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Celestial: Spark of War; Prologue & Chapter 1

by yizhongt


Astrofleet Academy,

San Francisco, Earth,

December 11, 2228.

“So what is the current relationship between the Galactic Commonwealth and the Klinzith Hegemony like commodore?” queried Galactic Commonwealth Broadcasting Network (GCBN) reporter Thomas Paddington to Astrofleet flag officer and Astrofleet academy professor of intergalactic securities studies, Commodore Irwin Tang who was sitting across from him. Paddington was carrying out this interview with the commodore because in two days’ time, it would be the sixty-fifth anniversary of first contact between the Commonwealth and the Hegemony, a first contact that many citizens of the Commonwealth wished could be undone or never happened in the first place.

The commodore took a sip out of his mug of coffee before replying the reporter’s question. “There has not been much change between our relations ever since we made first contact with each other sixty five years ago,” answered the commodore before taking another sip out of his coffee mug.

“Are you saying that in sixty five years, our relations with the Klinzith has not warmed up at all?” questioned Paddington with his thick Scottish accent ever present.

“Yes,” replied Commodore Tang. “As you know, relations between the Commonwealth and the Hegemony has always been hostile, ever since first contact. I’m sure you remember our first contact history with them Mr. Paddington?” asked the probably fifty odd year old Asian commodore with short greying hair.

Paddington let out a slight chuckle, “Unfortunately my history is a bit weak, and I think so are my reader’s first contact history with the Klinzith.”

Tang to a sip out of his coffee mug before starting the brief history lesson. “First contact between the Commonwealth and the Hegemony took place on the 13th of December 2163. During first contact, the GCS Scott encountered a Klinzith ship while surveying the Huoxi system. During the encounter, the Klinzith ship opened fire on the Scott, badly damaging the Scott which resulted in the injury of 73 and the death of 37 of the ship’s crew. Tang paused and took another sip of his mug of coffee before continuing, “and ever since then, the Klinzith has been constantly taking pot shots at whatever Commonwealth ship they encounter.”

“So then the next question is, will there be a possibility of war between the Commonwealth and the Klinzith Hegemony anytime in the near future?” asked Paddington

Tang took another sip of his mug of coffee before placing it on the only empty space on his work desk which was cluttered with multiple data disk and data pads. “The chances of the Commonwealth going to the war with the Hegemony is quite possible,” answered Tang flatly.

“Why do you say that?” asked Paddington as he shifted his sitting position slightly.

Tang picked up his coffee mug and took a sip out of it before answering the reporter’s question. “I’m sure you known about the recent attacks on our cargo ships near the Klinzith border?” Paddington nodded his head. “Well, reports indicate that those attacks were being carried out by Klinzith ships.”

“But couldn’t those attacks be carried out by over eager or insubordinate Klinzith captains who are not following orders from the Klinzith Hegemony’s military leadership?” queried Paddington.

Tang shook his head, “The frequency of the attacks as well as the specific type of cargo ships targeted is reason enough to suspect that these Klinzith ships are not acting by their self and are receiving orders from someone high up in the Klinzith government or military command.” Tang took another sip out of his coffee mug again, Paddington wondered to himself how much more coffee was in the commodore’s mug.

“So what are the Commonwealth’s chances if we went to war with the Hegemony,” asked Paddington.

Tang looked at Paddington before looking out of his offices’ window. Tang then looked back at the young Scottish reporter. “The Commonwealth will survive, but at a huge cost,” answered Tang.

“I see,” replied Paddington. “But can you give me a more tactical and strategic explanation as to why we will come up on top and what sort of cost are you talking about commodore?” Not bloody likely he’ll give me that sort of info, but worth the try, thought Paddington to himself.

Tang offered a small smile to the reporter, “You know I can’t tell you that Mr. Paddington,” answered Tang, “and as for your other question, I don’t think your readers would want to know that Mr. Paddington.”

“I don’t think I want to either,” replied Paddington as he ran his fingers through his short neatly groomed blonde hair.

“Do you have any more questions Mr. Paddington?” asked Tang as he finished his mug of coffee before placing it back down on his desk.

Paddington quickly scrolled through the information stored in his data recorder before looking to the commodore, “No sir, I think that’s all the information I need,” said Paddington as he kept his data recorder in his standard issue GCBN messenger bag. Paddington outreached his hand, an invitation for Tang to shake his hand. Tang accepted the journalist’s invitation and to shake his hand. “Thank you commodore for the interview,” said Paddington as he shook the commodore’s hand. “You’re most welcome Mr. Paddington.”

With that, Paddington made his way out of the Commodore Tang’s office and proceeded to the nearest transporter platform on the Academies ground to take back to the GCBN’s headquarters in London.

Chapter 1

Juraxi Star System,

17th December, 2228.

Captain Raymond Moses stepped out of the turbolift and onto the bridge of his ship, the GCS da Gama. The da Gama was a small Echo-class surveyor which was tasked by Astrofleet Exploratory Command to survey the Juraxi system as well as adjoining star systems. Moses scanned the small and rather compact bridge of his ship before making his way to his command chair that was located at the centre of the bridge. The middle aged captain of African descent sat down in his chair before addressing the crew that was on duty on the bridge.

“So anything new or interesting to report?” asked Moses to the bridge crew on duty. Silence. Finally it was the da Gama’s communication officer, Mr. Lin who spoke out. “Well we did get a hail from a passing Holoion trade vessel who tried to offload three kilotons of Holoion beet root to us.”

“I hope you said no thank you,” said Moses with a hint of playfulness in his voice as he swivelled his command chair to face his young communication officer of Asian descent.

“I politely declined their offer sir,” replied Lin, “and directed them to contact the Commonwealth Ministry of Trade if they wanted to offload the goods.”

“Good man,” expressed Moses as he clasped both his hands together. “Anything else to report?

“Well there’s a class nine comet located about three million kilometres to port,” reported the da Gama’s Xellarian Chief Science Officer Mr. Rynvel Shrir, “we should definitely check it out sir, no Commonwealth ship has directly come across one for almost four decades.”

“Agreed,” said Moses with a huge grin on his face. “Miss Yagami, plot a course to the comet, three quarters impulse power,” ordered Moses to his helm officer of Japanese descent as he turned his chair to face his helm officer and the main view screen.

“Yes sir,” acknowledged Yagami as she imputed the comet’s coordinates into the ship’s navigational computer. The da Gama, listed gently to port, before the distinct hum of its impulse engines powering up were heard. And with that the da Gama was made its way to the comet.

The bridge of the KHV Legub was dimly lit, the only other source of light came from the few bridge consoles scattered throughout the small bridge. Captain Rashuk of the hated the way the designers back at the Hegemony’s Central Shipyard designed the bridge of his ship. How in blazes is anyone supposed to do their duties properly and effectively when they can’t see clearly, thought Rashuk to himself as he scanned the bridge of his ship.

The KHV Legub was tasked by the Klinzith Hegemony Military Command to scout the Juraxhi system, which was Commonwealth territory just beyond the Hegemony’s border to determine how extensive the Commonwealth’s presence is in that system as well as adjoining ones, a mission that Rashuk perceived to be a waste of his time and skill, but who was Rashuk but a lowly captain to deny the Hegemony’s direct orders. However an overload to the Legub’s power distribution system early in the mission damaged the Legub’s warp drive, weapons systems and long range sensors, which put an end to the mission which necessitated the to hide behind a passing comet while the engineers on board the fixed the damage that the ship has sustained. Rashuk pounded the communication button that was installed into his command chair chair’s right arm rest, “Engineer Lovek, report,” barked Rashuk, his voice echoed thought the small and compact bridge. Rashuk was only greeted by silence. “Lovek, you miserable b’dah, respond,” barked Rashuk.

“What is it,” replied an annoyed voice from the other end, “I am busy repairing the ship that has been obviously forsaken by the spirits.”

Rashuk gave out a low growl that was loud enough to be heard by Lovek over the comm. “Spare me your religious talk Lovek. Status report of your repairs. Now!” demanded Rashuk to his chief engineer.

Lovek sighed, “Weapon systems are back online at 50%, warp drive and long range sensors are still disabled,” reported Lovek.

“How long until the warp drive and the long range sensors will be back online,” asked Rashuk.

“Soon, replied Lovek, in about one h’jour if you let me get back to my work.”

“Very well, return to your work,” replied Rashuk before he closed the channel. The faster Lovek finishes the repairs the faster we can get out of hiding like frightened d’jings.

“We have the asteroid coming within visual range,” reported Lieutenant Commander Shyrir from his science station.

“Very good,” acknowledged Moses, “Miss Yagami put the comet on the main viewer, let’s see what we have.”

Yagami’s fingers played across her console before the main viewer came online, with the comet located dead centre of it. All eyes on the bridge were immediately fixated on the class-9 comet that was on the main viewer.

