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Delta - 1

by CaptainJack


December 20, 4140

Harry Bivens woke up at the same time she had every morning for the past 12 years, and quickly fell into the morning routine. It would be 3 more hours before Will woke up, giving her just enough time to take a bath, put her braces on, and help Robe dispose of that building.

The few steps to the closet to get her case was painful, as it was every morning before she had the metal and straps to guide her half-dead limbs across the floor. The bath took away some of the pain and the water made it so she could actually move her legs without anything else attached. Like every morning she sat there and cursed her ancestors for an amphibian society, one that left the female of the species in the water.

Soon the second alarm rang and she needed to get downstairs. The braces made stairs easier but she still had to use some of her power to control it, something Will always would chide her for.

"Why are you wasting your powers?"

"Because I want to be able to walk."

"That's no excuse."

The last reply always rolled in her head. Wanting to be able to walk is evidently an excuse to the gods as why she hasn't become a better vigilante.



It was now 5:30. Jud would not be arriving for another 30 minutes and Robe should be there in less than 15.



Down in the offices, it was clearly Jud’s that was letting the stale cigar smoke into the room. More awake and more confident on the braces, Harry simply waved her left hand to the side as she used her right to start summoning coffee ingredients.

Most people she knew didn’t drink real coffee, they just slapped patches on their arms or took little pills. But she was an admirer of the ancient Earth era and so was this city.

It would be so easy to imagine Sam Spade walking down the street below them or pacing in the office across from hers. Part of her image comes from that era and that thought of detectives, and perhaps that’s how she ended up at a classic agency like Roth & Marrow.

The duo who founded the company were very classic about many things, including their mob dealings, which included anyone and everyone. And it was unfortunate that their lack of discrimination in their one part of the business, ultimately led to their demise, but it had given Harry a job and now she didn’t care.

She thought about all the things she didn’t care about anymore as the 15 minutes slowly ticked by on the column clock in the corner. Ita was still on the care list and was working for her, which wasn’t about any emotions left in the relationship. It was about money. And it would always be about money.

Robe arrived and shouted into the offices, “Anyone home?”

Still in the Sam Spade mood, Harry replied with, “Shoo him in, Effie darling, shoo him in.”

In the neon purple clashing with gray raincoat, Robe definitely stood out, whenever they would go out to do something. He had been repeatedly asked to change into something more plain but always had the same justifications. That disagreement was about to start again.

“It doesn’t matter as much if they see a cop at a crime scene, than a private detective.”

“What if it wasn’t a crime scene when we got there?”

“It will be. Besides, people are more likely to notice you in the gray coat with the dark brooding looks. However much you say that Delta is just like Earth in the 30s and 40s, you’ve got to admit that the fashion is a little different.”

That was true. They looked out of her office and down onto the street to see people dressed in shocking colors, like there hadn’t just been a war going on last week. Dark gray and blue were the color of the military personnel, whereas neon anything was that of the standard citizen. Harry hadn’t been in the army for 5 years but she wasn’t changing the color of her coat anytime soon.

“Whatever you say, Detective Jones. Your car or police car?”

“My car, of course. Not only have I spent 2 years restoring the damn thing but it’s also more fitting for that of 2 classic detectives.”

The pale yellow 1935 Auburn Speedster was the perfect car for them. The only thing original about it was the frame. Robe had taken the insides of a 4120 Chevy Police Cruiser and fit it to the frame of the Auburn, a slightly used modern car inside the body of an ancient masterpiece.

People always looked at them when they drove down the street but that was always part of the fun. It took 20 minutes to reach the warehouse on the banks of the farthest port and 5 minutes to set up the fuel and fuses. An oil barrel in every corner, with a trail of fuel and a long fuse from each, all leading into the middle spot by the door. Robe threw one more can into the middle, making sure it sloped into the middle and leaked into the drain below the warehouse.

“Robe, go start the car.”

“Do you want the flare gun or the matches?”

