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Fallout: Greed

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Tycek
  • Tycek

    Being a bastard works.

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#1

Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:26 AM Edited by Tycek, 23 April 2013 - 10:10 AM.

I decided to give it a go and make some fanfic as you people are creating. It took me around three days to shape into something I wanted. I would like if that's possible to hear your comments about it, even the most destroying ones, because I would like to use your knowledge and experience as a hammer and anvil to forge my own into better forms. Be picky, please.

Something about story: it's quite short and it can be considered as complete one. It was planned as a bigger story with this one being the intro. If it will catch your eye and you will want more I'll will create another chapter. Have as much fun reading this as I had writing.

Fallout: Greed - Chapter 1 - Sunset

War, war never changes. I know something about that. My name is Steven Renfro and I am - or maybe it would be more appropriate to say I was - corporal in the army called Enclave. Me and my friends were stationed in the ass of the world – the city of Chicago. I've never understood why Enclave decided to make one of the outposts there as there was, and still is nothing worth protecting. I don't want to go into details, because it hurts like hell, when I'm thinking about the things that happened in the previous months. We had found one place, which name I won't tell you to prevent you from going there. This place - or more likely the things and the idea, which this place was built around - changes people. Greed is the worst type of drug humanity has ever invented, most addictive and with highest possibility to draw everything from the very bottom of man's personality. Greed is the fuel for all the wars, no matter who fought in it or why. It also doesn't matter, which side you're currently on, because greed, like a virus, can take over everybody and win the war for itself. Because all wars end like this, leaving people broken and lost. There are only Pyrrhic Victories, and even if somebody call himself a winner it means that his losses were smaller than the other side's. In last war nobody could call himself a winner and my recent fight was exactly the same. Am I a winner? Then why am I feeling like it was totally unnecessary to push ourselves into this? What proves the fact that I won? Fact that I am alive? Sometimes dying is better than living in constant pain, especially if it's the pain you can't dull with morphine. Losing all your world, all the things you thought were worth fighting for, all the people you know, can destroy you. I am feeling completely destroyed right now, but it was somewhat easy to predict when I think about this now. You know why? Because war, war never changes.

Maybe a bit too heavy, but that will have to do, I thought pressing the stop button on an old, dirty and damaged, but still working old pre-war recorder taken from the base.

I looked at it for the last time, like it was supposed to take my memories along with the words I'd put on the tape. But it doesn't work that way. My memories were still there, wounding worse than bullets, running through my mind and fighting with other thoughts which were running in millions in strange race, with the finish located just before my eyes.

„Hell with you!” I yelled and threw the recorder aside. It flew couple of meters and finally landed on the sand. „Leave me alone.”

The ghosts of my fallen companions weren't very keen to leave my mind. They were still sitting there arguing about taking or leaving everything behind. The worst one was strange; twisted by usage of Psycho and greed the face of my CO, when that bullet cut a hole in his chest. This image and the words: “Renfro, why?” will be waking me at night through the rest of my life. It was image that left trail in my mind too deep to be covered.

I pulled out the last pack of the cigarettes and pick up one of them with my lips. The gold lighter with number 44 engraved on the case still had a bit of fuel in it. I lit the cigarette in hope that nicotine will calm my mind and nerves, scaring the ghosts and memories off. Just a minute of calmness and not caring about anything else. A minute as pleasant as random sex that happens in the short pause during the war, when endorphins are flowing through your brain making you forget all the pain. This was a similar moment. Of, course the cigarette wasn't as good as sex, but that had to do. I rub my thumb across the engraving and then I threw the lighter as far as I could. One of the last items that could remind me about the things I would prefer to forget. One of the last not counting the bag lying on the sand next to my leg, but I would rather take it with me than leave it here. It doesn't matter what it meant or how much problems it could bring, but it wouldn't be sensible to get rid of it, especially if my whole future life was based on the bag contents. I opened it and looked at the gold bars lying inside reflecting the sunshine, which blinds my eyes for a second. Gold will always try to blind you and greed is like traitor waiting to stick the knife in your back. When you let yourself go just for a second you'll lose. I won't give up. I won't lose this fight like the rest, I won't.

The flame in the cigarette died and I dropped the end at the sand, crushing it with my boot, like I was it was one of the skulls of my enemies. My enemies were mostly some kind of vermin coming to our outpost to steal some food or some Muties who were even stupider than aformentioned vermin. Both dying in similar way, crushed into the ground or smeared on the wall. Today it was just me and my nightmares, an enemy I couldn't just crush or smear. An enemy I will have to face till the end of my days, with only chance to resolve the conflict – to lose and die. But it wasn't my time yet, the bag full of gold was pushing me forward to the west. It wasn't lighter than the burden sitting in my heart, but as much as the latter was taking my power to walk, the former was giving it back. I haven't decided yet where I should go. Should I seek my place at The Hub along with all these traders or go straight to The NCR? The Hub was more sensible option as the bigger city meant being more anonymous and thus safer. I'm known in the NCR and I spent last couple of years in Chicago, so there was really slight chance that someone will recognize me. I don't like to take chances, no matter how slight they are. Especially after the last months, I'll try to play everything safe, maybe start a high end weapon shop? Brotherhood was really weak in the west so they won't be making problems with that. At least not as serious as they did at the midwest.

The sun's on the horizon, traveling slowly toward its destination, much like I am. We all have our destinations, and the sun will finish its journey in only a few hours, whereas mine will take weeks, and with much less certainty. Still, I push forward. I need to find the power to do it. I looked at the gold bars and I felt a bit stronger. I grabbed my ass from the rusty wreck sleeping near the old asphalt road and stood on my feet. The recorder was lying in the sand looking at me with his round eye, showing the tape hidden inside. I wonder if you can see human memories like that? Look through his eye and see tape recording every second of his life. Would that tape have some specified length and will the old memories disappear if new ones are written in their place, similar to ZAX units cannibalizing their old data? That was the only way to live in sanity, to try to erase everything and cover it with something else. Something new. Maybe I should change my name? I like my old one, but won't it be bringing memories? “Renfro, why?” I should think of new one before I get to the eastern boundaries of NCR, but I still got time to do that. I leaned over the hood to look at the licence plate at the car I was sitting on. Faded name on it was saying Nebraska. I walked for many days, but I was still at Brotherhood territory, but border wasn't far. And after that it was only Dog Town and then along the Colorado river straight to Nevada, cross the Hoover Dam, pass Las Vegas with that strange tower still lit up at nights and I'll finally be back home. My sentence will be finally over.

I picked up the recorder and pulled tape from the inside. I decided to hide it in that car resting for the rest of his days near the road, like one of the monuments of the old world just put there to watch one point on the horizon forever. It must be hell to be like that, just standing and staring without possibility to move or close your eyes. Like this car here, monument of failure and decay waiting for the wind and sun to finally destroy its shell. What had we achieved? We were at the top being able to shape our world in every possible way, but instead we turned it into desolated desert. We were flying to the stars, trying to find new worlds, but we lost our own. And because of what? Greed, of course. There is always the same reason.

I put the tape into the glove compartment and dropped the recorder on the ground again. Creaky sound came out of the old electric engines, when I smashed them with my boot. Another reminiscence and another piece of my history was destroyed. Now it was just me and my load. And the tape hidden, for nobody to find. The last piece of my life hidden from the eyes and ears of the world. Forgotten like the place we found, like our empty outpost, and like this car standing there.

I pulled the 5.56 mm pistol from my pocket and checked the cylinder, which slipped with an electric hum when I had pressed the button. Five bullets were loaded and I still a got couple more in my pocket. I hope it will be enough. I still got another weapon, a Wattz 2000 Laser Rifle, but I hid it under the gold inside the bag. With these Steel pricks running around it wouldn't be sensible to run around with a laser gun. Not only they would confiscate it, but they would probably drag me to the one of their inquisition courts. Spending rest of the my life in one of their mines or being burned on the pile wasn't a very tempting vision of future. When I will finally cross the border between Cheyenne and Dog Town I'll be safe. Not safe per se, but finally free from these insane religious pricks. But first I need to walk, with every step taking me closer to the end of my journey, with every step taking me farther from my memories. To the end of the journey, into the sunset.
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Mr_Leone
  • Mr_Leone

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#2

Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:32 AM

Wow, love it. You are great, Tycek. Please, keep it up, the pleasure is all ours.

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#3

Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:41 PM Edited by Mokrie Dela, 18 April 2013 - 10:47 AM.

NO TYCEK, HOW COULD YOU BEAT ME TO IT!!!!


My deep respect for you means I HAVE to tear into this!

QUOTE (Tycek @ Wednesday, Apr 17 2013, 08:26)
Fallout: Greed - Chapter 1 - Sunset

War, war never changes.

Firstly, knowing fallout, I wonder if this will have more effect being separated into two sentences, thought i'm not sure. Perfect way to start a fallout fic, with what's the staple of the games, narrated by hellboy himself!

As you may or may not now, things i highlight in red, i see as wrong, or unneeded. Green represents my changes. Some may be personal style changes, some technical, so take some things i say with a grain of salt. It's my opinion at the end of the day.

QUOTE
I know something about that. My name is Steven Renfro and I am - or maybe it would be more appropriate to say I was - corporal in the army called The Enclave.

To explain why I've done this: I feel commas represent pauses, but hyphens are better for digressions or detached notes/corrections. In this sense, saying you WAS a member, adds information a but the sentence survives without it - it's a digression or expansion, and i think a hyphen works better than a comma. I also added in THE Enclave, because i have always heard it said that way. Your knowledge of games, from WOWAI to comments in other topics, suggests you know the game well enough, so if this is deliberate, then fair play. I wont correct that from hereon.

QUOTE
Me and my friends were stationed in the ass of the world – the city of Chicago. I've never understood why Enclave decided to make one of the outposts there as there were , and still is[/color] nothing worth enough to protect.

I added in the commas because when i read it, i got confused. the sentence needs breaking up to make the meaning clear - as said above, this could be done with hyphens (there was - and still is - nothing ...) but it's small enough that commas work. Also i changed were to was, thought this could be a characteristic choice of words - many people would say "were" but i think was is "correct"
The end of this is a bit untidy. I personally think it could be improved, with "nothing of worth to protect" or "nothing worth protecting" or even "nothing worthy enough to protect."

QUOTE
I don't want to come go into details, because it hurts like hell , when I'm thinking about the things that happened in the previous months, but we've found one place, which name I won't tell you to prevent you from going there.

This is a little long winded - it stands out a little from the previous sentences, like a man talking to you, then forgetting to breath. It 'sounds' odd. My best advice here is to read out your story when you proof read it - aloud - speak it, see where your voice sounds off, or where a breather is needed, in a literary way. My personal rewrite of this would be:
I won't go into the details, because it hurts like hell, thinking about those previous months, but we've found a new home*. I won't tell you the name; better you not be foolish enough to search for it."
Not a brilliant rewrite come to think of it, I think breaking this into two sentences would work better - try to cut down on your words too. Do you NEED to say "the things that happened in the previous months" when you could say "those few months" or something? Shorter is usually better.

QUOTE
This place - or more likely the things and the idea , which this place was built around - changes people.

Simple formatting issue here. Easily fixed (I'm sure you'll see one or two of these in COL or JIF)

QUOTE
Greed is the worst type of drug humanity has ever invented ; the most addict ive and with highest possibility to draw everything from the very bottom of man's personality.

Again, i think this could be worded slightly better. The meaning i wasn't clear about so i won't make another assumption.

QUOTE
Greed is the fuel for all the wars, no matter who or why fought in it or why . It also doesn't matter , which side you're currently on, because greed , like a virus , can take over everybody and win the war for itself. Because all wars end like this, leaving people broken and lost. There are only Pyrrhic Victories, and even if somebody call s himself a winner , it means that his losses were smaller than at the other side ' s. In the last war nobody could call himself a winner and my recent fight was exactly the same. Am I a winner? Then why am I feeling like it was totally unnecessary to push ourselves into this?  What proves the fact that I won? Fact that I am alive? Sometimes dying is better than living in constant pain, especially if it's the pain you can't dull with morphine. Losing all your world, all the things you thought they were worth fighting for, all the people you know, can destroy you. I am feeling completely destroyed right now, but it was somewhat easy to predict when I think about this now. You know why? Because war, war never changes.

