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Space

by MeherazulAzim16


"Space is lonely," Flight Engineer Tracy McAvoy looks out through a window.



Kratonic—meant to be the first ever practical generation ship—is adrift in space. It was meant to be our salvation from extinction.



"I have a theory," Tracy looks at Flight Commander Jonah Simpkin. "We are in a simulation. We are still at the corps. They are testing if we are capable of handling this mission."



Jonah is sat facing Tracy but his eyes are closed, his head is rested on his chair. "The mission is dead, Tracy. They are all dead. Something happened when we were in hibernation. The artificial ecosystem malfunctioned," Jonah opens his eyes—they are red as Mars—and teardrops slip out. "Something happened, Tracy!"



"Something always happens, Commander. The mission doesn't have to die," Tracy tells Jonah.



"What're you saying?"



"You know damn well what I'm saying. Survival of our species matters more than petty moral bindings."



"Literally why they allowed select individuals to board this ship—abandoning everyone and everything else. To explore, grow and survive. To live."



"I am on this ship because I am the best at what I do. If I tell you there's a chance I can fix the artificial eco, you know I'm not bluffing. But I'll need resources—resources that we already have on this ship. I need your clearance to access most of them. So, start taking care of yourself. Stay alive."



"Hope—I suppose we need that," Jonah looks at the window. "Tracy," Jonah utters softly, "Slowly move towards me." His eyes are fixed on the window. Tracy turns around, looks through the window. Jonah gets up from the chair.



"Commander, there's nothing out there." Tracy moves a couple steps toward Jonah with the palm of her hands facing him.



"You mean you don't see that?"



"See what?"



"That, Tracy. That! It's looking at you now."



"See what, Commander!" Tracy drops her hands. Tracy stops. Tracy smiles. Tracy chuckles. Tracy walks toward Jonah.



"Okay, I changed my mind. Stay the eff back, Tracy." Jonah steps back slowly. "Wait," Jonah collapses to the grounds. He presses on the left side of his head with his hands and screams. He throws his legs at the air. He kicks his chair away. "God!" He stops moving and looks up.

"You're not Tracy," Jonah pants as he says. "Tracy died yesterday—she went up the tower to fix the eco-control. I supposed it didn't work out. She jumped."



Jonah's vision of Tracy decimates. He stands up.

...

Alone, adrift in space with no Earth to go back to, Jonah chooses maintains his diary. "Space is lonely," Jonah writes before deciding to take one last look at the eco-control.


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66 Reviews


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Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:34 pm
silvermoon17 says...



Hey there, I have a few things to point out.
First of all, I like how you directly open up with what we know. That means, the fact they’re the last hope of survival. Problem is, you seem to have characters pop up all along. Which is not a problem, since we get to have an overview of their characters- but sometimes it would be good if we have a presentation to all characters. The end is.. confusing.. and suspenseful at the same time. What happened to Tracy? And also, you probably never heard of it.. but there’s a rules in plot writing (or cinema, I think it’s rule 101) where you can’t use something as an important point/item if it has not been talked about earlier. Basically, use only what you’ve presnted. For example, if in a story someone just happens to have a necklace with magical powers and defeats everything- when we never heard about that necklace- it appears as a way of escaping a plot hole. I probably missed something.. but where comes the telepathic powers of Tracy 2? (The fake one) and even though it’s a twist, I think you should’ve at least given a hint on Tracy’s actual death. Like her mission was hard, they lost her signal.. at least, it would’ve been more realistic. But a good story in overall.




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Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:33 pm
silvermoon17 wrote a review...



Hey there, I have a few things to point out.
First of all, I like how you directly open up with what we know. That means, the fact they’re the last hope of survival. Problem is, you seem to have characters pop up all along. Which is not a problem, since we get to have an overview of their characters- but sometimes it would be good if we have a presentation to all characters. The end is.. confusing.. and suspenseful at the same time. What happened to Tracy? And also, you probably never heard of it.. but there’s a rules in plot writing (or cinema, I think it’s rule 101) where you can’t use something as an important point/item if it has not been talked about earlier. Basically, use only what you’ve presnted. For example, if in a story someone just happens to have a necklace with magical powers and defeats everything- when we never heard about that necklace- it appears as a way of escaping a plot hole. I probably missed something.. but where comes the telepathic powers of Tracy 2? (The fake one) and even though it’s a twist, I think you should’ve at least given a hint on Tracy’s actual death. Like her mission was hard, they lost her signal.. at least, it would’ve been more realistic. But a good story in overall.




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Sun May 26, 2019 3:18 pm
Vervain wrote a review...



Hi Meherazul! I'm here to leave a review on your piece real quick.

This has the potential to be a really moving and powerful piece. A man trapped in the void of space with nothing but himself for company hallucinates something comforting, only to destroy it--and in the process, decimate his own hope and human desire to live. It's an idea that's probably been touched upon before, but I'm always eager to see a new look at an old story.

However, a few parts of this story drew me away from it, and kept me from getting engrossed in Tracy and Jonah.

I'm going to give you a few pointers on grammar here that might help your English writing. They're really easy to get wrong, so there's nothing against you as a writer here, just some tips that will help you write more strongly.