“The flare gun, your raincoat isn’t providing enough of a flare already.”

He sighed and walked off.

Harry looked up at the warehouse and thought about the words she once heard here, spoken to Roth. It happened right before Mr. Fiacre shot him.

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Again, she recognized her lack of sympathy and walked off to join Robe in the car. He was digging around in the glovebox for the flare gun and so far had set 4 pistols on the leather seat.

“Hurry up.”

“I’m not the one who put all the pistols in the glovebox.”

“Yes, you are.”

“Well yes. Here, catch.”

Harry sat down, pointed the flare gun at the pool in the middle of the warehouse, watched the flames rise for a moment and left quickly soon after.

Now it was time to collect on the payment they had been offered. Some spaghetti at the Fiacre Family Restaurant was sounding good right now.


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Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:15 am
Vincian wrote a review...



Hey Lizz! Okay, so I am gonna attempt to review this, but please let me know what I can improve on my reviewing style! It’ll mostly be my thoughts as I read, good, bad, or interesting. I’ll also note things that I thought worked and things I thought didn’t. I don’t usually comment on spelling or grammar, since spellcheck can do it much faster and easier than I can. That being said, let’s jump in!

So, right out of the gate, I’m not reading a lot of energy in this story. I’m sure that’s intentional, but with it comes a struggle for some people to read, myself included. I wouldn’t say this is boring right at the beginning, but it’s leisurely, which is something that doesn’t work a lot more than it does. Your beginning is what draws readers in, and can make or break your story before it even starts. For me, there’s nothing drawing me in.

A side note, but when it said braces, I though braces for your teeth xD and I was like “wow what a progressive future, they have braces that can be removed” then I remembered that people have braces for much more than teeth. I’m really dumb lol, seeing as I have a back brace and a hip brace myself.

So I had to look up who Sam Spade is, and so I’m interested as to why Harry knows Sam Spade in what is obviously an incredibly advanced civilization when not many people in the 21st century don’t know who this fictional character is. This isn’t much of a critique but more of a thought. I also think it’s interesting that this entire town is dedicated to living in a 30s setting (besides clothing). I wonder how many other towns in this world are like that.

Wow, so this world is set in the 4000s?? That’s super interesting but it’s so hard to wrap my head around the idea that just soo much has happened within that time period. It’s also difficult to believe that information from the 20th and 21st century happened to stick around until the 42nd century, even with things like the internet. Like, I’m closer to 0 AD then this time period that Delta is set in, which is pretty mind-boggling. That brings into question so many things. Like, for instance, are they even on Earth? No matter what happens, most scientists today believe that humanity will either be an inter-system species (perhaps interstellar) or extinct within the next 1000 or so years. I could go on and on, but, I should get back to the review.

So, this chapter is interesting, to say the least, but not because of the characters. I haven’t seen too much character in this (short) beginning, but that’s fine. I’m just much more interested in your world, so that’s what’s hooking me in. Which, that isn’t a good or a bad thing by itself, but it’s certainly interesting. Anyway, I should get to the next chapter tomorrow! Hope this helped ^^




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Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:51 pm
SubSubLibrarian wrote a review...



Hey. I enjoyed the chapter. It seems interesting, but I have to let you know how confused I am. Your chapter is labeled as humor, but I couldn't find any real humor. It was pretty straight forward and some of it was even depressing, so I'm not sure that humor is the right word for it.

So, I do really like your character, but I feel like I don't really know her. You talk about the world in a couple of places, but you didn't do very much to really build it. Your story is just missing detail. I can't really see it happening, and for me that's part of the thrill of reading a book. You can see amazing things happen.

I also don't understand the warehouse burning. I'm assuming it will be explained later and I can tell that you laid out some groundwork for it, but I'm not sure it was enough.

Okay, thanks for the chapter. See you again in a few minutes.




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Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:38 am
Vervain wrote a review...



Hey Lizz!

