Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Fan Fiction

Hey peoplezz,
It's time for something new.
I've recently acquired a new game, two actually. Mass Effect 1&2
For people who don't know: I'm a gamergirl. Caution: Do not believe everything 9gag says...well, not everything anyway :P
Soo, yeah, I love gaming :) particulary RPG's (Role Playing Games).
I've been head over heels with this gaming series: Dragon Age. And then it came to my attention that Bioware, the developer of these games, had another series.
Where Dragon Age is all magic, dwarfs, dragons (yes very surprising I know) and epic battles, Mass Effect is spaceships, robots, aliens and very awkward spacesuits.
I wasn't sure if I'd like it, I've never been much of a sci-fi fan, but these are well-deserved exceptions.

So what does this have to do with writing?
Well, after I had finished playing Dragon age, I've been reading a lot of fan fiction about it on the internet.
Fan fiction are stories that are based on movies, books, games, series etc. created and written by fans.
Some of it was really good, so I decided (after finishing Mass Effect 2, somewhat sadly) to write some fan fiction myself!
After the game-ending I was really inspired by the world created by bioware, so I started a new story based on the game.
It doesn't follow the storyline at all, I only use certain elements of the game like characters and environments.
It's tough to get the characters right and to know what exactly they'd say in a situation I created. But it's a challenge, and I'm curious where I'm going to end up ;)

It's hard to write sci-fi you know, it's all so technical and futuristic. When characters in the game talked I sometimes didn't even get half of it, al the science and robotic stuff is a bit too much.
But I'm managing, as long as I avoid the difficult stuff ;)

To give you guys an idea of what it looks like, I'll post my draft of the first chapter at the bottom of this post.
And, good news, I found out that the third Mass Effect game is due march 6th!
I know what I'm gonna ask for my birthday, at least :)

Thanks for having the patience to read this post, and enjoy the reading!

