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Reckoning - Chapter 1

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:26 AM
ArchAngel (Offline)
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Default Reckoning - Chapter 1


M'kay, Chapter 1 of Reckoning. This actually introduces characters, and has some plot rather than background. Need the help on this one most of all, as this is the 'real' writing, so to speak.

But alas, i digress. Here be Reckoning--Chapter 1 (It's rather large, by the way... 2,694 words sort of large...)



Part 1 – Salvation
June 14, 2023.
North Russia – Contested Territory.



Chapter 1
“Fireteam One,” A voice whispered through Canadian Sergeant Alex Boucher’s earpiece. “Check in Fireteam One, over.”

“Command, this is Codename Ducuron; fireteam lead,” Alex whispered back through his own microphone. “Fireteam One is en-route to ambush positions, standby for confirmation, over.”

Alex hurriedly unplugged the Microphone-Jack from the heavy, long-range transmitter and instead inserted it into the much smaller, lighter, short-range Comms device.

“Ducuron, this is Dube.” Jonathan’s quiet, yet clear voice came over the Comms.

“Sniper support is... Online.”

There was a click of noise over the radio as Jonathan slid in an ammo cartridge before he cut transmission.

“Uh, is that all, Private?” Alex asked, slightly mockingly.

“Oh, sorry Sarge...” Jonathan replied hastily. “Over.”

Alex chuckled quietly to himself as he switched channels on the Comms Device to another member of his team.

“Atreine,” He said once he found the right channel. “Check in, over.”

“Atreine here, thirty more seconds Ducuron.” Felix whispered in his incredibly deep voice. “I’ll check back in when ready, over.”

“Confirmed, Ducuron out.” Alex finished as he once again switched channels.

“Maret, report.” He said to the final member of his team. “Over.”

“This is Maret.” Sara confirmed. “Getting the readings in now... Over.”

“What’s our situation Maret? Over.”

“Standby...” She whispered as she fiddled with her equipment. “Uh... looks like we’ve got a full Chinese platoon in the valley below; about a hundred.”

“A Hundred?” Alex asked in disbelief. “We’ve got four soldiers on our side and Command wants us to take this valley from an enemy platoon? What the hell are they thinking?”

“Probably that we’re a damn good four soldiers.” She jested. “Now stop questioning orders Sergeant and give ‘em hell!”

It was at this point that Felix cut in.

“MH12 Heavy Fire Support is online, sir.” He said. “Just tell me where to shoot, over.”

“You hear that Maret?” Alex asked Sara. “Where’ve we gotta shoot? Hang on, tell Dube to switch to our channel, over.”

“Yes sir.” She said before switching channels to tell Jonathan to join the conversation. “Ok... Dube, to your North-West you’ll have a clear view of the enemy force, you’ll take out high ranking officers first.”

“Copy that.” Jonathan confirmed her instructions. “Over.”

“Atreine, as you’re positioned on the other side of the valley, the enemy is to your South-East. Pretty much, find a large group of ‘em and unleash hell. We’re counting on you to take out the bulk of ‘em.”

“Roger Maret, I got visuals on enemy targets now, Over.” Felix whispered.


“Good. me an’ Ducuron will each take the only exits from the valley. There’s a Choke-Point close by me at the North of the Valley and another one about a mile or so west of Ducuron at the South of the Valley.” Sara instructed Alex. “Both these chokepoints are about Five Meters wide, with steep unclimbable hills on either side; they’re the only places our enemies have to go.”

“Remember, Command says the Chinese are here guarding something important, make sure whatever it is remains as it is.” Alex told his team once more. “Maret, give me the co-ord’s and I’ll begin moving into position. Over”

“Confirmed sir, standby...” Sara whispered back to him. “Ok, transmitting co-ord’s to your Wrist-Nav now. Over.”

“I see it coming in now.” Alex said. “Good work private and good luck to all. I’ll check back in five. Ducuron out.”

Alex made to move before he realised he still had the Long-Range Transmitter unpacked. Hastily, he unplugged the Microphone-Jack from his Comms and instead plugged it back in to the transmitter.

“Command, this is Ducuron. Come in Command.” Alex said in a low voice.

