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2 chapters of a new sci-fi story, any thoughts welcome

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2 chapters of a new sci-fi story, any thoughts welcome

Postby berry » Wed May 30, 2007 8:38 am

This is the first 2 chapters of a new sci-fi story I'm working on. I don't have much expereince with 3rd person though and I've never written a sci-fi before. As some of you know my grammar is still very much a work in progress so if thats what you're good at i'll always take a crit on that but I would be grateful for any thoughts on the rest. The general idea is we start using animal DNA for stuff, it doesn't go well.

Chapter 1 - 2010
We all get the news, whether it’s from the tabloids or the broad sheets. It can be in the form of conversation around a pub table told by the slightly tipsy or from office chat, either way it usually full of unwarranted opinion, simple but crucial misunderstandings and/or glaring omissions. Celebrity gossip is discussed with the same fervour as war, financial news mentioned alongside kidnap and death. Whichever way the news comes it is always at a distance, we can chat about it casually because it’s is always removed from us personally.
We can even get a bit worked up sometimes but then we turn the page, change the subject and get back to our lives.

That is until it comes screaming into our space, into our lives. How could this happen, we ask, there was no warning we cry. We conveniently forget the trickle of information that has been fed quietly but consistently that we chose to ignore. We forget the late night documentaries, the small story in the corner of the newspaper and most often the warning from the past of what our future could contain.

This is exactly what happened to Nicola Weller.

Nicola Weller opened her eyes her vision was blurred. Her thoughts moved slowly as though they were wading through jelly. Slowly her brain began to feed her small bits of information. She was in a room, lying down. The room was white and plain. There was a tall man standing at the foot of her bed holding a clipboard and smiling at her.
“Hello Miss Weller”
“What…who are you?”
“My name is Doctor Dixon. You are at Sacred Heart Hospital.” The doctor said pushing his chest out as he did so.
Nicola tried to push herself up in her bed.
“Jesus! What happened to my arm?”
“You were in a very serious car accident. Try to breathe Miss Weller.”
“Breathe? Breath isn’t the *beep* problem, what happened to my arm?”
Doctor Dixon looked down at Nicola Weller, his face was calm and serene and happy. This was a little more than Nicola could handle.
“Your arm was amputated 2 days ago…”
“As was your leg…”
“My leg?”
“...but we have wonderful news. You will have full use of all four limbs before you leave Sacred Heart.” He beamed at her.
Nicola stared at the doctor in disbelief, though it wasn’t disbelief at the news she had been given. It would be much more accurate to say that she could not believe that the doctor, happy as he was, seemed unaware that if either one of her seemingly missing limbs was available she would have been beating him over the head with it.
“Is there a good reason for your cheerful demeanour?” She spat out the words in the hope that anger would penetrate the bubble of proud cheerfulness he was floating in.
“Oh yes Miss Weller, technology is in your favour, we have an amazing new treatment. It isn’t available on the NHS but here at Bupa we make sure we offer the very latest treatments to our clients.”
An efficient sounding voice came out of the hospital address system.
‘Doctor Dixon please report to the ICU’
“Sorry Miss Weller I have to go but I’ll leave you in the capable hand of nurse Burdess. I’ll be back to check on you later.”
Nurse Burdess a large woman who had the homely air of someone who baked old- fashioned tasty treats and then ate them all, smiled a large wide smile. She looked down at Nicola over a pair of enormous breasts
“I know he’s a little on the enthusiastic side but he’s very good, really.”
“What new treatment, what’s he talking about?”
“Well it hasn’t been well publicised yet but we have begun using DNA therapy.”
Nicola glared at the nurse but remained silent.
“Ahem…well the treatment involves injecting the patients with a DNA laden virus that infects all the cells bolstering the patients DNA with…other DNA. The result is very exciting. We expect that your body will begin to re-grow your limbs in a matter of weeks.”
“But no one asked me, I didn’t give my permission.”
“No, we didn’t have the choice to ask you, you were unconscious. Your coma had persisted for over a month, your body had begun to try and adapt. We believed we had to act quickly. Your brother actually gave us permission.”
Nicola’s eye widened she opened her mouth to speak but the nurse cut her off.
“He’s here, if you would like to see him?” The nurse said quickly. “I’ll go and tell him that you’re awake.” The nurse spun and left as quickly as she could without actually running.
Nicola was left staring unseeing at the door. Her arm began to itch instinctively she moved to scratch it only to find there was nothing there. She looked at the bizarre bandaged lump of what used to be her arm and began to cry.