“Would you look at that,” Moses said as he got up of his command chair and made his way to the helm station, “truly breath taking.” Moses turned his attention away from the main viewer and to Shyrir, “Mr.Shyrir, has any Commonwealth ship or probe come across this particular class nine comet?”

“Yes sir,” reported Shyrir, “a Commonwealth survey probe came across this exact comet about four decades ago, when this area of space was still unclaimed by the Commonwealth.”

“What a shame, said Moses as he turned his attention away from Shyrir and back to the comet, “I thought we could name her.”

“What would you have named the comet sir?” queried Lim from his communications station.

Moses took a moment to think before replying his young communications officer. “Maybe I would have named it after my mother,” replied Moses to Lin. “What would you have named it Mr. Lin?” asked Moses.

“If I found a new comet or planet, I’ll probably name it after myself,” replied Lin frankly to his captain with a huge grin on his face.

Moses let out a chuckle, “I think a lot of us here besides me would do that Mr.Lin,” said Moses as he looked at his other bridge officers. Soft laughter echoed throughout the bridge of the ship after the statement Moses made. Moses smiled as he saw his crew enjoying this light moment.

After the laughter had died down on the bridge, Moses who was still smiling turned to his chief science officer, “Let’s get some scans of that comet Mr. Shyrir.”

“Aye, aye sir,” replied Shyrir as he turned to face his science console and began to input commands into the console.

“Anything interesting?” queried Moses who stood next to Shyrir who was sitting down at his science station who was analysing the readings that the da Gama’s sensors were feeding to him about the comet.

“Well I’m having a hard time getting a definite reading on the comet,” reported Shyrir without looking away from his console, “it seems the comet is also composed of a small amount of stelthirium that is disrupting our sensors.”

“Would diverting more power to the sensors give a better read on the comet?” Moses said as he stroked his bearded chin.

“Well if definitely would help sir,” said Shyrir as he continued to analyse the sensor readings.

Moses tapped his combadge that was pinned on the left side of his duty uniform. “Moses to Chief Daae,” Moses waited for his Chief Engineer to reply.

“Daae here sir,” replied a voice that came from Moses’ combadge, “what can I do for you sir?”

“Chief I need you to divert a bit more power to the main sensor array,” requested Moses, “we have a bit of a problem getting a clean read on the comet we came across. A bit more power to the array might give us the readings we want.”

“More power coming right up sir,” replied the da Gama’s Vufnisi chief engineer over the comm channel.

“Thank you chief,” thanked Moses before he tapped his combadge to close the channel. “Try it now Shyrir,” Moses said to his chief science officer.

“That extra power really helps sir,” said Shyrir as his fingers danced across his console, “we are getting much better readings on the comet.” Shyrir fingers stopped dancing across the console, and the two antennas on his bone ridged forehead became erect, indicating that Shyrir had come across something that was interesting to him.

“Something of interest Mr. Shyrir?” asked Moses who knew exactly what it meant when his chief science officer’s dark purplish antennas became erect.

“You could say that sir,” replied Shyrir as his fingers began to play with his console again. “There seems to be some sort of energy reading coming from behind the comet.” The statement that Shyrir made caused many of the bridge crew to turn their attention towards the science station.

“What sort of energy signature,” queried Moses, “can you get a clear reading on it?”

“Not entirely sir,” replied Shyrir, “we need to get closer to get a better read on the energy signature. Even with the added power to the array, the stelthirium traces on the comet is still enough to prevent us from getting a clear read of the energy signature from this distance. We need to get closer if we want a better read.”

This is interesting indeed, thought Moses to himself, maybe there’s an installation or a crashed probe on the surface of the comet that we can’t detect from this distance. “Very well then,” Moses turned away from the science station to face his helm officer, “Miss Yagami, let’s get closer to that comet one quarter impulse power.”

“Aye sir,” replied Yagami as she inserted the commands for the ship to close in with the comet.

“Captain, should I contact Astrofleet Command and report to them about the energy signature we’re investigating?” asked Lin from his communication station.

Moses turned his view away from the view screen to face his communications officer. “Nor at the moment Lin,” Moses replied,” not until we know for certain what the energy signature is.” Moses paused for a moment, “Just inform Command of our current position Mr. Lin.”

“Yes sir,” replied Lin as he places his earpiece into his right ear and began to send the da Gama’s current position to Astrofleet Command.

“Captain Rashuk I am detecting an energy signature closing in our position,” reported the KHV Legub’s sensor officer Dakkan form his station located on the right side of the Legub’s bridge.

