Good Morning, Beautiful

Good Morning, Beautiful

A Chapter by Idiotekque

Waking up on an unknown world is not a nice feeling ...


Chapter One


It was cold. Really cold.


“No way, this one’s still ticking.” A muffled voice broke the silence.


The silence… It felt fragile, like something that had been kept for a long time. Like a priceless relic that shattered as the simple phrase sounded out. But it was gone now, replaced by shuffling feet and reverberations of movement against the walls. There was a sharp hiss of air; it surrounded me, buffeting against my face and forcing me to wake up.


“It’s just a kid…” Another voice murmured.


Just a kid? A twinge of bruised pride sprung up, but confusion quickly took its place. Maybe I was just a kid. What was I exactly? A boy, a girl? fifteen-years-old, fifty? Everything was just… blank. And cold, did I mention that?


“Easy, we don’t even know if he’s stable.” A male cautioned, his tone almost scolding.


Alright, he. Nice to know.


“I know what I’m doing.” A fourth voice replied; a younger one, female, still different from the others.


Four different voices, four people. I could make out a blurred figure now, but my eyesight was terrible. Wherever I was, it wasn’t bright, but that only reduced the trauma of the entire experience and replaced it with more confusion. It felt like I had a screen over my vision.


“You’re awake? Wow, here let me help…” She spoke again.


The figure in front of me was the youngest one. She reached towards my face and pulled something away from my head; a device of some kind. Just as soon as it came off, my vision returned.


“Hi there.” She smiled warmly, her eyes meeting mine.


For my first sight, it was nice. Her eyes were soft like her bronze skin, amber, glimmering in spite of the dim environment. Her hair was deep black, pulled back into a short ponytail with only a few stray locks finding their way down to frame her youthful face. I managed a smile back; at least I think I did. It didn’t last.


As quickly as my sight returned, the girl was pulled to the side, the pleasing image replaced with a menacing looking weapon aimed in my face.


“Who are you?” The male voice returned from behind the barrel of the gun.


“I-I…” My words returned slowly, caught in my throat. “I don’t know. What’s going on? Where is this?”


I would have raised my hands in submission, but just as quickly the man retracted his weapon to allow someone else to move before me. “Give him some space. I don’t think this one’s in any shape to do damage.”


She was older than the rest, probably in her twenties or thirties, although the way she held herself and spoke went beyond her years. A leader? Either way, better her than the other guy. The lack of a gun in my face gave me a chance to look around. I was in a cell of sorts, encased at my sides by transparent material that had long become opaque from dust and grime. Some sort of door was slid down to my waist in front of me, revealing my upper body. My arms and legs were still held in place somehow though.


The young female moved over to an interface near the front of my tiny prison. “Here… Let me get you out.” She glanced at me, before shooting the male a little sneer.


“Do you really think-” He spoke up, but the woman cut his comment short.


“Relax Tavis.” She crossed her arms, watching as the girl punched commands into the device.


The front of the cell slid down, and with another sharp hiss of air my arms and legs came free of whatever was holding them.


Not good.


A moment later I was a crumbled heap of limbs on the ground. Looks I was a little out of practice with the whole standing thing. The girl moved over to me, helping me to my knees and putting a loose piece of material over my shoulders. That was nice, I was freezing.


“Thanks.” I shivered, looking to her.


“Better get a gun pointed at him Tavis, he looks dangerous.” Another female leaned up against a wall behind the rest muttered in a mocking tone.


She was older than the younger one, but not by much. Her hair was dark too, but it was brown, not black. Sun-bleached highlights ran through it, accenting her tanned skin. As young as she was, the look on her face was much different than the girl beside me though. Harder. The conflict in her eyes felt like a silent messenger; I just couldn’t hear what they were telling me.


The man sniffed, holstering the weapon and frowning. Pleasant fellow.


“I’m Tyr.” She flashed that warm smile again. In all honesty that smile did more than the cloth around me did. “This is Jane,” She gestured to the older woman. “that’s Alyssa,” The girl behind them nodded. “and I think you’ve already met Tavis.” She giggled faintly, wrapping up her introductions.


“Charmed.” The man shrugged.


The meet and greet was great, but I still had no idea of where in the world I was. Or even who I was for that matter. It’s odd being asked to identify yourself when on the inside you’re asking the same question. The only lead I had was my surroundings. Maybe something familiar would jog my memory.




“Where are we? Everything’s really foggy, I’m sorry.” I asked my new friend, glancing around the dusty corridor.


