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Author Topic: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)  (Read 1788 times)

Bad City Blue

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SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« on: 20 September, 2015, 12:48:22 PM »
A lovely idea from last comp's winner Echidna.

Forsooth! What Judge boot through yonder window breaks!

Give me 500 words or less, with a 2000ad story that has the clock wound back 400 years. Could be shakespearean, could be a time travel job - you decide.

The comp will end at the end of the first week in November, so get scrawling.

The best story as voted by boarders will get a 2000AD graphic novel, courtesy of the despotic overlords at Rebellion.

BCB

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #1 on: 22 September, 2015, 10:09:14 AM »
I'll start you off with a little classical gubbins

The Shakespeare Sham


         The two men appeared as if out of nowhere. His first thought was that it must be some sort of magick, or that they were creatures from the faerie world, but the rational part of his mind dismissed these fancies immediately. There was truth in fiction, that may well be, but there was also fancy, especially in his own works.
   He stood from behind his writing desk, offering a bold front he did not feel would stand up to any serious scrutiny.
   “Who are you gentlemen?” he said firmly. “How is it you come to be in my office when no door has been opened?”
   The larger of the two looked at him with a fierce gaze. He was barbaric, wearing fur and carrying a huge weapon of some kind, but his eyes betrayed an intelligence borne of who knew where.
   The smaller man was even stranger, dressed in unusual green and yellow clothes that clung to his toned body, topped off by a helmet that was like none seen on any suit of armour. All this paled, however, beside his eyes… they glowed like Titania on a midsummer night, a fury waiting to become unleashed.
   “We’ve come for you, Willy Shakespeare,” he said in a flat voice, pointing a metal stick in a menacing way. “I have a warrant that authorizes me to take you in, dead or alive, for the massacre on Bova 9.”
   “Please resist,” growled the larger man in a European accent. “It vould make Vulf happy to use der happy stick on a voorm such as you.”

   William Shakespeare (for it was he) slumped back in his seat, confused.
   “I don’t understand your words, sirs,” he said. “My name is William Shakepeare, but none know me as ‘Willy’, and I assure you I have massacred no one, although some harsh critics have accused be of butchering the English language it is true. What, pray tell, is a Bovanine?”
   The smaller man stepped forward and held out a small device in his palm. On the front of it was a reproduction of a portrait that captured his likeness.
   “Is this you, Shakespeare?” he growled.
   “It appears so,” admitted Shakespeare. “What of it?”
   “That’s all I need. Wulf – bag him up”
   The last thing Shakeaspeare saw was the large man smiling and heading towards him with a sack and what appeared to be a sock.


   “Aw sneck… he actually fell for it!” hooted Danny Dire, a Strontium Dog with such a grotesque mutation he often wore a bag on his head. He was watching as Johhny Alpha and his partner walked William Shakespeare through the Doghouse to the cells. Shakespeare appeared to have a sock in his mouth.
   “What a moron!” laughed his friend, Nobby NoNose. “Ain’t he ever heard of Shakespeare? Everyone’s heard of Shakespeare! Jovis… he wasn’t supposed to actually bring him back!”
   “When he finds out we hacked into the doghouse com system and set up a fake warrant on a famous playwright he’s gonna kick our asses from here to Bova 9, or he would if we hadn’t hade that up too!”
   They looked at each other and grinned, then said in unison:
   “Worth it!”


Minkyboy

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #2 on: 22 September, 2015, 10:20:32 AM »
Nice! Making me smile thanks.
Fiddling while Rome burns

"is being made a brain in a jar a lot more comen than I think it is." - Cyberleader2000

Dash Decent

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #3 on: 27 September, 2015, 01:19:58 AM »
Going through Stages


'Hello, Bill?  Bill!  Billy boy, it's me, Sharkey.  Yeah... yeah... how's the missus?  How's that second best bed, eh?

'Now I've been looking at this new material you've come up with and it's good, it's definitely good, but it needs some tweaking.

