Part 03

Part 03

A Chapter by wolframdioxide

The side of the parking garage across from the building was bedecked with equipment. The lion's share, by mass at any rate, was in the form of large loudspeakers, attached unobtrusively to the walls. They played, at volume loud enough to deafen the very close, a single tone.
The tone was beyond the range of human hearing - infrasonic, in fact, and at the resonating frequency of intracranial fluid. It was like a concussion without the impact. Twenty seconds after the tone started, everyone in the building was unconscious.
At the airport, Gonçalves called 911. "There's something happening, at the office building at 2323 Hyacinth... I don't know, I was on the phone, and then she started screaming, and then she _stopped_..."
Simultaneously, a dozen operatives emerged from a soundproof chamber in the back of a van, which had pulled up to the front of the building when the tone stopped. They ran, in a double-file line, through the entrance.
Across the street, in another van, the interior of this one covered in screens, an old man smiled. Operation Headroom had begun.
As the operatives boarded the stairs, the drones of the Nashville Police Department began to arrive, silvery craft with large cameras, remotely controlled from a back room of the police station. The controllers brought them into a dive, but could only watch in horror as they lost control of each one. Had they been looking at another angle, they would have seen an unobtrusive directional antenna atop a van point at each drone in turn, switching each time they lost control.
By the time the drones had discreetly made their way to the parking garage, where they were hidden from view and blocked from transmission, Captain Patterson was already speaking into her radio. "Get Officers Khan, McEnroe, and Zaragoza. There's been a situation at the office building, 2323 Hyacinth."
Her microphone snapped itself back into a small loop of wire, clipped to her uniform. She walked briskly to the Screen Room, opening her mouth at the door as a probe touched itself to the inside of her cheek, scanned her DNA, and re-sheathed itself. The light blinked green, and she opened the door.
The room was filled with light fog, a necessary component for the holographic display. The holographic display was already turned on, showing an image of the office building.
At the front of the room sat an analyst, Hunter Halaby. He straightened up, preparing to begin his lecture. Captain Patterson sat down, directly in front of the hologram, and waited for her subordinates. They entered, one by one, and sat down nearby.
Halaby cleared his throat. "About five minutes ago, a sonic weapon was deployed at 2323 Hyacinth Street, an office building downtown. It evidently killed or knocked unconscious everyone in the building. Shortly thereafter, somebody knocked out our drones as they approached."
He enlarged the image of the building. "The most likely target of the attack was the offices of Kerr Systems, a firm which specialises in one-time pads, a form of encryption used by many online services. We believe that they were intending to steal the one-time pad copies and use those to steal the data."
"They're likely still in the building."


© 2015 wolframdioxide


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I had an awesome creative writing teacher back in high school, and something she told me still sticks with me now, almost a decade later. She told me that the best writing is simple. Not in the sense that you have to use small, dumb words, but more in the sense that, if something isn't necessary, it's best to cut it.

The sentence "The lion's share, by mass at any rate, was in the form of large loudspeakers, attached unobtrusively to the walls" has a couple unnecessary clauses. How about, "Most of this mass was in the form of large loudspeakers, attached to the walls." instead? Likewise, you could clean up the sentences on either side of that one. Flow is really important to me as a writer and as a reader. That being said, I've met some writers who don't feel the same way. If you're one of those, I'm sorry for pushing my opinion on you!

The second paragraph triggers that feeling about Dan Brown again. Lots of details, but not too many as to make it boring to read. I still think the text could be tightened up, but I won't bring that up anymore, since I've made that opinion pretty clear.

You're reiterating locations here again. Trust that your reader remembers that Gonçalves is at the airport. If we view this as a continuous story, he just said he was at the airport four or five sentences ago on the phone.

It's awkward to read a one-sided conversation over the phone, especially when you're using ellipses. Also, I'm not sure what's going on with the underscores on either side of "stopped".

Try revisiting the sentence "Simultaneously, a dozen operatives emerged from a soundproof chamber in the back of a van, which had pulled up to the front of the building when the tone stopped." It's a run-on. If you want suggestions I'd be happy to offer some, but you're a good writer and I have faith in you :)

I'd suggest expanding the sentences in regards to the vans. You're stuffing a ton of information into four sentences that would better be delivered a bit more spread out. The information's all good, and should all be there, but your writing style's already on the dense side and it's easy to cross a boundary. In fact, this is a suggestion I'd make to all of your chapters so far. Everything's good, but it would be better in a longer, easier to read format.