“Roger Ducuron, we read you. What’s the word? Over.”

“Fireteam One is almost in position. ETA til assault is placed at around ten minutes, Over.”

“Copy Ducuron, you have a go. Make us proud, over.”

“Will do, sir. Ducuron out.” Alex unplugged the Microphone-Jack from the transmitter and plugged it back into his Comms before collapsing the two long antennae of the Transmitter back down into the heavy black box that housed all the intricate hardware of the heavy device. Packing it tightly into his backpack, Alex secured all his gear and begun his descent into the Valley below.

It was slow progress moving down, as the hill was both steep and wet. On several occasions Alex nearly slipped and fell down it, which could have been disastrous considering the harsh rock that lay at the bottom of it. Within another minute however, he was safely down and had begun to move cautiously towards the location indicated on the Nav-system strapped about his wrist.

As he moved, he couldn’t help but gaze at his surroundings. There was no lush green grass like there used to be, no leaves, barely even any mud. The entire world had been turned into barren wasteland. The few trees that still stood carried no leaves, and instead only offered dry and withered bark. All around him, there was no colour, no life, only rock. Only death.

As though for the first time, Alex realized the ugliness of the land. He had only been a teenager when the World ended, and it was difficult to recall what the Earth once looked like, it was so long ago. He remembered green grass and endless cities, great fields and enormous forests, and it made him realise how bleak this ‘new world’ was. It made him ache for the past.

Abruptly, Alex realised it had been Five minutes and his team was waiting for him. Turning on his Mouthpiece and making sure he was on the right channel, Alex began to speak.

“Maret, squad status?” Alex asked of Sara.

“Sir, Dube has several confirmed shots and so does Atreine.” Sara began to inform him. “I’m about Thirty seconds out from my chokepoint, over.”

“Ok, I’m about five out from mine. “Alex said. “Tell the others to begin the assault at precisely... 14:17. That’ll give us Seven minutes. Maintain radio silence until the mission is complete. Over and out.”

With that, Alex made sure all his gear was secure once more, slid a clip into his MF13 Assault Rifle and began to sprint towards his objective. A few minutes later, Alex brought himself to a stop behind a large tree to check his Wrist-Nav.

“Six-hundred metres to go...” He read it out loud as he searched the display screen for the time. “One minute, Forty seconds to go... Shit...”

Without another though, Alex took off at a blinding pace in an effort to get to his location in time. Weaving between several rocky outcrops and trees, Alex made the distance in record time. Hastily, he looked for a suitable place to ambush enemy soldiers and, upon seeing a thick, heavy arrangement of rocks by the steep hills that surrounded the valley, a little to the left of the choke-point, he ran to take cover.

After quickly checking his rifle once more, he then glanced at the time on his Wrist-Nav.

‘3...2...1...’ He counted down in his mind until. Precisely as the time ticked over to the next minute, there was an eruption of gunfire from deeper within the valley. Alex pressed a button on the side of his Wrist-Nav and waited a moment for it to initialise. A few seconds later, the Wrist-Nav began to display small, moving green dots over its’ map that indicated enemy movement.

The motion detector built in to the device was only good up to a hundred feet, so there were only a handful of contacts so far. But as the gunfire continued, the fearful Chinese soldiers began to try and flee from their unseen attackers, and suddenly about two dozen more green dots appeared on the display, all of them headed towards Alex’s position.

‘Here we go...’ He thought to himself as he raised his rifle and positioned himself so that he would have a clear shot of his enemies when they came. Only a moment later, an enemy soldier burst into Alex’s line of sight, as well as into his line of fire. Another few seconds and a panicking group of three soldiers came into view, unaware of their fallen comrade.

Quickly, and without hesitation, Alex took down two of the three, but was not fast enough to get the third before the soldier realised it was an ambush and dived behind a nearby tree for cover. There was a sudden loud bang that echoed all around Alex and a spray of blood came from behind the tree. A moment later, the Chinese soldier collapsed, his head poking out from behind the tree, a bullet lodged deep within it.

“Got your back, boss.” Came Jonathan’s voice over the comms.

