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Anno Domini 2150 - Chapter 1

by EthanHoover


Daniel sat frozen in the capsule as he watched the already massive globe as it grew larger. His constraints made even the tiniest of movement impossible, so he had nothing to do but watch. Watch, and think.

Daniel glanced across the capsule to Joshua, the only other human-- Or, at least, Terrestrial-- he would be seeing for a week. Although they had only met a month before their epic journey began, Daniel and Joshua had taken an instant liking to one another. And though they embarked over four years ago, to Daniel it felt like mere days due to the cryo-freezing they had endured.

Though he remembered nothing of his time in the 'icebox', as Joshua called it, Daniel felt different-- wiser, almost, as if he had awakened from a perfect dream-- then when he entered it.

Upon thawing, Daniel was surprised to hear Joshua's starkly different account. According to him, Joshua could recall every moment of his voyage; Pure blackness and unbearable cold for four straight years. Joshua, too, seemed different after the voyage. Quieter, hardened, as if he had spent too much time dwelling on dark thoughts.

As the cosmic sphere expanded beyond what his viewport could contain, a flicker of fear leapt across Daniel's mind. What was waiting for him down there? Hyper-advanced aliens, with power beyond his wildest dreams? Savages who could barely be recognised as sentient creatures? Or, perhaps, a race so similar to man that they could only be called human? Daniel shuddered. This was somehow the most frightening of all the scenarios he had envisioned. Savages, Daniel could understand. Aliens could understand him. But humans? They could barely understand each other.

Daniel, we're about to begin the entry process. Are you sufficiently restrained? The voice in his head surprised Daniel, though it shouldn't have. He knew it was going to warn him sooner or later, and this was exactly the right time for it to do so. What had alarmed him was it's cranial presence, literally a voice in the back of his head. The Neural Emissions Reader and Organizer, or N.E.R.O for short, was one of the greatest technological breakthroughs since the advent of the magdrive, though it was one Daniel had no great love for. Though it was perfectly efficient, and it allowed for instantaneous non-verbal communication, to him it felt... Unnatural. Wrong.

Despite this distaste, its advice was still perfectly viable. Daniel struggled against his restraints, testing them, though he didn't move at all. Restraints are in order, N.E.R.O. I report ready for touchdown.

Alright, Daniel. Entry will begin in ten seconds, and will last for only a few moments. Please, brace yourself.

Get ready for a bumpy ride, Joshua chuckled into Daniel's head. Though even an infinitesimal error by the computer would kill both of them, Joshua seemed completely unconcerned, as if he were simply boarding a hyperloop for the thousandth time.

The capsule suddenly shook violently, and Daniel was suddenly very thankful for his restraints. The edges of the glasteel viewport began to glow, superheated, and a plated cover slid over it. As it did, the capsule went completely black and shook again.

Almost instantly, a light pinging spread across the hull. Although it sounded like mere rain or pebbles, Daniel knew that if even a single particle breached his painfully thin shielding, he would instantly die. This whole journey, it seemed to Daniel, was fraught with the looming threat of instantaneous death. He just had to trust that the engineers and programmers back home had done their job. Though he couldn't see anything through the blackness, Daniel closed his eyes and prayed fervently.


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Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:06 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

And chapter number 2. Let's see if I can lay this story to rest in about 1 and a half hours.

First Impression: Well looks like we are about to land and we cut to the two people who are going down. Or maybe it's another pair. I'll find out in the next chapter I guess.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Daniel sat frozen in the capsule as he watched the already massive globe as it grew larger. His constraints made even the tiniest of movement impossible, so he had nothing to do but watch. Watch, and think.


I think if you put grow larger there the sentence would have a better flow.

Daniel glanced across the capsule to Joshua, the only other human-- Or, at least, Terrestrial-- he would be seeing for a week. Although they had only met a month before their epic journey began, Daniel and Joshua had taken an instant liking to one another. And though they embarked over four years ago, to Daniel it felt like mere days due to the cryo-freezing they had endured.


So there are non-human terrestrials? That should be interesting.

Upon thawing, Daniel was surprised to hear Joshua's starkly different account. According to him, Joshua could recall every moment of his voyage; Pure blackness and unbearable cold for four straight years. Joshua, too, seemed different after the voyage. Quieter, hardened, as if he had spent too much time dwelling on dark thoughts.


