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Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

Post your short stories and novels set in the Dropzone Universe here
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Bazlord101

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostSun Sep 25, 2016 7:13 am

Quick bits of feedback for everyone. Hope they're useful!

MajorMcNicol: Good tension, nicely written, and packs a lot of immersion into a little space. Not sure why Nelson and his cousin Nelson have the same name, but I'm guessing there's a little in-joke there? ;-)

Octavian Lars: Like the style of the story, using a flashback with plenty of dialogue. Nice one!

Thunderboy: Interesting concept. I would've liked to see more of Lia's thoughts and emotions though, as she realises that a Destroyer is aboard her ship!

Cheers!
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Bazlord101

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostThu Sep 29, 2016 10:27 pm

Alright everyone, the votes are in and the winner is MajorMcNicol!

Congrats mate - get in touch with Novus and sort out between yourselves the shipping details, etc.


Now - MajorMcNicol brought up a few points about the voting etc for these comps, and so I reckon we can have a quick chat about adoting the following changes:

- voting "in secret", via PMs. I don't see that there's any particular reason for voting via PM, so we could dispense with that and everybody can just post their votes on here after submissions have closed. It would be great if we could all give a short reason why we chose that particular story as well, by way of feedback;
- voting for our own stories: it's not something I would consider normal practice, but hey - politicians do it, so why not? ;-) Seriously though, on reflection, if you solidly believe that your own story is the best submission, why not back yourself?

Cheers!
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Bazlord101

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostThu Sep 29, 2016 10:31 pm

In the meantime, let's get hitting those keys again!!

Unofficial Writing Competition - Part 3!

Okay all,

Prompt: "Finding Your Courage"
Length: 750 words
Final Submission Date: 21st October

No prize supported expected for this one, so let's just get some words down.

Cheers!

Baz
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Thunderboy

Hawk Talon

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 11:17 am

Naaa, Backing yourself isn't fun.
For Humanity!
26th at Autum Invasion 2016
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Octavian Lars

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  • Location: Elgin, Moray

Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostFri Sep 30, 2016 5:01 pm

Congrats to major mcNichol, I'll do my best to get something in this time, but it's going to be touch and go with real life commitments
Brigadier-General of the 4th Legion of Titania
Also, no1 at DzC in elgin academy and my house
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Novus

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostWed Oct 05, 2016 4:36 pm

Guys, I still need the address info for the winner. Please PM me with it. Thanks!

Congrats, MajorMcNicol! Well done!
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Octavian Lars

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostTue Oct 18, 2016 12:15 pm

Just a quick piece this time, nothing special


Do the Maths:
Mr Reynolds! I need that logistical analysis on my desk in 1 hour for FTL transmit.
The aging computer terminal stared blankly at Angus Reynolds, and analyst at Naval Theory, Ferrum. He stared back at the header and cursor blinking on the screen, his mind numb. He had joined the UCM-AF for excitement, but due to both his lack of courage and training in statistics and logistics, he was assigned a desk job filling out forms and running logistical simulations while his cohort from Aurum Technical Academy deployed to the reconquest or to weapon testing facilities over Nicollum fleet base or the Ranges on the deserts a scant 100 cliks from his office. Though his position was well deserved, there wasn’t much use for a strategic logistician on the front lines, even less for one that flinched at the crack of a dropped mug of Caf-Sus.
But the report wouldn’t type itself, nor would the simulations set themselves up on the aging, outdated, temperamental software, one mis-tap and you’d be back to square one, if you were lucky and the system didn’t crash. Compared to the monotony of such a task, almost anything seemed preferable. However it was the almost anything that occurred in that particular moment.

Three men of the UCMN marine corps stormed into the offices, rifles slung over their shoulders, grim looks on their faces. This was no ordinary day at the office that’s for sure.
“Alright you desk jocks, we’ve got word from NT-Central that some jellies are inbound, don’t ask why or how, we don’t know. All we need to know is that either an evac is happening from the Black-Ops 7th or we’re holding this building against all comers until they buzz off back to the cradle worlds.”
Pandemonium exploded almost instantly in the open plan office, some rushed to the windows to try and catch a glimpse of any incoming dropships, others cowered under their desks while others ran towards the marines to see how they could be of use.
Reynolds didn’t do any of those. He was too stunned to move, too shocked to look up from his terminal and too surprised to panic. He just sat there, eyes glazed over, staring at his screen, but seeing nothing. That was, until a burly marine took him by the shoulder and shook him back into focus.
“You there! Yes it’s scary, yes you’re probably soiling your trousers, but the only way you’ll survive is if you snap out of it and take steps to stay alive. You’re a stat cruncher? It’s stats that are going to keep you alive. Shell trajectories, flight patterns, burst dispersion. That’s how we stay alive, our flak guns use them, the stat crunchers use them, they’re everywhere. Now get up and see the patterns, and help us survive.”.