Before he could reply, another soldier came into view and Alex quickly took him down. Crouching back down behind the rock, Alex hastily reloaded his rifle as he glanced at his Wrist-Nav. As he looked at it, he suddenly noticed a moving contact only a few feet to his north.

Without a second thought, Alex secured the fresh clip of ammo into his rifle, stood up over his cover, raised his weapon and fired, hitting the unsuspecting soldier right between the eyes, all in one fluid motion.

“Damn, Sarge...” Jonathan was amazed. “I was about to line him up when... Damn, that was a good shot!”

“Appreciate the praise, private.” Alex whispered back to him. “Now concentrate on thinning out the incoming, I’ll take care with the rest once they get here, over.”

“Roger that, boss!”

Crouching back down behind his cover, Alex checked the Wrist-Nav once more for enemy contacts. As he did so, his heart skipped a beat.

‘Twenty fucking soldiers, all in one group?” He thought. ‘You have got to be kidding... I don’t even have enough bullets In a clip to take them all down!”

As he studied the display, there was another loud bang and one of the green dots disappeared.

‘Well, I suppose that makes it easier... But-...’ His thoughts were interrupted as something caught his attention. ‘Grenades, on the other hand... could work...’

Thinking quickly, Alex looked at the display screen of the Wrist-Nav again, noting how far out the group was and how fast they were moving.

‘Group is moving at about Five feet per second, Eighty feet out.” He thought before glancing out past his cover to gauge his distance from the chokepoint. ‘Chokepoint is about Thirteen feet North-Northeast, grenades have a three second timer. That’s... fifteen plus thirteen when I should throw the grenade...Thirty feet!’

He grasped one of the grenades firmly in his hand and looked at the Wrist-Nav again before he realised something important.

‘Shit, what about angles?’ He thought desperately. ‘They’re moving South-East, chokepoint is North-East of me, motion scanner shows distance relative to me... shit! I can’t work out angles in my head... shit, shit, shit! Ah, fuck it, here goes!’

When his targets were at Thirty feet, Alex pulled the pin of the explosive and lobbed it the thirteen feet to the chokepoint, before hiding behind his cover, all the while praying to god that his timing was right.

By some stroke of luck, or perhaps his prayers were answered, the explosive device went off just as the enemy group was running over it. The explosion sent a deafening roar as well as a spray of blood and flesh all over the surrounding terrain. Once his ears had stopped ringing, Alex looked over his cover and fired a burst of rounds into the clearing smoke, making sure all the enemy soldiers were dead.

Looking back at his Wrist-Nav, it showed negative contacts, and so Alex began a cautious approach into the Valley ahead. The sound of gunfire had mostly ceased now and it seemed the fight was over.

Making sure that it was, Alex broadcast a message to Sara.
“Maret, check in.” He said to Sara first.

“Ducuron, glad to hear you’re ok.” She replied, breathing heavily. “I’m reading Zero contacts here, repeat, zero contacts. Am I clear to proceed?”

“Uh... Standby for confirmation from the others. Out.” Ducuron said before switching channels. “Atreine, do you read?”

“Yes sir, I read.” Felix said loudly. “I’ve got no visuals on any enemy targets; I think we’re in the clear.”

“Good job private, pack up and prep to move into the valley.”

Once again, Alex switched channels to contact Jonathan.

“Dube, status report.” Alex demanded as soon as he had the right channel.

“I’ve got one contact sir...” There was a loud bang that rang out around the valley before Jonathon spoke again. “Scratch that, all contacts down. Repeat; I have negative contacts.”

“Very good, pack up and prep to move out soldier.” Alex said finally before switching to broadcast on all channels. “Fireteam One, move into the valley to secure our cargo. Transmitting my coordinates now...”
***

“President Xu,” Someone spoke through the doorway.

Xu Kuang Nu, President of the Chinese Nation, turned in his high-back chair to face the speaker. It was his receptionist.

“General Shi Jian Hui is on line Twenty-Three.” His receptionist finished before backing out of the doorway and returning to his own office.

Xu sighed a moment before reaching over and picking up the sleek, compact mobile radio device, one of few modern devices that remained after Rapture. Punching in the right numbers, Xu put it to his ear and waited for the connection to establish.

