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18+ Language Violence

The Lie that Saved the World Prologue

by VengefulReaper


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.

Silence. That’s all he heard. Ethan’s world closed in on him. The noise in the room was muted as he heard the beating of his racing heart. His fingers had grown numb, and his mouth was dry as a dessert. His legs began to shake. His entire body had frozen as reality set in.

Her skin turned charcoal-grey and flaked off her body. Her eyes were still bloodshot, and her pupils had rolled to the top of her eye as if she was staring at the ceiling. All her hair had fallen off her head and scattered all over her body. He grabbed her hand and shook it violently, praying she would wake up.

“No, no, no… Please, please, please, please…” he pleaded. “Please wake up, mom.”

Ethan held to his mother so tightly that his nails dug into her skin thinking that if his voice could not wake her, perhaps pain might. He buried his head in her arm. Now he couldn’t hold the tears back.

“Please, God. Please, ple-e-e-ase…” His words were lost in his sobs. A steady stream of tears ran down his face and dripped onto the sheets of the white hospital bed. Wails of grief painfully echoed through the hallways of the hospital.

He tightened his grip further. I’m not letting you go until you wake up, mom! Ethan thought. Eventually, his wails ceased, and his body shook intermittently as he sobbed. His sniffles were the only sound left.

A bald man knelt down next to Ethan. “It’s time to go, Ethan. She’s not coming back.”

He lifted his forehead from his mother’s arms and met the man’s gaze. His eyes were bloodshot from the tears, and his face was puffed up and red like a tomato. His hands quaked as he finally let his mother go. The nurses said something to him, but he couldn’t process any of it. He buckled to his knees, his shoulders slumped, and his head dropped like the life had been sucked out of him.

“She’s going to wake up,” he replied in a hushed voice.

“Ethan,” protested the man.

“No! She’s going to wake up! She has to!”

He wished the earth would swallow him up and grant him the same fate as his mother, only it didn’t. He still had a purpose to fulfill before his time was up. She was one of the thousands of casualties when a bio-bomb was dropped on the city she was in. It felt as if his very soul departed with his mother and all that remained was a void that could only be filled by vengeance.

The sixteen-year-old boy stared one more time at his mother. This time, he forced himself to absorb every detail. Every burn, every scar, every flaking skin, and every piece of rotting flesh he could see. He took it all in because he knew that if he ever wanted vengeance for his mother, he needed to remember this scene clear as day for the rest of his life.

***

A towering, brown-haired man sitting upright in his bed opened his eyes slowly, his wails from that dreadful day playing repeatedly in his mind like echoes through a long hallway. Ten years had passed and he still remembered it clear as day. Just like he wanted it to be.

His name was Ethan James Rider. A man destined to avenge his mother and the world would remember his name for it. There was no person on earth who would stop him from achieving it because, without it, he was nothing.

Ethan drifted to his bedside, rummaging through his drawers before grabbing a breathing pump. He carefully placed it over his mouth and switched the pump on. It shot a burst of air into his lungs that would cleanse him of any inhaled impurities from the suffocating atmosphere outside. Ethan’s lungs cleared and he breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

Just then, his communications device rang. Ethan rolled his eyes. My link is ringing? At this hour?

Then it clicked for him. His eyes widened and he jumped to his feet. He grabbed his link and hurriedly answered the call, afraid it may cut off.

“Did you get it? When is it coming?” he asked, a hint of desperation in his voice. The response was immediate, but it felt like an eternity for Ethan. Everything had slowed down.

“We’ve been running short on Secronium ore in this mine,” he began.

Ethan’s shoulders slumped, and he dropped his head in defeat. He was so close this time. It was basically in his hands. The key to everything.

“But we’ve found some supplies we can smuggle to you on the outer edges of the belt. They should be coming within the next forty-eight hours,”

Ethan’s heart relaxed as he calmed his nerves. Deep breaths, Ethan. It’s all fine, he thought. “Thank you, I’ll pay you double as agreed.”

There was a lengthy silence on the other end. “This better not get me busted. I’m risking my ass to get you this shit illegally. You better come through.”

Ethan let out a light chuckle. “Oh, don’t worry about getting caught. Leave that to me.”

