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Heavy Metal - Chapter 1.2: The Last Day, part 2
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Heavy Metal - Chapter 1.2: The Last Day, part 2  

Heavy Metal
Chapter 1.2
The Last Day, part 2


Walt flipped the choke lever on his console as he turned the key. After some coaxing, his rig chugged to what little life it had left and began puttering down a dirt road through the high desert.

Pushing a tape into the tape deck, the tune of Enter Sandman by Metallica blared through speakers that should have long since retired. Unlike most men his age, Walter’s tastes in music had grown harder through the years. Anything for what little adrenalin his aging body could muster. Anything to remind himself that he was still alive.

In contrast, his joints ached as the truck traversed rut after rut in the desolate dirt road. Rains came every so often and when they did, they wreaked havoc on this terrain. The road should have been re-graded years ago. He oophed and umphed with each dip. 30 gallon aluminum drums shook and clanked against each other in the bed of the truck.

Once on the highway, old route 66, Walter’s phone chirped from his shirt pocket. Fumbling for it, he studied the buttons for a moment, grumbling about this “newfangled techno-crap,” ironic considering his own work was highly technological itself.

Finally finding the correct button, he held the phone to his ear and shouted, “Yeah, this is Walt.”

“I think I’ve got it!” hollered an excited voice on the other line. It was unmistakably that of a young male.

“Yeah? You finally got one o’ them S T D’s huh?” Walter grumbled a reply.

“What? No… NO! I know how we’re gonna get the fuel!”

“Me too. I’m gonna see if I can get some from the Air Force base out in Vegas. I’ve got some connections still… I think. If they haven’t retired…”

“Yeah, yeah, they’re just gonna pass you off as a crazy old man. You know that right?”

“Hell, Dave, I AM a crazy old man!” Walt retorted.

“Look, that might work, sure. But I know this guy.”

“Me too. I’m talkin’ to one now.”

“Hah hah. Very funny. Has anyone told you you’re gettin’ sour in your old age?”

“Yep. You an’ Betty tell me every day. So who’s this guy?”

“Well, I was in Vegas gambling last night,” Dave began.

“What’s new?” Walt interrupted.

“Heh… nothing I guess. Anyhow, I ran across an old girlfriend.”

“I thought this was about ‘this guy.’”

“No… yeah… I mean, wow, she’s gotten even hotter since we broke up ya’ know?”

“Hmph…” Walt wished his assistant could get to the point.

“Anyhow, enough of her, right? She introduced me to this guy they call the ‘Bouncer’. Big, tall, black, built like a tank.”

“A tank full of jet fuel?”

“Huh? Oh… right…. Ok, so I’m telling him about our project right,”

“Why? I thought we were trying to keep it on the ‘downlow’. So what made you bring it up to someone you don’t even know?”

“Chill out old man. It’s cool. He’s cool. Well… It was the strangest thing, right? He actually started talking about the X-prize. Like, out of the blue, like before I even said anything about it. It was almost like he knew about it already.”

“How? ‘Like’ who else have you been talking to that I don’t know about?” Walter might have appreciated Dave’s generation’s music, but their slang terms were another matter entirely.

Cacti and barren land passed by as Walt’s truck growled down the narrow highway, weaving and swerving its way through the Mojave Desert.

“That’s just it… no one! I mean, just this guy. And I didn’t even say that much about what we’re doing. He started talking about various projects other firms are working on like he was dropping hints that he knew what we were up to, you know? Then he started going on about how hard it would be for someone who wasn’t funded by like billions of dollars and such and how getting the fuel would be the hardest part and all and…”

”Damnit!” Walter exclaimed.

“What?”

“You’re a damned fool, Dave!”

“Huh? What did I do wrong now?”

“Obviously this guy is connected to another firm, some competitor. Probably tryin’ ta sabotage our operation!”

“Uh… I don’t think so Walt. If he was, why would he have suddenly said he knew how he could get some fuel if I knew someone who needed it?”

“He said that?”