First, we'll look at your first line:

"Space is lonely," Flight Engineer Tracy McAvoy looks out through a window.
This is incorrect grammar, because this dialogue should not be connected to the line after it. The part in dialogue tags is a complete sentence, and so is the line after it, but neither of them have anything to do with each other grammatically.

If the line after it was "says Flight Engineer Tracy McAvoy as she looks", then it would be correct, because that would be a dialogue tag. Here's an article on dialogue tags that might help explain when, where, and how to use punctuation to connect your dialogue to your narrative: Punctuation within Dialogue

In addition, your story seems to be mainly dialogue, which can definitely work as a short story, but needs some more strength to it if that's what you're trying to do. I recommend reading shorts with and without dialogue -- "They're Made Out of Meat" by Terry Bisson is an example of a short story comprised of dialogue.

I feel like there's supposed to be a big reveal when Jonah asks Tracy to step forward and look at "it", but I'm not really getting it. There needs to be more narrative strength for the reader to be able to understand what's going on.

My final point:
Tracy drops her hands. Tracy stops. Tracy smiles. Tracy chuckles. Tracy walks toward Jonah.
This makes the story read like "See Spot Run". While prose like this can have a purpose, these sentences simply feel disjointed, like they don't really belong in the story and were put there for the sake of having a narrative transition to the realization. There are stronger ways to write this.

Here's one of my favorite quotes on writing, regarding sentence length:

Image

Like I said, I really enjoy the base concept of this piece, but the grammar and style did it in for me. I wish I could get more into the story, and I wish there was more than this white void in which we experience Tracy and Jonah. It doesn't necessarily have to take place in more places, or over more scenes, but it would be nice to have more description, more of a place to lay the reader's head when they're ruminating on the piece.

Thank you, and keep writing!




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Sun May 26, 2019 6:59 am
Sujana wrote a review...



Hey there. Happy Review Day. Here's something for you to chew on, if you so fancy.

"Space is lonely," Flight Engineer Tracy McAvoy looks out through a window. (...) "Space is lonely," Jonah writes before deciding to take one last look at the eco-control.


I want to acknowledge the circular book-end trope being used here, and how it is actually very effective in a work of this nature. The entire premise of the story lies in the loneliness of the main character in being the last surviving member of an extinct race, alone in the unfamiliar and treacherous realms of space. It would make sense that the last line would echo the hopelessness of the first one, suggesting a sort of endlessness in Jonah's ordeal.

"You know damn well what I'm saying. Survival of our species matters more than petty moral bindings."

"Literally why they allowed select individuals to board this ship—abandoning everyone and everything else. To explore, grow and survive. To live."


I don't quite understand these two lines. I feel like Tracy and Jonah were arguing, but now they seem like they're agreeing with each other--since Jonah is elaborating more on Tracy's main point. Also, 'literally' doesn't really have a function in Jonah's response, and he doesn't say a sentence as much as he spits out a random clause ("why they allowed select individuals to board this ship") without a subject beforehand. Perhaps the intention was to say a reduced version of "That's literally why they allowed select individuals to board this ship," but again, while that makes sense, it's agreeing with Tracy's statement. If Jonah was MEANT to agree with Tracy, I think there should've been a description of Jonah nodding or doing some amenable gesture.

"You mean you don't see that?"

"See what?"

"That, Tracy. That! It's looking at you now."

"See what, Commander!" Tracy drops her hands. Tracy stops. Tracy smiles. Tracy chuckles. Tracy walks toward Jonah.


Okay, these few lines are a bit confusing. I get leaving out the description of whatever is outside the window to let the audience's imaginations figure it out for themselves, but the thing is, there aren't enough clues to work with. We know that they're the last humans in the universe, but we have no idea what could be threatening them at this point in time, especially outside the window. I thought that Jonah was pointing out how Tracy had no reflection in the window, showing that Tracy was actually a hallucination. But then this happened:

"You're not Tracy," Jonah pants as he says. "Tracy died yesterday—she went up the tower to fix the eco-control. I supposed it didn't work out. She jumped."


This is meant to be the big reveal, but even Jonah sounds surprised by it. If he had figured it out through the window problem, he wouldn't sound so surprised now--he'd panic at the window (which he did), and then state the fact that Tracy has no reflection, desperately trying to remember what happened to her. At least, that's how I see it. But in it's current state, the two events (Jonah with the window and Jonah realizing that Tracy is dead) don't seem to have any correlation and sort of smash together without any inherent meaning.

Anyway, overall I think this work has a coherency issue. While the setting and the characters seem solid enough, there's a point in the middle where the plot loses itself and it's hard to understand what's going on. I like the premise of a man going mad with grief in loneliness and spending the rest of his time talking to himself, and it was a little disappointing that the ending was revealed so quickly. The audience barely had enough time to really familiarize and sympathize with Tracy and Jonah's situations, get to know their characters and feel where they're coming from--and especially in a work like this, I feel like characterization is the most powerful and important part of the story.

But those are just some of my thoughts. Happy Review Day, and well done.

--Elliot.





Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart