Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Secret Agent #30


Luka Maxwell had every intention of leaving home the day he turned seventeen, but he thought it would be in the back of a police shuttle, not a luxury transport. United America had other ideas, however.

He flicked at his IO, engaging the silvery imprint on the side of his temple. After selecting the last of his mother's personal journal files, he hit upload and flipped the load transfer to run in the background while he grabbed the black recyclon duffle bag from his closet. It still carried the stench of his last visit to the gym, a dank combination of month-old sweat and mentholated rub.


After glancing at the door to make sure he'd remembered the lock, he shook out the duffle, trying to waft the stench into the room so he wouldn't smell like the inside of his socks for the next week. It didn't help much.

"Luka! Did you hear me, boy?"

He checked the upload: four minutes, twenty-three seconds. Maybe a little too long, but he couldn't rush. It was all he had left of her.

He wrangled an armful of underwear and t-shirts inside the bag, pushing at the corners as though he might be able to find an extra foot or two of space. The jeans he had on and one other pair would have to be enough until he got where he was going. If he had to run, he didn't want anything weighing him down.


  1. I have no idea what's going on, except that the boy's smelly. Sorry.

  2. I really liked this. Unlike the previous commenter I didn't find this hard to follow, but then I love sci-fi.

    I'm hooked. I want to know why he's leaving, and who's calling him, and I'm intrigued by your world-building!

    The only thing that was a bit confusing was the IO. You say it's an imprint on his temple, which I take to mean external, but then he's selecting files to upload and I'm not sure if this is something he's seeing like a file menu inside his head, and is uploading things into his brain, or if the uploading is something separate from his IO all together. I think if you clarify this with a little more detail, you'll be fine.

  3. I'm not hooked. I am confused. Sorry.

  4. I followed this pretty well. Iget the basic story, he's heading for a new life that was unexpected. I think you might want a few more details to establish us in the world. Is he at home? because the first paragraph made me think he was on the transport. I'm willing to play catch up, though, to follow this and see where it goes. I'd read a bit more.

  5. I was confused by not knowing who was calling his name. He seems to be locked in a room by himself, yet someone's calling to him. He's not looking around to see who it is, so apparently it's not coming as a surprise to him.

    This raises some good questions, and I'm especially interested to see why he might need to run.

    One small thing, and maybe this is just me, but I'd probably have him looking for an extra inch or two of space in his bag rather than an extra foot or two.

  6. I'm a little confused about what's going on. It may help if you give us some indicator as to who is actually saying his name--some thought from the MC maybe?

    Also, some of the sentences had a lot of things going on in them. Maybe if you break up some of the action, it'll help clarify?

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I kind of know what's going on - but if I had a better idea (who's calling him, why he's running away, what happened to his mother) I'd be much more interested. I think you're trying to keep too much back from the reader, and instead of that making it intriguing, it makes it less so.

  8. I'm not hooked yet but I would read on as I like sci fi. I spent a few minutes trying to guess what IO what might stand for. Would it be an idea to use the full term first, and then initials afterwards?

    With regards to whoever is calling him, wouldn't some sort of thought flit through his mind in relation to that person? Irriation, annoyance, fear or whatever.

    the 'foot or two' of space seems too much. I found myself thinking it must be a really big bag.

    I think this would benefit from some editing but I would definitely read on.

  9. The first time through, I thought United America was an airline. The second time, I was thinking the USA had been renamed.

    Perhaps add a reaction after the first "Luka!" to show how he feels about whoever is calling him. My guess is he doesn't like or care about the person, but it would be nice to know.

    And in the end, - until he got where he was going - if he knows where he's going, wouldn't he say - until he got to France (or wherever it was he was going.) Why keep it from the reader? Saying where will build more intrigue. We'll wonder why he's going there.

    I'd give it a few more pages. The story line is interesting and makes me want to read more. The not quite clear writing is what gives me reservations.

  10. Intriguing, but way too much about the smell. In fact, get rid of all the references to the smell - it just drags this scene down.

  11. Partially confused, and I agree that I initially thought of the airline when I read United America. Also, he *planned* to leave in police custody? You'd think he'd take steps to avoid that. The difference between his expectation and reality didn't settle well with me. Sorry, not hooked as it is.

  12. I'd read more because I'm curious about why Luka thought he'd be leaving in a police shuttle. THAT is what got me. Who is this kid who has always expected to leave home ... with the police?!?! What has he done?

    I was disappointed then, that the rest of this ignores the suggestion that Luka is, in someway, a "criminal type." Whoever is yelling at him doesn't seem like a pleasant person, and perhaps there's a bit of delinquency in Luka and in his life, but I don't have enough to go on.

    I was also confused about the order of events. Is he at home packing, WAITING for the vehicle or did it just drop him off? I can't tell whether Luka is coming or going and why?

    With a little more clarity, I'd be hooked utterly.