Playing God- - Prelude...


Well, I'm still working on editing for Tooth and Claw, but I've gone ahead and started the prologue on my new story, Playing God.

So, go ahead and read, and, of course, post comments...




Senator Terry Gwen was working late. The Alpha Centaurian
representative shuffled around in the darkness, careful not to stub his toe
on the damned top step as he had done so many times over his last two
terms in office. With a sigh that was clearly audible, Terry worked his
access card into the door and waited impatiently as the system recognized
him and opened the door into his office. “ About time,” he muttered,
retreating into the solitude of the sparse chamber beyond.
He shut the door behind him, loosening the bold, yellow-spotted tie
his son had given him last Father’s Day as he did so. Terry did not know
why he kept the damned thing-- it certainly was an eyesore-- but for some
unknown reason he was compelled to do so. Perhaps it was because of the
fact that his son, although he did not have a good sense of fashion, was the
most precious thing to him in the whole of the galaxy. Little Brian would be
graduating from high school in the spring. Terry grinned. Well, he isn’t so
little anymore, he thought. Seems just like yesterday when I first held him
in my arms after Maddie had given birth to him. As they say, tempus
Time. That was one thing sorely lacking from Terry Gwen’s life. As
the chairman of the Terran Confederation Senate Committee on Robotics,
Genetics, and Stellar Technology, Terry’s little black book, so to speak,
was filled to bursting with constant meetings and appointments...
Honestly, he did not know how he kept his very brain from exploding! But,
somehow, he did, and he kept on striving. Even with nutjobs like Quinn
Fergus on the loose. The Federationist senator from Rigel, after the Black
Lance debacle of five years earlier, seemed to be constantly preaching to
the entire Confederation that serious research in genetic enhancement
programs should be undertaken. Terry had been sickened by that idea--
Tolwyn’s super soldiers had been monsters as far as he was concerned--
and Assembly Master Taggart had agreed with him wholeheartedly.
Terry was perhaps Fergus’ worst enemy in the Senate if not in the
Confederation altogether. The Rigellian senator’s unorthodox beliefs were
scoffed at by Gwen, who, as Chairman of Committee of Robotics, Genetics,
and Stellar Technology, had refused to even look into it at all. Quinn had
after that point taken every opportunity to lash out at him, saying that he
was neglecting the future of Confed, of the entire galaxy. Why Fergus wasn’t
booted out of office was beyond Senator Gwen, but, he figured, the
Confederation constitution did ensure freedom of speech. So Fergus can
spout all that Tolwynist dribble and get away with it. Terry chuckled grimly.
Maybe he’ll eat a bad clam and keel over one day soon.
Terry plodded toward his desk, draping his jacket over the back of
his thickly-padded leather chair. He looked quietly around his office. It was
adorned simply enough-- A holo of President Quinson and him after the
Kilrathi War had ended, his Ph.D.. in Darwinian theory which he had
recieved from Harvard University, and his Golden Gloves, the bronze
dipped boxing gloves given to him after his victory in the lightweight
championships nearly... what was it, Terry thought with a bemused smile,
twenty-five years ago? Gosh, so much has changed since then.
He settled in behind his vast oak desk. Papers were piled high upon
its varnished surface, but Terry managed to locate the bottle of Jack
Daniels which he had been saving for quite some time now. Pulling out a
glass from the cupboard located on the wall to his right, Senator Gwen
poured himself a good, stiff shot. The alcohol went down his throat like
rivulets of fire, but hit his stomach like a ton of bricks. Terry smiled. It was
a good feeling. Warming to that good feeling, he located the music player
and tapped it on. Centuries old Frank Sinatra played.
Terry tapped out the tune to “ Fly Me To The Moon” as he sifted
through the heap of files stacked high on his desk. Work had been a bitch
today, and so, after a dinner with Maddie and Brian, he had returned to the
senate house to get everything done. He doubted he’d even get that far
tonight. He absently checked his watch. 8:52 P.M. “ Geez, I’m looking at a
long night,” he murmured. George Turner of the United Federation of
Robotics had been hounding him all week to peruse his reports on the
development of robotics in carrier launches. Terry, although the military
