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Murder By Starlight (Part 6 - The Dramatic Conclusion)

by cidrianwritersguild


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

The meteor cannon was not used often. Meteor showers did not often come near the colony. Nobody was certain why, but nobody wanted to ask and disturb the trend. Because of this, the usefulness of the cannon was called into question many times. But, however many times people had tried to remove the cannon to cut power usage, the Company forced them to keep it. They stated that it was necessary for the protection of the colony. It was not. They really only kept it because they would get sued into oblivion if they didn't have it and somebody were struck and killed by a meteorite. However, today, it was not being used as a defensive measure. A small, weasely man in an oversized spacesuit was using it as an anti-aircraft gun.

******

The ship rocked as the large blasts rocketed around it. Ed and Dave were thrown all about the cockpit as Dave wrestled with the controls, trying to avoid the blasts. Fortunately, the Company rep had never touched a gun a day in his life. Still, the bolts were frighteningly close, lighting the cockpit bright blue each time they passed. Dave brought the ship up, higher and higher as he prepared to leave the planet. Another blast passed within a foot of the cockpit. Dave rose even more, almost at three hundred meters. Only a few hundred more and he'd be out of effective range. The ship swayed to and fro as he dodged more laser blasts. Ed was thrown out of his seat and into the passageway connecting the living space and cockpit. He stood and lurched back to the cockpit, getting thrown against the walls as Dave lunged this way and that. The ship jerked another couple hundred meters into the sky. The blasts were becoming fewer and farther between. Each lurch of the ship only shook them in their seats. Dave rose smoothly and quickly surpassed the effective range of the cannon. He slowly turned the ship towards the black sky above and eased the throttle forward. The engines gained power and the ship was propelled forward. Ed turned to Dave and grinned. "Just smooth, unlawful sailing from here on-" He was cut off by a massive explosion from the aft of the ship. He was thrown forward and his head hit the glass in front of him. His vision dimmed and he collapsed to the floor.

******

"Ed?" came a voice, with a slight British accent to it. It waited. "Ed!" it came slightly louder this time. Ed didn't want to acknowledge it. He had a headache. He wanted to go back to sleep. "ED!!" He tried to sit up to address the voice, to tell it to shut up and go drink some tea, but something pushed him back down. "Open your eyes." it commanded. His eyes opened ever so slightly. He could see light in front of him. He opened his eyes wider and was blinded by the harsh fluorescent on the ceiling. He blinked several times to clear his vision and looked around. He was still in the Condor. Dave was leaning over him. He still had gauze around his head but he was now wearing someone's uniform. It identified him as "Heide Johnson." Ed looked down at himself. He was underneath a sheet and lying on a hospital gurney. He was clad in a hospital gown and was resting on a comfortable pillow. He looked back to Dave.

"Dave?" he asked. "Is this your former.."

"My former hospital gown? Yes. Yes it is. There was nothing else to be done."

"And what exactly happened?" Dave sat down on a nearby chair and assumed a position as though he were in a documentary.

"Well you see, that absolute rat bastard somehow managed to hit the goddamned port fuel line. Blew the thing all to hell and now we're limping through space." he paused and seemed to think for a moment. "All in all, it could've gone better."

"Anything important damaged?" Dave looked at him and saw the real question in his eyes.

"No. No. Nothing important was damaged. Now lie back down and don't go to sleep. I'm going to go to the cockpit and see if I can chart us a course somewhere."

"Hellhole." said Ed.

"Hmm?"

"Nearest inhabited planet is Hellhole."

"Then we're going to Hellhole!" He walked into the the cockpit, a finger held triumphantly in the air.

"Dave?"

"Yeesss?" he called.

"Why is your name Heide?"

"We don't talk about that Ed. We don't talk about that." Ed rolled over and found himself staring out a porthole at the black void of space. It's a long way to Hellhole, he thought. And an even longer way back.


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342 Reviews


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Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:42 pm
starlitmind wrote a review...



HELLO AMAZING AUTHOR, I am here for the dramatic conclusion! c: I am excited for this

The meteor cannon was not used often.


Oh my gosh there's a meteor cannon~ I love how you opened this last part; very inviting and mysterious

However, today, it was not being used as a defensive measure. A small, weasely man in an oversized spacesuit was using it as an anti-aircraft gun.


I love how you didn't openly say who it was but instead described him, and so we know perfectly who he is. Your first paragraph is really engaging; it's a bit of a different style form your other parts, and that's what makes it more unique! I liked that since it really caught my attention

I would recommend splitting up your second paragraph. It's quite large and hard to get through. It's a lot going on at once, so splitting it up will make it easier to digest. In addition to that, I think you could even add some dialogue. Some pretty big things are happening; the ship is getting thrown around, they're dodging lasers, and Ed blacks out. But since you're just telling all of this without any dialogue or anything to really engage the reader, it's not exciting and it doesn't really build tension. I think if you added some exchanged between Dave and Ed, and if you were to add some more descriptions like "Ed's hands were sweating as he..." or something like that, that part would be more exciting!

