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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Search for Silent - Chpt 9

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Number of posts : 1287
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
Current Mood :
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Search for Silent - Chpt 9   September 27th 2009, 8:26 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Nine

Part 1

Stacy could not keep from smiling as Silent exclaimed as soon as he entered the hanger, "Hey, there is my plane! I was wondering what you did with it, Top Secret."

The lady saw a number of troops against a wall, but felt that it would help establish her credentials with these strangers by saying, "It really has not been flown much. We fly it mostly to assure that tests we performed did not ruin anything."

"I have considered stealing it again, just because it was fun to fly."

"Come on, Silent. You might not get to fly the plane, but you get to spend some time with it."

Yes, the young man had seen the Air Force team, but Silent not rushing to meet them did not surprise Stacy. She watched as he looked around for something else to speak about, and understanding that the hanger was otherwise empty she went ahead and began moving to the men. Silent followed as if understanding that he had no method of stalling the meeting.

When the pair approached, one with the rank of chief master sergeant stepped up to meet the officers. "Colonel Terrell, Captain Silent, we are specially trained to troubleshoot problems with certain bombs. It seems that a problem has been presented concerning our nuclear arsenal, and we have been summoned to check on its validity."

Silent quickly spoke in return, which Stacy felt he did in order to establish his authority. "Chief Master Sergeant, I flew that plane out of its country of origin. I also presented Colonel Terrell with the situation that has resulted in your presence. We can step you through the facts, but we are going to need you to present your knowledge of where to go from here."

"Then let us get to work."

The team proved that they did indeed know their subject, but only after listening to Stacy and Silent give their complete report of what they knew and how they came to gain that knowledge. With an understanding that the two were not simply in the need-to-know category, but DID know, the team went to work showing their skills. The men first went to examine the attachment points on the airplane. They asked for wiring diagrams, which Stacy quickly produced from her briefcase. The chief master sergeant acted like he did not believe the schematics were useful, but allowed his men to go ahead and inspect the objects. They asked about why two types of objects, and listened as Silent explained that one would attach to normal bombs that did not have specialized arming requirements while the other was for bombs that had been set to only arm after a certain combination of signals.

Again the leader of the men acted like the information provided had no basis in reality, but he put the team to work attaching the objects to their hard points. While Stacy felt that the operation would take only minutes, the men extended the time by checking how electronic contacts fit together and possibly which wires provided the current for specific tasks. The men finished the operation to take a break and eat some food, although as they did so the chief master sergeant and others of his team laid down money that the bombs would not even drop, much less explode. Silent covered the bets.

After the meal, one member of the team was sent to bring in a truck. From the vehicle was brought out two bombs. One was a normal heavy explosive device, while the other was a dummy bomb set up to simulate a nuclear warhead. Silent now held up the team as he inspected the bombs and how they were to connect. The chief master sergeant complained about the army captain holding up his operations by griping that he was simply working to protect his wager. Even though many made statements about how others were stalling the process, Stacy saw the men constantly looking outside to the darkening sky as if knowing that they were going to wait to assure that most did not witness the test.

Silent was allowed to prove that he could operate the plane by starting up the engine before the bombs were actually attached to the plane. Tests were performed on the objects Stacy had obtained. She watched the proceedings, and with every complaint that the chief master sergeant uttered she tossed back at him certain facts of the operation that she knew had performed as they should. It did not please the leader of the men at all when Silent mentioned some lights as being active that were not on his previous flight.

Only silence filled the hanger when the bombs were attached to the plane, although the chief master sergeant finally had to mumble, "A damn Rupe Goldberg device if you ask me. No way it should work, and only an idiot would have built it in the first place."

Silent returned, "I pray to God that you are right. I really don't want your money."

An order was barked, and one of the men moved to a phone to call in a pilot. It seemed that he had been waiting for the call, because it was not that long of a time before the man arrived. Silent held him up wanting to speak to the person, besides himself, that had experience flying the bomber. The chief master sergeant allowed the two to speak for a time, then started interjecting his own conversation of briefing the pilot on what he was supposed to do. While they discussed certain things about the plane and the mission, Stacy spoke on the phone to get the final authorization to perform the test. When she finally went to the men to interrupt their conversation, all felt that it was finally time to test the actual operation of the plane and objects.

All moved out of the hanger as the plane taxied to the runway. One man was sent to the truck to obtain a number of pairs of binoculars. Stacy went to her vehicle to get her own pair, then yelled at Silent to ask if he wanted a pair. He leaned against the wall of the hanger while answering that he could see what was important to see just fine without them.

