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Author Topic: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR  (Read 2066 times)

Bad City Blue

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SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« on: 24 May, 2016, 03:37:31 pm »
Morag Spung, East Smeggers

After banning Dredd from the last comp, here's a Dredd themed one to get your dentures into.

The Apocalypse war remains as one of the greatest epics to grace 2000AD, and if you haven't read it you belong in the cubes.

For the comp, write a 500 word story set at the time of the war. You can used Dredd, citizens or even sovs - just make it entertaining!

Closing will be at the end of June (get working creeps) and there are graphic goodies available as usual.

Don't forget it's the Lawgiver MkIII mini con in Bristol Sat 28th May, and I will see you there.

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #1 on: 25 May, 2016, 04:56:34 pm »
As I was too busy last comp, here's my nice, early entry.

Love Lasts Forever

“Misha!” called Ivan, smiling as he watched his wife running barefoot through the field. “Come on - you know I can’t run as fast as you!”
Misha turned around, now running backwards, a big smile on her face as she looked at her husband of just over a year. “Maybe if you exercised once in a while you could keep up with me, I refuse to have a slob for a husband.”
Ivan threw up his hands in exasperation, and Misha slowed to a stop, sitting in a patch of dasies and looking like just about the most perfect woman in the world. Of course, that was exactly what she was so it was okay. He jogged up to her, leaned over and planted a kiss on her forehead.
“Hey!” she snorted in mock indignation. “I have lips, you know!”
Ivan grinned and leaned over a little further as she tilted her head towards him. Their lips met and he was pleased to note that after a year’s marriage there was no dulling of the giddy sensation he got when kissing Misha.
“Yum.” she said when he moved away. “You taste good for a slob.”
“Ha!” he retorted. “You know I’m the best you’ll get, slob or not. Anyway, I can’t help it if the Gods gifted you with speed like the wind. Myself, I am more the cerebral type - you can run fast but I can work out the best direction in which to point you.”
“No matter what direction that is, my love’ smiled Misha, I’ll always return to you.”
“And our baby,” he added, squatting down and laying a hand on her swelling belly.
Once again, their eyes met and they kissed.
“He’s going to be fast, like you.” Ivan said.
“SHE will be intelligent, like you,” Misha replied.
“Maybe a doctor,” he added.
“Maybe a president,” she continued. “Maybe nothing, but she will be ours, and we will love her, yes.”
“Of course,” agreed Ivan. “The future is not yet written, an open book go be explored, an undiscovered country.”
Ivan opened the bad he had been carrying and brought out a bottle wine. Pouring them both a glass he raised his own in salute.
“To Ivan, Misha and the bump - may the three be as happy as the two.”
“To us,” Misha agreed, clinking her glass against his.
Above them, the cloudless sky seemed to shimmer, a low rumble echoing from all around.
“What is it?” Misha asked.
“I don’t know.” Ivan stood and scanned the horizon, seeing nothing out of the ordinary.
Suddenly, a flying tube seemed to appear as if out of nowhere.
“Hey! Misha exclaimed. “Look up there!”
Another tube joined it, and another, and another.
“What are they? She asked Ivan, standing and holding his hand.
“I don’t know,” he said. “But they sure are pretty…”

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #2 on: 26 May, 2016, 09:03:06 pm »
A dream of falling

I dream about falling a lot. Not that unusual, apparently 95% of people regularly dream about falling, or wake suddenly with that jolt like feeling. That's called a myoclonic jerk, I read it in a textbook. You might not think Judges get time for reading but we have at least an hour a day of personal time depending on our duty roster.

Most of my sector house use it catching up on sleep, or they eat something more exciting then the nutri-packs the service droids provide. Plus there's gym time and while you're sweating it out on one of the cardios you catch up on the latest judicial updates, or review crime reports for your beat. And if you keep on top of that stuff the system allows you some personal reading material. I read psychology textbooks, I like them. They help me understand the jerks, both the myoclonic variety and the ones on the street, the perps who keep us so busy the rest of the time.

The academy techs tell us we don't dream in the sleep machines but they're wrong. We dream, the psych books say if you don't then you go crazy and most Judges keep it together better than the average Jack or Jill out there in the blocks. I reckon we all dream in the machines, but most don't remember theirs. I remember mine and I remember falling ... And I hear someone shouting? Calling to me. Weird.

Falling, the wind rushing past, that feeling that you're staying in one place and the ground is rushing towards you, the anticipation of an impact that never seems to come. The psychologists say it's natural human anxiety manifesting in our subconscious minds. The sense that we are on this unknowable rock hurtling through space, that life happens around us while we are trying to decide what to do, a feeling of lack of control ... What are they shouting?

