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6/4/2010 2:24:46 AM
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The Dream World [CHAPTER FIVE] *Updated at last with new chapter!!!*

[b]Table of Contents[/b] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=44746136]Chapter 1: Desperate Attempts[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=44746136&postRepeater1-p=3]Chapter 2: Hangar 14[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=44746136&postRepeater1-p=4]Chapter 3: Drifting in Dreams[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=44746136&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=5#end]Chapter 4: Body in the Present, Mind in the Past[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=44746136&viewreplies=true&postRepeater1-p=6#end]Chapter 5: Some Catching Up to Do[/url] _____________________________________ Okay, this is my first story, so give constructive criticisms and comments. [b]Chapter 1: Desperate Attempts[/b] [b]January 18, 2040[/b] [i]Blast this snow[/i], I thought as I struggled through the blizzard. Behind me was a long line of survivors of the plague, walking desperately to the capital in hopes of refuge. The snow was falling by the second, the piercing wind whipping my hair in every direction. Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind rushed toward me, causing me to trip onto the ice. I landed with an audible [i]thud[/i] and had all the wind knocked out of me. A man extended a hand. "Thanks," I said quietly, wiping some snow off of my face. "When are we going to get to the capital?" another man nearby croaked out. "The snow will bury us soon, if we don't reach it quick enough." [i]True enough[/i], I thought. [i]It should take at least another day[/i]. At this point, the group was passing through a ravine, long frozen by the ice. If there was one good thing about the ravine, it was that it protected us from the majority of the cold winds. This was offset, however, by the long, sharp icicles that hung, ready to drop at the slightest touch. Roughly halfway through the ravine, I felt a tremble in the earth. I hurriedly looked up and saw a mass of snow tumbling down from the ravine's top. People started looking up; screaming ensued. The mass hurtled downwards and slammed down onto the ground. There was a stunned moment of silence. The snow had engulfed a group of people unlucky enough to stand underneath it. Pitiful cries from inside the mass were heard. Already several people had climbed up onto the mound to help them out. I hurriedly joined them. As I got to the mound, several hands had already managed to dig themselves out. Several people were already halfway out, thanks to the people who helped them. I grabbed the nearest hand and gradually got him out. The man was pale, his leg in an awkward position. "It's all right," I said, examining his leg. I was a doctor before the plague had started. During the early days of the plague, the hospital had treated many cases before it overflowed with patients. "Your leg seems fine, just broken," I told the man, "Nothing that can't be fixed." He smiled uncertainly and nodded. Suddenly, a whistling noise could be heard. I looked up and saw the icicles hurtling down towards us. The tremor earlier must have weakened their supports, causing them to inevitably fall. Once again, screams were heard. People dived towards the snow pile, trying to dig themselves underneath it. Others ran towards either end of the ravine. I quickly shoved the man with the broken leg into the snow pile. I then ran as fast as I could to what seemed like to closest end of the ravine. I had almost made it, luck seemed to be on my side, when I felt a sudden, burning pain in my leg. I fell to the ground and blacked out. *** I felt a piercing pain in my arm. My eyes flew open, taking in the hospital room and the doctor inserting the needle into my arm. He looked surprised as he said, "Oh, good, you're awake." I looked down and saw that my left leg was gone. The doctor followed my startled look and said in a more soothing voice, "You remember what happened before?" I shook my head. Even that small action amplified my existing headache tenfold. "Well," the doctor continued, "you were part of a large group that passed through an ice ravine. A small earthquake caused ice to fall. Unfortunately, one of them pierced your left leg. It was a serious wound. We had to amputate, else you would have died." I took this all in, but my mind was still in turmoil. "But, but..." I stuttered, "don't you guys have, uh, prosthetic limbs? We had them at my hospital..." "Yes, we do, but it is being reserved for people who really need it, people who will die without one." I nodded. "Anyway," the doctor said, turning back to the computer, "we will give you a pair of crutches, although I highly doubt you'll be needing them for long." "Why not?" The doctor glanced back at me, "You don't know? According to your records here, your name is Matthew Evert, yes?" "Yes..." "Well, a surgeon will definitely be useful. You see, the government has prepared a plan for the future. The plague will not go away anytime soon, so they've built a massive room underground, filled with cryogenic pods. Only the best and most accomplished can go into there, and you definitely qualify for one of the best. A computer artificial intelligence will watch over the pods, and set a time for when the human population should come back up to the surface." Suddenly, an alarm began ringing shrilly. The doctor glanced at the door and started pulling needles out of my body. He hurriedly said, "That's the bell for delivering the people to the pods." I said, wincing, "Wait, so how long are we supposed to stay in these pods?" "No worries, you won't even realize that you're in them. The pods have a program, called Dream World. While you're in the pods, the program will generate alternate lives for you to live fully, hence the name. Once the pods open, you will be free to go out into the real world." The doctor finished pulling out the needles and tubes. He opened the door and gestured to someone. Several guards walked in. The doctor looked at me and said, "The guards here will escort you to your pod. Unfortunately, I have to sedate you in case you do anything stupid. Say goodbye to the world as you know it." "Wait..." I couldn't finish, for a sedative was sticking out of his arm. "No!" I cried, but the room was already fading. "No..." I murmured. And then everything turned black. [Edited on 06.18.2010 12:44 PM PDT]

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] challengerX This is AWESOME![/quote] lol, thanks.

