Author Topic: Panthura - YA Sci-fi  (Read 320 times)

Offline gman

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Panthura - YA Sci-fi
« on: June 20, 2022, 04:28:04 PM »
Second draft


The world rumbles like a bass drum in the middle of an epic finale, and God’s holding the sticks. Walls creak and groan, furniture skids across cracked tiles, windows shatter—the cacophony of chaos.

My bedroom door swings open and Dad barges in, frantic. “Get up, Ryder! We need to leave, now!”

Wide awake, I jump to my feet, no questions asked. If this was six years ago, I would have lost my cool. That was old me, naïve me. New me knows not to dawdle.

“Got it! Go!”

Dad vanishes, and I drop flat on my stomach, grab the backpack under my bed. Survival kit. Food, tools, first aid kits—all the good stuff.

The morning sun glaring off something big and metallic in the distance hits my eyes, and like a crow spotting jewelry, I stare outside my broken window in wide-eyed amazement.

Panthura is currently engaged in battle with a defender class Mechanized Assault Vehicle. Alarms blare like trumpets from the heavens. Two gods square off, the land of mortals their arena.

The lizard insignia overlaid over black and yellow paint identifies the enemy MAV as one of Basilisk’s. Bipedal, like Panthura. Both tower over buildings as if they’re standing inside a model of a city. Their main difference is in their physique. Panthura is slim and graceful like a cross between a gymnast and a boxer, providing a good balance, her lion insignia a perfect representation of her feline speed and agility.

The Basilisk MAV on the other hand has more of a stocky and thick frame like a wrestler or bodybuilder, a body that’s more suited for defensive purposes, more turtle than lizard really. Which makes no sense—why send a defender to do an attacker’s job?

Basilisk has been harassing neighboring countries for their resources for years. We finally said enough is enough. Earlier today, Yaman leaders called an emergency meeting with other world leaders to discuss how to proceed with the rogue nation.

Looks like we hit a nerve.

Panthura, in all her shiny blue glory, unleashes an uppercut that connects dead on—sounds like two semis colliding. Bad MAV lands, crushing buildings and storefronts.

Please be empty.

Seconds later, a gust of wind hits me like a linebacker, and I go flying into the wall, knocking the air out of my lungs. Forgot the shock wave. This is what I get for being an idiot. The building sways from the force. Suddenly it feels like I’m on a ship in the middle of the turbulent ocean. A smell like burned metal fills the room.

I take a second to reorient myself, catch my breath, then jump to my feet and dash out into the hall.

Dad and the others are already in the living room waiting.

“Ready to go?” Dad says.

“Yeah, ready,” I say.

Becky sobs into her stuffed bunny as Mom tries to comfort her. Poor kid. Barely six-years-old and she has to deal with this nonsense already. I’m sixteen and still don’t understand why there’s always so much fighting.

I kneel on one knee and pull out a piece of chocolate from my backpack. Technically, we’re not supposed to eat these rations now, but I don’t care if it means it helps my little sister feel better. Knowing her, I’m betting it will.

She snatches it from my hand and sticks it in her mouth. “Thank, thank,” she says. She chews quickly, all red faced and teary-eyed.

“Okay,” Dad says, peering out the window. “Looks like the coast is clear. Let’s head out. Quickly now.”

We form a line with Dad up front and me in the back. Just like we practiced. People are filing out of apartments like ants. Some are calm and collected. Others, not so much.

“We’re going to die!” A man in his underwear shouts. He spots us coming out of the apartment and hurries over, bad intentions written all over his face. Dad clocks him just like Panthura did the baddy. He’s out for the count.

“John!” A woman in a nightgown runs out of one of the apartments at the other end of the hall and hurries to the man. She looks up at Dad, tears dotting the corners of her eyes. “Why did you do that? He’s not right mentally. Why?”

“Sorry,” Dad says. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of smelling salts. “Use this.” He tosses it at the woman and quickly turns—the stairs his main objective.

Unfortunately, they’re jam packed with bodies.

“Okay, people,” Dad yells through a bullhorn he procured from his bag. “We need to get down as fast as we can, but not so fast that we trample over each other.”

An explosion nearby rocks the building, pieces of concrete rain down on us. Everyone freaks. Not all. But enough to get the others on board. A stampede ensues.

“Hold!” Dad shouts.

His request fall on deaf ears.

I spot a little boy about Becky’s age curled up in the corner two floors down, racing feet inches away from stamping on him. I shove my hand into my bag and pull out the rope, tie it around my waist. Dad grabs the other end without even asking.

I jump.

Dad gives me just enough slack so I stop a couple feet above everyone frantically making their way down. The momentum sends me toward the wall. I simply kick off with my feet and steady myself.

I reach my hand down and the boy grabs it.

Dad pulls us up.

“Thank God,” Mom says when we land back on solid ground. She squats and gazes into the boy’s tear-filled eyes. “What’s your name?”

