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A Janitor's Adventure: 1.2

by DougalOfBiscuits


Janny knocked on the door of the cockpit. He’d have called out, but the journey around the long wide bends of the ship’s corridors had really taken the breath out of him, especially at his patented half-jog with his arms at his sides. The door was made of thick metal, which deadened the sound of his knock, so he found himself focusing hard to try and hear approaching footsteps. But only for a moment, because the door, which really was quite heavy, was soon flung open by a very worried looking Endoleon.

The slight green tinge told Janny that this was Pilot Ret, and he could tell Ret was nervous because her frown was so deep the thin rolls of flesh in his forehead kept popping out and reattaching. The Endoleon body wasn’t quite as flexible as the Daerian, but Janny was endlessly fascinated by their ability to pop out lumps of themselves and control them as if they were still attached by skin and bone.

“They are shouting very loud and I do not like it,” said Ret, who had once told Janny she’d become a pilot for the peace and quiet of the cockpit. She held up a hand as if to push the cockpit away into the distance. “If you can just tell me what they’re shouting then maybe we can make them go away.”

Ret stepped aside and let Janny through the thick sliding door. The door started sliding shut quicker behind Janny than he’d been expecting and when he glanced back he realised Ret wasn’t following him through.

“You don’t mind, do you? I’ll be right out here if you need me, okay? I just… can’t with that. I can’t understand a word and it’s just hammering against my brain and I feel powerless and I hate it.” Ret was starting to babble so Janny nodded and gave her a small smile.

“Alright,” he said, then turned back around to face the dimly lit cockpit. He saw one skinny tall form, little more than an outline in the dark really, leaning against the pilot’s chair. There seemed to be spikes sticking up from the other side of the headrest, but he couldn’t see any more of whoever was sitting there. There wasn’t even much light from the stars outside, since the pilot’s console actually had a low brightness monitor with the view from outside displayed upon it.

“Greetings,” said a voice, the standing up one, Janny thought. It took Janny a moment to register what was wrong with the word but eventually realised it had been spoken in a language different from the one he’d been using for months.

“Hello,” he replied in Fladaerian, his native language. He was fairly certain the voice had spoken in Scentian, but he didn’t feel comfortable enough to try and reply in it.

“Is there a lamp in here? I truly can’t view anything.”

Janny was definitely mistranslating some individual words but he was confident about the gist of the sentence, especially once the figure straightened up and took a step past Janny, patting along the wall.

“There is no switch,” Janny said in Fladaerian.

“Sad,” the Scentian said, though they probably meant ‘shame’ or something like that. “We can travel to ours, if you please?”

Janny nodded, then remembered what the point of the conversation was in the first place. “Yes, alright.”

It turned out "travelling" meant little more than nipping through a rectangular opening on the other side of the cockpit, little more than a few feet away. The figure led the way through to a room filled with much brighter light, which revealed a tall, spindly being of the same species as Janny. He was much brighter red, and had little tufts of brown hair around his head spikes, which was unusual no matter what country you came from on Daer-Ta. There was also a gun strapped to the Scentian’s hip.

The room wasn’t much larger than the one they’d come from, but it had two chairs squeezed in side by side instead of one. The banks were all dark green, which actually provided a rather ugly contrast with the red of Janny’s and the Scentian’s skin. And most importantly, there was a window at the front of the craft. It was only the bottom half of the craft’s sharp pointed prow, but it was better than nothing. On the Endoleon ship they were so averse to light that everything was dim viewscreens and interactive maps. Seeing the outside world felt a little like being at home.

“Here,” said the Scentian. Again, Janny only knew it was something to that effect. The Scentian continued, “I’m Ennet. My colleague is Grescin. We are each from Scentaer; we acknowledge that you are from Fladaer. Understand, our issue is not with you but with Endoleon.”

Janny screwed up his eyes but was pretty sure he was keeping up so far. “Alright. What is it that you want?”

“No violence,” Ennet said, lightly tapping the gun with long, bright red fingers. “We require this ship divert to a differing location.”

Something on the console beeped, but Ennet ignored it, instead continuing to watch Janny.

“Am I to deliver this message?” Janny asked.

“Er, indeed,” said Ennet. “Go through, I suppose.”

Janny nodded and produced his tech pod from his jumpsuit pocket.

Ennet’s eyes widened a little. “You have no additional queries?”

Janny held his finger above the pod’s screen and looked up. “Um. Not really.”

Ennet shrugged, showing very sharp shoulders through the fabric of a thin back shirt. “This is fine. Continue.”

Janny selected the contact for the captain, wondering too late if he was actually supposed to report to Ret, who would then relay the message to the captain. Before he could alter his course, the gruff voice of Captain Firo picked up.

“Ah, Gomm! How goes it?”

