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The Cosmic Dragon: Chapter 10

by Necromancer14


Isaac’s back was extremely sore from laying down in the same position for hours. Thankfully though, the shard of glass was removed from his side and he was able to continue work.

“Isaac Johnson, report to level one, room two. I repeat; Isaac Johnson, report to level one, room two. Thank you,” blared the intercom.

Isaac stood up and headed to the elevator. That’s Donnovan Gaver’s office! he thought nervously. He entered the elevator and arrived at level one. The doors opened with the familiar ding, and Isaac walked over to room two and entered. In the room was a large desk with some odd looking contraptions on them. Sitting behind the desk was Donnovan himself. Am I getting fired? pondered Isaac, but he didn’t think so. More likely he was getting promoted for locating Unknown number one.

“Welcome to my office, Isaac Johnson. I hear you were the one to pinpoint the location of Unknown number one’s base of operations. An impressive feat. Do you have anything to say about your heroics?”

“Um… well... “ It took all of Isaac’s brain power to keep a straight face with all of the giddy excitement mixed with the extreme social anxiety that he was feeling. “Err, I was just doing my job, sir.”

“Ah, yes, and you did your job brilliantly. Now, I believe that you deserve a promotion. Do you agree, young Johnson?”

“Um… if you think I should, I think I should.” What else am I going to say? That I totally deserve a promotion? That I don’t deserve a promotion? thought Isaac. Donnovan laughed. His laugh was deep and something seemed… almost sinister about it. Sinister? Don’t be ridiculous, Isaac. He’s a hero, he chided himself.

“Well, a tactful answer. Yes, I believe you should get a promotion. Isaac Johnson, you are officially being promoted to head Inspector,” said Donnovan.

“H-head in-inspector?” gasped Isaac. Head Inspector! He can’t be serious, he doubted.

“Yes. Head inspector. Our last head inspector was disposed of- I mean fired, for... well, lets just say she began investigating some, uh, things that she shouldn’t have been.”

Isaac didn’t notice the strange thing his boss just said. He was too star-struck by the incredible promotion. I just don’t believe it! This time he couldn’t keep a grin off his face. He tried to force it off, but it didn’t want to leave.

“Also, you’re getting a pay-raise to $300,000 a year,” added Donnovan Gaver.

Isaac began to fear that his stupid grin might become permanent if he got any more good news. “I-I don’t know what to say,” he said. “Thank you.”

“Save your sentiments. This is a very difficult job. Here is the password to the top-secret information about all the Unknowns that we are investigating and capturing.” Donnovan handed Isaac a slip of paper. It had the password on it, which was a bunch of random letters and numbers. “If you tell or reveal in any way to anybody this password, you will be immediately fired and the password shall be changed.”

“I understand,” said Isaac solemnly.

He left the office giddy with delight at this sudden surprise. He headed over to the head inspector’s guest office and sat down at the computer. It asked for the password, and he typed it up. The screen read ‘permission granted’ and he began looking at all the files about the different unknowns. Since he was now head inspector, he had to assign different people to different jobs, put together facts, and, of course, inspect things.

Several hours later as he was looking through the files on various things, he found something strange. What is this? he thought. The file had no title. He clicked on it. What…? he thought as he read the short text, his eyes widening.

This is a message to the head inspector after me. You don’t know what you’re getting into. Please leave now while you still can.

***

Shadowscale felt drowsy. He tried to remember what had happened, but it eluded his mind. What did they do to me? Certainly I should be able to remember yesterday’s events! he thought.

Then he remembered. He had woken up in the I.S.U.E. lab, and then he had begun fighting his way out. He had started succeeding until… something. He couldn’t remember. All he remembered was that there was something that had horrified him, something exceedingly important, but he couldn’t remember what it was. That fact caused him to become immensely frustrated.

He looked around, and saw that he was still in that same room, but with way more precautions taken, such as more titanium cuffs. There also was a bunch of tubes stuck in various locations on his body. There was one very annoying one on his tail that was tickling him. I’ll just remove it, he thought. He closed his eyes and concentrated.

It didn’t work. He couldn’t harness energy any more. What had happened? They definitely had done something to him. He didn’t like this scenario at all. He was pulled out of his thoughts when suddenly he heard the door open.

“Hello, strange alien. I have some questions for you,” said a voice. Shadowcale recognized the voice.

It’s the same scientist as yesterday. The one that was doing tests on my internal temperature, he noted.

“I said hello. Can you hear me?” asked the voice again. “I know that you’re awake.”

Shadowscale couldn’t talk because of the muzzle. He grunted and strained his jaws against the titanium.

“Just shrink. I know you can,” said the scientist. Shadowscale just stared at him, waiting for things to click.

“Come on. Don’t be stubborn,” said the scientist. “I just want to talk.”

Shadowscale closed his eyes and remembered that humans had this thing called “morse code.” When he had arrived on this planet through the portal, he had picked up radio waves from the internet and had learned almost everything there was to know about humanity almost immediately. He tapped on the table with his claws in morse code.