The waking

There were strange sounds. Sounds I had never heard before. Soft and loud.
Soft, the buzzing of what seemed were machines. Loud, the crashing of earth, the trembling of walls.
Even the splashing of water.
“Clear!” I heard, far away.
But it was getting closer, the world around me trembled.
“More Geth, take cover!” someone shouted, closer now. Still muffled though.
A loud crash and everything around me groaned.
It was so dark, why was it so dark?
And just as I thought the world was crumbling into oblivion, the sound died.
The dripping of some fluid and the buzzing of machines were all that was left to hear.
Until the sound of whizzing air, the sound of metal against metal, screeching, hurting.
“Commander... You need to see this.” I heard someone say, almost mocking.
“What is it?” a male voice asked. I felt its power, it filled the room.
“I'm not sure, but- I think these are humans, sir.” Another male voice said.
I could see the colors they made flowing through the room...Could I?
“Humans? Looks like it, but what is the purpose of this?”
“What do we do with them?” a third voice asked. It was strange, mechanical.
“I don't know, we should-”
A boom made the earth tremble again, and then it fell away.
I could hear strange sounds, the ones from before but more clear.
The sounds of battle. Though they were different than... than what?
A strange sensation filled my body, and then there was the loudest crash yet.
I hit something, something cold and wet and hard.
Then everything changed.
I couldn't breathe, things pressed of me everywhere, crushed me.
I fought them, but the things only hurt more and more.
Then finally I was free.
I coughed, strange liquids filled my mouth. When I opened my eyes the world was bright and painful.
I tried to move away from the light, but my body didn't react to my urges.
“Over there! There's a hole in the wall!” the male voice echoed through my skull, almost crushing every present thought.
“Something moved in there.” the female said.
“Let's not stay around to let it kill us.” the mechanic voice said nervously.
“Maybe it's a Geth, but
maybe it's something else. Let's at least take a look.” the female voice said.
“Are you sure that's a good idea, this facility is still crawling with geth.” a male said, not the one with the powerful voice.
“Let's report to Joker and come back later. The geth are our priority.”
“Miranda's right, let's move out. Tali, seal the door.” the male said.
“Yes, Commander.” the mechanical voice said.
Only then I was aware that they were talking about me.
I wasn't dangerous! I wasn't this... this geth-thing! Right?
I didn't know. All I knew was...was...
My head hurt, everything was confusing. The light was still too bright to keep my eyes open for more than a second.
Slowly, a warmth was spreading through my body, from my heart to the tips of my fingers, and I could move!
I slowly pushed my hands against the surface I was lying on. It was slippery but I got on my knees.
And I could see!
And what I saw was so unbelievable, that it all had to be a dream. It couldn't be anything else but a dream.
And yet I felt everything, I heard everything and I saw it all.
Through a hole in the wall I could see machines, modern, no beyond that. Futuristic, the kind you see in sci-fi movies. Sci-fi movies? Wait, memories, I had memories!
I remembered so much at once, it made me dizzy.
My parents, my friends, my life.
But then... nothing.
How did I get here? Where was 'here'?
I saw some kind of fish tank, broken on the ground.
It looked creepy, half in the dark. I wondered why this tank was hidden in this small space, separated from everything by such a thick wall.
Water seeped out of it, forming puddles on the ground.
No it wasn't water, it smelled different, the same stuff that was in my mouth.
The tank was big enough for me to fit in.
It couldn't be.
How? Why? When?
I shook my head. I noticed the wet hair falling in my face, it was dark.
But I couldn't remember how I looked.
What had happened?
I slowly raised to my feet, holding on to a big chunk of debris. I could finally see the entire room over the rubble.
There were other tanks, but they looked different, newer.
In some of them, not all, was a person.
A sudden dread filled me, made me want to scream and run away, to everywhere but here.
But I couldn't.
It was stupid really, but I had no clothes, and the idea of running naked through this unknown building, was enough to convince my body to stop fearing and start looking for clothes.
That was my first mission.
First missions were never really hard, were they? I hoped not.
I crossed my arms over my chest, self-consciously and also a little cold.
I made tiny steps, careful to avoid standing in shards of the broken tank,
my broken tank.
A little wobbly, I climbed over the pile of stone and metal, and landed bare-foot on the cold floor.
I was looking left and right in search of some clues when I saw it. A sad pile decorating the ground next to one of the empty tanks.
It was a body.
I cautiously walked to it, emotions mixing in my head and stomach.
I was afraid of many scenarios, but I felt obligated to look.
When I was closer I noticed that the body wasn't wet and it was fully clothed.
This one hadn't come out of one of the tanks, like me.
I lowered myself to one knee and slowly reached out with my hand.
I touched the shoulder, the fabric over it was cold and stiff.
I softly pulled and the body rolled to its back.
It was a man, he seemed to be sleeping, but I knew, I felt, that he was dead.
A shiver went through me and I had to take a few deep breaths.
Death, I had never seen its work so close.
A sick feeling filled my stomach simultaneously with an idea forming in my head.
I sighed, he was dead, he didn't need that
overall anymore, but still...
I reluctantly pried one shoulder out of the jacket and then the other, all the while imagining that the guy was only unconscious, that this was some kind of twisted movie where I was the bad guy.
Finally, the overall was in my hands, thank god that the man wore more clothes underneath, and I shuddered as I stepped into it.
I felt like I was being embraced by death.
The overall was too big for me, but it had to do.
I stepped over the body towards one of the occupied tanks.
I touched the
seethrough material, it wasn't glass but I didn't know what it could be.
The person inside, a girl, barely older than me, seemed to be asleep.
Nothing happened when I hesitantly knocked on the tank, nor did it activate when I touched what seemed to be the control panel.
I slowly walked to the other tanks, studying the faces of the people in them.
They were old, young, male, female. But none of them was in the kind of tank I had been in.
It was strange, why had I been hidden? Why was my tank separated from the rest?
And, the question that bugged me the most, why the fuck were people in those tanks anyway?!
I decided that there was nothing for me here, I could sit and wait, or get out and find other people. People that could explain all this.
So I went to the single door in the room, at least I thought it was a door.
When I came closer, I saw that there was a holographic image on the door, it was red.
There was a white circle on it and some kind of keyboard next to the circle.
I carefully stretched out my fingers to touch the strange signs, and jumped back when a strange sensation bolted through my hand.
