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16+ Language Violence

The last pilot chapter 1

by Zrillis


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

"Hold the line, backup squad retreat!" Commander Ren Drila screamed, as the giant praying mantis like creature called the Helios continued their final wave. Earth was in rubble, and the sun was failing. 

The Helios had conquered planet by planet, stealing resources then extinguished the sun. The bug like creatures craved power, and wouldn't stop until the universe was void of life.

"Aim for the center masses, don't let up. Hold the line until the last ship has lift off." The commander continued to bark orders, hoping the plan would be a success. The front line was a decoy, as the remaining people evacuated the planet.

Drila equipped his final plasma clip, and leveled the pistol. Each blast sent a small recoil through his arms. The line of men under his command were slowly falling, and he knew the time was limited.

"God damn it! Help me!"

The scream broke Drila out of his thoughts, as a long scythe like arm of a Helios tore the man next to him in half. Drila centered his pistol again and fired off five more shots, tearing apart several Helios as he tried to keep his position.

Ten ships were being loaded, the Zelpha one through ten, named after the leader of the last remaining on earth. Drila was calm, still blasting into the enemy onslaught, knowing that he would have to remain.

"Front line units five through seven, withdraw, units one through four and eight through ten remain!"

He barked, and watched from his spot as the commanded units retreated, making a bee line for the ships sitting five hundred yards away. This was the final wave of the Helios, and Drila had seen the devastating power that the first four waves had brought.

Men Began to fall as the Helios got closer, their photon back cannons blasting the line. Drila drew one last breath, and charged.

"All units advance!" He shouted, and emptied his final plasma clip, and threw the pistol aside. His body Shook as he grabbed the blade strapped to his side, and began to slice apart the Helios one by one in close combat.

Ten minutes passed, and finally, he sound he had been waiting for. All the Zelpha ships powered up, and began their ascent into the star. Drila looked around at his remaining men, the ones who had willingly agreed to stay behind, and die for freedom.

Seven men still alive, Drila gave a final shout, and led the last units to their death against the insects.

~~~five years later~~~

"We must remain here, we have all seen that to leave a planet marks the end of our existence. " Elder Gered Unoc spoke harshly, recalling the events that had been the end of many.

"We have colonized eight planets since leaving earth, and every time a vessel leaves to explore the universe, the Helios find us. Even with our advanced technology from planet raids, I fear that if we allow the people to leave this planet, we will lose the last of our race. I suggest we make a set of rules, the survival codes, and set fourth the salvation of all humans that remain alive!"

"Elder Unoc, I believe our first course of action should be perfecting the Bioheart technology. If we can make these devices, we can ensure that the human race will be strong enough warriors if the Helios should come again." The voice of elder Derus Exca rang out, and the man gave Unoc a dagger sharp glare.

The two elders were always butting heads, and rarely agreed on anything. The council of elders were on the newly colonized Sirion, the planet that had been found by the Zelpha nine and ten, the only remaining ships that had fled earth. Each ship help five hundred people, and the elders were frantic to restore the human race.

~~~five years later~~~

Without warning, the Helios found Sirion, and the first wave began. A small army force began its envision, scoping out the planets resources. The elders plan of isolation had failed, but the Bioheart technology had proven useful. Throughout the growing towns, a message reached all the citizens.

"Attention all citizens of Sirion, this is elder Derus Exca, all citizens with the warrior type Biohearts, report to the main plaza. The Helios have been spotted in the Western Hemisphere, and we must stop them from claiming another planet."

~~~one year into the Helios attack~~~

I sat alone, with only about five others in the class. Even with the war, pilots still had to attend classes, and learn how to master the pilot type bioheart. Even with the special implants that allowed us to instantly learn to fly, we still had to train. Knowledge wasn't enough if you couldn't master it.

All my friend except one, Aria Phen, were in the war. The elder had called all warriors, from age ten to seventy, to try to stop the Helios. Aria was a healer, her bioheart allowed her to alter human design, and reverse wounds. She would have been at one of the army hospitals, but her bioheart was damaged by her human hearts week state, and she was forced to remain behind the lines of battle.

Of the one hundred pilots, only five remained in the class. The others had graduated and were piloting devil tanks, plasma fusion cannons, and land speeders.

Today, four of the five would graduate, and I would remain. It wasn't due to damage to my bioheart, but for the simple reason that I had no interest in the war. I refused to pass tests, even though I knew all the techniques and ways to handle the ships.

Though the war didn't interest me, the abandoned ship at the edge of my safe zone was always in my mind, and one day, I would fly it, with Aria by my side, and figure out a way to save myself from the Helios devastation.

