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 Roy's Space Whales Story

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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Roy's Space Whales Story   Mon May 05, 2008 12:50 pm

The visions were back, he thought to himself in annoyance. The last one had been ten years ago, and he had been lulled into a sense of cool complacency, thinking that they had disappeared for good. With a frown of annoyance, he exited the Ship greenhouse and made his way into the Command Centre, his smooth languid steps betraying no hint of his irritation.

His sister was already there sitting down in front of the Control Panel, barely awakened as can be seen from her mussed hair and cup of steaming coffee, one hand holding a copy of People magazine with the headline “Insane Britney commits suicide, Angelina castrates Brad out of jealousy!!!” printed May 5, 2008. Frivolent, he thought. What was the point of reading a tabloid magazine, especially one that was two centuries past?

“Morning sunshine. You’re up early today.”

“Hhhmph.”

“…..And in a good mood besides, I see,” His sister turned to look at him. He took three quick strides to plop himself onto the other chair beside her.

“The visions. They’re back.” Her brother’s bad habit of speaking in incomplete sentences was stronger than ever today, and particularly infuriating given the gravity of the situation.

Madeline silently sipped her coffee and knew better than to speak further. Her younger brother could be as obstinate as a mule, a trait he had always had ever since they were children. It was only by sheer coincidence that their mother had ventured into his room after dark, to find him writhing in bed, body twisted with two hands clinging to his head, features contorted in pain from the throbbing headaches. A vision of huge, insectlike creatures, each as big as a full grown human adult. He could see their faces in terrifying clarity, the digestive corrosive saliva overflowing from the rapidly twitching mandibles, eager in their hunger and desperation. What remained a mystery, though, was what was being attacked. And of course, why they were back now.

He always was a strange boy though, Madeline mused to herself. Whereas her parents and her had honey blonde hair and eyes blue as cornflowers, he was dark of both, and spoke little, preferring to keep himself busy in the Greenhouse ever since he could dig at the soil with his fingers. He must be able to talk to the plants, their parents said, for what else could explain the extraordinary bountiful harvest they have enjoyed ever since he started spending time there?

“Is Mother awake?” he asked, breaking her train of thoughts. Madeline shrugged. Mother was a late riser, as she always took on early morning duty and relished every opportunity to sleep in as much as she could. Mother would come in when she wanted to, and not a second earlier. For now, though, she intended to enjoy her morning coffee, and her tabloid magazine. Reading how silly and ignorant people were two hundred years ago was a great therapeutic relief from the boredom and idleness of commandeering duty. Why, they used petroleum as a fuel, what a waste as it was such an inefficient resource! Only thirty to forty percent efficiency from the combustion of such fuels… not to mention the pollution it did to the environment. Madeline rolled her eyes. People were just amazing, so amazingly….. stupid barely two hundred years ago. It was lucky that another energy source, the Malaysiarum, had been discovered on the Pleiades star cluster about a hundred years back, leading to the energy crisis being solved. Their family had made lucrative money as Malaysiarum gatherers, spending years in space to travel to the Pleiades to collect the priceless mineral and to sell it at obscenely high prices back home on Earth. They had been well off ever since and she felt blessed that she lived in queenly luxury aboard this ship, instead of mucking it with other civilians on Earth itself.

“How are we doing?” his deep voice was calm, monotonous, no hint of emotion there either.

“Course is set for another 8000 miles. Malaysiarum levels are good. I’ve set it on auto pilot for a while as the circumstances appear steady.” She turned the page, eyes briefly scanning the article on the page.

For now, everything was as it should be, he thought to himself. The visions were not haunting him right there and then, and that was all that mattered. A moment’s peace is still peace nonetheless, and he folded his arms and leaned his head on the chair to get some sleep. Slumber came to take him, and he slept deeply, while his sister continued reading quietly.