Ed didn't want to acknowledge it. He had a headache. He wanted to go back to sleep.


I feel you, Ed

He was underneath a sheet and lying on a hospital gurney. He was clad in a hospital gown and was resting on a comfortable pillow. He looked back to Dave


In this paragraph (I just quoted a small section) you begin the majority of your sentences with "He," and I think I talked about this in another review so I won't elaborate on it, but I would recommend varying your sentence structure here

Dave sat down on a nearby chair and assumed a position as though he were in a documentary.


I don't know why but this cracked me up xD

Oh my goodness, the nearest planet's name lol

"We don't talk about that Ed. We don't talk about that." Ed rolled over and found himself staring out a porthole at the black void of space. It's a long way to Hellhole, he thought. And an even longer way back.


Ooh, such an interesting note to end on! I love how this stopped on a note of mystery, as we don't know the story behind the name "Heide." Also, like Plume, I'm fond of your last line! It makes it seem like their story isn't over yet and they have a long way to go, and it might make the reader sad that they won't get to read the next part of their journey. I thought that was a lovely line to end on!

Overall, this was such a unique and interesting composition, and I really enjoyed reading it! I haven't read much sci-fi, so I'm glad that this is one of the first few I've read <3 You've got such a cool plot and storyline, I love your characters, and I enjoyed the story even though I jumped in the middle of it! And your title is also super captivating, and I think it ties the whole novel together. I really enjoyed reading and reviewing this. Thank you! ^_^






Oh, I'm really happy I have so much free time and spend it reading past reviews. BECAUSE, I'm not sure why I assume you would know this, but I planned on writing an episodic series involving these characters, and a good portion of the second "book" is out. You seemed to really enjoy this first story and I didn't know how else to tell besides through your months-old comment. Real sorry about that :)



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Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:27 pm
Plume wrote a review...



Hey! Plume here, with the last and final review (for this piece from me, at least!)

I really liked this little end bit. I thought it wrapped things up nicely, and it definitely had the vibe of an ending. I also liked the length; I'm a fan of endings that are short and sweet like this one.

One thing about this that I especially loved was your last line, just because of all the emotion it evokes. It's so simplistic, but I find that the best ending lines are. Especially paired with the sentence before it, the two opposites of "a long way to Hellhole" and "a long way back" create a sort of wistful feeling. It's great for an ending, because it still leaves some possibility to continue, but also enough closure that it feels like an ending rather than a big, gaping hole at the end of your story. It makes the reader wonder whether Ed and Dave will go back, or if they're going to start a new life exploring space.

I also really liked your first paragraph. I was skeptical when I first started reading it, but your lovely writing voice convinced me. I think a reason why I loved it so much was that you took a problem that several people can relate too, in this example a thing that they technically have to have but have never had to use, but you translate it wonderfully to a sci-fi/futuristic setting. I normally don't like sci-fi, and part of the reason is I can't relate to it, but I think this key thing you do is why I'm able to tolerate and even enjoy your story, despite it being sci-fi. You keep general problems that people have, little stupid problems everyone faces on a day-to-day basis, and you plop them in. And I think that's very unique and beautiful, and also makes your story all the more humorous and fun to read.

One thing I was confused about in this section was Dave, and whether his character changed at all. When Ed came to, I thought there was another person in the ship because of the British accent (it seemed like an odd thing to mention, and I guess I thought Ed would recognize Dave's voice, so my mind assumed it was a different person). Then it was revealed it was Dave, but then you have the line about how he's wearing someone's uniform, and later Ed even asks "Why is your name Heide?" I'm not sure if it was supposed to be humor or to show that Ed is out of it after being knocked out, but to me, it kinda had the connotation that Dave wasn't who he says he is. I'd suggest rewriting if that wasn't what you wanted to come across in that part.

Overall: I really enjoyed this work in its entirety! I thought it was a compelling sci-fi murder mystery, and I hope you write more (on this, or on something else) soon! You've got major talent, sir/ma'am, and I hope you know that!






I totally get your confusion about Dave being British. I basically finished the story and then realized I included ZERO description of my three main characters (so fair warning, in the next story, there's a whole lot of description of Dave and Ed in the very beginning) and so I felt like throwing in one minor detail about one of them and calling it good. I also don't plan to rewrite it because I figured I would keep them in their imperfect states to see how my writing improves and adapts over time, but I do appreciate the suggestion!




Doing that kind of work, you really get to know if you like animals. If you can somehow enjoy cleaning out their cages, then you know you genuinely love animals.
— Jack Hanna