Compensation of Spotlight by lucknamegame, Chapter 1, Fantasy

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Compensation of Spotlight by lucknamegame, Chapter 1, Fantasy

Post  luckynamegame on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:02 pm

Operation Spotlight has lived her whole life in a prison with thousands of others, simply for being too dangerous. Now that she has broken out into the world that she hates so very much, will she be able to survive in this world? Will the world be able to survive her?

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Humans have always hated things they can’t understand.
Maybe it’s human nature or something, but humans have always wanted to be on top—to be better than everything else. They will go to great lengths to make sure that they are the top, the Alpha, the ruler.
Why?
Because they’re scared, I think. They’re scared of what they don’t know being the top dog instead of them. That paranoia has fueled humans since the beginning of time, since the first caveman triumphed wooly mammoths in fear that the mammoths would kill them. And humans haven’t changed much since then, motivation-wise. And this wanting to be on the top is going to break humans down from what they fear most: the unknown.
I will tell you one thing for certain. I’m not like you.
I officially have no name, as I always and never had. I never existed in the first place, and therefore, I don’t exist. But ‘existence’ is something that humans have created just so they feel like they’re on top of the entire planet. Our planet. Not just the human’s.
Confused yet? Good.
My ‘name’ is Operation Spotlight. Just call me Spotlight for short. You’re probably wondering why I talk about the humans like they’re an entirely different species, but rest assured I am human.
The difference between my world and yours is mindset, perspective, self-motivation, and the United States Government.
You exist in their eyes because you’re not a threat. I don’t exist because I am. What sense does that make? Tell me when you figure that one out.
I am what the Government might or might not call an Unknown. It’s a very demoralizing title, but it’s all I have because, remember, I don’t officially exist.
Unknowns are made up of people (who also don’t officially exist in their eyes) like me that have different ‘qualities’ about them.
And when I say ‘qualities’, I mean mutations. You could call us mutants, to be vulgar. But that doesn’t mean that we have four eyes, ooze slime, turn green and/or start yelling about ourselves in the third person.
My story is not a very pretty one; it doesn’t start well, go well, or end well. To put it bluntly, it straight out stinks.
I was born who knows how long ago, somewhere—I’m guessing a hospital, as that seems to be the only place humans are born, to my very limited knowledge. Anyway, as I very, very much later found out, a little after I was born, I started to die.
Somewhere in my tiny newborn body, my genes got a little confused. Here’s a little science lesson for you: babies are born with twenty three pairs of chromosomes, the little X’s and/or Y’s that tell if you have green eyes or blue, brown hair or black. They inevitably make you who you are, but that’s just with twenty three. Throw one more chromosome in and you’re just screwed for life.
Chromosomes that are extra lead into mental or physical disabilities. But add ten more, and that’s where you get me.
Little mutant girl.
Instead of normal twenty three chromosomes, my body made thirty three, which completely screwed my genes up.
And you know what happens when you have a kid who has ten extra sets of chromosomes?
Neither did the doctors that tried to figure me out.
Well, I figured it out.
My eyes are messed up. I don’t know the exact science behind it, but my eyes aren’t light sensitive at all. Light does not bother me whatsoever. I could stare into the sun for days and nothing happen. It’s crazy.
I’m not saying I’m like Superman or something like that, but for lack of better words, I have powers.
Abilities, ‘special capabilities’, a million other names for it would suffice.
This makes me a freak, because something about me, normal humans don’t understand. So long story short, the doctors freaked, they told the government, the government freaked, I was taken away from my mother, they told my mother I had died in their little evaluation of me, and I was taken away to a secret facility about a billion gazillion miles from any civilization.
And that’s where my story really begins.
---------------------
Welcome to Sector Foxtrot, my lovely home.
The Unknown are kept here in a place, that like us, doesn’t exist, and has never existed. Ever.
There are thousands of Unknown, and there is a squad or something of the U.S. Government that actually goes out and hunts us down, like rabbits or deer.
But they don’t kill us like they kill those fuzzy little adorable creatures. No, they experiment on us. A lot.
The government got this great idea one day that since we’re not exactly human, they can do all these illegal human experiments on us.
And why would they do experiments on us, you ask? Well, like I said before, because humans hate anything they don’t understand. And even worse—they’ll do anything they can to take that power for themselves.
Not literally power, just the power we have over them—knowing things they don’t.
Anyway, back to me. This is getting too science-y.
I live in Cell 856-TL. It’s a beautiful little place that features gray walls, a gray floor, and a gray ceiling. I live in comfort on a gorgeous army issue cot—also gray—three feet away from a steel sink and a steel do-your-business-pot. A DYBP, if you will.
Sometimes I sit in the cell for days upon end, with a little bit of barely edible food that gets shoved through a little slot in my wall. It’s about the same conditions of an animal at a zoo or something. If it were just like that, my life wouldn’t be that bad. Wouldn’t be great, but not the worst. Unfortunately, sometimes a bunch of guys in white coats take me out of my cell and run tests on my vision. It’s scary and I dread when they come. Even worse, they come randomly, so I can’t prepare myself to expect them. It’s made me paranoid after a long time. I’ve lived in this cell for as long as I can remember—and it’s terrible. I don’t remember what the sun looks like.
