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Bulletproof

by Kylan


Two black vans sped down the road; sirens wailing, lights flashing. Houses, signs, and streetlights flickered past like lightning, reflecting off of the vans' tinted windows as they roared in the direction of East Grisham High school. They would stop for no one now. Not when a school full of children were being endangered by a deranged 15 year old nut-case. The GPD prided themselves in the efficiency of their SWAT division. When SWAT was set to a task it would be done within the hour. Guaranteed.

Their tires screeched as the two vans rounded a corner and sent a plume of burnt rubber into the air. Lieutenant Calvin Beckridge felt his Kevlar helmet slam backwards into the window as they took that last turn. He winced as pain rippled up his spine and he clutched his M4 carbine tensely. He wasn't exactly young anymore. At 51, Beckridge was the oldest member on the squad and he was planning on retiring within the next month. He just couldn't take sharp turns like he used to; breaking down doors and repulsing riots beside the point.

He sighed and squirmed in his body armor. What was this world coming to? They were heading toward a school shooting sight with an active killer roaming it's halls. And he was 15. Sickos and murderers were coming younger and more willing these days with the media churning graphic video games and movies to an unsuspecting public audience. Children were becoming more desensitized to wholesale slaughter and more attracted to weapons and violence and aggressiveness. They were being taught subtly that good was evil and that evil was good. Those gaming companies had no clue that they were creating monsters and if they did... well, then they deserved to be murdered in their beds.

Beckridge smiled at his last thought. Even he wasn't impervious to the media's violence. In fact, no one was. In the past five years SWAT had been deployed twice to neutralize snipers, once to root out a local terrorist operation, and three times to a workplace shooting. People were going postal all over the place. That was another reason Beckridge was planning to retire. He was tired of seeing the evil side of the world. He was tired of the state of society. He was tired of close calls and dead bodies. It just wasn't worth the excitement anymore. Foiling mentally deranged people wasn't as fun as it used to be. There were just too many of them.

Beckridge sighed inaudibly and studied the faces of the other four men being jostled about in the van. Their expressions were stony beneath the shadows of their helmets. They knew what was coming. Scenes of terror and death and carnage. Things that just weren't meant to be seen. Things of nightmares... Each of his men had gone through rigorous psychological training when they had been assigned to SWAT so that they didn't go into shock when they saw such... disturbing images. They had been trained to conquer their fear and put their jobs before emotion. They had been trained to enter a kill site or a riot or a drug den totally emotionless; totally uniform and rigid. Nothing could touch them. Psychologically that is. Bullet proof vests could only stop so much.

Tires screeched again as they rounded a final corner, rattling the helmeted heads of the SWAT squadron. Beckridge caught sight of East High darting up from behind a cluster of second rate houses and scraggly trees. He caught his breath. Here it was. Another chance at a brush with death. He pressed his gloved hand to his Kevlar vest and felt his heart punching at it. He wouldn't be surprised if he dropped dead of a heart attack before anyone shot him. Fifty-one. Beckridge shook his head and squinted out the window at the yellow tape roping off the entire school. Six police cars were already idling there; their lights painting an eerie collage of colors against the vans' tinted windows. The men were looking at him now, holding their guns expectantly, faces pale. Beckridge snapped a clip of bullets to his carbine. Time to kill a psycho.

Without any warning at all, the van slammed it's breaks on and skidded to a halt. “Let's go men!” he roared, “Go, go, go!” The van doors burst open and five black forms darted from it's orifice, joined by five others from the second van. They sprinted towards the school, guns rattling and hearts pounding.

Bulletproof was only a word.


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Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:33 am
JC wrote a review...



hey Kylan!

I just realized something, a lot of your writing is the same, as in detailed to the spider-in-the-corner. If that makes sense. Info-dump, basically. Which isn't necessarily terrible, but when used in excess is definentely frowned upon.

Regardless, I like this. It could use some more background and some more storyline, but it's well written, as always =D

-JC




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Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:22 pm
JFW1415 wrote a review...