'This story about Hamlet, the Rogue Prince hunting the Traitorous Uncle.  Yeah, the one with Ophelia Bluegenes in it.  Lots of blood, love it!  But this thing with the disembodied voices of his dead soldier companions.  Yeah, the chip butties.  Sorry, sorry - the bio-chip buddies.  Yes, yes, it's really great but I think you should consolidate them into one character.  Yeah, and make it a ghost.  Yes, a ghost.  Yes, I know, I know, it means losing all the future war, future tech angle but then you could set it somewhere we've all heard of, like, say... Denmark.  It'll need some more dialogue, these guys are a bit terse but I know you could pull it off Billy boy.  Oh, and that bit with Bland and Brass the grave robbers -- make them grave diggers instead.  Yeah, and instead of finding the Major Yorick biochip in a gun, they could just find his skull.  What?  How will we know it's Yorick's skull if it can't talk to us?  Er, well, I'm sure you'll find a way round that.

'Now, moving on swiftly Bill, this other story Nikolai and Juliet.  Sorry, yes, the full title, Nikolai and Juliet and Jena and Lauren and Olesya and Marta and Anna and Sofia and Tamara and Ulyana and Ethel and Inga.  That's what I wanted to say.  There's too many love interests.  It's hard to believe it's the greatest love story ever told when he's seeing all these girls.  Yes, I get that he's got a lot of love to give but I think you could focus on just the love of his life, otherwise the audience gets lost with all these characters and it costs the theatre a fortune in wages.  Yeah.  Also, it's a bit too... Russian.  See what you can do about that.  Never mind the Cossacks.

'Lastly, this Juvie Caesar.  I like how this Caesar geezer gets offed by the Brutal Brutus gang but this avenging angel character who comes in at the end, Praetor Dread.  Great foreshadowing with "Beware the eyes that scorch" and all that, but it's too much of a deus ex machina.  The dude is unstoppable, and the bit with the lie detector really shortens the play.  Take him out and I think you've got something.

'Hey, I heard Chris is working on his new one.  Yeah, Faustus the Warlock.  Don't worry, you're gunna blow him off the stage.  Your ideas are smoking.  Yes, really fantastic but you're just too far ahead of our time.  Put 'em in a notebook and give them to that green skinned mate of yours.  I'm sure he could use them in, oh, I don't know, three hundred and fifty years from now?

'Okay Bill, gotta go now.  There's a bunch of clowns and a juggling act waiting at the door for me to see them and it's almost lunch.

'Catch you later, big guy.'
« Last Edit: 27 September, 2015, 01:22:31 AM by Dash Decent »

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #4 on: 04 October, 2015, 08:08:47 PM »
Blue Ruin

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair"

That's what the three mad women on the blasted Heath said. They foretold that our Thane would take the castle and that the cursed Southerners would fall to his sword. They said he could not be harmed by any man born of woman.

So we raised our standards high and marched on Fife as the Southern Sassenachs fled before us. We came to the citadel and our Lord was impervious, no man could touch him and he stood before the gates until the feeble gatekeeper opened them and we entered without any more resistance from the Souther scum.

We feasted, we drank and we sang. Our Thane sat on his throne and it seemed that the crones' predictions had all come true. But just as flies are sport to wanton boys so are we to the gods of war and a black shadow fell across our victory. The Lord began to stare into dark spaces as if he saw spectres lurking there, and his Lady tore her clothes and walked the battlements late at night.

And then came the terrible dawn when we gazed out though the sulphurous mists and saw something moving in the trees. The malodorous clouds faded in the early light and there was the army of the South coming up the hill and gathering on the heath.

The troopers parted and their champion strode through and stood before us. The painted man, daubed with the blue pigment his clan wear to war. Mad Macduff, the Woad Warrior himself, wearing the helm, shield and sword of his fallen clan brothers. And he bade the Thane come face him in single combat. But still we were not afraid, our Lord Commander strapped on his armour and took his great Claymore in his hand and walked out to defeat the blue rogue.

"Come do your worst," he called. "I fear you not for I cannot be harmed by any man born of any woman."

But the blue man just threw back his head and laughed.

"Then fear me, little Thane, for I am from no woman's womb. My clan brothers and I were birthed in the witches' cauldron from base clay, and eye of newt, and toe of frog."

At that the dark shadow crossed the Thane's face again and we saw his courage falter, but he gathered himself up and raised his sword.

"Well lay on, Macduff, and damned be he who first calls 'Hold!' "

But damned he was, and now so are we. The blue man fought as if possessed. Our Thane's sword bounced off the shield and helm and the painted giant swept his attacks aside and ran him through and through.
 