A few things I would have done differently - stylistically - the "last war" for example. Saying "Mankind's last war" might fit in with fallout's narrative well, but then it's a contradiction because as we all know, it's not the last war. After all, war never changes! biggrin.gif

I hate to say, but there were a lot of things i noticed with this. A lot of changes i feel are needed, but that last bulk of narrative - where I didn't break it up much? I liked that, really liked it. I was getting a sense of desolation, of loss, of the futility of war. It reads like a warrior's lament - and i enjoyed it, especially the way you came back to the hook at the end.


QUOTE
Maybe a bit too heavy, but that will have to do, I thought pressing the stop button on an old, dirty and broken in few places damaged , but still working old pre-war recorder taken from the base.

A little longer than needed - when editing, ask yourself, can i shorten this? Can i make this more direct? Instead of using the laser rifle, to take the enemy down in ten shots, will a plasma rifle do it in two? As with hardcore mode, you want to conserve ammo, and in this case, you want to use as few words as possible. Cut off any superfluous/unneeded words.

made up example "I waved, greeting the person with a nod, bowing my head downward out of politeness" This sentence could be a lot shorter as it's a waste of words - a lot of words to say something simple - waved, greeting, nod, and the last part, are all repeats. you could say "i waved in greeting" or "i nodded in greeting." Sometimes it works to repeat yourself, but usually not. In this instance i would take that down to "I waved, greeting him with a nod" - I hope i make sense here!

QUOTE
I looked at it for the last time, like it was supposed to take my memories along with the words I'd put on the tape. But it doesn't work th at way . M y memories are still there, wounding and hurting worse than bullets, running thru my mind and fighting with other thoughts which were running in millions in strange race, with the finish located just before my eyes.

Firstly, and i notice this a lot with less experienced writers - even myself in JIF - there's some tense issues here. "I looked" "it was supposed to" "i'd put" - all past tense - I DID, it happened. Then you say "My memories are still there" which, to remain consistent with the the previous, should be "my memories were still there" - unless you're trying to make a seperation between past and present. I've also begun to notice the biggest problem here, and i'll come to that at the end.



QUOTE
"Hell with you”, I yelled and cast the recorder aside. It flew couple of meters and finally landed on the sand. "Leave me alone.”

Strange speech marks there - at the bottom? Not seen that before....
Well done here - you've avoided one of my biggest problems - putting fullstops (periods) at the end of "mid sentence" speech. Here, you say ""Hell with you". then carry the sentence on outside of speech (although the comma's in the wrong place!
All too often i write: "Hell with you." I yelled. which is wrong. "Hell with you," I yelled is correct.
However, i'm seeing anger here. Perhaps : "Hell with you!" I yelled. would be better? Also cast aside says - to me - put aside. perhaps going simpler with "threw aside" would be better here, as it supports the anger better.

QUOTE
The ghosts of my fallen companions weren't very keen to left leave my mind. They were still sitting there arguing about taking or leaving everything behind. The worst one was strange ; twisted by usage of P sycho and greed, the face of my CO, when that bullet cut a hole in his chest. This image and the words : “Renfro, why?” will be waking me at night thru the rest of my life. It was image that left trail in my mind too deep to be covered.

Psycho - the drug in Fallout - is a noun, therefore a capital letter, like any name. As Nuka Cola, or Sunset Sarsaparilla.
Again i'm seeing "thru" - this is the incorrect 'lazy' way that people text to each other. "THROUGH" please biggrin.gif

QUOTE
I pulled out the last pack of the cigarettes and pick one of them up with my lips. The gold lighter with number 44 engraved on the case still had a bit of fuel in it. I lit the cigarette in hope that nicotine will calm my mind and nerves, scaring the ghost s and memories off. Just a minute of calmness and not caring about anything else. A m inute as pleasant as random sex that happens in the short pause during the war, when endorphins are flowing thru your brain making you forget all the pain. This was a similar moment. Of, course the cigarette wasn't as good as sex, but that had to do. I rub my thumb across the engraving and then I threw the lighter as far as I could. One of the last items that could remind me about the things I would prefer to forget. One of the last not counting the bag lying on the sand next to my leg, but I would rather take it with me than leave it here. It doesn't matter what it meant or how much problems it could bring, but it wouldn't be sensible to get rid of it, especially if my whole future life was based on the bag contents. I opened it and looked at the gold bars lying inside , reflecting the sunshine, which blind s my eyes for a second. Gold will always try to blind you and greed is like traitor waiting to stick the knife between your ribs.

I liked this passage until the last word - ribs. You're saying greed will betray you, and the expression that goes here is "stabbing in the back" Therefore i think you'll get more effect saying "waiting to stick the knife in your back".

QUOTE
When you let yourself go just for a second you'll lose. I won't give up. I won't lose this fight like the rest . I won't.

Added full stop here for dramatic effect.

QUOTE
The flame in the cigarette died and I dropped the end at the sand, then I crushed it with my boot, like I was crushing skulls of my enemies not long ago.

Almost. You almost got it here. cut it down a little, and it'd be more effective:
The flame in the cigarette died and I dropped it on the sand, crushing it with my boot as though it was the skulls of my recent enemies.

QUOTE
My enemies were mostly some kind of vermin coming to our outpost to steal some food or some M uties who were even stupider than said vermin . Both kinds were ending ended in similar way, crushed into the ground or smeared on the wall.

Im not sure if ended is the best words. Perhaps stopped? I'm not sure.

QUOTE
Today , it was just me and my nightmares, an enemy I couldn't just crush or smear. An e nemy I will have to face till the end of my days, with only chance to resolve the conflict – to lose and die. But it wasn't my time yet, the bag full of gold was pushing me forward to the west. It wasn't lighter than the burden sitting in my heart, but as much as the last was taking my power to walk, the first was giving it back.

I would consider using "former" and "latter" instead of "first" and "last".

QUOTE
I haven't decided yet , where I should go. Should I seek my place at The Hub along with all these traders or go straight to The NCR? The Hub was the more sensible option as the bigger city meant being more anonymous and thus safer. I 'm weren't not known in the NCR and I spen t the last couple of years in the Chicago, so there was really slight chance that someone will recognize me. I don't like to take chances, no matter how slight they are. Especially after the last months, I'll try to play everything safe, maybe start a high end weapon shop? Brotherhood was really weak in the west so they won't be making problems with that. At least not as serious as they did at the midwest.


I'm going to leave it there, because i really need to get back to work. I'll return and go through the rest later.

Now if you've sat through all that, you've passed the first test; you're strong enough to take constructive criticism and push on. cookie.gif

None of the above is to say that this is not good though. The only other thing that's missing is action. Nothing happens. There's little STORY so far - a great inflection of the character, I'm beginning to feel like i know him, and there's enough mystery that i want - no NEED - to know more. WHAT the hell happened? Something akin to Bitter Springs and NCR? Something tragic, like giving Veronica to the white gloves to eat, or Rose (is that her name) for the van graffs to kill?. Good job in planting that seed, but now we need to see some story. So far there's a man. That's it. He's not going anywhere (granted i've yet to finish it) or doing anything, there's no quest, no goal - well, there is but we're not shown that yet.

This has potential, room to grow, and i'm certainly looking forward to reading more and seeing how you're going to grow as a writer. I'm so glad you made a fallout fanfic, and shared it with us, and i did enjoy this. The character feels well built, although I want to hear more about him - the trick here is to tell us things while showing us - give us action and let us learn, as opposed to writing it all down. So far it's a long monologue, and i think that works in creating a sense of loneliness.

All the improvement points aside, good work, and I look forward to seeing more! (and indeed going through the rest, when I can do so !!)

The biggest problem, however, is what i think is a language barrier. If memory serves me right, english is not your first language (or am i thinking of another yardie?) This causes all sorts of accidental problems with writing - and if this is the case, the only solution is to read more english books and stories, and learn the subtlest points that even I get wrong sometimes.

* I wasn't sure what you meant by this - had Steven found a new "home" or what? I think that needs clearing up a little, so i took creative license and made an assumption.

##################################################################################

Part two :

QUOTE
I looked at the sun traveling slowly to the horizon. We all have our destinations it seems and sun will achieve its not longer than in few hours, when I won't get to my in weeks, but I must push forward.

Be careful with things like "i looked at the sun" - in real life, would you? Look at the sun? would it not blind you?
I won't say why, as all that's above, but a little tidying up:
QUOTE
The sun's on the horizon, traveling slowly toward its destination, much like I am. We all have our destinations, and the sun will finish its journey in only a few hours, whereas mine will take weeks, and with much less certainty. Still, I push forward.
Again the problem of tense pops up here. The above is in present tense - the sun IS on the horizon, traveling slowly.... the next passage is in past tense again - it's easy to overlook this, but important to ensure it's consistent. My advice, and this requires a lot of patience and discipline - is to do a few edit/read throughs. First, read through the chapter, looking for tense and view point issues. Makes sure it's all happening or happened, and not a combination of both*

QUOTE
I need to find the power to do it. I looked at the gold bars and I felt a bit stronger. I grabbed my ass from the rusty wreck sleeping near the old asphalt road and stood on my feet. The r ecorder was lying in the sand looking at me with his round eye, showing the tape hidden inside. I wonder if you can see human 's memories like that? Look thr o u gh[/colo] his eye and see [color=green]a tape recording of every second of his life. Would that tape ha ve some specified length and will the old memories disappear if new ones are written in their place, similar to ZAX units cannibalizing their old data? That was the only way to live in sanity, to try to erase everything and cover it with something else . S omething new. Maybe I should change my name , write some other? I like my old one, but won't it be bringing memories?

The last bit - in red - i'm not sure is needed. You're saying the same thing twice. "change my name, make a new name". Both are not needed.

QUOTE
“Renfro, why?” I should think of a new one before I get to the eastern boundaries of the NCR, but I still got time to do that. I dashed to look at the licence plate at the car I was sitting on.

A little too dramatic here. I'm seeing urgent action, for a mundane task. Instead of "dashed" why not go the other way, have Steven move wearily? Have him move like a tired traveler, slow? I think that would work better - if you were sitting on the car, would you "dash" to look at the number plate? Or would you lean lazily over the edge, looking down out of curiosity more than urgency? This is another word of advice i'd give - put yourself in the story. Close your eyes, picture YOU on the car, not steven. What would you do? Why?

QUOTE
The faded name on it was [color=green]said Nebraska. I walked for many days, but I was still in Brotherhood territory, but the border wasn't far. And after that it was only Dog Town and then along the Colorado river straight to Nevada, cross the Hoover Dam, pass the Las Vegas with that strange tower still lit up at nights and I'll finally be back home. My sentence will be finally over.

Ironically where you've put "the" in front of Las Vegas, It's not needed, as "las" is spanish for "the" (Las vegas means "the fields" or something i think). Also, would it not be New Vegas? In which case, the THE is still unneeded, as it'd be like saying "I walked past The Tycek." when it should be "I walked past Tycek"

QUOTE
I picked up the recorder and pulled the tape from the inside. I decided to hid e it in that car resting for the rest of his days near the road, like one of the monuments of the old world , just put there to observe one point on the horizon forever.

I'm not sure "observe" works best here. It means to view, or watch or witness when i think you're meaning to say "stay" or "stand" or something.

QUOTE
It must be hell to be like that, just standing without possibility to move and staring without possibility to close your eyes .

A couple of points here. Firstly, the repeat of the word "possibility." Unless you're trying to give the feeling of repetition, try to use a different word but do you need to say it twice? Would "just standing, watching, unable to move or close your eyes."

QUOTE
Like this car here, monument of failure and decay waiting for the wind and sun to finally destroy its shell. What had we achieved? We were at the top , being able to shape our world in every possible direction , but instead we turned it into desolated desert.

Instead of direction, maybe "way" would work better? Seems to fit better with our pattern of speech.

QUOTE
We were flying to the stars, trying to find new world s , but we lost our own. And because of what? Greed, of course. There is always the same reason.

I put the tape into the glove compartment and dropped the[/color[ recorder on the ground again. [color=green]A c reaky sound came out of the old electric engines, when I smashed them with my boot. Another reminiscence and another piece of my history was destroyed. Now it was just me and my load. And the tape hidden, for nobody to find. The l ast piece of my life hidden from the eyes and ears of the world. Forgotten like the place we found, like our empty outpost, and like this car standing there.

I'm questioning the engines. In 3&NV, if you shoot the cars, they explode like a mini nuke. That implies they're not electric, but fusion powered? Fission batteries perhaps? I suppose you could argue it's still electricity, but you say "electric" i think battery, not nuclear/fission. A very small point, but one to consider?

QUOTE
I pulled the 5.56 mm pistol from my pocket and checked the cylinder, which slipped with an electric hum , when I had pressed the button. Five bullets were loaded and I still got a [color]couple more in [color=green]my pocket. I hope it will be enough. I still got another weapon - a Wattz 2000 Laser Rifle - but I hid e it under the gold inside the bag. With these S teel pricks running around it wouldn't be sensible to run around with a laser gun. Not only they would confiscate it, but they would probably drag me to the one of their s inquisition courts. Spending the rest of my life in one of their mines or being burned on the pile wasn't a very tempting vision of the future. When I will finally cross the border between Cheyenne and Dog Town I'll be safe. Not safe per se, but finally free from these insane religious pricks. But first I need to walk, with every step taking me closer to the end ing of my journey, with every step taking me farther from my memories. To the end of the journey, into the sunset.

I think the repeat at the end works in this case, hammering home the characters resolve and goal. We have a quest (I'll talk about that later) now. He's going for something, and that's been revealed, sort of. I'm seeing purpose now - a point to the story. But it still needs to move, for something to happen. Some stories, nothing happens for the first page, or few chapters (Many tom clancy books are slow to get going) and sometimes that builds the tension. Sometimes not, and it's difficult to say if your 'plan' will work until it's read. So far, I'm liking what I'm seeing. One thing I will say, is the environment. I'm getting little in the way of the world Steven's in. There's a few references, but not many subtle hints to it.
If it's a hot day, why not have him wipe his brow when he rests, or take a drink of water (a nice opportunity to show the reader his resources - purified water will imply he's resourceful, or come from a place with good supplies, enforcing the Enclave part. Dirty water emphasizes the dead, hostile world, where nothing's safe. Rad-X and Radaway, an important tool in the game could be mentioned, thus showing the reader the post-nuclear world clearer. Don't throw these facts in the readers' faces, but instead try to leave them in places where they'll be seen, if you get what i mean. Also what's Steven wearing - i cant remember if you said that. That's another thing that can hint toward the weather. If it's sunny and hot - a cowboy hat? Or sun hat? Is he wearing heavy armor or light clothing? Thick and hot or minimalistic and cool?

*The only time i can see both tenses working is during flashbacks. When you're writing a passage in the story, and referencing/flashing back to a previous event:
QUOTE
I walk up the stone steps, the men beside me holding guns to ensure I cooperate. The figure at the top stares at me, not speaking. It takes me a moment to recognize her. But finally recognition lands.

The hunger had taken hold of me. The small shack was as inviting as the most luxury restaurant - a rare but not unknown sight. Inside was indeed food - enough to last me for a few days. But the man was defiant. Where was his sense of good will?
One gunshot was all it took. Seconds past and, with him dying on the floor, I stuffed as much food into my mouth as I could. I hadn't seen her hiding. In fact, has she remained hidden, I would not have seen her. Instead, she ran, fleeing into the sun. I was too weak, too hungry to follow.

But now, it seems, she has found me.




Now a side not, as i mentioned about "quest"

A helpful tool in writing, especially to newcomers, and less experienced, is to break the story into eight parts.

1 - Stasis
2 - Trigger
3 - Quest
4 - Obstacle
5 - Reaction
6 - Climax
7 - Consequence
8 - Conclusion

Firstly the Stasis is the establishment of the world - "once upon a time" - its setting a scene, introducing your readers to the characters or the world. In Fallout 3, the stasis is life in the vault, growing up, taking the GOAT etc

Then the trigger. This is where sh*t starts. In Fallout 3, it's your dad leaving the vault. Things are kickstarted.

Then the quest. This is what the character wants. Their goals. In Fallout 3, it's wanting to find James.

The Obstacle is pretty simple - things that get in the way. In fallout 3 it's several things, at different points, but first, it's not knowing where he is or where he's gone. theres a challenge here.

The reaction is where the character reacts to the obstacle. To find James, the character needs to follow the trail - the obstacle of not knowing his location is gotten past by inquiring at Megaton and picking up clues, following them and learning.

The climax is where sh*t all comes together. The quest leads to this, the obstacles block this. In fallout 3, [spoiler] it's finding and freeing James and taking the purifier. That leads to another "obstacle", and for the player to react again - this time, in working with the enclave.


The consequence is what happens next. [spoiler] It's poisoning the purifier, and contaminating the water, or purifying it. The adventure, the climax - this is what's left afterward.

And finally the conclusion is , in fallout3 the titles, where hellboy narrates, telling what happens afterward.

The simplified version:

1StasisOnce upon a time
2TriggerSomething happened
3QuestCausing the character to want something
4Obstaclebut something gets in the way
5Reaction And the character must make a decision or find a way
6Climaxwhich causes something to happen, things to come to a head
7ConsequenceThe result of all of the above is this
8conclusionAnd the world is left in a new state.
This is a good thing to think of while planning your story. Each story arch should stick to this - and story arcs are of different sizes.

GRAND, MAJOR and MINOR.

Grand, is fallout 3's quest to find JAMES. This is the overall story of the game.
Major is fallout 3's purifier story, the fight for it and the enclave's interests
Minor are the little quests throughout the game, those given by random people, to save or kill, or whathave you.
Each one should stick to the above 8 points. think of it as an expansion of "beginning middle and end". I hope i havnt confused you. The funny thing is experienced writers can break from the above, they can pull away from the guidelines and take risks. It's not a LAW you have to adhere to all the above, but I'd consider it as it's damned helpful, and will help structure your story a LOT.

Tycek
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#4

Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:10 PM Edited by Tycek, 18 April 2013 - 08:38 AM.

@Mokrie

Starting from the end, english is not my native language, but that's not the point. I should knew english well enough and these errors, well, they shouldn't be there, but you know how it is. You're checking everything for 100th time, but the bastards are still sitting there like cockroaches living between the boards of the floor. And about language, I'm learning something new every day, watching movies and reading books helps (I got "Driven" for example to read, which will be as poor as "Drive" probably). I'm trying to improve my language and even being here and writing with you helps (my posts from 2009 are killing my sense of perfection). I hope mistakes didn't make this story impossible to read.

About story, this is as I wrote, just the beginning, so you can expect almost everything to be explained. This was just the intro, to set the mood, put you into Steven's mind turned into puddle of sh*t by recent events, and plant some seeds. Now it will be time of giving the answers, slowly one after another.

*And about that place that Steven and his friends had found, you'll find out. I wouldn't call it home, though.

And about your criticism, it means a lot to me. As I said, be picky, because constructive criticism made by someone better is the best way to learn. Your knowledge and experience will be my hammer and anvil. I will use them to forge my talent into something more sophisticated.

@Mr_Leone
Thank you for your words. It's nice to see something like that.

@Everyone interested

New chapter will be coming in few days.

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#5

Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

Well your willingness to lean and improve (check out justice in flames - eminence tore one of my chapters apart, but that's how you learn) is a great start.

The story wasn't unreadable at all. As you said, be picky (ill fix the quote tags soon). Most of the problems (which is a bit harsh, I think 'points' would be better) probably stem from the aforementioned language barrier, but barriers can be smashed down I climbed over.

Kudos on your plan to give us answers - the trick here is to leave the reader guessing for as long as possible, then give them answers that lead to something else. Murder mysteries are perfect for seeing how this is done. You think you've figured it out when something new pops up. The you're shown something and again you think it's all over but a twist hits you.

This can go places, but don't be afraid to take your time and edit what you've already written
There's a reason why patience is a virtue
smile.gif

Also, as a comforting word, ill share (look for this post to be edited), I noticed errors in Tom Clancy books and other novels. They will pop up and as you said, you think you got them all. I've been converting JIF to a PDF, and have noticed so many errors that slipped through my multiple edits. It happens, as you said smile.gif

But make sure you realise that I enjoyed this. It's good

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#6

Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:12 PM

Mokrie has more-or-less beat me to helping you with the technical aspects; story-wise I like it. War, war never changes, is probably one of the greatest ways to open up any story EVER. The fact you can use it so well in this story means something. I'd like to see where you're going with this. I love Fallout (Bought New Vegas a few days ago and I'm well underway in playing it). Anyway, keep it up, make some changes to the punctuation and such, and get another chapter going!

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#7

Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 14:12)
Mokrie has more-or-less beat me to helping you with the technical aspects; story-wise I like it. War, war never changes, is probably one of the greatest ways to open up any story EVER. The fact you can use it so well in this story means something. I'd like to see where you're going with this. I love Fallout (Bought New Vegas a few days ago and I'm well underway in playing it). Anyway, keep it up, make some changes to the punctuation and such, and get another chapter going!

Also grab FO3, i thought it was great.


And tycek will be angry if i don't suggest trying the older ones out! tounge.gif

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#8

Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 16:20)
QUOTE (Ziggy455 @ Monday, Apr 22 2013, 14:12)
Mokrie has more-or-less beat me to helping you with the technical aspects; story-wise I like it. War, war never changes, is probably one of the greatest ways to open up any story EVER. The fact you can use it so well in this story means something. I'd like to see where you're going with this. I love Fallout (Bought New Vegas a few days ago and I'm well underway in playing it). Anyway, keep it up, make some changes to the punctuation and such, and get another chapter going!

Also grab FO3, i thought it was great.


And tycek will be angry if i don't suggest trying the older ones out! tounge.gif

I've completed Fallout 1, 2 & 3 many times, but I never really got around to playing the DLCs or Vegas but I'm a little into it and I'm loving it so far.

Mokrie Dela
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#9

Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:41 PM

They at good games
The freedom they offer is beyond even gta and in think the whole setting is cool (hence my planned fallout ff)
Perhaps any further discussion should be taken to PM or the NV topic though

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#10

Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:22 AM

Allright, the second chapter is almost ready. Now it needs some reading and correcting the errors, but I got question for you guys, before I'll post it. Do you prefer chapters to be shorter, like the first one or longer with everything I wrote. If you prefer shorter the next one will be in two, three days max as it is also complete.

Mokrie Dela
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#11

Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE (Tycek @ Tuesday, Apr 23 2013, 09:22)
Allright, the second chapter is almost ready. Now it needs some reading and correcting the errors, but I got question for you guys, before I'll post it. Do you prefer chapters to be shorter, like the first one or longer with everything I wrote. If you prefer shorter the next one will be in two, three days max as it is also complete.

This has to be your decision. Does the chapter NEED to be short or long? Is the "episode" you're writing a short one or long one, have you got any words that you could cut out, or any details you should add in? There's no solid rule to guide you i'm afraid, but when writing COL/JIF, i looked at each chapter like a miniature story, each one had a point, and the chapters would be as long as they needed. If you have read it all, look at some of the later chapters of COL - IIRC, there's one that's long, then another chapter is only one paragraph.

I think on these forums, shorter chapters are better though, as they're easier to read, and if they're written well enough, snappy and pulling the reader in, then ending, making the reader wanting more.

But sometimes you come across something that really good, giving you something that can't be short.



You'll have to decide yourself. sad.gif


Also make sure you take your time. smile.gif

Tycek
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#12

Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:12 AM Edited by Tycek, 07 May 2013 - 08:55 PM.

Allright, thanks for the answer. Time to read everything for another time and find another fifty filthy errors. I more or less fixed mistakes in my first chapter.

Where's your fanfic? I'm dying to see it.

Fallout: Greed - Chapter 2 - Highway through Hell.

I-80 was still covered with car carcasses waiting in the traffic jam eternally. Brotherhood was probably using I-70 to get to the Mount Cheyenne as this road seemed to be untouched by human hand since the war. Charred skeletons were still holding tightly steering wheels with their crumbling hands and looking patiently on the horizon waiting for possibility do drive farther. The smaller ones sitting in the back of the car were still holding pieces of dolls or teddy bears,trying to experience so much-needed carefree in the last moments of their short lives. Thick quilt of dust covered everything, so nobody was walking here recently. This wasn’t surprising as I was entering the no man’s land. The NCR territory was stretching from Ocean in the west to the border located around 100 miles east of their capital. The Brotherhood country was located between Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado and the ruins of the former Chicago. Everything between these them was claimed by the nature. Desolated desert was all that remained, with nobody tough or stupid enough to claim the ownership. Similar situation was in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico or part of the country located east from Chicago. Just endless tracts of emptiness and sorrow marked with ruins of pre-war cities with dogs and human trash roaming the streets and howling at the moon. At least that’s what they told us.
For three days I was walking between rusted out junks, traversing I-80. For three damn days I was sleeping on the old car couches so full of dust they were clogging my nose and throat. For three long days I was walking like Dante who stepped down to hell to find his love. On the fourth day I stepped down to another circle in my personal oblivion.

“Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,” I said to myself; repeating an old psalm I found in one of the books - not knowing why? I was never religious guy, trusting more into my own abilities and training than some kind guy living in the sky. Maybe this time his rod and staff wasn’t enough and I really started to feel a little scared?

“Not possible”, I said laughing and the skeletons laughed silently with me. All of them with bare bones blacked by the time and weather, sitting there and showing their yellowed teeth in wide grins.
Like a car cinema audience, which didn't realize that movie ended long time ago, still staring at burnt out surface of the screen and trying to make the best of a bad game.

“John”, I turned to the guy, sitting in his two-door Corvega, dressed in his best suit hanging on his bony shoulders and sunken chest. Box of chocolates, lying on the passenger seat made purpose of his trip much clearer. “What do you think of the movie? Is it good? Oh, yes it is, you are grinning. And look at all these kids literally dying of laughter in the back seat of that Highwayman. Aren’t they adorable?”

I grabbed my head and closed my eyes tightly. Was I losing my mind? Was fear making this to me? I’ve seen the skeletons before, I've killed before. The death isn’t anything that I wouldn’t be familiar with, so why I was feeling like this.

I looked at the John, who turned his head into my direction and said with a smile:

“Do you want a lift? I am going to Imperial, I met gorgeous girl from around those parts.”

“What?” I asked taking a step back.

“All right, I just wanted to be nice.” He explained and started closing the window.

I looked at his car, but this wasn’t Corvega anymore. It was one of these giant hearses. There was coffin in the back, but it was empty. Lid leaned against the wall had a plate on it, which stated: “Steven Renfro, 34”
I rushed to the window, trying to prevent it from closing.

“Wait, what’s going on here?”

“I just wanted to give you a lift to the Imperial, but if you don’t want. Maybe the friends sitting in the back will convince you?”

Three dead bodies belonging to my companions - with faces frozen in the second when life was leaving their body - were sitting on the back seat. Three pictures made in the moment when their death was ripping mark inside my mind.
The closest body belonged to my CO - John Pavo, still with the same gaping wound of his chest and blood dripping like a waterfall on his armor and forming puddle on his laps. His face was still expressing surprise and his mouth were formed into a phrase that I remembered all too well "Steven, why?" Next was heavy weapon operator - Gus cut in half by sheet of pneumatically closing doors. His guts flowed from the abdominal cavity cluttering the floor of the car. He had no face. It was more like mask, fixed and lifeless. Last body belonged to our explosives expert - Lenny, who was just sitting there and staring into space. Only hair standing on the end and convulsions of his whole body could tell you something about his death.
There were only three bodies, so two were missing - one of Dina and one of Doctor Cyrus Bartlett - our field medic and scientist, known also as Doc Bart.

“C’mon Steven, ride with us,” said Pavo, extending his arm and trying to pull me inside.

I pushed back even further, beyond the reach of my ex-comrades’ arms.

“What do you want from me? What’s going on? My voice started to crack.

“We don’t want much, just give back the gold,” he said pointing his finger toward the bag. ”Then you will jump on the back and we’re even.”

“Over my dead body,” I shouted at them, but at this moment this statement weren’t making any sense.

“It’s good that you’re agreeing with us, “said Pavo pulling his 14mm pistol. For a second I thought that I would have to join the corpses sitting on the back seat of the hearse. I knew that 14 mm bullets are huge, but at that moment I was standing in front of cave full of Deathclaws, each of which lurked at the entrance ready to jump. One of them jumped with a loud bang and I instictivelly closed my eyes as not seeing the moment of my own death would make a difference. I didn’t feel the pain or the wave of heat after the shot. All I was feeling was cold wind sweeping my face.

I opened my eyes slowly and I was still standing near John and his Corvega. Bastard was still grinning. I grabbed his skull, snapping it from the spine and kicked it as far as I could. “And stay there, prick!”
I looked in the direction I was heading and I thought I saw a smoke trail. I rubbed my eyes, because I wasn't sure if that was part of my hallucination, but the smoke was still there, stretching straight to the sky. Someone had to have started campfire couple of meters ahead. I crouched between the cars, moving slowly towards the smoke, watching my every step. Falling down or making noise could reveal my position. I finally saw people sitting around. Three figures, wearing some clothes made out of the gecko skins, were roasting some kind of meat.

“sh*t, probably some kind of cannibals,” I thought pulling my gun out of the holster. I hadn't planned engaging in combat, but I had the pistol ready just in case.

“Shh, Mary,” I said to woman sitting in her station wagon. “And keep your kids quiet.” Little bastards and their mother were still smiling and looking at me with their empty eyes.

The tribals were still unaware of my presence and I wouldn't mind keeping it that way, but it just couldn't end like that. Just my luck, again. Wind started to blow into their direction taking my scents to them. I swear to God, one of them started sniffing like a dog and yelled something making some rather beastly noise. In one second they stood up and started running in my direction wielding some sharpened sticks. I dropped my bag and took position, staying firmly and taking time to aim. Bastards were faster than I thought, but before they got to me I shot two times, hitting one of them in the eye and mouth. Guy dropped on the cracked asphalt near the Mary's wagon, but the rest of them were almost grabbing my arms. I knew that I wouldn't hit them without aiming, so I smacked one of them with butt of the handle. Strong blow aimed right in the side of the head cut him down and guy fell down wrapping his arms around his head. The third one – looking the strongest out of the trio – He grabbed me in half and threw with huge force on Mary's car. The terrible pain crawled up my spine, moving higher and higher until it nearly blew my skull. I weakened the grip and my pistol dropped on the cracked asphalt. Savege threw me on the road and jumped on me crushing my lungs. He leaned forward pressing his black teeth to my neck and trying to bite me like dogs kill they prey. There was no possibility of getting him of me, because he was both a lot stronger and bigger. I tried to headbutt him, but I hit his hard as a concrete wall forehead, instead of a nose. The world around me disappeared and I could depend only on my luck and ingenuity of the tribal. Luckily for me, instead of biting, he clenched his big as shovel paws on my neck trying to squeeze remains of life from me. I knew if I won't come up with an idea I would have to join my friends sitting in the hearse. I was touching everything in the range of my arms that could turn the tide to my side, when my palm landed on cold metal of the pistol. I grabbed it and with the rest of my strength I stick it to the tribal's head. The power of the shot nearly torn the pistol from my weakened grip, when I squeezed the trigger. His lifeless body landed on me with all its weight, and his hands dropped like arms of the puppet when you cut the strings.

“Get off, prick,” I yelled pushing his dead body aside. I wiped his blood from my eyes and walked to the second tribal who started standing up. I hit him once more with the gun and when he fell down I stepped down on his throat. He started making some strange noises, not animal, but not human either. Something between bubbling and whirring. I aimed and shot him right in the head, ending his misery. They were dead, f*cking cannibals running like wild dogs, trying to eat everything in their sight. I ripped piece of the clothes from one of the guys and wiped the blood, saliva and sweat from my face, cleaning it with water from the bottle. I reloaded the pistol and I picked up the bag, which was lying next to Mary's car.

I decided to check their campfire. They were roasting some kind of hare and it smelled quite nice. I ripped a piece and eat it. Bastards knew how to cook; it wasn't as good as Cookie's back in Navarro, but still nice. Fighting with these tribals and thinking about Cookie reminded me about the good times in Navarro. It was great, to land in the middle of the forest with noise so loud it could blow your eardrums out and with power so great it was cutting down the withered trees. We were like Gods landing among mortals on our heavenly chariots. And all these tribals running toward us, with their sticks and stones, trying to scare us with their bare teeth and angry faces. And right in the middle between them was the shaman throwing sentences increasing their aggression and allowing them to push even further into our positions: “Carburetor, Washing machine, Calculator” or “Wash by hand, do not wring.” These were the times; we were dying laughing when they tried to attack us with their spears. We didn't have to use weapons as sometimes breaking their arms with one firmly move was enough. With bigger opposition weapons were necessary, but cutting one or two in half with a Laser Rifle or turning somebody into the green puddle of sh*t with a Plasma Rifle was enough to break them. Sometimes we were yelling some slogans - through the in-built megaphone system that was present on the Vertibirds - like “We are your Gods and we are enraged, give us your women and maybe we will leave you alone.” We never did, though. And their women were great, but before the medical examination blow jobs were the best you could get. If only the metal pants were easier to take off. Pilots were lucky, serving in light uniforms. We, serving in Powers, got our piece or cake after the medical procedures. These tribals with catlike movements could give you fun for the whole night. Too bad that Dornan was attacking your ears the next day.

“Renfro, are you f*cking sleeping on duty? Do you f*cking want me to sing you lullaby, maggot? Ten laps around the base, now, move it, move it, f*cker. sh*t was running faster from my ass when I got the constipation,” he would yell chasing you around the camp.

And when one of the tribals got pregnant, we were selling them at higher price. The new owner was getting two slaves in price of one and the kid got very good genes. Who would like to have child with some forest people? Having sex with them was like masturbation, you aren't worried about your children going down the toilet. If I ever wanted to have children I could have them with some Enclave chick like Snookie or Dina. Dina would be great, but she was lying somewhere on the bottom of the elevator shaft after the rope couldn’t withstand the weight of all the gold she took and broke. We were telling her to not take so much, but she was already set and our words were simply missing her ears. Last moment I remembered was her flight down along with scream and thump and the bottom of the shaft carried by echo and repeated many times as she was falling and dying several times.

That brought a tear to my eye that lead into crying, when I recalled the nights spent with her. Her wonderfully-fit body, her honey colored skin shining in the light of the fluorescent lamps. Her green eyes, smiling at you and her brown curly hair you could just play with, for hours.
Me, guy who just put three tribals to the ground, with their blood splatters on my chest plate of Combat armor, crying like a baby. I felt that I couldn't walk anymore without dealing with the past. I couldn't rewind time, I won't be able to revive my friends buy I could try to do something to not let it happen again. I could stop people, warn them about this place, teach them what is worth living and dying for. Maybe this will help me to overcome this sorrow and the ghosts of my fallen companions getting more often into my head.
I found blue Corvega staying on sand near the road and I decided it will be the good place to stop and think. I put the bag on the sand I sat on the hood of the car. My destination was still many miles ahead, but I had to push there, to finally be safe, to escape from this insanity.
I pulled out one of the last bottle of water, meat I took from these tribals and the old recorder from inside the bag. Gold bars were shining brightly on the bottom of the bag, each with signature, each worth a lot, even a human life. I eat meat and besieged fire in the throat, which smoldered since fight with savages, with clean albeit warmth water.

“Damn, I miss the base fridge,” I thought grabbing the recorder from car hood and putting it on my knees. “Time to do this, one...two…three…here we go.”
I pressed the record button, and closed my eyes listening to hum of the electric engines pulling the tape waiting for my words.
“War, war never changes...”




Chapter was longer, but I decided to split it into two parts as they're concentrating around different ideas. I've read it many times, but I'm quite sure the errors will still be there. Maybe I should think about hiring some kind of
correction? wink.gif Like the last time, be picky about the errors, mistakes (especially grammar) and things I could write even better. Next chapter needs some work and proof reading, but it should be up in few days.

Ziggy455
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#13

Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:55 PM Edited by Ziggy455, 23 April 2013 - 05:31 PM.

Awright, mate. Lemme take a crack at this, hang on tight. It'll be over soon.

QUOTE
Brotherhood was probably using I-70 to get to the Mount Cheyenne as this road seemed to be not touched by human hand since the war.


There's a rule of thumb which is: Omit needless words. As we can see here by the text in red, this line looks and feels a little clunky. To be not touched could easily be cut down to this:

QUOTE
Brotherhood was probably using I-70 to get to the Mount Cheyenne as this road seemed untouched by any human hands since the war.


Notice the difference? Good, let's continue.

QUOTE
Skeletons of drivers were still holding steering wheels, looking at the horizon and smaller ones in the back were still holding pieces of teddy bears or some kind of dolls.


Skeletons of drivers feels a little forced here. Try adding some description to the skeletons instead like:

QUOTE
Charred skeletons of former drivers still clung to the steering wheels as their eyes looked to the horizon while baby skeletons in the back held ragged dolls in their deathly grips.


Fallout: Greed - Chapter 2 - Highway through Hell.

I-80 was still covered with car carcasses waiting in the traffic jam eternally. Brotherhood was probably using I-70 to get to the Mount Cheyenne as this road seemed to be not touched by human hand since the war. Skeletons of drivers were still holding steering wheels, looking at the horizon and smaller ones in the back were still holding pieces of teddy bears or some kind of dolls. Thick quilt of dust covered everything, so nobody was walking here recently. This wasn’t surprising as I was entering the no man’s land. The NCR territory was stretching from the Ocean in the west to the border located around 100 miles east of their capital. The Brotherhood country was located between Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado and the ruins of former Chicago. Everything else between them had been claimed by nature . Desolated desert was all that remained , where nobody was that tough or stupid to claim the ownership. Similar situation was in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico or parts of the country located east from Chicago. Just endless tracts of emptiness and sorrow marked with ruins of pre-war cities with dogs and human trash roaming the streets , howling at the moon. At least that’s what they told us.

For three days I was walking between rusted out junks, traversing I-80. For three damn days I was sleeping on the old car couches so full of dust they clogged my nose and throat. For three long days I was walking like a Dante who stepped down to hell to find his love. On the fourth day I stepped down to another circle in my personal oblivion.

“Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,” I said to myself ; repeating an old psalm I found in one of the books - not knowing why. I was never a religious guy, trusting more into my own abilities and training than some kind guy living in the sky. (Very good line here, well done.) Maybe this time his rod and staff wasn’t enough and I really started to feel a little scared.

“Not possible”, I said laughing and the skeletons laughed silently with me. All of them with bare boned blacked by the time and weather, sitting there and showing their yellowed teeth in wide grins. Like we would be in some car cinema and the sky would be the screen showing really good comedy movie.

This line here could be replace with something such as:
QUOTE
We all stared up, as if the sky itself was the burnt out husk of a cinema screen and we, the audience, burnt out and charred, were still laughing at some flick.


“John”, I turned to the guy sitting in his two-door Corvega; a suit still clung to his skinny frame . “What do you think of themovie? Is it good? Oh, yes it is, you are grinning. And look at all these kids literally dying of laughter in the back seat of that Highwayman. Aren’t they adorable?”

I grabbed my head and closed my eyes tightly. Was I losing my mind? (Internal thoughts are easier to be identified with the Italic font) Was fear making this to me? I’ve seen the skeletons before, I've killed before. The death isn’t anything that I wouldn’t be familiar with, so why I was I feeling like this? Was it vision of this whole highway filled with cars, full of death , extending up to Denver or even further? Or maybe it was vision of the poor bastard screaming from the pile. Or maybe ghosts of my friends started visiting my mind? This doesn't really make sense; reword it as best you can to really give it that sanity-questioning effect.

I opened my eyes slowly and I was still standing near the John and his Corvega. Bastard was still grinning. I grabbed his skull, snapping it from the spine and kicked it as far as I could. “And stay there, prick!” (Very nice line, quite funny.)

I looked in the direction I was coming to (heading) and I thought I saw a smoke trail. I rubbed my eyes, because I wasn't sure if that was part of my hallucination , but the smoke was still there, stretching straight into the sky. Someone had to have started the campfire a couple of meters ahead. I crouched between the cars, moving slowly towards the smoke, watching my every step. Falling down or making noise could reveal my position. I finally saw people sitting around. Three figures, wearing some clothes made out of the gecko skins, were roasting some kind of meat.

“Sh*t, probably some kind of cannibals,” I thought pulling my gun out of the holster. I hadn't planned engaging in combat, but I had the pistol ready just in case.

“Shh, Mary,” Commas always end dialogue that lead into a line like this. I said to woman sitting in her station wagon. “And keep your f*cking kids quiet.” Little bastards and their mother were still smiling and looking at me with their empty eyes.

The Tribals were still unaware of my presence and I wouldn't mind keeping it that way, but it just couldn't end like that. Just my luck, again. The Wind started to blow into their direction taking my scent to them. I swear to God, one of them started sniffing like a dog and yelled something making some rather beastly noise.

In one second they stood up and started running in my direction wielding some sharpened sticks. I dropped my bag and took position, staying firmly and taking time to aim. Bastards were faster than I thought, but before they got to me I shot two times, hitting one of them in the eye and mouth. One guy dropped on the cracked asphalt near the Mary's wagon, but the rest of them were almost grabbing my arms. I knew that I wouldn't hit them without aiming, so I smacked one of them with butt of the handle. The strong blow aimed right in the side of the head cut him down and guy fell down wrapping his arms around his head. The third one –looking the strongest out of the trio – grabbed me and knocked the gun out of my grip.

I was hit him in the head again and again , but it seemed to not make any impression. He was just stood there trying to grab me in half, probably to carry me to his camp.
QUOTE
I was trying to hit him another time,but I tripped on my gun and fell on the ground. Tribal jumped on me in the same second. He was trying to bite my trachea with his black teeth also dazing me with his breath. I tried to headbutt him, avoiding his attacks at the same time, but soon I regretted leaving the helmet in the base. This guy's skull was hard as a stone. He came from biting, which didn't give him much success into suffocating. I knew that I had to do something, because he will simply kill me. He was both stronger and heavier than me and training was based on an assumption that fighting with crazy cannibalistic tribal will be done in Power Armor. I was trying to find something that would help me to get out of this situation by touching everything that was in the range of my arms and my palm finally found the gun. I grabbed it and with last breath I stick it to the tribal head. Bright flash, loud blast, his head
jumping right and he falling down on me with all his weight.


The thing about this fight scene is that you seem to be using ING words alot which don't really give me a sense of action or speed. Not to doubt your skills, you're willing to learn, which is good. Here, let me show you what I mean. Let's take a look at your example and I'll teach you a thing or two about creating nice, descriptive, action.

QUOTE
I was trying to hit him another time,but I tripped on my gun and fell on the ground. Tribal jumped on me in the same second. He was trying to bite my trachea with his black teeth also dazing me with his breath. I tried to headbutt him, avoiding his attacks at the same time, but soon I regretted leaving the helmet in the base. This guy's skull was hard as a stone. He came from biting, which didn't give him much success into suffocating. I knew that I had to do something, because he will simply kill me. He was both stronger and heavier than me and training was based on an assumption that fighting with crazy cannibalistic tribal will be done in Power Armor. I was trying to find something that would help me to get out of this situation by touching everything that was in the range of my arms and my palm finally found the gun. I grabbed it and with last breath I stick it to the tribal head. Bright flash, loud blast, his head
jumping right and he falling down on me with all his weight.


Here we have your fight scene. It feels a little dull. Your description of the action doesn't seem to give a sense of urgency. Here's a rewording I've done for you. Notice the difference? I'll only reword this bit for what I'm about to teach you.

QUOTE
I tried to give another forceful swing that failed completely as my foot clipped my gun, sending me into the dirt with a heavy thud. Explain what he's feeling! Explain the pain, the smell, the stench of burning skin. Get it all in. The Tribal jumped on me fiercely with a bloodcurdling scream. His breath reeked to the heavens, only getting stronger as his mouth tried to get closer to my throat; most likely to rip out a chunk of it with his blackened teeth. I brought my head forward with a yell. His grip tightened on my neck and pain shot around my head. This guy's skull was hard as a stone! His tactics of biting to strangling seemed unmatched. I had to do something! Otherwise I'd be joining his friends. It was no use! Blackness began to settle in as air couldn't find itself in or out of my lungs. I fumbled around in darkness, his big eyes staring at me with that lustful look of hunger. Wait! My hand felt something black; my gun! I gripped it, let out a shrill scream of my own and pulled the trigger as the barrel collided with the cannibal's head. The grip of his hands loosened as he hit the dirt with a thud.


Notice the difference? You are explaining things very passively and slowly. The read wants to be there! We wanna smell his breath, we need to hear the gunshots and taste the dirt you've been thrown in.

“Get off, prick,” I yelled pushing his dead body aside. I wiped his blood from my eyes and walked to the second tribal who started standing up. I hit him once more with the gun and when he fell down I stepped down on his throat. He started making some strange noises, not animal, but not human either. Something between bubbling and whirring. I aimed and shot him right in the head, ending his misery. Bastards Overuse of the word bastards, mix it up a little. They were dead, f*cking cannibals running like wild dogs, trying to eat everything in their sight. I ripped piece of the clothes from one of the guys and wiped the blood, saliva and sweat from my face, cleaning it with water from the bottle. I reloaded the pistol, and picked up the bag, which was lying next to Mary's car. and hang it on my arm again.

I decided to check their campfire. They were roasting some kind of hare and it smelled quite nice. I ripped a piece off and ate it. Bastards knew how to cook, it wasn't as good as Cookie's back in Navarro, but still nice. Fighting with these tribals and thinking about Cookie reminded me about the good times in Navarro. It was great to land in the middle of the forest with noise so loud it could blow your eardrums out and with power so great it was cutting down the withered trees. We were like Gods landing among mortals on our heavenly chariots. And all these tribals running toward us, with their sticks and stones, trying to scare us with their bare teeth and angry faces. And right in the middle between them was the shaman throwing sentences increasing their aggression and allowing them to push even further into our positions: “Carburetor, Washing machine, Calculator” or “Wash by hand, do not wring.” These were the times, we were dying laughing when they tried to attack us with their spears. We didn't have to use weapons as sometimes breaking their arms with one firmly move was enough.

With bigger opposition , weapons were necessary, but cutting one or two in half with a Laser Rifle or turning somebody into the green puddle of sh*t with a Plasma Rifle was enough to break them. Sometimes we were yelling some slogans through the in-built megaphone system that was present on the Vertibirds - like “We are your Gods and we are enraged, give us your women and maybe we will leave you alone.” We never did, though. And their women were great, but before the medical examination, blowjobs were the best you could get . If only the metal pants were easier to take off. Pilots were lucky, serving in light uniforms. We, serving in Powers, got our piece or cake after the medical procedures. These tribals with catlike movements could give you fun for the whole night. Too bad that Dornan was attacking your ears the next day.

“Renfro, are you f*cking sleeping on duty? Do you f*cking want me to sing you lullaby, maggot? Ten laps around the base, now, move it, move it, f*cker. sh*t was running faster from my ass when I got theconstipation,” he would yell as he chased you around the camp.

And when one of the tribals got pregnant, we were selling them at higher price. The new owner was getting two slaves for price of one and the kid got very good genes. Who would like to have child with some forest people? Having sex with them was like masturbation, you aren't worried about your children going down the toilet. If I ever wanted to have children I could have them with some Enclave chick like Snookie or Dina. Dina would be great, but she was lying somewhere back there,dead, cut in half by the tile of doors closed pneumatically.

“Steven, no!”

That brought a tear to my eye that lead into crying, when I recalled the nights spent with her. Her wonderfully-fit body ,her honey colored skin shining in the light of the fluorescent lamps . Her green eyes, smiling at you and her brown curly hair you could just play with, for hours.

Me, who had just iced three tribals, with their blood splatters on my chest plate of Combat armor, was crying like a baby. I felt that I couldn't walk anymore without dealing with the past. I couldn't rewind time, I wouldn't be able to revive my friends but I could try to do something to not let it happen again. I could stop people, warn them about this place, teach them what is worth living and dying for. Maybe this will help me to overcome this sorrow and the ghosts of my fallen companions getting more often into my head.

I found blue Corvega staying on sand near the road and I decided it will be the good place to stop and think. I put the bag on the sand I sat on the hood of the car. My destination was still many miles ahead, but I had to push there, to finally be safe, to escape from this insanity. I pulled out one of the last bottles of water, meat, stolen fromthese tribals and the old recorder from inside the bag. Gold bars were shining brightly on the bottom of the bag, each with signature, each worth a lot, even a human life. I ate the meat and quenched my thirst with clean, albeit warm water.

“Damn, I miss the base's fridge ,” I thought grabbing the recorder from car hood and putting it on my knees. “Time to do this, three...two...one ...here we go.”

I pressed the record button, and closed my eyes listening to hum of the electric engines pulling the tape waiting for my words.

“War, war never changes...”

I don't really need to annotate every little bit. The bits in blue you can compare to your own work to see the difference in prose and such. You seem to switched between third and first person perspective and present and past tense. Read up on these things so as not to confused your reader. If you need any more definitive help, PM me. This is all I've got for you so far, so I hope it helps.

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#14

Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

I'll be honest, Tycek, mine's a fair way off yet.

Ziggy did a good job going through, so i won't run through it the same, but i saw a few things. Mainly there appears to be the same language barrier - and that's gonna be difficult to overcome. Your English is good, but i'm told it's one of the hardest languages to learn - lots of tricky rules etc. Persevere.

Firstly i noticed a couple of minor grammatical issues -
QUOTE
“Not possible”, I said laughing

Incorrectly placed comma,
QUOTE
“Not possible,” I said, laughing



Aside from that i enjoyed it. I think you may benefit from reading some more english books/stories - just to get the hang of the annoying little language things (such as the word "the" which seems to be quite shy tounge.gif ). However, behind this language barrier, your intelligence is evident, references to the bible and [i assume the poet] Dante.

In short, keep it coming.

Tycek
  • Tycek

    Being a bastard works.

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#15

Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:54 PM

I fixed the errors and rephrased some of the parts. I also decided to change Dina's death a bit.

I don't know what to tell you guys, but you must have hearts made of gold. Thanks for the advices that will definitely help me in the future. Language barrier will unfortunately exist, but I believe that my english is better than your polish biggrin.gif


@Mokrie
Come on, I fall into self-admiration with posts like this. wink.gif

Next story is still in the forge, because I decided to take some time to make it even better than release it half-assed, but don't worry, it will come soon.


Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

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    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#16

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

Yeah definitely be patient. if it takes a week a month whatever, fine

And yes my polish sucks. We have two polish shops where I live but I can't understand any of it. My hat is off for you in that regard.

We don't have hearts of gold. We're writers and are bound by honor to help! Also my personal respect said I had to biggrin.gif


Ziggy455
  • Ziggy455

    Ain't nothin' over til it's over.

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#17

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:47 PM

It's what we're here for. To help aspiring writers. As for the English, it's neither here nor there. I can guarantee that your language barrier will snap if you dedicate some time to reading some English-print novels. It's possible to eventually learn the language fluently and if you're writing stories in English, you're 90% done anyway.

Your Polish is no match for my JAPANESE.



Seriously. Too many languages. This place is the f*cking temple of multi-culturalism.

Tycek
  • Tycek

    Being a bastard works.

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#18

Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:35 PM Edited by Tycek, 28 July 2013 - 07:48 PM.

I'm back with my story. It took some time to write it, but I used different technique this time. I hope you'll like it.

Fallout: Greed - Chapter 3 - Brotherhood love.


The bar was bad. So far I've only been in a bar in the capital of the Brotherhood and canteens in Navarro and on the platform, so I hadn’t much of reference material, but the one I came to was just bad. The narrow room, where the air thick as soup was barely mixed by ceiling fan squeaking with every spin, with walls stripped of plaster, which lack someone was trying to cover with posters - faded by the sun coming through the dirty windows - depicting nude girls, dotted not once and not twice with whitish spots. Wooden floor creaked with every step, and the amount of unspecified staining substances turned it into a minefield. An image of the bar wasn’t impressive and the company sitting inside, full of bar flies wearing torn and dirty clothes drinking something that resembled my yesterday urine, certainly did not improve it. The old fly trap, which wasn’t scaring any of the oversized flies, buzzed fiercely illuminating the room with pale blue light, and the music coming from the old speaker deepened still gloomy mood.
I went to the buffet so dirty that I could stick to it if I had leaned on it, behind which stood giant one-eyed man with muscularity on par with Mutants, named Candy, what was written on the nameplate pinned to his woolen vest. I was afraid to ask where he got that name, and in addition I wanted to leave this place without a piece of countertop stuck here and there, so I decided to keep a safe distance.

"Come closer, soldier," the bartender said in a voice so sweet that it could be even stickier than the buffet. I didn’t have to ask him anymore.

He slapped the table top in a gesture of invitation, and he stuck to it. I smiled slightly and asked.

"You got Rot Gut?"

It was the alcohol, smelling like solvent and having similar properties, but could it slap you like nothing else.

I hung on the wall of the glass canyon, with the lake of Rot Gut piling up at the bottom, which fumes were stinging my eyes. At the same time I was playing with gold lighter sliding it with my finger along the wooden table covered with islands burned by cheap alcohol, when some guy ran inside the bar, almost taking the door with him. Once white, now yellow mesh vest hung on his sunken chest and fluttered like a flag. Tousled, slicked-back hair and dirty glasses with round lenses completed the image of misery and despair. He looked like a typical local.

"Quick, quick," he shouted waving his skinny arms, as if the wind caused by them was supposed to pick us from the chairs. "They have another, there will be a process."

"Woo," Candy cried with enthusiasm and flew out from behind the bar. "Come on, soldier. There will be show."

I did not have too much desire to see the execution of some idiot, but when the offers comes from a guy named Candy, whose arm was wider than my leg it's hard to refuse. I thought he likes me. Damn. Sentence uttered by him perfectly captured the human approach to this type of cases. Each trial was a spectacle, and when it finished with execution it was downright amazing. Did people do not want to have just bread and circuses? Brotherhood allowed to produce the first and gave the second, and in their generosity they were throwing in protection from bandits and other scum. They could be likened to a bunch of kids playing in the knights changing the world around them, making it suitable for their needs and not looking at others. Brotherhood did their things and didn't care about the rest. As long as you did what you had to and gave them tribute, they were leaving you alone, and your opinion did not have the slightest importance. When you were becoming part of their world, you didn't have any opinion anymore.

We went outside, where a sizeable crowd had gathered on the concrete yard. They all came to look at the process of some fool who was dressed in only a coarse robe and who was standing on a wooden platform. Head Scribe dressed in a purple robe with golden trim and Head Paladin, in Power armor polished like a mirror, were standing behind him. Their postures and costumes showed their value to the local community. Elder of Kearney, dressed in black robe, acting as a judge stood before him facing the crowd, which chanted different passwords, which either praised The Brotherhood or slashed convict. Elder raised his hand and the voices slowly began to subside. The music made mostly with drums and trumpets began to flow through the speaker system located around the yard.

“In the name of the law given me by the Brotherhood of Steel I declare you guilty of possession of a prohibited technology with intent to use. The penalty for this offense is death by being burned at the pile.”

The penalties in the country Brotherhood weren't too complicated. Hoarding, scavenging, stealing, buying and/or stockpiling forbidden technology with intent to use was fined with death. Doing the same without intent to use resulted in being sent either to factory or mine for the rest of your life. Where Brotherhood drawn the line between these two accusations? Well, they didn’t. There was always place for doubts and assumptions. Sometimes strong and healthy man with Gatling Laser hidden inside his home was sent to mine and sometimes ill, elderly woman was sent to pile, because she happen to has Laser Pistol, which she used to light the fire in the stove. Truth was simple in that case: if they needed you they would send you either to mine if you were male or to factory if you were woman with skilled hands – pretty ones had different way of saving their life – and if you were old or sick they simply burn you on the pile to delight the crowd. There was also another law, in the name of which denouncing could took the wealth of the denounced, so many people were dropping fusion cells or different small yet forbidden items in homes of their neighbors in order to take their ranch or Brahmins. These laws were applying to technology, but the rest was even simpler. All types of wrong doings were either fined with cutting the hand off – in case of first crime – or crucifying on the main plaza for others too see – in case of every another. Visit city controlled by The Brotherhood. Things to see: forest full of one armed bandits.

"Burn, burn," the crowd chanted as if they were in some kind of trance.

Knights standing in front approached the people, who were closest to the stage and began to move them away.

"Get back! It is for your safety. "

A man dressed in a long robe and a red pointed hood with holes for eyes came out of The Brotherhood building. He was executioner without any doubts. If you happened to have any, they were quickly removed by flamethrower found in his hands. He went slowly with dignified step to the convict, who was already tied to the pole, surrounded by tires and pieces of wood, with steel rope.

"If you would like to pray, this is the last moment," said the judge and convict hung his head.

I saw that his lips were moving, but I couldn’t say if he was saying something, because every noise was drowned out by the mantra of the crowd.

"Burn, burn"

The executioner turned the valve and fire appeared at the mouth of the barrel. A strange glint appeared in his eyes barely visible through the holes in the hood, and then mastered the whole scene. Flow of the fuel doused the convict in the fire by covering him from head to toe. His inhuman roar coming from burned throat mixed with the mantra of the crowd and become a part of it. Sweet - forcing into the nose and throat - odor forced me to vomit, when the skin and fat residuals dripped from the burning piece of meat hanging on a pole. I decided to leave this place, because the sounds made by the crowd in a trance and odors produced by the pile began to recall the images of last few days, which I preferred to forget. I started to cut back, breaking through the crowd, full of crazy faces and burning eyes. I turned for a moment and saw the bartender. Candy protruding over the gathered crowd waved his giant paw, having great fun. I forgot to pay him for Rot Gut, but I thought that he will forgive me, given the circumstances. I did not plan to return to the area, so even if he was not good-natured I thought I’ll avoid his anger. I began to walk slowly the way The Brotherhood truck came, leaving the madness behind me.

The guy who was burned at the pile had Plasma Rifle, which he apparently inadvertently showed in the bar. I had my laser rifle hidden deep inside the bag under the gold bars, but I decided not to take chances. I turned from the main road into some unused one level building with walls, which turned from white to yellow. Writing above the door frame stated in big blue letters: “Aaron’s”, smaller letters were stating “Furniture, Electronics, Computers, Appliances”. It had to be some kind of shop before the war. The last three words in the writing meant that BoS very likely took everything worth taking from the inside and that I would be able to safely do my thing. I walked by the something that left of the glass door and hid behind empty shelves. Windows were so dirty that it was impossible to see anything through it without week of scraping that dust, but I hid in one of the aisles. Couples of vagrants and drugged human trash were sitting inside the building, doing their own business. I leaned out from behind the shelf to check if they noticed me at all. Fortunately they were to busy drinking some cheap alcohol or tripping to see anything else. I took off my trench coat, revealing the combat armor I had under it. It still had Enclave insignia – letter E and stars around it - on the chest plate, but I seriously doubted if anyone knew what it means. Just another symbol lost in time. The only people they could discover my affiliation were Brotherhood members, who stayed behind me in the city. When I get to the Interstate they can kiss my ass, because Kearney was last inhabited city on the Brotherhood territory in Nebraska and I didn't plan to visit Kansas. They got one city in Colorado, called Canyon City, but it was 114 miles south from Dog Town and I hadn't plans to venture into ruins of Denver, let alone Canyon City.

I took the rifle from under the gold and wrapped it tightly with the trench coat. I also put the remaining batteries and recorder there. No point in risking when I was halfway home. I hid everything under the gold again, checked the zipper on the bag and finally hung it on my shoulder. I left the ruins of the shop and turned right, passing the old fuel station with car still waiting after 200 years to be served.

“Patience is a virtue my friend”, I thought walking straight to I-80.

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

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#19

Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:34 AM

QUOTE (Tycek @ Sunday, Jul 28 2013, 19:35)
I'm back with my story. It took some time to write it, but I used different technique this time. I hope you'll like it.

Fallout: Greed - Chapter 3 - Brotherhood love.


The bar was bad. So far I've only been in a bar in the capital of the Brotherhood and canteens in Navarro and on the platform, so I hadn’t much of reference material, but the one I came to was just bad. The narrow room, where the air thick as soup was barely mixed by ceiling fan squeaking with every spin, with walls stripped of plaster, which lack someone was trying to cover with posters - faded by the sun coming through the dirty windows - depicting nude girls, dotted not once and not twice with whitish spots. Wooden floor creaked with every step, and the amount of unspecified staining substances turned it into a minefield. An image of the bar wasn’t impressive and the company sitting inside, full of bar flies wearing torn and dirty clothes drinking something that resembled my yesterday urine, certainly did not improve it. The old fly trap, which wasn’t scaring any of the oversized flies, buzzed fiercely illuminating the room with pale blue light, and the music coming from the old speaker deepened still gloomy mood.
I went to the buffet so dirty that I could stick to it if I had leaned on it, behind which stood giant one-eyed man with muscularity on par with Mutants, named Candy, what was written on the nameplate pinned to his woolen vest. I was afraid to ask where he got that name, and in addition I wanted to leave this place without a piece of countertop stuck here and there, so I decided to keep a safe distance.

"Come closer, soldier," the bartender said in a voice so sweet that it could be even stickier than the buffet. I didn’t have to ask him anymore.

He slapped the table top in a gesture of invitation, and he stuck to it. I smiled slightly and asked.

"You got Rot Gut?"

It was the alcohol, smelling like solvent and having similar properties, but could it slap you like nothing else.

I hung on the wall of the glass canyon, with the lake of Rot Gut piling up at the bottom, which fumes were stinging my eyes. At the same time I was playing with gold lighter sliding it with my finger along the wooden table covered with islands burned by cheap alcohol, when some guy ran inside the bar, almost taking the door with him. Once white, now yellow mesh vest hung on his sunken chest and fluttered like a flag. Tousled, slicked-back hair and dirty glasses with round lenses completed the image of misery and despair. He looked like a typical local.

"Quick, quick," he shouted waving his skinny arms, as if the wind caused by them was supposed to pick us from the chairs. "They have another, there will be a process."

"Woo," Candy cried with enthusiasm and flew out from behind the bar. "Come on, soldier. There will be show."

I did not have too much desire to see the execution of some idiot, but when the offers comes from a guy named Candy, whose arm was wider than my leg it's hard to refuse. I thought he likes me. Damn. Sentence uttered by him perfectly captured the human approach to this type of cases. Each trial was a spectacle, and when it finished with execution it was downright amazing. Did people do not want to have just bread and circuses? Brotherhood allowed to produce the first and gave the second, and in their generosity they were throwing in protection from bandits and other scum. They could be likened to a bunch of kids playing in the knights changing the world around them, making it suitable for their needs and not looking at others. Brotherhood did their things and didn't care about the rest. As long as you did what you had to and gave them tribute, they were leaving you alone, and your opinion did not have the slightest importance. When you were becoming part of their world, you didn't have any opinion anymore.

We went outside, where a sizeable crowd had gathered on the concrete yard. They all came to look at the process of some fool who was dressed in only a coarse robe and who was standing on a wooden platform. Head Scribe dressed in a purple robe with golden trim and Head Paladin, in Power armor polished like a mirror, were standing behind him. Their postures and costumes showed their value to the local community. Elder of Kearney, dressed in black robe, acting as a judge stood before him facing the crowd, which chanted different passwords, which either praised The Brotherhood or slashed convict. Elder raised his hand and the voices slowly began to subside. The music made mostly with drums and trumpets began to flow through the speaker system located around the yard.

“In the name of the law given me by the Brotherhood of Steel I declare you guilty of possession of a prohibited technology with intent to use. The penalty for this offense is death by being burned at the pile.”

The penalties in the country Brotherhood weren't too complicated. Hoarding, scavenging, stealing, buying and/or stockpiling forbidden technology with intent to use was fined with death. Doing the same without intent to use resulted in being sent either to factory or mine for the rest of your life. Where Brotherhood drawn the line between these two accusations? Well, they didn’t. There was always place for doubts and assumptions. Sometimes strong and healthy man with Gatling Laser hidden inside his home was sent to mine and sometimes ill, elderly woman was sent to pile, because she happen to has Laser Pistol, which she used to light the fire in the stove. Truth was simple in that case: if they needed you they would send you either to mine if you were male or to factory if you were woman with skilled hands – pretty ones had different way of saving their life – and if you were old or sick they simply burn you on the pile to delight the crowd. There was also another law, in the name of which denouncing could took the wealth of the denounced, so many people were dropping fusion cells or different small yet forbidden items in homes of their neighbors in order to take their ranch or Brahmins. These laws were applying to technology, but the rest was even simpler. All types of wrong doings were either fined with cutting the hand off – in case of first crime – or crucifying on the main plaza for others too see – in case of every another. Visit city controlled by The Brotherhood. Things to see: forest full of one armed bandits.

"Burn, burn," the crowd chanted as if they were in some kind of trance.

Knights standing in front approached the people, who were closest to the stage and began to move them away.

"Get back! It is for your safety. "

A man dressed in a long robe and a red pointed hood with holes for eyes came out of The Brotherhood building. He was executioner without any doubts. If you happened to have any, they were quickly removed by flamethrower found in his hands. He went slowly with dignified step to the convict, who was already tied to the pole, surrounded by tires and pieces of wood, with steel rope.

"If you would like to pray, this is the last moment," said the judge and convict hung his head.

I saw that his lips were moving, but I couldn’t say if he was saying something, because every noise was drowned out by the mantra of the crowd.

"Burn, burn"

The executioner turned the valve and fire appeared at the mouth of the barrel. A strange glint appeared in his eyes barely visible through the holes in the hood, and then mastered the whole scene. Flow of the fuel doused the convict in the fire by covering him from head to toe. His inhuman roar coming from burned throat mixed with the mantra of the crowd and become a part of it. Sweet - forcing into the nose and throat - odor forced me to vomit, when the skin and fat residuals dripped from the burning piece of meat hanging on a pole. I decided to leave this place, because the sounds made by the crowd in a trance and odors produced by the pile began to recall the images of last few days, which I preferred to forget. I started to cut back, breaking through the crowd, full of crazy faces and burning eyes. I turned for a moment and saw the bartender. Candy protruding over the gathered crowd waved his giant paw, having great fun. I forgot to pay him for Rot Gut, but I thought that he will forgive me, given the circumstances. I did not plan to return to the area, so even if he was not good-natured I thought I’ll avoid his anger. I began to walk slowly the way The Brotherhood truck came, leaving the madness behind me.

The guy who was burned at the pile had Plasma Rifle, which he apparently inadvertently showed in the bar. I had my laser rifle hidden deep inside the bag under the gold bars, but I decided not to take chances. I turned from the main road into some unused one level building with walls, which turned from white to yellow. Writing above the door frame stated in big blue letters: “Aaron’s”, smaller letters were stating “Furniture, Electronics, Computers, Appliances”. It had to be some kind of shop before the war. The last three words in the writing meant that BoS very likely took everything worth taking from the inside and that I would be able to safely do my thing. I walked by the something that left of the glass door and hid behind empty shelves. Windows were so dirty that it was impossible to see anything through it without week of scraping that dust, but I hid in one of the aisles. Couples of vagrants and drugged human trash were sitting inside the building, doing their own business. I leaned out from behind the shelf to check if they noticed me at all. Fortunately they were to busy drinking some cheap alcohol or tripping to see anything else. I took off my trench coat, revealing the combat armor I had under it. It still had Enclave insignia – letter E and stars around it - on the chest plate, but I seriously doubted if anyone knew what it means. Just another symbol lost in time. The only people they could discover my affiliation were Brotherhood members, who stayed behind me in the city. When I get to the Interstate they can kiss my ass, because Kearney was last inhabited city on the Brotherhood territory in Nebraska and I didn't plan to visit Kansas. They got one city in Colorado, called Canyon City, but it was 114 miles south from Dog Town and I hadn't plans to venture into ruins of Denver, let alone Canyon City.

I took the rifle from under the gold and wrapped it tightly with the trench coat. I also put the remaining batteries and recorder there. No point in risking when I was halfway home. I hid everything under the gold again, checked the zipper on the bag and finally hung it on my shoulder. I left the ruins of the shop and turned right, passing the old fuel station with car still waiting after 200 years to be served.

“Patience is a virtue my friend”, I thought walking straight to I-80.

First off, I think you can do better than "the bar was bad" Such a short sentence doesn't really work as a kick starter, because the word "bad" is so vague.
The bar was a hellhole.
The bar stunk like rotten vegetables.

It's like saying to your girlfriend "That dress is nice." Her reply will be "Nice? Only nice?" (you should have said lovely, or cute or sexy!) My point is that the word "nice" is the word "bad" - how is the bar bad? describe the bar, then try to condense it into less words.

The following sentence is a little long winded, and I'm going to ignore the language barrier, as it's been mentioned and there's no need to bring it up again - the scenery you painted was good, in my eye. I easily painted a picture of the bar - exactly like the abandoned offices in the fallout world, or the NV loading screens.

Also you say "I went to the buffet" - do you mean "bar"?

Still, a bit of tidying up is needed (see previous note about language barrier), but i liked the description, it immersed me well,

On the whole I enjoyed that. I like how you painted the BoS as quite barbaric, completely the opposite of the cringe-inducing 3, and more merciless and powerful than NV. I sense they're actually badguys!

Curiosity is asking what the "hook" is - what makes this different to the others, if your character's carrying a secret or something. I enjoyed the burning scene too - although there is not much actually happening, it's written in a way that made me feel like i was watching a thriller.

Still needs work, and our messy english language seems to be your biggest obstacle (you're doing approximately 600,000 times better writing in english than I would writing in polish......

keep it up!

Tycek
  • Tycek

    Being a bastard works.

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#20

Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:02 PM Edited by Tycek, 20 January 2014 - 10:17 PM.

Damn, half of year passed from my last piece. The best part that next chapter was written during august, but it took me some time to check it and proof read it and drop it here. It could be better, but I don't want to spend next year on it as I got other projects to work on. 

 

Mokrie don't take it personal as it wasn't and still isn't any form of poking you. 

 

Fallout: Greed - Chapter 4 - The Law of the Trade

 

 

Truck rolled lazily into the city whistling with huge engine and hopping on the breaches in the asphalt. The burned skeletons of buildings passed along resembled each still inhabited city either here or back in the west. People still lived like cockroaches on the corpse of the pre-war civilization, hiding in the remains of ancient cities. Some of them were rebuilt after the war, such as the NCR or the Capital of the Brotherhood, which were making a good impression with clean buildings and cobbled streets. The rest looked like sh*t, from which stuck out burned and twisted blackened walls of old world.
 
Hiss of air brakes announced a stop in front of the ravaged by time, but still creamy Brotherhood building, making impression of a fortress, leaving no doubt who was the owner. If, however, someone still had some doubts, above iron shod door was a coat of arms consisting a sword and gears surrounded by wings. If someone had somehow missed the six-foot mark and huge flags, flapping with terrible bang, on the roof also bearing the same insignia, there were two thugs, wearing green and gold armors, holding the halberds in front of the door. One question was unresolved even by their attitude - the inscription on the building said The Museum of Nebraska Art.
 
In front of the main entrance was a large paved square with the rail sticking right into the sky. Pieces of wood and tires were lying around the pole defining the place of execution which was the focal point of both the capital city and a small town lying just near the border.
 
Two knights scrambled from the cab, and the mutant began to slowly getting of the truck bed. I went in his footsteps and jumped on the pavement.
 
"We only could give you lift here. We're not going further," said one of the knights closing the cabin door.
 
"I am grateful, anyway. You spared me many kilometers of walking."
 
"It's a pity that the conditions were poor. You were probably thrown around a little back there?"
 
"It was good. A company was also nice. I didn't know that your Mutie is so talkative," I said smiling at him.
 
"Cor is good, Cor is talkative," he replied showing once again teeth as big as shovels.
 
The knights looked at each other and smiled significantly.
 
"We have to go. Bye," one of them said and started getting up the stone steps leading to the building.
 
The knights standing at the door took the halberds and stood to attention as the strings.
 
"Bye, human," said Cor and also shuffled up the stairs.
 
"Wait," I shouted to the other knight who is in the middle of the stairs. "You talked about the bazaar. How to get there?"
 
"Follow the signs. Is this a mile away, you won't not miss it. It's too loud."
 
"Thanks a lot."
 
"Good luck soldier," he shouted, and disappeared behind the door, which were immediately blocked by crossed halberds.
 