“Underneath Delhi.” She nodded. “Well, it was called New Delhi I’m told, but it doesn’t look so new anymore, so everyone just calls it Delhi.”


“He doesn’t need a history lesson, dear.” Jane cut in softly.


“Right,” She blinked, seeming to collect her thoughts. “Can you fire a gun?”


Wasn’t expecting that one. Looks like Mr. Personality wasn’t the only one packing.


“Why?” I replied simply. What else could I say?


“Central isn’t exactly the friendliest place, Frosty.” Alyssa answered, moving up to me and dropping something on my lap; quite a nasty looking little handgun.


Frosty? I definitely didn’t ask for that nickname.


“Alright, I get it.” I nodded, examining the weapon and looking down the sights… and right at a corpse on the ground.


Besides tripping over my own feet two minutes earlier, I think I had handled myself well enough so far. I don’t think I yelped"per se"at the moldy old corpse in front of me, but it was certainly a grunt and cowardly backwards scamper to my feet.


“Who’s that?” The words had hardly left my lips before I realized how stupid they were.


Tavis groaned, rolling his eyes. “In that case, you shouldn’t look around this nice little facility. Skies forbid you see a dead body or two.”


My stomach sank. Whatever sort of contraption I was in when they found me, mine wasn’t the only one. Up and down the hall as far as the darkness allowed me to see, stations housing pods like mine littered the walls, one after another. Hundreds of them, and they just kept going. Some were cracked and dismantled, some were open, but most were just sitting there. Dull and faded, covered over with dust and grime. They weren’t active, none of them were except for mine. This was a crypt.


I sighed, putting my face in my hands. A rough beard met my fingers, course and thick. I hadn’t had a chance to shave in awhile apparently.


“I get it. What’s happened since I’ve been in that… thing?”


Jane shook her head, pulling out some sort of walky-talky. “We’ll play twenty-questions later. Blackbird, what does it look like up there?”


We all stood there for a few seconds, the musty air making everyone just a little more uncomfortable than they already were. I didn’t want to be underground"here"anymore.


“Repeat, Blackbird, what is your status? Over.” She stated calmly into the receiver, her fingers seeming to do a faint dance over the handle of a holstered weapon at her side. Even the serious one was getting nervous.


The second ‘over’ said to someone on a radio was never a good sign. Usually it meant whoever was on the other side was dead, or worse. I may have just come out of a proper coma, but I wasn’t stupid, and judging from all the dangerous toys, it looked like trouble was brewing.


“We’re too deep.” Tyr broke the silence, weak optimism in her tone. “The signal is bad, we just"”


“He’s in trouble or dead, Jane. What are we doing?” Alyssa slung the rifle on her back into her grip, sending a serious look towards the woman.


“Alright, back to the surface, double-time. Same route, we don’t need any surprises.”


Looks like things were about to get exciting. After a quick look over, I had shoes on my feet, a shirt on my back, and a gun in my hand. Kind of felt like I was starting from scratch, but at least I had some firepower and a few friends.


Hopefully I was on the right side.

© 2011 Idiotekque

Author's Note

I'm open to criticism as brutally constructive as anyone who knows their stuff is willing to give. I'm a writing student, so I'm looking to refine my work as best I possibly can. Professional criticism is heartily appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

My Review

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Featured Review

I like the plot very much so far and can't wait to see what their world is like. There were two things that bothered me, though. First is this passage: “This is Jane,” She gestured to the older woman. “that’s Alyssa,” The girl behind them nodded. “and I think you’ve already met Tavis.” She giggled faintly, wrapping up her introductions.

It seems as though you're counting the dialogue as separate from the sentences it's between, when it's not. I'm pretty sure this is more how it should look: “This is Jane,” she said, gesturing to the older woman. “That’s Alyssa,” she said and the girl behind them nodded before she continued, “and I think you’ve already met Tavis.” She giggled faintly, wrapping up her introductions.

You could mess with the wording some more so it's how you want it, however I'm fairly certain the majority of the grammar I used is correct. The only part I was unsure of was the comma after the word 'continued' but I don't really know how it's supposed to be or how to change it.

The second thing that bothered me was when the main character referred to the people who found him as his friends. Even if they were decent to him, I don't think they're friends. Companions, maybe.

Anyway, the story is pretty great and I'll definitely read more of it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Really enjoyed the storyline aspect. Seemed a little 12 Monkeys-ish, an old school Bruce Willis movie about paradoxes and time travel in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere of Earth when animals take back over the world through a spread of a viral disease (not really similar, but sorta in the futuristic environment aspect it seemed).
Anyways, thought it was really a compelling read. Especially with your character detail and interactions. Quite a well-done job if I must say so. Your plot progression reminded me of The Thing (John Carpenter) where it seemed like everything in the whole dam story (setting and characters) was out to play a role in destruction. Really saw most of the storyline here in the first chapter as an Introductory rather anything else, but nevertheless, it was still a good read.

I know from talking alil that you rather professional and standard critiques rather than ones from a personal perspective, so I'll try n refrain from creating one as much as possible and focus more so on the individual writing and certain areas of "needs revising".

First off, paragraph structure and the writing format...
As is now, personally I have no problems and is very legible, but currently is in the form of what you would see in blogs and community-generated journalism. In online communities it is important to keep paragraphs very short so not to divert the readers attention, really good technique to use and acquire when writing stuff like flash fiction, but when it comes to novels and large pieces of literature a paragraph there's a general rule of thumb that for good sentence structure, paragraphs should contain a 100-200 word count. This is because too short of a word count in paragraphs may make a composition seem a bit rough, while too long of a word count will challenge the audiences' attention spans. Really you only will or should see large bodied paragraphs in academic writings, such as essays or medical journals and etc that takes meditation and runs on a certain train of thought.
Also, when starting a new paragraph you should always indent. I'd say this is not important personally, lots of writers tend to generally not do it, or just plain out forget to do it, such as Cormac McCarthy, but it's an old school kindergarten rule that when it comes to standard rules, it's generally enforced.
And, although this wasn't broken much at all, there's another rule about paragraph structure that'll really help you out. Paragraphs should always be arranged with every sentence related to each other in some sort of way under a clear-cut main point/idea. Usually by creating a new paragraph, you're signaling change within a storyline, such as entry into a new place of interest (time or location or even in ideas), change in dialogue (topic or speakers), and to spotlight comparisons and contrasts. Not to mention other elements which include introduction and conclusion parts of a story and to split up large volumes of text.

Probably the biggest argument I could have with your story is a common topic which writers refer to as "showing v.s telling". It's not really a problem with your characters and interactions with each other, but more so with the setting. Dialogue seems to have only one element and that's to serve as plot progression and really has no interaction with the environment (dialogue itself is something else that could require expansion). There's really nothing describing or interacting with the setting at all, it's almost a blank canvas to tell you the truth. There are moments during certain paragraphs that seems to exaggerate things that happen in a room that gives little hint to what the setting is like, but essentially the story kinda has a blindfold personality towards the surrounding environment. Really and truly, if you didn't tell me that this was a post-apocalyptic novel, I would've never know :/ I honestly have to say.
With an apocalyptic setting you must remember that your storyline will be dependency-heavy on the environment and that most of the interactions will involve the setting. The best way to aid you here is to use the environment as another character. I think most professionals refer to this as "place as character". I'm not saying to go "pokemon-crazy" and have every name, action and interaction dependent on the environment, but treating the environment/setting as another main character in your story is essential especially for something that's both a period piece and part of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Really the core concept is that when writing your work, you must realize that the story and your characters exist in a place that influences and shapes the story's progression, and never should one underestimate its importance.
There are many things to consider though when describing and detailing any parts of a story of course. Too many details in a wrong area or over-exaggeration can lead to lowering or conflicting with the attention span of an audience. There is such things as beating a dead horse. Also, as with poetry, there's flow within large pieces of literature too. Details and phrases in the wrong places can obstruct flow and the reader's attention. There are way too many possibilities though to list how one can describe a setting so I'm just describing the "how-not-to's" here. Settings can play a narrative role and even a descriptive role in the presence of a story... really a versatile concept, so don't feel restricted when it comes to bringing out your environment.

I could go on and on when it comes to professional criticism, nobody's perfect. In light of a breakaway and a return to personal opinion, I find the overall story really entertaining. There's really a type of The Thing (movie) trait of personality about the story with suspense, devastation, and lack of trust within the air.
Overall, 96/100 I'd say... It's really good work and I hope you keep it up. Will try to read more of it as soon as I can and give you more critiques which will appease you appetite possibly ;p anywho, awesome job, keep it up.

Personally I recommend reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy to pick up on how environments play a role in storylines. It's also a post-apocalyptic set story and it's a novella so it's not that much of a hassle to read. Anywho, it would probably be worth your while to pick it up considering your writing and topic interests.

Posted 8 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dude, this is Beast! I love it.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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13 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on December 9, 2011
Last Updated on December 14, 2011
Tags: post-apocalyptic, cryosleep, life-support, pod, sleep, amnesia, death, crypt



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