Janny held the phone away from his ear. Gods, the captain’s voice boomed even with his pod on low volume. “Good, sir. I have spoken with one of the Scentians. They intend to take the ship to an alternate destination. If we do this there will be no violence.”

There was a pause. “What location?”

Janny covered the speaker and looked over to Ennet, who was fidgeting with the back of one of the chairs. He repeated in Fladaerian, “What location?”

Ennet frowned. “I understood you had no queries. We will travel to a lightly inhabited mass named Kirkondi.”

Janny relayed this back to the captain.

“And if we refuse?” Captain Firo asked.

Janny looked up at Ennet again, who rolled his eyes. Janny repeated the captain’s question.

Ennet stared at Janny and tapped his gun again. “Violence?”

Janny nodded and said to the captain, “They have a gun.”

“And they’ll use it?” Captain Firo asked.

“Indeed, we will operate the gun!” Ennet snapped in Scentian, before Janny had even had a chance to ask him the question.

There was a loud cry from the next room, a Scentian word that Janny didn’t understand, quite possibly a swear word from the sounds of it. A moment later the other Scentian - a shorter, stockier figure with slightly paler skin that was tinted a little purple - barrelled past Janny and threw itself at the console.

“This is Grescin,” Ennet said, frowning and turning to face her. “I am unsure what she is carrying out. Grescin, what do you do?”

“It’s the TIPO saucer!” Grescin snarled, though she said another word Janny didn’t recognise before ‘TIPO’, “It discovered us.”

TIPO, Janny did understand. It stood for Trade Integrity Protection Operations and ensured the smooth processing of all Endoleon trade. It was certainly understandable why an operative would have an interest in the goings on here.

“We must escape!” Ennet shouted.

“Well, indeed!” Grescin yelled back.

Suddenly there was a clicking sound and the doorway was closed by a sheet of metal sliding back up. The craft they were all crammed in juddered, and away they flew.


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Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:11 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Bisc!


her frown was so deep the thin rolls of flesh in his forehead kept popping out and reattaching.


hm. kinda horrifying!

(also, you went from her>his and I... don't think you meant that?)

The Endoleon body wasn’t quite as flexible as the Daerian, but Janny was endlessly fascinated by their ability to pop out lumps of themselves and control them as if they were still attached by skin and bone.


I KNOW about this already from Lestili but STILL HORRYFING DESCRIPTION OF IT (great job on that!!)

He saw one skinny tall form,


I would put this on a new line, as well as switching placement of "skinny" and "tall" (so, "He saw one tall, skinny form").


I haven't pointed any of them out because I didn't want to be really nitpicky, but you have a lot of the filler words really and very, which can, more often than not, be substituted for a stronger synonyms of whatever you're trying to add more oomph to.


"Greetings," said a voice, the standing up one, Janny thought.


I would rephrase this? Perhaps: "Greetings," said the one standing up.
"The standing up one" is worded oddly to me? This would just be a way to compact what you're already saying.


Also! I like the description of the cockpit! I'm able to visualise it much better than I was in previous sections (by previous I mean later but YOU KNOW... I hope lol)


He was fairly certain the voice had spoken in Scentian,


Hadn't this already been established? You don't have to add this in because that was the whole reason to bring Janny down to the cockpit to take to them. The part about him not being comfortable enough to reply in Scentian is fine! But there were no allusions that they may not be speaking Scentian before.

"Sad," the Scentian said, though they probably meant 'shame' of something like that.


no it's funnier if they said "sad" (it made me laugh anyway because it's something I would definitely say)

"We can travel to ours is you please."


I'm really slow so this took me about four times to reread until I understood what they meant (and even Janny remembering the point of the conversation didn't really piece it together for me), but now I got it and oH NO.

Again, Janny only knew it was something to that effect.


I don't think you have to keep repeating that his translations are somewhat loose.

"I'm Ennet. My colleague is Grescin.


o: big oh no

Ennet's eyes widened a little. "You have no additional queries?"


*squints in suspicion*

“Violence?”


Why is Ennet asking? I'm not sure if this is meant to be a sarcastic "uh, violence? duh" but right now, it reads like Janny asks what happens if they refuse, and Ennet's like "uh, idk? violence I guess? is that ok?"


Oh no, Janny :( I know you had already said this happened, but I didn't realise it was going to go right into it! (It's not a bad thing! Throw me right into the story- I love it!) I'm curious how he's going to get out of this one.


I'm going to mention that I'd like to see a little more worldbuilding/culture in the prose to really differentiate the different species and so forth. What is the planet like where Janny's from? I don't need a lot, but I'm having trouble grasping the difference between any of them besides the names (and the little tidbits about Endoleons vs. Daerians in terms of flexibility! Which is really cool! Those are the kind of details I really like! Like I said, a little more. It's not that it's lacking, it's just that I want a little more clarification)

(It could be that I just don't read a lot of sci-fi though, because it's usually not up my alley and I have that kind of trouble with grasping concepts like this that are so unlike our own. It has nothing to do with you! Your storytelling is wonderful! I'm having fun with this so far!)