~~~~~



The air was thinner here, inside my secret resting place. Trees of bright pinks and blue covered the perimeter, and the crimson red lake ran through the exact center. Sounds of small winged creatures and Insects fluttered from the trees as I lay there, blocking out the world outside my haven.

The alliance between the Srilo and the Acania tribes had been severed, and all my friends were part of the war against the Helios, the race of monsters that threatened the planet.

I thought about it for a moment, no not all my friends were in the war. I turned my head slightly, adjusting myself in the silver soft grass.

To my right, about ten feet away, the figure entered my view. Tan skin from the warm sun, and golden brown hair reflecting the light. Four feet two inches of pure Sirion beauty, was my childhood friend Aria.

She caught my glance, and let me keep it for a second longer before she spoke. "You want something there?"

Her voice broke my glances and brought Bright color to my face. "N-nah, just thinking."

I paused my speech, thinking of the abandoned ship that lay on the outskirts of my little haven. It wasn't a vessel from this planet, no it was from the outside, from our home world, and I knew i had been inside it once before. I had a feeling I could easily pilot the vessel, as I had spent the end of my education days in the Elite pilots academy.

"Want to get off this planet and see what's on the other side?" I asked suddenly, seriously and almost whispering.

It was a taboo, to talk about leaving our planet. The elders had set strict guidelines for survival, and remaining on the rock was one of them.

Sirion was our home, but it always had felt wrong to me. The elders did a damn good job of keeping all the sects and clans enslaved on the planet. There were many ships of use, but none except the discarded other world vessel could break the planets atmosphere.

"Zan, what you are thinking about is treason." Aria responded suddenly, breaking me from my trancelike state. She knew what I was thinking about, I could see it in her eyes.

"I know, but with the Helios attacks more frequent, and the main alliance recently shattered, the only true safety of our people may rest in the stars beyond Sirion." I replied, and the weight in my voice was clear. I had made up my mind, and with those words, I began a path out of my safe haven, and to the discarded ship only a short distance away.

As I walked, I readied myself to initiate one of my long practiced skills. The signature of the Sirion main race. We called it the Bioheart.

My body straightened and I flexed my hands twice, before saying the familiar words. "Biosystems initiate." I spoke, barely above a whisper. After a short pause, I spoke again, louder with more confidence. "Pilot system activate."

My hands began to glow a light blue, as circles of data and energy swirled around them. Numbers and symbols appeared inside the circles, each representing a statistic of the Bioheart.

My clothes changed, into a one piece black and yellow pilot jumpsuit. My hair became a spiked version of my normal black short hair, this change was my classic pilots gear, activated by the Bioheart.

I approached the ship, hoping the doors locks would be in tune with my hands mechanic system that was powerfully flowing around me.

At the edge of the black metal, I arched my hand towards the bio locks, and placed each finger into the appropriate position. With a couple perfect timed rotations, I spun the lock pattern and the door hissed as it backed into the ship and vanished into the floor.

I felt a small hand in my shoulder, and was once again made aware that I wasn't alone. Aria stood next to me, her small body locked in thougt and silence as she clenched my shoulder tightly, looking around the inside of the medium sized vessel.

The interior was unlike any id seen before on Sirion this definitely was the ship from Earth. It's size was small, but the door led straight to the main engines, with a decent sized walkway to the cockpit. If my guess was correct, my Bioheart would allow me to easily learn and fly this foreign ship.

"Zan, l-let's go..." the voice of Aria gently whispered as she stepped into the ship before me.

I followed, and took in the sight. Everything was shining brilliantly, as if it had been a brand new ship right before being abandoned. I steadied my body as I walked to the pilots seat, and took my position.

This was it, a way out of the war, a way out of the deadly onslaught by the Helios, and a way to leave the planet, to see what the stars held.

"Let's go." I said simply, and placed my still shining hands into the ships control panel. My circles of data changed to an orange color as my mind

Absorbed the information on how to navigate the ships control and flight pattern.

Giving my companion one more slight glance, I spoke the ships voice command and name.

"Zelpha 9, power on, full photon build to engines three through seven."

With these words, the ship obeyed, and the Zelpha 9 began its countdown that would be the beginning of our life long journey.


