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Chapter 1 Mars-127
March 28, 2014
9:45 pm
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The snowflakes slowly settle on the hard, dark clay forming a thin layer of snow on the frozen ground. Even through the triple glazing of the classroom’s windows I can feel their coldness. Yet just beyond on the ground, casting a shadow over the snow is a 12ft high security fence with 20,000 volts running through it.

“Enough to kill even you, Mars” says Dr Stark “But let’s focus on ********* please”

“Sorry sir but I have already proved the formula,”

“That maybe the case but I have plenty more here that you could prove,” He walks over and hands me another sheet full of maths question.

“Can’t we do something else today?” I blurt out. Where on Earth did that come from? I know that I’ve crossed the line so I start the worksheet.

“Something else? Like what, Mars?” His tone of voice is light, slightly high pitched. I don’t think that he’s angry.

“Um, something that might help in the real world when I graduate,” I don’t dare to look up. My outburst surprises me. I definitely took my red pill this morning so this shouldn’t be happening.

“If you graduate that is,” Again his voice is light and soft. That’s unlike Dr Stark “Which you won’t if you don’t finish your studies.”

“But I’ve done all the questions you’ve set me, sir,” I hold up the worksheet, fully completed.

“Fine. What do you want to learn about then Mars?” He takes the sheet from me. “What real world issue is plaguing your mind?” I wipe my palms on my trousers. This can’t be good. Dr Stark pulls his chair back and sits down.

I realise that I hadn’t thought of something to talk about. I didn’t think that Stark would ever ask. The real world is something that I know very little about. The history and geography I know but not current affairs.

“The war” I blurt out.

“What war?” His voice leaps even higher. I have caught Dr Stark off guard. “There’s no war at the moment, the world has been at peace for the last twelve years. Anything else?”

“You know what I am talking about, sir.” Dr Stark’s face tenses. “You may try to hide me from the world outside but you made a mistake. When I met the intelligence minister last month he left his paper in the cafeteria; I managed to get a look before someone threw it away. There will be war.” Dr Stark looks out of the window. “You know that. The whole world knows that. And now I know that.” I lean back in my chair and take deep breaths. Something is wrong with me today.

Stark turns back to face me and grins. “Yes indeed there will be war, Mars. The four great powers of this world will once again collide for the third time, only this time China and India will be involved. Now of course, other countries, E.T.E.S, most of Europe, Canada will be involved but they have smaller armies,” Stark stands up. He starts to pace in front of the white board. “France, Germany and the United States on one side, China and India on the other. And us, the British sat in the middle.”

“Which side will we choose? The subject interests me, I need to gain a better knowledge of the world outside the lab.

“It is not a matter of choice for us but it is a matter of money. Britain is no longer Great Britain” Stark appears to be happy. His bright yellow eyes are darkening. He runs his hand through his ginger hair and the sweat leaves it sticking up. There’s a glimmer of a smile. Almost a smile. A small smirk stretches across his face for only a fraction of a second before it returns to his normal scowl but I notice. I notice everything. “Even we have stopped calling ourselves Great Britain, albeit a few blind patriots,” Stark continues. “We are poor, like most of the world. Our history is the only thing that saves us but even that is starting to fail us. The economy is plummeting, unemployment soars. We shall soon, unfortunately, fall into a situation like Russia did. Even know there are rumours of uprisings.”

“Russia?”

“Well Brutalia as you know it. However, it is obvious who will win. No one can defeat the force of 4 billion people from two of the world’s most powerful countries. I am afraid that it will not be the end though. India and China may win but people are hungry even more hungry than countries in the other world wars. They will fight between themselves and the world will live to regret it.”

“Hungry for what?”

“I am afraid that we must leave this subject for now however interesting it is. Let’s continue with ******* if you are ready” But I’m not ready to let the subject drop so quickly. I’m curios, eager to expand my knowledge. I can sense that Stark loves the subject.

“One last question, please, sir.” Stark was obviously losing patience. I don’t wait for Stark’s reply. “What do you think Spencer James will do?” Stark twitches, his face flushing red.   “You voted for him, didn’t you?” I’ve gone too far, my emotions are running haywire through my body.

“Yes, yes I did vote him.” Stark turns and stares back out the window. “I believed, like many others, that he would bring this country back to the forefront of this world.” There’s a pause. He is watching the snowflakes float downwards. “And he was going the correct way about it. Investing in weapons, biological weapons and reopening trade routes. He had the people’s support. Well most of it anyway. There are a few, like my wife, that disagree.” Stark’s voice has changed. It’s no longer light and soft, his mood has changed. Anger? “They are blinded by their patriotism for Great Britain, not seeing the pathetic dying nation that we have become.” I’ve never head Dr Stark talk about his personal life before, not that I have ever asked.