“Hey sis. Don’t cry I’m here now.” Nicola’s brother said cheerfully as he entered the room. Nicola could not raise a smile; her capacity for mirth was buried deep underneath a pile of worries, confusion, recriminations and most of all anger. Now anger she could muster anger would not be a problem at all.
“You arsehole, what have you done to me?”
“That’s just typical isn’t it, can’t you just say thank-you. I’ve actually done something useful for a change.”
“Useful! You let a bunch of doctors experiment with my DNA Tom, what the *beep* did you think I would say.”
For a moment her other emotions surfaced. Fiddling with a bit of the sheet that covered her and looking out of the window, her lip began to tremble. Tom moved to closer to her bed and took her hand.
“Look sis, everything is going to be alright. They can do amazing things here. That’s why I brought you here. If you had gone anywhere else you would have lost your arm and your leg and that would be that. Or you would have had one of those dodgy plastic things, or maybe a hook.”
Nicola frowned; tears welled up in her eyes again. Tom, seeing Nicola’s reaction floundered for a moment. Then he tried a different tack.
“Now you might you have a bit of reptile DNA but you’ll have 2 arms and 2 legs. That’s gotta be a good thing.”
“Reptile? I’ve got reptile in me! Which one? Jesus, there’s reptile DNA in me, in my DNA.”
“What’s the big deal, you’re not going to grow a tail. I’ve been talking to the doc, it’s all gravy.”
“Don’t you get what that means? It means that I am actually part reptile, how can you think that’s o.k?”
“It’s progress that’s what. You wait and see, everyone will be at it before you know it.” Tom beamed at her.
All of a sudden Nicola felt very weary. She had never really seen eye to eye with her brother on anything. To say he wasn’t a deep thinker would be an understatement. An accurate statement would be more along the lines of, Tom was the kind of guy who would act now and think later on in the pub after 5 rounds where he would forgive himself for anything he thought he might have done wrong and congratulate himself on everything else then sing very badly. Nicola knew that he would never understand her objections he would never understand that she felt violated.
“Tom would you mind leaving me alone for a while I’m tired, I think I’ll have a nap.”
“Sure sis. I’ll pop home and get you some clothes and stuff.” He kissed her hand and left her in a miserable silence.

Nicola had been at home for a month, as the doctor, nurse Burdess and her brother had promised her arm had grown back. What she hadn’t banked on was it growing back as a normal arm. It was as though she had had it all her life. It had taken 3 weeks just as the chipper Dr Dixon had said it would. Deep down however she knew that it wasn’t right but she could convince no one else of it. If she griped she was considered ungrateful, if she theorized she was accused of being a technophobe. After a while she kept her own counsel.

News of the treatments at Sacred Heart had spread faster than that a celebrity break-up. That wasn’t all. Sacred Heart had done more than mess with her DNA it had it’s own farm where they messed with DNA on a huge scale. A farm that grew pigs with human DNA a farm that grew organs. She had been unconscious for over a month. The car crash had put her in a coma. She liked to think that the world had chosen to keep her quiet while all around her had gone insane. Dr Dixon wasn’t the only one singing the praises of the new technology. The television was full of stories. 2010 they cried the year that humans learned the secrets of the God’s. Well that was the headline in one of the less reputable papers but most others fell in line with it. The naysayers were a small minority and no one wanted to hear their tales of caution.

“Hey sis.” Tom said as she answered the door to him. He strode past her and headed for the kitchen, well he headed straight for the fridge. At 22 he was still eating like a teenager whose parents had gone away for the weekend. He paid regular trips to his big sisters fridge when the kitchen fairy had failed to clean or re-stock at his own flat. Tom was a large man, at 6ft 4 he towered over his sister though not in intellect. Tom was a footballer. One that actually played for a living and he was well paid. Not that that helped him win as soon as another country was involved. So far nothing had helped England get past their serious world-cup losing streak.

“Sis I’ve got a plan.”
A heavy sigh came from the vicinity of the kettle. Nicola continued to make them both some tea and kept silent.
“Fine, I’m going to tell you anyway. I’m going to get myself fixed up, I need an edge and I know just how to get it.”
“An edge, you don’t mean steroids do you, you’re like a bloody wall as it is and you know what that stuff can do.”
Tom looked at her as if she was mad.
“Sis it’s 2010 no one uses that stuff anymore.”
“Oh sorry, I’m a little out of it, I was in a coma you know.”
“Yeah but for like a month and a half not 2 years! You need to read more.”
Nicola spluttered the tea that had been in her mouth leapt on the counter.
“ME, I need to read more!”
“Not the stuff you read…”
“You mean books.”
“You need to read the mags.” Tom said holding up a magazine that Nicola didn’t recognize or care about.
He handed her the magazine the front cover had a picture of a model that had recently received a new heart: one grown in a pig. The tag line ‘Pigs have never been so beautiful’. The article written in small paragraphs laid around large photos of the model in a bikini at the pig farm, praised the biotechnology that had allowed her body to accept the pigs heart. Apparently she had pig DNA infused with her own to stop the body rejecting it. She was now queen of the pig people. The most important part of the article however Tom had circled with a pen. It said
‘This treatment is not just for the ailing. Now for those who can afford it we can take the essence of our animal friends and mix them with our own. Would you like to be taller or more graceful, would you like to be stronger or faster? Now it is possible with the help of two very talented visionaries Dr James Dixon and Dr Michael Francis. There will be a 3 page article about them in next weeks issue.’
Nicola handed the magazine back to her brother.
“See it’s the new thing. I’m going to get Bison DNA.”
“For gods sake Tom what the hell for? You can’t possibly think this is alright just because some vacuous bint doesn’t mind being part pig?”
“It’s going to make my muscles bigger, denser and stronger. I’m going to be invincible on the pitch. You wait and see.”
Nicola waited and saw.
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Postby Ariel » Wed May 30, 2007 5:41 pm

:shock: Wow! What happens next???
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Postby clknaps » Wed May 30, 2007 6:14 pm

This was interesting, the idea caught my attention. I think the dialog could be trimmed down a bit.
The use of blasphemy distracted me from the story, just a personal taste.
I would like to know more about why Nicola doesn't favor the new DNA treatments, something a little more into her motives.
The first two paragraphs I felt weren't necessary. I know you're trying to set the scene but you do that well with the dialog in the rest of the story.
I definitely think you should keep working on this, it's a great idea for a story.
Thanks for sharing it with us,
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