Gasping for air, the trembling boy says, “Ma—Max.” He resumes crying.

“Where are your parents, Max?” Mom asks.

He points a shaky finger toward the hall. “They did not wake up. I try.” He turns his hands over, revealing palms covered in blood. He cries more. I feel horrible, just horrible. I can’t imagine being his age and not having Mom and Dad around.

Mom hugs him. “It’s okay, we’re here for you.”

“We need to go,” Dad says.

“Wait!” Becky cries. “Pebbles!”

Pebbles is Becky’s plump, obnoxious cat. Hates me with a passion. Always hisses at me for no reason. Any lesser person would say forget the cat. Not me. Becky loves that fat furry thing just as much as she loves chocolate.

“I’ll go,” I say.

“No,” Dad says. “She hates you. Let me.” He plants his hands on my shoulders, gazes fiercely into my eyes. That look alone would be enough to beat a hundred MAVs. “I’m counting on you to get them to the shelter.”

I nod. “Of course, Dad. Just like you taught me.”

Another explosion, this one closer.

“Go!” Dad orders, then heads through our apartment door.

“You heard him. Down the stairs,” I shout. Easier said than done. It’s only five floors. But it feels more like twenty with the hundreds of people packed in like sardines.

I head out in front, hand grasping Becky’s tear-drenched palm. We hug the wall to shimmy by the mob. Stupid, really. If they only took a second to think, they could all get down quicker with much less risks.

I catch myself before losing my cool. Dad says people do stupid things when they’re afraid. It’s human nature. If that’s the case then human nature is stupid.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 10:13:39 AM by gman »

Offline Jub666

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Re: Panthura - YA Sci-fi
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2022, 08:16:34 AM »
Hi gman

I really enjoyed reading this. I hope some of my notes will help. Please ignore any suggestions if you don't like them though :)

Jx



The world rumbles like a snare drum in the middle of an epic drum roll, and God’s the drummer. Snare drums make a bright sound. It's the bass or timpani or kettle drum that would rumble. I would change this. You also use drum / drummer three times in the sentence. Perhaps try and hone this - it's your opening sentence after all! :) Maybe something like:  The world rumbles like God's playing an epic drum solo (I'm sure you can come up with something better than that, but hopefully you can see where I'm trying to go.) Walls creak and groan, furniture skids across cracked tiles, windows shatter—the cacophony of chaos.

My bedroom door swings open and Dad barges in, frantic. “Get up, Ryder! We need to leave, now!”

Wide awake now, I jump to my feet, no questions asked. If this was six years ago, I would have lost my cool. That was old me, naïve me. New me knows not to dilly dally. (Do kids still say dilly dally? It jarred me a bit. I would perhaps change it to dawdle or delay or loiter.)

“Got it! Go!”

Dad vanishes, and I drop flat on my stomach, grab the backpack under my bed. Survival stuff kit. Food, tools, first aid kits—all the good stuff.

The morning sun glaring off something big and metallic in the distance hits my eyes, and like a ferret (do ferrets have a thing for jewellery? I think more of magpies or crows as being attracted to shiny things) spotting jewelry, I stare outside my broken window in wide-eyed amazement.

Panthura is currently engaged in battle with a defender-class Mechanized Assault Vehicle. Alarms blare like trumpets from the heavens. Two gods square off, the land of mortals their ring arena.

The lizard insignia overlaid over black and yellow paint identifies the enemy MAV as one of Basilisk’s. Bipedal, like Panthura. Both tower over buildings as if they’re standing inside a model of a city and not in an actual one. Their main difference is in their physique. Panthura is slim and graceful like a cross between a gymnast and a boxer, providing a good balance, her lion insignia a perfect representation of her feline speed and agility.

The Basilisk MAV on the other hand has more of a stocky and thick frame like a wrestler or bodybuilder, a body that’s more suited for defensive purposes, more turtle than lizard really. Which makes no sense—why send a defender to do an attacker’s job? (I got rid of the break here - I think you need to read immediately why Ryder is thinking it makes no sense) I'm guessing that Basilisk is another country or something. The use of Basilisk to describe the MAV and the country was a bit confusing so I added MAV in your first sentence.

Basilisk has been harassing neighboring countries for their resources for years. We finally said enough is enough. Earlier today, Yaman leaders called an emergency meeting with other world leaders to discuss how to proceed with the rogue nation.

Looks like we hit a nerve.

Panthura, in all her shiny blue glory, unleashes an uppercut that connects dead on—sounds like two semis (what's a semi? In the UK we refer to certain types of houses as 'semi's') colliding. Bad MAV lands, crushing buildings and storefronts.

Please be empty.

Seconds later, a gust of wind hits me like a linebacker, and I go flying into the wall, knocking the air out of my lungs. Forgot the shock wave. This is what I get for being an idiot. The building sways from the force. Suddenly it feels like I’m on a ship in the middle of the turbulent ocean. A smell like burned metal fills the room.