“Yeah!”

“Well, probably because it’s bunk fuel. Crap that won’t light. A waste of resources and money and time I’d say. I’m telling ya, kid, how else would he know what we’re up to? Why else? And what would he have to gain by helping us?”

“Uh, money, I guess. It’s not like he’s offering it for free. His price was pretty good though. Just enough to keep us within budget.”

“Like he knew how much we had to spend?”

“Yeah, sorta. I hadn’t really thought about that but…”

“Hmph. I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel right. But I guess it couldn’t hurt to look into it. Did he set something up with you?”

“Naw, nothin’ like that, old man. He works at Caesar’s Palace after noon. He also mentioned he’d be working today. You want me to meet ya there?”

“That’s about when I’ll get into town I s’pose.”

Hmm, Walt considered, I could go there first or check the base first. Kid’s probably right. I’m pretty sure most of they guys I used to know there are retired by now and without contacts, I’m probably outta luck there. But then again, what if this guy’s trying to sell me somethin’ that’s gonna make trouble for us? We’re talking about the fuel here, not a chair or a toilet seat. Stuff’s gotta be, well… the right stuff. Not many options though…
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8780
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:30 am    Post subject:  

Quote: Walter scratched his ass as he shuffled across the shag carpet covering the bedroom. It was a terrible olive-green

rofl, I thought this was about his ass at first!

Your style is strangely familiar Tbird. In a good way. ;)

Anyhoo, DP...

I say he goes and checks out the fuel, right careful like.
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject:  

I'd say go to the base, and let Dave go and check out this fuel from the 'bouncer'.

I got a bit confused with the introduction of Harold, or was that meant to be Walter? :)

Anyways this is good stuff and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this.
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Traveller



Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject:  

Great job T-Bird!! I am excited to see what sort of adventures Walter can get into. In my head, Walter looks like the old crotchety guy from 'UP'. Which is good, by the way. He makes me smile the more he gets grumpy.

I loved your descriptions of a typical morning in a house that has had nothing but typical mornings for countless years. Very well done.

As for the DP...go see Bouncer...It is anything but "typical" fuel he can get for Walter and this will get his adventures to...er...blast off sooner. Maybe Bouncer has a requirement for Walter to do before he gives him the fuel. Or maybe Bouncer wants to go with him.

Looking forward to the next chappy...T.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject:  

Ok, I know this is a weak DP, since it's pretty much 1 of two options. But if anyone has any other ideas, speak up! Poll's coming soon.
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Traveller



Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject:  

I think the DP works just fine T-Bird...it's early, there is plenty of time for big convoluted DP's as Walter finds himself getting deeper and deeper into space doo-doo...T.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject:  

ATTENTION! This is a multi site poll! You can vote here as normal, but I will also accept a vote on each site from any player that happens to be a member of both! The other site is www.tomecity.com. If you want more control, signup there and vote there too! I'm in the Interactive Stories - Sci-Fi Zone section. The poll results from both will be added together (and as a sub-note... will be used for me to determine the eventual home site for THIS particular story. More on that later...)

"Flaps off grumbling about copy/paste"
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8780
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject:  

I think you mean it's in the Story Street on Tomecity yesno? :D
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8780
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:28 pm    Post subject:  

Of course, now it's been moved to the Interactive Sci-fi section! :lol:
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Fenris



Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 60

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject:  

Had to go with the offer, too tempting to pass up.
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Smee



Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject:  

Went for old contacts myself - nothing to lose there, except perhaps a little dignity. Genuine danger and concerned have been raised about this 'offer'.

If we do end up going for the dodgy offer, then I would hope he either knows of, or invests in some cunning gadget that'll test fuel quality, and make sure it isn't 60% vinegar.

Nice start, TB. Keep it up, and

Happy Writing :)
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject:  

Wow... a sudden and unexpected voting surge! Thanks guys! Still room for some voting, but a new chapter should be out by sunday night... or maybe monday at the latest.
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Head Eater



Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 62
Location: Hovering above your sssssskull

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject:  

A sssssurge indeed. Thisssss sssstorygame issss worthy of sssskiffyville.