Caption Rashuk immediately jumped out his command chair and made his way to Dakkan. “What sort of energy reading?” barked Dakkan to his sensor officer who’s fingers were still dancing across his console.

“I am not entirely sure sir,” reported Dakkan to Rashuk who took notice at his captain’s face that blackened. Dakkan knew for a fact that Rashuk did not like to be disappointed by his officers. “But the energy signature has some similarities with Commonwealth ships.”

Rashuk let out a low sounding growl. Have we been detected by the Commonwealth? thought Rashuk to himself as he continued to watch his sensor officer continue his work. “How sure are you that those readings are not false readings?” queried Rashuk to Dakkan.

“Well with our sensor array only at fifty percent efficiency, it was amazing enough for me to even detect the energy signature in the first place sir,” reported Dakkan to his captain.

“How sure are you about those readings Dakkan,” asked a now obviously irritated Rashuk.

“Fairly clear,” answered Dakkan as he looked away from his display and to Rashuk for the first time since the energy reading was detected. “Sir, there seems to be comm signal coming from the contact. I cannot determine where the signal is heading to sir.”

Upon hearing Rashuk’s report, Rashuk immediately turned to his armoury officer Dater who was seated at his station, “Dater, charge forward disruptors to full power,” barked Rashuk.

“Yes sir,” replied Dater with a deep gruff voice, “charging forward disruptors to maximum power.”

“Very good,” Rashuk said as he turned to face his helm officer Lorol, “Lorol plot an intercept course for the energy signature, full speed.” Lorol nodded his head upon hearing his captain’s order. Rashuk proceeded to sit on his command chair as soon as he gave orders to Lorol. “Dater, prepare to fire all forward disruptors on my orders,” said Rashuk without even turning to look at his armoury officer.

“Disruptors armed and ready to be fired on your command,” reported Dater from his station.

“Excellent,” said Rashuk as he leaned forward from his command chair, with a grin plastered on his face.

“Captain, the energy signature we’ve detected is,” Lieutenant Commander Shyrir paused, “seem to be moving towards our position,” reported Shyrir from his science station. “And coming at us at a pretty fast speed.”

Moses swivelled his command chair to face his science officer. “Are you positive Mr. Shyrir?”

“Very,” replied Shyrir.

What could it be, though Moses to himself as multiple scenarios played through his head, a ship, a probe? “Mr. Shyrir, do we have a confirmation on what that energy signature is?”

“Data coming in now sir” replied Shyrir. “Sir, the energy signature appears to be that of a Klinzith ship,” reported Shyrir to Moses who has at the edge of his command chair.

Moses turned his attention immediately away from Shyrir to his helm officer and tactical officer Lieutenant Junior Grade Akame Yagami. “Miss Yagami, raise shields,” barked Moses,” and prepare to take us to warp.”

“Aye sir,” acknowledged Yagami as her fingers danced across her console to fulfil her captain’s commands.

The size of Rashuk’s target, got bigger on the view screen as his ship the Legub approached nearer to its prey. “We are within weapons range sir,” reported Loral from the helm station.

“Fire all disruptors,” barked Rashuk to Dater, his order echoed throughout the bridge of the Legub.” Rashuk’s order was acknowledged with the distinct sound of the Legub’s disruptor banks firing its first volley. The first volley of disruptors hit the unshielded hull of the da Gama, causing a relatively large explosion. The second volley of disruptors that hit the da Gama not long after the first, managed to badly damage the ship’s rectangular shaped platform which housed the ship’s sensor array and communication array. The Legub made a turn and prepared for another pass on the now crippled da Gama.

The bridge of the da Gama was filled with thick black smoke and was bathed with the red light that was coming from the alert indicators located around the bridge as well as the warning sounds that accompanied it. Many of the bridge consoles have been smashed or rendered inoperative due to the damage that the ship has taken and many of the bridge’s Optical Data Network (ODN) cables dangled out from the ceiling of the bridge.

Moses let out a few laboured coughs as he struggled to get on his feet. The second volley of disruptor fire from the Klinzith ship threw him out of his command chair. He had trouble seeing his surrounding and breathing due to the thick smoke that filled the bridge. “Report,” Moses said weakly as he rubbed his eyes that were hurting from the smoke. “Report,” said Moses louder, gathering as much strength as he could.”

“Thank the prophets you’re alive sir,” said a voice that came from vicinity of the science station

Moses squinted his eyes. “Rynvel, is that you?” said Moses, forgoing all formalities of rank, as he made his way to the science station.