I could start my story from a billion different moments, but I’ll start it from this one particular moment.
------------
“Hey, Potli,” A voice whispered into my cell.
I raised my head from my position lying on the ground, staring up at the fluorescent light on my ceiling.
I wasn’t hearing voices in my head, mind you. There’s an air duct in the corner of my room that connects to the cell beside me, and thus, to the person in the cell beside me.
He didn’t really have a name; besides a human name he gave himself, which was ‘Sam’. The government officially—or is it unofficially?—named him Operation Sandbuckle. Don’t ask me where they get these ridiculous names, because I don’t even know. Sometimes they make sense as to what the Unknown’s ability is, but his is far off. Sam or Sand—he answers to both—can manipulate his voice and mimic other people perfectly. It’s kind of creepy, actually. But we’re as close of friends as we can be, stuck in cells right next to each other day in and day out.
“What?” I answered back, rolling my eyes at his ridiculous little nickname that he gave me.
“What?” Sam mimicked back perfectly, with a tinge of snootiness, aimed to get a laugh out of me.
I chuckled in response. “What’s up, Sand?”
“I’m so bored, Potli.”
“I know—but relax. Lunch will be here soon.”
“That’s not lunch,” Sam replied with a sigh. “That’s pig slop they give us. Do regular humans eat that stuff?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe they dye it and eat different colored slop.” I mused, blinking at the fluorescent light above me. I was lying on my back on the cold hard floor at the moment, hands crossed over my gurgling stomach. There really wasn’t anything to look forward to here, but I guess meal time was as close as it got to me looking forward to anything.
Sam laughed in his barking manner through the air duct. We didn’t have to stand up to it and talk to each other like that; they were so easy to use that we could be in the farthest corner and still hear each other perfectly.
“What’s so funny?” I asked him, a smile starting on my face.
“Pink colored slop,” Sam laughed. “Yum yum!”
“You’re such an idiot, Sam.”
It was quiet for a moment as we both got over the joke and our laughter died down.
“…Spotlight?” Sam said after our laughter had died off.
“Yeah?”
“What do you think is out there?”
I sat up, looking at the air duct like it was Sam’s face. I’ve only seen him a few times before, which sounds terrible since we’re best friends, but I only get to see him when the men in white coats take him down my side of the hallway. Sam’s cell sits to the right of mine. I don’t remember what he looks other than he has sharp looking dark brown hair that looks like spikes and he has deep green eyes.
I instantly knew what he meant by ‘out there’. We weren’t stupid—we knew what the outside world was like through books that the scientists who ran Foxtrot made us read. But they only gave us a few, and those were often censored. I knew what the sky looked like through pictures and what the sun looked like. But we didn’t know what wind felt like, or rain, or anything like that.
“Normal people, I guess.” I responded, relaxing my head against my shoulder.
“I hate them.” Sam told me sternly.
“Why?”
“They’re not in here.”
He was right and we both knew it; we were in these cells like animals, for the government to do crazy experiments on. It wasn’t fair—and to tell the truth, I had come to hate them too. I’ve seen pictures of them in the books the scientists bring us—happy and laughing, completely normal, doing normal things. A deep hatred had started in my gut—and I couldn’t stand them. How was it that they got to be normal and we didn’t? It wasn’t like we asked for these stupid abilities that we only got to use to have needles stuck in us.
“You think we’ll ever get out of here, Sam?” I asked him quietly, clenching my sore fingers together.
Sam didn’t answer for a moment, and then I heard his voice again. “I hope so, Spotlight. I really do.”
I couldn’t exactly tell if his voice was trying to be reassuring or not, but I appreciated him at least trying.
“At least we’ve got each other.” I pointed out, looking up at the air duct.
“True.” Sam agreed.
Unfortunately, that was all we had.
-------------------
The books we were forced to read talk about dreams. What is a dream? Well, technically, it’s a bunch of synapses in the brain, trying to piece everything together like a story. But I think dreams are something much more complicated than that; something so complicated that humans hate them too because they can’t control them and they don’t understand them. Dreams have always been interesting, or seen as visions of the future. But what’s scary is that sometimes they are actually psychic moments—humans are most vulnerable to psychic occurrences when they’re asleep.
That night I had a dream that Sam and I were talking about constellations and a giant boom cut us off. And then there was yelling and screaming—and then silence. I was scared so I stood up and called out to Sam, but he didn’t answer. That was where my dream ended, unfortunately.
I woke up scared out of my mind, sweating like a pig. I ran my calloused hands through my hair and forced myself to calm down, staring into the dark. Like I said before, my eyes aren’t light sensitive at all—and somehow, I can also see in the dark as easily as though it were lit. I can tell the difference a little—everything gets slightly darker—but other than that, it’s the same to me.
“Spotlight?” A groggy voice asked me through the air duct.
I used the edges of my cot to elevate myself, then turned over and stared at the air duct.
“Potli, are you alright?” Sam asked again, a little less groggy.
“Yeah—um, I guess.” I responded shakily. “Bad dream.”
“You want to talk about it?”
“No—it’s fine. Sorry I woke you.”
Being Sam, I knew he didn’t believe me, but he was too nice to pry. “…Alright, Spotlight. Try to get some sleep.”
“Yeah.”
I pulled my knees up to me and hugged them, setting my face down on my kneecaps. I couldn’t cry, nor could I fall asleep. So I just sat there, trying to breathe.
Just trying to stay sane.
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Re: Compensation of Spotlight by lucknamegame, Chapter 1, Fantasy

