Saturday, 16 February 2008

BRAVO Chapter Two (start)

BRAVO Chapter Two - (start)

General Ratz stands up to address the small gathering, he fingers a button on his tunic in an attempt to hide the fact that the uniform he’s wearing is at least two sizes too small for him. “Comrades,” he begins, looking around the oak panelled room and wiping a tear from his cheek. “Comrades, we meet again, hopefully this will be our final secret session before we have control of the world!” Before he sits down, he thumps the huge meeting room table with his clenched fist and takes a long gulp from a glass of neat vodka.

On the other side of the table the Major relights a cigar and blows a cloud of blue smoke towards the open fire that is burning fiercely in the hearth.
“General Ratz,” he says, addressing his colleague. “Have you given the orders to attack?” As he asks the question he licks his lips in anticipation and starts to salivate at the thought of a battle.

The General staggers to his feet and opens another bottle of the 70% proof alcohol. He throws the screw cap into the fire and watches for the little flame that momentarily shoots up before the top blackens and melts in the heat.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Screams Ratz. “The aliens will annihilate the Freedomlanders and give us the power we deserve!” He thumps the desk again, imagining that he has an iron fist. “Karloff!” He shouts to his trusted aide, who comes running to his side from one of the leather sofa’s by the fire. “Karloff,” he repeats, this time in a gentler voice. Then asks, almost as an afterthought. “Have you brought the tapes?”

Karloff looks at the General and smiles, “Yes, General, they are all ready to be shown!” He beams, flashing a mouthful of gold plated teeth.

“Bravo! bravo! I like efficiency it is good, no? Major and Karloff,” begins Ratz excitedly. “You are my most trusted men, in fact, you are the only ones I can trust.”
He tells them these things like it’s the first time they’ve ever heard them. Of course it’s not, he’s told them the same thing over and over again, year after year. This time though, things are different. “The President, huh! He’s just a puppet,” continues Ratz.“He’s our puppet, we pull his strings! These youngsters in The Party, bah! They’re not to be trusted, all they want is wealth, what do they know of the revolution?”
continue reading...

Friday, 15 February 2008

Chapter One - (post five)

Go to the start of ALPHA Chapter One..

ALPHA Chapter One - (post five)

“That’s great!” Screams Arrow to no one in particular but somehow hoping that a passing robot might be hurt by his outburst. “We really are slaves now!” he continues, this time speaking specifically to his close friends and workmates Crescent and Dart. “Work, eat and sleep, work, eat and sleep...” He mimics the robotic voice, before diving headlong onto his bed and pulling the covers up around his chin.

“No leisure period. I don’t believe it, they can’t do this to us.” Laments Dart, as he too climbs onto his bunk and reaches for the blanket.

Crescent is as shocked as anybody to hear the news and for a few minutes he even forgets about his hunger pangs. “You don’t believe it?” he yells. “You don’t believe it? Well you better do Dart, ‘cos they’ve just done it, and you and everybody else knows it. We’ll have to accept it, what else can we do?

“I don’t know about you, but I’m going to sleep.” Says Dart.
“Okay, I’ll wake you for second lunch.”
“Thanks Crescent.”

Crescent goes over to Arrow’s bed and sits on the end of it. “They must be in a panic behind the scenes.” He confides. “You know, making us work around the clock like this.”
“Hum, maybe, I wonder what it is that we’re making though?” Muses Arrow. I’ve never seen components like these before.
“Well, whatever it is, they want it kept secret, all the assembly area is in the forbidden zone, which means only…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah! Only the flaming robots know what the blooming finished article looks like!!!” Arrow completes Crescent’s sentence for him. Then he starts to laugh, a great big rip roaring laugh. “And they can’t see! Can they Crescent?” he asks his friend, still laughing.

Crescent is too hungry to laugh; instead he pulls a serious face and answers Arrow’s question as though his life depends on it. “Well, not like us, they can’t,” He begins, and then hastily adds. “But, they certainly have some kind of directional sense.”

The bell rings for second lunch, it sounds louder in the sleeping quarters than in the workshop, and the young men like Dart who have chosen to take a little nap before eating, are suddenly on their feet again and running towards the canteen to form an orderly queue for second lunch.
“That was quick!” Exclaims Crescent. “I better wake Dart…” He starts to tell Arrow, as he walks across the dormitory and shakes Darts leg.

This is the end of ALPHA Chapter One.
BRAVO Chapter Two starts tomorrow..

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Chapter One - (post four)

Go to the start of Chapter One

ALPHA Chapter One – (post four)

The young men’s conversation is interrupted by the sound of a loud bell ringing; it’s one of those annoying front door style electric bells, but much, much louder.

