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16+ Language Violence

The last pilot chapter 4: Roses

by Zrillis


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

She woke up, the world spinning as she slowly opened her heavy eyes. The night sky engulfed the desert scene as she shook away the sleep. She felt a tightness around her body, and remebered the child. Lucy was wrapped around her, sleeping peacefully and seemed to be almost smiling. Aria didnt move, trying not to wake her up.

She looked as closely as she could at the girl, and saw that all her wounds had healed. Aria wasnt certain she had fixed her hearing, but she was hopeful.

The resting sun shone a soft golden light over the red sand, and the world seemed to embrace the two girls, offering peace and a sense of hope that rang out in the quiet air. This was the peace that Aria had wished for on Sirion, a peace without doubt of war, without the itch of the Helios finding them. With this peace, however, came the dread of thoughts. She didnt know if Zan had escaped from that unseen ship. She didnt know if Iris had captured him. All she could do was hold on to this hope, and wait.

Aria had seen the Zelpha Nine speed away from her pod, engines full blast. The course it was taking was still to Brilla, but she suspected Zan was heading towards the Asteriod route, rather then the faster route that she had taken. The changed course would take an extra two days. She was scared, not for herself but for this small child sleeping on her.

Aria had seen the scars, the cuts, the bruises. She assumed the emotional pain must be even worse. Aria could heal wounds, not emotions. She wasnt sure how strong this child was.

~~~~~~

"Iris. stay close to me, this planet isnt under Helios control, but outside the towns its a savage place. Im going to land in the outer desert." I spoke, and walked to the ships weapon room.

There were outdated plasma pistols neatly ordered in the room, each with ten extra plasma clips. I knew they were old based off of their shap design. Flat metal overlay red plastic. The handle was thin, but long, Attaching to a curved body and thin rectangular barrel. They were deadly, designed solely to take a life.

I breathed in slowly, and picked up two pistols, and evaluated their weight. they were light, and easily fit in my hands. A mirror on the wall caught my eyes, and what i saw shocked me. My apperance had changed, and i knew it was from my biohearts interaction with the Zelpha.

My spiked hair was gone, and in its place was shoulder length silver gray hair. My eyes were a bright silver, with red laying inside. This was my true pilot form, my true bioheart effect. It shined wisdom and truth, and I knew that due to the immense power of the Zelpha, this new look would stay with me no matter what level of Bioheart power I took on.

I grabbed a duel holster belt, and slid the pistols to a rest at my sides. A last look around the room drew a specific weapon to my attention.

A photon bow. Light weight, and able produce its own arrows with a draw of the string. I had been taught of differant weapons in school, and the bow had always pricked a small interest. I picked it up, and fastened it to my back.

"Iris. Lets go. Remember, dont leave my side." I spoke, walking to the Zelphas exit doors. I reached my hand down to the girl by my side, and she took it tightly as we left the ship.

~~~~~~

"Are you awake Lucy?" Aria asked as the child started to stir, unsure if she could hear the words. Lucy looked up as if startled, and pressed her hands to her ears.

"Lucy, your free now, your wounds are healed, and I will protect you." Aria spoke as she pulled the child into a hug. She was relieved that she had cured her hearing, but bigger issues faced them. This was unknown territory, alone in a desert, and the sun was going down fast.

Aria glanced around, unsure if they would be safe, and her heart started to panic. Black clouds covered the sun, and the sand became instantly cold. In the distance, she could see haunting shadows moving fast and growing larger. She had no way to protect herself, and she was scared.

A quick glance to her left revealed a cave, and Aria had to chance that it would be safer then the open desert. She carefully picked up Lucy, and began to walk towards the cave, aware that the shadows were getting closer, now acompanied by a low and ever increasing rumble of growls.

She began to run, now able to hear footsteps as the creatures making the shadows were getting closer and causing arias heart to beat faster. She was scarred for the child, who was still holding her ears as large angry tears poured from her eyes.

In a full sprint, Aria neared the cave. Her eyes were searching for high ground, when her foot hit a large rock, sending her to the ground and the girl rolling to a short distance away. Aria turned over, to see a large face, blood dripping from its teeth, getting ready to slice her skin.

