Compensation of Spotlight by luckynamegame, Chapter 2, Fantasy

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Compensation of Spotlight by luckynamegame, Chapter 2, Fantasy

Post  luckynamegame on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:31 pm

“Operation Spotlight.”
The voice pulled me out of my sleep like a bucket of cold water. I opened my eyes, turned over quickly, and jumped out of the cot within moments. My stomach dropped down into my knees. They were here.
I stared in disbelief through the iron bars of the front of my cell at three men with long white coats staring back at me.
If there was one thing that anyone hated in this stupid place, it was the scientists that came around randomly to run tests on us. Very painful tests.
“Spotlight?” Sam’s voice through the air duct cut through my mind. “What’s wrong?”
“They’re here,” I called back in a small, scared voice. I knew it was futile to resist them, but dang, I couldn’t help it. These guys were scary as crap and they only meant a lot of pain.
“Oh god,” Sam muttered. “It’s alright, Potli—you’ll be alright.”
“Operation Spotlight.” The men repeated my name again, as if that automatically meant I was going to come forward. I sure wasn’t. They were going to have to bring me out by force—like they usually did. I was as stubborn as a mule until the very end, no matter what.
“Operation Spotlight, if you do not come out immediately, we will bring you out by force.” One of the men sternly told me.
“Then force me!” I spat back at him, glaring daggers at them. If I were a Destroyer, I would’ve set him on fire right then and there. But I wasn’t, and they did force me. The cowardly idiots Cometed me.
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Cometed, if you don’t know what that means, is the act of Cometing with a Comet. A Comet is a long rod that has what looks kind of like a flower on the end of it—that zaps you. And when a Comet zaps you, you’re out for a few hours. When you wake up, it feels like you’ve been slammed into a billion walls by a giant hand, with a killer headache. The stupid scientists have to Comet me every time they want to run tests on me because I will not go quietly.
When I came to, I was looking up at a fluorescent light not too unlike my own. I sat up quickly, and then jumped to my feet.
“Operation Spotlight,” A voice boomed out in the little, box-like room I was standing in. There were no windows and no doors at all, but there was the one light. “You have been selected to undergo a trial, much like the last few times. If you can break your highest score, you will be rewarded.”
Oh crud.
I remembered this—this was what they did to me every time they took me in for some testing. My hand went up to the side of my neck and forehead, and like usual, I felt the little sensors they stuck on me in those spots. Great.
These little tests they did on me were difficult, and extremely painful if I failed. It was practically a race through no man’s land for me—in the dark.
“You may proceed.” The booming voice instructed me. Predictably, one of the once solid looking walls disappeared into the ground, revealing darkness on the other side. If I didn’t move out of the box room within twenty seconds, they shocked me with a less powerful Comet zap thing.
I took a deep breath and plunged into the darkness. My eyes adjusted with my next blink, and I saw the large, familiar room again. There were walls placed every which way and ramps and ladders all over the place—they kept changing the layout just to make it harder for me. I had to get to the other side of the room within ten minutes, or they would zap me again. And if that didn’t sound hard enough, there were actually Comet snipers set up around the room, aimed at me almost all the time. So my goals were as follows: don’t get zapped or Cometed, don’t screw up, and get out of there within ten minutes. My best time had been four minutes and something seconds, and I knew they hoped I would do better this time. I hated them so much.
The whole reason they did this stupid test on me anyway was to see how fast my vision reacted when put up to several tests. Oh, I forgot to mention—there are traps set up around the room at random points, that if I step on them, a flash of light hits my eyes. If I was just a regular human, that probably would hurt like crap, but it was just really, really irritating to me.
All I had to do was make it to the other side in more or less one piece.
Right.
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I took a deep breath as if that would calm me down a little—it didn’t, really, but the thought that it might helped a small bit.
I really do think the scientists just enjoy zapping me. During my little run in the dark, they were probably in a nice comfy room with comfy chairs snacking on chips and zapping me whenever the heck they felt like it.
For a few moments, I surveyed the room with my sight. The pitch black darkness didn’t bother me any, because hello, I can see just fine in the dark. But I was looking for one thing that always helped me out of these stupid games—a ladder. That sounds pretty ridiculous, but a ladder means several things.
One, they can’t zap me if I’m not standing on the ground. Two, there’s no light traps set up on ladders, which is a big plus for me.
Unfortunately, being on a ladder was also a giveaway to the Comet snipers in the giant room, wherever they were.
If I stayed on a rung too long—even to catch my breath, that’s how sadistic they are—they targeted me and Cometed the crap out of me.
And I’m not the most pain-resistant person on the planet. Being Cometed hurts like crap. Even the low setting zaps they hit me with during my tests sting. It’s kind of like being thrown into a wall and being stung by a baby jellyfish at the same time.
And if that hasn’t happened to you, then I can’t really explain it besides emphasizing how freaking bad it hurts.
It took me a few moments to spot one, but there it was—I couldn’t tell what color it was because I can’t see color in the dark (I’m not perfect, alright?) but it was good enough for me. I darted from behind the wall I had been standing beside towards the ladder.
Now, a few trials ago, the scientists figured out how high I can jump. So, them being sadistic and liking to annoy me, they raised the ladders so I have to jump and reach for the ladder. Sometimes I miss, sometimes I don’t. But jumping for a ladder six feet off the ground while being targeted by snipers with soft Comet guns isn’t the ideal situation for me.
Somehow I managed to grab a hold of the ladder, holding onto the rungs with adrenaline-shaking fingers for dear life. I pulled myself up slowly, making it to the top of the ladder. I made sure to look where I was climbing to once I had hit the top of the ladder to make sure I wasn’t going to fall over a wall. Yeah, they’ve done that before.
If you don’t believe they’re jerks by now, that should’ve got you.
