Wednesday, 31 August 2011

THE HOURGLASS (The Children's Hourglass) - Chapter 1, Version 2

The Angel and The Hourglass
Chapter 1. Version 2
The Old House

Along the shoreline highways and byways that follow the Long Island Sound all the way out to Rhode Island, you'll see numerous attractive old towns. The same sort of towns you've seen in those sentimental family movies they show on Sunday afternoons.  Towns with elm lined main streets and huge wooden homes in the gothic-colonial style, with gabled roofs and dormer windows, wide wooden porches and screen doors.

Nowadays, these old towns subsist mainly on software start-up companies or, if they're lucky, they'll have a Navy or Coast Guard base. But once upon a time these towns were flourishing resorts for the rich of New York City, who travelled down in their yachts every year to splash their wealth around in the country clubs and golf courses of this prosaic region of New England.

Somehow, perhaps it was during the Second World War, these New England Resort towns fell out of fashion.  The owners of these grand gothic-colonial summer homes, with their gabled roofs and dormer windows, simply never returned. One autumn day, when their owners had departed for the city, their caretakers or gardeners carefully covered all the furniture with sheets, closed and locked all the shutters and boarded up whatever was loose, before they too headed back to wherever it was they came from.  And it just so happened that after that autumn, none of them ever returned.

Town life just went on around these houses, almost as if they didn't exist, or existed with no more importance than the big trees that stood out prominently in the landscape of the town. The best real estate in these towns is still occupied by those once grand, abandoned dwellings.  Still, amazingly, these houses were hardly ever broken into, as if they still deserved the respect their owners once received. And for years they just stood there, patiently waiting, facing the sea, snugly shuttered, and slowly decaying.

Naturally, for curious children or daring teenagers, the empty houses were an irresistible attraction, but it was many years before anyone actually broke the taboo surrounding the houses and dared to sneak up the hill to play among them.  And when they did, it didn't take them long to discover the massive old maple tree growing right at the back of the grandest house of them all.  A maple tree with thick sturdy limbs spread evenly up its strong trunk, limbs that reached up and over the roof top gables.  With a tree like that, it was a snap to climb right up to where they could pry open the tiny attic dormer window that no one had bothered to board up.

And that's when their troubles really began.


HEY! Today is a new day and I am pretty disappointed in everyone who has glanced at this blog.  This was meant to be a joint effort, that means me, of course, and YOU.

NEW PLAN: So, I have a new plan. I really want some participation and I am willing to try almost anything, so I am going to try this:

STARTING A NEW STORY ARC: Yup, I am starting a new plot.  This time I am only allowed to write a few short paragraphs to start it out and no outline at all.

PLAN:  You add your ideas by writing them in the Comment Section under the Blog - and I publish it on the Blog! Right Here! Got it?

This means you write something, anything, but something in the style of this story idea and become a Contributor!!!

1. You are allowed to simply comment or criticise if that is all you want to do.
2. I publish your comments without editing them!
3. If you want to edit them yourself, simply write another comment!
4. I can comment on what you write!
5. Not hard and fast, but try to stay within 3 or 4 short paragraphs.

Now here goes:

THE HOURGLASS - Chapter 1 - The Old Houses

The Angel and The Hourglass
Chapter 1.                                          
The Old House

One really great thing about living in a once grand old seaside town is that we have all these fabulous old houses sitting up on the hill overlooking the ocean, all boarded up, but left just as they were 50 years ago, waiting for their rich old owners to return.

It seems crazy, but when everyone started going to the newer more fashionable towns, those rich people just left their old houses as they were and simply bought new houses in the new towns.

You'd think there would be squatters or something, or they'd be broken into all the time, but amazingly, they just stand there, waiting, facing the sea, snugly shuttered, but slowly decaying.

Naturally, us kids began to sneak up the hill to play around those houses.  They were pretty irresistible.  The biggest house of all had one of those huge old maple trees, the kind with thick sturdy limbs evenly spaced up the  trunk, growing right at the back of it, so it was easy to climb up it and pry open the tiny attic dormer window that no one had thought to board up.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fiction Victim: Power Source - Chapter 3 - Version 2 - The Incident

K9 was trotting around the desk, sniffing the air, his ears pricked up and turning on their gyros, trying to collate the information and figure out what went wrong. He cocked his head to one side and turned his glittering eyes on me. "Phone Max." was all he said.

His eyes darkened for less than a second, then " 415 328 7999" 

I rang the number and someone at the reception picked up, "SF University Science Lab, Emma speaking."

After several long minutes, during which I paced the room about a thousand times with K9 watching me curiously, the voice came back: “I'm sorry Mr Green is not in right now.”

Monday, 29 August 2011

Fiction Victim: Power Source - Chapter 3

Power Source - Chapter 3

Story Idea: Power Source - Scenario

Here is the Outline:  A power company teams up with an evil venture capital company to mine what appears to be an unlimited power source from another dimension. 

This other dimension was discovered by the cosmophysicists of the mid 21st Century, but was tippy top clearance - level 11, and only  a few knew about it.  Max was one of them - and he is the one who is about to sell his mining plan to another power company.  

Oh, yeah, we have run out of power sources by now after nearly destroying the planet with our carbon induced Global Warming, but at least we have reduced the population a bit, along with the animal population.  Max is kidnapped by the forces of evil... who want the monopoly on the new power source.