She froze, as her mind showed her all her mistakes, all the things that threatened her as she braced for death. She saw her fathers face, the face he made as he killed his wife, the face that had told Aria to stay silent under the table.

She welcomed death, knowing she could never redeem herself of her sin, as a small, electrified photon arrow sliced through the back of the creatures skull.

~~~twenty minutes earlier~~~

As we walked, the sun was getting low, and the desert began to grow dim. I knew Brilla was home to a dangerous creature. They resembled a mix between an earth bear, wolf, and lion. They were angry, deadly animals called Screachers.

I looked around the desert plain, as my eyes met a figure sitting on a rock. I tightened my grip on Iris's hand, and spoke. "stay behind me, Ill keep you safe Iris."

I drew a plasma pistol, and heard her reply. "ok daddy, I trust you." I could her out of the corner of my eye, and saw her green colored arm blades. I knew she could protect herself, but I didnt want to make her fight, if I could, I would protect her human side from commiting violence.

I led Iris towards the figure on the rock, and froze when it raised its three right arms. "careful human male. The Sreatchers hunt at night, and this is their land. That helios enfused creature may be useful however."

The voice was female, and I studied her as she stood, her back still to me. She was tall, with a fully human shape except for her three right arms, and she had only one left one. Long green hair flowed down to her back, and she was slender. In her left hand she held a golden photon bow, recenty cleaned and polished.

"If you wish to survive out here tonight, you better come with me to my masters cave. The cave of transparency is the only safe place in this dessert when the screachers come." She finished her words, and turned towards us, and saw all her details.

Her clothes were dark colored, blending in with the brown sand, and she had a bright red sash, the marking of a gaurdian archer. I had seen these sashes in my study books, and knew the significance of wearing one. Her face was stern, with a large gash over her left eye they drew down to her chin.

My examination was cut short when I heard a low growl, and felt Iris pulling hard on my hand. "Daddy..... The screachers, they are coming.."

Her voice held fear and sorrow, as she pressed herself against my leg, hiding behind me. I was afraid, not knowing how to truly use my photon bow or plasma pistols. They were simple enough to fire, but the aim would be my biggest issue.

"Iris, stay behind me, stay close if we run, dont let go of my shirt." I spoke, my voice stern and serious. I drew my bow, and tested the string, gently drawing back as the photon arrows appeared and vanished as I pressure released back to normal position.

The low rumble of the screachers got closer, and the first one came into view. It was large, running on all fours. its fur was grey, and each leg produced six large claws. The eyeless face contained two mouths, each with large rows of teath that could bite through steak six large claws. The eyeless face contained two mouths, each with large rows of teath that could bite through steal.

The first screacher came into view, and attemted a long range shot. The mysterious archer was already easily picking off several screachers, and I wanted to help out.

I scanned the oncoming screachers, and gave a low sigh. My fingers tightened on the thin bow string, and my focus locked, blocking out everything except a single screacher. Data flooded my head, information that the Zelpha nine had trusted me with.

The Helios had created them, made these monsters to hunt amd destroy. They had one vital weakness, the thin skin between thier duel mouths.

My mind cleared and the photon light arrow released, striking its target, low, but still in the right area. I watched and let out a relieved almost silent cheer as the screachers face split open, spilling a large pool of blood to the ground.

"Human, we must go to the masters cave, I must protect the commander." the archers voice called to me, as she easily picked off the monsters one by one, before taking off to the left, running fast.

I followed, making sure Iris was behind me, and kept my bow string drawn tight, as I scanned the path ahead. The cave came into view, with hundred of screachers running beside us now. Along with the cave, I saw a Lone figure, running towards the cave holding a smaller figure. the figure fell, and a screacher stood over her.

"Archer, that figure, thats... I think thats Aria!" i screamed and ran with everything i had, dragging iris behind me. I aproached and shakily aimed, sending an arrow in the direction of the screacher readying for an attack.

~~~~~

She looked up, as the screacher fell dead infront of her. She was froze for a moment, but the screams of Lucy drew her back to life.

"Lucy, im here, ive got you. " Aria whispered as she struggled to stand, and limped over to pick up the crying girl. She scooped her up, and looked back, trying to locate the source of the arrow. She looked to her left, and spotted a familiar face.

"Aria! stay there! im coming," Zan shouted to her, only about ten feet away.