I LOVED this. It's written really well; I can actually see what;s happening. You also give the character depth, which is awesome. I feel like I know him!

Also, I think the way you fit in his age was fine. If you just said 'He was 51,' it wouldn't work, but I liked how you did it.

Kylan wrote:Lieutenant Calvin Beckridge felt his Kevlar helmet slam backwards into the window as they took that last turn. He winced as pain rippled up his spine and he clutched his M4 carbine tensely.


Wouldn't the helmet take out most of that impact? It could still hurt, but that seems a little extreme to me...

Oh, and the ending was AMAZING. I hope you post more.

If you do, or if you have any other stories, please PM me. I'd love to read them! :P




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Thu May 24, 2007 1:19 pm
TNCowgirl says...



That was awesome, i like how you put it :D media is so annoying at times.




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Thu May 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Prosithion wrote a review...



Overall, it was a very good peice, but

a) I think that SWAT would try to neutralize the guy, not kill him. But, I may be wrong.

b) Their armament is off. They would have flash/bang grenades and definitely NOT M-4's.

c)I like how you made an older character, but try to describe him more. Get into his character more.

d) There were a few grammar mistakes, but they've already been pointed out, so I won't bore you with them.

Good story, interesting and Suspenseful. Good Work!




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Thu May 24, 2007 6:12 am
Trident wrote a review...



Sorry to conflict with everyone else, but I wasn't a huge fan. There's a lot of thriller type writing out there and so you need to find a way to make yours unique. I wasn't feeling that; more clone-like, I think.

The way you set up your character was probably the piece's worst characteristic. I think you were trying to stay away from the whole info-dump thing, but it still caught you up. A piece of advice: actually giving ages is typically a no-no. Describe age through action: slow walking, a heart condition that comes with age, a thought of "kids these days" (which I believe you had). Actual ages shouldn't come up unless in dialogue or sometimes an inner-monologue.

I know you can write and there were some good lines in here. See what you might be able to salvage for another story.




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Thu May 24, 2007 1:21 am
Invisible_writer wrote a review...



Wow That was really good. I do have to agree with the semi-colon error, but other than that it was pretty good. I did notice that the character did contradict himselfe quite a bit. Was that planned? H
Howeve I do have to agree that the description of the shooting was very realistic. My school had that same experience several weeks ago.
I do know that usually the SWAT does not get to the school with in an hour. it usually doesnt work that way, but it was still really good.




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Tue May 22, 2007 12:09 am
BrokenSword wrote a review...



OOOH! I love it...amazing.

I especially liked this:

Their expressions were stony beneath the shadows of their helmets. They knew what was coming. Scenes of terror and death and carnage. Things that just weren't meant to be seen.


I could envision the scene perfectly. :D

He wouldn't be surprised if he dropped dead of a heart attack before anyone shot him. Fifty-one.


I kind of thought this might work better if you added "at" to the "fifty-one", because just "fifty-one" sounded a little odd to me.

Great work!!




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Mon May 21, 2007 11:19 pm
Kylan says...



Actually, to all those wondering if their will be a part 2...probably not. This is actually a piece of a novella that I wrote about a school shooting. It was only 50 pages and very experimental. It probably won't be ever see the light of day. This, in my opinion, was the best written part of the story. ...So I posted it :D Just an FYI... Thank you all though for the critts... Very helpful. Very ego-inflating (JK!!) More would be fine! :lol:

-Kylan




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Mon May 21, 2007 4:31 pm
Charlie II wrote a review...



I just spent about 20 minutes writing out a full critique before my computer froze and I lost it. I'll piece back together as much as I'm able to without throwing it off the desk.
Just a few points:

Two black vans sped down the road; sirens wailing, lights flashing.

Semi-colons are used when both sentences make sense separatesly. 'sirens wailing, lights flashing', however, does not make sense on it's own.