As the plane turned to return to the runway, a number of binoculars dropped. Stacy turned to look back at Silent who had not left his position against the wall of the hanger. The team of enlisted men also turned to look at him. Both bombs had exploded as they were designed to do. The regular bomb produced a magnificent blaze of light, although the simulated nuke only exploded enough to prove that it would have decimated the surrounding miles had it been a real atomic bomb. Stacy noticed that Silent replied with no reference to the money that was now his.

"I am glad that you guys showed up, but I don't believe that you are right team for the problem facing the world."

The chief master sergeant returned, "Excuse me, Captain Silent, but my team has their work cut out for them. We need to understand how that object works, so our bombs can be redesigned to prevent others from being able to throw our grenades back at us."

"Yeah, well I wish you guys all the best. Top Secret and I however have the fear the other side is already set to throw those grenades, and are holding a group of UN delegates as hostage because of it."

The lady said, "Get back to work, Chief Master Sergeant, because we need as many answers as we can get. I thank you and your men for what you have done, and what you will do." She moved to stand in front of Silent before asking, "Have you thought this far ahead?"

"Hell, no. I mean, it worked the first time. These guys knew how to hook things up, sure, but I still expected some fine tuning by those 'in the know' before we got an explosion. I did not doubt that it could possibly work, but I really did not expect those that built the objects actually knew enough about our technology to actually make things happen."

Stacy looked as the team climbed aboard a truck then left to inspect the remnants of their bombs and retrieve what parts they considered important. The break in eye contact allowed Silent the opportunity to turn to the pile of money sitting under a box on a table. While he moved into the hanger, the lady turned back to him hoping that he could help her win future bets.

"How about an idea of what to do."

"I just won a couple of hundred dollars, how about a wager?"

"I won't lay down any money against you, Silent."

"Yeah, I know, but you won't like what I am about to say, so should tell me that I am wrong just out of principle. That is what the chief master sergeant did."

Stacy looked at the young man from across the hanger for a time. He glanced at her occasionally, although tried to act like he was more interested in counting his money. Both lifted their heads at the sound of the bomber returning with Stacy running to Silent to get out of the way and assure that he heard her next question.

"No one knows what we are doing here, Silent, so why would they start killing the delegates?"

A slight smile came to his face as a sign of being impressed that she managed to jump ahead to actually identify the wager he was about to suggest. Silent never acted as if he considered Stacy unintelligent, but his replies often followed his own paths that forced her to sometimes make him explain his thoughts. He had always been willing to speak to her. He did take time to count out a percentage of his winnings, and handed it to her as he answered.

"Because they know that we should know. By now they have recovered the final set of objects, and should know that the protective grating has been opened and objects taken. They know that we have the bomber. Those holding the delegates are probably commenting that if we haven't figured things out by now, that we really are stupid Americans."

"But why kill the delegates?"

"Let us get back to the original question, Stacy. The one way back that forced me to join the Army. Why would they want me? I mean, want me so much that they were willing to give you access back into their country."

Stacy allowed herself to retrieve certain memories, and after mentally reviewing the data she spoke her conclusion. "We thought it was merely a way to save face."

"No, I did not believe it at the time, one of the reasons that I did not want to join the military, and I am not believing it at the moment. The only conclusion is that I am supposed to know something else. Something in the databases I searched to learn of the plane and how to fly it they consider very incriminating. They are going to kill people because of what I know, and your additional proof of their capabilities is simply going to give us too much leverage. The leader of that country is going to act to hopefully get some concessions before the world tumbles around him."

The lady had learned to trust the young man, so let his conclusion stand. "Okay, Simon, let us say that is true. What do we need to do?"

"Not, you, Stacy, but me. You have the senior airman that worked with me to aid you in getting to those objects. He was not a handicap, so I trust him to be able to manage my style of work. I like Victor that works with me, because he is willing to ask questions. I might grab one more from your team to make pizza runs, and one from my group to keep a keg flowing."

"No alcohol while on duty, Simon. This time I will be covering more than simply a rogue civilian, and some things I don’t want to have to explain."

"Covering me?” The smile on Silent’s face beamed that he had intentionally focused on certain words, and his added statement declared the punch line to what he thought was funny. “Okay, but I don't mind you being on top."