"no, into the cave, find Master Ren Drilla, he will be in the deepest cavern i will hold off these screachers." Kona yelled, as Aria gasped from hearing the name, as she looked at Zan.


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Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:56 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Zrillis! I hope you don't mind if I come back again for another review :)


the world spinning as she slowly opened her heavy eyes.


While I really don't think you need more than "the world spinning as she opened her eyes" (is it relevant that she's opening them slowly?), if you do what the longer description, "heavy eyes" isn't exactly correct. Her eyelids could feel heavy, aka she's in that drowsy, half-awake state, but her eyes probably wouldn't feel heavy.

The night sky engulfed the desert scene as she shook away the sleep.


This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me? I don't know what you're trying to get across with this sentence. Perhaps "She glanced upwards to see the vast night sky, so big it seemed to swallow the desert's horizon." Then you're describing the setting and showing that it's night time. I don't really get "shook away sleep", and even if you're trying to describe her waking up, we already know she's awake. You don't have to keep driving that it, you know?

She felt a tightness around her body,


To prevent the use of telling here ("she felt"), perhaps you could use "There was a tightness around her"?

Essentially, why I'm mentioning this, is because we're in the protagonist's perspective, regardless of pov (unless you're writing as an omnipresent narrator, but that's not the case here). We don't have to "reestablish" that, so to speak, by saying "she could feel" or "she heard". You just can. So, for example, instead of "I can see a light ahead", it should be "There's a light ahead", because we know that the character we're reading through can see it. Or, like the line I pulled, "She felt a tightness". Yes, we know she's the one who can feel it. You don't have to tell us that.


This is in a third person perspective, which is odd, because the last chapter I read was in first person. And, glancing ahead, I can see you've done it multiple times in this chapter? I did go looking for some articles, because I've never encountered this (aside from like, "first person" for a character's thoughts), and while it doesn't seem to be wrong, it's somewhat jarring? I've read novels that had a prologue or a first chapter (or, the opposite, the last chapter or an epilogue) that were in a different POV than the rest of the novel but I've never seen it happened between several chapters, or even multiple times in a chapter. Personally, I'm not a fan of it, it's an odd contrast to me, but it is your choice stylistically. (I think if you are going to continue with it, keep the switches between chapters, instead of doing it multiple times per chapter, because it's a bit whip-lash-y)

I would ask why you feel you wanted to do this in particular though? Is there a reason you believe this enriches your story?


Aria wasnt certain


Should be "wasn't" with the apostrophe.

(Coming back after reading further, you're actually missing quite a few of these. Be mindful of this 1) when you're writing and 2) when you're editing. Because I love the articles we have here, this is a great one for this situation)

The resting sun shone a soft golden light


Hang on- I thought this was at night? Is the sun rising? If the sun's rising, describe it as dawn. If the sun is visible, it'll be pretty light already.

The course it was taking was still to Brilla, but she suspected Zan was heading toward the Asteriod route, rather then the faster route she had taken. The changed course would take an extra two days.


Watch out for repetition such as this! It dulls your writing. Synonyms (as long as you don't go overboard haha ;) ) are your friend here! Or reworking the sentences/paragraph.

Im going to land in the outer desert." I spoke,


I know I wrote my other review after you already wrote this, but just remember about the dialogue punctuation I mentioned before!

based off of their shap design


"shap"?

Flat metal overlay red plastic.


I'm... not sure I understand what this means? Flat metal overlaid red plastic", but what is it describing? The guns? Why would the metal be over the plastic and not the other way around?

I breathed in slow, and picked up two pistols, and evaluated their weight.


Generally, when you're using "and" in a sentence, it shouldn't crop up more than once. Or, rather, in this instance, it should. "I breathed in slow, picking up two pistols, and evaluated their weight." <-- See how this flows together smoother? The first and is almost always the on that should go.

My spiked hair was gone, and in its place was shoulder length silver gray hair.