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25 Reviews


Points: 94
Reviews: 25

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Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:19 am
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DottieSnark wrote a review...



You have created a very interesting and vivid sci-fi setting. In fact, your description of the setting, the objects, and the action are probably your strongest strength. I can picture battle in my mind as can I picture the characters. You don't spend a lot of time on the physical attributes or appearance of the characters, but I never find such description to be particularly useful and have a preference writing to keep such description brief, though that is just a personal opinion.

The one thing I think you need to work on improving is your pacing. The first and last scene each last long enough for me to actually feel like I'm inside the scene (though the first is still a little on the short side) but the middle scenes *really* go back too fast. So much is happening and so much changes far too quickly. A brief picture of what's going on as time passes may work in the movies but it doesn't translate as well in the written world. I would suggest either lengthening these passages, perhaps even to chapter length, or cutting them and summarizing the important bits in the final scene to set up the new status quo.

Your writing style is definitely compelling though. The reason I want to see those scenes more fleshed out is because you have grabbed me with this amazing world you've created!




Zrillis says...


Thank you for this feedback. I can summerize my long reply in a few sentences because I have had this discussion before

I have been told many times I put in too much description and kill the story. So in this one ive been trying to use less detail where I personally dont feel is needed. Im still trying for the solid middle



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Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:39 am
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Zoom wrote a review...



Zoom here for a review. Welcome to YWS.

I'm going to mention whatever jumps out at me.

"Hold the line, backup squad retreat!" Commander Ren Drila screamed, as the giant praying mantis like creature called the Helios continued their final wave. Earth was in rubble, and the sun was failing.

The Helios had conquered planet by planet, stealing resources then extinguished the sun. The bug like creatures craved power, and wouldn't stop until the universe was void of life.

"Aim for the center masses, don't let up. Hold the line until the last ship has lift off." The commander continued to bark orders, hoping the plan would be a success. The front line was a decoy, as the remaining people evacuated the planet.


Because you’re starting in media res (the middle of action), you need to be extra careful how you balance the reveal of information, because that’s essentially what you’re sacrificing by starting the novel this way. You’re sacrificing the reader’s investment in the plot and characters so that the story is exciting and fast-paced off the bat. That’s not a bad thing by the way. It can work very effectively. But if you don’t bite the bullet and commit to that decision then you might ultimately end up with the worst of both worlds.

So for example let’s look at the opening paragraph (I always pay extra attention to openings because they’re so critical and it’s where you will generally lose the most readers).

“The giant praying manits like creature called the Helios” is verging on too many words. Helios is the noun, the subject of the sentence, and you've used eight words to describe it.

“Giant” is vague because it could range a lot of sizes.

“Wave” feels a bit soft and not very threatening. Maybe choose a stronger verb? I understand what you mean by "wave" and you should definitely mention that that's how they attack, in waves, but something a bit more brutal sounding would serve better here.

“Earth was in rubble and the sun was failing” seems like a missed opportunity for some great descriptions! Obviously that would mean slowing your story down and building up the setting first, so I can see why you didn’t already do that, because you want to get the story going. However personally I think this setting is way cooler than the scene itself. A dying sun would create a never seen before setting on this world, and you could utilise that in so many interesting ways.

Then we have the second paragraph, and I’m going to go right ahead and say it’s straight up exposition and you really don’t need it at all. The helios’s backstory isn’t vital at this moment, because your characters are fighting for their lives and we already expect the helios are here for personal gain of some kind. We can get to the specifics a bit later.

The third paragraph. The line of dialog is little bit too long considering the situation they’re in. The helios are already on them, right, since they're about to tear someone in half? If these people know all about the helios, what they've been up to, what they want, where to shoot them, then I would imagine that their strategy for dealing with them is well established enough for the soliders to not need the obvious stated to them so far into the battle. What I would personally suggest is swapping the very first line of dialog to “aim for the centre masses” and then reduce this line in the third paragraph to “hold the line until the last ship has take off". That order would seem more logical to me.

Men Began to fall as the Helios got closer, their photon back cannons blasting the line.


Nice imagery here. I’m getting Warhammer vibes. Btw you’ve capitalised “Began” in this sentence and “Shook” in the next paragraph.

His body Shook as he grabbed the blade strapped to his side, and began to slice apart the Helios one by one in close combat.


See this is what I meant before about “giant” being vague. I went with building-sized creatures but now this suggests they’re not much larger than a human.

