A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Writing Wednesday - the Antagonist and THE END

When last we left our intrepid authoress...

Okay, so we've established who our protagonist is.  She's not entirely a lovable character but given that she's had everything stripped from her by the State, we can understand her bitterness.  Now we need to bring up our antagonist and tie everything together.

The antagonist is too big for a simple description.  It's "the State", the oppressive world government that now dominates all societies.  Our world is broken into six to eight city-states, each managed by a City Manager.  That Manager answers to the faceless group running the show.

The Manager, in Ashe's city, is Lucen.  Lucen is a middle aged man with a trim body and a quick mind.  He's a sadistic bastard who enjoys watching men and women get sterilized a little too much.  Moreso the women because their sterilization process is a bit different from a man's.  A man they sterilize them as they do now.  Women, they use a process that's becoming more widely practiced now - they strip the lining from the uterus.  In this world, they go a little farther than that.  They essentially strip the lining and use a form of chemical cauterization to prevent the body from regenerating.

Do be aware that for sterilization, you're not unconscious.  They give you a topical anesthetic and destroy your life.  Lucen makes it a point to be present at every sterilization.  In spite of what you might think, these sterilizations aren't all that common.  He is completely amoral, twisted, and power drunk.  As long as the tax revenues don't stop coming and no one revolts, the State lets him get away with a lot of shit.

Therefore the presence of the Deviants and Lurkers in his city, to a control freak like Lucen, is intolerable.  yet no matter how many times he sends the rat killers in he can't clear them out.  Even the most law abiding citizen won't tolerate a mass genocide of an entire section of the city.  So he just clenches his teeth and leaves them to their lives.  He just makes sure those lives don't intersect the lives of the "regular" people with constant security patrols.

We have a protagonist, we have an antagonist, and we have a setting.  We have the general theme: a group of misfits rises against the oppressive government.  Now, what's the actual PLOT?  I find writing a brief synopsis (which believe me is NOT easy for me to do) is a good way to explain the plot.  It also helps for "pantsers" like me to help us keep our vague ideas straight.

Ashe is a normal young woman exploring her world.  When her first episode in the breeding pool ends in rape and the virtual kidnapping of her firstborn child, Ashe turns to the comfort of her friends.  Her friends, and her world, are brutally stripped from her and she is branded an outcast.  Ashe does not go quietly into the darkness.  She is dragged kicking and screaming into the dark underbelly of the city.  There she meets others of a like mind and rapidly becomes the catalyst that ignites the spark of resentment.  Flames of discontent spread and Lucen knows that he has to find the head of the serpent and cut it off before it devours his control.  Problem is...she's not willing to die.  In the end, the first city-state to rebel against the Government in almost a century frees itself from their control.

We now know who, what, where, when (vaguely), and why.  Now all that's left is to tell the full story.  If you're one of those who likes to outline everything, this is where you'd sit down and lay out all your plot points, the scenes that lead up to them, and make a lovely diagram for your story.  For those of you who are like me, we've reached the stage where we just...WRITE!

And now, for your reading enjoyment...an excerpt from Ashe's story!  This is taken from the time after she starts living in the Alley.  She's been the bartender now for a year or so.


Ashe crouched behind the bar as the lunatic waved his gun in the air. "Deviants are unclean remnants of a dead society," he said. His eyes bulged and he pointed the gun at one of the patrons who hadn't been as lucky as the slender bartender. "Deviants are unwanted by our leaders. Deviants should die." He squeezed the trigger.

The woman's head exploded in a rain of brains and blood. Tiny bits of skull fragments peppered the wall behind where she'd been sitting. Her companion screamed. The shooter turned his gun on her.

"Come on," Ashe said, poking at the lock with one hand. The battered mechanism gave way and she was able flip up the lid. "All right asshole. Play time's over." She came up with a gun in her hands.

"Do you think that mere toy is going to scare me, Deviant?" the shooter sneered.

Ashe smiled grimly. "Shit, I've had assholes like you in here pointing guns in my face and shooting patrons since I started working here. Guess what? They've all died. Now you will too." She pointed the slender weapon at the fanatic. There was a tiny wheet and the man collapsed where he stood.

"What the fuck, Ashe?" one of her regulars asked, coming out from under a table.

"It's a Z-17 assassin's rifle," Ashe said. "I made Kurt buy me one when we had that good run about six, seven months ago. He promised us protection. He was damn well going to deliver."

"An assassin's rifle? Shit, girl, those things are expensive as all hell," one of the other regulars said.

"Which is why we waited until we had one of our big nights to get it," Ashe pointed out. She looked over at the woman who was still shrieking. She sighed. "One of you guys want to deal with that while I call in clean up?"

The regular who'd first asked about her gun - Jake, she remembered finally - made a face. "You play in the Alley, you're playing Russian Roulette with your life," he said.

"What's Russian Roulette?" Ashe asked, tapping a code into the comm system. The alert would go out to one of the Alley's clean up crews. It might take them a few minutes, or a few hours, but she'd be able to get rid of the bodies without drawing the notice of the regular security force.

"It's an old game, very dangerous, that used to be popular when you got drunk, stoned out of your mind, or just wanted to do something really fucked up," Jake said. "You take a revolver and empty all the bullets except one. Then you spin the chamber. You put the barrel in your mouth, or point it at your temple, and pull the trigger. The 'fun' in the game was you never knew where the bullet was so you didn't know who was going to be the one to die."

"Sounds like an ancient torture method to me," Ashe said.

"It could've started out like that. I don't know," Jake said. He walked over and bodily hauled the now weeping woman away from her dead companion. "Come on, lady. You live in the Alley, you see shit like this every day."

"We're not from the Alley. Karma wanted to go slumming. She said it would be fun and no one would know who we were," the woman said, beating at Jake's arms.

"Great," Jake groaned. "Top siders slumming it in the Alley. We're fucked for keeping this away from the authorities, Ashe."

"No we're not," Ashe said. The cleaners had arrived. "No bodies, no blood, no evidence she's anything but another crystal head top sider."

"They'll use ballistic tracking to see if guns have been fired," Jake pointed out.

Ashe laughed. "That's why I asked for this thing. Part of it's charm is it disperses a chemical that eradicates all ballistic traces."

"I'll tell them you have it. They'll make you give them the gun," the woman said.

"Sweetie, we're not letting you out of here until the cleaners are done," Ashe said. "By that time my gun'll be stashed and those fuckers won't find it."

One of the cleaners dropped a nanite cloak over both bodies. In a matter of seconds, the bodies were dissolved into their base chemical components and absorbed by the nanites. The net was collected and a bio-chemical wash was sprayed over everything else. The blood disappeared.

"Want us to clean her too?" one of the cleaners asked, his words muffled by his mask.


Next week: something entirely NEW! (Assuming I can pin down @KDSarge long enough to work on this.  *grin*)

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