Powers of evil forget that they would need Roxie, Max's wife, to use as a blackmail tool, to force him to do what they want, but she is wisely on the run, so they manufacture videos of her and pretend she is being held captive.

Roxie herself, has gone into hiding with the dogbot, K9-5.

The evil ones plan to set up a their power station in New Mexico, where else?  Promise of a new economy.  No one is to know where the power is coming from, but the Government has already approved it and keeping it under "Top Secret". All Hush Hush

Problem – MAX gets the power coming in – All is fantastic for the forces of evil - but something in this dimension has to be traded for it – substituted – like mass for mass.  Turns out this other dimension begins to extract their missing energy from the Sun.

Temperature and weather changes begin to occur.

And meanwhile Max's wife, Roxie and their dogbot, K9-5 are on the run planning a rescue mission for Max.

Power Source - Chapter 2. Extraction

We got him. It was easy.  A perfectly discreet extraction. He made it easy for us, living in that ridiculous house. We'd been watching him for the past year. Ever since he applied for the grant. We followed him on his move down to San Francisco and it was easy to set up surveillance in that house of his.

All the new builds are plastiment - and they usually come with an option for debugging. We would have gotten in just the same, only not quite so easy. But this was, as they say, a piece of cake.  We could have picked him up on the road, but we needed those last pieces of intel he kept locked away at home. So we waited until he was ready.

Then they always foolishly turn off their dogbot at night. We had overheard them debating this issue.  He wanted to save the batteries and she didn't like being woken up by the dog barking every time a pinecone fell on the roof. So smart and yet so stupid.

He works late often, had to, he was close to finishing his designs, but he always came home to check his data.  He kept his intel at home; he didn't want anyone in the University knowing what he knew, so he kept it in a secure PC in the house.

His wife is usually asleep when he comes home late, but she always wakes up and they chat a bit and watch some streams before going to bed. Then he gets up before she does, takes a look through his files, checks that its all there, and heads back to campus with the sunrise. We picked him up last night when he had just sat down at his work station.  All we had to do was drop by with our Steletto.

We had already reprogrammed his window locks, so getting in was not a problem, and used our "Silence is Golden" femmebot to make the extraction.  Not even the dogbot detected her.  A tranquilliser dart and sturdy net and out the window and into the Steletto - and now we have him all to ourselves.  Max and his data and designs, and no one is the wiser.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Power Source - Chapter 1. On Mute

When I woke up this morning, he was gone.  That's not so unusual, so I wasn't worried yet.  I turned on the dogbot and the coffee machine and walked down to the beach with K9-5.  All our dogbots have been named K9. It's not very original, but we still have a soft part in our hearts for that old Dr Who relic of the 20th century.

Actually, for scientists, we keep a lot of old relics around. That's one thing we've always had in common. The love of antiquities, old music, old books, old robots.
We lived in an old house, too, made of wood, still standing after the great earthquake and tsunami of '34. It's in Stinson Beach, just outside of what was left of San Francisco.

The house was built on a hill on solid bedrock overlooking the bay and the earthquake only shook it up a little bit and the flood waters just ran right through it, so in '59, when Max and I relocated to the University of San Francisco, it was selling cheap. No one wanted an old fashioned  wooden house anymore, just Max and me.

It was low tide and the beach was deserted as usual.  I threw some pieces of drift wood for K9 like I always do. Its hilarious to watch him navigate through the sand dunes. Sand may not be the best thing for a machine, but he has special fans that blow the sand right out of his joints and it hasn't hurt him yet.

He usually springs up and catches the wood before it even begins to descend. He always catches it, no matter how hard I try to trick him. He has sensors that predict the exact arc the stick will take, and sensors that pinpoint the spot he will grab it out of the air.

He's sensitive all right, so its my fault that I did not realise something was wrong when we got back to the house.  First of all, I forgot that I had him on mute, so while I was making myself a bowl of cereal, he kept annoying me by clattering back and forth between Max's study and the kitchen and bumping into the back of my thigh with his cold metallic nose. I finally realised he was trying to tell me something, and strolled into the sitting room to pick up the remote control I had left next to the X-stream Machine.  I took him off mute.

"Problem detected. Room 3, Max's study. Suspected theft." He announced immediately, and pranced off down the hall.

K9's are always pretty terse, but his message was clear and I fairly flew to Max's study. The door was unlocked. Max's PC was gone. He never takes it with him. I began to feel sick to my stomach.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Trying this one out: Teenage Detective, Victoria Gold

Yup, I am planning to use this blog as a sounding board - or rather, Story Board, for some fiction projects I am planning. Feel free to join in, but beware, I plan to steal any and all great ideas that come my way and use them to my advantage.

So, I have had this idea for a while: a teenage girl detective, but not your usual Nancy Drew type, although I love her dearly, this is more the "Ironsides" style of teen detectives! She is a semi-invalid, stuck at home with her tutor, but with lots of friends to be her "Scoobie Gang" and do all the physical investigating that she can't do.

Naturally, she is a genius as well as a computer whiz and a bit of a hacker.  Naturally also, her dad happens to be the District Attorney for the big city across the river. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that this is all taking place in the USA - in a small town in the state of Connecticut.

This small town will be a hotbed of drug smuggling, pedophile rings, unexplained cosmic phenomena, you name it - its all there. As much as I would like to start this today, I will begin tomorrow. As she said in Gone With The Wind, "Tomorrow is another day!"