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Death and Glory- Ch1, pt2

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Old 04-29-2006, 03:09 PM
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Default Death and Glory- Ch1, pt2


Here is the second part of the first Chapter. Comments and critiques are welcome.






While industrialized and highly advanced, the Tantives are also highly militaristic. A full five percent of the population serves in the Space Marines, which was divided into several branches. The first, and largest, is the Ground Force, the army of the Space Marines. The soldiers, or Marines as they are commonly referred to, wear body armor that is resistant to laser bolts fired at long range and totally resistant to particle weapons. This armor is called Blast Armor and consists of a breastplate which covers the entire chest, abdomen, and back; two shoulder plates which cover the shoulders and half of the upper arm; two elbow plates which cover the elbows and half of the forearm; two thigh plates which cover the front of the thighs; and two shin plates which cover the fronts of the shins. A helmet is also worn with a red blast shield covering the eyes to protect the wearer from blinding flashes of light, although the armor in the helmet is less tough than the actual blast armor.

This armor, along with the jumpsuit worn underneath it, is camouflaged to match the terrain of the current world of operation, and each Marine has four sets of body armor and fatigues: one for forests, one for deserts, one for urban areas, and one for snow. The Ground Force’s issued weapon is the LR-128B Laser Assault Rifle, a weapon capable of firing up to eight hundred meters, with an effective accuracy range of three hundred meters. The weapon is fully automatic and uses energy cells allowing two hundred shots per cartridge.

The Space Marine Ground Force also receives an intense amount of training. Each Marine must undergo a full five months of training in Boot Camp before being assigned to an active Ground Force Regiment. Marine recruits are drilled extensively, especially in marksmanship, resulting in a force of men and women who are the most accurate basic troops in the galaxy. They are trained in close combat to some extent, but the emphasis is on marksmanship. Marine recruits are also subjected to psychological abuse which, although harsh at the time, results in a force with very high morale and that will rarely run from battle.

The second branch of the Space Marines is the Navy, a smaller yet still large force that mans massive starships. Tantive ships are among the best in the galaxy, second only to the proud Earthinian navy, although the Tantives are more numerous. The largest Navy ship is the Titan-class, which is over five kilometers in length and bristles with over a thousand weapon emplacements. The Navy also contains within it the Fighter Corps, men and women who fly fighters and bombers against the enemy. The main fighter is the J-7, a superb machine, while the main Bomber is the H-26, capable of leveling buildings with ease.

The Aquatic Fleet is the third branch of the Space Marines. The Aquatic Fleet is a small, specialized branch that commands the wet navy of the Space Marines, manning boats and warships for use on the rivers and oceans of both home and enemy worlds. The fourth branch is the Colonial Marines, a group of men and women who protect the outer colonies of the Tantive Federation. They are generally the dregs of the Space Marines, assigned to the inglorious task of protecting the colonies because of failures, discipline problems, or because their commanders did not like them. The Colonial Marines are considered to be low-quality troops with poor discipline, and so often receive outdated weapons and have to rely on simple particle vests to protect them rather than the Blast Armor worn by full Marines. The fifth and final branch of the Space Marines is the Elite, which use advanced weapons such as the LR-130 Laser Assault Rifle. The Operatives also make extensive use of particle rifles and pistols because of their silencing ability, although they have less punch than laser weapons. Jackson and his squad were part of the Space Marine Elite, specializing in infiltration and stealth tactics. They had been assigned to discover the nature of the meeting because of their extensive training. Leaving one man behind as a lookout, Jackson and the other three Elite Operatives opened up a door and went down a hallway, looking for the two Routeussan Generals.

The Routeusseans hail from the planet Routessan, officially the Routeussan Republic, in the Solonian System. Routeussan is a huge planet covered almost exclusively in a desert thanks to its close proximity to the system’s star. Unfortunately, the other two planets in the Solonian System, Solonia and Serenia, are uninhabitable. The population of Routessan is well over fifteen billion people, but the planet is hardly overpopulated because of its massive size. The Routeusseans, like the Tantives, are advanced, although not as advanced as their counterparts, and heavily militarized. Almost one out of every fifteen people on Routessan is part of either the Grand Army or the Grand Fleet.