Cpt. Patterson's dialogue is weird. It might be the culture you're creating (near-future, right?), but "There's been a situation at the office building, 2323 Hyacinth" seems like it should be "There's been a situation at 2323 Hyacinth", /maybe/ with ", an old office building" attached at the end of that.

If you want to continue dialogue into a new paragraph, it's unnecessary to have the first ending quotation mark. I'm not sure if that's a rule or just an option, but having a closing quotation at the end of the first paragraph always makes me think someone else is speaking in the second one.

Okay, on to the content of the story so far. I really like it. I always enjoy real-world fiction, and I adore sci-fi, so this is right up my alley. The technically-advanced cops and robbers shtick is fun, and I can't wait to read the next chapter. The characters are interesting and the flow from one perspective to the next is smooth. Keep up the good work!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wolframdioxide

6 Years Ago

Thanks! I'm planning on rewriting this, this is just the first draft, and I'll keep those things in .. read more
wolframdioxide

6 Years Ago

The density thing is intentional. I'm trying to make these as short as possible.
Ranuu

6 Years Ago

Oh yeah, definitely think of these as constructive. It's me channeling an editor with an early draf.. read more



Reviews

I had an awesome creative writing teacher back in high school, and something she told me still sticks with me now, almost a decade later. She told me that the best writing is simple. Not in the sense that you have to use small, dumb words, but more in the sense that, if something isn't necessary, it's best to cut it.

The sentence "The lion's share, by mass at any rate, was in the form of large loudspeakers, attached unobtrusively to the walls" has a couple unnecessary clauses. How about, "Most of this mass was in the form of large loudspeakers, attached to the walls." instead? Likewise, you could clean up the sentences on either side of that one. Flow is really important to me as a writer and as a reader. That being said, I've met some writers who don't feel the same way. If you're one of those, I'm sorry for pushing my opinion on you!

The second paragraph triggers that feeling about Dan Brown again. Lots of details, but not too many as to make it boring to read. I still think the text could be tightened up, but I won't bring that up anymore, since I've made that opinion pretty clear.

You're reiterating locations here again. Trust that your reader remembers that Gonçalves is at the airport. If we view this as a continuous story, he just said he was at the airport four or five sentences ago on the phone.

It's awkward to read a one-sided conversation over the phone, especially when you're using ellipses. Also, I'm not sure what's going on with the underscores on either side of "stopped".

Try revisiting the sentence "Simultaneously, a dozen operatives emerged from a soundproof chamber in the back of a van, which had pulled up to the front of the building when the tone stopped." It's a run-on. If you want suggestions I'd be happy to offer some, but you're a good writer and I have faith in you :)

I'd suggest expanding the sentences in regards to the vans. You're stuffing a ton of information into four sentences that would better be delivered a bit more spread out. The information's all good, and should all be there, but your writing style's already on the dense side and it's easy to cross a boundary. In fact, this is a suggestion I'd make to all of your chapters so far. Everything's good, but it would be better in a longer, easier to read format.

Cpt. Patterson's dialogue is weird. It might be the culture you're creating (near-future, right?), but "There's been a situation at the office building, 2323 Hyacinth" seems like it should be "There's been a situation at 2323 Hyacinth", /maybe/ with ", an old office building" attached at the end of that.

If you want to continue dialogue into a new paragraph, it's unnecessary to have the first ending quotation mark. I'm not sure if that's a rule or just an option, but having a closing quotation at the end of the first paragraph always makes me think someone else is speaking in the second one.

Okay, on to the content of the story so far. I really like it. I always enjoy real-world fiction, and I adore sci-fi, so this is right up my alley. The technically-advanced cops and robbers shtick is fun, and I can't wait to read the next chapter. The characters are interesting and the flow from one perspective to the next is smooth. Keep up the good work!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wolframdioxide

6 Years Ago

Thanks! I'm planning on rewriting this, this is just the first draft, and I'll keep those things in .. read more
wolframdioxide

6 Years Ago

The density thing is intentional. I'm trying to make these as short as possible.
Ranuu

6 Years Ago

Oh yeah, definitely think of these as constructive. It's me channeling an editor with an early draf.. read more

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Added on March 22, 2015
Last Updated on March 23, 2015
Tags: flash fiction, science fiction, cyberpunk, heist, technology


Author

wolframdioxide
wolframdioxide

Houston, TX



About
Amateur author and animator. Mainly focussed on science fiction and urban fantasy. more..

Writing
Part 01 Part 01

A Chapter by wolframdioxide