First of all, it's really odd that she didn't notice her hair growing. I think? She's mechanical? So maybe she doesn't have the same sensory input we do, but shoulder-length hair is visibly noticeable even without a mirror. Turning your head, or bending your neck forward even slightly are both ways that your hair is visible, even if just in your peripheral vision.
Secondly, there's some missing hyphens(Here's a section of an article specifically about hyphens). Shoulder-length, and silver-grey would both be hyphenated here.
Honestly, I would rework this sentence, however. It's choppy, and doesn't read well. "My silver-grey hair had grown to my shoulders." Then you don't have two hyphenated words, and it flows better overall.
(Personally, I'm really not a fan of "mirror" scenes, where the protagonist takes in their appearance like this. I understand you're trying to convey a change, but there are so many other ways to filter it in)

Aria asked as the child started to stir, unsure if she could hear the words.


I think you mean Aria is unsure Lucy can hear her words, but it reads like Lucy isn't sure that Aria can hear her words. Honestly, I don't think you need the second part of the sentence at all. With the question itself, you're already implying she's unsure if Lucy is awake, therefore don't know if she heard/will respond.
(I realise she seems to have some sort of ear injury now, and that's why Aria wasn't sure if she could hear, but I still stand by I think you could remove this sentence. Show Lucy's surprise instead, it'll work just as well)

Lucy, your free now,


Should be "you're" (If you're ever confused, use this as a guideline: If you can say "you are" in the sentence, it's "you're")

her heart started to panic


Since her heart isn't really autonomous/the thing that feels emotions, this should be "her heart started to pound" or something similar.

Black clouds covered the sun, and the sand became instantly cold.


While there are a few issues with this sentence ("instantly" and "became" should be switched with each other), the real problem is that even once something covers the sun (or puts something over somewhere that had sun, like an umbrella, for example), whatever it was shining on doesn't immediately become cold. It retains the warmth. Especially in the case of sand (ever been the a beach? Sand is hot), because it has a low heat transfer, it can hold that heat in for hours.

She had no way to protect herself, and she was scared.


This sentence isn't necessary. With her heart beating erratically, we know she's scared already. (This is also telling! But I think I've beat that into the ground by now ;) )

A quick glance to her left revealed a cave, and Aria had to chance that it would be safer then the open desert. She carefully picked up Lucy, and began to walk towards the cave,


I'm putting this altogether for the sake of space management, but I have very separate issues with these two sentences.
In the first one, she notices a cave. Just like that. Why didn't she notice this earlier? Why would she spent the night outside when there was a cave only a short distance away? This feels very much like a plot-cave, which hauls me out of the immersion in story (aka, it's way too convenient to just "be there", because it feels very unrealistic).
In the second, if she's so scared and upset by these shadows, why is she walking? Why does she carefully pick up Lucy? If she's that afraid of the shadows, she shouldn't start running later, she would start running right away.

She was scarred for the child, who was still holding her ears as large angry tears poured from her eyes.


"Scarred" should be "scared". Also, why is Lucy crying angrily? I mean, I'd stop at just describing her crying, but the chief emotion here seems like it should be fear, not anger (again, I wouldn't say she's scared, but I would remove "angry").

You can't seem to keep the spelling of "Screachers/Sreatchers" straight? I don't know what you're trying to spell (were you changing a word to sound like "screech" for this beast, or were you actually going for "Screechers"?)


You also have several occurrences where you don't capitalise the first letter of any word in your dialogue, which should be capitalised. ("stay behind me," should be "Stay behind me. I'll keep you safe." and "ok daddy, I trust you." should be "Ok Daddy, I trust you" which, separately from the point I'm trying to make, seems like a really odd thing to say. Was it ever implied that she didn't trust her father?)


my voice stern and serious.


You don't have the add this in, because given context clues like the situation they're in and his dialogue, the reader should already know that he's being serious.


Also, you capitalise "Screacher/Sreatchers" only sometimes? Consistency is really important in cases like this, so either capitalise the first letter of their name or don't.


each leg produced six large claws.


I don't know if you meant "leg" or each of their paws/whatever they have, but the idea of claws on legs is horrifying, so if you did mean that, congratulations! This monster sounds abhorrent and I'd be terrified as well if it was running at me!

large rows of teath


"Teeth"

Also, you repeat almost the exact same sentence twice right here, which you... shouldn't do? I don't know if it was intentional or not though. If it wasn't, I'd remove one of them.

The first screacher came into view


Wait, if it just came into view, then what was the entirety of the last paragraph for?

The mysterious archer was already easily picking off several screachers, and I wanted to help out.


