Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Beginning 230

That's the last time I touch Vican wine. His head throbbed abominably, and he hesitated to open his eyes. What the hell was all that racket? Moon and stars, can't a man suffer a hangover in peace?

Corporal Jake McGee finally winced his eyes open, then squeezed them shut again as the flashing blue and red strobes seared his brain. Why were the strobes on?

He socked the heel of his hand against his temple, trying to make his brain work. What was the computer shouting? Maybe he should shut off the alarms so he could actually hear the warning.

Wait. Why were the alarms on?

"What the hell is going on around here?" He thumped his fist against the plexiglass cover of his cryotube. "Open, dammit!"

The tube finished equalizing, and the cover unlatched with a hiss of escaping air. McGee stumbled out, his legs half-numb from cryosleep and his head throbbing like a rotted tooth.

The sight that greeted his eyes was horrifying for a man of his demanding character.

Vican wine jello shoooters. Serving bowls filled with pills of every shape and color. Korrulian whores, laughing and drinking. And naked, drunk space marines everywhere.

It was unbelievable. He'd been asleep for five hundred years, and the space station was still partying like it was 3402.

Opening: Gutterball.....Continuatin: Dr. Hack


Anonymous said...

I'm bothered by "winced his eyes open" in the second paragraph -- to "wince" is to "give a slight involuntary grimace or flinch due to pain or distress," according to my handy Oxford Concise. Though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Commander did wince, I'd probably rework that sentence to "winced, then opened his eyes," or find some other way to describe how he opened them. Yes, I'm word-picking, but that's because you probably don't want something on your very first page that distracts your reader as much as I was distracted.

Great continuation, btw. I laughed.

Anonymous said...

Great continuation!

The beginning confused me a bit, but I think it just needs a bit of editing. I think that I'd lose that hangover reference in the first line, especially since it is rather confusing when you also show him in cryosleep. I have to think you meant that he THINKS he's got a hangover when he awakes to the alarms?

Anyhow, waking to an emergency in a space ship is a good standard opening. I've got a story that starts the same way. Read a bunch of them. It should do for this story too, if you remove the bits that mislead the reader.

Good luck with it.

McKoala said...

Didn't we have 'that's the last time I touch Vican wine' in a continuation a while back?! Is someone messing with our minds...

Why when cursing do so many futuristic characters pick on obvious, vaguely space-oriented things that we have in our world, but bizarrely choose not to curse about? 'Moon and stars' is a fine example. I also wasn't sure about 'winced', and 'socked' (seemed a bit daft). When did the tube start equalizing? 'Throbbing like a rotted tooth' is nice, but you might then want to drop the 'throbbed' from the first para. That's all small stuff, I'd keep going.

Fabulous continuation!

Unknown said...


Dave Fragments said...

"Winced" doesn't work for me, either.

I thought he was near a police car with burglar alarms going off. I didn't understand that he was in a cryotube in outer space until the writer said "cryotube"...

He sees troubles thrice - flashing lights and alarms and a voice over he can;t understand.
We get the point three times.
I hate to say it's Pam and Bobby's dream all over again (but it is).

Obviously, something is wrong on the space station or spaceship and requires Jake McGee's attention. Why not open with that?

Another thing that bothers me, Corporal is not a naval rank. I suspect that the navy ranks will fly spacecraft.

Bernita said...

"Moon and stars?"
How vapid.
Prefer to see something a little more robust, like "Andromeda's Tits" or something.
And the "corporal" bothered me too.
I'd leave out "he hesitated to open his eyes," you cover than action in the next para.Also, the explanatory and repetitious "trying to make his brain work." We get it, really.
Not bad though.

Brenda said...

I had trouble with "winced his eyes open" too. I didn't have a problem with the "socked the hell of his hand against his temple" though - I thought it gave a clear picture of his action. I really like the line "his head throbbing like a rotted tooth". Ew. Good! I don't read SSF, but I'd have read a bit more of this to see what's the problem going on.

The continuation is great!

GutterBall said...

Who said Corporal McGee was flying the craft? He's a passenger, of a sort. The pilot is dead, which is why the alarms are going off. Again, one of the hindrances of only submitting 150 words. He's also not used to space flight, which is why the interrupted cryosleep is so disorienting (and painful) for him.

Don't worry. It's a short story about survival, not the opening to a space opera.

shaded-lily said...

This opening grabbed me pretty well(once I skipped over the "winced" :)). I don't know what cryosleep is, but I don't read science fiction.

Nice continuation, Dr. Hack.

none said...

I think what sticks out for me is the cryotube being large enough for him to raise his arm and hit himself in the head. Obviously I've never seen a real cryotube, but why would it be made that large? I may be over-influenced by SF films here. However, if you're using some kind of coolant gas, you wouldn't want to use more than absolutely necessary.

Evil Editor said...

Didn't we have 'that's the last time I touch Vican wine' in a continuation a while back?!

You may be thinking of New Beginning 13

Maggie Stiefvater said...

EE, where's the next victim?! My life is vapid enough that I've been waiting for a new post all weekend.

Dr. Hack, I snorted, by the way. Great stuff!

Evil Editor said...

You've missed about ten posts. Unless you've been on this site for four days without refreshing, you have a problem. Try rebooting.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

You're right, EE, as usual. Is it annoying? Being right all the time, I mean? Or does it go hand in hand with the evility?

I hit F5 and was rewarded with ten posts all declaring my idiocy.