He cut the call and calmly placed his link in his top pocket. He shut his eyes tight and clenched his fist. In a burst of youthful energy, he never knew he had, he punched the air in triumph.

“Yes! Finally!” he shouted.

His heart raced with relief. Ten years and finally, he’d get what he wanted. What he deserved. He could feel the satisfaction of his invention changing the world. The feeling was almost too real. He wanted to jump up and down as if the ten-year-old him had been resurrected. Suddenly, breakfast tasted better, his shoulders felt lighter, and victory was knocking on his door and all he had to do was answer it.

Ethan threw his backpack over his shoulders and headed out. He walked down the deserted street passing by the junkyard before stopping off at a miniature, face-brick house with a thatched roof. He walked up the steps to the house and knocked gently on the oak door.

“Hurry up, Sarah. You’re making me late! Don’t make me come in there and drag you out again!”

A thud came from the other end of the door after a screeching noise of shoes on the wooden floor. She probably tripped over her shoelaces again, mulled Ethan as he rolled his eyes but couldn’t hide the smile creeping up his face. Sarah graduated the same year as him but in a different profession. She was a surgeon and he was a biomedical engineer with a master’s degree in bio-weaponry. The door creaked open as Sarah adjusted her hair and dusted her jeans.

“Okay, let’s go.”

She was just a few inches shorter than Ethan. Her brunette hair was tied up in a ponytail and draped over her shoulder. She carried a briefcase with her laboratory coat wrapped around her waist, ready for work.

“Glasses? Link? Lunch? Papers? Card?” asked Ethan, counting off the items on his fingers.

“Yes, yes, yes, and... yes,” she said locking the door behind her.

The automated streetlights turned on as Ethan passed by them. The exalted station was a lofty, elegant skyscraper.

The magnificent building was shaped like a tree. The main column was like the bark. On the third floor, it split into two smaller columns that wrapped around each other in a spiral. Running through these columns were elevators that followed the path of the column. Ethan looked at the back of his access card. It read, ‘Teleporter 9088-4’.

“Well, I’ve got to be at branch four today. It’s a hell of a walk to the south wing. I’d better get going if I’m going to make it in time.”

“I’ll see you in the evening then?” she asked.

“Yeah, have a good day at work!” he shouted as he ran to catch the lift that was about to close.

Ethan squeezed into the crowded elevator. The green-eyed scientist waited silently as it made its way up the building. The station was the highest in the suburb which meant that on the 4th branch, anyone could see the entire city. Perhaps a few decades in the past, it would be something worth seeing but now, you’d rather look at the blank floor than the view outside.

The elevator struck the 9th floor and Ethan’s card pulsed red telling him it was his time to get off. He forced his way through the people in the elevator and barely slipped out before the doors closed.

“88th terminal...88th terminal... Please don’t be busy...” he muttered to himself.

He walked around the corner of the building and spotted the terminal he needed to enter. “Thank God there’s no line,” he whispered under his breath. Ethan scurried over and swiped his card to auto-select his destination. Teleporting in 3...2...1... Please remain calm and keep your arms inside the terminal!

’Porting was a strange sensation. You were being assembled and reassembled, yet it didn’t feel painful at all. Perhaps a slight tingle down the spine on the other side of the device as all your nerves re-aligned.

Ethan was rebuilt, atom by atom from the feet up at his destination. He couldn’t help but crack a smile. Today wasn’t just a day. It was the day. Today, he’d finally get to complete his invention. If all went well, this could eliminate every bioweapon on the face of this earth. Or at the very least, render it useless.

Across that street is greatness, Ethan, he told himself. Mom would be proud knowing I got rid of this filth.

With every step, the scientist could feel his destiny edge closer. His goal was inches away from him. He’d been chasing it like a cat chases a dot on the ground. Nobody believed he’d get it, but they didn’t know. If someone told Ethan something was impossible, he’d do whatever it took to prove them wrong.

He approached the wide white doors to his lab. The door was unlocked. On the other side, he could hear people’s feet shuffling about. What on earth were they up to in his lab? He barged through the door. His heart sank. His brows furrowed and rage sparked within him.

“What is Newton’s name are you doing to my lab?” he demanded, marching up to a man carrying away his microscope in a box.

“Sorry, sir. Boss’s orders. He told me he wanted to speak with you when you popped in. He’s in the testing center.”