Last edited by Aik Roy Heng on Wed May 07, 2008 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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jmbuehler



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Mon May 05, 2008 7:39 pm

I really like your story! There's a lot of intrigue and charm to it, so I would definitely like to read more.

One thing I might suggest is slightly reworking some of the transitions in the paragraph where you introduce the idea about the Malaysiarum. I know you're trying to explain what it is, but you almost lose the character's voice for a brief moment.

Just a suggestion. Take of it what you will. Very Happy
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 9:39 am

Heya, thanks for the feedback, oh don't worry i certainly can handle constructive criticism!!! Will keep that in mind, thanks!!!
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Wind

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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 2:48 pm

I disagree with jmbueler - he was right that you almost lose Madeline's voice to the point it nearly seems like you're forcing exposition, but there was really no other convenient way around it. You handled it cleverly imo.

Some very minor nitpicks here and there, such as "Whereas her parents and her" could more appropriately be rewritten as "Though she and her parents" ("whereas" is a word typically used between contrasts, not to begin them - e.g. She and her parents had blonde hair and eyes whereas he had darker features).

Otherwise, very well written stuff. You accomplished lots of exposition and kept it interesting and readable. The family's occupational background, story setting and time frame, and the boy's unusualness are all here, and in a way that doesn't sound like a textbook.
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 4:20 pm

Hello Wind,

Thanks for the encouraging feedback!! Concerning the "whereas", though, I wasn't aware that whereas cannot be used to start a sentence, kind of like starting a sentence with because, eh? But you can't deny "Whereas her parents" sounds waaaaay more poetic than "Though her parents" right? LOL
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J.Castillo



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 10:20 pm

Hey it's a good start. I really the diction you use. The word use and descriptions such as "honey blonde hair" are really good. I do feel that the exposition is a little forced. But I'm not sure how it should be handled. I really like it so far, I wonder where the visions will lead.
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amandaheise



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 11:20 pm

I didn't like that you brought the media issues up in a kind of futuristic story. But I really like the descriptions!
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 11:30 pm

Hey I gotta make the story stand out as obviously mine, so the Jolie and Britney things are my methods of ensuring the story reeks of me LOL.
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 06, 2008 11:32 pm

Oh and I did think that was a very clever way to let people know the story was set 200 years from the printed date on people magazine.....no? Sad


Last edited by Aik Roy Heng on Wed May 07, 2008 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vicente



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Wed May 07, 2008 12:22 am

I thought so too - I saw that part as social commentary. Funny to think about how our modern shenanigans might be read for amusement by the people of the future.
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Wed May 07, 2008 12:59 am

"Britney commits suicide, Angelina castrates Brad" heehee...I'd set the date a little further into the future, but not too much. Laughing I like how you used that to introduce when it takes place, though. Otherwise, what jmbuehler said.
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spleahy



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Wed May 07, 2008 4:31 pm

I feel that the tabloid headline wasn't necessary. There are better ways to show how far in the future it's set that don't involve making popculture refrences that can isolate certain readers. However, I like the reast of the story!
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Mon May 12, 2008 3:39 am

There had been two great alien races. That much he could tell, from brief flashes and short spurts of clarity that sometimes only served to confound, to lead him into further confusion. It had happened millions of years ago, when the planet called Earth was nothing like what it is today. Where the most primitive of lifeforms had teemed and flourished on that planet, multiplying in an ancestral and simple fashion, the two races had already reached their technological peaks, battling each other for supremacy in methods crude and cruel. For compassion and sympathy were entirely alien concepts to both species, which prized the hunt above any other facet of life. Perhaps those were the very reasons they advanced so rapidly, the drive to kill, the desperation to have the thirst for blood slaked.

