In keeping with our sci-fi bonanza (can we call it a “bonanza” without alcohol and dancing ladies?), I’m going to share something deeply disturbing:
The first piece of fiction I had published.
Well, I was going to share the whole thing, but I don’t think anyone deserves to be subjected to it. I’ll just post the first section and even that borders on “cruel & unusual.” Hell, if you can’t laugh at yourself (or Matt), who can you laugh at?
I don’t even know when this was printed (maybe 1988?), as the school publication lacks a date. I did notice something funny about this little blast from the past: I’m not the only writer on this blog with credits in the table of contents… just sayin’. Oh hell, I’ll just post it:
So, beyond a few minor punctuation tweaks so you can read it, I’m not going to clean this up (
or comment, despite my twitching fuck that… I will comment. This is too rich) . You get almost virgin data from 1988 and my Apple IIe word processor. Oh, I was playing a ton of Wing Commander back then. Yeah… I won’t mind if you change the channel – nobody blames you. You probably have better things to do, like pick at your toe fungus.
Still around? Enjoy!
* * *
Sky Hawk… a novel in progress.
“You’ll never make it, Sky.”
“Eject! You have no other choice!”
“I have many other alternatives, Pete.”
“Three of them just launched heat seekers! You’re dead!”
Sky laughed. “Those fools!” Sky cut his engines and rolled his starfighter sharply to the right. The heat seeking missiles idled for a moment and then searched for new targets. They quickly locked on the ships they were fired from and within seconds there were no more enemies to be found. Sky looked around with a smile of satisfaction.
“Mother of all creatures, big and small! You beat the game and vaporized your old score!”
Sky stood up from the seat of the arcade flight simulator and smiled at his friend. “There’s always more than one option,” beamed Sky. “That’s why I’m the best Chicago High ever had.”
“And you’re so modest about it too,” added Pete.
With a laugh, Sky led his friend out of the arcade and into the chill evening air. The two were about to cross the road and a wave of hovercars rushed by. This was Chicago, the largest spaceport in the Earth System, and also in the other seven star systems colonized by Earth.
“Let’s go,” yelled Pete as Sky followed him quickly across the busy street and to the front doors of the “Modern Ration Restaurant and Bar.” The Chicago High School football team loved to hang out there.
“Where’s Max and the guys?” asked Pete.
“I don’t know. They were supposed to meet us here by eight,” responded Sky as he buried his hands deep in his jacket pockets. For some reason that night was unseasonably cold. “Let them find us inside,” stated Sky as he opened the door and warm air rushed out to greet him. “I don’t feel like freezing before tomorrow’s game.”
“Sounds good to me,” remarked Pete through clenched teeth.
The two friends entered the usually quiet restaurant. The whole football team was there and they yelled out Sky’s name as he entered. Sky knew what was expected of him tomorrow. Chicago High was hosting New York for the planetary finals. If Chicago wins, they would be represented for the first time, at the Universal High-school Play-offs.
All of a sudden, everyone’s attention quickly turned to the television unit over the bar. The football game on the TV was interrupted by a special news report from deep space. The announcer’s voice rang clear throughout the entire establishment.
The announcer reported, “A civilian starship, headed towards the newly built starbase colony near the Arcturus star system has been destroyed by an unknown force. Search and Rescue crews have found only debris of what once was a 12-47 Medium Class civilian transport, which was carrying twelve-hundred people. No survivors are expected. We will have updates on the ten-thirty news. We now rejoin the game.”
Slowly the restaurant returned to life. Pete sat down slowly on the nearest stool. His hands were trembling noticeably.
“What’s the matter with you?” asked Sky.
“All those people,” Pete mumbled. “They’re all dead.”
“Don’t give it another thought, Pete. You were not on it.”
Pete jumped up. “What’s wrong with you, man?” he yelled. “Twelve hundred people have died, and this isn’t the first time this has happened. Don’t you care just a little?”
Sky shrugged his shoulders and said, “I wasn’t on the thing when it blew, so who cares? And they didn’t have to interrupt the game.”
“Do you have no emotions?”