“About what?” asked Ethan.

“Didn’t say, he said it’s none of my business.”

Max better not be on my case about some stupid errand I didn’t run for him.

Silently, he turned towards the hallway and marched as quickly as he could to the testing center. “And don’t hold the microscope like that! It’s fragile!” he yelled at the man on the way out.

The walk was long. The main hallway was longer. It was as if it was purposefully designed to make Ethan burn his fair share of calories walking to and from the lab.

Ethan ascended a spiral staircase made from aluminum. It led him to the upper floor of the lab which had a bridge spanning over the street below him to where he wanted to be. This facility, in particular, was a wind tunnel. A fat figure, round as a football, stood in front of the control panel. His eyes were sunken in from exhaustion, but his gaze was dominating. Max, Ethan’s boss, was a ruthless businessman.

“What the hell are you doing?” the scientist demanded. “I was about to complete my admin work today.”

“You haven’t been working on what I asked you to work on. You’ve been handling your own little side project which I wrongly gave you the liberty of pursuing. It has consumed your life and driven you to extremes I would have never expected from a man like you. I’ve had quite enough.”

“Extremes like what?” prodded Ethan hoping Max had not found the Secronium he smuggled.

Max placed a sphere of metal onto the table the size of a baseball. Ethan shifted his gaze between Max and the sphere. “This kind of extreme.”

“I know this looks bad,” began Ethan.

“Bad? This is more than just bad,” Max whispered as if afraid someone may hear them. “This is illegal radioactive material on my business property. If anyone found out about this, I’d have one massive ugly spot on the firm’s reputation. The only choice I have is to fire and blacklist you.”

“That won’t happen, trust me. You’re overreacting,” Ethan assured him.

“Are you really asking me to knowingly allow something illegal?” Max laughed in disbelief. “You’re fired, Ethan. It’s this or I report you to the police who will then throw you in prison for ten years at least.”

“So what?” Ethan asked shrugging his shoulders. “I broke a law and smuggled some stuff here. But this device is going to change the entire world and I’m on the cusp of completing it.”

“See that? Right there,” he said pointing an accusatory finger at Ethan. “This side project, whatever it is, has driven you crazy. It’s all just about that one stupid device. You don’t care how you get it, do you?”

Because that’s all that matters Ethan wanted to say. Who the hell obeys the law anyway?

“Bu-”

“Please Ethan,” Max interrupted, placing his hands over his forehead. “Just walk away. You’ve been here for a while so the severance pay will be good too. You should be behind bars by now, but I am letting you go.”

Ethan remained silent. Max was doing him a favor by not turning him in. At least he wouldn’t go to prison. With one conversation, the best day of his life became the worst. He had been robbed of his destiny and with being blacklisted for malpractice, the chances of getting another job in the same industry would be near impossible.

Trying to remain as professional as he could, Ethan extended a hand forcing the widest smile he could muster. Max uncomfortably returned the gesture. The scientist’s smile spanned from ear to ear, but that expression did not reflect in his raging eyes.

“Ethan,” Max called. “Every inventor thinks his invention will change the world yet very few actually do. Keep that in mind.”

Ethan responded with a half-hearted ‘thanks’ before shutting the door behind him. He bottled up all the emotions he felt directly after his conversation. The anger, hopelessness, despair, and fear he felt locked away in the back of his mind. However, he didn’t know how long he would be able to keep it in, so he left his lab without uttering a word and rushed to his apartment.

After unlocking the apartment door, he flung it open so quickly it rebounded off the adjacent wall and slammed shut behind him. He threw his backpack on the couch in the corner of the living room and stormed into his bedroom.

The scientist pulled up his laptop and searched for the equipment he needed. Perhaps if he spent his savings, he could afford the parts he needed to reconstruct his device. He scrolled through the internet, his eyes darting from left to right desperately trying to find a kernel of hope.

Secronium synthesizer, come on… There has to be another one out there, he presumed.

But every search showed only one in existence. The prototype he optimized was no longer his. Without the synthesizer, I can’t finish the design, He thought. Maybe the Belt has a synthesizer I can use.

