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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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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 10

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Number of posts : 1287
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PostSubject: Search for Silent - Chpt 10   October 7th 2009, 7:55 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Ten

Part 1

Victor and everyone else on board the various methods of transport that hosted the team noticed that Colonel Terrell and Captain Silent stayed together. It was very apparent that the two were working on solving the situation, but the ease that the two moved around each other started more than a few whispered rumors. Victor never could tell if the pair overheard any of the comments, but if they did it never affected their behavior.

During the travel, their staffs basically enjoyed the ride while Colonel Terrell and Silent reviewed the data gained. Victor and the others were glad to see that none of their work was discarded in a bag marked for shredding until the notes were placed somewhere in a legal pad. The couple looked like newlyweds as some facts caused them to smile as they whispered memories of past escapades. Very serious expressions came across their faces upon reading some parcels of information, and their words would sometimes turn caustic as they argued where in their outline the notes would go. Only a few documents caused the two to stop and ponder possible connections that they had not yet foreseen, and those who had gathered the data tried to discover exactly which of them had found the nugget of gold.

Victor wanted to ask Silent if he should attempt to deny the rumors of the pair being a couple, but he never got the chance. He was not going to ask the Army captain in the presence of others. When one went to the rest room, the other would get on the phone to check on some detail they felt needed verifying. Victor thus found himself only quietly speculating with everyone else about the relationship between the couple.

One idea did spring into Victor's mind, so when he had a chance he moved to a seat near Senior Airman Franklin and whispered, "Hey, have you heard the rumors about Colonel Terrell and Captain Silent?"

"Yeah, they do seem to be quite a couple. Nothing wrong with it. I would like to get my hands on Colonel Terrell myself."

"Yes, but do you really think, they, you know, sleep together?"

"I don't believe they are a permanent pair. They probably had lonely nights, but that is all."

The Senior Airman did not respond with the proper enthusiasm for Victor. He thought talk of two people possibly having sex should not be done with a matter-of-fact tone, but with hopeful inflections as possible secrets about private acts were whispered. The mustache growing over the lips of the senior airman also just did not give his face enough maturity to believe him capable of speaking about sex in such a fashion, but rather only used the dry speech to cover his own desire to have something other than wet dreams. Victor thus did not allow himself to end the conversation.

"Come on, you cannot tell me that Captain Silent got Colonel Terrell all alone in some building, managed to woo her out of her clothes probably with some story of needing to clean them then traded some warmth boom-da-la-boom and did not want more. Look at the two of them. She obviously likes being with him. I mean, yeah, he likes being with her, what red-blooded American male wouldn't, but she obviously like being with him as well. I am telling you that Captain Silent gets whatever he wants from Colonel Terrell."

The senior airman tried to keep his face expressionless, but he failed slightly as he answered, "Yeah, I mean no. I mean he probably had her once, but they came to some understanding."

"You don't come to no understanding with someone as fine as Colonel Terrell."

"She and Captain Silent have worked together on a number of assignments."

Victor spoke quickly to prevent the Air Force man to think he was scoring points. "Three, and only the last one was official. Colonel Terrell had to plead to certain powers-that-be to authorize Silent, and they probably did that simply because they knew he was going to join her anyway. When a woman lets a man between her legs, she will do anything to keep him there."

"I don't believe that was the reason."

"You are seriously going to propose that the two simply have a professional relationship?"

The senior airman seemed to gain confidence as he said, "Well, yes."

Victor rose from his seat, but leaned over to whisper his final statement, "Only a homo would hang around Colonel Terrell and not want what she has."

He expected the senior airman to try and restart the conversation in order to restore some respect to himself, or possibly to their bosses that he might considered to have been slandered. That never happened however. Whether some inner dedication, or just a fear to breach such a topic on his own, Senior Airman Franklin held a seat without attempting to challenge any rumor.

Besides the diversion of the rumors, there was little entertainment during the travel. Most tried to sleep. A couple had books, but there had been no time to prepare, so most books were those previously read and simply left in the bags. Those that had the texts tried to read them again, or exchange them, but none got lost in the pages. For all save the couple about whom everyone was speaking, the hours spent in travel seemed to be a waste of time.

It was a carrier where the journey ended. While every other transfer was only a place to board another vehicle or refuel the present one, arriving on the carrier had crewmen coming to take the bags and move them to some quarters. No one really felt a need to rest, but all were hungry. There was thus a sense of relief when the captain directed the team to a mess hall.

The man stood slightly over six feet tall. His brown hair showed a good amount of gray, but there was still plenty of color. The uniform of an Army colonel looked old and worn, but the man wearing it gave no impression that he would be an easy mark for anyone wanting to fight. Colonel Stacy walked right up to him, then allowed herself to melt against him as he grabbed her and planted his lips against hers. The kiss was long with each keeping their full attention upon each other during the contact. After they finished, the lady continued to stay wrapped in an arm while the other one shot out to the one that had been escorting her.