Despite standing in the middle of the city I was alone on a large square, surrounded by the durable looking buildings, which were probably owned by the Brotherhood. One of them housed the recruitment center with doors surrounded with all and every posters advertising Brotherhood: "Join the Brotherhood, protect your future" with a drawing showing the people in Power Armors errecting a flag with well-known insignia; "We need you" and a man sticking his finger right into viewer's eye. Other one was filled with the text "Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you, Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you," and last was depicting man in Advanced Power Armor drawn in caricature way with an abnormally small head and horns with the caption "Enclave is Evil."
 
I smiled seeing it. Brotherhood, of course, was using our image, to improve theirs, but the only question was who was threatening the people, because we certainly didn't. I stared at the posters, and haven't noticed a small group of children coming to the building.
 
"When I grow up I will join the Brotherhood and become a Paladin," shouted furiously undersized young child dressed in jeans and spotted leather jacket, most likely made from gecko. 
 
"That's not true, because I'll become a paladin, you can't," echoed the other one, a bit bigger, dressed in leather suit.
 
"Let's all be Paladins," girl their age said diplomatically.
 
"You can't, only men are the Paladins. Girls can't reach so high."
 
"Who said that?"
 
"My dad," said the boy in gecko jacket.
 
"Your dad," girl laughed. "And who is he?"
 
"My dad is a knight," came the answer full of pride.
 
"That's not true, your dad has shop with some trash, that's why you don't have siblings and live in bad home," other boy joined the discussion.
 
"And your mother is a slut," the boy with gecko jacket shouted angrily. "And she's standing over there." He pointed at the twisted pole that once could have been anything.
 
"And yours smells like Super Mutant."
 
That drop broke the camel's back. Small fists began to thresh the air and the two boys began to belabor at random . The girl stood by and watched disapprovingly at the future brothers beating themselves. She looked at me with large inquisitive eyes and asked directly .
 
"Can you stop them?"
 
I walked closer and grabbed fighting boys for flanges pulling them apart.
 
"Stop it kids."
 
Words spoken by a stranger with a loud voice worked and the kids stopped to fight. Instead, they looked at me curiously.
 
"Well, everyone can be Paladins and build a better tomorrow," I said using one of the slogans.
 
"Really? That's cool, and are you in the Brotherhood," they asked almost in unison .
 
"No, I'm not," I replied.
 
"Eh, you're suck," they screamed running away from me. "Let's play a global thermonuclear war."
 
I headed for the bazaar and the signs painted on the walls of buildings were showing me the way. In accordance to what Knight said I couldn't miss it. Noise created by the voices of the buyers and sellers was spreading over the next few streets and reflecting from the crumbled walls. The epicenter of this disaster was on a large space located in the former park, where most of the trees were cut and processed into boards that were used to build houses and stalls. And there was no shortage of the latter, some in the form of wooden boxes - mainly those belonging to selling weapons or armor, others were in the form of tents, and even blankets spreaded directly on the bare ground. Amid all this a group of people were hanging around, ridiculously small when compared to the Brotherhood capital, mostly looking at the goods imported by the caravans and arguing with the sellers about the price of the products.
 
I approached the nearest stall selling bottled water and roasted meat. Seller - low, skinny guy with black hair stood with his back turned to the counter, roasting another steak on the fire. A card with price list looking like written by almost illiterate was hanging on the wall of his shop. Curved letters and numbers, each different and placed haphazardly showed the value of the goods. A bottle of water - 10, brahmin steak - 10, gecko steak - 5. As I didn't have any money so I had to cash something else. 
 
"Hey," I yelled trying to get his attention.
 
"Yes?" He turned to me.
 
I took out one of the last things that I could sell out of the coat pocket - a small gold ring with an inscription engraved on the inside "Forever yours Y."
 
"What can I buy for it?" I asked showing the circle held between the fingers.
 
Seller turned pale in a second shocked by the view and his dark pupils were almost covered by widened irises.
 
"Guards, guards," he began to scream as if I robbed him. "Quickly, quickly."
 
I thought that I definitely f*cked up a chance for a better tomorrow, but I really had no idea that something so small can cause such an effect. The hair on my back stood like soldiers at attention and suddenly it got very hot. I already could picture an image in front of my eyes, when they were dragging me to the court, where further evidence hidden inside my bag would drown me more and more. Maybe I could somehow talk my way with the ring, but the rifle would pull me like a stone to the bottom of hell. With such evidence I wouldn't get aways and sooner than later I would end up on a pile to the delight of the local crowd. I would join my fallen comrades and together we would very likely kick satan's ass, but I felt like it wasn't my time yet. Not today and not in this way. 
 
I began to quickly look up which way I should take to avoid patrols and knights hanging out here and there aimlessly, and small cold drops ran down my back soaking the already dirty T-shirt. Before I could act two grown up knights grew up behind me holding hands on their holsters hiding Glocks 86. Their eyes said enough about my chances. Damn.
 
"What is it?" One of them asked.
 
"He's trying to sell me the forbidden technology," roared excited shopkeeper pointing at me with his fat soaked finger.
 
"What do you got there?" Knight turned to me. 
 
I hadn't much choice so I showed him the ring at the sight of which he smiled.  
 
"Stupid shopkeeper. Gold is not prohibited. Idiot." He turned toward the bazaar searching for something or someone. After a moment he found it and whistled. 
 
The young scribe in a blue robe with an equally blue notebook in his hand approached to the stall. Judging by the look he was younger than me, but his attitude and dignified step showed that treated his function with respect. I've seen them before in the capital, but I was wondering what was their role in the Brotherhood community.
 
"What's there?" he asked.
 
"We need to consult in the matters of the Law of the Trade," said knight, but his attention was brought to the screams coming from the other side of the bazaar. The situation called for their intervention, so they looked at each other and left us without a word.
 
"What's the problem with?" he asked like a medic looking for the cause.
 
I showed him the ring, and the scribe pulled his hand for it. He examined the object by trying to bite it, looking at it carefully and weighing it in hand.
 
"Hmm, gold. Two grams," he said knowledgeably.
 
"What?" I was surprised. "I think it's a joke. It weighs at least five," I reacted negatively attempting to wipe my forehead, on which sweat was coming down like from shower.  
 
"Up to three," he said firmly.
 
"Okay," I agreed reluctantly on his terms. Supplies were ending, and Kearney was the last point on my way, where I could buy them.
 
Scribe opened the book, which was clutched in his hand up to this point and started to read the information stored there. 
 
"Hmm, gold weight of three grams. One gram is worth about 70 Brotherhood notes, so that ring is worth 210. You can buy 21 bottles of water, 21 brahmin steaks and 42 gecko steaks," he expounded everything to me exactly as if I were an idiot or illiterate .
 
He closed the book and gave me a ring back, then walked away without saying a word, to the place where they could need him more at the very moment. 
 
"How it will be?" Slightly impatient seller asked.
 
"I'll have 7 bottles of water, 5 brahmin steaks and 10 gecko ones."
 
"And the rest?"
 
"In Brotherhood notes," I replied with the intention to visit bar located at the main square. 
 
After a while, fresh nicely smelling steaks and a few plastic water bottles landed in front of me. I packed everything into the side pocket of the bag as I didn't want to brag about gold hidden inside. I put the rest of the money into the coat pocket. 
 
Brotherhood quickly introduced its own currency, after taking power in the region about year 2200, replacing so called ring pulls that were used here previously. The common currency for the entire Midwest had allowed not only faster development, but also far-reaching control, known as the Law of the Trade.
 
Scribes like this one in a blue robe were in every bazaar in the Brotherhood region, checking and controlling the ratio of the exchanged products. Results were simple, no one could get rich beyond measure, so there was no real threat to the world order. Everyone had just enough to have something to eat and what to wear. Government took the rest to allocate it to their needs. There were exceptions from these rules made via huge bribes to leading paladins or scribes.
 
I didn't even walk away from the booth when the same scribe with a notebook came to it.
 
"Tax for the brotherhood!" He yelled, extending his hand to the seller.
 
"What?" The trader asked. "I already paid. During the past week."
 
"I got nothing like that written here," said the scribe firmly. "Did you plan to cheat on the Brotherhood?"
 
"What ,no, I didn't," he began to flounder in his explanations. "I really paid it."
 
"Guard," the scribe shouted, and the shopkeeper became pale as a corpse.
 
"No, sir, I'm sorry," he began to sob almost in tears. "I made a mistake , I pay."
 
Scribe turned to the knights and smiled. They answered with smiles and changed the direction of their walk.
 
"The ring will be adequate," the scribe said then snatched small golden circlet from the shopkeeper's hand.
 
Glint appeared in his eyes when he took it under the sun. He watched at it for a moment in awe, reading the inscription and admiring the craftsmanship. After a moment, he put the ring into a small leather pouch he wore strapped to his belt, tied around the robe. 
 
I looked at the whole incident with undisguised curiosity. I knew that the Brotherhood was hard on these issues, but I had no idea that they are doing such things even in broad daylight. Holding people's mouth meant that they could do what and when they liked, while being sure that no one will try anything. Brotherhood in the west was terrified and preferred to act as observers, knowing that their every wrong step could be punished by NCR or us. Here they didn't have enemies, because they exterminated them at the beginning of their presence, and the effect or their ruling was that no head of the hydra could grow back. 
 
Scribe came up to me, without a trace of embarrassment after what had just happened and he said without hiding any secrets.
 
"You should have come straight to me with this ring. You would get as twice as much."
 
"Can I see this book?" I pointed a finger at the shabby collection of cards with a blue cover.
 
"You want to see the law of the trade?" He asked to be sure, because no one would be stupid or brave enough to challenge anything coming from the Brotherhood. To be honest, the locals wouldn't do something like this, knowing that it would be probably one of the last questions in their lives. I impressed the scribe so much that he decided to show me the big secret. "Just don't talk about it."
 
"Who would believe in such a thing? Scribe telling me the secret of Brotherhood? Almost just as likely that the mutant multiplying," I said, taking crappy book devoid of a few pages out of his hands.
 
I paged through it carefully, making sure that all sheets were absolutely empty.
 
"But there's nothing here," I said quietly.
 
"That's the point," he explained casually then laughed loudly, taking his property out of my hands.
 
His laughter still echoed from the surrounding walls and stalls when he left to perform on his obligation . As long as blue robe hadn't disappeared obscured by curtain made of other people, I stood and thought about what you just saw. I hadn't anything else to add, so I headed straight to the bar, rustling with notes, with the image of wings and gears, hidden in my pocket.

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

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  • Joined: 01 May 2009
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    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#21

Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:58 PM Edited by Mokrie Dela, 20 January 2014 - 09:59 PM.

Let the battle of the fallout fanfics begin!

 

Hmmm.

Not sure what to make of the rick astley reference, in all honesty. It's entirely logical that it could have existed - there must have been a 1980s in the fallout universe, although the games' style's based on the 50s.

Interesting setting, I'll say though. I remember a conversation we had about recovering civilization, and you're showing the brotherhood and what community would grow with its presence - rather like the NCR in NV.

I'm also really happy you included a truck - seriously, did no one in the fallout world think of repairing the existing vehicles? haha.

Not bad work, to be honest. I laughed at the kids playing "thermonuclear war" - not sure if that was your intention, but i found it rather funny.


Tycek
  • Tycek

    Being a bastard works.

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  • Joined: 20 Jul 2009
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#22

Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:24 PM

I decided to use some nods to real world, just like it was made in original Fallout, and games. Rick Astley with his whole trolling usage felt perfect. Global thermonuclear war is also a nod just like the name of the Mutant. 

 

Fallout also had humourous elements (sometimes rather dark), despite being rather serious game and I tried to include some of this here. 

 

And if we're talking about cars, they were mentioned couple of times (NCR army has them as well as BoS and Mutants in FO) and driveable vehicles were present in FO 2 and FOT.


Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    Killed by drones.

  • The Yardies
  • Joined: 01 May 2009
  • None
  • Most Talented Writer 2015
    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#23

Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:36 AM

Ah. only played a little of #1

And yes, I'm aware of some of the humour, though 3/NV has little.

I personally wouldn't have gone with the Rick Astley bit, but thinking about it, as i said, there must have been a "1987" so it would figure that there's no reason why Astley wouldn't have existed in the FO universe.
 





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