“General?” He spoke into it once it connected. “What news do you have for me?”

“President, Xu, we’ve got a problem.” The General’s voice came back across the line.

“When don’t we, General?”

“This is bad.” The General sighed heavily before continuing. “We received an SOS signal from Camp Jiù Shì Fifteen minutes ago.”

“What!” Xu was shocked. “What happened?”

“The SOS cut off Six minutes ago; we have received no further word from the camp.”

“I hope you understand why Jiù Shì was named such, General.” Xu was furious. “That valley was our salvation; our only way to end this war once and for all so we can finally fix this broken world!”

“I understand your frustration, Xu.” The General tried to calm him. “We’ve alerted the reinforcements en route to Jiù Shì of the situation, we will regain control of the valley shortly.”

“It seemed to have been taken from us with no difficulty, how can you be sure our men aren’t walking into a death trap?”

“We can’t.” The General said flatly. “But that’s a full Regiment headed to the valley, I doubt any Canadian forces could stand against that many men.”

“You had better hope you are right, General. We cannot allow that valley to fall into enemy hands.”

“Mr. President, there is another issue to address on this matter.” The General pointed out to Xu. “How did they know about Jiù Shì?”

“Have you told anyone about Jiù Shì, General?” The President asked.
“No, sir. Well, only the science team we are sending with the reinforcements. But not even the soldiers we had stationed in the valley knew why they were there.”

“Then, General, it seems one of our scientists is not working for us, but rather for the enemy.”

“What would you have me do, Xu?” The General sounded almost sad as he asked.

“Interrogate them yourself, learn everything you can... then kill them.”

“When will it end, Xu? I know it’s necessary, but...”

Xu sighed heavily before answering.
“We’ve done alot of questionable things during this war, Shi.” He paused a moment. “But now it’s almost over. We are so close now... so close...”

“I suppose we are. I’ll assemble a small group of my most trusted men and intercept those reinforcements.”

“See that you do, our survival, no, the salvation on the world, depends on it General.”

“Shi Jian Hui out.” The General finished before closing the line.

President Xu held the radio to his ear a moment longer, listening to the flat tone, despair beginning to eat into him.

We should have been more careful...’ He thought to himself desperately. ‘Please God, give us victory...’

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Old 12-22-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngel View Post
M'kay, Chapter 1 of Reckoning. This actually introduces characters, and has some plot rather than background. Need the help on this one most of all, as this is the 'real' writing, so to speak.

But alas, i digress. Here be Reckoning--Chapter 1 (It's rather large, by the way... 2,694 words sort of large...)



Part 1 – Salvation
June 14, 2023.
North Russia – Contested Territory.



Chapter 1

“Fireteam One," a voice whispered through Canadian Sergeant, Alex Boucher’s earpiece. “Check in Fireteam One, over.”

“Command, this is Codename Ducuron; fireteam lead,” Alex whispered back through his own microphone. “Fireteam One is en-route to ambush positions, standby for confirmation, over.”

Alex hurriedly unplugged the Microphone-Jack from the heavy, long-range transmitter and [instead] unnecessary inserted it into the much smaller, lighter, short-range Comms device.

“Ducuron, this is Dube.” Jonathan’s quiet, yet clear voice came over the Comms. “Sniper support is... Online.”

There was a click of noise over the radio as Jonathan slid in an ammo cartridge before he cut transmission.

“Uh, is that all, Private?” Alex asked, slightly mockingly [two adverbs just not good together. you can just say mockingly and get the same effect].

“Oh, sorry Sarge...” Jonathan replied hastily. “Over.”

Alex chuckled quietly to himself as he switched channels on the Comms Device to another member of his team.

“Atreine,” he said once he found the right channel. “Check in, over.”

“Atreine here, thirty more seconds DucuronB," Felix whispered in his incredibly deep voice. “I’ll check back in when ready, over.”

“Confirmed, Ducuron out," Alex finished as he once again switched channels.

“Maret, report," he said to the final member of his team. “Over.”

“This is Maret," Sara confirmed. “Getting the readings in now... Over.”