“Of course I…”
“Sky!” yelled a voice from across the room.
“Max!” returned Sky, “glad you could make it. Where’s the guys?”
“They couldn’t make it,” answered Max.
Max was the typical football linebacker: quite hefty and very energetic. Unlike Pete and Sky, Max was only a junior. He still had another year of high-school football and probably a solid career as a professional player ahead of him.
Max sat down next to Pete. “How are ya doin’ Pete?”
“Alright, I guess.” Pete glanced sharply at Sky. Unlike Max and Sky, Pete does not plan to play professional football. His heart is in spacecraft design and engineering, the profession of his father. Pete has already been offered a partial scholarship to a renowned university on a planet in the Procyon star system, eleven light years from earth. Space travel was becoming extremely common and Pete was anxiously looking forward to his future.
“Ya ready to crunch some bodies tomorrow, Max?” inquired Sky.
“I’m charged and ready to kill!!”
“That’s nice,” commented Sky. “I’m going over to talk to some people. Try to stay out of trouble, you two, while I’m gone.”
“What was that supposed to mean?” pleased Max to Pete.
Shaking his head, Pete stated coldly, “I don’t know, but sometimes Sky really gets on my nerves.” Max simply nodded his head, not wishing to openly badmouth his friend.
After another couple hours of socializing and talking to everyone in the restaurant, Pete and Sky headed home. Sky drove his father’s old, four-door hovercar through the wide and busy streets of Chicago.
“Where are you planning to go to college?” inquired Pete. “You must have been offered numerous scholarships by now.”
Sky shrugged his shoulders. “I try hard to avoid the college recruiters. Most of them are representing Earth universities. If a recruiter won’t come from the other side of the galaxy for me, then I don’t want to play for his university. I was meant to play football all my life, and nothing else. Securing my future is foremost in my mind.”
Sky dropped off Pete at his apartment module near the center of the city, and then hovered home. Sky and his family lived on the very outskirts of Chicago in a private living residence. Very few families are privileged enough to own their own homes. Being a commander on a space station, Sky’s father, Mark, makes enough money to give his family a home of their own.
Sky’s mother, Gail, was sitting in her favorite chair as always, reading. She smiled and said softly, “Your father called today. In one month, Cathy and I are planning to move up to the station. We already have a potential buyer on our residence.”
“You sold the house!!”
“Quiet! Your sister’s sleeping. It took me an hour to get Cathy asleep.”
“I’m sorry, mom. I think I’ll be heading to bed now too. Tonight was very hectic.” Sky kissed his mother on the cheek. “See you in the morning.”
“Cathy wants to go to your game tomorrow. Will you take her?”
“Of course I’ll take my little sister. The guys love her. Having a seven-year old around the team is convenient. She lifts everyone’s spirits. You should see her, giving water to the guys as they come in off the field. Why don’t you come by?”
“I might just do that.”
Good night, mom.”
* * *
And there you have it! Wow… that’s really something. You’re still here? Well, here’s your reward: my commentary (I cannot contain it any longer):
“Chicago High” – hahahha… there’s probably over 20 high schools in Chicago. Can you tell I was a dumbass kid who hadn’t travelled beyond New England? (now I’m just a dumbass)
Why do all the characters sound the same and speak in the same way?
Too many adverbs… rage taking over…
Geesh - did I like hovercars? I know what I want on my next birthday cake… ahem, not that I still get themed birthday cakes with robots and shit on them anymore. Damn, how do I unsubscribe my mom from this blog? She could “out” me…
This was written before Matt realized that “he said / she said” is the most divine way to expose dialog. Sigh… if one more of these crappy characters “states”, “responds” or “remarks”, I might just travel back in time and strangle myself. Ah, but that would be impossible, because this post would never exist in the first place. God, I still hate time travel!
I know so much more about football now…
Apparently, if I call it a “television unit”, that means it’s futuristic.
What high school student ever said: “Securing my future is foremost in my mind.”??
—> I guarantee, with all my heart and the blood of my children (stop squirming!), that the Antaran Legacy is monumentally better than this!