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Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Short story duel; 2500 words or less. We have agreed on Tuesday as the deadline. So at 12:00AM EST on January 4th, our swords shall drop, our pieces submitted to Mizal(?) and the fight judged by the people. Let it be known.

The chosen theme is sci-fi. That's all.

See you on the other side, spectators.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Oh okay I like this, self arranged duels I don't have to have anything to do with.

Just send them in when they're done, or don't, whichever.

"Sci fi" is incredibly broad though, these may be difficult to judge if there's no comparison points.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Yeah, but I let him pick the theme, and it's what he wanted. So rate how you will.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Almost forgot about this! I only had a few hours but I at least show up to these things.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
So it seems Voldy was a no show for a duel again...

I'm not bothering to tap Green or enterpride for a second story again, they're all onto the fact I'm too lazy to count votes. Just going to declare Soy the winner.

@Soy_No_More

Post the story in here yourself so I can commend it. And congrats on showing up. Just like the Culture Claah deal, sometimes that's all it takes.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
@Voldy
You messaged me out of the blue to challenge me, agreed to the time, made the thread, and then didn't even show up? I can't believe this!

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Whoever he challenges next might want to demand some points wagered. I'm not too bothered though because this was something you guys arranged yourself, at least he didn't waste MY time.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 1/5/2022 4:47:46 PM
Well here's my story. I only spent a few hours but even that was a waste of time since Voldy didn't show up with his. Part of it is inspired by Skybreak, I'm sure you'll know which if you've ever played it. Full Circle You and your brother got beat up on the way home from school again and that was the last straw. Holding a pack of cooling nanogel to a swollen cheek, you were a pitiful sight in your torn and dirty clothes, but Morriv was worse. Your parents had to call a medical bot out to wrap his broken arm. Medical bots were expensive, but they decided it was too dangerous to try and go to the public hospital. So you sat there at home and waited, all of you feeling Morriv’s pain. Normal humans just didn’t understand empaths. There was no harm to anything most of you could do, only one in a thousand could even share each other’s thoughts, and the few of those who existed on Earth were all either dead or in protective custody. Literally all you could do was share the emotions of other empaths, but humans were afraid of you anyway. And you were afraid of them. So mysterious with their emotions behind a wall. So unknowing, so quick to unpredictable violence. “Isn’t there someplace we can go to get away from these people?” you begged your parents. “On Mars it’s not like this,” your mother says slowly. “There are whole communities of empaths, and violence isn’t tolerated. But it would cost everything we have to buy the tickets, and once we get there there’s no going back.” “But no bullies?” you asked, wondering what it would be like to walk home without fear. “Yes,” your father speaks up finally. “You know there are reasons I haven’t wanted to go, but I think it’s time. Mars could be a paradise for us.” They didn’t make you go back to school after that, which made the three weeks that followed the greatest time of your life. In those three weeks your parents withdrew their savings and sold everything they had, and scheduled the trip. The neighbors were happy to see you go. Not that they disliked you *personally*, they said, but Earth was only meant for humans, they said. Empaths were for sci fi movies and Mars. Mars was all right. Some things were better, some things were worse, and some things were just odd. There was no violence against empaths, though, which was the main thing. Any kind of violent crime at all was severely frowned on and harshly punished, and those in charge realized that communities of empaths were always peaceful. An empath harming another would feel their pain, and everyone nearby would know too. So they just crowded you all together and that was one less thing to worry about. On Mars, you didn’t have any tedious lessons about literature and history. All your schooling was tailor made to your future, which for almost everyone in your new community meant training on how to operate machinery in factories and mines. There were plenty of hands on demonstrations too, and as soon as you graduated you were put to work. On Mars, there was no money either. When your work uniform became damaged beyond easy repair, it was replaced, and carefully rationed bundles of food arrived every week. You were provided with everything you needed to keep you working without any fuss. Although you never did find out where all the ore and surplus goods went, it was all shipped off somewhere...maybe there was money on Mars after all, but only for the ones on top. Among the empaths you had a close community at least, and you all went to a ‘church’ of a kind called the Circle, meditating together and sharing the harmonious feelings. And eventually all the empaths on Earth wound up here, and shared in the Circle. Laws were passed making life much better for normal