“He’ll want me to work with him, won’t he? Spencer James.”

“Yes…yes he does want you,” Stark’s voice has gone very quiet as if he was talking to himself. “But he has to bid high, I expect...” Stark stops himself in mid sentence and turns suddenly to me, his face has turned a ghostly white.

“Out,” He whispers. “Out. Out now.” He’s regaining his composure and his face is going purple. “OUT!” He roars breathing in huge gasps of air. “OUT!” Dr Stark moves away from his desk towards my desk. He’s angry, that’s easy enough to tell. Angrier than I have ever seen him before. I grab my books, shoving them into my bag. My chair screeches but he’s onto me. I pulled into the air by the hood of my lightweight jacket. Stark spins me around and pulls me closer until I’m a couple of inches from Stark’s purple face.

“No one needs to know, no one, understand?” Little flecks of spit land on my face. The intensity of the outburst is bewildering to me. If the rumours about Stark’s previous job were true then it could turn physical. I would win the fight though.

“But…”

“NO ONE!” Cries Stark. He manhandles me over to the door, wrenching it open. I’m dangling in the air halfway into the corridor. Several startled guards and scientists watch from the side lines. Not even the guards want to approach Stark at this moment in time and they all carry guns. “No one needs to know,” He says, his voice calm but forced. He drops me without warning. I crash into a heap on the ground but quickly roll away and back to my feet.

“Ok, I won't tell...”

CRACK!!!

I stumble backwards, hitting the opposite wall. He’s standing over me with spit dripping from his mouth.

“Sebastian what on Earth are you doing?” Rings out a commanding female’s voice from down the corridor. Julia Sanders was marching down the corridor towards us. Julia Sanders is the Chief Executive and founder of the company and in charge of all operations inside the complex. She has long brown hair tied up in a ponytail and similarly brown eyes. She’s tall and athletic. She runs the company with an iron grip and is tough in her punishment. Stark looks up. The only person that Stark will listen to is Julia Sanders.

“Not a word 127,” He says. Quickly he spins around and back into the classroom. The door slams shut. Julia Sanders marches over.

“Sebastian open the door now!” She demands but to no avail. The door doesn’t budge. “Get up, Mars” She snaps. Normally she is nice to me but she has lost her patience. “Go clean yourself up”. I hadn’t noticed that I am bleeding. There is a small cut across my right cheek face from where Stark’s wedding ring hit me. I get up and walk off. Julia Sanders is still trying to get into the classroom but it seems that Dr Stark has locked himself in permanently for the time being.

I trod up the stairs, open the door to my room and walk straight into the bathroom. I’m in a right state. Stark is strong with the slap catching me by surprise. I observe myself in the mirror. The cut is oozing blood at a slow but steady rate and it’s running down my face and neck although I can see that it is clotting already. It has ruined my shirt though.  I take off my jacket, throw it to one side and pull off my shirt. Cold water soaks into it and mop myself up. I dry myself with my brown towel and stare at the top half of my body in the mirror. I have dark rusty hair that’s short but stuck up slightly ending in a point. I have deep red eyes similar the surface of Mars the planet. That’s where I presume that I get my name from. The rest of my body is muscular but not excessively. I probably have smaller muscles than Dr Stark but I’m much stronger than him. Much faster and fitter as well. I can run at over twice the speed of the next fastest man. All because I am genetically engineered Super Human. The only Super Human in existence. 

     In 2044, Harvard university student Graham Screen wrote a paper suggesting the potential possibility of the creation of a Super Human. Human cloning had already been happening since 2034. A race began to create the world’s first Super Human. But however much companies spent and scientists worked, no one could even come close to creating one. Yet, in 2057, Dr Julia Sanders and her team succeeded and I was born. I was born a baby, yet my growth was sped up until I was fourteen years old. However, I was mentally the same as a baby. That changed quickly and I’m now the smartest, strongest person on the planet.

 

I’m now 22 months old as I walk over to my cupboard. My room is large and comfortable. It is the only place that I can relax. There are no cameras in the room, not anymore at least because I had found them and disabled at just ten months old. I kept doing it until, eventually, they gave up. The room is basic. A desk, a chair at one end with a bin to the side. At the other end is a large bed, simplistic in its appearance but can change position to suit my needs at the click of a button. Next to the bed is a large cupboard in which I store all my items, mainly school work, books and clothes. All the furniture is bolted to the floor. Between the bed and the desk is a large window which looks out onto a small section of the laboratory and a large forest. I’ve always wanted to go and explore the forest but I have never been outside the perimeter of the complex, I’m not allowed.