?????????????????????????????
(there's been no mention of any archer, the way the last sentence is worded makes it sounder like the Screacher is the one trying to long-ranged shot, so... I have no idea what's happening here)


If this guy doesn't know how to use any of his weapons, how does he make the almost-perfect shot on the first try and kill the Screacher??


Is the archer the woman they were talking to a moment ago?


Kona yelled


Who's Kona??


Maybe it's because I haven't read any previous chapters, but you pulled several things out at the end without really explaining them, like the archer, and then Kona (I think she is the woman/archer but don't know). But how would Aria know her name? Unless they've met before? Idk, it's confusing.


Like I said in my last review, grammatical and technical errors and, for the most port, easy to fix. Edits can always be done. It seems to have improved from this chapter to the one I reviewed, but there's enough that it's disrupting the flow of the actual story line, and it keep jarring me out of reading. I didn't bring up every issue I found, because that would take a lot of time I don't have right now, but many of them are repetitions of issues I did mention. So, be wary for them!


Another more minor nitpick I have is how often the characters say the other characters names. When I'm having a conversation with someone, the only time I'll use someone's name is generally 1) if I'm calling them/trying to get their attention or 2) if it's a Serious Moment. But usually names don't occur often in natural dialogue, which makes it sound unnatural that your characters use them so often. Even the amount of times Iris says "daddy" seems heavy-handed.


Otherwise, however, this is a pretty interesting story! You've clearly done quite a lot of worldbuilding, which is awesome! I'm confused by some parts, but I think that's because I haven't read more of it (and also why I didn't mention it). You're pretty good at incorporating these details into the the story and not info-dumping, so kudos to you for that ^^

And like I said (kinda) before, I adore stories that have one character protecting a younger character like this, so it's really sweet to see written here.


Overall, good job! I hope to see more of your writing around the site!

I hope you have a wonderful day, and Happy RevMo!

Image




Zrillis says...


Im not gonna cover everything here. Just a few things that stood out major. For the first third person shifts.
I write slightly different, In this story the two main Males (Zan and Prime) are first person. All the females i made Third.

Each switch is a person switch.

Also these characters arnt mechanical. Prime is a Zelpha, the only mechanical one thus far.

In chapter one i explain the Biohearts. Which are the only mechanical parts of Aria and Zan



Zrillis says...


Also thank you for the review. I have not had time to read it all through but i will when I have a chance



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Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:12 am
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DottieSnark wrote a review...



Hey Zrillis! As you can tell I’m going through all your posted chapters tonight. :D

Another great chapter! I really sympathize with these characters and your scene descriptions are great.

The resting sun shone a soft golden light over the red sand, and the world seemed to embrace the two girls, offering peace and a sense of hope that rang out in the quiet air.


Like that is such a great line! You really know how to paint a picture with your words.

I love your world building and you have me so curious about this society. For example, I’m dying to know more about the biohearts. I know you wrote about them in the first chapter, but because everything was just kind of thrown at the reader in an expository nature it didn’t really sink in. I think the best way to introduce your readers to this power is to mention one or two things about the power and its history and the characters history with it along with it being used. Exposition can be great, but only if you use it in very short bursts.

I have a couple of nitpicky things, if that’s alright. In the first scene is there a reason Aria suspects Zan would take the longer path, unlike the one she took?

At the end of the first scene, the transition between the second to last paragraph and last paragraph is off-putting. She's thinking about Zan and how he'll get there, but then switches over to thinking about the child *then* starts a new paragraph. Maybe make the last sentence of the second to last paragraph the first sentence of the last paragraph instead.

I don't think writing "20 minutes earlier* at the start of the second to last scene was necessary, and headlines like that really pull the reader out of the story.

There are also still some SPaG issues regarding capitalization and apostrophes.

Other than those things (which are pretty small) this chapter was great. I’m going to get started on the next one ASAP.




Zrillis says...


As far as the Biohearts go, I'm going to circle back to that in a later chapter. I have 6 and seven already written just havent dropped it. Without spoilers, 6 and 7 open the world more with 2 new characters. Then 8 will circle back to Sirion with Zan. The whole point of this book is to open the world and the biohearts. My plan is atleast a three book series




“All stories are true," Skarpi said. "But this one really happened, if that's what you mean.”
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind