Young Writer Looking for Advice II (a different young writer)

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Sep 13, 2007
Although having no plans to become a well-established writer any time soon, I'm hoping to at least get this published and make by college application look good so I can get into Harvard. Then again, what the chances of that. Anyways, I'm currently fourteen and the only people that have read are a few friends. Any advice is welcome. If it sucks, which it probably does, try to explain why it sucks. Enjoy.

PS First person narration. Don't want anyone to get confused.

PPS Although the main character is a girl, I'm a guy. No idea what I was thinking when I wrote this.


Although I am by no means the best or more worthy candidate to tell this story, I have been chosen democratically, quite ironically, as the story I am telling conveys no democracy. This is a story of want, and its manifestation into many different forms. This is a story of hate, and its everlasting grip over mankind. This is a story of war, and those touched by its horrors. And lastly, this is a story of my memories, gathered over the past thirty thousand years. Perhaps this is why they chose me to tell it.

Chapter One
It all began with human foolishness, as have many things. The humans were proud in that age and that pride gave them a sense of arrogance. Their arrogance made them think they could accomplish anything. Their confidence made them go forth too far, too deep.
Society was simpler then; every person belonged to one of four castes, with some but little flexibility. At the top was an aristocracy, functioning as the rulers and thinkers of society. Below them were warriors, defenders of their nation. The majority were commoners, who were the gears and cogs of society, enabling to continue its existence. At the bottom were slaves, shipped from the innermost worlds, and civilized to become part of the society.
At the time, I, Reveria, “cherished one”, was the daughter of a mighty general, a noble by birth. My father was Lykona Syven, general of the 341st Army under the service of His Most Divine and a colonial magistrate. Of the two professions, he was much better at the first. Father was born and raised on Leonus, and trained at the Academy of Military Sciences, a place that produced much grief. His parents were reluctant to let him go and missed him. His friends cried over the loss of a companion. He had to endure all the loneliness and hardships the school had to offer.
Although the Academy did produce much grief, Father would never have become the man he was without it. For one thing, he would have never met my mother, Karenn Povlyn. Mother was a pampered girl, doted on by her father, an influential bureaucrat. Father met Mother at the Military Academy one day, when she had come in to help her father do administrative work.
They met again later at the Release Ball, when the students who had completed their training were celebrating their graduation, before they entered service.
Love was an important factor in my parents’ marriage, but the union of the two families was even a greater factor. The wedding was extremely well attended, by professors from the Academy, industrialists of all types, and family friends. My mother’s dowry consisted of seven elite Regiments with aristocratic officers and battle-hardened soldiers. The Syven family gave as a gift half its asteroid mining assets, a large planetoid rich in heavy and rare metal deposits.
Two years after the wedding, I was born. They were both very young then, only thirty-three, and like young parents of all ages, they were excited. Father decided to call me Reveria, knowing he would cherish me no matter what. And he fulfilled that promise, until the end of his life.
My background and being the sole offspring of my parents ensured me a life of privileges. Among those was an education in the schools of Leonus. However, I chose to follow Father. He was sent to the frontier, to protect his stretch of the Empire’s border. There he managed his colonial forces, his share of Imperial Battalans and processed the new slaves. Slaves from the inner worlds knew nothing but a world of chaos, and it was Father’s job to civilize them.
The beginning was on March 30th, 2652 in the Old Calendar. It was my nineteenth birthday. Nine thousand dancers and musicians flooded the streets of Central Nycosia, capital of Father’s domain. I was a small girl then, watching with wide eyes as the entire city rejoiced. I was overwhelmed with bliss, knowing very well that I was cared for and loved. However, March 30th, 2652 is also a date deeply engraved in the history of Man and in the souls of many. As I stood on the balcony of the city hall, watching the people parade for me, Father came beside me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, watching him frown and sigh.
“I’ve been called to a council at Leonus, something about preparing a surprise attack on the Feram” he said, “You’ll be alright, you’re a big girl now and mother will take care of you.” Father could always sense when I was upset and his words always soothed me.
He had to report to Leonus in thirty days and the journey alone took fifteen, even with the fastest ships available. He planned to spend the fifteen days he had left with his family.
For the first time in eight years, he took out the family yacht. Father seldom had time to vacation; the frontier had to be guarded at all times.
“Consider it a birthday present,” he said, upon boarding the large nautical ship.
The yacht glided gracefully in the man lakes surrounding Nycosia. We visited the local fish farmers and enjoyed the beautiful natural scenery, unrivaled for a hundred parsecs.
“Thank you, Father, for spending time with us,” I said.
He smiled slightly, but still held his unhappy countenance.
“It is nothing compared to the sacrifices you’ve made because of my pitiful job” he replied, “Neither of you are happy out here in the depths of space, where I’m always busy and often away.”