The Grand Navy is respectable, but not quite as well-equipped or manned as the Tantive Navy. The real military strength of the Routeusseans is the Grand Army. The Grand Army has well-trained infantry, although not to the extent of the Tantive Space Marines. Their armor is much weaker than Space Marines, unable to stop laser bolts at all, but their laser rifles are on par with the Tantives’. Whilst the Space Marines specialize in marksmanship, the Routeusseans are masters of close quarters fighting. Because of the harsh deserts of Routessan, the Routeusseans have to live in cities with high walls to prevent deadly sand storms from tearing people apart or burying them. This has led to the Routeussan Grand Army being trained extensively in urban and close-quarters combat, and the Routeusseans are extremely deadly in hand-to-hand fighting, able to disarm an opponent and kill them in a matter of seconds. They are also excellent at moving quietly and without being seen, and can apply that quickly to open areas, making them great light infantry. However, the Space Marine Elite were able to outsmart the Routeusseans and eliminate them quickly, and now Jackson and his team were moving ever closer to the two Generals.

While the team was advancing through the warehouse, checking room after room, the lone Operative left behind sat down and began to tinker with his rifle. As he did so, a shadow dropped from the ceiling onto the floor behind the operative with unnatural silence. The Operative, thinking he had heard something, stood up, grabbed his rifle in the ready position, and looked around carefully. The shadow froze, biding his time until the Operative sat back down. Once he did so, the shadow moved forward into the light, revealing itself to be a man. He was dressed in desert camouflage consisting of a tan base with brown tiger stripes, and a long tan bandana was wrapped around his head, exposing only his steely eyes. He was armed only with a long, curved knife, and a second knife was in its sheath on his belt. Moving quickly yet quietly he moved up right behind the Operative and grabbed the Space Marine’s mouth with one hand. With his other hand the man slashed his curved knife across the Operative’s throat, ending the short struggle. Wiping the blood off on his camouflaged trousers, the man silently followed the route the Elite team had taken minutes earlier, further into the warehouse.

At a different point in the warehouse, Jackson and his team could now hear voices coming from a door at the end of a hallway in the administrative section of the building. They quietly advanced towards the door in order to hear what was being said by the men inside. “We must contact the Republic immediately!” shouted an older-sounding man. “This must be made known to them. Gylos is too important for this to be kept in the dark. Look, if we tell the Republic about this, the money can be used towards getting more troops here to finish off the war.”

“No!” yelled a man with a hoarse, rough voice. “We found it, we should get to keep it. I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of this Goddamned hellhole. If we keep the money for ourselves, we can disappear with it and no one will know the better. You and me can disappear, go off to Earth or someplace quiet and live out the rest of our lives in peace. That sounds like a good plan to me. How ‘bout it?”

“You traitor,” said the first man, and then he added a slight laugh.

“What’s so funny?” asked the second man.

“You idiot!” shouted the first. “I knew you were a greedy bastard, you always were! Always looking to sell out the Republic for your own gains! Well now I’ve got you red-handed, and the Republic knows about it too! Everything we just said has been transmitted directly to the Defender in orbit, and from there it will be redirected to Congress. They will know about the nova here, and they will know about your treachery.”

“Damn you!” shouted the man with the hoarse voice, and Jackson heard the whine of a laser weapon being fired.

“Go!” shouted Jackson, and he leapt up and kicked the door open, instantly putting two laser bolts into the chest of a startled Routeussan general wearing a brown dress uniform. He fell backwards, his laser pistol falling to the ground. “Find the recorder and shut it off!” ordered Jackson, and he and his men swept the room, looking for a recording device.

“Got it, sir!” said one of the Operatives, pulling out his combat knife and jamming it under the table. There was a fizzle, and then silence. “That’s it, it’s out.”

“Good,” said Jackson. He reached up to his helmet and pressed the frequency button on his headset to bring up the Space Marine command on Gylos, in the city of Voen. “This is Eagle Two-Six, come in Command.”

“This is Command, go ahead, Eagle Two-Six,” replied a voice in the command center of the Space Marine headquarters.

“Our mission has been successful,” reported Jackson. “These two guys were meeting to discuss a stockpile of nova underneath Gylos somewhere. One of them was trying to set the other one up and there was a live feed to Routessan, so the Routeusseans already know it’s here.”