was not quite his forte, had heard that indeed robotics were being utilized
on the new megacarrier TCS Midway, currently under construction. He
hoped that answer would please Mr. Turner, but after knowing the egghead
for twelve years, he knew that that would not be the case.
Thirty-two minutes later, Terry Gwen was nursing his third glass of
whiskey when he decided to take a break. The music player was belting out
“ One More For My Baby” when the system suddenly cut out, plunging his
office into silence. “ What the...?” he whispered, turning away from his Jack
Daniels to inspect the device. Everything seemed to be all right from the
outside, but sure enough the machine had completely shut down. “ Serves
me right for buying this piece of crap second-hand.”
He decided it was time to get back to work. George Turner would not
wait for much longer; He had the patience of a thumbtack. But with a
sudden *sizzle* the lightbulb popped, bathing the office in Plutonian
darkness. “ Goddamn... What now?” As he had seen with the music player,
the lamp seemed to be perfectly fine on the outside, but just refused to
work. Royally ticked off at this point, Terry stormed up from his seat,
heading for the door to get Gus, the senate house’s maintenance chief. He
stopped short, however, jerking his head back around at a sharp noise. It
was as if something was moving in the shadows.
But how? he wondered, his heart pounding. This place is locked tight
after seven on weekdays, and no one was in here when I checked in shortly
before nine. More scratching noises in the shadows... Terry was fully
convinced that he was not alone now. Without looking back, Gwen felt his
hand lock tight around a smooth metal handle: the poker to the fireplace.
He had never had any use for the tools up to this point. Now he had one.
He tiptoed silently across his office floor, the sharp tip of the poker held
outward, ready to slam into any intruder in the room. Whoever had
infiltrated the office was definitely good if they could past the security
measures with no detection.
Before Terry knew it, he had bumped into the wall, but there was no
sign of the intruder. He lunged toward the phone on his desk, picked it up.
The line was dead, as he had grimly expected. “ Agh!” he grunted, lashing
out with the poker, only to find it slicing through midair. Maybe it had been
his imagination, but he could not deny the fact that all power in his office
had been cut. “ Show yourself, you sick bastard!” He felt tears leaking out
from his eyes. He was that scared.
He screamed again, more sustained this time (surely someone
should have heard him!) and slashed out with the fireplace tool yet again.
Suddenly, something stopped the poker. Terry felt his mouth agape as a
figure emerged from the shadows. The grip on the poker was like iron, and
no matter what he could do Senator Gwen could not pry it loose. The
intruder stepped close to him, and Terry recognized his features. He had
seen this man before, and he was greatly appalled that he was in here now.
“ It’s you,” he whispered hoarsely.
The man smiled, cold and ruthless. Terry suddenly felt great fear
coursing through his veins, as if these next few moments were indeed his
last on the Earth. “ Yes,” the intruder replied, his voice smooth as velvet,
“ it’s me.” And then there was a sudden sharp *crack* that rent the air,
and Terry smelled the ozone stink that a blaster would give off. At first
Gwen did not feel the pain, only a sharp pressure on his abdomen, but
soon all that his senses registered was blinding agony. He stumbled to the
ground, a hand pressed firmly to his gut. Astonished, he looked down, saw
dark liquid running between his fingers. Terry opened his mouth to scream,
but no sound came forth.
Every synapse was ablaze, the torment running through him like
wildfire. He dragged his body across the floor-- he had lost all feeling in his
legs-- and reached up to turn the knob. He hands were too slick, however,
with blood to accomplish the task. Terry crumbled impotently to the
ground, red liquid pooling around him. The pain had vanished now, it
seemed, to be replaced with a strangely detached sensation. His attacker
towered over him now, sadistic glee evident behind his dark eyes. “ My,
my, dear Senator,” he whispered. “ Look what a mess I’ve made. Let me
clean that up.”
The dark man’s blaster went up again, leveled at Terry Gwen’s
forehead. His thoughts went to his son and wife, safe in a Virginia estate
two hours away. What will they do now? he wondered in dread. What will
they do without me?
And then the intruder pulled the trigger.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!