Houses, signs, and streetlights flickered past like lightning, reflecting off of the vans' tinted windows as they roared in the direction of East Grisham High school.

Ambigouous pronoun. Basically, I - as a reader - do not know what you refer to when you say 'they'. Replace it with 'it' and you'll sort it out.

They would stop for no one now.

Good. Short sharp sentence. Impact.

Their tires screeched as the two vans rounded a corner and sent a plume of burnt rubber into the air.

1. You don't need the 'their' at the beginning of the sentence.
2. And the plume of burnt rubber? I have to say that seems very odd.

He winced as pain rippled up his spine and he clutched his M4 carbine tensely.

Ah. 'Clutched' implies that he clutched it tensely. The adverb has no real use and simply weakens the verb. Get rid of it.

He just couldn't take sharp turns like he used to; breaking down doors and repulsing riots beside the point.

Same semi-colon error. See above.

What was this world coming to?

Good use of a rhetorical question :D !

Bulletproof was only a word.

Wow. Cliff-hanger. Suspense. Awesome.


The only other thing I noticed was the use of this: '...'. It's evil. You've used it in places that need a short sharp stop and you've given them a slow lumbering pause. It's using punctuation to do the job that words do. Bit of a misuse if you ask me.
Apart from this it was brilliant. I loved the suspense and I managed to feel sorry for the man behind the mask. It's good to see that your character is not a cold-blooded unfeeling killer. They're much easier to relate to if you make them human. I look forward to the next part.

DarkLight




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Sun May 20, 2007 9:21 pm
scrambled_pages wrote a review...



I really liked this, a lot.

With school shootings becoming more and more common, and more horrific all the time it is a tough subject to write about, it hits home with a lot of people from all over the world. Good for you to not only attempt it but also to do it well! :D

I had one question:
"Nothing could touch them. Psychologically that is."
I think that this should really be oe sentence instead of two, since the second sentence is basically an afterthought of the first, a sort of continuation.

That is all I can find to offer a sujestion about!


Will there be more?

-Gen




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Sat May 12, 2007 11:50 pm
oregongirl says...



Awesome! This was intense and almost real! I really enjoyed reading this piece. Great description and words and a great point that you are making about good and evil. Keep up the good work




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Sat May 12, 2007 7:56 pm
RatchetWriter wrote a review...



Hey! Great story!

All I got to say is it's nice you had them screeching around corners when you described the character, it makes it seem like their going somewhere instead of the car just suddenly going on a straightaway while the guy stares off into space.

Also, you can't help but wondering... the old guy wanting to retire and everything, it almost makes you think he's going to get killed in the opening scene, see what I'm saying? Kind of like The Italian Job.

And I was curious if the shooting at Virginia Tech inspired you to write this?

Okay that was more than one thing to say, oh well. Good writing!




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Sat May 12, 2007 7:14 pm
Ego wrote a review...



When SWAT was set to a task it would be done within the hour. Guaranteed.


Two things wrong with this statement; SWAT forces are rarely done within the hour. They have to set up, plan, and execute--I'd consider changing this around. Second, guaranteed? What happens if they don't do it in an hour? You get your money back?

They were heading toward a school shooting sight with an active killer roaming it's halls.


Its. The possessive its does not have an apostrophe.

You have a good voice in this piece; good vocab, flow, and sentence structure. However, your character contradicts himself.

You say he's been through rigorous psychological training, etc etc etc, and yet he's influenced by the media, and he enjoys killing these psychos. He looks forward to it. I thought they were trained to go in emotionless? Consider changing.

Is this a complete story, or is this a piece?

--Dono




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Sat May 12, 2007 7:09 pm
greenjay wrote a review...



All in all, AWESOME! Great fluid style, intense and interesting plot, and good characters (well only one so far). I like how it is about an older guy, most stories are about super twenety year olds who can do anything. About what I think you should do...well, write more! Very good!





If all pulled in one direction, the world would keel over.
— Yiddish proverb