I tried again, and just as I touched the hologram I felt it again.
Something moved behind the door.
It sounded weird like the sound of robots in movies.
The hologram turned green, and disappeared as a panel on the door slid down to the middle, and parted together with the entire door.
It stood before me, white and shining. Grey tubes protruded from it's body, winding around and through it.
One single bright eye stared at me without blinking.
It was far from anything I had ever seen, and it was definitely a robot.
It cocked its head to the side, as if curious by what it saw. A mechanical sound came from it.
Only then I noticed it holding something in its hand. It was a gun, unlike anything I had ever seen. Everything was strange, different, futuristic.
And now there was a robot in front of me, holding this kind of strange and lethal looking weapon.
“What are you?” I said, barely louder than a whisper.
Its eye turned red.
“Hostile detected.” it said with a metallic voice.
“What? Oh, shit.” I said as it aimed at me with that weird gun.
I turned and ran, the mechanical footsteps echoing behind me.
And it began shooting. The sound was somewhat familiar, if I were to believe the movies.
I saw a stack of containers and I almost fell over them as I jumped and hid behind them.
I could hear it coming for me over my heavy breathing.
I frantically searched for something, anything, that could serve as a weapon.
I saw a cylinder lying on one of the crates, barely longer than my hand. It looked like some kind of big battery, but that didn't matter now.
I raised from behind the crates just before the robot reached me, and flung the cylinder right in its eye.
Sparks flew around me as the robot staggered and fell.
It lay trembling on the ground for a few seconds, then it reached out its arms and began crawling towards me.
I quickly pushed against a pile of white crates and they crashed down on the robot.
Finally, it was silent again.
I sighed relieved and I sat down on another crate.
Was I in the future?
But how and why? No, it couldn't be, though...
I didn't know, I was completely clueless.
Something moved in the corner of my eye.
I jumped to my feet and saw someone standing in the doorway. She pointed her gun at me.
“Get down!” she shouted, just as I heard it behind me.
I hadn't even turned when she fired and the robot behind me exploded.
I protected my head with my arms, and when I removed them the robot lay at my feet, a big hole in its head.
“Are you okay?” sounded behind me.
I turned and just stared at her. I recognized the voice, the same as I had heard when I was still... in that tank, I glanced to it, through the hole in the wall it was barely visible./
She followed my gaze and saw the tank, then she looked back at me, alerted.
“You are the thing we saw moving back there, you came from the tank.” she said, it wasn't a question.
There was a sharp pang in my chest, she didn't believe I was human. She didn't see I was just like her.
And I wasn't. The differences were subtle, but they were there.
I knew what humans were, I had so many memories of them.
But she wasn't human, not entirely.
The air shimmered around her, like it does above the asphalt on a very hot day.
She wasn't beautiful, she was too... perfect. It wasn't right, it didn't fit.
And she was still, like a statue. I couldn't even see if she was breathing or not.
I observed her, and she observed me, her hand still tense on the gun.
It was, in a way, similar to the one the robot had.
“I am.” I said, after the long silence.
Her eyes seemed to go dark, a shadow over her face. As soon as I saw it, it was gone again.
“What are you?” she asked.
“I don't know. I think... I think I'm human.” I said, truthfully.
Her stance seemed to soften a bit and she seemed to think for a while.
“We should not stay here, it isn't safe.” she said finally.
“Where am I?” I suddenly asked.
She seemed a little taken aback by the question.
And she seemed to study my face.
“A clone? No, something else. A new species, no, too much human. Genetically altered?” she thought out loud.
A voice interrupted her,
Miranda? Do you copy?
Her hand moved to her ear, her eyes still on me.
“Copy.” she said.
Good. We're at the lab, what's your location?“The old storage rooms beneath the dock.” she said.What? Why are you still there?“There's... a complication. I got separated from my team and I had to double back.” she said, still looking at me.
I shifted uncomfortably under her gaze, fiddling with the sleeves of my overall.
I need you to be very clear with me. What happened?“Do you remember the tanks we found, and the thing we saw moving when that blast knocked a hole in the wall? I found it.”I'm sending backup right now!“Hold position, Commander. She's no threat.”She? Is it human? Are you sure, Miranda?“I thought you knew better than to question my abilities, Commander.” she frowned.Fine. Take it with you, Mordin would want to see it, as would the Illusive man.“Copy.” she said, letting her hand fall down her side.
“I'm not a- a thing.” I said softly, looking at my hands.
She, Miranda, looked at me with cold eyes, “I wouldn't be so sure.”
Another pang in my chest.
“Come.” she said, gesturing towards the still opened door.
She turned on her heels and walked away, gun in hand.
She didn't even look back.
I didn't want to, but where else should I go? I didn't know anything of this place.
So I followed.
She led me through a maze of corridors and rooms. I couldn't help but notice the high amount of what seemed were laboratories. I shuddered, this didn't feel right.
Each room was more futuristic than the last, my wonder and curiosity growing and growing.
And then we went outside.
There was earth and nature and the sun, but everything was strange.
I saw five legged creatures, reptile-like monkeys and more animals that weren't right.
“Hostile detected.” sounded in front of us.
A robot marched towards us, I didn't even have time to wonder where it came from, when the explosion hit.
The ground was flung away from my feet, the laws of gravity were broken, and the world seemed to shudder once again.
It all came back with a painful thud.
My eyes hurt, I saw black spots everywhere, I had looked right into the light of the explosion.
Over the crumbling of wall and earth and who knows what else, I heard someone groan.
Robots don't groan, do they?
I tried to get on my knees, and succeeded, if painfully.
The dust had already settled, and I saw Miranda lying against a tree, trying to get up by clutching at the bark.
The robot was marching towards her, gun pointed and red-eyed.
Her gun was lying on the ground, just out of her reach. The robot wasn't paying attention to me.
I stumbled, as silent as I could, to the gun, praying that I could manage to shoot the thing.
I picked it up, a sharp pain shredded through my side and my head felt like a melon ready to burst.
The gun made a funny sound when I picked it up, as if it was charging, it was enough to get the robot's attention.
“Hostile detected. Dangerous. Armed. Needs to be eradicated.”
I pointed the gun and fired.
The kickback
was teeth-jarring, the thing turned white-hot in my hands, but I didn't let it go.
Somehow, as I saw the headless robot crumble, I lost control over my body.
My knees buckled, and I fell down to the ground.
The last thing I saw was that woman, Miranda, staring at me.
And then there was nothing but the ground.

