When I’m not watching tv, playing D&D or CCGs, or being a lazy bum, I’m generally attempting to write something. These attempts haven’t amounted to much since college, though I did unofficially participate in NaNoWrimo last year. To be quite honest, I’ve never actually completed a story! I’ve completed scenes and plot arcs, but never actually finished a story from beginning to end. In order to resolve this problem, I’ve come up with an idea. I’m going to post a snippet of one of two stories I’m working on and allow Literary Napkin’s readership to vote on which story I finish!
The first is essentially a cyberpunk Oriental Express mystery in an alternate universe where Communists rule space. It draws heavily from The Brienne Chronicles, my Eberron fanfic, which begins with classified government documents being leaked by a Wikileaks-esque group known as The People’s Library. I don’t really have a title for it, but it will involve Gibsonian cyberspace (mostly because I recently watched Tron: Legacy) and my female detective character “Elle.” So, it’s hackers and detectives during the Cold War IN SPACE!
My second is actually inspired by a dystopian scifi “satire” I wrote in high school. It also takes place in a retro-future, except in this setting there has been a gene-pocalypse, creating a world where everybody lacks hair, has strange skin colors (like blue, red, and green), and may or may not have less than five fingers. Free thought is heavily regulated by mind control collars, scientific development has grown stagnant, and the world is ruled by The Council on Genetic Development, a conglomerate of genetic engineering companies. The original story is called “Johnny Grey,” but I’m thinking of renaming it “The Species.”
So, without further adieu, here is a snippet from “The Species.”
The Council Lady Inspects the School
The Principal’s hands were shaking. His blue skin darkened to purple. He was incapable of sweating. When he was born, his gene-providers wanted to decrease the scent their offspring let off. It was decided that, since bowel movements were a Government-mandated function, their son would not sweat. Instead of sweating, the Principal sneezed. One shaking hand clutched his handkerchief, as another extended it toward the lady from the Council.
The Council lady squeezed a bottle of disinfectant, rubbing it into her clean white hands. Her long limbs moved gracefully under her rainbow colored dress. She grasped the Principal’s hand. There were slight vibrations up her arm as the Principal attempted to shake her hand. When she removed his hand from her grasp, she disinfected herself again.
Her large multicolored eyes impassively scanned the corridor. It was like every other provincial school. The same brown lockers lined the same yellow, linoleum floors. The same announcements played over the over school’s intercom, announcing the beginning and end of classes. The same Indoctrination Materials were used by instructors with the same education, who were taught in the same Council-accredited colleges. She didn’t really see the corridor.
There was something different about this school though. Something that made this school stand out from all the rest. It wasn’t the teachers. She had audited each of their personal profiles on her tablet. There were blemishes on some of their profiles, but nothing that standard surveillance wouldn’t fix. It wasn’t the teaching materials. She had made sure that this school had the most up-to-date lesson plans sent directly from Capitol City. It wasn’t the architecture of the school. That had been approved by the Government years ago!
It was the students.
The Council had sent her here to inspect the student body of Provincial Elementary School #1128.