[This message has been edited by Dralthi5 (edited April 12, 2000).]
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Well, it certainly is an interesting start
. You do seem to like violent prologues, non
Not much else to say at this point. I'll let Matrix do the nitpicks first.
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Quarto: Then you'll have a long wait ahead, cause I'll be busy for a while, and then I'll have to catch up with all the older stuff too.
Quarto said:
Well, it certainly is an interesting start
. You do seem to like violent prologues, non

All my stories start out with a nameless Joe buying the farm, but that's just me.

Matrix said:
Then you'll have a long wait ahead...

Not too long I hope.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!
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Dralthi, I see you have some editing to do on this too.

Matrix, I was wondering, could you email me, or give me your email add? i would liek to discuss something.

Support the WCESRP
A wingmen is essential; they give the enemy something else to shoot at.
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Thanks, Silent Warrior. I'll try to start the first chapter before the weekend, but that's doubtful. Between homework and the fact that I'm beginning a new, non-WC story, I won't have a lot of time.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!

I almost had the entire first chapter done, then my computer decided to crap out on me and I lost it all! Two hours of work-- gone! Needless to say, I'm pissed. So... you'll have to wait a bit longer for Playing God: Chapter One.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!
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Just a little advice if you want to listen: When a big lightning storm hits your area, UNPLUG your computer, or it may get fried and you'll be without a computer for two weeks!

Anyway, I'm gonna start up on Playing God again if anyone gives a rat's ass. Soon, I hope. I'll be writing it on MS Word, which I'm getting installed tomorrow.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!
Three things:
I don't have a rat's ass to give, oh there's one in Earthworm's bunk.*Offers the rat to Dralthi*
Surge protector??
You know you can start the story now and convert the document type when you do get Word.

[This message has been edited by Death's Head (edited May 04, 2000).]
Yay! Dralthi5 is gonna use Word! No more weird formatting, no more silly spelling mistakes!
Why, what more could we ask for?
This ought to make life easier for me and Matrix.
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Death's Head: My surge protector did crap. So much for "protection", eh?

Quarto: Okay.
But, I have to tell you, I just realized something about this story: I have no plot! I have some characters (Hawk, Panther, and Pliers from WCIV and Chris Edison from my last story) and some scenes (Noble and an Academy cadet riding camels in the middle of a desert and a car chase) in my mind, but nothing to connect everything together. I'm working on that, though. Hopefully, something will pop up in my mind.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!
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Camels? Car chases? Are you sure this is a WC story?
Still, it should be interesting...
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I spent a little time yesterday developing a plot. I've got some interesting stuff, I think, but nothing real concrete to tie it all together. I'll work on the synopsis a bit more this week, then polish it up and begin.

As for my last story, I had intended to edit it and polish it up, but since a number of the chapters vanished without a trace I figured why bother?

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!
I still haven't read the prologue, but I probably will in a fe days. As to Ch. 1, Take your time. Remeber it's quality not quantity that counts. Plot sounds cool though.

Going down the list...
Silent Warrior: If Dralthi5 wrote like you, it wouldn't be a Dralthi5 original now would it?

Quarto: "This ought to make life easier for me and Matrix." - How could you?

Death's Head: Sure -

BTW, surge protection does squat when it comes to lightning. They all blow up in real lightning tests.
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I'm thinking of putting Playing God on the back burner for the time being. I'd still like to write another WC story, but I'm thinking of something simpler.

If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive action!