I take a second to reorient myself, catch my breath, then jump to my feet and dash out into the hall.

Dad and the others are already in the living room waiting.

“Ready to go?” Dad says.

“Yeah, ready,” I say.

Becky sobs into her stuffed bunny as Mom tries to comfort her. Poor Becky kid. Barely six-years-old and she has to deal with this nonsense already. I’m sixteen and still don’t understand why there’s always so much fighting. Grownups seem to act more like kids than kids do, especially whenever there’s talk of toys not being shared. I scored this out because it felt like you were trivialising the war going on. I know what you're trying to say though. Perhaps you could reword it.

I kneel on one knee and pull out a piece of chocolate from my backpack. Technically, we’re not supposed to eat these rations now, but I don’t care if it means it helps my little sister feel better. Knowing her, I’m betting it will.

She snatches it from my hand and sticks it in her mouth. “Thank, thank,” she says. She chews quickly, all red-faced and teary-eyed.

“Okay,” Dad says, peering out the window. “Looks like the coast is clear. Let’s head out. Quickly now.”

We form a single file line with Dad up front and me in the back. Just like we practiced. People are filing out of apartments like ants. Some are calm and collected. Others, not so much.

“We’re going to die!” A man in his underwear shouts. He spots us coming out of the apartment and hurries over, bad intentions written all over his face. Dad clocks him just like Panthura did the baddy. He’s out for the count.

“John!” A woman in a nightgown runs out of one of the apartments at the other end of the hall and hurries to the man. She looks up at Dad, tears dotting the corners of her eyes. “Why did you do that? He’s not right mentally. Why?”

“Sorry,” Dad says. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of smelling salts. “Use this.” He tosses it at the woman and quickly turns—the stairs his main objective.

Unfortunately, they’re jam-packed with people.

“Okay, people,” Dad yells through a bullhorn he procured from his bag. “We need to get down as fast as we can, but not so fast that we trample over each other.”

An explosion nearby rocks the building, pieces of concrete rain down on us. People freak. Not all. But enough to get the others on board. A stampede ensues. (I would get rid of 'people' in one of the sentences)

“Hold!” Dad shouts.

His request falls on deaf ears.

I spot a little boy about Becky’s age curled up in the corner two floors down, racing feet coming inches away from stamping on him down. I shove my hand into my bag and pull out the rope, tie it around my waist. Dad grabs the other end without even asking.

I jump.

Dad gives me just enough slack so I stop a couple feet above everyone frantically making their way down. The momentum sends me toward the wall. I simply kick off with my feet and steady myself.

I reach my hand down and the boy grabs it.

Dad pulls us up.

“Thank God,” Mom says when we land back on solid ground. She squats and gazes into the boy’s trembling tear-filled eyes. “What’s your name?”

Gasping for air, the trembling boy says, “Ma—Max.” He resumes crying.

“Where are your parents, Max?” Mom asks.

He points a shaky finger toward the hall. “They did not wake up. I try.” He turns his hands over, revealing palms covered in blood. He cries more. I feel horrible, just horrible. I can’t imagine being his age and not having Mom and Dad around.

Mom hugs him. “It’s okay, we’re here for you.”

“We need to go,” Dad says.

“Wait!” Becky cries. “Pebbles!”

Pebbles is Becky’s plump, obnoxious cat. Hates me with a passion. Always hisses at me for no reason. Any lesser person would say forget the cat. Not me. Becky loves that fat furry thing just as much as she loves chocolate.

“I’ll go,” I say.

“No,” Dad says. “She hates you. Let me.” He plants his hands on my shoulders, gazes fiercely into my eyes. That look alone could would be enough to beat a hundred MAVs. “I’m counting on you to get them to the shelter.”

I nod. “Of course, Dad. Just like you taught me.”

Another explosion, this one closer.

“Go!” Dad orders, then heads through the our apartment door.

“You heard him. Down the stairs,” I shout. Easier said than done. It’s only five floors. But it feels more like twenty with the hundreds of people packed in like sardines.

I head out in front, hand grasping Becky’s tear-drenched palm. We hug the wall to shimmy by the mob. Stupid, really. If they only took a second to think, they could all get down quicker with much less risks.

I catch myself before losing my cool. Dad says people do stupid things when they’re afraid. It’s human nature. If that’s the case then human nature is stupid.

Offline gman

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Re: Panthura - YA Sci-fi
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2022, 08:49:09 AM »
Thank you so much, Jub! Glad you enjoyed it. You make some great points in your feedback. Never thought of the whole drum thing honestly. Of course they all sound different! That's what I get for not consulting a musician lol. To answer your semi question. Here in the US, semi is short for semi-truck. The proper term in the UK is articulated lorry, I believe.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 09:38:41 AM by gman »