One of them, he surmised, looked slightly human, but only from the head below. They had arms and legs, but their features were reptilian, and they had claws instead of nails, with three digits and a thumb on each hand. Their tails were long and what were the spikes at the end used for, he wondered? Perhaps for defense, or was it a form of communication, to express themselves amongst each other? Whatever it was, theirs was a harsh race that prized strength and survival highly. The young, hatched from eggs, were abandoned at a distant place far, far away from the enormous cities that fringed their barren world, lighted as it was by three suns. It was blindingly bright, but he could see well enough. Once or twice, he wondered if these aliens could sense him there, though he knew instinctively that this was all in the past, and they could not possibly do so. Huge worms, each sixty feet long or so, lurked in the arid desert that ringed the cities, preying on anything and everything that moved upon the sand, as their bodies were surrounded by smaller worms, worms that sensed each minute vibration in the sand and transmitted the information back to their gargantuan host. The babies would hatch and if they survived by the end of two months, they were deemed fit to live and brought back to the city to be raised in the way of the warrior. The physical tests were vigorous, but the psychological ones even more so, as they were highly emotional creatures. The elders had cautioned the young endlessly against displaying too much emotion, they were honored and fortunate to have survived, and obey orders they will. That they did, and that was the way of life for these aliens, their entire race under the command of a council of elders, wizened warriors which dictated each and every aspect of life.

He found himself in a conglomerate of buildings, shaped from clay molded together into ovals, hollowed out to form chambers and vast spaces for the aliens to gather. Looking around, he saw clusters of eggs, each as big as his head, resting on the ground half buried in sand. Without realizing how, he understood that to these creatures, breeding was a highly formal and regulated ritual, individuals paired to each other in highly mapped and planned diagrams in hopes of breeding the best warriors. Random mutations which manifested in individuals became highly prized attributes, that particular trait used to match males to females to produce generations of Sauroids with various combat capabilities. Their genetics was such that traits which arose from random mutations, if properly complemented to a recessive gene in another individual, would be greatly augmented in the next generation. Sauroids, he caught himself referring to them. Now where had that name come from? Was it an unconscious gesture, but why was it so that the name highly resonated in his mind, Sauroid, Sauroid, Sauroid……the name sang to him, over and over again, till another sound, an explosion deafened him. He turned behind, and looked away instantly from the bellowing stream of fire, the heat so intense he could feel his skin being singed. These aliens breathed fire? He understood at once, again, this was the product of generations of careful breeding, of crosslinking, of mating cousin to cousin and if need be daughter to father and mother to son and sibling to sibling. For they were not human and thus not bound to such trivial matters as inbreeding, their alien physiology did not distinguish seed from within or outside a tribe. Truly a species where war and combat abilities took precedence above all else, and thus it was that tribes were established within these Sauroid, tribes with monopolies over abilities such as fire breathing, enhanced regeneration, underwater breathing, venomous claws, telepathy, and he could even see a tribe where individuals possessed protuberances on their backs. It took him awhile to realize what those were….wings, for somehow the genetic code of one errant Sauroid somehow managed to produce large wings, leathery, membranous structures that enabled it to fly. He could see that tribe members with wings weigh much less than a strictly terrestrial Sauroid of the same size, and their flight muscles were particularly strong, giving those Sauroids enough power to lift themselves into the air. Once airborne, they stay aloft with deceptively slow and stately wing beats, each one developing tremendous lift and thrust. Why, he marveled, they looked exactly like dragons from the old legends of Earth, these flying Sauroids!

A beam of light suddenly shot from the heavens above, a light that was so blindingly pure in its white intensity that it could be easily seen despite the brightness of the sky, lit as it was by three suns. The light penetrated the back of a flying Sauroid, and it immediately….. vanished, just ceased to exist. One moment he was shrouded by the shadow of the soaring Sauroid above him, its wings beating majestically, and the next he was exposed to the harsh glare of the three suns of the Sauroid world.

He turned his head up to look.
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jmbuehler



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Mon May 12, 2008 10:36 pm

Very interesting. Especially this part:

Quote :
Truly a species where war and combat abilities took precedence above all else, and thus it was that tribes were established within these Sauroid, tribes with monopolies over abilities such as fire breathing, enhanced regeneration, underwater breathing, venomous claws, telepathy, and he could even see a tribe where individuals possessed protuberances on their backs. It took him awhile to realize what those were….wings, for somehow the genetic code of one errant Sauroid somehow managed to produce large wings, leathery, membranous structures that enabled it to fly.