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Number of posts : 1287
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
Current Mood :
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Part 2   October 2nd 2009, 8:07 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Nine

Part 2

Victor was unsure of the relationship between what he considered his two bosses. This morning they came in together speaking of staying up playing tennis. Victor knew that they had been involved yesterday with some highly classified activity. He had a very elite security clearance, but had not been authorized to become informed on what they were doing. Victor could only hope that if he ever became involved in something that he could not talk about, that there would be someone as lovely as Colonel Terrell to associate with.

While up to now Victor had mostly been involved with Colonel Terrell, today it was Captain Silent that took charge of things. His first act reorganized personnel between the Air Force staff of Colonel Terrell and the Army members placed under him. He had a more lively command style. Senior Airman Franklin was put to work on a special computer. Victor was assigned to an office computer following current international events. An Air Force airman was assigned to a computer to track imports and exports of a certain country. Another airman retrieved information from Colonel Terrell concerning the delegates being held hostage, then kept being given requests that needed him to be moving about the base. Captain Silent continually moved between the enlisted men collecting their data and loading up his desk with the printouts.

Victor noticed that while Captain Silent encouraged discussion of the lines of research, he did not develop any topic save computer theory with Senior Airman Franklin. A few times he suggested to Victor to follow a certain type of packaging for some electronic equipment that the airman had found to be shipped a little more often than expected. The Army corporal did not appreciate being sent for lunch, then later for buffalo wings, but did not complain about the assignments in front of Captain Silent.

The commanding officer spent most of his time with the senior airman talking technical jargon. There was no surprise when a call came from the main gate about a delivery, which the Army corporal had to go get, and it ended up being a number of boxes containing electronic equipment. The two then almost secluded themselves in a cubicle while they worked with the energy of playing with toys.

Victor looked up glad to see Captain Silent coming his way. The lieutenant was getting tired of sitting around and running searches on the computer. He felt that would help his attitude if he could get some reason for his work.

"Captain Silent, Sir, you are collecting a lot of information, but surely it would help if we could isolate our searches."

"Okay, Victor. You have been at it for a number of hours. Tell me how to isolate the search."

The lieutenant frowned as he did not consider that a reasonable response. "Do you have any idea what we are searching for?"

"Victor, I just gave you credit for working the last few hours. I have mostly been playing at reconstructing a computer and constructing some electronic hardware. Now, you tell me how to isolate the search."

The lieutenant felt that he was being put on the spot, so tried to put the stress back on his commanding officer. "You have no way to give me guidance, Sir?"

"No, Victor, although I promise to do my best to have some guidance tomorrow morning."

"You are going to be up all night?"

"I am sorry, Victor, but I think better when I don't have to worry about protocol."

The lieutenant suddenly felt that he did not want to work with Captain Silent any more. To have secrets so privileged that he could not speak to anyone about them just lost the appeal. Victor however tried to keep his thoughts positive.

"I thought that you would spend another night with Colonel Terrell."

"I once thought she was dead. Senior Airman Franklin and I were tracking her when the self-destruct sequence suddenly activated. I went on three missions with her, four if you count the initial meetings between the two of us, and almost walked out on everything when I thought she had died. I now have a chance to work with her on a continuous basis, and will do everything I can to keep that lady in my life."

Victor did not feel certain he heard Silent say that he would keep the lady company, so asked, "Well, Sir, do you want one of us to stay tonight with you?"

"Don't you have a life, Victor? I thought you said that you enjoyed the night spots."

"I do, but I have my duty as well. I just suddenly began wondering if you and Colonel Terrell had a life."

"We have a unique friendship, but we both consider ourselves looking. We have a vacation planned where we are going to look together, but have not yet been able to take it."

Victor felt some satisfaction in the answers he had gained, but allowed that he needed to set his mind back on business. "Once again, Sir, do you want me to stay tonight with you?"

"No, Victor, go live your life. At present, this is mine, and I will live it. See you tomorrow morning."

"I have about an hour more, Sir."

"Look over what you have, and see if you can tie together any loose ends you believe to exist, then call it a day. You leaving early will let me get started early, so maybe I can get an hour or two of sleep."

^~^~ ^~^~^ ~^~^~

Stacy looked again at the clock wondering when the day would be over. She basically had the same problem as Silent, that of keeping a mismatched staff busy looking for clues to something that they had no idea of what it was. Questions of methodology, efficiency, and other procedural and bureaucratic matters were however sent to her. Such was the plan, and Stacy performed as she expected she would have to, but had just about had enough.