“What’s our situation Maret? Over.”

“Standby,she whispered as she fiddled with her equipment. “Uh... looks like we’ve got a full Chinese platoon in the valley below; about a hundred.”

“A Hundred?” Alex asked in disbelief. “We’ve got four soldiers on our side and Command wants us to take this valley from an enemy platoon? What the hell are they thinking?”

“Probably that we’re a damn good four soldiers," she jested. “Now stop questioning orders Sergeant, and give ‘em hell!”

It was at this point that Felix cut in.

“MH12 Heavy Fire Support is online, sir," he said. “Just tell me where to shoot, over.”

“You hear that Maret?” Alex asked Sara. “Where’ve [don't think where've is a proper contraction. try "where do" or something along those lines] we gotta shoot? Hang on, tell Dube to switch to our channel, over.”

“Yes sir, she said before switching channels to tell Jonathan to join the conversation. “Ok... Dube, to your North-West you’ll have a clear view of the enemy force, you’ll take out high ranking officers first.”

“Copy that.” Jonathan confirmed her instructions. “Over.”

“Atreine, as you’re positioned on the other side of the valley, the enemy is to your South-East. Pretty much, find a large group of ‘em and unleash hell. We’re counting on you to take out the bulk of ‘em.”

“Roger Maret, I got visuals on enemy targets now, Over," Felix whispered.

“Good. Me an’ Ducuron will each take the only exits from the valley. There’s a Choke-Point close by me at the North of the Valley and another one about a mile or so west of Ducuron at the South of the Valley.” Sara instructed Alex. “Both these chokepoints are about Five Meters wide, with steep unclimbable hills on either side; they’re the only places our enemies have to go.”

“Remember, Command says the Chinese are here guarding something important. Make sure whatever it is remains as it is,” Alex told his team once more. “Maret, give me the co-ord’s and I’ll begin moving into position. Over”

“Confirmed sir, standby...” [shouldn't use ellipses so much either. they're mostly used to indicate dialogue that has been omitted] Sara whispered back to him. “Ok, transmitting co-ord’s to your Wrist-Nav now. Over.”

“I see it coming in now,” Alex said. “Good work private and good luck to all. I’ll check back in five. Ducuron out.”

Alex made to move before he realized he still had the Long-Range Transmitter unpacked. Hastily, he unplugged the Microphone-Jack from his Comms and instead plugged it back in to the transmitter.

“Command, this is Ducuron. Come in Command,” Alex said in a low voice.

“Roger Ducuron, we read you. What’s the word? Over.”

“Fireteam One is almost in position. ETA til assault is placed at around ten minutes, Over.”

“Copy Ducuron, you have a go. Make us proud, over.”

“Will do, sir. Ducuron out.” Alex unplugged the Microphone-Jack from the transmitter and plugged it back into his Comms before collapsing the two long antennae of the Transmitter back down into the heavy black box that housed all the intricate hardware of the heavy device. Packing it tightly into his backpack, Alex secured all his gear and begun his descent into the Valley below.

It was slow progress moving down, as the hill was both steep and wet. On several occasions Alex nearly slipped and fell down it, which could have been disastrous considering the harsh rock that lay at the bottom of it. Within another minute however, he was safely down and had begun to move cautiously towards the location indicated on the Nav-system strapped about his wrist.

As he moved, he couldn’t help but gaze at his surroundings. There was no lush green grass like there used to be, no leaves, barely even any mud. The entire world had been turned into barren wasteland. The few trees that still stood carried no leaves, and instead only offered dry and withered bark. All around him, there was no colour, no life, only rock. Only death.

As though for the first time, Alex realized the ugliness of the land. He had only been a teenager when the World ended, and it was difficult to recall what the Earth once looked like, it was so long ago. He remembered green grass and endless cities, great fields and enormous forests, and it made him realize how bleak this ‘new world’ was. It made him ache for the past.

Abruptly, Alex realized it had been five minutes and his team was waiting for him. Turning on his mouthpiece and making sure he was on the right channel, Alex began to speak.

“Maret, squad status?” Alex asked of Sara.

“Sir, Dube has several confirmed shots and so does Atreine.” Sara began to inform him. “I’m about Thirty seconds out from my chokepoint, over.”

