Wednesday, January 14, 2009

40 SECRET AGENT

TITLE: Violent Purple
GENRE: young adult urban fantasy


The bomb shone with symmetric beauty. Red, white, yellow, and blue wires entwined through the C-4, the shapes almost geometric. Arturo focused on the colored lines. There had to be a pattern. If he snipped the wrong wire, Kansas City would explode. So would he, along with two million other people.

Arturo wiped a trickle of sweat from his brow and took a deep breath. Breathe in with the calm air, out with the stress. He settled the controller more firmly in his real hands. The cyber hands on screen mimicked his movements. His mission was to save humanity, he couldn’t fail.

His fingers flew over the buttons on the game controller. They moved with smooth precision between the hundreds of colored wires on the explosive device.

“I own you, man,” Arturo crowed into the head mic. Excitement filled him. ExCIA had beaten him at Homeland Security everyday for almost a month. It had been one of the most frustration-filled months of his life. At last, he’d get his revenge.

“Heh, you think you do, Junior,” the hollow voice of ExCIA echoed through the headset. “You teenagers think you rule the world, but we old guys still have it going on.”

Arturo had been trying his best to defuse the cyber-bombs ExCIA had created. He had to admit his friend was amazing. He was a real-life ex-agent; one of the few adults he could tolerate for any length of time, even if ExCIA did call him Junior.

"Yeah, right, old--

28 comments:

Sarah Jensen said...

Okay, I really like this. A lot!
I'm thinking real to life at first, and then, it's a video game.
Great job.
I'll buy it when it hits the shelves!

judall said...

Wow- I love it. I got involved immediately with the bomb scenario with instant buy-in on how important defusing the bomb is. The way you moved into it being a game really worked for me. It made me question how much of it was really a game - which seemed to be where you were going with it.

Sarah Erber said...

Great writing = Hooked!

Good luck!

bleeb said...

I am hooked for sure and want to keep reading.

Awesome job!

Aspiring Writer said...

Good writing. Dialogue is nice and snappy.
But somehow it doesn't grab me.
An ex-CIA guy hanging out for a month with a teenager, playing video games? Why? Well, he's training him for something no, doubt, but I want to be convinced this is a fresh spin on the old "teenager in training to save the world."
Maybe it's just me.

Secret Agent 007 said...

You start this off very well indeed - with pace and confidence. But I started to lose you nearer the end; I didn't love your dialogue and got a bit confused about the other guy. My verdict: doesn't quite live up to its very early promise. If I read on, I wonder if my early view would be sustained - that you are great at the narrative, but find character/dialogue more tricky? I wonder.

AC said...

I liked this too. Usually I don't like when the opening scene is somehow not real, but this one was done really well. I liked Arturo's dialogue; maybe ExCIA needs a little work. This was good, though. I'd definitely read on.

Angela said...

Great interplay between the two. I think you made it work really well, but I'm wondering where the story goes from this point.

The writing is quite good and pulled me in.

Jarucia said...

Strong writing. What I like the most is this would appeal to young guys who might normally read beyond video game manuals.

Stands out from the other enteries.

Barb said...

The opening paragraph was great! A bomb and 2 million possible deaths.

But it did falter after that, more on the writing side than the story side, so a little more work could make it as strong and compelling as your opening. It made me think back to Ender's Game -- the short story (which is much better than the novella, IMO)

I'd read more.

beth said...

Hooked!

ElanaJ said...

Oooh, I've read this! It's fantastic. Just as good here and it does compel the reader to read more. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm hooked.

Okay, it's not my kind of story, but you did a great job building suspense from the first sentence.

Good luck!

Karrie said...

I enjoyed the first paragraph then began to lose interest.

Suzanne said...

An urban fantasy with a guy lead. I love it. It's got that snappy urban fantasy beginning too. I was a little confused about ex-CIA, but I'd read on.

Chelle said...

The first sentence drew me in and I liked how I thought it was real life and then found out he was playing a video game. But then you lost me with repeating yourself a bit.

If he snipped the wrong wire, Kansas City would explode. So would he, along with two million other people.

Maybe you might cut the "along with 2 million other people." You have already mentioned blowing up Kansas City.

Then in the next para you use breath and breathe right behind each other. (That's a small nit, I know) but it kicked me out of the story.

Trish said...

I liked this, but I had to read the last three paragraphs a couple of times. It was a little confused with the>> "Heh, you think you do, junior,"

Amber J said...

I actually really liked this which is odd since I'm not normally a fan of much description, especially in the beginning. I enjoyed the twist that he was playing a videogame and competing against someone older him. Really enjoyable and I was hooked!

Anette J Kres said...

I’m on the fence…
Because it’s well written and the real life to game sequence was cool, but there is no hint where this is going. My only guess is that ExCIA is covertly training him and he’ll end up really saving people, kinda like in Ender’s Game. But still, not really hooked… I’d prolly read a bit further to see if anything comes up.

Anonymous said...

A YA for boys? If so it was really cool.

Lori said...

I'm a bit confused--is this a real bomb, or a simulated one for junior agents to learn on? If it's the latter, I'd keep it a secret longer to keep us readers hanging on the edges of our seats. Likewise, I'd also try to identify what the urban fantasy element is right off the bat to let your readers know what genre they're reading.

sally apokedak said...

I loved this. I'm not yet hooked but I would read on. I'm hoping the kid and the old man have to get together in real life to save the real Kansas City.

Suzette Saxton said...

I really loved this! Like judall, I was immediately involved.

John Zeleznik said...

Hooked!

It moved at a nice pace and really got me interested in the story. I'm thinking this might be like that movie "The Last Starfighter."

Sissy said...

Uh - no, not hooked.

I don't read this genre, so maybe that's why I wasn't drawn in. But some of the description bothered me. The symmetric beauty followed by geometric didn't appeal to me. And the reference to his real hands out of the blue like that threw me until I read on.

Bethlene said...

Very clever. I'm hooked. I thought it was real and laughed when it changed to video game. Nice cliffhanger. My only complaint is the first paragraph basically says the same thing twice.

mjb said...

Love the title and the premise. I'm hooked.

danceluvr said...

So this isn't real but a cyber-bomb?

I'm not much into video games and all, so I'm not sure I'd read much further. At least to see what the conflict was perhaps.