I haven't read any other reviews, so pardon if I repeat anything. I just want to get in, get out, and get the job done. ;D

Long story short, I really really really love the concept. Not so much the execution, mainly for reasons of grammar and style. Like, this feels like Terry Pratchett meets Heinlein meets Ray Bradbury and I am really, really digging it. You have a lot that you've sunk your teeth into here—the comedic highlights and serious undertone do you a lot of favors. I really do think it's working for you.

I'm legitimately intrigued by this beginning. Maybe you don't shove us straight into the action, but you have the comedy, the setup of Harry's life and her struggle, using her power to walk, giving us tidbits about her life before this—like how she was in the military—you give us Roth being shot by Fiacre, you give us a Godfather line, you give us a building being reduced to rubble, all under this beautiful sheen that actually had me laughing. Like, what? I don't laugh, yo.

Like I said, my issue with it was less conceptual and more grammar and style. You have so many commas where you don't need them, and sometimes they really wreck the flow of your sentences. Honestly, it's something that can only be fixed by having a beta-reader, or going through it yourself with a copy of The Elements of Style in your left hand (or right hand, if you're like me and 10% of the population and are so incredibly queer--I mean, left-handed).

I don't think it wrecks the story, so it's probably something I'll only mention here unless I see it getting worse.

BUT DUDE. YOU MADE ME LAUGH. I know you're worried about your concepts being "too out there" but this is a nice line between "out there" and "down to earth" that really makes it resonate with the reader.

This piece actually left me really entertained and I'm looking forward to reading more!

Keep writing!




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Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:22 pm
Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there @LadyBird! I'm MJ, and I'll be your proud reviewer today! Let's jump into some nitpicks!

Down in the offices, it was clearly Jud’s that was letting the stale cigar smoke into the room.
There's a grammar mistake here, and there are several ways you could rephrase it to be correct; I would recommend that you say "it was clearly Jud who was letting. . .", but there are some other grammatically correct ways to communicate this idea.

But she was an admirer of the ancient Earth era, and so was this city.
. Although the way you have it works, consider saying "as was this city" and see how it flows; it seems to me that it would be smoother, but it's up to you to decide how you think it sounds best.

The duo who founded the company were very classic about many things, including their mob dealings, which included anyone and everyone. And it was unfortunate that their lack of discrimination in their one part of the business, ultimately led to their demise
Your first sentence is a little awkward, since you say "including this" and "which included". There are also a lot of short, choppy phrases rather than one flowing sentence. Consider saying "The duo who founded the company were very classic about their mob dealings, among other things, and included anyone and everyone" or something to that effect.

“It doesn’t matter as much if they see a cop at a crime scene, than a private detective.”
I don't really understand what this sentence is trying to say.

Harry hadn’t been in the army for 5 years, but she wasn’t changing the color of her coat anytime soon.


Not only have I spent 2 years restoring the damn thing, but it’s also more fitting for that of 2 classic detectives.”


People always looked at them when they drove down the street, but that was always part of the fun.


The ending confused me. I loved the beginning of your novel—a fresh science-fiction novel with a 1930s vibe that was executed well and humorously, but once they went on their mission, I was just left with so many questions—and not in a good way. Rather than intriguing me with one or two loose ends, I couldn't understand the point of the story, and at this point, if I picked up the book and started to read it, it wouldn't pull me in; it would push me away. Although the beginning was excellent and promising, I was left with more questions than answers towards the end, something that can be a turn-off for readers.

Overall, I enjoyed the thoroughness of this world. It's a fresh, new idea, and the humor tied up with a new science-fiction idea made for an entertaining and original read. There were a couple grammar mistakes that I pointed out, and I mentioned my concern about the ending above, but I'm excited to see where you took this story! The originality of this story is a big point in your favor, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

All my best,
MJTucker




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Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:31 pm
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tgirly wrote a review...



Hello and Happy Review Day!