“I can’t shrink, you took away my psychic abilities,” he tapped, hoping that the scientist knew morse code. Fortunately, he did.

“Oh. I see…” frowned the scientist. He stared at Shadowscale. He also looked exceedingly curious. “That wasn’t me, you know. That was my boss. How did he defeat you?”

“Don't remember,” Shadowscale tapped.

“Hm,” said the scientist. “Well, here’s my second question: why were you killing innocent people?”

“I wasn’t,” answered Shadowscale through morse code.

“You mean the people weren’t innocent?” asked the scientist.

“No, I mean I wasn’t the culprit for the attacks.”

“Well then, who was? You always show up somewhere, and then some disaster happens. Are you saying that was someone else? Do you have a stunt double?” The scientist sounded completely unbelieving of what Shadowscale was tapping.

“No. I’m always there because I’m always trying to catch the real culprit. Just like you. You always show up too, albiet a little later than I do, so saying that I did it is like saying you did it.” It took almost a whole minute to tap that out.

“I don’t believe a word of it,” answered the scientist. “I.S.U.E. wouldn’t make such a big mistake. I don’t know why I’m even bothering to talk to you.”

The scientist left before Shadowcale could reply. I’m completely helpless, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. For once I can’t control my own freedom, thought Shadowcale. And that scares me.

Several hours passed and Shadowscale found that this scenario was rather boring. There was nothing to do except lay there and stew on unpleasant thoughts. Also, he was getting rather hungry and thirsty. He hoped that I.S.U.E. fed their test subjects.

He continued thinking about what might have happened in that room, and also about why the apparent boss of this place might have wiped his memory. Had Donnovan used a secret weapon and didn’t want Shadowscale to know about it? Who knew. Shadowscale somehow felt like that wasn’t it. He tried to pull up the memory again, but it was hiding in the back of his brain and it didn’t want to come out.

All he could get from the stubborn memory was that there was something more to this place than simply trying to deal with extraterrestrials. Something that even the people working here weren’t supposed to know. Something unusual.

Something horrifying.


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397 Reviews


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Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:28 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night (whatever it is when you get around to reading this),

And the review juggernaut rolls on. (I must finish this. I must finish this)

First Impression: THINGS ARE HAPPENING!!! My suspicions seem to be correct. Overall well written and conveys a good amount of mystery.

Isaac’s back was extremely sore from laying down in the same position for hours. Thankfully though, the shard of glass was removed from his side and he was able to continue work.

It took hours to remove the shard of glass? Seems unlikely.

“Welcome to my office, Isaac Johnson. I hear you were the one to pinpoint the location of Unknown number one’s base of operations. An impressive feat. Do you have anything to say about your heroics?”

“Um… well... “ It took all of Isaac’s brain power to keep a straight face with all of the giddy excitement mixed with the extreme social anxiety that he was feeling. “Err, I was just doing my job, sir.”

“Ah, yes, and you did your job brilliantly. Now, I believe that you deserve a promotion. Do you agree, young Johnson?”

“Um… if you think I should, I think I should.” What else am I going to say? That I totally deserve a promotion? That I don’t deserve a promotion? thought Isaac. Donnovan laughed. His laugh was deep and something seemed… almost sinister about it. Sinister? Don’t be ridiculous, Isaac. He’s a hero, he chided himself.

“Well, a tactful answer. Yes, I believe you should get a promotion. Isaac Johnson, you are officially being promoted to head Inspector,” said Donnovan.

“H-head in-inspector?” gasped Isaac. Head Inspector! He can’t be serious, he doubted.

“Yes. Head inspector. Our last head inspector was disposed of- I mean fired, for... well, lets just say she began investigating some, uh, things that she shouldn’t have been.”

Isaac didn’t notice the strange thing his boss just said. He was too star-struck by the incredible promotion. I just don’t believe it! This time he couldn’t keep a grin off his face. He tried to force it off, but it didn’t want to leave.

“Also, you’re getting a pay-raise to $300,000 a year,” added Donnovan Gaver.

Isaac began to fear that his stupid grin might become permanent if he got any more good news. “I-I don’t know what to say,” he said. “Thank you.”

“Save your sentiments. This is a very difficult job. Here is the password to the top-secret information about all the Unknowns that we are investigating and capturing.” Donnovan handed Isaac a slip of paper. It had the password on it, which was a bunch of random letters and numbers. “If you tell or reveal in any way to anybody this password, you will be immediately fired and the password shall be changed.”

“I understand,” said Isaac solemnly.

I love this whole exchange. You've finally given Isaac that extra couple of traits that make him more unique as a character. It's really well done.

Since he was now head inspector, he had to assign different people to different jobs, put together facts, and, of course, inspect things.

This seems a little unrealistic. Wouldn't he have to like learn the ropes a bit before commanding people. If we knew more about Isaac's rank in this organization maybe we'll know better but this seems like he's starting work much too quickly.