So what is this mysterious light at the end? Suspect
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 13, 2008 2:15 am

Walk into the light...j/k. He's not dying, right?
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Aik Roy Heng



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 27, 2008 3:27 am

The clouds were moving rapidly, far too fast to be natural. Ominously sinister against the blue that stretched endlessly across the Sauroid world, they gathered, expanding, all the while getting darker and darker, puffing up with the faint crackle of electricity being audible from the very edges, shrouding all beneath its vast shadow. It seemed to him that they would expand forever, blocking off everything……

Until they separated and the light from the three suns of the Sauroid world shone forth.

The first thing he saw upon recovering his sight was silhouettes. Silhouettes of humanoids atop those clouds, in an arrowhead formation flying straight to attack the city of the panicking Sauroids beneath them. It was only moments later that he could clearly see the beings atop the clouds, and what he saw took his breath away. For they were magnificent creatures, pale and lithe, with long, silvery hair that cascaded upon their backs like a sibilant waterfall, every strand moving in perfect unison with the wind whenever they turned their heads. They could pass physically for humans but for the fox ears atop their heads, and the nine tails that stuck out very conspicuously from their behinds. Curiously, he noticed that they all wore the same attire- iridescent robes of the purest white that were as flimsy as their hair and flew about from the wind in much the same way. They were tall, each one towering above 6 feet, and the leader of the warband, he could see, stood at 8 feet fully erect at the front of the formation.

Wordlessly it pointed to the center of the city, and the others immediately broke into a new formation and followed their leader. He could see now that the clouds that they rode upon could easily combine into one large mass adjoining all or separate into discrete structures each bearing a single rider,. The leader had the biggest cloud piece, and it was gesturing elegantly again……

He found himself transported into the city, standing amidst the deployed Sauroid warriors. The cloud riders, the….Youkurama, again, how in the world did he know these names?...were reaching the heart of the city, but so far had taken no offensive action. All the Sauroids were mobilizing, their highly disciplined training taking effect as they fell into lines and formation. The winged ones were deployed first, forming the front line of attackers. They were impatient to take wing, features twisted in the desperation of waiting to get at the haughty invaders perched atop their lofty carriages, as if descended from the Heavens themselves. The Sauroid elders made a gesture in unison, and the winged ones ducked abruptly, their originally spread leathery wings folded in a swift motion, revealing what was originally obscured. Immediately behind them were a line of blue streaked Sauroids that spewed a trail of smoking acid towards the Youkurama. The acid bubbled and instantly hissed upon contact with the air, an obvious testament to its deadliness and potency. All but one was fast enough to evade the wave of acid, and it slipped from the cloud, body disintegrating even as it fell in descent from the sky. He noticed that it never made a sound as it fell onto the ground, elegant even in death, though half of its body was gone, vaporized from the highly corrosive acid.

Seconds seemed like minutes to him. He understood neither how nor why but he knew it was important for him to pay as much attention to the battle as possible, for a choice hinged on his observations. He could only watch impassively as the bloodthirsty Sauroids hissed and rasped at the eerily silent Youkurama which had started to encircle the city. Even as the Sauroid elders hissed at the winged ones to fly and engage the Youkurama in combat, the fire breathers were bellowing streams of fire towards them, and he learnt something new about the fire breathing Sauroids. It caught his eye that there were two distinct kinds of fire breathing Sauroids. The first, and by far the many, produced red flames that burned bright and hot, but were certainly outclassed by the very few producing blue flames. Those emitting blue flames, he noticed, had a technique drastically different from the red ones. The red flames were uncontrolled, everywhere, at the mercy of the wind as it reached back and forth wherever the wind blew. The blue flames, however, were in a single unerring line no matter how hard the wind currents were. It was an amazingly beautiful display, the red and orange flames combusting everywhere, uncontrollable, burning wherever the winds took them, streaked here and there by solid blue flame lines, which burned even hotter and brighter.