"We must remain here, we have all seen that to leave a planet marks the end of our existence. " Elder Gered Unoc spoke harshly, recalling the events that had been the end of many.

"We have colonized eight planets since leaving earth, and every time a vessel leaves to explore the universe, the Helios find us. Even with our advanced technology from planet raids, I fear that if we allow the people to leave this planet, we will lose the last of our race. I suggest we make a set of rules, the survival codes, and set fourth the salvation of all humans that remain alive!"

"Elder Unoc, I believe our first course of action should be perfecting the Bioheart technology. If we can make these devices, we can ensure that the human race will be strong enough warriors if the Helios should come again." The voice of elder Derus Exca rang out, and the man gave Unoc a dagger sharp glare.

The two elders were always butting heads, and rarely agreed on anything. The council of elders were on the newly colonized Sirion, the planet that had been found by the Zelpha nine and ten, the only remaining ships that had fled earth. Each ship help five hundred people, and the elders were frantic to restore the human race.


This entire scene serves as blatant exposition. The characters are repeating backstory for the reader's benefit, because the person they are addressing will be fully aware of what is being stated.

Even with the special implants that allowed us to instantly learn to fly, we still had to train. Knowledge wasn't enough if you couldn't master it.


This is an interesting concept. So they’re implanted with basic knowledge (which levers to pull and which buttons to press) but they have to actually train to build on instinct and muscle memory etc? That’s pretty cool.

The alliance between the Srilo and the Acania tribes had been severed, and all my friends were part of the war against the Helios, the race of monsters that threatened the planet.


This last part here basically removes the need for the first two scenes. You could summarise everything into a sentence like this and not lose much, or anything.

Her voice broke my glances and brought Bright color to my face.


You keep capitalising random words . . .

My hair became a spiked version of my normal black short hair


#DBZ

This seems a bit gimmicky. Does this new aestetic actually serve a purpose? The bio heart concept is very interesting but feels weakened with this.

***

Overall:

I think the last two scenes in first person were much better and immersive than the first two scenes in third person. There wasn’t much that I learned in the first parts that couldn’t easily be implied as we go along in the story. Also the first scenes lacked visual descriptions, so the setting remained blank in my head. But then when we got to Zan you seemed to fix this issue right away and the quality of writing improved dramatically.

I like a lot of the concepts you have here, especially bio hearts. I’d say that’s where most of the intrigue lies for me. Can’t wait to see more varieties of them and learn more about how they work, if they are chosen or if it’s random or based on some kind of test. Very interesting. Also I mentioned Warhammer, can I ask if that was any form of inspiration for you? Which is totally no problem by the way. You might be interested in those novels if you're not already.

Another thing you did well is establish right away what Zan’s outlook is on the war and what his goal is. Instantly I felt that this character would have a unique perspective and deserve his place as the protagonist. And you've given him a really good goal. Who doesn’t love a treasonous deserter? And I like the tone, his narrative sounded consistent and solemn.

Some things I noticed in the second half that I want to mention is that it wasn’t really clear how Aria went from “that’s treason!” to jumping on the ship with Zan. That’s a massive character development right there and so the motivation behind it got a bit lost. I liked that she was apprehensive but still went with him, I'm just saying you could have given us a glimpse into what made her make that decision.

Finally, I know I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief at the beginning, but that ship, the one last ship that can break the planet’s atmosphere, was kinda easy to steal? Maybe if there was some context for why Zan would have this access (besides being a pilot, like an actual reason) then this would seem more legit.

That's mainly what I thought when reading. There's some promising stuff here. I saw some good aspects of character development and setting, and you've already established a plot as well. Maybe just a bit more work on which scenes you actually need, and also work on the overall atompshere and feeling of this world, if that makes sense.

-Zoom




Zrillis says...


As for the "unnecessary scenes you've mentioned I will give a look at it and maybe tweak but for this moment Im leaving them in.

The randon capital letters and stuff I am writing on my phone and dont notice it alot if times.

The changes of appearance are to show the Biohearts have a physical effect on the user.

And you mentioned Warhammer many times. Being honest I have never heard of it at all.

--
I am grateful for this structured feedback, tips, and suggestions. All the people I have shown so far have given zero feedback that I can use to better the story. All in all I will take this into consideration and look over my story.
I am currently looking for an editor as I have written as far as completing chapter seven




[as a roleplayer is feeling sad about torturing her characters] RavenLord: "You're a writer, dear. Embrace it."
— RavenLord