I'm a Judge, I have plenty of control, it's been drummed into me since I was five. Sure there's uncertainty out there but we are the order in the chaos, we know right from wrong, we know what's going on, we make a difference, we do the things that have to be done.

I dream about falling a lot ... Did I say that already? Wind's howling by me now. I must have reached terminal velocity. Terminal?

Maybe this is a dream? It's different to usual. Longer and stranger.

Hypoxia can cause that. Another fact from the textbooks, the hypoxic brain dreams, that's why you get stories about drowning people seeing their life flashing before them. The dying mind fractures.

I still hear someone calling. What's that? "Sou..." South? No, that's not it. What is that word?

My mind is fractured, I've done something, I know I have, I hope it was the right thing. What's that word? I think it's a name.

"Souster!"

I    think    that    might    have    been     me.

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #3 on: 06 June, 2016, 03:48:24 pm »
Come on, creative people - still a few weeks to get a story in

The Legendary Shark

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #4 on: 12 June, 2016, 04:38:09 pm »
  Whoop's Apocalypse.

It's not easy being a gorilla. For a start, bananas are extinct. They were wiped out in the last atomic war. There are feignanas, millions of them, but they taste like plastic and give me the bungs. My keepers fed me counterfruit, imitativeg and pseudonuts. My guts generally ached like a melting drain and my leavings stank of charred dolls' hair. This kind of thing made me quite miserable.

 
At least it did, until a Sov clusterbuster missile blew a hole in the side of Mega City One's Sector Seventeen Vivisectionatorium, where I worked as a janitor. I remember standing there, watching the smoke and dust clear, listening to my bucket skittering away into the gloom and wondering where the end of my mop had gone. It took me a moment to realise that all I had to do was walk through the hole in the wall and I'd be free. So that's just what I did.

 
I spent a very agreeable few days after my escape investigating the taste of Sov judges. The first one I tasted was an accident. He came at me from behind some rubble, shouting something foreign and shooting. I hit him with a lump of rockrete and then, worried about this kind of thing getting me in trouble, tried to stop the bleeding. I never realised how fragile humans were and my attempts at first aid were unsuccessful. His head came off. Then one of his legs. And both his arms. I ate him to hide the evidence and didn't especially like the taste.

 
I ate the second one on purpose. He was some kind of leader, judging by the elaborateness of his helmet, and I scoffed him up so his underlings wouldn't be able to find him and be stuck for orders. Then I ate the underlings in case they got any ideas of their own. I had to vomit a lot to make room for them all and also to keep my figure.

 
As the war progressed, I acquired quite a taste for Sovs. I ate scores of them and some Justice Department judges gave me a badge with “Judge Whoop” stamped on it. I helped them out for a bit but ended up eating them as well, which was embarrassing. By the end of the war, I was eating forty to fifty humans a day – not all of them Sovs.

 
A med judge I ate told me the radiation had vampirised me, or something, turning me from a herbivore into a humeivore. This was all very well while the war was going on but as soon as it ended I found myself in a bit of a bind.

 
So now I live in the Undercity and eat troggies. They taste really nasty. My guts ache again and my leavings smell like rotting munce. I found a mop and bucket to keep myself busy but this place is huge and absolutely filthy. It's not easy being a vampire gorilla.
~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

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Minkyboy

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #5 on: 16 June, 2016, 04:20:55 pm »
I love reading the short story comp and don’t want to see if fold due to lack of interest, so I thought it was only fair to have a stab. It took me ages to find an angle, I’ve never written anything before, but after a few re-reads of Case Files 5 I thought of something. Sorry.  :o

Flashback

“Dredd, you’re late.” Psych Judge Bandura looked up from his screen as the Senior Judge strode into the room. “As usual,” he added under his breath.
 
“Ran into a Futsie out of Batson Block. Some of us have real judging to do,” growled Dredd.

“Yes, well, let’s try and get you back to peak effectiveness, shall we?” Bandura forced a tight smile and gestured to the consulting couch.
 
Ignoring the couch, Dredd pulled a chair into the corner of the room, facing the door.

Ready for the silence, Bandura prompted, “So, it was during the war –”

Dredd exploded. “Drokk it, just give me the damn pills and let me get back to work!”

“As you know, those meds have become less effective as you’ve got older. We can’t increase the dose without starting to weaken your…your drive, aggression, and so on…” Bandura’s sentence tailed off, withering under Dredd’s condemning gaze. He rallied, “It is not unusual as we get older for memories of traumatic experiences to resurface.”

Dredd continued to glower from beneath his helmet.

