Friday, July 30, 2010

New Beginning 771

It was the fault of the wind, but on Xenos it often is. The wind scours Xenos's surface, stirring up the storms of dust, tearing off anything not sealed down, throwing itself against the domed skylights that light the underground cities. It batters the sensors around those hub cities, and the sensors whirl and scream their own storm of warnings into the hub networks. From this seething storm of warnings, the network processors pull their data and send it rapid fire to the exit terminals to show as a simple, coded warning.

That morning, at the south west exit Hub 4, the warnings from the sensors, the three that hadn't been torn off by the wind, showed as a bar of orange on the very edge of the red. The accompanying key flashed "Access by Essential Personnel Only".

An apprentice food technician was not Essential Personnel so Chev Layman swung his bag back onto his shoulder and left the exit room.

In the supply room outside Hub 6, he unloaded the bag, putting the rare spices in the lock-box and the dragonfish in the refrigeration unit. Ramsay came in and said, "What the fuck?"

"It's like a never-ending tornado out there," Chev replied. "Maybe we should bring everyone inside."

"Shit, no," Ramsay said. "Maybe now we'll find out how well the chefs on Hell's Kitchen: Xenos can fucking improvise."

Opening: Xenith.....Continuation: Evil Editor


fairyhedgehog said...

I liked this but I'd pare it down a bit for clarity.

I'd cut the second part of the first paragraph, maybe deleting everything I've put in brackets:

It batters the sensors [around those hub cities, and the sensors] which whirl and scream their own storm of warnings into the [hub] network of cities. [From this seething storm of warnings, the network processors pull their data and send it rapid fire to the exit terminals to show as a simple, coded warning.]

I'm not sure you need that last sentence, as the sensors are mentioned in the next paragraph.

Also in paragraph two I'd leave out [the three that hadn't been torn off by the wind,]

It's just I found it rather a lot to take in all at once.

I like the first sentence, because it got me wondering what was the fault of the wind, and I liked the way we met the main character Chev Layman.

I'm a sci fi reader but an unpublished writer, so make of my comments what you will! I would read on, though.

Evil Editor said...

I would start this with paragraph 2, changing it to read something like:

That morning, at southwest exit hub 4, the sensor displays flashed an angry red. The accompanying key read "Access by Essential Personnel Only".

The Xenos/wind infodump can come when we've settled in.

When you get around to using p.1, change ", but" in s 1 to a period or semicolon. And remove some of the word repetition. In the first five sentences, the following words appear three or more times: storm, sensors, hub, warnings. The phrase "From this seething storm of warnings" can easily be deleted.

batgirl said...

As a science-fiction reader, I like it, though it could do with a bit of trimming. I kind of liked the repetition that shows the process from weather to warnings, but I'm not sure you need to repeat 'storm of warnings' or 'warning' at the end of the first para.
I like the casual, almost lackadaisical first sentence, which sets up Chev's introduction.
That the sensors can be ripped off shows the strength of the wind, but leaves me uncertain about the skill-level of the engineers to cope with it. On the other hand, that 'the three that hadn't been torn off' fits with the low-key pragmatism already established.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the continuation. I'd read that story for sure.

I agree. It needs tightening. Interesting place.

Kellye Parish said...

Nice continuation, cracked me up.

The beginning was pretty good I thought - as others have said, it could stand to be whittled down a little and polished, but overall a very decent start. I'd definitely read on.

My only real beef (and it's kind of a big one) is that switch from present to past tense mid-introduction. Pick one. Otherwise, I'd totally request a partial on this.

_*rachel*_ said...

I would've liked it if you'd have told us what the wind did sooner. Focus.

I'd make it, "but on Xenos it often WAS."

Xenith said...

Thank guys :)

I've just started rewriting this, and it's very big and scary (a lot of stuff I don't anything about like guns & police procedures, and experimenting with POVs and odd things with scene setting/tense changes). I think buffysquirrel got sick of me fussing over the opening and told me to sent it here.

The continuation though -- now I'm worried you snuck onto my computer and rest the rest of the manuscript. (It's not what happens next, but reads like it could

Unknown said...

When you start out blaming wind, I always think of flatulence. So, I would reword that. *g*

none said...

that's right, blame ME!