The marine was right of course, but it took Reynolds a second to see it. Eventually the adrenaline took over and he stopped thinking about the approaching doom in the form of a swarm of scourge dropships and thought about what the marine had said
Flak Guns
Computers
Stats
It all made sense in that instant, they were sitting on the biggest repository of supercomputers this side of Ferrum Primus. And a heartbeat, the leader inside Analyst 2nd Class Angus Reynolds came to the fore.
“You! Schmidt,” Pointing at the man who was his supervisor until but a moment ago, now staring out the window as the swarm approached “Wire those 3 terminals together and tap them into SATMOS, we’ll need 50% of capacity on the CPUs.”
Somehow Schmidt followed his instructions, and the process of wiring up the computers began.
By the time the marines returned with their flak gun emplacements, the analysts were all busy at work, wires and holo-echoes everywhere, but Reynolds stood by the door, triumphantly clutching a single cable as the Marine Sergeant marched through the door.
“Sir, we have the computers in the block wired up to feed advanced targeting data and pattern osscilations to your flak guns. It should allow you to both combat the scourge countermeasures and increase fire accuracy.”
“Thank you analyst, sometimes I really hate pencil pushers, but I may have to reconsider that assumption.”
Brigadier-General of the 4th Legion of Titania
Also, no1 at DzC in elgin academy and my house
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B1ollanT

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostThu Oct 20, 2016 7:21 am

Bazlord101 wrote:In the meantime, let's get hitting those keys again!!

Unofficial Writing Competition - Part 3!

Okay all,

Prompt: "Finding Your Courage"
Length: 750 words
Final Submission Date: 21st October

No prize supported expected for this one, so let's just get some words down.

Cheers!

Baz
Haven't done one of these competitions before, but I'll give it a whirl!

The end of Kay, the Beginning of Amun Part 1

Kay stood silently with the other Firstborns, his quills quivering slightly with anticipation. He flexed his fingers over the controls of his wave pistol, and could feel the energy coursing through the relays of his Warsuit. A sense of excitement was filling the gate bay, and the energy emanating from the older braves was infectious.
His eyes, like those of his fellow Firstborns, were fixated on the glowing projection floating above their heads. It showed an expanded view of New Corden, a city in the northern region of the Shangri-La. Kay watched as Tomahawks systematically rooted out Scourge footholds, and Warspears demolished enemy air support. A tingle of exhilaration ran down Kay's spine as the rushing crackle of energy filled the bay. Golden lights flickered across the soldiers matte black armour, and their teleport webs glowed with a yellow energy. Kay felt a blast of wind, and the momentary flash of blindness that came with gate travel.
Blinking his eyes, he took in his new surroundings. The trees cast eerie shadows over the forest floor, and the sounds of the nearby battle echoed through the leafy halls. Kay watched through the canopy as a squadron of Warspear's blasted by overhead. The distinct sound of a plasma bombard brought Kay's focus back on point. Battlefield intelligence had detected an Annihilator entrenched deep in the forest, well out of Warstrider and skimmer range. Intelligence had deduce that an infantry approach would be the most successful option. Kay and his fellow Firstborns where charged with providing the Braves cover against Scourge troops.
As the Shaltari began to move away from the forest outskirts, the sounds from the city began to grow quiet. The senior Braves strode silently onward, the domed heads of their suits sweeping side to side as they scanned for enemy movement. The younger Firstborns where more chatty, flashing messages to each other over their coms, yet remaining ready for the enemy to strike.
Half an hour of steady striding brought soldiers ever closer to their target. A communications burst from high intelligence had come in, alerting them that the Annihilator's blast where halting progress. They quickly increased their pace, pushing to reach the enemy. As they crested a ridge, one of the Braves spotted the glint of blackened metal through a gap in the trees. The Shaltari turned to deliver his report when a concussive blast struck him in the back, shattering his armour, and killing him instantly. At the same time, a scream rent the air, tearing the forest silence open and driving into their minds.
Kay let out a cry of pain, and collapsed to one knee. The scream was quickly followed by another, shattering his thoughts. For the first time in the mission, Kay felt something he didn't think he could feel. Fear. It clutched at his mind, and tore at his rational thoughts. He could see that the other Firstborns weren't faring any better, and the Braves seemed shaken. The horrific screaming was now accompanied by deep, guttural roars. A volley of blasts flashed out of the treeline, and a large group of Destroyer appeared. Their mammoth bodies cast shadows on the Shaltari warriors, and Kay felt mesmerized by their blood red eyes. Behind the Destroyers, he could also the hunched form of a Screemer, it's long frame hidden from the sky by the trees.
Kay watched as the Destroyer's shard cannons shredded his fellow Firstborns. The first volley wiped out more than half of them, and the Scourge wasted no time firing again. Kay was paralyzed, the Screamers call stopping him in his tracks. Thoughts ran through his mind that he would have normally dismissed out right. How could they win? Better to die than resist and fail.
It was the Braves that now caught Kay's eye. He watched as they shook off the scream, and retaliated, firing clouds of discus mines into the Destroyers' faces. Several fell to enemy fire, but they unleashed their weaponry driving the enemy back.
Kay kicked himself for his cowardice, and shook his head. He'd always wanted to be a Brave, and now he would prove his worth. He lunged forward, activating his energy sword, and striking at a Destroyer which had moved into range. It let out a cry as the sword severed it's spinal chord, bellowing as it crashed dead to the ground. Kay yanked out his sword and struck at another. This was the time to prove himself. There would be no wasting it.