“Bottom line, Dredd – this is impairing your operational performance. Chief Judge won’t authorise even a minor brain burn. And those damn boots were so tight they were damaging your feet. Talk it out or get suspended from duty. It’s your choice.”

His knuckles white as he gripped the arms of the chair, Dredd’s head dropped.

“It was during the war…” His gravelly voice lowered as he followed his memories back to the darkest of times. “We used the stolen Strato-V to fire the twister into the lower levels of the Sov silo. We had to burn the tunnel 2K within 90 minutes to stand any chance of catching them with their guard down.”

He paused briefly, shaking his head.

“It was hot. Hellish. Hotter than Hestia. The only light was from the lasers reflecting off the fused glass. We took it in shifts, but when we weren’t using the lasers there was nothing to do, nowhere else to look.”

Dredd faltered and took a breath.

“Ocks was the first to strip off. Said he’d rather risk a las-burn than die of heat stroke. The others followed him. She waited a bit longer, but –”

“She?” interrupted Bandura with mock innocence. They had both revisited this memory many times.
 
“Anderson, Drokk you!” shouted Dredd, glaring at Bandura.

He hung his head again and whispered, “Anderson. There was sweat running down her naked back; her hair was brushing her shoulders under her helmet. I couldn’t stop looking. Then she lifted her arms to take her helmet off and…and she heard me. Even with my double zero she heard my thoughts.

“She smiled and half turned towards me, projecting her voice into my head. ‘Sure, Joey-Boy – just for you, I can leave my hat on.’”

The big man, his tale complete, shook with barely suppressed sobs of shame and regret.

