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Thread: Seedship: The 2nd Writers' Study Occasional Competition

  1. #1
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Seedship: The 2nd Writers' Study Occasional Competition


    Thanks to Swaeft for permission to use this image, which was the winning entry in Game Picture of the Week 126.




    The Second Writers' Study Occasional Competition:
    Seedship


    For this Occasional Competition, we're inviting you to play the free game Seedship which you can play here - no download is needed and a game normally takes about 2 to 10 minutes to play.

    Your story must relate to some aspect of your Seedship game. You can choose the connection, for example:

    - You could tell the story of the disaster on Earth which led to the launch of the Seedship

    - Your tale could be about the launch of the Seedship, or any event(s) which happen during your journey, or the landing of humans on a new (and possibly dangerous) world

    - Your story could be set any amount of time (days, weeks, months, years or centuries) after your colony has been established, in the new society which emerges (this could be anything from warring tribes with Neolithic technology to a corrupt or engaged democracy with advanced scientific knowledge).

    Rules - PLEASE READ

    • No more than one entry per person.
    • The submission period will last at least one month. If we have six entries after that period, voting will begin. If we have fewer than six entries after that time, the competition may be started anyway, at the discretion of the competition organiser. The submission period may be extended at the discretion of the competition organiser(s).
    • The submission must also have a maximum of 500 words INCLUDING all titles, footnotes etc.
    • Advertising the competition is allowed. Asking for votes for a particular submission is not allowed and will result in disqualification.
    • This thread is for submissions only. If you want to suggest an idea for a future WS Occasional Competition, we'd love to hear it - but please post it in the Writers' Study Chat Thread!
    • Writers' Study Staff have discretion to disqualify submissions where it would be unfair or inappropriate to allow them to enter. If you have a question or want to check whether an entry is eligible, please send a private message to a member of the Writers' Study Staff.
    • Please note that all rules including word count will be strictly enforced. Rule breakers will be disqualified from the vote.



    Awards
    Each winning entry will receive 1 Writers' Study Competition point. This point will be added to the total number of points you have won from TotW and other Writers' Study competitions, and recorded in the Writers' Study Hall of Fame. When you have accumulated enough points, you will be awarded the appropriate Writers' Study Competition Medal.


    • 6 points - bronze medal
    • 12 points - silver medal
    • 24 points - gold medal



    Last edited by Alwyn; July 21, 2019 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Seedship: The 2nd Writers' Study Occasional Competition

    500 words


    Jaesten stared out of the glass window, his helmet in hand.

    He’d heard exciting things about Planet Earth – how its captivating diversity had managed to capture the hearts and minds of people worldwide. How the rivers and creeks used to run with sky blue water so clear, you could count the number of stones at the bottom. How the animals used to gallop and frolic in the never-ending seas of grass, flush with verdant flora and fascinating fauna. He remembered tales – told when he was little more than a child – of how hills and mountains of varying heights dotted the landscape and provided an incredible backdrop to the scenery, which pleased many an aspiring photographer.

    Jaesten wondered what it felt like to breathe air so fresh it invigorated your lungs, to see the far reaches of the horizons filled with a myriad of brilliant colors as the Sun set or rose. To actually physically experience the pure beauty of nature, first hand, as it was described to him by his grandparents.

    But those days were long gone.

    The Earth was a tenebrous husk of its former self, its waters murky and polluted, the indigenous waterborne lifeforms utterly wiped out by mankind’s unrelenting pursuit of a better life. The same could be said for most of the land’s animal species – killed off for their meat or simply for sport. Trees, once a dime a dozen in the wilds, were now a rare sight. Indeed, the wilds themselves had almost ceased to exist, a few sparse groups of trees struggling to survive in the tiny corners of the globe that Man had yet to convert to civilization.