Congratulationsssss!
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DeadManWalking



Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1005

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject:  

Congrats on the promotion! This is an interesting story, a departure on the kind of stuff we usually get.

You give a very personal view of our main character, really fleshing him out as a person, not a name and a plot mover.

Good job!
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject:  

Wow... I'm legit now :) Thanks for joining us DeadMan!
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Guest






Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject:  

So in this chapter their on their way to get the fuel? Is he listening to David, or is he going to get it somewhere else. Sorry I didn't read what the others had picked. I'm just typing what my questions are. So far its good, but isn't each description usually in its own paragraph, like the rain part, I like that, but it sounds asif the rain had started in that sentence. I was imaging that it was raining, but it didn't. You could change the sentense a bit. Something in the line of, if it was to rain now....in a deserted town like this if it was to rain... etc... IF IT WAS... But It's still a nice imagery. Makes people think about if it was raining. If that is what your trying to do. Because in that sentence it sais, "Rains came every so often and when they did, they wreaked havoc on this terrain. " I imagine it drizzling, then it turns into IF it was to happen. I'm sorry I'm a very literal person, if I see a sentence I see it literally. :D Still Great chapter even if it was as short as james patterson's story of The Jester. I'm going to continue on with this. Since I know nobody else has my problem with reading. So add, or add some more nice imagery to show its not raining during that day. :D Don't worry, I once told c'ren the same thing.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:20 am    Post subject:  

You pointed out a slight edit spot there I had taken notice of during a recent readthrough - and much for the same reason. I'll get around to re-crafting those lines about the terrain/rain during my rework but thanks for confirming what I suspected about that part.

And thanks for reading!

Did you read 1.1 first btw? Or is the .1, .2 thing throwing you at all?

Oh, and read the next chapter to find out where the audience took things ;)
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Guest






Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:29 am    Post subject:  

I've read 1.1 I'll see what I can see with my eyes in there. *goes back*
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject:  

I wasn't suggesting there was anything you might've missed in there... just asking if you're navigating through the tale ok.
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Emperor



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 468
Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Heavy Metal - Chapter 1.2: The Last Day, part 2  

Thunderbird wrote: Anything for what little adrenalin his aging body could muster. Anything to remind himself that he was still alive.

Good few lines here to establish mind set.

Thunderbird wrote: Finally finding the correct button, he held the phone to his ear and shouted, “Yeah, this is Walt.”

There are no errors with this sentence, there is just something about the way it reads. The only thing I can suggest is to shorten the action in it. "Finally finding the right button he shouted in frustration, "Yeah, this is Walt." Or, "Hitting the button he shouted, "Yeah, this is Walt." Chances are whatever is bugging be about this line is just me.

I didn't want to quote the whole back and forth dialog but I did want to comment on it. I think it is a great example of when you only have two people talking and keeping it flowing without all the "he said" and "Walt said" and so on. It is implicit in the dialog who is talking by having one person start the chain and the rest is just a simple back and forth. Great job.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject:  

Did you feel it was improved at all in v2? (thanks for the note on that one sentance... I think I see a problem in it actually... I'll address it now in the v2 version (chapter 2))

And I got the impression you were saying the way the conversation carried out was a good thing but I wasn't entirely sure as there WERE times I interjected Walt said etc... to get the reader back on course if they lost track somewhere along the way.

Thank you for reading E! Means a lot!
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Emperor



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 468
Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:50 am    Post subject:  

Thunderbird wrote: And I got the impression you were saying the way the conversation carried out was a good thing but I wasn't entirely sure as there WERE times I interjected Walt said etc... to get the reader back on course if they lost track somewhere along the way.

There are a few time that you do identify the speaker and as you said it was to either get the reader back on track with the flow of the dialog or to emphasize how that speaker is reacting to what is being said. It was all well done and minimal.
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