“Ok, I’m about five out from mine. “Alex said. “Tell the others to begin the assault at precisely... 14:17. That’ll give us Seven minutes. Maintain radio silence until the mission is complete. Over and out.”

With that, Alex made sure all his gear was secure once more, slid a clip into his MF13 Assault Rifle and began to sprint towards his objective. A few minutes later, Alex brought himself to a stop behind a large tree to check his Wrist-Nav.

“Six-hundred metres to go...” He read it out loud as he searched the display screen for the time. “One minute, Forty seconds to go... Shit...”

Without another thought, Alex took off at a blinding pace in an effort to get to his location in time. Weaving between several rocky outcrops and trees, Alex made the distance in record time. Hastily, he looked for a suitable place to ambush enemy soldiers and, upon seeing a thick, heavy arrangement of rocks by the steep hills that surrounded the valley, a little to the left of the choke-point, he ran to take cover.

After quickly checking his rifle once more, he then glanced at the time on his Wrist-Nav.

‘3...2...1...’ He counted down in his mind until. Precisely as the time ticked over to the next minute, there was an eruption of gunfire from deeper within the valley. Alex pressed a button on the side of his Wrist-Nav and waited a moment for it to initialize. A few seconds later, the Wrist-Nav began to display small, moving green dots over its’ map that indicated enemy movement.

The motion detector built in to the device was only good up to a hundred feet, so there were only a handful of contacts so far. But as the gunfire continued, the fearful Chinese soldiers began to try and flee from their unseen attackers, and suddenly about two dozen more green dots appeared on the display, all of them headed towards Alex’s position.

‘Here we go...’ He thought to himself as he raised his rifle and positioned himself so that he would have a clear shot of his enemies when they came. Only a moment later, an enemy soldier burst into Alex’s line of sight, as well as into his line of fire. Another few seconds and a panicking group of three soldiers came into view, unaware of their fallen comrade.

Quickly, and without hesitation, Alex took down two of the three, but was not fast enough to get the third before the soldier realized it was an ambush and dived behind a nearby tree for cover. There was a sudden loud bang that echoed all around Alex and a spray of blood came from behind the tree. A moment later, the Chinese soldier collapsed, his head poking out from behind the tree, a bullet lodged deep within it.

“Got your back, boss.” Came Jonathan’s voice over the comms.

Before he could reply, another soldier came into view and Alex quickly took him down. Crouching back down behind the rock, Alex hastily reloaded his rifle as he glanced at his Wrist-Nav. As he looked at it, he suddenly noticed a moving contact only a few feet to his north.

Without a second thought, Alex secured the fresh clip of ammo into his rifle, stood up over his cover, raised his weapon and fired, hitting the unsuspecting soldier right between the eyes, all in one fluid motion.

“Damn, Sarge...” Jonathan was amazed. “I was about to line him up when... Damn, that was a good shot!”

“Appreciate the praise, private.” Alex whispered back to him. “Now concentrate on thinning out the incoming, I’ll take care with the rest once they get here, over.”

“Roger that, boss!”

Crouching back down behind his cover, Alex checked the Wrist-Nav once more for enemy contacts. As he did so, his heart skipped a beat.

‘Twenty fucking soldiers, all in one group?” He thought. ‘You have got to be kidding... I don’t even have enough bullets In a clip to take them all down!” [what kind of assault rifle is this? most, in my experience, definitely have more than twenty bullets in a clip, unless it's not full auto]

As he studied the display, there was another loud bang and one of the green dots disappeared.

‘Well, I suppose that makes it easier... But-...’ His thoughts were interrupted as something caught his attention. ‘Grenades, on the other hand... could work...’

Thinking quickly, Alex looked at the display screen of the Wrist-Nav again, noting how far out the group was and how fast they were moving.

‘Group is moving at about Five feet per second, Eighty feet out.” He thought before glancing out past his cover to gauge his distance from the chokepoint. ‘Chokepoint is about Thirteen feet North-Northeast, grenades have a three second timer. That’s... fifteen plus thirteen when I should throw the grenade...Thirty feet!’

