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The Extras

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Please don't hesitate to provide any and all critique! I'd be especially interested to hear how you feel about the use of LC in this story.


Now a while ago I did some writing that mentioned Liberty City which meant the story was deemed fan fiction and was frowned upon by most here because understandably it felt cheap for the reader. My fault really for not getting across that it wasn't a GTA fan fiction; it was merely a story that was set in Liberty City. So to make it clear, I'm using Liberty City as a setting and setting only. Because it's as good a setting as any that most people here will be familiar with. Like using Los Angeles or New York, I see LC as a setting all it's own that as a writer you could place next door to Gotham City. Maybe not that far but you get the point. But If you don't get the point or you just completely disagree then here's The Extras.




“This my friends, is Liberty City.”


“That's just what they call it Johnny, as opposed to


“As opposed to what Pete?”


“As opposed to Project Liberty of course.”


“You don't see the bigger picture Pete, like always! You don't – see – the bigger – picture. Since when has anything, of this size and scope been done solely for it's source purpose? Name me one thing!”


“Source purpose, Johnny?”


“Source purpose! When a bunch of honourable, well to do, heart in the right place, for the good of everyone visionaries set out to create something beautiful for the people. When has anything ever stayed that way? Can you give me an answer Bruce?


“Can't say I can John.”


“Of course you can't! And that makes you right!”


“So get to the point Johnny, what' you tryin' to say?”


“What I'm trying to say Pete, is that whenever something like this comes along, the government steps in and sees a bunch of prospects for these things they weren't initially designed for. They then use them so they can reap their own benefits for themselves!”


“Like what exactly?”


“The Moon Landing for instance. Designed so a human could step foot on the Moon. The government saw it as a way for them to look better than the Russians.”


“It's an interesting way of looking at things John.”


“Thank you Bruce! And it doesn't stop there, oh no. You see movies, music – entertainment! Err, The internet, medical research, the err – Wars! There's always something in it for the government, exclusively for the government.”


“But wars are for the government anyway right? What's in it for us?”


“Shut up Pete!”


“I'm just sayin' in a war it's us fighting for the government, where as it's meant to be the government protecting us.”


“You're missing the point Pete! What has any of that got to do with anything? The government love to get their hands on anything they deem worth it. We fight wars for freedom, for our country! The government just reaps in the benefits on the sideline.”


“As – riveting as your misguided speeches are John, remind me. What's this got to do with Project Liberty?”


“Glad you asked Bruce. Thought we'd never get anywhere. Though the government royally – pisses me off, I can now live the rest of my life fulfilled.”


“And why is that?”


“Because! Because we're here! We're in Liberty City. Designed to be the most intricate, most advanced most expensive movie set in the world. Well it's the most expensive man made – thing in the world. As we know my friends, nothing of this scope is what its seems and we get to be a part of it, For the first time in my life, I'll finally get to stick it to the man! We may have the short end of the stick being stuntmen and all, but f*ck! We – are – on that stick!”


“I think you misunderstood the saying Johnny. I think it means


“Shut the f*ck up Pete!”


That's Johnny Sweetwater, that's the way he goes about things. Always looking at things in an abstract sort of way. He's a loud mouthed, stinking nut case if I ever saw one. Now I haven't ever seen him hurt no one and I ain't by any means scared of him. But him and Pete go a long way back and if the stories they tell are anything to go by, they could give the Jigsaw a run for his money. And they ain't even bitter over ill health. Johnny, you can tell has a natural born taste for some kind of poison I'd say some of the nastiest freaks in prison only acquired through ways and means. And his thirst hasn't been replenished for a long time.


Now Johnny ain't no liar. But he can go on and on telling me the the things he did and what it was like in 'Nam. Now only his sorry victims and the god they rest with only know what he was really up to in 1989 and I try to tell him 'Nam was over in '75. But how would I know? I wasn't there. If he truly believes he was in Vietnam at that point, then to me that only begins to describe the drugs, the violence and general world he was in at that point.


Preston Haggard, or Pete as Johnny at some point dubbed him is quite the opposite. He keeps himself to himself, though it's hard to tell in contrast. He keeps things simple for himself, doesn't think too much in to things. I'd say he just isn't all that bothered by much, either he has a deficiency in interest or he's completely desensitized to anything that would shock or even capture the imagination of average folk.


Pete has Johnny do all the bothering and the thinking for him. Like I say, Pete's not the smartest there is but every so often he can say the smartest, yet obvious of things. I think having such a simple, straight forward point of view allows you see things for what they are. There's no way Pete could be tricked into illusion. Johnny tells me he raised him from being a little wolf. More of Johnny's folklore I don't understand but whatever the case, the duo have made it this far despite their different approach to life.


And me. I'm nothing eccentric. With a name like George Redford, you know not to expect much. I've been a stuntman for over 20 years. Since being a kid it's been an unfortunate passion of mine. I never managed to rise to fame for my daring hobby. It seemed after the hype for Evel Knievel had died amongst the masses and we'd all seen Homer Simpson miss the other side of that gorge, stunting wasn't every boys dream any more. Though locally; I did receive the stunt name Bruce. I've never been able to wash that title away.


So today I work as an extra in movies, performing stunts that actors refuse to pull off in case it pulls off their nose. Movie stars, I've learned - are a nasty breed. As well as being the world's most convincing liars, they are by default massive advocates for narcissism. They crave for their melded faces to be in the center of that camera. For their voice to be heard by millions. When the cameras aren't rolling, they're up to something that'll get themselves in newspapers and magazines. Then the next week; getting themselves in newspapers and magazines again, talking about how they hate being exploited in newspapers and magazines. Is it them tailored for the vanity of showbiz, or is it the business that corrupts them? The way I see it, you have the smiling faces you see on TV, providing their bittersweet morphine to the masses. The rest of us, we're all extras in life, all contributing with our minor roles. Sometimes we might even get a line. But and the end of the day, it's us folk that are at the bottom, holding the whole thing up for the suits and the stars. I'm not cynical, it's just how I see things. I just wish I could tell them smug pricks in front of the camera how it is.

Edited by ainsz

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Chapter one

Project Liberty was a strange beast. The brainchild of two friends who graduated from Harvard that received funding from some film institute in Hollywood to actually build a shrunken city off the coast of California. Now I don't know how much money these suits have to throw around but seeing as it's the most expensive man made thing in the world I'm sure it was a drop in the ocean for them. Simply put; for a film set, it was bit much. Despite most of the buildings being hollow props, the weather running on a computer system, not to mention the whole place being devoid of real people. It was like an authentic ghost town. Somehow; while you were in it, you were completely immersed as though it was a real city. That is, you were until roll call would take you out of it.

"Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I hope you all enjoyed your breakfast. If you're hearing this through your camp speaker this is your crew leader speaking. Morning announcements are as follows; lunch is delayed until 2:00 pm. Set areas, Hove Beach, Pier 45 and Westdyke are currently off limits. Also the vending machines across the city are not operational, nor do they contain beverages. It is advised you don't insert your cash in them. However due to popular demand, the money collected from the machines will go towards real ones. A reminder that the smoking areas are designated throughout the city and any and all rules laid out in your terms and policy booklet must be followed. Finally, background cast groups: A2,A3, A4, B5, C2.."

"That's us."

"Quiet Pete."

"... E4 and E5 please make your way to the south heliport on the Algonquin Island, and arrive by 12:30 p.m. Bus and train services are fully operational here in Liberty so no need to worry if your running late! Thank you, that is all."

The place was a lot more restrictive than a real city. Now I'm not about to compare the place to Auschwitz, but I'm certain who ever wrote the policies for this place took some inspiration from 'The Wooden Horse'. With the omission of armed guards at every street, it was impossible to enforce everything so no one besides the 'show offs' who were eager to get a line or bit part really followed procedure. People smoked and drank where and when they felt like it and no one caused any trouble. In fact, with just a few thousand of us temporarily living here; I'd say this was the most crime-free place in America. On our end of town, everything was built and designed to be modest. And it really did resonate with the people like us who appreciated the simpler things in life.

"But that's another thing that really gets on my nerves with this agenda ridden city! As I know you share the same sentiment Bruce, you'll agree with me here."

"What's that?"

"The way the whole place is designed as a massive middle finger to the supposed lesser people like you or me! And they don't even try to hide it! Like, like the higher paid people living over on that Algonquin island are staying in places, I kid you not - called 'The Majestic'! And I hear some are even staying in f*cking mansions on the even further - other side of town! To add to the insult, they have us eat at places aptly called 'Ming-Inn' or some other dive! I mean, you tell me the designers aren't having a good, hard laugh at us. This isn't a real city, so why are they treating it in such a way?"

"For a pretend city, it does okay for a city I think. I don't see the problem really."

"The problem Pete, is that even in a pretend city, we're being treated like peasants."

"I like it if I'm honest. I'm not at all interested in being a big shot or even pretending to be one. We're only here for a month or so, it ain't at all bad if you ask me. I could just do without the daily announcements ringing down your ear three times a day."

"I'm the same way as Bruce, Johnny. Doesn't phase me much as long as I get to do what I want."

"Until you learn Pete, until you learn to open your eyes and see the bigger picture, nothing will ever phase you."

Now, you might think Johnny gets on at Pete quite a bit. As far as I can tell, the two know where they stand with each other. John just likes to feel he's the father figure, I think. Neither would change for a second, no matter how much lecturing you gave 'em.

"So how' we getting to the err, heliport?"

"Take the bus, they come around every twenty minute. We still got time to kill."

"Oh no, no way am I turning up in one of those buses!"


"Do you have a problem with everything here John?"

"Hey! I express myself through simple logic Bruce! I wouldn't have a problem, if the place wasn't full of problems. It's just another way to humiliate the hard working fellow by dumping them on a bus for all to see. Where's my f*cking limo service with bikini clad women waiting in the back seat to sit on my lap? Nah! I say we walk."

"Walk? F*ck that, what are you going to prove to them big shots by walking over there?"

"That I'm not ready to put up with these demeaning practices."

"What d'you think Pete?"

"Yeah, I'd take a bus. Beats walking all that way, that's for sure."

"Ah! f*ck sake Pete!"

Stepping on to that bus made me wonder if I should listen to Johnny more often. I'd heard they'd built a small prison on the set and wondered if this bus would be making a stop. I watched my step as I walked between the rows of middle aged adolescence. I didn't know that people who worked in the extras business were made up of such obnoxious and unprofessional individuals - and I should have, having worked with John for the past few years. Then again it could've just been the likes of people that were akin to riding the bus these days. Add to that, with no bus driver or conductor, the passengers were free to wreak havoc.

"Pete. Pete! Come look at this."

"Where's the driver sit?"

"There is no driver, you get it? These things are automated."

"Automated? Automated how?"

"By computers Pete. There's a computer somewhere controlling these buses."

"Ohh, ok."

"But what I'm thinking is, there's gotta be some way we can manually control it. Send these lucky passengers on a bit of an adventure. Scare the I.T. nerds over at the control center at the same time."

"Whatever you say Johnny."

"Hey mister!"

"Oh, well hello there – madam."

"This bus ain't moving until everyone on it is sat down, and you're holding everyone up. So you better sit yo' ass down before I feel like using your face as a cushion!"

"Darling, as long as I've gotta face, you've always got a place to sit."

"Right! You've asked for it!"

"Feisty one aren't ya'!"

"Erm, Johnny, I'm gonna go find Bruce."

You'd think seeing John get overpowered by a woman would beg to question what you thought you knew about him, seeing him on the floor of a bus with this lady stood over him, bearing down. But throughout their little dispute, Johnny had a huge grin on his face throughout, just asking for more. This lady, who was clearly in no mood for games just seemed to get angrier at his complete approval of her dominance. Well I presumed that's was the reason but I haven't been on the dating scene in a long time.

"But why have a computer that's controlled by a human, drive the bus; rather than just having a human drive the bus himself?"

"Well because then there's no chance of human error. A computer works by mathematical calculations and certainties whereas a human works on it's own judgement and observation which could always be mistaken."

"I wouldn't try educating Pete, Bruce. By now he's already thinking how they could have stopped The Terminators."

"And how did your little meet and greet over there end up?"

"I got her number."

"Get outta here."

"Read it and weep, all 10 numbers!"

"Did you get her name?"

"Did.. No I didn't."

"I'll be damned if her voice is on the other end when you phone up."

"Well then prepare for damnation!"

Despite the initial concern of riding a bus that drives itself, the journey was as dull as the usual MTA ride. It ran at a pedestrian pace and came to a stop if anyone stretched their foot too far into the aisle. I'd argue to the dull minded, half-wit who thought of that idea that safety first means getting there last. But what'd be the use? I'm a stuntman, I'm completely biased. On arrival, John had again shown he had a point somewhere under his raging tantrums. Among the crowds of all the other Extra crews that were packing out the heliport, stepping out of the helicopters were class A celebrities. Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt.. John hated them all. Each one that passed by kept their heads down or their noses turned up, made sure they didn't touch any of us. John, jostled between all the other reprobates stepping off the buses, looked like he wanted to bite their nose off. A walk would have been a lot more dignified.

As more helicopters landed, more top rated film actors were stepping out and being escorted over to their awaiting limos: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Nick Frost! It didn't make sense all of these would be starring in this film. I understood that being set in Liberty, it was big budget and the publicity surrounding it would have any celebrity clamouring to get in on. But this was overkill.

"Okay, I've had enough of this demeaning claustrophobia. Why are we in this exposition and how much are we getting paid?"

"There's still ten minutes until half past, John."

"Yeah, well I'm getting pissed off."

"Good afternoon Supporting cast groups. We thank you for making it here and apologise for the inconvenience. You're here to meet a new member assigned to your group. Thank you for your patience."

"That's it? We came here and stood through this sh*t for one lousy person! One f*cking guy to come meet us! f*ck!"

"Man the people running this gig sure know how to take the piss."

"Excuse me guys, what support cast group are you?"

"Who are we? Who the f*ck are you, you f*cking soulless morlock?"

"Shut the f*ck up John. C2, we're C2."

"Right take this card, you'll need it when the new members get here."

"What a dick."

The new 'members' didn't show up by helicopter. Instead they were transported in by mass on a small boat. Seeing that boat struggle across the calm inlet made you glad you had your economy class. return flight ticket. It docked up by the landing zone and one by one they climbed off the boat, looked down at their paper form and yelled out their group number. Of course it would be the shrimp with glasses that would shout out, 'C2'.

Edited by ainsz

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Chapter Two

I've got no prejudices against short guys with glasses, but when that guy walked over to us, yelling C2! C2! You know you're not gonna get along with him when his form reads 'D2'. We sent him on his way and finally, we met the new guy. When I first saw Sam, straight away I knew what he was here for. It was no particular look about him; he was here to make an impression. Coming off that boat in his flash clothes - and peering out of them, a blinding white smile as if he'd enjoyed the trip. No, he wasn't about give anything away besides himself so not to upset the producers. Yes we had an 'up and comer' in our midst.

“C2! Looking for C2.”

“Over here boy!”

I took the role of making him feel welcome.

“What's your name new guy?”

“Sam. Er, Samuel Marlon, pleased to meet you.”

“Well new guy, I'm George and this – is Johnny Sweetwater.”

“How you doin' kid.”

“Pleased to meet you.”

“And this here is Pete.”

“Sorry, I'm left handed.”

“It's no problem, pleased to meet you.”

Then John decided he'd take up the role.

“You seem awful pleased. Are you this pleased every time you see a new face, new guy? Or are you just pleased to see me?”

“Err, I was – just being polite, I'm sorry.”

“Sorry don't cut it – New – Guy! In fact, I can't stand apologies. It's the shallowest gesture a man can conjure up and you've only been here five minutes and produced one! How pleased are you to see me now, New Guy?”

I wasn't sure if New Guy didn't dare say anything else or if he was just lost for words. All he could do was stare blankly at John as he attempted to formulate a way out through his stutters.

“Ahahaaa! The look on your face New Guy – my God! I'm sure pleased to see you kid! Wipe that f*cking smile off your face along with your well to dos son. Let's go grab a beer and get acquainted!”

John had managed to better his mood and at the same time; make his impression on New Guy. Whatever impression that was, I'm sure was confused and conflicted in New Guy's mind. But that wouldn't last long as John was more than eager to educate our new member.

“So New Guy, what brings you to the world of stunting and taking on – the prestigious role of the background?”

“Well it's not so much the stunting that interests me, my agent said that background work was the best way for me to get into acting.”

“Woah, woah, woah! Hold on, you want to be an actor?”

“Well – yeah, doesn't everybody here?”

“I don't, I just like being hurled over a sixty foot drop in a fast car.”

“Yeah what Pete said. You don't want to be some lay-about, no good, piece of sh*t actor.”

“Well sure I do, It's been my dream since high school. To be an actor that is.”

“Buddy, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. You don't want to get sucked in to that sh*t. Actors have no souls, actors are born and bred to master the art of lying – it is one shallow and toxic art form, let me tell you kid.”

“I've been at drama school for the last five years to make it this far. I'm so close to realising my dream.”

“I wouldn't go chasing dragons New Guy. Actors are either called or chosen, some are called and chosen. Have you been either yet?”

“Well er – no I'm just working my up. Joining Project Liberty is a big opportunity”

“What, you expect to stand out here? You've just been thrown in to mix of thousands of actors, other wannabe actors and extras. You ain't getting noticed here kid. You know why none of us want to be actors?”


“Because we're not up our own asses saying 'howdy-f*cking-do' like you were back at the heliport!”

“I was just being polite.”

“Exactly! Don't go round pretending to be this well to do chump in the hopes that one day you will be. Where's your sincerity kid?”

Yet again, somewhere in John's overblown lecture; he had a point. I'd place him somewhere between a mad rambler and a preacher. Though on a lot of occasions they're the same thing. Instead of taking the bus back to our homestead we'd decided to walk in to the – dare I say it, city centre. Like the real life counterpart Algonquin Island tried so hard to emulate; The streets were rife with bars, restaurants and shops and the buildings that were still hollow props would one day be fully operational. The general area of 'Downtown' would actually fill up with all the extras and actors roaming the streets, spending their money in the fake shops and fake restaurants. Sure the labels they sold and the food they served was real, but there wasn't one recognisable brand here that you'd see at home. Though I heard Starbucks were gearing up to take over the 'Bean Machine' cafés.

The superficial streets came alive when the cameras weren't rolling. Seeing the general population come together in the same vicinity would catch you off guard and for a moment, you'd feel like you were in a living, breathing city like any other. We arrived at one of John's favourite bars in town where we'd be served some refreshing 'Logger' beers.

“Four beers my lady, put them on my tab.”

“Coming right up, Johnny boy.”

“Actually you can make that three beers! I err – don't drink. I'll just have a water or something.”

“You don't drink? What the f*ck is wrong with you kid? You don't drink? You heard this Bruce?”

“I ain't ever heard of a man who don't drink, what's putting you off new guy?”

“It better be something good New Guy. Pete here got so drunk once, he passed out and sh*t the bed. He's still happy to have a beer.”

“Johnny! Why'd you have to go and tell him that?”

“Oh! Well it's nothing like that It's just my agent advised me to stay off alcohol, you know to stay in shape.”

“What? Screw your agent new guy, have a f*cking beer! Selma, four beers please sweetheart!”

"Okay, but just the one."

Johnny had already set out to break all of New Guy's inhibitions, one by one. Getting him to drink was a good start in my book. We spent the next hour or so drinking.

“Bruce, get us the next round in.”

“How come you call him Bruce? Thought his name was George.”

“Who Bruce? That's his name, Bruce-Bruce. Like Iron Maiden!”

“What, that's Bruce from Iron Maiden?”

“No! Was Bruce Dickinson black?”

“Well I don't now, whenever I saw him he was always wearing make up.”

“No, he's called Bruce-Bruce thanks to his old dare devil days. Hey Bruce, how did you get your name again?”

“Well the Butte, Nebraska catholic church had christened me George Redford and from that day I've

“No smart ass! Your real name Bruce, Bruce-Bruce!”

“All right, If you really want to know. When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to be a stuntman and funnily enough I wanted my stuntman name to be 'Outlaw'. And so I started out doing the usual, jumping over cars, climbing the church and all that. Over time, as I did more and more daring stunts; the local paper got interested and finally I had got the town's attention. And in Butte, where I grew up; we had this highway that was called 'Outlaw Trail' that went by the town and had this downhill section. I got the idea that to make my name, I would roll down this – downhill part of the highway in an iron maiden.”

“Yeah, it's like one of those coffins with spikes on the inside.”

“Thanks Pete. So I got one of the local farmers to craft this beautiful wooden box, fully fitted with the nails inside. Told the newspaper that I'd be doing this stunt the following week and had everything ready way in advance. The big day comes, just about all of the townspeople are gathered around the highway. I turn up with my friends at the top of the hill, open the iron maiden and lay myself on the spikes inside, which is surprisingly easy once you get a nice spread.”

“I'm sure.”

“My friends close the coffin and give it a good push.”

“Wait, so this iron maiden is on wheels?”

“Yeah, we fitted wheels to the bottom of it. So I'm rolling down this hill and every thing's going fine so far. It starts picking up some immense speed, I mean it was pitch black in there but you can feel it. And soon the whole thing is shaking and rattling like mad and all of a sudden – one of the nails falls loose from the the coffin and lands in my eye.”

“Oooh, f*cking Christ!”

“Yeah, so now I'm stuck in this f*cking box that's gaining more speed, with a nail in my. The other nails are starting to dig in to my skin and I'm scared another might fall at any second. But finally, the locals at the bottom of the hill bring the coffin to a stop. The people waiting at the bottom; some of them from the newspaper, all crowded round the coffin with their cameras at the ready. They open it up and straight away snap a photo of me with a five inch nail sticking out of my eye and blood covering most of my head. The hardest part was trying not to lose face as they pulled me out and sent me to the hospital. The story was the biggest thing to happen in that town for years and thanks to it, instead of receiving the name 'Outlaw', the newspaper jokingly called me Bruce-Bruce – and it stuck.”

“Hahaa, and so your eye; it's fake?”

“Yeah, my left eye, solid glass.”

“Hey New Guy, you smoke?”

“No, again my agent

“Your agent ain't here is he? And who the f*ck is your agent, your Mother?”

“All right, hand one over.”

“That's more like it!”

“Hey, are we allowed to smoke in here?”

“Don't worry about it New Guy, Selma's got us covered.”

So New Guy had already started to forget the rules his agent had set him and was breaking out of his shell. He may have had the movie star look about him but you could see he was suited to a more human way of life. He just had to stop trying so hard, a few beers was sending him on his way.

It got to three in the afternoon and finally an announcement from the big guy sounded through the speakers.

“Afternoon ladies and gentlemen. The following announcement concerns all supporting cast groups from A1 to E6. You will be needed at sector I-3 which is the 'Middle Park East' area. All groups must arrive at the changing area by 4:00 PM and await further announcements. Thank you, that is all.”

Duty Called. It wasn't everyday we'd get a roll. I figured the groups were picked at random in a sort of lottery as days, maybe a whole week could go by without work. Despite this, you were still being paid just for being here and not for the work you put in; which'd get no argument from me. As long as you were in Liberty, you were on the pay roll.

Edited by ainsz

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Chapter Three


Did I enjoy my job? Performing the stunts was the main attraction for me but in truth, this wasn't the stuntman career I had in mind as a kid. There's a whole lot of health and well being checks and medical forms getting signed, along with some further red tape passed down, all to keep you safe and sound asleep in whatever they're throwing you about in. The film stars keep the likes of me in a job; coming up with excuses as to why they deem the stunts much too dangerous for themselves to perform. Nine times out of ten, I'd say danger doesn't come in to the equation. I used to look for stunts that actually provided an element of risk and excitement but they're becoming more of a rarity these days. Now that I'm in my forties, something new in my prospects wouldn't go amiss.


“I don't suppose we'll be taking the bus to the set, will we? Let's not put New Guy through all that on his first day here.”


“After the last trip – I'm all for walking, John.”


“What err, what's wrong with the buses here?”


“Johnny got taken out by a lady. She was pissed.”


“Shut the f*ck up Pete!”


“It's true though, you pissed her off good. She had you on the floor quicker than a rabbit gets f*cked.”


“Is this true Johnny?”


“Hey! What's it to you New Guy? What's wrong with a little female dominance once in a while? Maybe I find a bit a fire in a woman arousing. As long you put them back in their place once the heat's cooled down, I see nothing wrong by it.”


“By all means. Each to their own, right?”


“What do you mean by that? You think it's weird letting a lady take on the alpha role every so often?”


“Sure I don't! Well I mean – I've never thought about it. I like to be on top”


“You're just too young yet to understand. Bruce! You've got to agree with me here, you're a seasoned player.”


“I don't know about that. I haven't seen any action since my wife left me. You could say the whore took the dominant role there. What are you so worried about anyway John? Whatever gets you off, it's cool with us..”


“But it's not weird!”


“Sure Johnny, whatever man. Is man the right word?”


“f*ck you!”


“What about – err.. Pete right?”


“Well I ain't never been married. I like taking girls out to dinner. I like making them smile – and laugh. I like walking them home and getting them naked, laying them on the bed. If I can't be bothered with all that though, I'll go out and pay for a prostitute.”


“Remember when you f*cked my sister Pete?”


“Hahaa – yeah.. Sat in your trailer, she was jumping on my cock with her tits slapping up and down! You were pissed.”


“How much did she charge you?”


“A months rent. I figured it' worth it.”


“I remember telling her; me and you were half brothers! She didn't talk to me for months.”


“That's why she wouldn't f*ck me no more?”


We arrived at the changing rooms early on and found hundreds of military outfits and replica weapons laid out. Today we'd be playing soldiers and I had no doubt John would soon be back in his comfort zone. I was growing tired of pretending to die while on set.


“They're still filming this war film? They've been doing it for over a month now. ”


“Oh, I wouldn't complain Bruce-Bruce. The longer they drag their budget out on this stint the better – takes me back to 'Nam! What have he what got here; Berreta M9s, 1911s, a Remmington – Got a real one of these at home. MP5, M4, M4, another M4..”


“John, you're like a kid in a f*cking toy box.”


“I'm just checking the merchandise.. Hello – something got mixed in with the wrong pile! AK-47! I'm taking this mother f*cker out, this one is mine! Guys – we've got a sports coat and shorts walking in.


“We've got a what?”


“Good afternoon gentlemen. Glad to see some made it here early. Now once you've finished getting changed into the military gear, I want you to pick out one rifle, one melee tool, two grenades and a side arm. Then meet outside where you'll be given further instructions.”


“Looking forward to your first gig New Guy?”


“Sure am.”


We'd all got changed into our attire and walked out on to the battlefield. Production had completely converted the area in to a war torn avenue; the roads had been littered with sandbags, concrete blocks and barricades of barbed wire that surrounded the man made craters and polystyrene rubble. The windows and walls of pretend shops and hotels had been smashed in and some buildings had whole sections missing. They'd successfully given the area an occupied France sort of feel to it and for the fifth time this year, Hollywood was going to glorify such an image by having America invaded by which ever enemy was trending at the moment. Tanks were rolling in on to the scene, followed by Humvees and whatever else a fantasy frontline needed to get the idea across that; this is a war.


“Man, look at all these tanks. All this military stuff''s amazing.”


“Most of them will be fakes New Guy – but real ones do lie among them.”


“Bull sh*t John!”


“I ain't lying Bruce! You've gotta start having more faith in me, my friend. Those four over there are the trusty M1 Abrams – British designed and American built, an almost perfect mix. Next to them is an assortment of M2 Bradley's, standard stuff. Next to that hot dog stand over there is the godly – Avenger missile launcher! You see, loaded on to the back of that Humvee. With one of those babies, even Pete could take out a commie spy plane, an SU-24, f*cking Airforce one – you name it! ”


“Yeah. So which are real?”


“You can tell which are fakes as some will have some glaring f*ck up in the way they made it, I'd say all these here are fakes. We got ourselves a T-90 rolling in, looks like we're fighting the Russians today boys! We'll get the Chinese one day.”


Just over a hundred extras had showed up for this scene; some would be fighting for our country, some would be trying to take it from us but as extras, none would succeed. We'd be spending most of our time dying and falling over in the background while history would be written by the actor. The director had arrived on set and wanted to get all us extras together for a special briefing.


“Man, look at this jackass going up on that platform lift, looking all proud with his megaphone.”


“Is that the director?”


“That would be him. Get used to these pompous fools New Guy, they're all the same.”


“Good afternoon, my background performers! It's so great to see you all here, together! I hope you can all hear me from up here – You can all see me all right as well – yeah? Right, I am the highly respected and highly paid writer; come director, come cameo actor, come inspiration – Spencer Ward. You are privileged to be speaking with me today so that I can brief you on what my vision is – for this very important scene. I'd usually get one of my interns to give you this kind of talk, the producers said I was crazy; talking to you lot that's what they said. But I said no and I bit the bullet and came through for you all today, so I could talk to you all, at this intimate level. So what I need in return from you; is one hundred percent commitment to your roles – yeah? I want a natural, sort of fluid kind of feel to this scene – yeah? I want the background action to move at a steady pace, not too much to overpower the scene – yeah?. You know; I don't want you going too far with it all, going a bit mad with the action, getting a bit carried away. This is war – yeah! It's a delicate matter – it's a sensitive matter that should be taken seriously – yeah? There are no singles in war. There are no individual heroes in war. It's all a joint effort by everybody, together – yeah? That's why we can't have all the action and the focus on one thing. We need to let the real actors stay at the central role so they can get these important messages across – yeah? All right who wants to make a movie? ”


“Put your hand down, New Guy!”


“Oh come on! I said who wants to make a freakin' movie – yeah?”


We all gave that affirmative groan like you did in school assembly, just so you could get away from the desperate idiot in front of you. We dispersed and found ourselves a cosy spot to wait until action was called. For scenes that had a large background cast like this, our role was pretty free form. Besides a few instructions from a choreographer you had to follow, as long as we were in the right general area – say; the US on one side of the set and the commies on the other, you were good to go. From there you basically had a pretend battle; firing blanks at those that ran at you and jumping from cover to cover while doing a lot of yelling. If it looked like you were getting shot up, you'd fall to the ground in a frantic spasm.


“And, Action!”


Doing this kind of thing for years had made it second nature. New Guy had no trouble getting in to the swing of things, as of course did Pete. John went about it in his usual fashion.


“And you die mother f*cker! And you die mother f*cker! Same for you you commie bastard, you f*cking die! You die and you go to hell!”


“Cut! Cut! Who's the idiot with the kalashnikov?”


“Idiot? You fat f*cking cocksucker! I dare you to come down from that platform and say that! Come on you silk wearing, no neck piece of sh*t! I'm gonna shove that megaphone up your ass!”


“Why I.. Security! Remove this reprobate from my set! I'll see that your kicked out of Project Liberty for that!”


“Yeah! Yeah! I'm f*cking out of here anyway! Stay the f*ck away from me before I put a load of blanks in you!”


While John was having a problem with authority, I was getting fitted in to my 'Fisher Price' stunt gear.


“Why can't I just fall back on to the mat by myself, without all these ropes attached?”


“Mr. Redford, the harnesses are here purely for your benefit and safety. The producers insist we follow the internal guidelines set by the company.”


“Look, what position are you?”


“I'm the PA.”


“The what?”


“The Production Assistant.”


“That means you want to make a good movie right?”


“Well of course.”


“Okay, so I'm right in saying; the shell hits the post office wall and explodes in the room?”




“I lunge myself back through the window and land on the mat. It's a ten foot drop at the most, I'm a stuntman – I'm fit to do this myself.”


“I'm sorry, I can't allow you to do the stunt without the safety harness.”


“I'm allowing you!”


“What's going on here?”


“Who are you?”


“The Second Assistant Director.”


“Mr. Redford here, doesn't want to wear the safety harness for the stunt.”


“I'm just saying it's completely unnecessary. Without it, you'll get a natural fall that'll look much better in the movie.”


“Look, why don't you stop complaining, do the job you're paid to do and put the harness on.”


The priority for safety over substance was now way out of proportion. I felt like I was being treated like an old man, getting hoisted around like a f*cking vegetable. It turned out the mat at the bottom wasn't even there for me to fall on, it was there in case I fell.


“Okay Mr. Redford, we're going to slowly lower you down to the floor. Absolutely nothing to be worried about – this is the safest way possible. What we do is edit out the straps and speed it all up in editing so we can get a nice, authentic fall.”


Shooting had wrapped up by 7:00 and I was more than happy to be heading back.


“You coming, New Guy?”


“Could you two just wait for like two minutes while I have a word? Just two minutes.”


New Guy was still holding out hope for his acting prospects it seemed.


“Hello, Mr. Ward! Could I just have a moment of your time – please?”




“It's an honour, really to meet you sir. My name's Sam, Sam Marlon. See, I'm an up and coming actor, with over five years experience in training and a few shorts here and there and was wondering – so that I could prove my worth, sir. Could I maybe get a few lines in the movie?”


“Is this your first day here?”


“Er, No, I've been here – for a few months now actually. Just one line maybe – anything really.”


“Not a very good liar are you? Beat it kid, I don't need peasant performers trying to worm there way in and taint my films – yeah?”


Like millions before, New Guy learned that optimism alone is worthless. You get your foot in the door and directors will close that door on you so fast that you trap your fingers on the way out. Make sure you don't come knocking again. We took the train back to the homestead, where met John.


“You like that you little bitch! Huh Bitch? You want more?”


“Yes! Christ girl!”


“You're a little bitch! Cry for me little boy, like you would for your Mom! Get on your knees and beg like a little bitch.”


“Holy sh*t Johnny! What the hell?”


“Oh, hey guys. We were just finishing up. Undo the handcuffs would you babe.”


“Can I keep these rubber panties Johnny?”


“Yeah sure babe, they weren't mine anyway! Do what you want with them!”


“Wouldn't you boys like to join in.”


“Oh no, I'm – married!”


“No, I appreciate the gesture and all..”


“Yeah, thanks and all.”


“I don't have any money on me.”


“She's not a prostitute Pete!”


“Oh, well then does she have any money?”


“Think it's time you went home slut!”


“Well all right. I'll be seeing you tomorrow.”


“Good bye miss.”


“Yeah, safe travels miss!”


“Put some clothes on, for god sake John! She was older than my mother. Was that the girl from the bus?”


“Yeah, I told you that was her number! And she ain't old, she's just done a load of crack”


“Lucky you.”


“She's all right now. I've told her to stick to meth.”


“You're full of kind advise. What the f*ck is that smell?”


“Smells like morning smegma.”


“Nice Pete. With that, I'm goin' to bed. New Guy, your room is second on the left.”


“What – What was I supposed to do for four hours?”


“Yeah, I'm gonna hit the sack too, I'll see you in the morning.”


“Good night New Guy! Pete? You want some of this pizza?”


“Yeah, I'll have some.”


“All right! Don't mind the bit where her ass is pressed in to it.”


“That don't bother me. Huh, looks like two different types of cheese.”


The rest of the month passed by like usual. John carried on seeing 'the girl from the bus' but we made him meet at her place instead. Nothing ever came about him getting kicked out. More people were always moving in to Liberty and the population was growing. By the end of the month; mine, John's and Pete's contracts were soon to expire.


“So will you guys be renewing your contracts?”


“I'd take another three months. Don't want to leave yet – Not before I find some way to piss the government off here.”


“Three months? I'm here until next August.”


“Jesus, I didn’t even know they did year contracts. Pete? Bruce? I take it you'd do another three months?”


“Yeah, I'll stay.”




“I don't know. I've been thinking about quitting the whole thing really. I'm about done with the whole stunting thing if I'm honest. I'm forty two next month”


“What? So what man! Another three month won't hurt. Evel Knievel carried on going right up until his bitter death.”


“That's a nice way to put it. Persuasion was always your strength.”


“Well he's your biggest hero ain't he? Don't you feel you'd be letting him down.”


“I just think it's time to be movin' on. Get out of Liberty, especially.”


“Another three month and I'm ready for getting off this rock as well. You can stick it out.”


“f*ck it then, three more months of extra savings won't hurt I suppose.”


So as easy as that, I'd be festering for another three months in this city of a workplace. I was tired of it, the novelty of the fake city had more than worn off and I had peacefully taken about as much as I could from pompous directors and self obsessed actors. At the office, I watched glumly as my new contract was stamped and handed to me. Just another three months to go, I said to myself last time.

Edited by ainsz

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I've been on an extended hiatus for some time but I'm gonna get around to reading this fully as well as everything else. Allow me to reiterate something.


Setting a story within the world of a game that is already created, is fanfiction. To a point, if you're stretching thin the links between your own story and the original story world, why not just ask the simple question: Why does this need to be a fanfiction?


Switch Liberty for New York or your own rendition of New York, change some of the names, switch around a few things and Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt: You've got an original story.




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Thanks for the tip mate. I look forward to seeing what you think when you do get to read it. I hope that when you do, you'll understand why I'll be sticking to the Liberty setting this time around.


Chapter Four


The additional three months here were drawing to a close. Just a week was left of petty stunt work and mundane background antics to go and I was on my way to wherever life would put me. I thought on the nine months I had spent, living in the illusive dream world all together. I realised while I was looking forward to leaving, life on the outside was a daunting prospect. No matter how much Project Liberty tried to present itself as a fully functioning city and no matter how many times you'd fall for it's illusion; You'd see the cracks in it's design and remember you were simply at work. John had set out to dig and dig deeper in to the project's foundations in order to find something more; some government agenda. But I think even he came to realise that at the bottom; there really was just plasterboard and buoyancy platforms to be found. Nevertheless, I had become worryingly used to this place as a way of life. The line between normal life and the life here had been blurred.


“Last week here, for us three! What' you gonna do without us, New Guy? 'You gonna carry on trying to suck up to directors?”


“Like always.”


“Today's the last day for that war film I hear. Your buddy, Spencer will be flying home.”


“Ah, f*ck that guy. They've got like four other films on the go here.”


“Bruce, 'we been called in to do any work today?”


“Yeah – we're in the big finale. I just hope they don't want to shoot an alternative ending.”


“Another afternoon ruined by that shirt-lifting prick!”


“So – what do you guys have planned for when you leave?”


“I'm thinking of taking a long – vacation. Some where, where the girls sunbathe topless and will suck your cock if you buy 'em a drink.”


“Sounds good to me, John.”


“I wanna go to Mexico.”


“Mexico? Pete, what the hell 'you wanna go to place like Mexico for ?”


“They got this titty bar outside of Tijuana, open all night. They got this naked bitch that comes out on stage with a f*cking snake 'round her neck.


“Yeah? What do you say Bruce?”


“I was thinking of just going home, but I ain't never been abroad.”


“See what you'll be missing out on, New Guy?”


“I'm sure I can find myself a decent crack whore around here.”


“Hey, say what you will about Saskia, but she is a fine lady – in her own right.”


“Her name is Saskia?”


“Miss Saskia!”




The announcements sounded across the homestead and it was time to make our way to the set. For this scene, the esteemed director had plans for a big finish; a battle under the corporate lights of the pseudo Times Square. Yes, the Russians were that eager to take over a capitalist cross-roads in this fantasy, Mr. Ward had dreamt up and we'd be honouring that with our one hundred percent. That's how we're meant to go about our job but as extras; motivation never came from admiration of the film makers or the inspiring words they spat at us. It was money, or in the case of New Guy; the hope that one day, he can rise from this pitiful occupation and one day become something bigger and better. Nobody had the word 'extra' in their aspirations. Did that make us as depraved or as shallow as the actors and producers? As extras, we get sifted round into what ever role we're given. We don't have a say in what we play or how we go about it, nor do most of us care to. It is just a day job. The big shots like to pick and choose what they do. They make their decisions based on their biases; rounded on what they deem beneath them, what will boost their reputation or their pay cheque. So on that, I'd argue no – no it does not.


On set, we changed into our desert camo overalls for urban warfare, grabbed our gear and headed out on to 'Star Junction'. If a place name ever pissed me off more.


“On set for the last time?”


“I should say so, John. There's no other films we're signed on to is there?”


“No, I don't believe there is!”


“I've got a short I'm in – in a couple' hours.”


“You serious Pete?”


“Yeah, the other week some guy came over to me, asking me to play a role in a short of his. 'Says I'll have some lines in it too.”


“You see, these things can happen.”


“You've got to understand, New Guy. Pete has no experience or even intention in acting. This is a case of right place, right time here – –”


“Woah, woah – just hold that thought Bruce. This random guy, out of the blue, asked you to have a part in the movie – to which you agreed and you didn't bother saying anything?”


“Nobody asked – until just now.”


“Huhuh, okay and what's this short called, Pete?”


“Erm.. He said – tente – de, er – tangage? Something like that? He said it was a romance film.”


“Another French culture hit, eh?”


“Maybe – it could be Italian.”


“You gonna go to it?”


“I don't know, I thought it'd be something different at the time but I'm not all that bothered.”


“Err, Pete. If you don't want to go, I'm more than happy to fill in.”


“If you want to – sure. Here, I got the form in my pocket.”


“Can all supporting cast groups enter the set! Thank you!”


“Okay gentleman, let's roll!”


And roll we did, right under the condescending gaze of Mr. Director.


“Ah! I see the reprobate has returned! You be on your best behaviour!”


“Don't f*cking push me! I'll push you off your f*cking pedestal, you cocksucker!”


“One more outburst like that and I'll mean it, when I say you'll be kicked out of here!”


“f*cking try me!”


The director left John alone, who's temper looked to have been piqued. You could tell he was trying his upmost to shrug this ass-hole off, while the director looked content in angering one of his workforce. While preparation for the shoot were ongoing, just three of us sat on a curb waiting to start.


“'I have no idea where he ran off to.”


“Do you Pete?”


“Nope, last I saw him, he was taking a piss on that – erm, lighting equipment over there.”


“f*ck – heheh. He's f*cking pissed.”


“Yeah, I've seen him like this before. One time, this girl refused to go home with him after a night out.”




“Well, He dragged her over to this bridge, you know that goes over a river. He picks her up and dangles her by her feet, over the edge; like a conker on a shoestring! He kept her there until she would agreed to go home and f*ck him. She screamed and screamed for a good ten minute but she came 'round.


As disconcerting, Pete's smile was as he described told the story, more pressing was what ever John was up to right now.


“You think he'll 'ave just gone back?”


“Maybe, how long till shooting?”


“They keep delaying it. Another hour yet.”


“Guys! Guys! Over here! Come, quick!”


“John? What the f*ck 'you been doing?”


“I went and got myself a mother f*cking, working Humvee!”


“How the f*ck – –“


“Look at the sh*t inside it too! We got f*cking binoculars, night vision, a f*cking heartbeat sensor – Like in f*cking Alien! All this is authentic – military sh*t.”


“That's cool John. What the f*ck are you doing with it all?”


“Yeah Johnny, we got get ready for the shoot.”


“f*ck that! And f*ck the cocksuckers running this joint! Look in the back, I stashed from the 'Actors' Canteen, four f*cking crates of beer – Not that Logger sh*t either. Gentlemen, I say we ditch this final roll and go hang back away from this sh*tfest.”


“You sure about this John? What if they find out we stole one of their Humvees and come looking for us?”


“Oh I wouldn't worry about that Brucey-Boy! Here, catch! A walkie-talkie for each of us here. If any studio – prefects get a clue, we'll be the first to hear about it through their radio chatter.”


“f*ck it, you had me at catch.”


“You coming Pete?”


“Sure am, Johnny.”


“What about you, New Guy?”


“f*ck Johnny, I'd sure love to. But I do want to go have my part in that short.”


“Well sure thing New Guy, if you feel like keeping your head up your ass, that's fine with us. Here, the walkie-talkie's set to the studio radio; I'll have mine set to – 101.1. Tune in, if you feel like getting in touch!”


“Will do.”


“Right! Let's roll!”


Good times laid ahead. Johnny had drove us up to a bit of a vista point on the east island; where we'd have a panoramic of the big finale. The sun was sinking behind us and shadows stretched across the inlet, making the world become more opaque. The low key lighting made for perfect timing then, to call action. The cluster of hollow towers, lent itself well to the acoustics. Sounds of muffled gunfire, explosions and yells from the film crew were all in earshot. The gunshots and grenade blasts, flashed against the darkening sky between the skyline and the streets below, glowed a yellow haze. From way back, we sat in our garden chairs and watched the battle unfold. I peered through the binoculars at the scene, while John and Pete sat back with a beer in hand.


“Here Pete, I almost forgot.”


“What's that?”


“I got you something; in the Humvee.”


“Yeah, what you get. It not be more condoms Johnny; I get more than I can use.”


“Shut the f*ck up Pete. Look here jackass; a pristine, authentic Springfield Repeater! With full variable optics attached.”


“Ah, f*ck Johnny! Thanks!”


“Knew you'd like it. I just hope we can get it, along with my AK – through security on the way outta here.”


“I sure do! This is f*cking awesome!”


“I might not be able to blow the lid off some government conspiracy. But this – this might just cut it.”


“I hear that.”


“What's happening over there Bruce?”


“Just a whole lot of shooting, exploding – a few tanks have rolled by. Nothing spectacular yet.”


From back here, the epic finale looked rather unremarkable. The Americans would be a vehicle short, so perhaps that would change the tide for our sworn enemies, the Russians. We hadn't heard a peep from New Guy and the studio radio chatter confirmed that no one had even noticed. John had to cease the moment.


“This is A-Team security, we've got an idiot waving his dick about up on the platform lift! Over.”


“Who, the director? Over.”


“Yeah, that's the guy! Over and out!”


“Who is this?”


“If they weren't on to us before, they sure are now.”


“Ah f*ck 'em. What hey gonna do, kick us out?”


“Hey Pete, pass us another beer over.”


“Bruce, Bruce look – look over there in them binoculars, something's flying over from the south.”




“To the left, look over there. A planes approaching, it's flying low!”


“I can't see it through the binoculars yet.”


“Right over there, cruising over the sea!”


“sh*t! I got it!”




“It's a fighter jet, of some kind. f*ck I can hardly keep up with it.”


“There's two more flying over!”


“It's nearly here.”


“Yeah I see it. It's here!”


For a moment, everything went slow. The sound escaped my ears, rendering them, a numb irritant on the sides of my head. The planes flew over the the tops of the buildings, laying a cluster of bombs unto the streets. A flash wiped across the entirety of the city and a boom shook across the city to finish off, leaving my ears with an irritant ringing as they came back to life.


“f*ck yeah! Did you f*cking see that sh*t! Mother f*cker! I've got to hand it to that Ward bastard, I didn't think he had it in him! Jesus Christ; that whole f*cking building's coming down! Man, I almost wish I was down there!”


“I can hardly believe that sh*t wasn't real! The whole f*cking place is on fire!”


"I spilled my beer."


“I haven't seen anything like that since f*cking Coronado! Quite a way to finish off eh?”


Quite a way to finish indeed. Our time here had literally ended with a bang. I had to admit, I would be able to leave here satisfied after that. There's something about simulated violence that sends a therapy to your head. I could now look forward to going back to the real world in confidence after that dose of unreality. Quite a way to finish indeed.

Edited by ainsz

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Okay, well, you’ve gone five chapters too far. Nobody is going to read through all chapters of this, and I’m only going to focus on your first post for now as that’s gonna take a while to cut through anyway. You know my style STORY/STORY FORM when it comes to critiquing. I’ll break down what I think of the story, its characters, etc etc. Then we’ll move on to your form as a writer, and that.



Okay, so we’ve got Johnny, Bruce, and Pete. They’re stuntmen in the movie industry, and they’ve come to Liberty City. The question I’m going to ask here, is really, why Liberty City? This just seems like a story that could flourish if you stepped it away from the GTA universe? What’s so scary about keeping a story to your own, original standards? Does it truly require a criminal syndicate aspect? Is that something you can’t come up with?



I don’t like the use of Liberty City, because I believe you have the ability to write an original story without the cheap use of something to draw readers in. As I’m focusing on the first post here, I’ve not much to say on the story itself, so let’s cut to the form.


Looking at the first post, I see a lot of dialogue, then suddenly, no dialogue and a lot of exposition about these dudes, where they started, and what everybody’s been doing for twenty odd years. The way it’s laid out seems to be a hybrid of something between narration, a novel, and screenplay. Personally, I think if you dropped the LC from the thing, and formatted this into a screenplay it’d be a damn good read.



The narration is solid, and your dialogue comes very naturally, which further implies that maybe creating a screenplay would be your forte. I get a very cool, sort of Goodfellas vibe from it, and the character’s dialogue comes off snappy. The narrator comes off with that cool, suave New Jersey kind of style but he’s smart. If putting those skills to a better format is what it takes, I’d do it. You’ve got skill, but your presentation feels a little off. It could work as a written piece, but your effectiveness comes from description, and dialogue. As you tend to focus more on the narration and dialogue, I think maybe getting this into a screenplay-style would be brilliant. I enjoy this, but I want to enjoy it to its full capacity.



And please, no Liberty City. You’ve got the talent to stand without the shameless plugs of Rockstar.

I will end up doing the other chapters soon for you.



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Some good points mate, cheers. I think you're right about adapting it into a screenplay. Also, the Liberty City setting does have a critical point in the story which is explained throughout.

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