There it was. The synthesizer he’d been looking for was being used in the outlawed mines on the asteroid belt. The asteroid belt was once a prosperous mining endeavor that provided unique ores not found on earth. After the war, however, these ores had been outlawed and the belt became a breeding ground for smugglers.

He closed his laptop, collapsed on his white bed, arms spread out, and stared at the ceiling. There is no way in hell I am buying a synthesizer from them. I’d have to donate both my kidneys.

Ethan ran his hands through his long hair, gripping it. His fingers sunk until his nails reached his scalp.

“Fuck this!” he yelled at the ceiling. His booming voice echoed through the one-bedroom apartment making the wall reverberate. Ten fucking years...For this?

He turned his head to look at his bedside table. Atop the rickety table lay a frame with a picture of Ethan and his mother at Victoria Falls. He rolled to the side of the bed and sat upright, gently picking up the frame. Waking up to that image reminded him every day of why he lived but now it would only be a reminder of how he failed, his final chance slipping through his fingers like running water.

Ethan’s pocket vibrated intermittently. He pulled his link out and glanced at the caller ID which read ‘belt contact.’ He slowly picked up the call and drew his link near to his face.

“Hello?” he asked.

“Hey, I’m on my way to the space station.”

“Don’t bring the Secronium. I don’t need it anymore,” Ethan said.

“W-w-what?” he stuttered. “But you paid me already.”

Ethan looked at the photo of his mother crumpled on the floor. I can still get that synthesizer, he thought.

“Will what I paid you be enough to purchase a Secronium synthesizer?” asked Ethan.

The man let out a sarcastic laugh, “seriously? Hell no. Not even close.”

“Keep the money. It’s over. We’re done.”


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Mon May 15, 2023 7:17 pm
Kaia wrote a review...



Hi, VengefulReaper!
Been about time for me to continue this adventure perhaps in order this time, lol.

First off, I just want to tell you that most of this is nitpicks. You said it was okay to nitpick here, so a lot of this is going to be grammar usage, BUT I do want to say that I don't really believe in stone solid writing rules. I feel like there's almost always at least once you can break a rule for the sake of effect or some other reason, so pick through this and select what you think might be helpful.

"She was a surgeon and he was a biomedical engineer with a master’s degree in bio-weaponry."
Here a comma between "surgeon" and "and" is needed. Use a comma between full sentences when they're joined with "and."

Same thing with these sentences:

"But this device is going to change the entire world and I’m on the cusp of completing it.” (Comma between "world" and "and")

"After the war, however, these ores had been outlawed and the belt became a breeding ground for smugglers." (comma between "outlawed" and "the")

"Waking up to that image reminded him every day of why he lived but now it would only be a reminder of how he failed, his final chance slipping through his fingers like running water." (Comma between "lived" and "but")

"’Porting was a strange sensation. You were being assembled and reassembled, yet it didn’t feel painful at all. Perhaps a slight tingle down the spine on the other side of the device as all your nerves re-aligned." (For some reason, a random single quotation mark (') appeared at the beginning right before the word "porting")

And since we're on that sentence, I love that the transportation requires breaking down a person and rebuilding him or her. That sounds awesome (and scary). Overall, you're really great at description, and I got sort of a freaky feeling about this whole science thing, and the impression that this is set far into the future, but my surprise, the Internet still hasn't been outdated...I guess we're not TOO far in the future, lol. ;)

Back to the nitpicks...(Did I tell you this was going to be disorganized? Maybe I should have...)


"Trying to remain as professional as he could, Ethan extended a hand forcing the widest smile he could muster. Max uncomfortably returned the gesture." (Comma between "hand" and "forcing")

“What is Newton’s name are you doing to my lab?” he demanded, marching up to a man carrying away his microscope in a box." (I assume you meant to write "what IN" instead of what "is") And on the topic of this sentence, I like how Ethan gets so upset with how the others are handling his equipment. Very realistic detail and an insight to Ethan's personality. :)

"Because that’s all that matters Ethan wanted to say." (Comma between "matters" and "Ethan")

"Without the synthesizer, I can’t finish the design, He thought. Maybe the Belt has a synthesizer I can use." (I think you probably shouldn't capitalize "he" here.)

"The man let out a sarcastic laugh, “seriously? Hell no. Not even close.”" (Two things on this one. First, capitalize "seriously" and second, use a comma between "hell" and "no")

Now personal opinions on things that might need a bit of changing. These are very subjective, and you could totally leave them the way they are, but here goes...