Well that's interesting to see differences in the two accounts. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this. I personally hate cryo-freezing. It is unimaginably boring.

As the cosmic sphere expanded beyond what his viewport could contain, a flicker of fear leapt across Daniel's mind. What was waiting for him down there? Hyper-advanced aliens, with power beyond his wildest dreams? Savages who could barely be recognised as sentient creatures? Or, perhaps, a race so similar to man that they could only be called human? Daniel shuddered. This was somehow the most frightening of all the scenarios he had envisioned. Savages, Daniel could understand. Aliens could understand him. But humans? They could barely understand each other.


That should be recognized according to my computer. Also WOW humanity messed up. Well you got that part of the future spot on.

The Neural Emissions Reader and Organizer, or N.E.R.O for short, was one of the greatest technological breakthroughs since the advent of the magdrive, though it was one Daniel had no great love for. Though it was perfectly efficient, and it allowed for instantaneous non-verbal communication, to him it felt... Unnatural. Wrong.


Well sad or happy to inform you that such a device was never invented. Nice bit of worldbuilding there by casually mentioning all the other technology. Good balance of telling us what we need to know without making it sound like a history lesson.

The capsule suddenly shook violently, and Daniel was suddenly very thankful for his restraints. The edges of the glasteel viewport began to glow, superheated, and a plated cover slid over it. As it did, the capsule went completely black and shook again.


I think you need to hyphenate those two but again this is my computer or rather Google Chrome's advice so maybe not.

Although it sounded like mere rain or pebbles, Daniel knew that if even a single particle breached his painfully thin shielding, he would instantly die. This whole journey, it seemed to Daniel, was fraught with the looming threat of instantaneous death. He just had to trust that the engineers and programmers back home had done their job. Though he couldn't see anything through the blackness, Daniel closed his eyes and prayed fervently.


So is there a reason for the shielding to be dangerously thin? Or is this just for more drama?

And that's it.

Overall: Bit short for an entire chapter of a novel. Did you just upload a single chapter broken up as multiple parts but labelled them as 1,2,3? Besides that I like the characters so far. We get a hint of their personality and the premise sounds really interesting.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




EthanHoover says...


Thanks for another great review, Harry! A lot of great feedback, I'll make an edit for some of it soon. And yeah, it is rather short, that's one of the weaknesses I'm working on improving in my overall writing. Thanks again!



HarryHardy says...


Your Welcome!!
Good Luck in your Writing!!



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Thu May 28, 2020 11:21 am
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lanseloot wrote a review...



"as he watched the already massive globe as it grew larger." - as it was getting larger (less repetition).
"His constraints made even the tiniest of movement impossible" - which constraints, you could add more descriptions.
"epic journey" feels a bit out of place, as if it was an omniscient narrator talking about them.
"What had alarmed him was it's cranial presence" its.
"Daniel struggled against his restraints, testing them, though he didn't move at all" change move to something else like budge.
"and will last for only a few moments" - only for a few moments.
"The capsule suddenly shook violently, and Daniel was suddenly very thankful for his restraints", remove one suddenly.

A great chapter. My worry is that these are a bit too short - no problem with that, but if you're planning a bigger story, you'll have a hundred chapter by the end :)
The processes seem real, even if my only understanding of such technology is limited to a few movies, so you got that well. Other than that it was an exciting experience and i can't wait for more.




EthanHoover says...


Thanks for another review, Lanseloot! I'll work on all those things you mentioned, they're great points. And yeah, they definitely are a little on the short side, I'm working on making them longer. Thanks again!



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Wed May 27, 2020 6:53 pm
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Que wrote a review...



Hi again EthanHoover!

Whoop, making progress--they're already headed towards the planet! I'm interested to meet new characters and the world.

Daniel glanced across the capsule to Joshua, the only other human-- Or, at least, Terrestrial-- he would be seeing for a week.

I'm a little confused as to whether they're in the same ship or in separate vessels, and in either case, why they aren't communicating with each other? They've had a bond, and in any case, are working on the mission together, so I'd expect that they radio back and forth to discuss the landing or check the technology with each other.