With our commander dead it was a rout and now our bodies form a feast for crows, the streams run red with our Northern blood, and so foul and fair a day has never been seen before.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #5 on: 06 October, 2015, 03:00:14 PM »
Much Ado About Nuking 
.
Act I. Scene V. Mainframe Bunker.
.
Enter Joe alone.
.
JOE: NO SECURI-BOT WITHSTANDS MY CODE! EVEN NOW THEY COUNT TO INFINITY AT MY COMMAND - PRELUDE TO THE IRON OF MY TASK: DESTROYING THE TYRANNOUS JUDGES' VIRTUAL CITY. A BLOW SMALL YET TELLING. TYRANTS PERISH! I CONNECT MY DAMNSTRAD 66 HACKJACKER TO THE MAINFRAME AND... WAIT! SOMEONE COMES! HIDE ME IN THIS MICROSHAFT 995'S SHADOW...
.
Enter Roo alone through a ceiling vent.
.
ROO: THOUGH I PLANNED MY INGRESS THROUGH STRICT INCREMENTS OVER STRICT MONTHS – THAT WAS EASY. A TRAP? DO JUDGES CROUCH WITHOUT? NO MATTER. THE CLOCK INCHES TO 4 AND THE WARMEGGER™ PROGRAM BEGINS! TO DESTROY IT, ALL I... WAIT! AN OLD-FASHIONED HACKJACKER ALREADY...
.
JOE: OLD FASHIONED? OH, THE CASE! INSIDE BE WONDERS.
.
ROO: WHO LURKS? SHOW YOURSELF, DWEEB!
.
JOE: FROM SHADOW I STEP. A MAN. NO JUDGE, CITY STOOGE OR VILLAIN.
.
ROO: MAN! JUVE AT BEST! BOY!
.
JOE: RUTH LIETTE, JUST 16?
.
ROO: YOU... HAVE A MEDI-CHIP READER - CHILDISH INFRACTION!
.
JOE: NO READER. I FEEL IT SURE AS ASRAGOTH'S BREATH.
.
ROO: ...XENO_SPIRIT? JOE MIO?
.
JOE: "BY STERN'S HAMMER."
.
ROO: IDIOT! WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME?
.
JOE: WE SLAY VIRTUAL DRAGONS, THAT DOES NOT PRONOUNCE US WED. SO WHAT'S TO DO? YOUR PLAN? MINE?
.
ROO: MINE! MY CODE IS PERFECT!
.
JOE: HOW?
.
ROO: HOW TO EXPLAIN PHYSICS TO A SLUG?
.
JOE: SLOWLY?
.
ROO: OH. MY CODE REPLACES WARHEADS IN WARMEGGER™ WITH CANNIBALGORYTHMS. INSTEAD OF NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, WARHEADS DELIVER ROIL-EVOLVING DECOMPILERS, DISSOLVING THE SYSTEM.
.
JOE: LIMITED TO WARMEGGER™ ?
.
ROO: LIMITED? IT WILL WIPE THE ENTIRE PLATFORM, COST THE JUDGES MILLIONS IN LAWSUITS AND MONTHS OF STRIFE! IT IS...
.
JOE: LIMITED. MY CODE ACTIVATES THE WARMEGGER™ APOCALYPSE WARP, PORTING MISSILES INTO THE PRIMARY – CAUSING A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST IN THE VIRTUAL MEGA CITY ONE ALPHA PROGRAM. DAMAGE CASCADES TO THE BUSINESS ACCESS SIM ON VMC1B AND AT LAST TO THE WARMEGGER™ GAME ON VMC1C. ALL THREE PLATFORMS CRIPPLED.
.
ROO: NOT DESTROYED?
.
JOE: NOT DESTROYED? IT WILL CRIPPLE ALL THREE... AHA. I SEE.
.
ROO: MY DECOMPILERS - YOUR WARP.
.
JOE: QUICKLY! THE GAME'S ONLINE IN MINUTES.
.
ROO: DONE. WARHEADS PRIMED.
.
JOE: WARP SUB-ROUTINE ONLINE, FIX HARMONICS, SET FREQUENCY...
.
ROO: IT WORKED! THE PRIMARY REAL-TIME VIRTUAL MC1 PROGRAM IS DISSOLVING!
.
JOE: AND THE REALTIME UPDATER CASCADES EFFECTS TO PLATFORM TWO... PLATFORM THREE... VICTORY!
.
ROO: SIRENS!
.
JOE: FLEE, THEN – OUR OWN WAYS?
.
ROO: BEST CHANCE.
.
JOE: WE WILL MEET AGAIN, I SWEAR!
.
Exit Joe.
.
ROO: CHILD! YET... NO! I FLEE!
.
Exit Roo through a ceiling vent.
.
Enter Dredd.
.
DREDD: CONTROL – DREDD: PERPS FLED.
.
CONTROL: I.D. CONFIRMED – RUTH LIETTE, 16, "DEMOCRACY NOW!" ACTIVIST, JOSEPH MIO, 15, "ANARCHY WHENEVER!" MEMBER.
.
DREDD: CREEPS WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS! FOR I WILL RAIN FULL JUDGEMENT'S WOE – ON ROO LIETTE AND HER JOE MIO!
.
Exit Dredd.
.
Curtain.
.
End of Act I.
.
~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/the_legendary_shark