He grasped one of the grenades firmly in his hand and looked at the Wrist-Nav again before he realised something important.

‘Shit, what about angles?’ He thought desperately. ‘They’re moving South-East, chokepoint is North-East of me, motion scanner shows distance relative to me... shit! I can’t work out angles in my head... shit, shit, shit! Ah, fuck it, here goes!’

When his targets were at Thirty feet, Alex pulled the pin of the explosive and lobbed it the thirteen feet to the chokepoint, before hiding behind his cover, all the while praying to god that his timing was right.

By some stroke of luck, or perhaps his prayers were answered, the explosive device went off just as the enemy group was running over it. The explosion sent a deafening roar as well as a spray of blood and flesh all over the surrounding terrain. Once his ears had stopped ringing, Alex looked over his cover and fired a burst of rounds into the clearing smoke, making sure all the enemy soldiers were dead.

Looking back at his Wrist-Nav, it showed negative contacts, and so Alex began a cautious approach into the Valley ahead. The sound of gunfire had mostly ceased now and it seemed the fight was over.

Making sure that it was, Alex broadcast a message to Sara.
“Maret, check in.” He said to Sara first.

“Ducuron, glad to hear you’re ok.” She replied, breathing heavily. “I’m reading Zero contacts here, repeat, zero contacts. Am I clear to proceed?”

“Uh... Standby for confirmation from the others. Out.” Ducuron said before switching channels. “Atreine, do you read?”

“Yes sir, I read.” Felix said loudly. “I’ve got no visuals on any enemy targets; I think we’re in the clear.”

“Good job private, pack up and prep to move into the valley.”

Once again, Alex switched channels to contact Jonathan.

“Dube, status report.” Alex demanded as soon as he had the right channel.

“I’ve got one contact sir...” There was a loud bang that rang out around the valley before Jonathon spoke again. “Scratch that, all contacts down. Repeat; I have negative contacts.”

“Very good, pack up and prep to move out soldier.” Alex said finally before switching to broadcast on all channels. “Fireteam One, move into the valley to secure our cargo. Transmitting my coordinates now...”
***

“President Xu,” Someone spoke through the doorway.

Xu Kuang Nu, President of the Chinese Nation, turned in his high-back chair to face the speaker. It was his receptionist.

“General Shi Jian Hui is on line Twenty-Three.” His receptionist finished before backing out of the doorway and returning to his own office.

Xu sighed a moment before reaching over and picking up the sleek, compact mobile radio device, one of few modern devices that remained after Rapture. Punching in the right numbers, Xu put it to his ear and waited for the connection to establish.

“General?” He spoke into it once it connected. “What news do you have for me?”

“President, Xu, we’ve got a problem.” The General’s voice came back across the line.

“When don’t we, General?”

“This is bad.” The General sighed heavily before continuing. “We received an SOS signal from Camp Jiù Shì Fifteen minutes ago.”

“What!” Xu was shocked. “What happened?”

“The SOS cut off Six minutes ago; we have received no further word from the camp.”

“I hope you understand why Jiù Shì was named such, General.” Xu was furious. “That valley was our salvation; our only way to end this war once and for all so we can finally fix this broken world!”

“I understand your frustration, Xu.” The General tried to calm him. “We’ve alerted the reinforcements en route to Jiù Shì of the situation, we will regain control of the valley shortly.”

“It seemed to have been taken from us with no difficulty, how can you be sure our men aren’t walking into a death trap?”

“We can’t.” The General said flatly. “But that’s a full Regiment headed to the valley, I doubt any Canadian forces could stand against that many men.”

“You had better hope you are right, General. We cannot allow that valley to fall into enemy hands.”

“Mr. President, there is another issue to address on this matter.” The General pointed out to Xu. “How did they know about Jiù Shì?”

“Have you told anyone about Jiù Shì, General?” The President asked.
“No, sir. Well, only the science team we are sending with the reinforcements. But not even the soldiers we had stationed in the valley knew why they were there.”

“Then, General, it seems one of our scientists is not working for us, but rather for the enemy.”

“What would you have me do, Xu?” The General sounded almost sad as he asked.