When you wrote "red as a tomato"...Generally, that's a really good simile, but given the importance and seriousness/emotions in general, I feel like omitting that detail might be better. A tomato and the high-stake emotions don't really go well together unless your looking for a humorous blend, which, if you are, that's fine, but I don't think you are...Just something to consider...

The other thing is that I got a bit confused in the beginning trying to figure out where we were/what was going on...Maybe a second glance over this chapter is all it needs. Probably not much.

Okay, now onto the things I liked...

I already mentioned your stylistic descriptions. But let me also take note of your use of adverbs (a personal favorite as you know). And I also like your more descriptive ways of saying things. Such as when Ethan opens the door and it hits the wall and rebounds. Clever phrasing there and it gives off an accurate mental image. I do suggest a bit more place setting though. The world Ethan lives in sounds remarkably different from our own...at least where Ethan works. What exactly do the offices look like? Is there anything else strange about the building? What does it look like on the outside? You don't necessarily need to go into all those details as it can (and probably will) slow down your pace too much, but an occasional reference to the surroundings would be useful.
Particular parts I liked...

"Silence. That’s all he heard. Ethan’s world closed in on him. The noise in the room was muted as he heard the beating of his racing heart. His fingers had grown numb, and his mouth was dry as a dessert. His legs began to shake. His entire body had frozen as reality set in."
Very good description here.


“88th terminal...88th terminal... Please don’t be busy...” he muttered to himself.
This is so realistic. Even though I'm not the type who would say that aloud or call myself by name, these little bits of getting into Ethan's brain are quite excellently phrased. It's not too much, and it's not left out. Nice job! I also want to say that the repetition brings up the intensity of the moment.

Keep up the great work!
-Kaia
P.S. Let me know if I'm nitpicking too much. I don't want to tear down your confidence in writing, and if this is too much for you, I understand.




VengefulReaper says...


Thanks for the review, Kaia!

My comma placement needs a lot of work lol. Grammar has never been my strength so keep pulling out the mistakes as you go along. I also haven't properly edited this so maybe a reread might clean things up in terms of setting, grammar etc.

The other thing is that I got a bit confused in the beginning trying to figure out where we were/what was going on...Maybe a second glance over this chapter is all it needs. Probably not much.

I meant for the first but to be a flashback. Maybe I need to make that more clear or move the flashback elsewhere. I also tried to keep the descriptions of the setting to a minimum in the flashback because I thought it would be a tad weird considering it's a moment between Ethan and his mom. In terms of the rest of the chapter, I will add some more place setting as you said. Thanks for picking pointing that out.

P.S. Let me know if I'm nitpicking too much. I don't want to tear down your confidence in writing, and if this is too much for you, I understand.

Keep nitpicking lol. I haven't had a reviewer who has such a critical eye for grammar. Your feedback will really help me when I reread after the first draft is done :)



Kaia says...


Hi VengefulReaper (Uh, I mean VengegulReaper, lol)

Absolutely! Glad to be of assistance!

I'm not excellent at grammar myself, but after getting more serious about writing, I started getting into the comma rules and such. Also, I got drilled in grammar as a little kid, so I know a lot about it. I didn't like that then, but now I find the knowledge very useful to my own writing. :)

I was not specific enough in what I meant there, lol. What I meant was the place setting in the actual narrative need a bit of work, not the flashback. The flashback description is perfect. In my opinion, that's fine, but I will say that I didn't realize that that was a flashback. I didn't really know that the flashback was a flashback. That part did confuse me. I thought that maybe that had just happened like earlier that month or something and that the war/bomb thing was still going on and Ethan was in the process of helping to build a new bomb...I don't think it will be that hard to fix that, though. And I think you clarified the rest in your response here. Thanks!

Also, really glad to hear that you like my nitpicks. I'll try to keep up the reviewing like this for you. :)

Hope today goes well for yuh!
-Kaia



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Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:58 am
MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Hey Andrew, here! It's been a bit! so sorry, I've been crazy busy all summer, but I hope to be reviewing more of your pieces of the next couple of days!
But I really liked this section. Ethan is expanded more for it, and I understand his motivations a bit better.
1. This is a prologue to my story. Do you think this can be the first chapter and the bioweapons incident can be the prologue instead?
Hmm, interesting idea. I like this bit a lot, it helps us understand Ethan a lot better. I think this as the first chapter and then a like "5 years later" thing might really help establish a connection!