Post  Firebrand on Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:20 am

The way I normally do reviews is copying and pasting any grammar errors I find into a review, and then commenting on them. Then, I will do a more general, all-encompassing critique of the work a little further down.

"I officially have no name, as I always and never had."
This sentence just seems awkward to me. I get what you're trying to say, I just think there's a better way to say it.

"Unknowns are made up of people (who also don’t officially exist in their eyes) like me that have different ‘qualities’ about them."
Emphasis mine. Their is probably being used to denote the government. However, it's placement in the sentence seems to disrupt the flow. A tip: try not to use parenthesis in fiction, period. Better to do a sentence in the same paragraph explaining.

"turn green and/or start yelling "
Again, the and/or thing doesn't go very well either. Simply "or" could have worked here.

"Chromosomes that are extra "
In the context of the larger sentence, "extra chromosomes" would have worked just fine.

"I could stare into the sun for days and nothing happen"
"and nothing ... happen" It seems like you're missing a word here. "Nothing would happen" perhaps?

"“Hey, Potli,” A voice whispered into my cell."
Because you used a comma here, the a in "a voice" can be lower case. Most word processors will tell you to change it to uppercase. They lie. Don't do it, keep it lower.

"“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe they dye it and eat different colored slop.” I mused,"
Another dialogue tip. When you end a bit of speech with a speech tag, and it's not on a question mark or exclamation point, the period is more often than not replaced with a comma. Don't ask me why, that's just how writers do it.


On to content.
It seems like an interesting concept here. The fact that the abilities are rather... well, mundane, sorta helps. These aren't people who can throw cars with their minds or shoot fire or anything, but rather normal people who just have a few extra talents. And that makes them all the more human and relatable.

My only major note is that the first half of this chapter is some serious info-dumping. I've always found that it's easier to engage a reader by slipping in the information and backstory as you go along, seamlessly blending it in with the early plot. It just keeps the reader more engaged and interested, although it may seem more convenient to just put everything on the table.

Also, one last thing. Because forums like these do not process indentations to denote the start of new paragraphs, most people add an extra line break to show that something new is happening. It takes a little time, but look at it this way. You can go over your chapter one last time before posting to do a little extra proofing. This prevents it from looking like a huge wall of text, and it becomes easier to read, actually. So, it would look something like this:

Humans have always hated things they can’t understand.

Maybe it’s human nature or something, but humans have always wanted to be on top—to be better than everything else. They will go to great lengths to make sure that they are the top, the Alpha, the ruler.

Why?

Because they’re scared, I think. They’re scared of what they don’t know being the top dog instead of them. That paranoia has fueled humans since the beginning of time, since the first caveman triumphed wooly mammoths in fear that the mammoths would kill them. And humans haven’t changed much since then, motivation-wise. And this wanting to be on the top is going to break humans down from what they fear most: the unknown.


And so on.

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