“Yes it is,” replied the Xellerian science officer who seem to have lost one of his two antennas before starting to cough due to the smoke.

“Damage report,” Moses said to him who appeared to be the only other surviving bridge officer.

Shyrir coughed, “All propulsion system is offline, shields and weapons are not responsive, and our communication and sensor array appeared to have been destroyed,” reported Shyrir, “we also have lost main power, we’re running on auxiliary power now,” Shyrir paused and coughed,” but auxiliary power levels are at 17% and dropping.”

“Rynvel, why not you try get to an escape pod,” suggested Moses to his first officer, science officer and friend. “I’ll stay back and keep the ship together for as long as I can possibly can.”

Rynvel looked up from his flickering console display and turned to Moses and smiled, “Raymond, we both know the chances of me getting to one is one in a million. Furthermore, if you’re going down with the ship, I’m going down with it as well.” Raymond returned his friend’s smile and waited for the inevitable to happen. Suddenly, Moses felt the familiar grip of a transport taking place. In mere seconds, the damaged and battered smoke filled bridge that Moses was in was replaced with that of a dimly lit transporter room with a trio of Klinzith guards aiming their disruptor rifles at him. Moses slowly raised his hands before glancing towards the right and left to see that Shyrir, a badly injured ensign Lin and a few other members of his crew had been transported aboard the Klinzith ship as well.

“The prisoners have been transported aboard,” reported Dakkan who had suggested to take prisoners of the surviving crew of the da Gama, as they might have information that could be of value to the Hegemony.

“Finally,” Rashuk replied as he pounded his right fist on his command chair’s arm rest. Rashuk turned to Dater who was waiting for Rashuk to issue the order to destroy the crippled da Gama, “Dater, load forward plasma torpedo tube one,” ordered Rashuk, “and prepare to fire on my command.”

“Torpedo armed and ready sir,” replied Dater from his station.

“Then fire,” ordered Rashuk to his armoury officer.

As soon as Rashuk gave the order, the Lebug fired a green energy projectile that headed for the da Gama. As soon as the Legub’s plasma torpedo hit the da Gama, the da Gama exploded in a brilliant flash of light.

Rashuk raised his hand in victory, as well as many of the bridge officers present to see the destruction of the Astrofleet vessel like Dater and Lorol. “Dakkan,” called out Rashuk who still had a huge grin on his face,” contact Military Command and let them know of our victory.”

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423 Reviews

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Reviews: 423

Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:52 pm
Vervain wrote a review...

Hello, darling! Here as requested to review.

To begin with, oh my that opening paragraph. It's a wall of text after the date, and I think half of the words are italicized. Is there any way you can open the book a little slower, introducing the reader to the things one by one or even two by two before you dump all this stuff on us? It's right at the beginning, so we aren't going to care if the Galactic Commonwealth Broadcasting Network is initialized as GCBN or anything else, and we really shouldn't have all these names dumped on us at once.

In short, it's a really ineffective hook, and more likely to scare away readers than bring them in. Actually, I'm going to dissect it—its first failure is that it's too long.

“So what is the current relationship between the Galactic Commonwealth and the Klinzith Hegemony like, Commodore?”
"Commodore" needs to be capitalized because it's being used as a name in place of the man's actual name. Also, you've started out by dumping two big names on us right off the bat—the Galactic Commonwealth (which I'm going to assume, by the name, is a pseudo-British interstellar governmental agency) and the Klinzith Hegemony, which will have half of your readers rushing to a dictionary to look up "hegemony" and the other half wondering what they're a hegemony over.

queried Galactic Commonwealth Broadcasting Network (GCBN) reporter Thomas Paddington to of Astrofleet flag officer and Astrofleet academy professor of intergalactic securities studies, Commodore Irwin Tang, who was sitting across from him.
Yeah, you don't need all that stuff when you're introducting the good commodore. You can give us these character details after the first paragraph or so, or as they become necessary or relevant. Right now, the reader doesn't need a list of his credentials any more than they need to know the initialization of the broadcasting network—most people, if you go into using GCBN afterwards, would assume or figure out that that's what it is.

Right here, I'm going to tell you that you definitely could use a proofreader or two. You have a lot of typos, tense issues, and general English or punctuation errors—and you can't exactly call "artistic license" for not using commas where they belong. Your subject-verb agreement is off in places, and I think that having someone else look over your work would help you catch errors that you didn't see, yourself, when you proofread. A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders for editing.