     I open my cupboard. Inside it is almost as basic as my room. There are just three shelves and a rail across the top. On the bottom shelf is a spare pair of green lightweight hiking shoes, exactly the same as the ones I am wearing, a pair of high quality trainers and some black heavy duty combat boots. I only wear those when special guests visit the complex. On the second shelf are several sets of clothes. They range from fleeces to vests to socks but they are all made to withstand my extraordinary abilities. On the top shelf there are school books and a few fiction and non-fiction books. The book at the top of the pile is the Theory of Evolution, by Charles Darwin. There is nothing hanging on the rail. I grab the pair of trainers and a set of running shorts and top and quickly get changed.

The sports centre is one of the few places I am allowed to freely visit on the complex. The rest is mostly out of bounds but I know some of what happens in there. The small building at the front is an admin building with a conference room on top. I have been up there just once. At the back of the complex are the kitchens and next to it is the Cafeteria. Behind the admin centre and in front to the left of the kitchens is the main building. On the ground floor is the Laboratory, Medical centre and offices. I’m not allowed in the majority of the ground floor. My classrooms are on the second floor and my bedroom on the third. The only thing I know about the laboratory on the ground floor is that every Thursday a huge jet of steam bursts from the vent in the centre of the building. It’s incredibly noisy and lasts one hour, exactly. Today is a Monday. Across the road and opposite the Admin centre is the Sports centre and Swimming pool. I am exceptional swimmer and go there often in the evenings. Separated away from the older main buildings towards the back of the complex is a newer, smaller building. It stands on top of the old running track. It had been built just two months earlier and was opened a fortnight ago. The building is a mystery to me but lots of researchers have moved their equipment over to the building. Maybe it’s a new laboratory.   

I jog across the road to the Sports Centre. It is a freezing cold day. I hope we are not training outside. Today, January 14th, is -10 degrees and that doesn’t include the wind chill factor. There’s a strong breeze. Warmth washes over me as I step into the complex. The place is partly government funded so it never runs out of power unlike a lot of the country. I quickly jump up the stairs, five at a time until I reach the third floor. The whole floor is one room except for a small changing room and shower. I never use it as I change in my room.

“What time do you call this then?” demands Lottie Harper, one of my personal trainers. I like Lottie, she allows me to call her by her first name unlike Mr. Black, my other personal trainer. I don’t even know Mr. Black’s first name, except that it began with C. Lottie Harper is a slim but strong and a brunette. She trains me in the aspects of agility, balance, coordination and skill. Mr Black trains me in strength, stamina and combat.  Today we are training me reflexes and reactions. This involves a cricket bowling machine being placed 10metres away from me and firing solid balls at me at 150mph. Normally, I dodge them but today I am catching them.

“Even though your skin is stronger than mine you still have to wear these gloves to stop them taking to skin off your palms.” Lottie hands me a set of black gloves. The gloves have lots of carefully arranged bumps and grooves for the best grip but are soft on the inside. “Right Mars, go on the running machine to warm up first,” Lottie instructs “We are going to start off slow at 110mph but I would hope that we can reach 150 by the end of the lesson.” Each lesson was 90 minutes long. It started with a 15 minutes warm up followed by 60 minutes of solid exercise. It then finished off with a 15 minute cool down.

“146!” cries Lottie Harper as she lowers the next ball into the whirring machine. One second later the ball shoots out of the end, hurtling 2 metres to my left. An impossible catch for any normal person to take but I take it with relative ease. I dive to my left, catch the ball and roll across the floor ending up in a crouch. I don’t pause to congratulate myself but instead I leap 3 metres into the air to catch the next ball in my right hand.

“Very nice Mars, very nice,” grins Lottie “No need to show off though.” She steps down off the chair behind the bowling machine and walks over. “I remember when you were just three weeks old and you caught your first ball.” She recalls as she collects the bucket that I have put the caught balls in. I remember that day perfectly as well. It is one of my first memories.

“You would win every gold medal at the Olympics,” Lottie continues “But you weren't...umm...design...er...you can't enter...,” She quickly trails off. I stare at her. Her sentence doesn’t make sense.