2. Do you feel for Ethan? Does he feel real and natural or is it too exaggerated/dramatic?
I believe that you can't go to hard with the emotion of a character to early in the story. We don't care about them yet, so why would we care about them breaking... unless you can build some really powerful emotion and connection really fast, you need to lure us in before you can break our hearts... now not everyone has this feeling, read Jayne Eyre and you'll see some emotion from the get-go... but that's kinda why I never built a full connection to her as a character. Granted, Bronte is a genius, so she does the emotions very well, and you do feel for her, but I am a probably not the right person to ask. If I were you, I'd calm the emotion down a bit, or right it a bit more evocatively. But I'm not you, so y'know!
On the other hand, I think that this bit does make me understand what Ethan's driving motives are... and it is very tragic. And you definitely didn't go too far, smaller actions well described are often times more powerful than big things. The tone of defeat at the end did more for me than the breaking of the picture.
3. Do you think his reaction to joy in the beginning and anger and sadness, in the end, is well-described?
I think it was well done, and I really like Ethans dead inside giving up in the dialogue at the end. I liked that!


But into a couple points of specifics!

The automated streetlights turned on as Ethan passed by them. The exalted station was a lofty, elegant skyscraper.

The magnificent building was shaped like a tree. The main column was like the bark. On the third floor, it split into two smaller columns that wrapped around each other in a spiral. Running through these columns were elevators that followed the path of the column. Ethan looked at the back of his access card. It read, 'Teleporter 9088-4'.

I'd bring the last sentence into the next paragraph
Ethan squeezed into the crowded elevator. The green-eyed scientist waited silently as it made its way up the building.

This is confused, I did not realize he was the scientist until I read it like four times. I'd advise editing.
"You haven't been working on what I asked you to work on. You've been handling your own little side project which I wrongly gave you the liberty of pursuing. It has consumed your life and driven you to extremes I would have never expected from a man like you. I've had quite enough."
The full meaning of this paragraph isn't all there because there are no real breaks in it, maybe something more like:
"You haven't been working on what I have asked you to work on." Max thundered, his fat chin shaking as he spoke. "You've been handling your own little 'side project' which I wrongly gave you the liberty of pursuing. It has consumed your life." He paused and looked around, like he was afraid someone was listening, "This little project of yours has driven you to extremes - extremes I would have never expected from a man like you. I've had quite enough."


But that's all just my two cents, hope it helps!
As I said, I liked this section, but once again, slowing down so we can maybe feel the emotion of some of the sections more might be nice.
Thanks, and keep writing,
Andrew




VengefulReaper says...


Thanks for the review! I'll be sure to tone down the emotion for the moment and do some editing on this one!



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Fri Jun 03, 2022 10:37 pm
SalisRuinen wrote a review...



Hey! Salis here with a review!!

First up, to answer the questions you've given.

About choosing which of the two chapters should be the first one and which – the prologue, it depends on the kind of medium you want your story to be spread through. If you're going for something more light novel-oriented like me, your current first chapter should remain the first and this should be the prologue for the whole story. First chapters of light novels often combine about the same amount of information being revealed and action being shown and I'd say your first chapter maintains that balance perfectly. If you want to have a novel more akin to the standard ones in the west, you can make this the first chapter and the current first chapter can become the prologue. First chapters in novels of this type rely more heavily on information and less on action. I would favor keeping the story's structure as it is, but in the end of the day, the choice is solely yours.

Next, about Ethan's character. I've felt for him ever since I met him back in the original version of your novel and that has only strengthened with this new iteration, especially with what you've done in this chapter. That's another reason why I would like to keep this as a prologue to the whole story. It leaves a very strong impression of the main protagonist that I think will really make the readers care for him and be more worried for him when he gets caught up in the battle in the current first chapter.