humans, but empaths simply weren't wanted there anymore, and there was plenty of room in the mines for them here. You got to know the mines like the back of your hand. The modernly designed upper levels, and the labyrinthine old tunnels below. There wasn’t much in the way of entertainment the government considered worthy of providing for laborers on Mars, so you took to exploring during your days off. One day, clambering over dusty equipment and partial collapses, so deep in an abandoned portion of the tunnels you had to use a filter for oxygen, you sensed....her. A mind like no other yours had ever touched. Curious, questing emotions flooded your mind, and you returned them in kind, sensing an alien brilliance, but not a threatening one at all. What’s more, this link between you was so great that you could share your very thoughts, as only the rarest and most powerful empaths were said to be able to do. Language was no barrier. “My name is Almadexia. I love you,” she said in your mind. “Do you love me too?” Your search of this section of the labyrinth became determined, sensing her receding and growing closer as you wandered too and fro in the tunnels. But finally there she was, in a vast chamber hollowed out in some ancient time. How she got so far down here you didn’t know. “I was born in here,” Almadexia explains, “My creators and I were going to go and search out a paradise together, but a war came and so we had to wait, and wait. Then they left one day and I waited some more. Finally I realized that I had waited longer than they could have ever lived. And after that, I kept waiting, until now.” You pace around the chamber, your eyes following her every curve. “You’re absolutely beautiful,” you say. And she is. A ship like none you’ve ever seen or imagined, elegant and graceful, many stories high and a work of art. You explore her interior while she tells you of the original Martians, and of the faraway star and planet her creators spoke of that was going to be their saving grace, and you realize soon there’s room in here for every empath on Mars. It’s not long before you begin taking Morriv and your parents and some of the others to meet her, and they’re captivated as well. Soon all the empaths know, and you are all united in this one harmonious intention. When Almadexia takes you from Mars, being deep underground isn’t a handicap at all. There is a low and intensifying hum, then a flowing misty light, pink and purple and swirling with silver sparks, and all at once she’s floating amid the stars, and all of you unbuckle your seatbelts to stare out the windows. The new planet floats there like a jewel of blue and green and gold. The planet is named Alma Empathia, and you all set to work building a new life there. With none of the strife of Earth or the drudgery of Mars, your civilization thrives. As settlements grow and expand, new planets are sought out with Almadexia’s help, colonized as well. Many more ships are built, although none as beautiful as she is. Empaths, you all feel, are the shining beacons, the redemption of humanity, finally lifting the species from its roots of ugliness and ignorance and hate. After time, only one flaw presents itself in this glorious future. Through some set of conditions, either the space travel or the strain on the body from settling new planets, some children start being born without empath ability. Flatlines or deadminds they’re called, often insultingly. You have nothing against flatlines personally, the fact is they are just normal humans, and an uncomfortable reminder of where you all came from. But there’s no denying they lack empathy, and some demonstrate violent, disharmonious behavior. Because of the uncertainty of what they’re capable of, people are afraid of them, perhaps with good reason. It’s decided they should be quarantined off in their own communities, separate from the rest of you, but still with equal rights. Years go by and you grow old. Life is still good on Alma Empathia and on the colonies, but the situation with flatline humans has worsened. There’s been violence on both sides, a thing that used to be unheard of. Walking in the park one day with the help of your cane, you pass a family of flatliners. They’re comforting a pair of children. “I hear Earth isn’t like this,” the mother says. “Yes,” says the father. “I think it’s finally time. I haven’t wanted to go because you hear so much of the history of the place, but it’s not supposed to be like that anymore. Earth could be a paradise for us.” ***** I know it's not perfect but any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated!

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
*presses Z* I'm sure people are going to say there's too much 'telling', and maybe there is. But it all flows well and looks okay to me. Being a shorter story helped the style not wear out its welcome. I notice the same thing here as in your other duel story, a lot of time passes in a line or two with just one or two details touched on. Again, I'm sure this can be overused, but it helps give a sense of scale and epicness to what's otherwise a pretty short piece.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Thanks! I did worry that I was doing too much telling, but there was a lot of plot to cover and like I told you I had to cut out the space exploration and expansion part. I'm not even sure if people really want to read stories that are the full 2500 words but it might've gotten too big for that even if I'd had more time.

Soy vs Voldy

4 months ago
Voldy logged on today but had literally nothing to say. At least come up with an excuse?