Here’s a little piece of my history. about ten years ago or so, a friend of mine (Randy) and I decided that it would be cool to write a novel together. He was living in Alaska so we kept it up via email. We never really attempted to outline or plot it out or anything. We each just had an idea of what it should be. As it ends up, our ideas turned out to be very different things. So withoutÂ any planning, we just emailed each other the story back and forth until one day we forgot about the concept and let it pass from “work in progress” to “unfinished novel by the wayside.”
In the passing time, both of us lost our digital copies of the piece and the only surviving evidence of our literary crime was a copy I had printed on blue paper. Somehow that copy found its way into a folder and survived until now.
I started typing it up this week, and because I believe in historical accuracy, I beat down the incredible urge to edit as I go. There’s plenty of typos, I know. But that’s part of the fun. The reason I didn’t get it all done, though, is because I started playing with a scanner and some OCR software, you know, to save me time. If the computer could figure out what I had written, why should I bother typing it again? It took a while for me to figure it out and I didn’t get much done, so today you just get a short excerpt.
Thanks for letting me walk down memory lane a bit. Don’t worry. I think I’ll return to new face-punching fiction next week.
So without further ado, I bring you part 1 of Bryce Beattie and Randy McNair’s unfinished novel:
Darrien’s pleasant dreams of green rolling hills and tall pine trees were rudely interrupted by the sounds of a city waking up. He rolled out of bed and shuffled to the window. He was on the 45th floor of his building, which gave him a terrific view of the smog left behind by his forefather’s gasoline-powered cars. But, on the plus side, being that high, and looking through smog, he could hardly see the filth and crime of the street below. He hoped to someday make it out of this town, to a quiet, green, lush, place on a river somewhere. He shook his head. He’d never be rich enough to own a place uptown, where it was clean and safe, let alone someplace in the mountains, heck, there probably weren’t any any green hill left.
Enough daydreaming, he thought, it’s time to go to work. He got dressed, checked the energy packet in his laser, and shoved it in its holster. Then took the stairs up to the roof parking lot.
There she was, the sun sparkling off her chrome trim, a 2053 Nissonda Yeti, bright blue gloss enamel finish, with black synthetic leather upholstery, Emget hover pads, twin xl-220 Rolls Royce magneto-jets and acceleration to challenge even a mercury missile. Crossing the roof he couldn’t help but admire the way she gracefully hovered over the pavement. “Look at her!” he said kicking at the Antartican fiberglass he had for a car. “You’re so much junk, look at you! You can’t even figure out how to park right!” It took a few moments of persuading the door with his foot, but eventually the angular level meter kicked in again and his car righted itself. “Someday I’m going to get myself one of those and send you back to the cycle-plant, where they can make something useful outta you. Like a toaster.” Yeah someday… For a moment Darrien’s thoughts trailed off off to wherever that place is everyone’s thoughts go on their vacation time. Then reality came slapping him across the face and he had to drag them back from their tropical paradise before they could even get off the plane. Looking down at the ragged heap of a life he had in front of him Darrien sighed. For a moment, just a moment he was tempted to leave it all and start a life in some small reach of the globe where the sun still shone and become a farmer. But no. He was sworn to serve and protect, and he couldn’t turn his back on crime.
At least not yet.
The fusion reactor in his hovercar staggered from standby to active. The digi-map appeared on the small screen above the panel that covered the manual steering wheel.
“What is your destination?”
For the first time in almost a month he watched out the window as he was driven to work. He saw the change from the depleted, dirty, crime-ridden section of town he lived in to the clean, bright uptown that he served in.
Upon reaching the station, he shut off his broken-down ride, and checked in. No sooner had he reached his office, than he received his first call to duty of the date. It was a code 113, a hostage situation. He ran to the parking lot and sped off on one of his departments’ hover-cycles.
Flying over the tops of the buildings Darrien cruised through the city. In minutes he arrived at the local Supermarket and parked his cycle in the rear loading zone. Shoot, thought Darrien as he noticed a rival departments’ car already parked. No time to think. There was a lunatic with hostages inside, and it was Darrien’s job to save them. Before someone else could.
He slipped through the loading door, and then the cargo entrance. Darrien pulled the laser from its resting place and snapped on the auto-charge. Screaming came from the other end of the store. He hustled as silently as he could toward it. Suddenly, a shot, from an old “powder” gun rang out. Then silence. Stopping just short of where he figured the yelling had been, Darrien slowly peered around the corner.