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  • This is AWESOME!

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Ramen 6378 Seriously? This has to be on the record of biggest bump ever.[/quote] I know right?

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  • Seriously? This has to be on the record of biggest bump ever.

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  • Necro bump?

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  • Massive bump! Lol When will we get the next chapter! The story is slipping out of my head.

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  • The plot is very intriguing, it definitely pulls you in the further you read. I noticed some grammatical errors and issues with sentence flow. Some sentences could be combined in order to minimize choppy sentences. That's the only technical issue I see, but it is late, so take that as you will. I really love the emotion you evoke in the stories as well, such as that in chapter three, but don't get distracted from the grand storyline.

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  • This is a great story. Please finish whenever you have time and email it to me if you don't want to post it here. Just message me for my email. This should really be published. It's better than that other rubbish that's out there today.

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  • This is really good!

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  • Awsomeasuce once again! See; a little writers block wont prevent you from being what you are as a writer!

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  • As always another great chapter :)

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Ramen 6378 [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Rampant Tragedy Good job with this chapter. Though I have one comment about the beginning. In a published book, it's very unlikely that a chapter would start with the exact text that the previous chapter ended with, especially if it's someone saying something. You might want to revise that.[/quote] I actually began with a paragraph or so in front of that to make the following scenes a sort of flashback. I got rid of the flashback idea and just let it flow naturally. I must've forgotten to delete that paragraph in the process. Anyway, if you think it sounds awkward, I'll change it.[/quote]All right, that's much better.

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  • Very good, if this ties in with anything Halo-y you could post this on fanfiction.net. You definately have talent whatever anyone else says. [Edited on 06.18.2010 2:04 PM PDT]

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Rampant Tragedy Good job with this chapter. Though I have one comment about the beginning. In a published book, it's very unlikely that a chapter would start with the exact text that the previous chapter ended with, especially if it's someone saying something. You might want to revise that.[/quote] I actually began with a paragraph or so in front of that to make the following scenes a sort of flashback. I got rid of the flashback idea and just let it flow naturally. I must've forgotten to delete that paragraph in the process. Anyway, if you think it sounds awkward, I'll change it.

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  • Good job with this chapter. Though I have one comment about the beginning. In a published book, it's very unlikely that a chapter would start with the exact text that the previous chapter ended with, especially if it's someone saying something. You might want to revise that.

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  • Great story. My only criticism is that when he asks questions in his mind there are no question marks (maybe they're shouldn't be, and I'm wrong, but I just wanted to mention it). Apart from that, keep up the good work!

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  • It was worth the long wait!

