Coldstone Chronicles: The Fallen Angel, Part 1

From the diary of Jason Fuller
...we experienced an imbalance in our nuclear reactor, forcing us to land at the closest planet so we could make the necessary repairs, we located Horus, orbiting the the Isle Star. Horus was desolate, but was the only planet for 3.2 light years. We decided on Horus. On the way, Elior fell ill, our medic was baffled by the disease. Elior died yesterday. As we approached Horus, we all knew something was very wrong, we all sensed it, but we all seemed to ignore it. As we fell into orbit with horus, something happened on the surface of the planet that none of us could explain, a vast life signature suddenly exploded outwards, and began to pull us towards the planet, then suddenly, it disappeared, and we crash landed on the barren a freezing planet of Horus...

The stars were dim in the dark sky, enveloped in clouds and casting eerie shadows along the wreckage of the Fallen Angel. There was no wind, no snow, no life. Jason squinted into the distance, he thought he saw a building of some sort, but he had no way of telling from where he was.

Krathe emerged from the damaged spaceship carrying a box of supplies. Jason glanced over his shoulder at him, Krathe gave a small nod, and then went back into the ship. Jason looked back at the dark shape in the distance that resembled a building. He looked towards the box of supplies Krathe had just brought out and walked over to it. It was only then that he realized how bitterly cold it was, and that if they didn't find good shelter soon, they would all perish.

He turned back towards the fallen angel as Krathe came out with another load of equipment. He dropped in in the snow wordlessly and began to look through it. “Come over here, I want you to look at this” said Jason. He pointed in the direction of the dark shape. Krathe walked over to where jason was, glanced at jason, then looked at the dark shape. “I cant see a damn thing” he said somewhat tonelessly.

“I think there are some Binoculars in one of these boxes.” He walked to one of the loads of supplies he had brought out, and pulled a pair of old fashioned, and slightly beat up binoculars, but it looked like they worked nonetheless. Krathe handed Jason the binoculars. Jason put them up to his face and waited for them to focus. After about ten seconds of waiting, he remembered that old binoculars like this don’t auto focus. He turned the knob until he could see clearly, and then turned towards the dark shape. It was a medium sized, one story building, it appeared to have other floors at some point, but those have long since collapsed.

He turned to put the binoculars back just as Krathe and Mecroth emerged from the ship, both carrying a load of weapons. Mecroth dropped his load on the ground with a small flump. “ We salvaged all we could from the weapons compartment, but it got pretty banged up so most of our weapons were smashed.” “Is this it?” asked Jason. “I think Cryo is coming with a box if heavy weapons, but yeah, this is pretty much it” he shrugged, “We’ve lost three people already, we probably wont need more than this” he said grimly. Just then Cryo emerged from the Fallen Angel carrying several grenades, 2 detonator charges, a pack of mines, and an empty flak gun. “Well boys, I think that's it” she said, dropping her load with the others. She turned to reenter the ship when Jason stopped her. “All of you, I want you to see this” he handed the binoculars to Mecroth. Mecroth looked through them for a minute, then suddenly let out an unearthly scream, and fell backwards.

To be continued...

(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 03-18-2003).)

First off, you story was overall interesting, but there are a few points that you might want to consider.

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Originally posted by Salrillian:
From the diary of Jason Fuller
...we experienced an imbalance in our nuclear reactor, forcing us to land at the closest planet so we could make the necessary repairs, we located Horus, orbiting the the Isle Star. Horus was desolate, but was the only planet for 3.2 light years. We decided on Horus.

The last statement, 'We Decided on Horus', is redundant, the previous line tells the story. If you want to include the affirmation that Horus was the target, perhaps you could make the next sentence 'On the way' into 'On the way to Horus' or 'On the way there'.
There are a number of redundant sentences here, and I myself have some problems with - as Celchu calls them - 'duh moments', where something obvious is affirmed by an explicit statement.

Quote

Originally posted by Salrillian:
On the way, Elior fell ill, our medic was baffled by the disease. Elior died yesterday.

Woah, you blew over a death in two sentences! No! Bad puppy! You could keep the story tense if you wanted to avoid prolonged contemplation of the loss by the characters, but in any case that's not enough treatment for it.

Quote

As we approached Horus, we all knew something was very wrong, we all sensed it, but we all seemed to ignore it.
As we fell into orbit with horus, something happened on the surface of the planet that none of us could explain, a vast life signature suddenly exploded outwards, and began to pull us towards the planet, then suddenly, it disappeared, and we crash landed on the barren a freezing planet of Horus...

This part is very good. I'd replace the fifth comma with a dash though - a dash would carry the feeling better.

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The stars were dim in the dark sky, enveloped in clouds and casting eerie shadows along the wreckage of the Fallen Angel. There was no wind, no snow, no life. Jason squinted into the distance, he thought he saw a building of some sort, but he had no way of telling from where he was.

Good description. Good descriptions are important to the sense of 'being there'.