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RaggedMan

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #6 on: 09 October, 2015, 11:51:14 PM »
Barbs

There was pain, so he was alive. He tries to move but the barbs dig deeper and the tendrils tighten. The thorn bush hangs him ragged across the battlefield. Satan’s bunting.

Far away, the continuing boom of canon and musket. Around him, the rattling of the wounded, dying slow in the dirt.

Then, voices approaching. Half-heard words echoing through the yellow fog. 

A soft voice ‘…it will be a mercy…’

A harsh answer ‘…waste of ammunition… Use the knife…’

A weak cry.

No. Please God no.  Let him not be real. Remain legend, a campfire ghost story. Dear Lord. Let him not be real.

A solitary figure steps out of the fog.

Stripped to the waist, skin dyed with indigo, filthy with gore. Hair hacked to the skull with knife. Teeth black and broken. Eyes poisoned yellow orbs. His forehead daubed with a crude red skull. Red skull on the stock of his carbine.

The Carrion King of the Battlefield. The Wandering Trooper.

Trapped in the briar Daniel Franks is too scared to scream.

‘What have we here Rogue?’ hisses the apparition. Then answers himself in the gentle voice.
‘Musketeer, one of us’.

Franks knew the legend, an elite parliamentarian force betrayed at Adwalton, wildfire raining down on their caravan while they slept, all devoured. Save one.

The apparition touches the painted skulls on his forehead, carbine and knapsack in an obscene parody of a veneration.
‘The ghosts of my dead comrades, I carry them, while I live, they live.’

Then, in the voice of the gun ‘Leave him. He’s worthless.’

‘Wait Gunner. Perhaps he has news of him. The Traitorous General we hunt.
The devil that damned us all. ‘

The lies tear out of Franks in sobs.
‘Yes…yes… the traitor. I’ve seen him. 
Cut me free I will lead you…. I will take you to him.’

‘Don’t trust him Rogue’ hisses gun voice.

But the demon swings his knapsack down, scrabbles at the drawstring.
‘Quartermaster, provide me with blade.’

Franks sobs at the sight of the muscle knife but the demon begins to saw at the branches, whispering ‘They blame me you know, for their deaths, but when we find the traitor, when we find the general they will understand… ‘

A branch gives and Franks splays in the mud, his hand sinks in ooze yards from the butt of his abandoned, empty musket.
‘It’s a trick Rogue’ screams the gun’s voice ‘He reaches for his weapon!’
‘No Gunner! Fire not’! cries the gentle madman scrabbling back to his carbine. Picking it up. ‘Disobey not my orders Gunner‘! He shouts while his fingers tighten on the trigger.

Daniel Franks spasms as the lead ball breaks through him.

‘He was another traitor Rogue. They deserve death.  They all deserve death’ snarls the gun voice.  And the indigo man falls silent, stripping Franks’ body of useful things, stuffing them into his knapsack.

Then the Wandering Trooper, the Traitorous General, alone with his madness walks off into the yellow fog.


Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #7 on: 19 October, 2015, 10:25:37 AM »
Plenty of time for more entries, get your creative helmets on

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #8 on: 26 October, 2015, 05:47:14 PM »
bump

Heath C Ackley

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #9 on: 26 October, 2015, 08:54:25 PM »
STARCROSSED

The headlights picked out the body lying in the sked-way. His heart became a vacuum; an empty, airless space. Caro parked the Lawmaster and rushed over to the prone figure. He tore off his helmet and kneeled beside the woman. It was her.

 'Vee?'

Caro lifted her limp body into her arms. He brushed a strand of purple hair from her closed eyes. A sound - terrible and utterly human - escaped from his lips. Tears came like strangers to his eyes. Anger broke and boiled within him. Her family had known of their love and vowed to extinguish it. He caught sight of the cracked and leaking vial on the plascrete beside her. The truth hit him hard.

He had killed Vee.

Chaos had brought them together. Taking cover from Sov fire inside a synthi-cafe, Caro had found her hiding behind the counter. The building suddenly collapsed on top of them. They spent two days trapped beneath the rubble. Vee and Caro talked in the darkness, keeping each other sane and alive. Later, they secretly met on that very sked-way. He knew then that she would be trouble.

It is forbidden for a Judge to form any sort of relationship with a citizen. Caro had broken this rule every night, beneath the Victor Buono block. Vee had begged him to give up his badge and leave the city with her. He refused, unwilling to surrender the one constant thing in his life; the Law. His stubbornness led to the only person he had ever loved taking her own life. With a gloved hand, Caro picked up the vial. There was just enough.

'Put it down.'

Dark figures stood behind him. Caro recognised the skull insignia. SJS Judge Dharma snatched the vial from him. The others seized Caro and dragged him over to an unmarked pat-wagon.

'I resign.' He shouted. 'I want to turn in my badge.'

Dharma shook her head. It was too late. She disposed of the vial in a nearby rysk-can. It was just a little concoction that reduced the heartbeat to a whisper and mimicked the appearance of death.

'What about the bait?' Mariposa gestured to the girl.

'Leave her.' Dharma punched her security code into Caro's Lawmaster and it roared to life. 'The Wally Squad are deep in an operation to take down the whole Fontella clan. The arrest of any family member would put the entire case in jeopardy. We'll catch up with her later.'

The sound of the engine was nothing more than a distant rumble when Vee finally awoke from her slumber. The drink the vendor had given her had tasted funny. Jacque was late. Sitting down on the kerbside, she decided to wait. The off-world tickets were still snug in her pocket. If it meant spending the rest of her days with the man she loved, then Vee was content to wait just a little longer.


"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."

Jacqusie

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #10 on: 01 November, 2015, 12:06:02 AM »

The comp will end at the end of the first week in November, so get scrawling.

BCB


Just seen this, I have a few more days, which is a relief!

 :thumbsup:

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #11 on: 03 November, 2015, 07:52:46 AM »
Yep, Most likely do the voting thread next Monday

Dash Decent

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #12 on: 03 November, 2015, 11:39:21 AM »
'Vee?'

When I first read this, I kept expecting her first name to be revealed as Henri.

Heath C Ackley

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #13 on: 04 November, 2015, 05:57:12 PM »
 :D
"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."

Modern Panther

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - "1600AD" (Sept/Oct)
« Reply #14 on: 08 November, 2015, 10:51:50 AM »
Brothers of Blood, by William Shakespeare.

Act 3, Scene 1

Enter Dolman, stage left.

To judge, or not to judge,
that is the question.
To live a life pre-written,
born not of mother,
but hewn of purpose.
Birthed of glass,
carved of iron and stone,
and with badge and arms,
to bring justice to the great city.

To stand with brothers,
of ancient order.
Or, to stand alone.
To walk untrodden path,
Unbound by duty or city walls.
Cast free of badge.


I stand in the shadow of a father brother.
He rumbles with purpose,
The city quivers at his word.
Bringing law to the lawless,
Judges creep and spuggs, crocks and juves, norms and muties alike.
Hold the ear of the king, shield cits from harm.
Where now he stands, so one day may I.

Yet I dream of stars.
To stand on the shore,
of boundless ocean.
Of countless worlds and faces,
of life unwritten. 
To soar betwixt stars,
cast free of burden of duty.


To carve a destiny of mine own,
‘neath distance sky.
To judge none, nor to be judged.

Brotherless...free and yet alone.