Several hours later as he was looking through the files on various things, he found something strange. What is this? he thought. The file had no title. He clicked on it. What…? he thought as he read the short text, his eyes widening.

This is a message to the head inspector after me. You don’t know what you’re getting into. Please leave now while you still can.

"Theory Confirmed," says my subconscious.

All he could get from the stubborn memory was that there was something more to this place than simply trying to deal with extraterrestrials. Something that even the people working here weren’t supposed to know. Something unusual.

Something horrifying.

Okay that was some really nice writing there. Now we are all going to be on the lookout to figure out what on Earth happened in that room. Like I said earlier I hope we found out but I feel that there is a lot of stuff going on here. Lots of theories.

And I almost don't have to say this anymore but once again an amazing ending that keeps us wanting to read more.

As always not trying to be harsh. Take what you think is useful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe :)
Harry




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Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:46 pm
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there Necromancer14! Tuck dropping by for a quick review. A quick word of warning, I haven't read any previous installments, but I'll do my best to provide you with some valuable feedback regardless. Let's jump into it!

My favorite part of this story was the way that you added a layer of mystery to the story that was alluded to but not explicitly stated. You struck an excellent balance between giving enough hints to perk the reader's interest and not oversharing at this point in the story. I also liked the split in this chapter between the two perspectives. It was easy to balance and added some complexity to the plot.

The contrast between these two sections was sharp. In my opinion, the second one was stronger because you had more vivid and lengthy description, introduced a more gripping plot point, and had more originality than the first one. Perhaps I'm missing some important information here, but the first section seemed somewhat dry. Some more physical signs of Isaac's anxiety and more uncertainty around what's about to happen could help make it a bit more interesting.

The second point of critique I have for you is your usage of dialogue tags. You don't need to use a dialogue tag ("he said", "he whispered", "she shouted") after every statement by each character. They should only be used when it's necessary for clarification. Otherwise, it slows your story down and distracts the reader with unnecessary information. Furthermore, they don't all need to be creative, contrary to a lot of school lessons. If your writing is strong enough, you shouldn't need a dialogue tag to communicate the emotions behind what the character is saying. You could easily cut at least half these dialogue tags, which would improve the flow and remove some distractions from this chapter.

I think that's all I have for you today! I hope these notes were helpful to you, and if you have any questions, please just let me know!

Best,
Tuck






Thanks for the review! And yes, you missed stuff... Isaac is actually quite happy because he just got promoted and he completely trusts Donnovan.



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Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:26 pm
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EditorAndPerks wrote a review...



Hey there! Thanks for requesting another review in this story. I'm bad at following novels, so I forget when you update chapters.

If I recall correctly, Shadowscale, alongside Alice and a few scientists were trying to get him out, and escape themselves, but they were defeated and captured, and Alice is in her own kind of trouble. Let's see how things shook out.

Isaac's view has returned, alright! I like that out of our three main views, they all bring a different aspect to this whole scenario - Isaac working for the I.S.U.E., Shadowscale for literally being not from this world, and Alice, who is, or was, an actual regular teenager. Every time the view changes, we get to learn different things in different ways, so that's always fun.

Alright, I'm definitely thinking that Donnovan Gaver is suspicious, mostly because I have learned that most sci-fi/action adventures have a leader/supervisor who might be more than they appear. I'm glad Isaac is already a little onto him, but getting a high promotion out of nowhere to someone who was still in high school should be raising eyebrows. Also that warning at the end. Ominous, indeed.

Let's see. From Isaac, I think we get a look into what a soldier (now investigator!) of ISUE could be thinking or viewing Shadowscale as a threat to the human race and everything like that. There is a mix of subtle hinting at bad deeds coming, then a more blatant use of foreshadowing, but I think it works well. We're onto the tenth chapter of this story, so adding a little more to the plot helps with making storylines and figuring out what'll happen next.

And then a bit of Shadowscale's view, interesting. I can assume that his rather analytical and straightforward thinking pattern comes him being a (dragon) but sometimes his narration can read rather technically and not like even a regular made-up character would behave. I think that's fine, but it's an interesting not if you ever want to look over this story and want to change things around a bit.

Not that Shadowscale should be a super friendly fellow, but I think in some cases the story feels a bit rushed in his view, that he can think things through so quickly and latch onto the important information within a few paragraphs, compared to the other characters that might not be sure if he wasn't the alien that caused all the wreckage. If that makes sense XD.

Overall, though, I think this is an interesting enough chapter, more so I think on the standpoint of Isaac diving deeper into the I.S.U.E. and getting that warning from a mysterious person. I do like Shadowscale's character, but sometimes I think he's a little overpowered - from the sense that he learned everything about humans instantaneously after getting into the world? Oh, maybe all aliens are overpowered then.

And I am certainly curious to how this story will turn.






Thanks for the review! And his being able to latch onto information has to do with his incredible mental abilities. His mind is his strongest part of him.




Live your life how you want, but don't confuse drama with happiness.
— Ron, Parks & Rec