To be continued...
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Bazlord101

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 1:16 am

Good work, Octavian Lars and B1ollanT!!

I'd better get my own entry down before deadline! :-)

@Novus - did MajorMcNicol get back to you with shipping details?
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Bazlord101

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Re: Fan Writing Comps (Prizes from Green Stuff Industries!)

PostFri Oct 21, 2016 2:25 am

The Descent of Flatley (apologies - 900 words, but I'm out of time to edit further :-)

"Flatley! Get over here - NOW!!". Sergeant Major Hill's voice boomed over the parade ground, assaulting the ears of all the assembled recruits as they stood at attention, waiting on Flatley - again - to fall in and complete formation. Inspection came just once a day, now that the Athena was nearing her target.

Eden Prime. Legendary for its tough resistance, not just from the accursed Scourge threat, but from covert cells of post-human scum looking to further their own inscrutable aims, and random Shaltari just looking to fight for the hell of it. Private Damian Flatley couldn't get his head around the presence of these powerful aliens on one of their - Humanity's - most prized worlds, but he hoped he never had to see them face to face. Or, face to ... well, whatever. But what troubled him the most were the stories coming back from the first units to establish beachheads on Eden. Stories of wild, murderous packs of human resistance - those left behind after the great Scourge invasions, who descended into anarchy and murder. The idea of them made him sick to the stomach, and he knew - he just knew - that he would end up facing these savage traitors at some point.

Rounded up as a petty thief in the slums of Golan IV by the UCM press-gangs, Damian had no choice but to follow the flow try to keep his head above water. He formed up in line, and expected the routine bollocking from the Sergeant Major. Like NCO's throughout history, Hill was chosen more for his abilities to diminish, crush and abuse new recruits until they were raw and ready to be moulded into whatever the army wanted them to be. But the psychological training hadn't taken with him - and now he was afraid, dreading atmospheric drop onto Eden Prime that he knew was coming closer with every humiliation at the hands of Sergeant Major Hill.

"Today is SPECIAL, you MAGGOTS!", Hill barked again. "This is your FINAL Inspection! That's right, ladies! Tonight, we drop on EDEN!!". A hush rang out following the statement, until Hill's demanding stare bored holes into their eyes and they realised that they were supposed to be happy about it, and erupted into shouts of glee.

"Those freakin' idiots", thought Flatley. "They don't know what they're in for. None of us do. Now I'm done - out of time. Got to try to make the best of it, and find one of those civilised resistance groups and defect, before any of the crazies down there get me".

.....

Sergeant Major Hill had been the first to die. A jet of green plasma had melted his head to nothing in about 0.1 seconds flat, while he was in mid-shout. Something about "Duty", and "Honour", and "Dying well". Flatley had briefly enjoyed the irony of that, but then the simple horror of what he'd just witnessed filled him with an overwhelming fear. Damian dropped his rifle and ran. Away from the fight, left, right - wherever offered him the most cover and got him furthest away from the fighting. He vaulted down a torn-up embankment littered with broken masonry and mud, and found a broken service pipe at the bottom that was just big enough for him to crawl through. Stumbling blindly around a sharp corner in the pipe, he fell to his knees and passed out from a sickening mixture of exhaustion and fear.

Hours later, when Flatley awoke, it was dark. He was bitterly cold, and knew he had to find proper shelter soon or die. Food, too. Hunger drove him out of his hiding place and out over the broken landscape. It wasn't long, poking through the skeletons of former industrial buildings that he saw a flicker of light down in a wide crater. Approaching as stealthily as his well-honed skills allowed him, Damian crept to the edge and saw horror - three feral-looking men in rough armour and shredded clothing were cooking around a small fire. One of them was immensely muscled, bald, his pale skin covered in painted sigils and camouflage patterns. His two accomplices were busy tending the fire while he instructed them on the best way to cook. Flesh - human flesh, as Damian could now see the torn leg of a man rotating slowly over the fire.

Flatley's pride bristled at what he saw, and he felt an all-consuming fury for the first time in his young life. It wasn't the fact that these monsters were eating human meat - Damian had seen as bad in the slums of his hometown, when times were at their worst. It was the uniform on the maimed body he now saw lying next to the three cannibals in their pit. The clothes on what remained of its body bore the insignia of a UCM Sergeant Major. And the body had no head. Hill.

Damian knew in an instant that Hill was his to defile, not theirs. The hours of humiliation and abuse flooding back to him in an angry instant and compelling his muscles to draw his combat knife and move toward the grim scene. He wasn't scared of these locals, as he thought that he would be. He wasn't scared, because he knew that he was one of them.

The first thing Private Damian Flatley threw at the three ghouls in the pit was a standard issue flash grenade. The second thing he threw on them, was himself.
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