Fiddling while Rome burns

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

The Legendary Shark

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #6 on: 16 June, 2016, 04:53:58 pm »
Great stuff, Minky - can't believe you've never written anything before. With writing of that quality, I sure hope you'll be treating us with more in the competitions to come! Zarjaz!
~~~^~~~~~~~

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Echidna

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #7 on: 16 June, 2016, 11:43:57 pm »
Excellent work, Minkyboy!

I have to admit I'm struggling with this one, having used up my best Apocalypse War idea last year. If I manage to cobble something together this month, I'm afraid it's going to be a bottom-of-the-barrel job...

Minkyboy

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #8 on: 17 June, 2016, 06:37:53 pm »
Cheers Sharky & Echidna!

I do a lot of talks, presentations and seminars so I write for them but never any fiction. I'm with you Echidna, it did seem like having a worthwhile idea was the hardest part of the lot. I will try and contribute from now on.

Minky
Fiddling while Rome burns

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

Bad City Blue

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #9 on: 28 June, 2016, 02:52:08 pm »
Last few days...

Hawkmumbler

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #10 on: 29 June, 2016, 02:18:53 pm »
Christ, i've written an entry but it's 700 words! Better see what I can trim...

Hawkmumbler

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #11 on: 29 June, 2016, 04:03:14 pm »
It's still a little bit long, so feel free to disqualify it as an entry, I just wanted to get it out their to scratch a writing itch more than anything else!

Echoes of Fear

Ivankov had long since given up counting the glacial passing of hours. He began to muster up a second wind to try and pry the hatch to the sov battle ship open with his makeshift crowbar, though he had quite how long he had since given up all pretence of being able to separate the crushed mass of steel. Slowly he hoisted himself up and his painful, damp wound, started to weep again, and Ivankov winced with the effort. He can’t remember how he got the wound, his shin probably splintered out of the back of his knee when the battle ship collided mid air with a Mega-City 1 H-Wagon. Ivankov found himself cursing the judges name, aggressively his indignation reverberated around the confines of his metal prison.

He had always been afraid of the Mega-City 1 judges, from an early age he had been told stories of their iron fisted rule of the urban sprawl they where sworn to protect, but instead allowed their fascist regime to rule their actions. He feared them, and over time the dictatorate has taught him to vent that fear into hatred, and hatred into action. When Supreme Judge Bulgarin announced a full scale invasion on that accursed city, Ivankov felt pride in his government, in his people. So here he was, a pilot for one of the greatest battle fleets in the history of mankind. Or at least, he was. Now he was just a poor patriotic fool trying to survive the worst day of his life. The sov judge passengers and the rest of the crew where all dead. As Ivankov pushed desperately at the steel beam, his broken and bruised body screaming from the effort, he heard a sound that turned his blood to ice and his heart stop for a split second, and in that second he remembered. Remembered his fear.

The noise was the unmistakable sound of boots on metal, the sounds echoing and amplifying inside the hollow chambers of the crashed ship, Ivankov screamed in horror before reaching for his hand blaster, the only weapon a pilot was allowed to carry. “Do not enter! I will shoot you, I will shoot any judge that comes near me!” Ivankov screamed up to the low ceiling of crumpled steel beams. He could hear them clearer now, an irregular pattern of foot falls increasing in frequency, maddeningly loud in his ears, teasing him as beads of a cold sweat broke out all across his dirt and blood caked body. He desperately tried to haul himself up but his leg crumpled from underneath him, and Ivankov fell face first into the small space once more, his weapon hurling itself out from his grip and skidding across the floor, he desperately clawed it back in a mad frenzy as the foot steps grew louder and more painful in his head. “DON’T DROKKING COME ANY CLOSER! PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!” the pilot shrieked out one final time, before the air was pierced by the sounds of gun fire, hundreds of rounds echoing in the confines of the small space.

Then silence. Ivankov lay there, his leg a muddy pool of blood, his hand clutching his chest. In that single moment all became clear to him, the judges had never been there to begin with.  In his frenzied, paranoid state he had imagined his own heart beat to be that of boots of metal, and only a single bullet had been fired. His own. It ricocheted in the tight confines of what remained of the cockpit and found it’s point of origin. Ivankov barely had time to reflect on these facts before he lost consciousness.


“So what do you think this ones story was, Maryland?” Said judge Rucker to the leader of the clean up crew he was assigned to. Maryland peered at the body, “Bled out, by the looks of it, that leg looks nasty. Doesn’t explain the bullet wound though…” Maryland pondered, not that he really cared anyway. The two justice department officers shrugged, and hoisted Ivankovs limp body towards a massive pyre, and as they threw his body onto the mass of burning corpses, no one wondered any longer who the mystery pilot was. After all, there was no one back home to remember him anymore.

Heath C Ackley

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #12 on: 29 June, 2016, 09:36:30 pm »
THE GETAWAY

'Hurry!'

Azarov waved frantically from the doorway, his young features flushed with excited impatience. His superior, without breaking his stride, took out his handgun and shot him dead. The youth collapsed to the luxurious carpet. A rosette of blood stained the thick fabric of his uniform.

Polzin walked with purpose from the penthouse to the rooftop. He had left the trillionaire face down in the gold-plated hot tub. Such lurid trappings meant nothing to him. His only concern was what had been stored in the vault. Outside, the city screamed and burned. Kazan had his plans and Polzin had his own. Matveev stood beside the strato-skimmer, supervising the droids. They were loading the last of the precious metals into the hold.

'There's a problem with the weight ratio - '

The slug hit Matveev just above the bridge of his nose. The engineer toppled backward over the side of the block. Slipping into the cockpit, Polzin broadcast his security code. His escape would be unhindered by the patrolling air support. The skimmer roared skyward and away from the besieged city.

On reaching a high orbit, Polzin activated the auto-pilot. It was time to relax. The precautions and false trails he had prepared would keep his desertion secret for months. By the time his superiors discovered his absence, he would be someone else, somewhere else. He found a bottle of illegal alcohol beneath his chair. His eyes marvelled at the glittering stars. Reclining, Polzin stroked the growth of dark hair on his upper lip. The champagne went down too well. His thoughts drifted to the thrills and whores of Banana City.

He awoke with a start. An alarm bleeped. The clock read-out told him that several hours had passed since his escape from Mega - City One. His jaw dropped open at what he saw in the vid-screen. The skimmer had entered a field of floating debris. The auto-pilot guided the skimmer through the mass of broken craft and machinery with ease. The Meg's space defences had been reduced to nothing more than twisted metal and jaded pride. A body - frozen and lifeless - bumped against the window. He consulted the charts. The skimmer was several thousands of miles off-course.

'I did try to wake you Sir.' The auto-pilot mimicked regret. 'We have experienced high levels of orbital obstruction since take-off. I have been forced to alter our course. Unfortunately, due to these diversions and our current weight, it is imperative that we refuel at the next available spaceport.'

'And where is that?'

The skimmer dived down into thick, billowing black clouds. The air conditioning died. Heat, stinking and sickening, seeped into the air. Bright blossoms of nuclear flames illuminated the cockpit viewscreen. Sweat ran down from his brow, over eyes wide in disbelief.

'East Meg One Sir.' The auto-pilot rasped as its circuits melted. 'Please fasten your - '
"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."

Minkyboy

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #13 on: 30 June, 2016, 02:22:34 pm »
Nice Zippo, nice.
Fiddling while Rome burns

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

Heath C Ackley

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Re: SHORT STORY COMP - THE APOCALYPSE WAR
« Reply #14 on: 30 June, 2016, 07:58:48 pm »
Thanks mate. Well done on your entry too; it appears we got another killer scribe to contend with!
"Give a man a mask and he will give you the truth."