The lady rose upon seeing the Army General enter the room, but such occurred purely out of training, as her mind wanted to tell all intruders where they could go jump. Another man was with her, an Army colonel, and neither appeared happy. They also did not sit when she waved to the chairs in front of her desk.

The general said, "You need to come with us, Stacy. We are going to Silent's office."

"I don't understand."

"Oh, I don't believe that you met Colonel Michael Jones. He has responsibility of working with personnel. It is generally nothing more than assuring that we all get our checks, but there are other responsibilities."

The lady came around her desk to shake the man's hand, as she said, "I don't understand. Silent might have his own methods, but he is working hard on the matter at hand. And he has a record of being successful."

Michael said, "I promise you that the Air Force and Army are quite proud of their officers. You and Silent however are a special breed."

The general said, "I just don't want to step on any toes, Stacy. What I have to show you will be shown to Silent at the same time."

Stacy led the march to Silent's office. She noticed that no one was active in front of his door, although was surprised when his door was not locked. Looking into the office, Silent quickly moved some papers on a stand to hide what he had been writing. An expression of appearing foolish crossed his face when he realized who his intruders were, although his features cleared as he walked up to meet his visitors.

As he hugged the lady, the young man reached out to shake the hand of the other colonel. "Mike, what brings you here? Don't tell me that there is another form to fill out."

"Yes, Simon, as we have some bad news for you and Stacy. You do have something to watch a DVD on?"

Silent pointed to an entertainment center as he said, “They got mad when I requested surround-sound, but I went ahead and ordered the system anyway. I promise that I was only going to listen to the news."

The general opened a briefcase as he said, "I don't believe you will enjoy hearing this in surround-sound, Silent."

The young man took the DVD, then headed to a set of shelves turned into a make-shift media center. The DVD was placed into a machine, and soon the wide screen television screen started playing the movie file. All four watched as a woman kneeling on the ground was shot by a masked man in full military uniform with the bullet passing through one side of her head to exit out the other. A voice from off-camera now spoke, although all recognized the speaker.

"This one was an agent of American tyranny. The same American tyranny that has been undermining the strength of our country. We want our secrets returned, and will kill to get them returned. Once the arrogant UN devils are killed, one by one, we will then go after any and all Americans."

As the movie ended, the general said, "We are going to put both of you back into the arena. Not to again infiltrate the country, but to give advice to those that do. Both of you have been inside the country and know the language. You can keep doing whatever you are doing, but we are going to have you over there where you can help other do what they need to do."

Silent uttered a curse, but Stacy kept her focus on her job. "Is this going to become a matter of war?"

"It shouldn't be, as espionage normally only brings grand-standing. There is something different in this situation however."

The young man responded, "Top Secret and I have already figured that one out, Sir, and we are working to understand why it is different. We have the bomber. We know what the bomber was supposed to do, but that has to be only the tip of an iceberg. I mean, the bomber was to drop our bombs back on us, and we are talking nukes, but we don't know of them having any of our bombs, especially nukes."

"Well, Mike is not here for such conversations, Silent. He is here to get your signatures on forms to expedite the movement of you two and your staff. Call your people, close up shop, and get ready to move."

Stacy stayed quiet along with Silent as forms were brought out and signed. The pleasantries at the end of the paperwork were soft and quickly done. The lady stayed to speak with the young man, but as soon as the door closed behind the visitors she heard the phone ring.

She moved to a chair while listening to Silent speak to his father. From what the young man said it was apparent that the elder knew of the situation. The fact that the halls of congress were discussing war also was indicated in the conversation. Stacy did not like the fact that Silent told some information to his father, but from the flow of words the lady fully understood that no new facts had actually been transferred.

Hanging up the phone, Silent asked, "You knew the one that was killed?"

"Yes, that was the security person sent to watch over me. I don't believe you would have liked her, but I was going to introduce you to her."

"Father does not know when the next one, or ones, will be killed. He however is worried about how much pressure those in congress are going to be put under to handle the situation. He wanted some advice."

Stacy decided to go ahead and admit something she did not believe had been proper. "I heard you mention to him that we were thinking nukes."

"He knew about the plane, and about your objects. I don't want our representatives thinking that this is just another political game with another psychopath who gained control over a country."

The lady accepted the explanation, so asked for more information. "Okay, so what did he tell you?"

"He told me to go get them."

"We aren't supposed to go get them, Silent. We are going only as advisors."

"I bet that is not the way my father will tell it."

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Search for Silent - Chpt 9
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