“There’s nova there?” asked the voice in surprise.

“Yes, sir,” replied Jackson. “From the way these guys were talking about it, it’s a shitload too. We need to let Tantive know about this.”

“I agree,” said the voice. “See if you can get any more intel off those two and then get out of there.”

“Roger that, sir,” said Jackson. “Eagle Two-Six out.” He flicked off his headset, but suddenly the hair on the back of his neck stood up. Spinning around, he saw a man leaping at him from the doorway, two knives in hand. Jackson instinctively pulled the trigger of his rifle before the man landed on him. The two of them fell backwards, but the man on top of Jackson did not move. Rolling the body off, Jackson examined the wounds his random laser blast had done; the bolts had completely ripped apart the internal organs of the man at such close range.

“Who was that?” asked one of the Operatives.

“A Routeussan…I think,” said Jackson, picking up one of the two knives. It was long and curved, and on the hilt there was carved the image of a scorpion, poised as if ready to strike. He looked at the uniform as well, tan with brown tiger stripes and a tan bandana. It was not a uniform Jackson had ever seen before. “I dunno who this guy is, but he’s definitely different than the Grand Army. No laser weapons at all, just these two knives, and his camo isn’t the regular splotchy stuff…it’s tiger stripe.”

“Weird,” said the Operative. “Maybe cut a bit off and take it back to Intel with the knife and see what they can do with it.”

“Yeah,” said Jackson. “Alright, saddle up, boys. Let’s get out of here.”

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Old 04-29-2006, 05:17 PM
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Marine recruits are also subjected to psychological abuse which, although harsh at the time, results in a force with very high morale and that will rarely run from battle.
I just want to know how psychological abuse can give someone a high morale?

The problem is there is a ton of indepth information and I'm not sure you need it all. When you put that much info without continuing the story, it gets really boring and I found myself reading, but then suddenly realizing that I don't remember a single word. Also, you used "said" a ton, that gets really repetative. But it is an improvement over part 1.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:37 PM
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I based this on the US Marines, who are subjected to psychological abuse in training, and the result is that they become very tough-skinned and feel like they can take anything. I'm surprised you felt that way about the expo, because you're the first person to say it was bad. Ah well.

About the word "said"...are you serious? You have to be the first person I have ever met, ever, to say that using the word "said" gets repetative. The word "said" is so common in writing that most readers (this makes it clear that it is not all) simply scan over the word and register it subconsciously in their minds, then make the immediate connection to who said it. Unlike other words like "uttered" or "declare" or "articulate", which break up the flow of the story, "said" isn't noticed, and so keeps the story moving along with a very simple word. Why did you notice it, then? I just find it amazing that you picked that out of my writing, when there is nothing wrong with it.

EDIT-I will let Buck's Writers Workshop explain this for me:
Originally Posted by Buck's Writers Workshop
"Said" is one of the few invisible words in the language; it is impossible to overuse. Infinitely less distracting than "he retorted," "she inquired," or the all-time favorite, "he ejaculated."

Last edited by jrudder; 04-29-2006 at 05:45 PM..
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:53 PM
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If I'm the only one who thinks it's bad, then that's fine. Obviously not everyone is going to like a story. I try to change up my words, but I guess your right, said does get used a ton in stories. I'm just stating what I think, if the majority says it's good, go with them. I guess I'm a little too used to reading fantasy and not sci-fi and the whole laser deal kind of throws me off because it's a little different than usual, which isn't a bad thing, I'm just not used to it.
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:00 PM
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I totally agree that stories don't appeal to everyone, so I'm not too worried about you not liking it. Hopefully if you read the rest that may appeal to you. About the whole "said" thing, I noticed that in your story you seem to really avoid using it. I really suggest you use it, because it will make it easier for readers. You should google "said booksim" and read about it, because a lot of really good writers have written about it.