“Don’t be like that, Father,” I said, trying to lift his spirits, “we’re proud of you and what you do. Mother and I wouldn’t be anywhere without you. Right, Mother?”
“Of course dear, the best place in the universe” Mother said, absently, giving much of her attention to a crossword on her holovice.
“Surely there are better places,” Father insisted, “Wouldn’t you two rather be with your peer? Make some friends?”
“But then we would be away from you,” I replied, “and you just said yourself that we are not happy with that.”
Our little debate continued for some time until it was stopped by Mother, for the talking was a great distraction.
“We came out here to enjoy our vacation, not to engage in pointless bickering,” she cried out, “At least I did.”
The arguing stopped, and Father directed his attention toward her. He smiled at her, trying to comfort her.
“This is what I enjoy most in a family vacation, talking with my daughter that is. I suggest you jump into our ‘pointless bicker’, add a little. Tell us hat you think of the matter.”
“I love our daughter just as much as you do,” replied Mother “I just want to revel in the moment now that you finally have time to take a trip family yacht, instead of spending time with the usual.”
Our conversation was interrupted by the familiar ringing of Father’s commvice. The familiar face of Father’s assistant, Jarei, was projected into the air from the nearby wall.
“I’m afraid your vacation has to cut short, my Lord,” said Jarei, “We need you back at the city hall, immediately.”
“It is only the first day!” exclaimed Father, astonished by Jarei’s message, “and I must have told you a thousand times not to call me that!”
“I’m just trying to be respectful Mr. Syven, wouldn’t want you to get mad at me,” said Jarei, “It’s just that… well…”
“Well, what’s the matter anyways? I specifically told everyone I didn’t want my vacation to be interrupted. How could anything be this urgent?” said Father. By that time, he was walking around the room, as he always did when he was nervous.
“Nycosia has been attacked, sir,” said Jarei quietly, almost as if he was afraid to report the news.
“How could that be?” asked Father, molding his face into one that looks greatly puzzled, “have you been able to determine the source?”
“The attack was space initiated. An external source, not in this star system, sir,” Jarei informed him, “Thousands of objects fell from the sky, similar to meteors but different in composition.”
“Is anything left?” Father asked. “What are the casualties? Have these . . . things impacted any areas of significance?”
“Well, most of the planet remains intact, but some cities have been hit. As for the casualty level . . . . it has been hard to determine. But the projectiles weren’t really targeting anything . . . ”
“What of the source of the attack?” interrupted Father, “is it something we haven’t yet encountered?”
“Well,” said Jarei “as far as we can tell, the objects weren’t exactly hostile. The primary source of casualties is from a destroyed park on Disirus II. The only obtainable pattern we’ve been able to make out is that the objects tend to prefer land with fertile soil.”
“Soil!” exclaimed Father, “What are they, inter-planetary seeds?”
“We don’t quite know, but our best biochemists are analyzing the objects right now, sir.” said Jarei, “Soon we’ll be able to determine if they are artificial or natural. Sensor ships are scanning from space as we speak. As far as we can tell right now, nothing has happened to or because of the objects since they crashed seven hours ago.”
“You waited seven hours to tell me this?” shouted Father, “Lives are at stake, and for all we know, they will continue to be at stake.”
“I’m terribly sorry sir, but I didn’t want to disturb you and the situation is quite under control. You did say that we were not to interrupt your vacation,” said Jarei, standing petrified on the comvice’s wall projection.
“I won’t be going to the council on Leonus with this going on. I’ll have to take care of this mess myself. However, I do want to know what exactly happens,” said Father, “Jarei, you’ve been my trusted assistant for many years now. I want you to represent me at this council.”
For a while Jarei was silent, agape, staring at Father with open disbelief. He was overwhelmed. Attending a council before the emperor was a great honor, especially for one not born into the aristocracy.
“Jarei! Respond!” barked Father, using his most commanding voice, honed to perfection by training and practice.
“Yes sir! I am honored,” whimpered Jarei as he emerged from his trance. “I’ll, ah, go to, um, get prepared. Goodbye sir, and Lady Syven”
Mother smiled at the floating head, looking up from her puzzle, willingly breaking her concentration.
As Jarei’s image faded, Father immediately ordered the yacht to return to dock.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to spend the night alone again, my darling,” said Father, “I have to check the status on our other worlds. Hopefully, the empty palace won’t scare you too much.”
At that age, I didn’t care much about the matters of adults. Occasionally, Father would invite me to a supper party or a casual lunch, where I would just eat and pay as little attention to their business as I could. Because that was the extent of my interest in adult doings, war and politics were simply stories Father told at supper.
The only thing that really interested me at that time was medical science, and I have devoted much of my time to it. Even now, I have been branded the title “Elder of Life”. My interest in it came out my genuine desire to help people who needed help.
“Hopefully, you’ll grow out of that medical stuff you play around with,” Father used to say, “you will be a noble lady some day, like your mother.”