That was chapter one, the draft anyway. I hope you enjoyed it. :)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Magic, dragons and puzzle pieces

Yesterday I finished the last book of the Inheritance cycle, written by Christopher Paolini. Most people know the books if you say the title of the first book, Eragon.
There was also a movie made but it pales in comparison to the book.

I have some advice for you. If you are a writer (or just simply writing a book) do not, I repeat do NOT finish the final book of a brilliant series at 1:30 am. You will not sleep untill after 3 am I promise you.
Thinking about the great depth of the Inheritance series, I thought about my own stories. And then mainly about one I've been struggling with a lot lately, it was still a puzzle with wrong pieces.
You see, there was one place that didn't quite fit in the world of the story, It had to be there, but it wasn't entirely logical. That piece was one of the biggest, and finally that night I had an idea that made it fit, almost and not yet completely, perfectly. I still need to change some details and add and remove some but the general idea now fits and I'm happy about the change.
That's maybe another advice I can give you, if you're not happy about a change, don't do it! In the world you create anything's possible. The hard thing is to make everything fit, like a puzzle of a million pieces. (depends on how deep and big the story is though.)

So yeah, at 2:15 am I was writing ideas down on a post-it note by the light of my mp3-player. I fell back in bed and I began thinking about my story again, somehow I got to another story of mine that was also not yet complete, and guess what, at 2:30 -somewhat- I reluctantly pulled out another post-it note and began writing, again, by the light of my mp3-player.
After that I refused to get new ideas to I just kept reliving the certain parts of my story, the ones I wouldn't change. Still, I saw the clock say 3:00 am, lucky me I fell asleep not long after that.

Anyhow, I can only wish that I'd be able to ever achieve such a great depth as Christopher Paolini, or Tolkien, for the two are closer by ability than time.
I only feel right to say that Christopher Paolini is, without a doubt, the Tolkien of the 21st century.
At least, until now ;)

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
(maybe I'm also hoping a little that the ones who haven't read the Inheritance cycle, go do that right now, go go go!)