Thursday, July 17, 2008

#37 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

Title: Revolt
Genre: Science Fiction


All there was to look at was darkness. Maybe a light spot here and there, but overall, everything was nothing to Broghan's eyes.

As she lay there, she listened to a group of five interns gathered around her bed. Cold season must have been approaching. Everyone's voice was slightly pinched and nasally.

"This specimen," said Dr. Grobe, a Clinic scientist, "hasn't walked for a year, and has been blind for fourteen. Go ahead." There were several loud snaps and the bitter scent of latex filled the air; they had put on gloves. "Sarah, you can check her vitals."

"Is she dangerous?" a woman asked.

Dr. Grobe laughed. "No, no; we only keep class two mutants on this level."

"'Class'?" asked a baritone voice.

Broghan winced as two rough fingers punched her vein and she was overwhelmed by the stench of "Sarah's" sweet perfume.

"Yes. We classify each mutant that comes through here based on the danger of their mutation. Nightingale—that's our pet name for this one—is a class two mutant, for the simple fact that her mutation isn't powerful enough to harm anyone."

There was a general murmuring, until another woman spoke up. "The gloves—"

"Are mainly for her safety, correct. Nightingale is what we call a healer. And, until recently, it was believed that she controlled the outflow of healing energy when in skin-to-skin contact with another living being. You see, one of my esteemed colleagues discovered that—"

24 comments:

Yunaleska said...

Yes! Okay, I know what happens next, but this hooks me, there are lots of questions in my mind, I like the writing style - good opener!

Sigyn said...

Very interesting! I'd definately read on for more. I don't quite get what the outflow of healing energy is (and why then she can't heal herself), but I'd assume that would all be explained further in.

Just_Me said...

The lot of you must have submitted at the same time... I know where this goes, I'm biased, I do like the opening and the rest of the chapters I've seen as well.

(hint hint- more chapters?)

dlsmith411 said...

This hooked me. I don't get the outflow of energy part, and why gloves are required for her safety. But I'm sure that's explained. I'd definitely read on.

Anonymous said...

I get a sense that this would work as a graphic novel.

Not hooked, but I think it has some potential.

Merc said...

Hmm, I like the content and situation (I could see this as a comic book) but doesn't exactly grab me right away, so it's a maybe.

Good luck,

~Merc

Lyon said...

I'm hooked, but I really wasn't sure until the third paragraph. I'd lose the first two and start in the middle of the action.

Lori said...

The opening bit confused me, but I definitely got hooked by the end once the doctor and med students started talking. Very interesting set up!

Secret Agent said...

Yes. I think it really cooks in para 3--I wonder if you could open there and recycle the bit about listening to the interns into the "Broghan winced" paragraph, to give us a sense of her awareness level while keeping the pacing taunt.

Alicia said...

Yes, interesting enough for me to read more. I like the idea of Nightingale being a mutant trapped in some sort of institution. The interns around her act like she isn't aware of them, and it's sad seeing how much she does notice and hear. I'm curious to know more.

Inkblot said...

Lovely :)

Except 'had been' in para two ought to be 'be', since you want it to currently be approaching, not to have been approaching in the past and no longer doing so ;):P

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm curious about the MC's world and how it impacts her.

MLF

Beth said...

I've already read this. Would leave feedback, but you know what I think.

Ardyth said...

I'm interested to read more... although I think it could use a little polish on the writing.

Melusine said...

I'm not really hooked yet, although I wouldn't toss it aside without reading a little further to see if it could hook me.

Victorine said...

Yes, I would read on. I was a bit confused about how the MC knew it was Dr. Grobe, a Clinic scientist, who was speaking, if the MC couldn't see, but in reading on I see that the MC is blind and must know the Dr. from previous encounters. Maybe making that more clear would help?

Kat said...

Not at all.

I felt disconnected from the scene and the writing felt generic.
"Several loud slaps..." "There was a general murmuring..."

There's too much passive voice. Use "The stench of 'Sarah's' sweet perfume overwhelmed her," rather that using was. The same is true where you used the passive voice in other sentences. Some sentence restructuring would maybe draw me in, but I wasn't really hooked by the idea that there's something happening but nothing going on.

Katie said...

Maybe...

I like the idea, but probably wanted a strong connection to the MC lying on the table.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks everybody for your advice and your honesty :)

~Author

Ardyth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Duvall said...

I loved this a lot, and it definitely hooked me. 8^) I've been seeing a lot of mutant stories/novel manuscripts lately. Hmmm... Is it because of the Fantastic Four movies, or X-Men? Funny how trends come in waves. But I do like this, mostly because the character interaction is so well-done. When they put on the gloves, don't say "they had put on gloves." It's already obvious what the snap and latex smell mean. Nice job!

fairchild said...

This had a very interesting POV and premise. I like that it's shown from the mutant's perspective and relies on sensory details. It's not really my cup of tea so I, personally, wouldn't read on, but your writing is very good.

tys said...

Almost...

I like the premise, it's an intriguing scenario with a mutant in a hospital bed. Unfortunately I found the use of the doctor and students a bit dry and "proxy-narrator".

I'd like to see something a little more personally from the mc's perspective. How she feels, what she's thinking, what it's like to be a "specimen".

But I'm a hard sell with SF.

Good luck with this.

gypsywitch said...

I'm going with a yes, I'm a sucker for misunderstood mutants.