Finally, about Ethan's reactions. Given what the information he's given in the beginning of the chapter means to him, I'd say the amount of joy he feels is completely justified for being described as something so strong. Hence, his anger and feeling of defeat at the end of the chapter is equally understandable and you've done a great job describing that as well. Actually, while on the topic, every single description you've given here, not just in terms of the characters' reactions, but in terms of their surroundings, is brilliant. Which is yet another reason while I feel like this should remain the prologue for the story. With an introduction like this I believe you can really get the readers hooked.

As for my own thoughts, the introduction in this one completely broke me. It was almost overwhelming. I had no idea Ethan was sixteen when his mother died. I was left with the impression he was younger, but with his age being revealed, it makes all the more sense why he was as devastated as we see in here when he lost his mother. And it makes a great deal of sense to have him choose destroying/rendering all bioweapons useless as his goal if he's already that old when this life-changing event happens to him.

Another thing I really like about this chapter is that you show Ethan's drive very well here. He's definitely described as a 'the ends justify the means' kind of person, willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal. And considering what he's trying to do, I think that's exactly how he should approach every situation. This makes the moment his dream is taken from him all the more painful, so it works really well within the story and in terms of the starting point for his character development.

It's also great that while Max is initially introduced as a very unpleasant person, he's not some heartless villain as he goes only fires Ethan without calling the police on him as he should. I can even tell by what he says that he feels a bit of sympathy for the protagonist who is so hell-bent on achieving his dream – something maybe Max himself has experienced once as a fellow scientist – so hats off for making him more than a two-dimensional annoying character just as you introduce him.

Overall, a very well-written prologue to a great story. Thank you for sharing this and keep on writing!!




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Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:32 pm
clarevelyn13 wrote a review...



Hi! Here to give your piece a review! First, I'd like to say that it kept me interested the whole time I was reading, and I could definitely picture the story as it was unfolding. I love when that happens :D

1) Although I haven't (yet) read the rest of the chapters of your novel so far, I did read a bit of Chapter 1 and I think it flows and continues Ethan's story nicely. With that in mind, I do think the bioweapons incident can just be the prologue instead, with the "ten years later" portion becoming the first chapter. (The bioweapons incident is the beginning part you've written here, right?). I feel that the part introducing the virus and Ethan's motivation with the death of his mother can "survive" on its own as the prologue.

2) I do feel for Ethan. I don't think his reactions are too exaggerated or dramatic, and I think you've conveyed his emotions accurately (both to the given situation and to the emotion in general). The only part I'm not sure about is the small detail of him thinking "he really wished he could pull his hair out." I could definitely be wrong but I feel like somebody pulling their hair out in anger just happens in their reaction, but they don't necessarily wish to pull it out? I dunno, just a thought.

3) This kinda goes along with what I said in #2 , but yes, I do think his different reactions were well described. I like the first in the air! It conveys the importance of this victory for him, like he feels progress is finally being made, or that this delivery is the key he needed.

A couple things:
- For this part: “'We’ve been running short on Secronium supplies in this mine,' he began."
I felt maybe the voice on the other end of the link call should be written as "a man's voice began" or something like that. Kind of like introducing who's on the other end of the call. Same with the first line of his return call at the end!

- "On the third floor, it split into two smaller columns. These columns wrapped around each other like a helix structure. Running through these columns were elevators that followed the path of the column."
I think this description might flow better if you combined the sentences a little, something like, "On the third floor, it split into two smaller columns, which wrapped around each other forming a helix structure." That way it cuts out a usage of the word "column" and is a bit easier to imagine.

- When Ethan and Max are going back and forth about the loss of the twelve clients, I'm pretty sure it should be "cost" instead of "costed." I could be wrong tho lol.

Some other positives: In my opinion it was well-paced and got the story moving off to a good start. It was also interesting to read about the different technologies that you've got going on in this world. I thought they were described well, especially the teleporting portion and the swiping the card. I also liked how it naturally circled back to the beginning of the "ten years later" portion with the link call. This made for a satisfying ending to the piece. Throughout this piece you have good attention to detail - like the breathing pump which makes sense & the "what in Newton's name" - as well as good simile usage that's not too forced. Additionally, I really liked the part with Sarah, how she was introduced and how Ethan counted off the needed objects on his fingers - I as the reader can tell this is their routine and that he has probably saved her a few times from forgetting important things, haha.





I would be a terrible novel protagonist.
— mellifera