He was blind to my desire to help, and approved of my studies only if I promised to attend the Leonii Academy of Medical Science and receive tenure some day. Father placed societal position above all else.
Soon, our palace came to view. The building was fairly small, only about twenty thousand square meters. The entire palace floor was made of veined marble, quarried from mountains about three hundred kilometers south of Central Nycosia. Every stone pillar was coated with thin gold leaving, in decorative patterns. When the sun rose every day, images of legends, carved in the windows, danced across the floor. Light, reflecting off the pillars, filled the room. The result was heavenly beauty.
As the air vehicle approached the palace, my personal assistant came into view, with a small repair attachment connected to his left arm. He was a Nampor-27, an android designed to help nobles with their duties. Mother gave it to me when I was three.
“Good evening, young mistress,” he said, greeting me with a warm smile, “How may I serve you?”
“I don’t know, Nampie, what are you in the mood for?” I said, returning the smile, feeling rather foolish. Artificial humans of that time were capable of displaying emotion only under preprogrammed conditions. It would not be many centuries until androids indistinguishable from humans were built.
“Well, should I prepare the dining room for the evening meal, or should I give you my birthday present for you?” he asked.
“Oh, Nampie, you’re too kind,” I said, dutifully appearing surprised. I really had no reason to; Nampie had given me the same birthday present for the past ten years. I often valued his gift the most, for it came from his heart, or at least his central processing core.
Although my parents and other relatives always presented me with lavish gifts, Nampie’s were worth more than money. As he unveiled his painting, I sat in the nearest chair, anxious to see that year’s present.
That year, Nampie painted an odd-looking seed, indigenous to Earth. It had thin projections from two sides, enabling it to glide in the breeze.
“It’s beautiful,” I complimented him, “What inspired you?”
His paintings were always inspired by random files in Leonus’s most secret databases.
“Well, I poked around,” he replied, “until I found the most protected file in the most well hidden server.”
“What was in the file?” I asked.
“It was from a deep space reconnaissance craft testing the Empire’s most advanced stealth technology,” he answered, knowing I wouldn’t be the least interested in that bit of information, “I suppose it was used to sneak into Feram worlds, infiltrate bases, and gather useful information. However, this file contained a single word and image, the last transmissions by the ship, before its destruction. I assume the pilot did not have enough time to transmit further information. The word was ‘seed’, and the image was that of a large green seed.”
“Seed?” I asked, “Why would a pilot use his last chance of sending a message to send “seed”? Where would a recon ship go to find ‘seeds’? Why?”
“The recon ship’s last known location was near the center of the galaxy,” Nampie answered.
“What does ‘seed’ mean, here, Nampie?” I asked, “Is it an acronym? A codename?”
Nanpie pondered for a while, searching for acronyms and codenames throughout the Leonii files.
“I’ve looked through every acronym officially recorded by any database,” he said, after several seconds. “There are several instances of ‘seed’, none of which make any sense. It appears that that would not be the answer. This is a difficult riddle. Now that I look back, I wonder why I have not noticed it earlier.”
“Perhaps it is because you were putting all of your energy toward giving me a present,” I responded, with a slight yawn, “Nampie, could you send supper to my room tonight since we’re going to be alone?”
“Certainly, my lady,” he replied politely, “What would you like for supper on this night?”
“Just some sautéed shellfish from the lakes, please. All the time over the water has made me hungry for shellfish,” I said, “I don’t want anything fancy or off-world tonight.”
After I finished my light supper, I bathed, as usual, in my large bathroom. The vortex of water, soap, and fragrance washed away an entire day’s soot. I rested in the water for many minutes, perhaps an hour, feeling the warm, pure liquid sooth my entire body. Most of my mind was still devoted to pondering the perplexing puzzle of the recon ship. It was widely believed that the Feram possessed no way of detecting any imperial stealth ships, and the technology used in deep space recon ships were bordering experimental at any rate. The Empire had no other known official enemies except the Feram.
Almost falling asleep in the bathtub, I quickly jumped onto the bed. Even in my dreams, the riddle lingered.
okay, first impressions late in the day -

1 - there's nowt wrong with your POV. why not a girl?
2 - the prologue is a very good hook.
3 - i (personally) found the rest of the chapter a little unnatural & stilted, especially in the dialogue, but the writing in general was coherent and well punctuated.

just needs some cleaning up, but a rather decent start in my humble opinion.

keep going!

Welcome to the Chrons, sarakoth...

Can I just direct you to this: guidelines-for-posting-work-for-critique-please-read

As it stands, the first impression is of a monolithic block of text, which is difficult to read easily, and would put a lot of people off reading.

Secondly, it's just a bit too long...perhaps stopping after the sentence that starts “Nycosia has been attacked, sir,” would have been better. Remember, you're posting extracts, not entire chapters...

This isn't meant to put you off in any way...I'm just offering you a bit of advice that will help you get replies to your posts.:)
It was a bit long for this section, but not bad at all. I'd work on dividing it into paragraphs, though, the monolithic text is a little daunting.
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