I'd also like to apologize, as now that I read my last post I may have come off as a little harsh. Sorry if it seemed that way. I hope you will continue to read this.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:28 AM
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I enjoy science-fiction as well as the details. It is that I feel that you put too much information way too early in the story, and that it really drags me away from enjoying the action. Perhaps you could reveal this kind of information as the story progresses? If this does not interfere with your growing style and method, why not let the reader draw their own conclusions then reveal information in later chapters.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:15 AM
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I have been told that it needs to be moved, and I will do so when I am totally finished with the story...I'm currently about 50 or 60 pages in and I don't want to lose my focus. I'm not exactly sure where I would put it, however...if you spot a good point when I post up the rest of this, could you perhaps point it out? Thanks for pointing that out, and thank you very much for reading.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:45 AM
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Maybe I will find a good spot, or maybe you will. You will just need to post the story. Ha ha ha. I shall try as best as possible.
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:57 PM
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I liked this chapter a lot better than the first one. You seemed to build up a bit more character into the story. From reading this, I can tell you really thought out your story and how everything is to unfold.

Along with Dyin Isis, I thought you gave way too much...unnecessary info(?) right away. The only real thing relevant was the initial marine training. I think when you branched out clear into the fifth branch, it made the story lag. Granted, the fifth branch does coincide with the characters you are speaking of currently, but I would incorporate that a little later. Keep the idea in the readers head that these guys are bad dudes, and later on in the story bring in why they are so highly trained. Which also brings me to the point regarding the 2nd through 3rd branch. I would slowly incorporate those later. Because, basically what you are doing right here is giving the reader an information overload and they won't remember jack squat of who can do what later on when you do incorporate them. If that makes any sense.

This story has real potential, and if fine tuned, you could really put out something impressive. I have some things I noticed.

body armor that is resistant to laser bolts fired at long range and totally resistant to particle weapons.What if you used the word: immune?

although the armor in the helmet is less tough than the actual blast armor.
What about the word: effective?

This armor, along with the jumpsuit worn underneath it, is camouflaged to match the terrain of the current world of operation, and each Marine has four sets of body armor and fatigues: one for forests, one for deserts, one for urban areas, and one for snow.
I felt that you overexplained this part. Such as: Each marine has four sets of fatigues and body armor, each designed to be worn over a jumpsuit, and camouflaged to match the current world of operation: Forest, Desert, Urban areas, and snow.

I realize that it's not a great example, but I tried to keep in tune with your writing style.

The Routeusseans hail from the planet Routessan, officially the Routeussan Republic, in the Solonian System. Routeussan is a huge planet covered almost exclusively in a desert thanks to its close proximity to the system’s star. Unfortunately, the other two planets in the Solonian System, Solonia and Serenia, are uninhabitable. The population of Routessan is well over fifteen billion people, but the planet is hardly overpopulated because of its massive size. The Routeusseans, like the Tantives, are advanced, although not as advanced as their counterparts, and heavily militarized. Almost one out of every fifteen people on Routessan is part of either the Grand Army or the Grand Fleet.
Maybe a little overkill in this paragraph?

“No!” yelled a man with a hoarse, rough voice. “We found it,
What if you changed it to: “No!” a second man yelled, his voice was hoarse and rough. “We found it,
Granted it's a minor thing, but I noticed you explained who was talking after each statement, when the reader can understand who's talking.

“You traitor,” said the first man, and then he added a slight laugh.
What about? “You traitor,” said the first man, adding a slight laugh.

“What’s so funny?” asked the second man
You can omit this, because you've established that there are two men in the room that have been identified, and unless you add a third, you don't need to really state who's talking unless they say it in a upset manor, or with some sort of action. Though you aren't able to see them at this point.

“Damn you!” shouted the man with the hoarse voice, and Jackson heard the whine of a laser weapon being fired.
You can omit this.

I like this story, got a lot going on, but like I mentioned before, it had a lot of excessive details that can be added in later on. It drew from the story and made it lag a bit. I look forward to reading the next two parts.
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Old 05-05-2006, 04:00 PM
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Thanks a lot for reading this, and thank you very much for the comments.
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:32 AM
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“See if you can get any more intel off those two and then get out of there.”
intel should be capped to Intel.
----

Blackhawk beat me here, so I couldn't find anything. A lot of information, yet given so gracefully through the field. Nice. The overload of info kind of made me sceptical to continue, but that's only because I'm not a sci-fi reader, so it's not you, by far, it's me. But, you've got me reading, so take it as a compliment
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