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Technical visions part one (prose version) 
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This is the first part of a short story I'm writing and intend to make into a graphic novel one day. (It should be much longer and more detailed than this prose version.) Anyway, I hope you like it.

Technical Visions in prose

By Ben “ratperson665” Johnson

Part 1:

On a hot New Jersey summer day in 1999, Max Andrews sat on the roll-out sofa-bed in his insufferably small two-room apartment. His life had been an absolute wreck for three months. He’d lost his job, he’d lost his girlfriend (who he’d been dating since middle school), he was barely making the rent for his apartment, and worst of all, the “V-hacker” project he and his friend Joe McLeod were working on was coming along at the pace of a paraplegic turtle.

Max had lost his job because the company he worked at had discovered he had been diverting security information using homemade programs, and then covering his tracks with rootkits. Max had been doing this so he and Joe could build the necessary code to create the “Virtual Hacker” program, a program that did everything a hacker could do only better.

All the user had to do was insert the disk containing the program into a computer’s floppy drive, select the actions they wanted it to perform with a few clicks of the mouse, and the program did the rest.

Max’s apartment was composed of the room he was sitting in right now, which had a sofa-bed, a computer, a small gas stove, a bunch of Atari 2600 games scattered about on the floor, a telephone, a black and white TV from the ‘50s and an equally out-dated radio from that same time period. The other room was a bathroom that had a sink with a leaky faucet, a medicine cabinet, a rusty toilet and a dirty, beat up out-of-date shower. Not exactly a Newport mansion, but it was all he had.

Then out of the blue, his telephone began to ring. He picked up the receiver. “Yes?”

“Hey Max, it’s Joe, I hope I haven’t interrupted anything”

“Not at all Joe.” Max replied, “What’s up?”

“Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement.

“Well, what is it?” said Max. “Tell me!”

“Can’t tell you over the phone,” replied Joe. “Get over to my apartment – now!”

“Jeez!” said Max, “This better be good!”

Max immediately put his coat on and hurried over to Joe’s. There he found him sitting at his computer with a stunned look on his face. Max walked over to Joe’s computer, pulled up a chair and sat down.

“Well, what’s this amazing thing you wanted to show me?” asked Max,

“This!” said Joe, He pressed a sequence of numbers and letters in rapid succession on the keyboard and suddenly the screen became flooded with an incredible code that instantly struck a chord with Max.

“Well?” said Joe “Is this code grade-A or what?”

“Are you kidding me?!” said Max, “This is the most complex code I’ve ever seen!”

After several vain attempts at reading the code on both their parts, Joe turned off his computer and explained that he intended to crack the code and use it to complete the “virtual-hacker” project.

“That’s ridiculous!” said Max after Joe had finished his explanation. “A code like this couldn’t be cracked by anyone!”

“That’s what they want you to think!” Joe retorted,

And before Max could say anything Joe typed in CRACK and the code became a spinning world of ones and zeros. Max felt that somehow this code was a human being crying out to the world to end the swirling mathematical agony that this endless sea of computer networks had suddenly borne it into.

Then he heard a voice. It was a deeply conflicted and tortured voice that had once felt all the happiness, pain, love, regret and wonder that was humanity.

“You’re just a ghost in the sea of information aren’t you, Max?” said the voice. Max could not remember having heard these words before, and yet they felt extremely familiar to him. Suddenly, he felt as if he’d been sucked into a whirlpool of intense color, which spun faster and faster until his own world and his place in it vanished before his eyes. Then, Joe’s voice cut through the insanity and jerked him back to reality as quickly as he had left it.

“Jesus Christ!” yelled Joe. “My computer just shut down on me! DAMN! I wish I’d got a more powerful system.”

“I don’t think it was the system,” Max muttered under his breath,

“I don’t think that code wanted to be cracked.”

“What was that?” asked Joe,

“Nothing.” said Max, “I better get on home. I don’t feel so good.”

“Okay.” said Joe, glowering at his computer, “See ya later.”

After Max got back to his apartment, he locked the door behind him, and stretched out on his sofa-bed. Suddenly, it hit him. The words the voice had spoken had been said to him before, when he was just thirteen years old.




