that?”

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my grammar isn’t perfect, but don’t call me out on it.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Honestly it’s too early to determine whether I like the story enough to anticipate the next chapter. (It usually takes 3 or 4 installments anyway).

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

its fine. I did drop a bit in writing quality here, but I never could do well with first chapters.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Agreeing with Rusty and Baby Johnny: too early to say much. There’s some anticipation about ‘What’s this freaky chair do?’ but beyond that, mostly it’s meeting people and story setup.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

yeah. So you DO want me to keep doing this, right?

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

If Carl Orff came to you and played the first 23 seconds of O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, and asked if you wanted him to keep working on it, what would you say? And would the answer matter?

Are you writing for you? Screw what I say.
Are you writing to please the audience? Why, if not for money?
Are you writing seeking approval and compliments? I recognize this motivation within myself, especially my past. Speaking from experience, it’s a bad thing to build your life on. I try not to let myself go back there, although old habits die hard.
Do you want to tell us an interesting story, something new and fresh, something interesting that will provide amusement and perhaps insight into our lives? Then stop asking and do it.

So what do I want? I want you to figure out what you want from life, and seek it with all your essence. I want everyone to stop letting capitalists rule their lives, and tell them to go fuck themselves. I want everyone to know that they are more than a localized complex arrangement of matter with self-reproducing chemical reactions, and that there is more to life than buying crap and investing our self-worth in others’ opinions, especially J. Random person on the Internet. I want people to live life like this is the only chance they have, to have splendid adventures and great relationships and achieve things that please them.

So as far as the story: Do YOU want to tell me a story? Because if you’ve got one, and you want to tell it, then go for it. What I want doesn’t matter.

(Sorry, I know you wanted the simple answer “Yes”, but…)

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

I know, I just don’t want to write if its just gonna be ignored. I want at least someone to want it. Even one person helps.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

I totally agree with Peri. I write because I love it. If someone else happens to enjoy it, great.

You haven’t developed your characters enough to tell as yet. I’m left with many disjoint story elements wondering how you plan to connect them all. At best, I’m interested in that.

The way you’ve jumped around has made it harder to get into the story. It never is good to throw too many different facts at the reader at once. I would of had 3 or more times the words for the first chapter to give readers a chance to get into each element. Your second chapter is better, but still when a name was mentioned I had to look back to figure out who you meant. When you introduce a character, give them a paragraph or more to give your readers something to hold on to.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

This next chapter is a little bit shorter, but I am going to post these faster. My only request is that if you comment on this, please say at least one helpful thing.

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“What do you mean, a wager?” Percy asked.

“If you really think that I am getting the easy life, you won’t mind putting a little bet on it. What do you say?” Clyde posed.

“What happens if I win?”

“Then I’ll live as a baby for a month. But if I win, Percy you lose your video games for a month, and Hazel you will not be allowed to wear anything but bright clothing for a month. Deal?”

“Before we decide on something that could possibly remove the most important things for us, I need to ask something. What is the bet?”

“Here is the bet. I am going to become the ages of all four of you for one week each. I will assume the role of a student in your schools, and take home the same homework. I will be put through the life that you are, and I am treated like you are. That includes all responsibilities and restrictions that you have already. I basically have to act the age I portray, except during bedtime. And I can leave this age at any time, but if I bail on two of the three ages, then I will lose automatically. If I can take two of the ages, then I win automatically. However, no matter what I will have to go through with all three ages, then the result of the bet happens. Deal?”

“I would say that, but in case you have some sort of Fountain of Age Control, you aren’t changing ages. How will you do that?” Percy sneered, a look of skepticism on his face.

Clyde smiled. “Project R.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Project R. The President has me under his employment, remember? This is what we were testing since about a month after Hazel and Frank were born. So far, we had almost no luck. However, today we succeeded. Project R is a youth machine. It managed to move my mind into an awaiting android, and it was exactly the properties of how I was when I was 20. Physically at least. We managed to get me back as well, so it has been confirmed to be completely effective! We just need a longer testing period. I was going to do this anyway, so you may as well try to prove a point. what do you say? Deal?” Hazel looked up, with what would pass for a fire of determination, very unlike her. But she looked not miserable, and that was all Clyde needed to see. “Deal!” Hazel and Percy shook their dad’s hand, Hazel’s hand small enough to make it work.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

keep posting. I want to see where this goes.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

This looks like fun. Keep going

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Very good bet and looking to be an interesting story.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Looks like a very interesting story…

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Chapter 2: The Bet

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“What do you mean, a wager?” Percy asked.

“If you really think that I am getting the easy life, you won’t mind putting a little bet on it. What do you say?” Clyde posed.

“What happens if I win?”

“Then I’ll live as a baby for a month. But if I win, Percy you lose your video games for a month, and Hazel you will not be allowed to wear anything but bright clothing for a month. Deal?”

“Before we decide on something that could possibly remove the most important things for us, I need to ask something. What is the bet?”

“Here is the bet. I am going to become the ages of all four of you for one week each. I will assume the role of a student in your schools, and take home the same homework. I will be put through the life that you are, and I am treated like you are. That includes all responsibilities and restrictions that you have already. I basically have to act the age I portray, except during bedtime. And I can leave this age at any time, but if I bail on two of the three ages, then I will lose automatically. If I can take two of the ages, then I win automatically. However, no matter what I will have to go through with all three ages, then the result of the bet happens. Deal?”

“I would say that, but in case you have some sort of Fountain of Age Control, you aren’t changing ages. How will you do that?” Percy sneered, a look of skepticism on his face.

Clyde smiled. “Project R.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Project R. The President has me under his employment, remember? This is what we were testing since about a month after Hazel and Frank were born. So far, we had almost no luck. However, today we succeeded. Project R is a youth machine. It managed to move my mind into an awaiting android, and it was exactly the properties of how I was when I was 20. Physically at least. We managed to get me back as well, so it has been confirmed to be completely effective! We just need a longer testing period. I was going to do this anyway, so you may as well try to prove a point. what do you say? Deal?” Hazel looked up, with what would pass for a fire of determination, very unlike her. But she looked not miserable, and that was all Clyde needed to see. “Deal!” Hazel and Percy shook their dad’s hand, Hazel’s hand small enough to make it work.

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This chapter is a bit short, and I know there is a lot of information to take in, and I apologize. I tend to drag on.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Also, I forgot to mention, but Hazel is a gloomy girl, and she never wears anything but dark clothes, because she feels her wardrobe should reflect her mood.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

Isn’t this the same story as “Kids Today” that you posted back in September? I recall I wrote you a long critique of that one.

However, your rewrite is massively better than your original. There is real improvement here- congratulations for that. Stuff you still need to work on:

-Your dialogue is static and unrealistic. Imagine the conversation in your head. Persons do not speak the way your characters in this story speak.

-Your description is not necessarily pertinent to the story. You give more facts, and that is an improvement, however, the facts are hit-and-miss as to whether they’re interesting or not. You get to kinds of facts: facts to help us envision the scene, and facts that will come up again later and are important to the plot. Or, perhaps the problem is you’re giving me the facts in timeline format - tell me the facts -as- they become important, not in the order they occurred in this fictional word.

Also, constantly bumping with 500 word posts gets annoying. Put together -at least- 2,000 words per post, I want something to sink my teeth into if I’m going to bother reading it. If you wonder why you don’t get as much response, it may be that your writing has a long way to go. That being said, there’s a world of difference between your writing in September and now.

Re: Back To Basics (A Sci-Fi story)

I said that this was a rewrite of a story I posted earlier in the Prologue.