“Interrogate them yourself, learn everything you can... then kill them.”

“When will it end, Xu? I know it’s necessary, but...”

Xu sighed heavily before answering.
“We’ve done alot of questionable things during this war, Shi.” He paused a moment. “But now it’s almost over. We are so close now... so close...”

“I suppose we are. I’ll assemble a small group of my most trusted men and intercept those reinforcements.”

“See that you do, our survival, no, the salvation on the world, depends on it General.”

“Shi Jian Hui out.” The General finished before closing the line.

President Xu held the radio to his ear a moment longer, listening to the flat tone, despair beginning to eat into him.

We should have been more careful...’ He thought to himself desperately. ‘Please God, give us victory...’
Okay, few things. First, you're killing your piece with adverbs. Adverbs are meant to add to the overall dialogue or prose. If they are taking away from that, or being redundant, then they are pointless and slow down your flow, ie:

Alex chuckled quietly to himself as he switched channels on the Comms Device to another member of his team.

If Alex chuckled to himself, then the reader can assume it's quietly, as he is alone, and was already whispering in the first few sentences. Things like that can really hurt your piece, if you're not careful.

Another thing that I started correcting in the first part, then gave up were sentences like this:

“Appreciate the praise, private.” Alex whispered back to him. “Now concentrate on thinning out the incoming, I’ll take care with the rest once they get here, over.”

When the action is directly connected to the dialogue, a comma is needed instead of a period, ie:

"Appreciate the praise, private," Alex whispered back to him...

The only time you do otherwise, is a sentence you wrote that was very correct:

“Will do, sir. Ducuron out.” Alex unplugged the Microphone-Jack from the transmitter and plugged it back into his Comms before collapsing the two long antennae of the Transmitter back down into the heavy black box that housed all the intricate hardware of the heavy device.

See? Alex unplugging the mic from his transmitter is not directly related to his dialogue, so the period is necessary instead.

Also, in the same paragraph above, as well as others, you capitaliz odd words. Transmitter, Microphone Jack, Comms, Mouthpiece, Five, etc. You literally capitalize 'Transmitter' after having it lowercase in the same sentence. I don't think you meant to have any specific signifigance in capitalizing these words, so I'll just say watch out for it in re-editing.

And lastly, ellipses. You're using them way too much, for no apparent reason. As I said in the actualy edit, ellipses is only a way to convey that there was dialogue left unsaid, or a pause between words, ie:

"Jack..." the woman began.

If you find that your ellipses can be replaced just as easily with a period or comma then, it's probably the best way to go. Looking forward to seeing you work out these kinks, hope my critique helps, and look forward to reading it again.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:29 PM
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Right, so, i kinda buggered off over the holiday season but here i am again.

“You hear that Maret?” Alex asked Sara. “Where’ve [don't think where've is a proper contraction. try "where do" or something along those lines] we gotta shoot? Hang on, tell Dube to switch to our channel, over.”

I know "where've" isn't a proper one, but when simulating speech (as i am aware) correct spelling isn't necessary. the character contracted the two words into "where've" and so that is what i wrote.

"Alex made to move before he realized he still had the Long-Range Transmitter unpacked."

Curse you and your American Dictionary!
I write real english.


‘Twenty fucking soldiers, all in one group?” He thought. ‘You have got to be kidding... I don’t even have enough bullets In a clip to take them all down!” [what kind of assault rifle is this? most, in my experience, definitely have more than twenty bullets in a clip, unless it's not full auto]

Barely any technology from before Rapture exists, as such the Assault Rifle is basically a piece of crap, as most 'modern' technology in the story is. Even so, i'm going on the basis that the bad guys have some light body armour. 1 bullet ain't gonna kill 'em.

About the dialogue, i've honestly never been taught that so i guess this is a learning experience for me .

The ellipses (that is the plural, right?), well they've sorta become second-nature to me; a habit i really must break.

Other than that, it was somewhere around 1 or 2am that i wrote this, so, yeah... that's possibly why there are more than a few 'errors'.

Anyway, i think i've got all of them now, so thankyou very much m'good sir.

And uh, what'd you actually think of the whole piece, the errors aside?
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