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  • Well, it has been a long time since Chapter 4. I've had a huge case of writer's block and could only force myself to write a bit each day. Because of that, this chapter might not be as good as the others. But I'll let you be the judge of that. Constructive comments, please! [b]Chapter 5: Some Catching Up to Do December 29, 2180[/b] I stood there for a moment, stunned at the sudden voice that came out of the speakers overhead. After I got past the initial shock, I waited for the computer to say something else. It was silent. I pressed a few keys on the keyboard hesitantly. "Security cameras." I quickly took my finger off the key. The lips on the screen had moved perfectly with the speech. [i]Perfect synchronization[/i], I noted. I tried another key. "Maintenance." I glanced at the screen, unnerved by the human-like quality of the voice. I looked back down at the keyboard and saw that it wasn't a normal product. Instead, it had several series of additional buttons and gadgets in addition to the normal QWERTY layout. "How the hell am I supposed to figure this out?" I muttered, exasperated. Not to mention that I was already tired from my short walk to the terminal. Clearly, my muscles had deteriorated from lack of use. As soon as I finished the sentence, the clear voice rang out again, saying in a much more commanding and authoritative tone, "There should be an instructional manual in close proximity to the terminal. This will allow our valued user to navigate the features of the program." Once again stunned and unnerved, I thought, It can recognize voices that soft? The terminal once again said, "Judging by your body signs and heat signature, I may conclude that you are apprehensive. Please do not be. I am here to help all participants and residents of Cryogenic Unit Nine." Glaring suspiciously at the screen, I proceeded to check the terminal for the supposed instruction manual. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed papers sticking out of the keyboard. I lifted the keyboard and pulled out a manual of some sorts. I gingerly shook it. Dust and dirt fell out and onto the ground. The cover, which read "SAIP Manual: Artificial Intelligence, Navigation, and More" in faded white letters, was spotted with remaining specks of dirt and water. The entire thing felt like it was ready to fall apart. I put it on the keyboard and turned the first page over gently. There was a brief introduction and overview section on the following page: [i]Welcome to the Sanctuary Artificial Intelligence Program instruction manual. This manual will attempt to guide you through the SAIP and how to utilize it to its fullest extent. The main feature of the SAIP is its state-of-the-art artificial intelligence program. Alethia is the program's central intelligence. Her main purpose is to assist and guide residents of Cryogenic Unit Nine once they awaken. One of Alethia's main functions is to tell the truth to the user of the program. Do not be afraid to ask her for advice or with questions about the surface, facility, or features.[/i] I read the rest of the overview, which mostly composed of long-winded paragraphs about using the program through the terminal, communicating effectively with Alethia, and operating the cryogenic pods. I set down the manual carefully on the keyboard and looked at the screen. "So, have you finished reading the instructional manual, Dr. Evert?" the voice asked. "Uh, yes. I have," I responded, feeling foolish talking to a computer screen. [i]This'll take some getting used to[/i]. I decided to ask Alethia something that had been on my mind, "How long has it been? You know, since I was put into the pod?" "Approximately 140 years, Dr. Evert." I put my crutch against the wall and slid down onto the grimy floor. Closing my eyes tiredly, I sighed, tilting my head back. [i]140 years[/i], I thought. [i]140 years I've been asleep[/i]. Still with shut eyes, I asked, "Do you know of the outside world at all?" "Yes, I know it very well." "How is it? How's it like on the surface?" The voice didn't speak for a few moments. A soft whirring sound came from within the terminal. After a few seconds, Alethia said matter-of-factly, "The world outside is no longer as you know it, doctor. Since you and the others have fallen asleep in this underground facility, the disease you know as [i]Morbus decessus[/i], or the second Black Death, has spread all over the globe. Natural disasters caused by unknown reasons shook the surface of the earth, introducing bizarre weather patterns, earthquakes, hurricanes, and much more. With the threat of these two disasters, farming, business, and basically whatever the world's population needed to survive faltered and died out almost completely. Governments became weak as riots broke out on their streets. Taking advantage of the weakness, multiple terrorist groups attacked the countries. Within a few years, world governments fell into ruin. With no medicine being supplied to surviving populations, current supplies ran low. [i]Morbus decessus[/i] ran rampant after that. The world has been silent for about a century now." After listening to the narrative, I was quiet for a minute or two, thinking about everyone who had been killed, whether by nature or humans. [i]140 years, and the world's gone to hell[/i]. I sighed, suddenly wanting nothing more than to go back to the pod, living a happy life once again. As if reading my thoughts, Alethia said, "You cannot go back to the Dream World, doctor." "And why not?" I snapped. Inwardly, I was alarmed at my sudden harsh tone. "Did you ever wonder, doctor," Alethia said, with a hint of contempt, "why you were woken up when no one else was? Why your last dream was, in fact, a real occurrence?" [i]My last dream[/i]. I struggled to remember. In a few moments, I recalled the incident. "You mean Sabrina." "Yes, doctor." "Why did I relive a part of my real life?" "The Dream World program has encountered a problem. It is slowly forcing the occupant to re-experience parts of their real lives, instead of the alternate ones that I generate. It is not supposed to do this. From what I can tell, someone or something has tampered with it. I need you to find it and fix it." "I'm no technician, Alethia." "I know that, doctor. You are a surgeon, yes? No doubt that will come in handy on the trip." Now thoroughly confused, I said, "What trip?" "The trip to the central computer, of course." "I thought you were the central computer." "I am. However, this terminal is merely an outlet. The central core is located near Hangar 14. Although I can fix software within the system, I cannot repair physical damage." "I already told you. I'm not a repairman. I only know how to fix bodies, not computers." Alethia now had a trace of annoyance in her voice, "Yes, I know, doctor. In fact, several people should be waking up now." I heard several hisses throughout the room. "There shall be a total of four people on this journey, doctor. The two technicians, the soldier, and of course, the surgeon." [Edited on 06.18.2010 1:54 PM PDT]

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  • Look for Chapter 5 soon.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] theshadowstriker I liked it. Can't wait for more! I made a full chapter 2 for my story if you want to check it out.[/quote] Yeah, I just read it. Other than punctuation and technical stuff, I think you have a solid story. You just need to work on grammar and stuff like that.

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  • I liked it. Can't wait for more! I made a full chapter 2 for my story if you want to check it out.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] GaIap dude, i loved the part about the login screen. it seems just like the retarded thing theyd do in a situation like that. EPIC.[/quote] I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not, but I'll take it as a compliment. Glad you enjoyed reading it!

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  • dude, i loved the part about the login screen. it seems just like the retarded thing theyd do in a situation like that. EPIC.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Ramen 6378 [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] H3CustomFinder Awesome chapter Ramen, I got your message right as I finished reading it :) [/quote] If you have any criticisms, just post. BTW, are you going to post another chapter anytime soon? [/quote]I would post some criticism if I had any but right now i don't. And yeah I'll either post the next chapter later tonight or tomorrow, cuz this next ones a longer chapter then the rest.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] H3CustomFinder Awesome chapter Ramen, I got your message right as I finished reading it :) [/quote] If you have any criticisms, just post. BTW, are you going to post another chapter anytime soon?

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Rampant Tragedy Wow, this keeps getting better and better. Chapter four is amazing! I'm glad I saved this thread.[/quote] Glad you liked it. Any criticisms or things I should work on?

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