Thankfully, there were no drops after the ladder, just a flat surface of a raised plateau amidst the thin labyrinth walls.
Okay, so the scientists were sadistic. But sometimes they must’ve felt some sympathy—or not—towards me, giving me little breaks here and there. They probably did that because it wouldn’t help their tests very much if all they had was an unconscious Cometed mutant girl lying at the bottom of a stupid ladder.
I took the few moments I had on the plateau to look around the room from a higher position. Of course, I’m not dumb enough to stand up on top of everything and be the easiest sniping target ever that even a baby could’ve hit me. I crouched automatically to the hard plateau surface, mapping my course through the maze. With my mind, I drew a white line down the plateau, three fake walls to the right, two ladders up, four walls to the left, a few more ladders up, and then it was too far away for me to see. I might have good night vision, but that doesn’t mean I can zoom in like a camera.
But that would be so awesome if I could.
After a while, believe it or not, you actually get tired of how ‘awesome’ your power is—and you just want someone else’s. Like Sam’s power. That would be cool to have. Can you say perfect prank call ability?
Anyway, to the task at hand.
I tried to prepare myself for my future dash but repeating that it was alright and this was almost over in my head, but even after a while, you don’t get used to danger. It’s a common myth that after a few times of explosions and danger everywhere someone looks, that you just get with it and adrenaline takes over. Well, it doesn’t.
You never really learn to get used to the fact that freaking snipers are trying to blow you off your feet at even given moment. You just—go. Get it over with, and wing it every moment you can. Everything else is covered by human instinct, which I still have, mind you.
But I was worried about light traps because they slowed me down a little and that gave snipers a chance to catch me. I mean, really? A giant flashing light in the middle of pitch black darkness—and all the snipers have to do is aim at the light and shoot. If I hadn’t figured out that’s what they actually do the first couple times I was here, I’d probably be freaked out wondering how they knew where I was.
I blinked a few times and readjusted my short ponytail that sat limp at the nape of my neck before standing up straight and running as fast as I possibly could. I wasn’t sure where the plateau ended, but I hoped that I would know what to do when I came to the end of it.
I didn’t.
And the plateau ended a lot sooner than I imagined.
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You know, being a mutant and all, I wonder a lot about how I’m going to die.
I could die at any moment from say, starvation. Or suffocation of my terrible cot. Or from some freak heart attack. It wouldn’t be like anyone would miss me—well, Sam would. But I wasn’t sure if that was just because he wouldn’t have anyone to talk to if he got bored or if we were actually such good friends as I hoped.
Or I could die from one of the scientist’s tests—I mean, they could ‘accidentally’ Comet me to death, or I could fall off something and like, snap my neck. That would be scary.
I’ve never actually broken a bone before, but the thought completely freaks me out. I mean, broken things inside of me? Those are the things that are supposed to hold me up and separate me genetically from the gelatin crap they serve us every day! No way am I breaking one of my bones.
I’ve heard of Manipulators that are able to actively control their bone movement and stuff like that—that’s pretty crazy.
Oh, I forgot to give the categories. Why not, while I’m still at a cliffhanger talking about breaking bones? Yeesh.
There’s four types of Unknowns that the scientists classify us as. I guess it’s because there’s so many of us and our abilities that they have to classify us or they’ll never keep up. The categories are Manipulators, Creators, Destroyers, and Defyers.
Manipulators—like me and Sam—can control ourselves and elements about us, either actively or passively. For instance, like Sam’s vocal cords. He can manipulate them to sound like anyone in the world. That’s actively Manipulating. My ability is passively Manipulating because I don’t control seeing in the dark and being light-resistant. It just happens. There’s some pretty crazy abilities for Manipulators, though. Like being able to fold your bones to make yourself smaller. Unknowns call those with that ability Bone Weavers. Or, just because you’re probably curious what else we awesome people can do, a power like Snakethorn’s. Her power is pretty cool; she can tell anyone’s future just by hearing their voice. Tell me that isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever heard. Her sister, Smokeskin, can tell someone’s past by hearing their voice too. I can only imagine what kind of terrible tests they run on those two girls.
Creators are another kind of Unknown that is usually looked over. They can make stuff practically out of thin air, like rock shields or flowers pop out of their sleeves. Magicians, the real ones, are Unknown Creators that just haven’t been caught yet. Pretty crazy, huh?
Destroyers are a scary kind of Unknowns. The most dangerous classes are Destroyers and Defyers. Destroyers are the Unknown that can control like, fire and ice and stuff like that. They can literally breathe fire or shock you with lightning. I’ve only heard rumors about it, but I hear that they’re holed up deeper in Sector Foxtrot in big cells made of super thick metal so they can’t break out. I can only imagine how pissed off the Destroyers are.
The Defyers are pretty cool, because they do just what their name says—they defy. They can defy gravity—fly, I mean—or control things around them. Telekinesis, in other words. They, like the Destroyers, also have to be put in super big cells for fear that they’ll break out. And believe me, they want out. We all want out.
And when we get out, it’s not going to be a pretty sight.

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Re: Compensation of Spotlight by luckynamegame, Chapter 2, Fantasy

Post  Firebrand on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:41 am

Not a bad chapter, overall. However, the actual substance was rather lacking. Too much of it, I felt, was you trying to infodump. Don't get too down, we all have to do it at some point. However, it seemed like far too much of this chapter was you as the author trying to get this information out there, without much rhyme or reason. Forgive me if I think there could have been a more seamless way to do it...

Also, you used "crap" a lot this chapter. While not technically profanity, I'd be careful about it. Coarse language, especially when used from a first person POV, can make the reader distance themselves from a character they should be sympathizing and relating with.

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