Secondly: You use too many dialogue tags. We don't need a "the commodore answered" or "Paddington questioned" after every line; if there's a question mark, trust me, we know it's a question. For some reason, people are really fond of dialogue tags—you don't need all of them. Just end the dialogue and describe what they're doing or how they're feeling, or both, or how they're interacting with their environment.

Dialogue tags are only truly necessary when your readers will get confused between characters who are speaking. As it is, you have two people talking, both with distinct names, occupations, and origins, so there's really no need to keep telling us who's saying what if you follow or preface it with their actions. Give your readers credit; we'll be able to figure it out.

Tang shook his head, “The frequency
Also, lines like these are not dialogue tags. Unless him shaking is head is what creates the words and sound coming out of his mouth (unless he's an alien who speaks through head vibrations instead), then you should have a period after "head" and just start the dialogue as a new sentence.

Your prologue, as it is, is more of a short scene out of Chapter 1. I don't see why it's a prologue, or why it's set apart from the rest, unless Paddington and Tang are never going to show up again—in which case, why include them in the first place, except to give the reader a hand-holding, infodump way to set the stage for war? You can do that so much better just through the actions of your main characters, and your prologue probably would have bored me to tears if I was reading this in an actual book. The only reason I'd read on would be to see if the Klinzith were actually original.

As far as chapter one itself goes:

The middle aged captain of African descent sat down in his chair before addressing the crew that was on duty on the bridge.
We don't need to know this about Captain Moses. Actually, I'd like to bring up, "Moses" was a common name for black slaves in the Antebellum USA, because it was a Biblical name, as many were back in that time frame. I'd definitely watch what names you're using, because a lot of them have some connotations you might want to avoid. Also, if he's of African descent—and not African-American descent—why would he have the last name Moses and not, say... Mbadiwe? Can your readers understand how to say "Klinzith" but not "Afolayan"?

You keep telling us that these people are of African descent, or of Asian descent—Africa and Asia are really big. Like, really big. There are 48 countries in Asia, and 54 in Africa, as of current day. You don't need to tell us that Lin is descended from a guy in X town in Z prefecture of Y pseudo-imperial Future!China, but you could at least say he's "Chinese" and not just "Asian".

Also: Did you realize that the name of the KHV Legub is "bugel" backwards? Was that on purpose? Because it's really distracting for me to be reading "bugel" backwards when you start talking about it, and I think if you're going for a serious Antagonistic Race's ship name, you should probably put a bit of development into the language.

“Soon, replied Lovek, in about one h’jour if you let me get back to my work.”
Speaking of language development: It's really, really painfully obvious that "h'jour" is just "hour" with an added apostrophe and a J. If you're trying to go for a heavier sci-fi story, you really need to do your research and especially your language development. Otherwise, anyone who's reading it won't believe you, and their suspension of disbelief will be shattered.

Actually, I think that's all I have to comment on. Everything else is a repeated issue—definitely get yourself a proofreader, even just a friend who's okay at editing, please. Keep writing!

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105 Reviews

Points: 108
Reviews: 105

Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:02 am
ChiravianSkies wrote a review...

Hullo! Maddie here as requested.
Can I go and say that there's a lot of information in the prologue? Lots of previous reviewers said it, and I most definitely agree.
Speaking of information, you might not need to cut the prologue at all. A prologue is typically not very connected to the story, so you don't need to get into the mind of an MC for it. You could easily show a family sitting back and watching the TV interview. The character there wouldn't even need to be named. You also wouldn't need the Commodore to tell anybody, but there can be little infographics in the background that you could describe, so the interview can keep going too, for the flow's sake.
Now, for chapter one.

on duty on the bridge.
This sort of muddles the sentence up. Maybe you could switch it out for, "on duty, at the bridge," or something like that.
Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly, so far, until I hit this.
I politely declined their offer sir,
It keeps happening throughout the chapter, so I'm going to assume this is a bit more than a proofreading error. Right before you address a person, you put a comma right before the name, making it look like this. "I politely declined the offer, sir." It adds the space to breath and looks much neater.
That's pretty much it for technical errors. Good job with that, my good sir.
The dialogue looks really thought out, instead of said on the fly. Maybe you could try blending speech together using contractions or other things.
Just another thought, you might be trying to write diverse characters too consciously. Every character seems to have the most prominent feature as their descent. Nobody's got a scar down their face, or missing fingers, it's their race. Maybe you should bring it up a bit later, instead of their first appearance.