This is a great beginning! A lot of interesting stuff is happening, and I'm already hugely interested and invested in Harry. The characterization is so well done; I want to get a cup of coffee with her and Robe and just listen to their banter for an hour.

I can tell you've done a lot of worldbuilding, and a lot of plotting already. There's clearly a lot of backstory going on, and that's a really good thing. It's a complex society and the characters all have a complex history that's still affecting them in the present. However, I wish that a couple aspects referred to were described in a bit more detail. For example, it's mentioned that there was a war a year ago, and it just felt like really casually referred to. I wonder if there would be a different way to incorporate that in, so it didn't feel like such an afterthought? Also, you talk about this Roth guy that got shot, which is probably something that's extremely traumatic for Harry, even if she is in law enforcement, but I don't completely understand her relationship to him, or why Mr. Fiacre, or why it's the same warehouse. I know you don't want to info dump; you do a great job of avoiding that, especially at the beginning when you introduced us to the fact that Harry's legs aren't that stable, and that her ancestors are somehow amphibious, but there are a couple places where you could reveal a little more.

The dialogue was stellar. There was only one line that didn't sound completely natural, when Robe said, "My car, of course. Not only have I spent 2 years restoring the damn thing but it’s also more fitting for that of 2 classic detectives.” I felt like this is something that Harry would already know, so it didn't make sense why Robe was telling her. What you could do instead would be:
"Robe said, "My car, of course. It's more fitting for two classic detectives." Harry wasn't surprised. He'd spent two years restoring the damn thing, and used any excuse to take it for a spin."
or something like that, I don't know. That way you still get the history and get to know about Robe's love of cars, but it's not him telling Harry something she already knows.

I'd really like it if there was a description of what Harry's legs looked like. For a while, I wondered if she was a mermaid, but I just don't have enough details to picture how amphibious she is.

Overall, you're set up for a real page-turner here. I want to learn more about why they're setting the fire, and who's paying them, and who the Fiacres are, and what they have to do with everything. There's a lot of intriguing stuff happening, and I can't wait to see how it all goes down. Wonderful start.

-tgirly




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Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:14 pm
BluesClues wrote a review...



(psssssst I'm 90% sure you lately mentioned that you hadn't established his gender but glancing back over this chapter it seems p clear he's referred to as a "he")

*wild Godfather reference appears*

“The flare gun, your raincoat isn’t providing enough of a flare already.”


Heh heh heh.

Harry Bivens woke up at the same time she had every morning for the past 12 years, and quickly fell into the morning routine. It would be 3 more hours before Will woke up, giving her just enough time to take a bath, put her braces on, and help Robe dispose of that building.


I love??? that it's implied that helping Robe dispose of buildings is just part of Harry's morning routine??? Not gonna lie, I can totally see you writing characters for whom this is exactly part of their normal routine, so I guess I'll just have to keep reading and see what happens for Harry on other mornings.

and now for something completely different

Image

(Okay, sorry, but considering your love of gifs I thought I'd interrupt my own pointless review with a dumb gif. I love the Janitor.)

Uhhh, tense changes which I'm sure you're aware of but in the hopes of writing a semi-helpful review after thinking I was done for the day and then realizing I actually wasn't oops sorry for my terrible memory I thought I'd mention it.

but it had given Harry a job and now she didn’t care.

She thought about all the things she didn’t care about anymore as the 15 minutes slowly ticked by on the column clock in the corner. Ita was still on the care list


I love this line, it's sort of dark but subtly humorous. On that note, this bit.

Harry sat down, pointed the flare gun at the pool in the middle of the warehouse, watched the flames rise for a moment and left quickly soon after.


You skipped over the actual destroying of the warehouse so quickly that I almost didn't notice it at first, but after re-reading I think I really like the way you make such a Not Big Deal of It. Like it's just a matter of course for Harry, another on the list of things she no longer cares about.

OKAY. Calling myself done and moving onto the next bit, which I don't think I've actually read yet.





For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle ... anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.
— Aristotle