That's all I have for you today! :D

I hope you have a fantastic day, and Happy RevMo!

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Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:39 am
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fraey wrote a review...



Hello again! You're writing so quickly; I'm not going to be able to catch up pretty soon lol. Keep up with the novella challenge, whoop.

But, let's look at this closer.

I hope Pilot Ret is in this book more since I can certainly sympathize with too much noise around me and wanting to get out. I do wonder how old she is/experienced either be this worried/freaked out by yelling compared to how someone should react in a situation like that. I do like the idea of having a multitude of different types of fliers/soldiers on this ship to compare to the, of course, cool dude that is Janny. Maybe I just hope there are some crew members that hold more travel miles.

From there though, can I just give you some appreciation for the cultural aspects thrown in here! I absolutely love getting the different images - the different red shades from Janny and the Scentians and like how Grescin/Ennet's like "don't worry we won't hurt you exactly." The whole language barrier seems absolutely brilliant because I can only imagine what they're trying to say as well - like "sad" instead of "shame" or something stronger.

Continuing on, I also need to get into the description here - as previously mentioned, I like how the "green walls" seems like a rather poor choice by the ship's designer to contrast their skin colors. (All I can picture is somewhat of another planet decided that as an inner joke, but they never expected for the Scentians to *not* change the color.) Also, like the different characteristics, of like having hair being rare or like how people's skin moves/bumps creates really interesting little pictures of these characters.

I also appreciate the plot here! That there is plot besides introducing Janny and the crew and what else is going on here - of the different cultures and perhaps why all the Daertians are on a ship crewed by another planet's inhabitants. And it seems like they're all feeling decently casual even with getting threatened somewhat and then this makes it kind of unfortunate that Janny might be trapped on this different ship.

I very much like this second part! I think Janny's developing nicely and isn't too fazed by random crazy things and that's an admirable feat for the main character. I'm certainly excited for the next section!




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Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:35 am
Roundsquare says...



This is really interesting. I love the dialgoue portions. You write pretty well. It's easy to read your work. Well done.




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Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:34 am
Roundsquare says...



This is really interesting. I love the dialgoue portions. You write pretty well. It's easy to read your work. Well done.




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Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:59 pm
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Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @DougalOfBiscuits I am here to do a review on your chapter again. So lets get right into it shell we.

Janny knocked on the door of the cockpit. He’d have called out, but the journey around the long wide bends of the ship’s corridors had really taken the breath out of him, especially at his patented half-jog with his arms at his sides.
I think this is a great start to the next chapter here. Okay so I have really been thinking about this line. When I first read it I really felt something needed to be changed. So I am just going to put this in suggestions for you. I hope you will be happy with the changes that I have done. It was really just small things that were kind of just bugging me.

The slight green tinge told Janny that this was Pilot Ret, and he could tell Ret was nervous because her frown was so deep the thin rolls of flesh in his forehead kept popping out and reattaching. The Endoleon body wasn’t quite as flexible as the Daerian, but Janny was endlessly fascinated by their ability to pop out lumps of themselves and control them as if they were still attached by skin and bone.
Now this is some description here. You are always coming up with such great names for everybody. I really can see what is happening. But one thing I think maybe you need to ad a bit more sounds to it. And also sight. I think these are the two that your missing a bit in this chapter.

“There is no switch,” Janny said in Fladaerian.

“Sad,” the Scentian said, though they probably meant ‘shame’ or something like that. “We can travel to ours, if you please?”

Janny nodded, then remembered what the point of the conversation was in the first place. “Yes, alright.”
Okay the next thing that I realized was that, I just feel like your characters are talking to much in this chapter. I feel like you could have added a lot more into it if you cut some of the talking out.
Secondly I still don't really see you going into your main characters thoughts. I still really like this chapter but I just feel like it does need work. Also tip with going into someones thought maybe put the words that your going into the persons thoughts in bold. That way it can make it easier for the reader to maybe understand and see.

The rest of the chapter was great. I really think you put your hole heart into writing them. Your description is great. I can always see something happening. you had a great end to the chapter.

Suggestions

The changed version
Janny knocked on the door of the cockpit. He would have called out, but the journey around the long wide bends of the ship’s corridors had really taken the breath out of him. Especially at his patented half-jog with his arms at his sides the hole time.


the none changed version
Janny knocked on the door of the cockpit. He’d have called out, but the journey around the long wide bends of the ship’s corridors had really taken the breath out of him, especially at his patented half-jog with his arms at his sides.


So that is all that I can say. If I was being to harsh then I am really sorry pleas will you forgive me. So keep up the great work. I am really looking forward to the next chapter Biscuits. :D

I hope you have a great Day/Night

@Dossereana Out In The Sky Of Reviews

YWS!!!!





The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.