I'm interested to hear about the two different experiences with cryo-freezing! The version where you're aware of the whole four years seems absolutely terrifying to me. Although like Ten said, it seems like a weird way to phrase it--another possibility could be Daniel and Joshua actually exchanging stories right then while waiting to land?

What was waiting for him down there? Hyper-advanced aliens, with power beyond his wildest dreams? Savages who could barely be recognised as sentient creatures? Or, perhaps, a race so similar to man that they could only be called human? Daniel shuddered. This was somehow the most frightening of all the scenarios he had envisioned. Savages, Daniel could understand. Aliens could understand him. But humans? They could barely understand each other.

I do like the last line you have here about humans barely understanding each other--funny! But it seems almost like it would make more sense to say, "Humans could barely understand each other, how could they possibly understand aliens?" Also, it might be interesting to delve into what your characters think of as being human. You seem to be using "humans" as not just an indicator of species, but almost of sentience, so just be careful about what you define here.

The Neural Emissions Reader and Organizer, or N.E.R.O for short, was one of the greatest technological breakthroughs since the advent of the magdrive, though it was one Daniel had no great love for. Though it was perfectly efficient, and it allowed for instantaneous non-verbal communication, to him it felt... Unnatural. Wrong.

Wow, this is quite something! I wish we knew a little more what it did, and why? Does it interact with all humans? Is it a single entity, or are there many iterations? What are its limits? Anyway, something to explore, maybe later on. I'm torn between wanting information and almost wanting less, like just seeing what it can do rather than explaining it, so I guess we'll see where it goes. Also, N.E.R.O. is giving me serious HAL vibes from 2001, have you seen it? (if not you definitely should!) Good job making it creepy if that's how you want it to come across. :)

Get ready for a bumpy ride, Joshua chuckled into Daniel's head.

Is this through N.E.R.O. or a headset? It seems a little odd.

Ah, nice chapter! It's giving me even more questions that I want to know the answers to. For instance, how did Daniel and Joshua get chosen not only for the trip, but their specific role as explorers? Why are just the two of them going down there, and are they prepared? Is there any information to back them up, and at least will the computer tell them where they're landing? I'm very curious!

Good writing, I like that you're gradually giving more insight into the details of the trip through different characters' experiences. We're almost to the planet now! Very exciting. :)

-Q




EthanHoover says...


Hey Q, thanks for another awesome review! They are in the same ship, just in full-body restraints that keep their mouths closed(so they still have teeth after splashing down). That's why they're only using N.E.R.O..

Yeah, I did phrase that very badly, but the "what is a human" debate is a big theme in the book. I shall rephrase to be less terrestrialist.

And yes, I am a big fan of 2001. HAL definitely had his place in N.E.R.O.'s development.

Yeah, they're talking using their N.E.R.O. chips. That's one of his main function. Like you said, less information may be good here, so I'll refrain from explaining him too much here.

Thanks again for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it.



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Wed May 27, 2020 6:10 pm
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Tenyo wrote a review...



Hey EthanHoover!

This is a really interesting premise. New earth style stories (I assume that's where they're going) are so interesting because absolutely anything could happen and it immediately creates a lot of anticipation.

I'm not sure if it was the best place to start the story, I found the narration a little odd. It seemed like a very complex way to explain that Joshua and Daniel met each other for a month, got frozen for four years, after which Daniel felt wiser from the experience where Joshua had felt like he spent for years in there.

This in itself feels like a pretty steep story line, but as if we're just stepping off the end of it, rather than jumping into a new adventure. We're told the characters seem to have changed but we never knew what they were before. Maybe include a chapter before, just to show their relationship and characters beforehand, or skip the beginning and jump straight into the fact that they're hurtling out of the sky towards the ground.

It's a good chapter none the less, the descriptions of the descent are vivid and nothing kicks a plot into action like a capsule about to crash onto a strange new planet!




EthanHoover says...


Thanks Tenyo! There is a prologue, but it's pretty short and I don't know if it totally fixes the issue. I'll look at rewriting some of it to be more clear. Thanks again!




In dreams, we enter a world that's entirely our own.
— Albus Dumbledore