To be continued…

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Last edited by ratperson665 on Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:22 pm
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Hey Ben, this is a great beginning to a cool story.

If I may, I would like to offer up a few suggestion though, to help you tighten it up a bit.

First, separate your dialogue out so that it's easier to read. For example, this:

Then out of the blue, his telephone began to ring. He picked up the receiver. “Yes?” “That you, Max?” asked a male voice, “Yeah. It’s me, Joe.” Max replied, “What’s up?” “Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement. “Well, what is it?” said Max. “Tell me!”
“Can’t tell you over the phone,” replied Joe. “Get over to my apartment – now!”
“Jeez!” said Max, “This better be good!”


would look better as, this:

Then out of the blue, his telephone began to ring. He picked up the receiver. “Yes?”

“That you, Max?” asked a male voice.

“Yeah. It’s me, Joe.” Max replied, “What’s up?”

“Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement.

“Well, what is it?” said Max. “Tell me!”

“Can’t tell you over the phone,” replied Joe. “Get over to my apartment – now!”

“Jeez!” said Max, “This better be good!”



Second, you have some pretty good dialogue, but instead of Joe asking who it is (after all, Joe called Max and it's likely Max is the only one who answers his phone), try:

"Hey Max, Joe. You busy?"

Or something to the same effect.

Third, you have some extraneous wordage. For example, consider changing this:

“Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement.

to this:

“Something amazing!” Joe's voice shook with uncontrollable excitement.

Also, you don't need to use "said" or "replied" or "answered" everytime. In fact, as long as the characters don't change, you don't have to use their names all the time, as long as the reader can understand WHO is speaking. This can be tricky, but with a little practice, it will become second hand.

Okay... now that I said all that, do I mean that I think the story is bad? NO! These are just my suggestions; an opinion. That's all. You can do what you like with them. I groove your story, and would like to read more. So kick it out!

Kindest regards,
Made in DNA

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http://www.myspace.com/junkdnafiction


Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:09 am
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:12 pm
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Location: Mercer Island, WA, USA
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Made in DNA wrote:
Hey Ben, this is a great beginning to a cool story.

If I may, I would like to offer up a few suggestion though, to help you tighten it up a bit.

First, separate your dialogue out so that it's easier to read. For example, this:

Then out of the blue, his telephone began to ring. He picked up the receiver. “Yes?” “That you, Max?” asked a male voice, “Yeah. It’s me, Joe.” Max replied, “What’s up?” “Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement. “Well, what is it?” said Max. “Tell me!”
“Can’t tell you over the phone,” replied Joe. “Get over to my apartment – now!”
“Jeez!” said Max, “This better be good!”


would look better as, this:

Then out of the blue, his telephone began to ring. He picked up the receiver. “Yes?”

“That you, Max?” asked a male voice.

“Yeah. It’s me, Joe.” Max replied, “What’s up?”

“Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement.

“Well, what is it?” said Max. “Tell me!”

“Can’t tell you over the phone,” replied Joe. “Get over to my apartment – now!”

“Jeez!” said Max, “This better be good!”



Second, you have some pretty good dialogue, but instead of Joe asking who it is (after all, Joe called Max and it's likely Max is the only one who answers his phone), try:

"Hey Max, Joe. You busy?"

Or something to the same effect.

Third, you have some extraneous wordage. For example, consider changing this:

“Something amazing!” said Joe, his voice shaking with uncontrollable excitement.

to this:

“Something amazing!” Joe's voice shook with uncontrollable excitement.

Also, you don't need to use "said" or "replied" or "answered" everytime. In fact, as long as the characters don't change, you don't have to use their names all the time, as long as the reader can understand WHO is speaking. This can be tricky, but with a little practice, it will become second hand.

Okay... now that I said all that, do I mean that I think the story is bad? NO! These are just my suggestions; an opinion. That's all. You can do what you like with them. I groove your story, and would like to read more. So kick it out!


Kindest regards,
Made in DNA


Thanks for the advice. I acted on most of that. Part two is on the way.

_________________
"Don't worry I got an idea. An Idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was taking about."-Peter Griffin


Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:40 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:25 am
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You are welcome. I look forward to reading part two. =)

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http://www.myspace.com/junkdnafiction


Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:10 pm
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