the things we fear the most have already happened to us

Report article RSS Feed 2006.09.18 - Plot Excerpt

I realize I haven't posted updates in a while, so just to let everyone know that the mod's not dead, I'll release a small portion of the script I'm working on.

Posted by dissonance on Sep 19th, 2008

I realize I haven't posted updates in a while, so just to let everyone know that the mod's not dead, I'll release a small portion of the script I'm working on.
It's from the very beginning of the story, and is still being refined. Critiques and comments are welcomed, as always.
Oh, and yes, parts have been censored.

I was now fully awake.

Overhead, a huge mass of dark, malevolent-looking clouds had congregated, stretching to the horizon in all directions. The bulk of their mass appeared to be situated directly over XXXXXXXXX, to the southwest. The metropolis was being inundated with a nearly constant barrage of lightning strikes, the sound of which was instantaneously noticeable – although not deafening in the least – even from my vantage point of nearly 40 miles away. I wondered why I had not heard the thunder earlier, and why it had a lower, deeper tone than most storms I was used to. “Isn't this what happened in XXX XXXXXX, in the XXXXXX?” I heard a female voice ask.

I remembered then vague bits of the television news from the night before, overheard whilst preparing for bed. The reporter mentioned something, in breaking news fashion, about a large explosion that had torn through some part of southwestern XXX XXXXXX. Neither the reporter nor the XXXXXXXX government had ascertained the source of the explosion – be it an accident at some sort of weapon factory or waste dump, a terrorist attack, or even the opening salvo of a war with XXXXXX or XXXXX – nor had they determined the exact location. All anyone was sure of was that seismometers had registered a massive concussive wave where there was no major fault line, a XXXX XXXXXXX satellite had shown a large plume of smoke in the region, and then – almost immediately, from what I gleamed of the report – a gigantic thunderstorm had either rolled in or materialized over the area singled out by the seismometers. The thunderstorm was so massive, in fact, that most regional terrestrial weather radars could not definitely say where it began and where it ended. Last I had heard, the satellite would be making another orbit to take photographs and other meteorological readings so that rescue workers could plot the shortest, least danger-prone route to ground zero.

“Nobody bombed us,” the familiar voice – my friend, Nils – replied. “I wouldn't have slept through that, and we'd probably all be dead.” A few agreeing murmurs rippled though the crowd, then they fell mostly silent again.

The storm kept up its frantic pace as we continued to watch it relentlessly pound XXXXXXXXX, and showed no signs of stopping. A few in the crowd remarked that if it kept this pace up, it ought to grow tired or run out of energy in time for the morning commute, and this seemed to be the general consensus. Thunderstorms were not a daily or even monthly occurrence, but they were not rare, either, and most here knew how to deal with them. The mood on that rooftop was one of curiosity and vague empathy for those in the city, and few – if any – did more than simply stand or sit and watch.

Less than ten minutes after I arrived on the rooftop – I am not sure of the full duration of the thunderstorm – the lightning and accompanying thunder began to die down. While the intensity and brightness of the lightning strikes did not diminish, their frequency did. At the same time, what looked like faint “pops” of light, as one man called them, began to appear behind or above the clouds, visible only as bursts of diffused light within the cloud itself. They came like raindrops at the onset of a storm – first, a single isolated one that the majority of people completely missed, but gradually they became frequent enough so that everyone noticed them.

The mood tensed when these bursts began to slowly radiate outwards from the city, inevitably towards us. One of my fellow roof-mates attempted to call a relative in XXXXXXXXX, but gave up after two or three minutes, returning to the crowd with a worried expression on her face. Having all gathered together again in an even smaller radius than before around the hatch, her malaise could not help but spread through the crowd. “I can't reach anyone,” she said, “I tried three different numbers, and none of them even rang through. I think the storm took out the phone lines.” From across the hatch, a man replied, “can't be, the phone lines are underground.” After a brief pause, speculation began to fly. “Perhaps all the lightning is interfering with the signal itself.” “Whatever powered the cell tower might have been struck.” “Your friend might have unplugged her phone.” Nods and knowing glances were exchanged, and it was agreed upon that whomever had a mobile phone on their person at the time would attempt to replicate the womans' experiment. Minutes later, the results came back: of twelve attempted calls across five different phones, not a single call was connected.

As the bursts of light in the sky steadily grew in number and proximity, more and more faces across that rooftop shared the woman's worried expression. A handful of people left, presumably to return to their beds to wait out the storm in comfort, but the majority of people stayed on the rooftop, most now sitting or crouching down. Fretful glances were exchanged, shrugs could be seen all over, and whispers and mumbles abound. Nils and I hardly said a word, choosing rather to watch and let the assembled crowd speak for us. Gradually, the resolve of those brave souls remaining on the rooftop began to fade, and talk of gathering provisions to last through a long storm, possibly without exterior contact, began. “Hey,” a voice in the crowd said, “it stopped.”

All faces instantaneously gazed upwards. Sure enough, both the bright flashes and the lightning over XXXXXXXXX had ceased, although the clouds remained. People began to get to their feet, dust themselves off, and began to smile again. One gasp, however – one frightened, quick gasp – changed all that. A low hum or rumble began in the ground, and seemed to slowly increase in pitch. Without the need for words, a single finger pointed at the city drew everyone's attention to the advancing wall of pitch black that was closing in on us.

It was then that the power went out.
Post comment Comments
*Don*
*Don* Oct 1 2008, 11:47am says:

lol yea, I like the movie War of the Worlds too.

0 votes     reply to comment
dissonance
dissonance Oct 1 2008, 7:17pm replied:

Oh come now, invasion stores have been around for ages.
And the lightning isn't what you think it is.

+1 vote     reply to comment
*Don*
*Don* Oct 4 2008, 11:15pm says:

I can say I am very pleased to see you are putting the effort into the script. This is an area that gets over looked far too often. PM me, and I can send you some material that might help you in your script format. It helps tie level design and script all in 1, easy to read, design doc.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlexCrafter
AlexCrafter Mar 1 2009, 4:23pm says:

Oh wow, I might be a bit late but this is amazing!

+1 vote     reply to comment
dissonance
dissonance Jul 8 2009, 2:52am replied:

I'm even later replying to the comment, but be prepared for a little more in a bit.
Oh, and thank you.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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