That's it for the negatives, sorry about that. Now onto the positives.
Your description is nice and solid, so good job for that.
I really like the plotline, and if you took out some exposition in the prologue, the story could hold an even bigger sense of mystery.
Not to mention that I really, really like Moses... XD
So, yeah, that's it for the review. Sorry if I was harsh. Tell me if I'm too much, and I'll say a bit less.
Keep writing!

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65 Reviews

Points: 5752
Reviews: 65

Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:55 pm
AttackOfTheFlash wrote a review...

Hello! Flash here as requested. Okay, let's dive into this.

As far as technical errors go, I only caught a handful. Since this is a very long piece and the tiny (note I said "tiny") mistakes are littered throughout, I'm not going to go through and pick out them all. But, I will give you this piece of advice regarding the mistake I most commonly saw: whenever a character "asks" something, please use a question mark instead of a comma. It looks neater and helps the readers have a better "voice" for the characters.

“Dakkan,” called out Rashuk who still had a huge grin on his face,” contact Military Command and let them know of our victory.”

The " needs to be right before "contact" instead of after "face." I believe there are a couple instances like this in the work. They're very minute mistakes that we easily overlook when editing. Being extra careful when editing can prevent future mistakes like this.

And the last mistake I'd like to mention is that there are a couple times when two characters speak in the same paragraph. Big no-no. But all of the other paragraphs are separated when a different character speaks so I'm guessing it was yet again something that was overlooked during editing.

Overall, good job on the technical side. I didn't see any grammar mistakes at all. (Which, granted I'm not the best at grammar.)

Now, let's spend some time on the story aspects.

I'm not going to quote your beginning paragraph because a reviewer below already did, but I will repeat that your opening paragraph is VERY long and could use some scaling down. It is just a lot of information to take in, especially when we first start reading.

So, we've got a meeting, character introductions, and an intergalactic battle. Cool! Everything was nicely detailed and your writing style is solid. You know what you're doing, and you're going to totally nail it and make this story awesome!

Oh, and one final suggestion: perhaps try to properly introduce the characters. It all seems too quick. I understand that there are a lot of characters to introduce but maybe even cutting back might help. (Cutting back as in limiting the number of characters introduced here.)

Overall, great job with this. I shall return to review your other chapters later. Keep writing!

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10 Reviews

Points: 387
Reviews: 10

Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:29 am
IssacHunt says...

Nice, thanks for telling me about this.

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9 Reviews

Points: 240
Reviews: 9

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:28 pm
bbus wrote a review...

This is an interesting story about a cold war going on between two races of people, and this story captures one of the instances in which two different ships, one of each race, encounter each other and engage each other in combat. This is one of the stories that have kept me scrolling down, eager to see what happens next!.

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1220 Reviews

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Reviews: 1220

Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:35 pm
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Kale wrote a review...

Hello yizhongt. As a lover of sci-fi, I'm here to rescue this chapter from the confines of the Green Room!

First things first, I'd like to introduce you to a lovely section of the site called Will Review for Food. You can request reviews there from anyone with an open thread. Just be sure to limit your requests to a maximum of two every other day. It's also a good idea to read the first posts of the people you want to request from, because that's where they'll say what they are (and are not) willing to review.

If you have any questions about how the WRFF forum works, feel free to ask me or any of the other mods in the Resources Crew. We'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

As for the story itself, the first thing I noticed about this was the length. A common recommendation for posting things online is to keep the wordcount down to 2k at most, so it's very common for people posting novels to split their chapters into smaller sections to make reading and reviewing them easier for other people.

Right now, we're at almost twice that length, which is fairly intimidating to read with the intention of reviewing. I'd strongly recommend splitting the prologue and chapter 1 off into their own submissions, to help make this less intimidating to future readers.

If points are an issue, reviewing other works in the Green Room is a great way to get points, and it also is a great way to meet other members. The more you review, the more reviews you will get in turn.

With that said, this story had a lot of telling, and it felt a bit more like an infodump than an actual story. This is a common issue in a lot of sci-fi, but it doesn't have to be.

What I would recommend doing is spacing out the information a bit more and weaving it into the characters' actions. I'll take the first paragraph of the prologue for example:

“So what is the current relationship between the Galactic Commonwealth and the Klinzith Hegemony like commodore?” queried Galactic Commonwealth Broadcasting Network (GCBN) reporter Thomas Paddington to Astrofleet flag officer and Astrofleet academy professor of intergalactic securities studies, Commodore Irwin Tang who was sitting across from him. Paddington was carrying out this interview with the commodore because in two days’ time, it would be the sixty-fifth anniversary of first contact between the Commonwealth and the Hegemony, a first contact that many citizens of the Commonwealth wished could be undone or never happened in the first place.