The Youkurama, in a concerted united motion, produced an object in their right hands and held in above their heads. He could see the winged Sauroids hesitate slightly. Their wing beats were not so forceful abruptly, but that lasted only for a split second before they roared and continued their charge. He saw that the objects resembled hand mirrors, and beams of light suddenly burst forth from each mirror, the very same blinding one that caused the earlier flying Sauroid to disappear without a trace. The sky was filled with colors, blue to red to the intense magnificent white that emitted from the mirrors……….

And when a streak made contact with a Sauroid, it just vanished, ceased to exist entirely. And again, without knowing how, he understood perfectly what had happened. These Youkurama were naturally talented as an entire race to control time and space. It was a gift of their kind, the natural affinity to shape and mold what was deemed to be permanent and unchangeable for any other. The mirrors are to them merely focal points to concentrate their energies into a streak, making whatever came into contact with it displaced in space or time or even both. In their planet, where they lived in beautiful cloud cities and land did not exist, only endless oceans beneath the clouds, a Youkurama was born gifted in controlling either space or time. They could in reality manipulate both, but one very much more than the other. Thus it was that the unfortunate victims of their energy streaks were either sent to the past or future, or simply into some determined space by the individual Youkurama. He also gained cognizance that the Youkurama frequently displaced Sauroids into another star far far away to be used as slaves for yet another cruel alien race, a race that performed genetic experiments on them and utilized them as free labor. Those rare Youkurama individuals which displayed equal proficiency with both space and time were given great prestige and honor and trained to be warband leaders.


His attention was diverted to what was happening on the ground. Four Sauroids had emerged from a building, and these were obviously female Sauroids. They were more slender and had vibrant colors on them, as opposed to the dull green or brown of the warring males. One of them bent down, placing something on the ground, and a desert plant, unlike anything of Earthian origin he had ever laid eyes on before, shot up straight from the ground, its growth accelerated a thousandfold. So. Plant manipulators. He knew that the battle just got more interesting, judging from the sharp, thorn filled shoot that blasted upward towards the Youkurama, straight and sure as an arrow.

The warband leader looked downwards, aimed the mirror at the plant, and it too vanished just like the Sauroids, only to reappear in the distance far, far away. The other females Sauroids started gathering and one looked up, its eyes glowing blue. A crack of lightning appeared from out of the clear blue sky, devoid of rainclouds, and struck the warband leader solidly on his back. It jerked, convulsing into spastic movements, straight silvery hair flowing with the motions of its head.

He screamed in pain, feeling his whole body being jerked roughly even as the warband leader fell from his cloud.
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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 27, 2008 8:09 am

Interesting things going on here. The visual effects come across nicely. Because our viewpoint character is a passive observer at this point, this descriptive section feels like a precursor to a shift in which there is more action on the part of the viewpoint character and more interaction between characters. Description on a grand scale is effective in setting up action, but after a time, the reader wants to participate, rather like the winged Sauroids in great passion to be flying and attacking something.

John Edlund
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jmbuehler



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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Tue May 27, 2008 8:31 am

I agree with Professor Edlund. Your descriptions are very nice and detailed, but I'm really looking forward to some action and conflict with the main characters. It's pretty obvious that you're setting all that up, though...it just takes awhile, which is perfectly understandable. Great job nonetheless!
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Wed May 28, 2008 10:16 am

I have just stared to read your story, and am really liken it. The description is very good, I could imagine the whole confrintation. This last part kept my mind's eye going non stop. I was even thinking of the reactions he had when he saw the scenes unfold.
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: Roy's Space Whales Story   Wed May 28, 2008 10:16 am

Keep it coming, can't wait to see how he gets involved.
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