“I’m glad this work session is over.” Says Arrow, as the trio down tools and start to move away from their workbench.
“Me too,” says Dart, “I’ll be really happy when I get back to my bunk.”
“You not going to eat then, Dart? Asks Crescent, who is always hungry.
“Not yet Crescent, thanks.” Dart laughs, knowing how much his friend will be craving food right now. “I’ll eat later, I just want to lie down now, really.”
“What about you, Arrow?” Crescent asks, hoping that Arrow will be hungry for once.
Arrow looks at him and smiles and pulls a taut face; he shrugs his shoulders and makes a reply. “I’m sorry, I’m not hungry yet, I think I’ll go later too.” He says apologetically.
Although he thinks that he’s starving, Crescent doesn’t want to go to eat by himself. So, reluctantly he makes a decision “I might as well come back to the quarters with you both then.” He announces.

The young trio only just reach their shared room in the sleeping quarters when the Tanoy Bleeps. Blurp! Blurp! Blurp! It bleeps, over and over again getting louder and louder until everybody in the Dome can hear it.
Then the monotone voice of a robotic machine begins to drone.
“This is an important announcement. This is an important announcement.” It repeats itself, like someone who just likes to hear the sound of his own voice. “There will be no leisure periods until further notice. All personnel will work, eat and sleep. Work eat and sleep. I repeat. There will be no leisure periods until further notice. That is all.”
And the Tanoy Blurps. Bleep, Bleep, Bleep… it Blurps!
read on..

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Chapter One - (post three)

Go to the start of ALPHA Chapter one

ALPHA Chapter One – (post three)

“The thing is…” begins Crescent, puffing his chest out and rocking his head from side to side ever so slowly. “The thing is, we’ve grown bigger and wiser, so they need more robots to supervise us, to keep us in line, if you like!”
“Yeah, but where do they come from? If they can increase their number, maybe we can too! Exclaims Dart, excitedly.
Arrow throws a spanner onto the floor, he’s frustrated with the conversation having heard these thoughts voiced many times before. “Impossible!” He shouts. “We are all males, the females of our species didn’t survive the break up of the planet when we were born.”
The others look at him; they all know that that there is no hope for them, no way for them to duplicate themselves like the robots have. It’s Dart who breaks the silence.
“But there must be a way, a way to…”
“Forget it Dart, we’re here, we’re alive and that’s all there is to it.” States Crescent.
“Not quite all, we’re the servants of these, these machines. We’re being controlled by a bunch of flaming robots! They tell us what to do and when to do it.”
“Yeah,” says Arrow, “we always have been Dart, and yet, we’ve been happy until now.”
Continue reading...

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Zblog #2

Zblog #2
I know that I've already said this elsewhere, but I must repeat it here on this posting, just to let you know that I am going to be making posts daily to Space Invaders! from now on. I know that I've got off to a slow start and I apologise to each and every one of you.
At the risk of repeating myself and boring you senseless I add the following remark strictly for the record. Space Invaders! is becoming one of those novels that has more words written about it than written in it! There you are, you see, I've said it now. It's the blogging equivelant of liking to hear ones own voice, perhaps!
Why do it Online? People ask me all the time. Well, good question. I think my answer would have to be that I want the challenge, I want to prove to myself that it is possible to complete such a task with the world looking over my shoulder. I want to write this novel Online because I want to communicate with my readership on a one to one name for name basis if possible in a 'warts an' all' first draft kind of environment. Phew!
All bloggers love to recieve comments and in some situations like writing a work-in-progress-novel, comments from readers not only lift the writer but also endorse the product. Of course, commenting isn't compulsory and one can never legislate such things. But it is nice to leave a comment and I don't mind if you don't like my story or the way I write it. In fact I'm actually looking for critique on this blog and I welcome anybody to leave a comment. So, if you're reading this now, and I know that you are, please leave a little comment and introduce yourself.
Some of you already know that I've found my original play script, the actual hand-written copy for Space Invaders! What you might not know is that when I wrote the play version at Withington Library in Manchester in 1984/85 I used a different colour pen or pencil for each character and I remember I wrote some of the robot bits with my left hand. Anyway, I tell you all this because my son Jack can scan the images into the computer for me and convert the files so I can show them on this blog! How cool's that? And guess what? The original artwork for the front cover by yours truely is still intact!
Look out for the conclusion of Chapter One of Space Invaders! on this blog tomorrow and for the start of Chapter Two which will take us to a very different place. I can't wait to press on with this project and see what happens. So, see you then, then!