“Designed? I was designed for something? I thought that I do be whatever I wanted after I graduated.”

“Um…yeah…you can be,” Lottie stumbles “Anything u want.” Her cheeks flush red.

She’s not telling me something. “That’s not what you said. You said that I was designed for something, what is that something?” I demand, my voice rising slightly.

“Nothing,”

“Why was I designed, Lottie?”

“Um…I don’t know”

“Yes you do. You almost told me less than a minute ago. Tell me,” My voice rises again.

My body shakes slightly as anger fills me. My stabiliser pills aren’t working.

“No…design. No, purpose.”

“What is my purpose?” My voice fills the room. I know that she knows but her insistence on not knowing has enraged me. Time for a different approach. I walk over to her, she has turned away from me. “What is my purpose, Lottie?” Quieter but full of force. Lottie doesn’t move. I take hold of her shoulders and turned her around.

“Don’t touch me,” She mutters. Her face is streaked with tears. Lines of smudged mascara run down her face.

“I’m sorry I shouted,” Lottie doesn’t respond. “I just wanted to know that’s all. Why was I designed? What purpose am I meant to fill?”

“I…I can’t te…tell you,” She sobs into her hands.

“Why not?” I put my hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t touch me,” I take a step back.

“Please Lottie. It’s important.”

“No. Lesson’s over. Go away Mars,” She turns around and strides towards the store cupboard.

“I’m sorry, Lottie. Can we forget about this and carry on?” I reach out to stop her.

“Don’t tough me you, you freak, you monster!” Lottie screams as she charges out of the room, crying. I stand there with my arm outstretched, dumbstruck. I’ve never seen someone react like that before. It is a whole new social situation for me, and I don’t know what to do next.

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
March 28, 2014
9:53 pm
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This is the first draft of the first chapter of my story.

The ***** parts at the beginning are to be filled with some complex mathematical equation/theory that I am yet to research.

You guys are the first people that I have shared this with and so I would like some heavy critique and honest opinions on this if you have the time. This book will take a lot of my time and I need to know if any of it is any good so that I can keep working on it with the aim of one day getting it published. 

If I am going off the beaten track and writing garbage then I need to know so that I can go back to the drawing board and rethink how I write it.

One thing I have no experience at is how to edit a large piece so any advice would be great.

Many thanks,

Jam

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
March 29, 2014
2:59 pm
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@Jamboree I don't have time right at the moment, but I do promise to come back to it soon and give you some constructive feedback... @tlhopkinson reminder to come do just that!

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
April 14, 2014
10:29 am
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Just bumping this.

 

Any comment (not matter how small) would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry to pester,

Jam

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
April 14, 2014
2:32 pm
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Jamboree love the style, little tweeking here and there and maybe a little bit more clearer on surroundings, atmosphere that sort of thing, thought Stark was quite a scary man, well interpreted he reminds me of a teacher I had at school where they could manhandle you back then,many a time got a clip round the earlogs for being cheeky haha

But enjoyed  welldone smile

April 14, 2014
5:48 pm
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@craigb12  When you say surroundings do you mean setting the scene? Describing the classroom and place more/better?

 

Thanks for the help! laughlaugh

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
April 14, 2014
6:20 pm
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I do my friend, we all do it, I do it too so don't worry to much, but an outlay of feeling will help the reader.

I do it to when I got emotions going on about a certain dialogue or mood I forget the scene sometimes

but I did like what you was bringing to me just sometimes got little confused in situations even tho I knew what you was building here.

mr stark is a great character here strong and unpredictable has mars sort of knows this but at same time is pushing him to his own limits.

April 14, 2014
6:43 pm
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Thanks for the help. I'll edit it again with this in mind and post it back up here sometime over the next week or so.

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
April 15, 2014
5:36 pm
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i love where your going with this really ,i think you may be on to something here ive seen alot of movies about kids with wizardry and game of thrones but not like this keep at it its different matey !

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Jamboree
April 15, 2014
6:54 pm
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Don't worry, I don't intend to give up on this at all.

Not sure whether I am on to something, I'd just be thrilled to have it published. Thanks for the help though.

 

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton
May 6, 2014
6:02 pm
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u are if u think about it watch the film westworld ur taking this to another level if u really think it out Jamboree said
Don't worry, I don't intend to give up on this at all.

Not sure whether I am on to something, I'd just be thrilled to have it published. Thanks for the help though.

 

 

May 10, 2014
12:43 pm
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Ok I'll watch it. Hopefully it will add some ideas to the book.

'Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... Michael Crichton

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