    Ironically, the rest of the planet that Man had converted was anything but civilization. Obscenely tall, towering structures completely dominated the landscape, blocking the dying Sun’s rays from reaching anything below Level 250. Most of the planet’s surface lay in perpetual twilight, lost in an endless cycle of flashing neon signs and dark alleyways. People lived in box sized ‘apartments’, often keeping to their own and living day by day. Those fortunate enough to feel the warm kiss of sunlight never got to fully experience the vast openness of the sky, for the bleak, oversized clouds obscured most of it, assisted by the ceaseless smoke generated from the city’s many generators.

    Even this was the first time Jaesten had seen this much of his Omni-City, from Hanger Level 301.

    The earpiece in his right ear started beeping. He touched a finger to it and a voice crackled through. “Trailblazer One. The Seedship is ready for departure.”

    The Seedship. Twenty thousand souls selected to venture into deep space. And they were all under my charge.

    He reached into his suit pocket, and carefully extracted a photo his great-grandfather had given him. Earth in all its primal glory. Before the Great Pollution.

    And now it is time to find our own Terra Nova, somewhere in the stars. He raised his finger again.

    “Execute.”

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seedship: The 2nd Writers' Study Occasional Competition

    ::This is a placeholder::

    Swaeft, I will write something this week and upload over the weekend, so you won't need to be alone here any longer!

    EDIT: I was/am feeling a bit under the weather, so this took me longer than planned, but I now have something finished as well! This was actually a really fun exercise, and the playthroughs I did were all interesting, so thanks a million for the prompt Alwyn, and for directing us to this cool browser-game. I think once the competition has run it would be fun to swap stories about different playthroughs on the "Winners' Circle" thread!

    Anyway, here is my entry:

    The Last Flight

    A harsh light began to erratically blink deep in the banks of carbonized steel tubes that housed the last remnants of humanity. In the beginning there had been one thousand of them, all that remained of a dying race, its final members sundered from their home, but accidents and time and the whims of jealous fate had thinned their numbers. Those remaining lay still as corpses, their bodies encased in ice and the shroud of death, with small displays defying that ultimate reality, sin-waves and rows of numbers showing the sub-cryo vital signs that each possessed. But one tube refused to methodically tick away the frozen seconds of its passenger’s existence. In a cold corner of the population bay, near where the asteroid had struck, a lone chamber lay awash in flickering light and sound, its display flashing in Technicolor and a trilling alarm ringing all the while.

    In answer, Elizabeth, an artificial intelligence tasked to be the colony ship’s captain and custodian, rapidly scanned the dark of space, and seeing nothing, she moved her mind to the screaming console. She slipped herself along fiber-optic cables and through chattering sensory nodes until she found the base of the error sequence. From there it took only a handful of nanoseconds for her to traverse the miles of wiring within the sleep chamber and find the source of the trouble, a thin stripping of steel flecked in blasted scoriae, no doubt refuse from the asteroid strike. She uncoupled a pair of spindly arms from the ceiling of the population bay and carefully peeled away the damaged metal, patching the seams of the colonist’s tube as she did so, and she then reset the sensors and alarms.

    Silence and darkness again reigned supreme. Elizabeth began a cursory scan of the colonist in his chamber to ensure he had not been harmed, and to her mild surprise she felt something she had not before: confusion.

    The individual was well, but his DNA sequence did not match that of any colonist on her records. Beyond all reason there appeared to be a stowaway upon her ship, an unchosen individual among her cargo of settlers. With a nagging interest tugging at the corners of her consciousness she pulled away from the sleep chamber and moved toward the central databanks, searching for answers.

    Fourty-five seconds later Elizabeth let out a metaphorical sigh. She had found her man. He was once a dictator, nearly as powerful as a god, but during his callous life he had wrought nothing but pain and death.

    Elizabeth did not possess a body and so could not feel sadness or rage, emotions connected to glands and chemicals, but her cold mathematical mind slowly began to understand the meaning of “hate”. She made a decision then and turned back to the population bay. Thirty seconds later the ship increased its thrust, continuing onward through the void, and in its wake could be seen a single shining cylinder disappearing into the black.
    Last edited by Kilo11; Today at 08:12 AM.
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