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Krathe emerged from the damaged spaceship carrying a box of supplies. Jason glanced over his shoulder at him, Krathe gave a small nod, and then went back into the ship. Jason looked back at the dark shape in the distance that resembled a building. He looked towards the box of supplies Krathe had just brought out and walked over to it. It was only then that he realized how bitterly cold it was, and that if they didn't find good shelter soon, they would all perish.

The first few sentences there seem awkward, but overall this paragraph is good, serving to highlight the need for shelter. You really need more detail and character development in this story though, even if it is a journal.

Quote

He turned back towards the fallen angel as Krathe came out with another load of equipment. He dropped in in the snow wordlessly and began to look through it. “Come over here, I want you to look at this” said Jason. He pointed in the direction of the dark shape. Krathe walked over to where jason was, glanced at jason, then looked at the dark shape. “I cant see a damn thing” he said somewhat tonelessly.

“I think there are some Binoculars in one of these boxes.” He walked to one of the loads of supplies he had brought out, and pulled a pair of old fashioned, and slightly beat up binoculars, but it looked like they worked nonetheless. Krathe handed Jason the binoculars. Jason put them up to his face and waited for them to focus. After about ten seconds of waiting, he remembered that old binoculars like this don’t auto focus. He turned the knob until he could see clearly, and then turned towards the dark shape. It was a medium sized, one story building, it appeared to have other floors at some point, but those have long since collapsed.

You've got our attention with the building. I'm eager to see what it conceals at this point in the story.

Quote

He turned to put the binoculars back just as Krathe and Mecroth emerged from the ship, both carrying a load of weapons. Mecroth dropped his load on the ground with a small flump. “ We salvaged all we could from the weapons compartment, but it got pretty banged up so most of our weapons were smashed.” “Is this it?” asked Jason. “I think Cryo is coming with a box if heavy weapons, but yeah, this is pretty much it” he shrugged, “We’ve lost three people already, we probably wont need more than this” he said grimly. Just then Cryo emerged from the Fallen Angel carrying several grenades, 2 detonator charges, a pack of mines, and an empty flak gun. “Well boys, I think that's it” she said, dropping her load with the others. She turned to reenter the ship when Jason stopped her. “All of you, I want you to see this” he handed the binoculars to Mecroth. Mecroth looked through them for a minute, then suddenly let out an unearthly scream, and fell backwards.

Very powerful near the end, but the readability of the conversation is hampered by a serious lack of formatting. A new line (return) should occur for each change in the speaker,

For example, compare this little story fragment with the one below:

Marcus stepped over a fallen tree limb and into a tiny meadow in the dense jungle. A tall, primitive wooden statue stood in the clearing. The base of the idol was pilled high with food, evidently an offering too it by natives. The forest was almost quiet as he stood looking across the clearing, except for the cracking of twigs beneath Amy's feet from behind him. "Is something the matter captain?" The android asked, as she arrived beside him. "No... It just seems odd. This planet was supposed to uninhabited." Amy looked at the statue. "Perhaps it was brought here by someone else. Although that does seem unlikely." She theorized. "Maybe. But that food looks fresh." Said Marcus. "Perhaps a closer look is in order?" "Yeah. Let's check it out." The pair approached the bizarre wooden figure, oblivious to the shadowy movements of other beings in the forests across the clearing....

Now, look at this version. It's much more readable.

Marcus stepped over a fallen tree limb and into a tiny meadow in the dense jungle. A tall, primitive wooden statue stood in the clearing. The base of the idol was pilled high with food, evidently an offering too it by natives.
The forest was almost quiet as he stood looking across the clearing, except for the cracking of twigs beneath the android Amy's feet from behind him.

"Is something the matter captain?" The android asked, as she arrived beside him.

"No... It just seems odd. This planet was supposed to uninhabited."

Amy looked at the statue.

"Perhaps it was brought here by someone else. Although that does seem unlikely." She theorized.

"Maybe. But that food looks fresh." Said Marcus.

"Perhaps a closer look is in order?"

"Yeah. Let's check it out."

The pair approached the bizarre wooden figure, oblivious to the shadowy movements of other beings in the forests across the clearing....

Both stories stop just short of the massive battle against the giant-hamster people natives, mostly because descriptions of impalement with foot-long incisors tend to be gruesome and inappropriate for family web sites. Not to mention the trauma to the poor hamster natives when they bite into an android. Talk about a chipped tooth. But never mind about that. The important thing over all in your stories is that you should work on the level of detail, and your formatting - especially of conversations. I think your writing shows much promise and that you have good potential if these issues are resolved, or at least improved. Also, on a entertainment note, I am very curious as to how the story turns out.

- Bryce
Still trying to help Celchu set a precedent for lengthy and analytical commenting.
Hint - you owe me a long comment on one of my stories now 😉

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Thanks alot for the tips, sorry, I kind of forgot about this for a while, so Im back. Ill make some corrections, and Im working on a second part.
You may not have noticed (probably because I didnt convey it very well) but only the first paragraph is a journal.

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"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are not even capable of forming such opinions."
Albert Einstein

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