Right now, there is a lot of information crammed into this one small paragraph, and it's just too much all at once for your readers to process without rereading this paragraph more than once. I'm usually pretty good at picking up information on a first read-through, and I had to reread this particular paragraph three times before everything registered; the information is that dense.

I'd recommend spacing the information out by showing us more about the characters' personalities and feelings, and starting out with the history lesson from the get-go. For example:

"Tell me, Commodore Tang, what is the current relationship between the Galactic Commonwealth and Klinzith Hegemony?" The reporter sat across from the Commodore, the Galactic Commonwealth Broadcasting Network logo spinning brightly in the space between them. "Many of the younger generation, myself included, are not as familiar with the events of sixty-five years ago. Being a Professor of Intergalactic Studies at Astrofleet Academy, surely you can enlighten us about this important event in history."

The Astrofleet flag officer sipped his coffee and gathered his thoughts. With a measured cadence acquired through years of lecturing and giving orders, the middle-aged Commodore began.

"First contact between the Commonwealth and the Hegemony took place on the 13th of December 2163 when the GCS Scott encountered a Klinzith ship while surveying the Huoxi system. During the encounter, the Klinzith ship opened fire. The Scott was badly damaged, and her crew suffered significant casualties: seventy-three injured and thirty-seven killed." Tang paused and took another sip of coffee before continuing. "Ever since then, the Klinzith have been taking pot shots at whatever Commonwealth ship they encounter."

"Are you saying that in sixty-five years, our relations with the Klinzith have not warmed up at all?" questioned Paddington with his thick Scottish accent ever present.

Structuring the beginning like this gets rid of the dreaded "as you know" (which should be avoided whenever possible), spaces out the information a bit more, and introduces the important backstory quickly without it feeling contrived (unlike "as you know", which makes all explanations feel contrived).

You'll also notice that I've modified the dialogue a bit. Since Paddington is a professional reporter, his language should be more professional. Similarly, Tang is a professor and an officer, so his language would be more inclined toward concision and precision, or getting his points across as efficiently as possible. How your characters speak reveals a lot about them as characters, and this aspect of characterization is currently a bit lacking. All of the characters talk in basically the same way, and so they all sound like the same character.

That is something you will want to work on.

The main issue with this section though is how much information is told to us readers, and how densely that information is packed. It made both the prologue and the first chapter difficult to read, in addition to making the reading feel dry and lifeless.

Try to see if you can weave more information into the characters' actions and dialogue and space that information out a bit more. Also, try showing us the effects of the character's actions. For example:

As soon as Rashuk gave the order, the Lebug fired a green energy projectile that headed for the da Gama. As soon as the Legub’s plasma torpedo hit the da Gama, the da Gama exploded in a brilliant flash of light.

This was terribly anticlimactic. Space battles are exciting events, but this one ended with a whimper because the bang wasn't really shown.

So show us.

The instant Rashuk gave the order, a bolt of green energy flew towards the de Gama. Upon impact, the plasma torpedo seared through the hull and burst in a brilliant blaze of light. Once the afterimages had faded away, the only sign that the de Gamma had ever existed was the shrapnel in that sector of space.

That's just one possibility.

Basically, if you draw an event out by describing it a bit more, it gives that event more gravity and a greater sense of importance or significance. The destruction of the de Gamma is a fairly significant event, so far, so give it it's due moment to shine.

If you have any questions, PMing me or posting on my wall are the best ways to get a hold of me.

yizhongt says...

Thank you so much for the constructive criticism. You're not the first who have said that the prologue is too long or just has too much info. That's why I'm going to scrap it altogether.

As for the space battle, I have added a few added scenes to it. But I would still like to highlight how the da Gama is not capable of fighting back and goes out with a whimper.

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30 Reviews

Points: 623
Reviews: 30

Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:18 am
Inked wrote a review...

Inked here!
This was interesting.
so what I found was that it was a little difficult to get through, but then again I'm not big on the space theme.
you should read through it because you did have a couple grammatical errors here and there. I like some of the words you used instead of the whole he said she said. I did appreciate that.
what I found unappealing was that I was being crammed with information in the prologue. A prologue typically doesn't have as much detail as you have expressed.
Honestly I wish I liked the whole space scene more, but I don't. With that being said I can say that you are a fine writer, this is just not my genre, but keep it up my friend!
~ Inked

I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones.
— John Cage