"Glad to meet you, Silent. I hear that you have been doing a fantastic job of taking care of my girl."

The Army Captain confidently shook his hand while saying, "I won't admit that she is yours, Colonel Woldscot, but I will say that she is more yours than mine. Anyway, yes, I have been taking care of her."

"How about my house?"

"Did some yard work. Fought some wasps. Bout all the time we had."

"More than I have done for a while. Can't complain. Come on into the mess hall and sit down. I have been waiting for this lady, but I knew that you would be with her."

The trio began walking as Captain Silent said, "I believe that we should have met on the first real mission I had with Stacy, but I had a hard time tracking her. I think she was expecting you the first time that I made myself known to her."

"I told you to sit down, Silent. No real rush at the moment, and we all need to eat."

Victor sat down where he hoped that he could hear what was said between the three. It helped that he was also an officer, although sitting arrangements in the room were not exactly according to rank. Still, the talk by others created a murmur that drowned out most comments beyond a short distance. Victor thus did not hear much, although did get the impression that the Army colonel had no animosity towards Captain Silent for traveling with Colonel Terrell.

It seemed that the other members of the team also got the impression that there were no hard feelings between the men who had a claim on the lady. She sat close to Colonel Woldscot, but a hand often reached out to touch Captain Silent as well. Those who had been spreading rumors about sexual contact in the relationship between Colonel Terrell and Captain Silent hushed with the confusion of how the two men did not fight over a certain shared possession. All that could be assumed was that Captain Silent had no true claim on the lady, so the rumors ceased.

Being both Army officers, and being on the same team, Victor found himself sharing a room with Captain Silent. The lieutenant at first felt that he would sleep alone, but the absent officer returned just as the light was about to be turned off. Victor realized that he finally had his moment alone with Captain Silent, but no longer had anything to ask.

"I heard you say that you should have met Colonel Woldscot on your first real mission with Colonel Terrell. It must have been hard traveling with her and knowing that she belonged to another."

"Oh, we have written numerous emails to each other. Don't you say anything, Victor, but you and the rest of the rumor-mongers have been blind-sided."

Victor felt insulted that he had been marked as a rumor-monger, so blurted out, "Sir?"

"Top Secret was staying in Colonel Woldscot's house, and she does have a history with him. She has a history with me too, though. I am the one she is presently working with, but we don't need the rumors. We thus called Colonel Woldscot to do us the favor of showing up."

"So, they are not a pair?"

"Might be. As fantastic as Top Secret is, she is about a couple of decades older than me. I won't get to keep her. She and my parents will have me meeting other ladies. Top Secret has a number of old flames, and tells me that she is going to settle with one of them. We have a promise to vacation together and talk about possible romances. What happens after that we promise to keep each other up-to-date."

The lieutenant decided to go ahead and admit that he had been a rumor-monger. "Sorry, Sir, but we had to talk about something. You and Colonel Terrell just seemed like too much of a pair."

"We have a group of UN delegates facing death, a world about to realize the presence of another nuclear threat, and all you can talk about is a possible romance?"

Victor looked at Captain Silent and realized that the man already had his eyes focused upon him. The two men glared at each other for a time, but a realization of being at fault slowly filled the lieutenant. He could not help but lower his gaze.

"I guess that I need to keep my priorities in order."

"That is right, Lieutenant. There are times when we can be foolish, but not when there is work to be done. That is one of the problems with working in the military, lives are constantly on the line in our work."

"I will remember that, Captain."

"Then get some sleep, Victor. No telling when we might get a chance to sleep again."

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 12th 2009, 7:57 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Ten

Part 2

The ringing of a phone caused Victor to pull the pillow over his head as Captain Silent dropped from the top bunk to answer it. His voice telling somebody that he would get his staff moving forced the lieutenant to remove the pillow and sheet from his body. Captain Silent rubbed his face hoping to physically remove any need for further sleep as he gave a command.

"Victor, throw something on and go tell the rest of my staff to get their butts moving. Top Secret and I have show-and-tell coming up soon, and you guys need to be present as well."

"How much time do we have, Sir?"

"Not much, and we need to look our best. I will be in dress uniform, and I suggest that everyone else appear presentable as well."

Victor found general disagreement with the orders from the enlisted men, but they quickly hushed when the lieutenant declared just how much he was going to mean business. Upon returning to his own room, he found Captain Silent to have already left for his shower. Victor grabbed his stuff for his own shower not wanting his superiors to find fault with him.

Once he and Captain Silent agreed that they looked as good as possible, the enlisted men were gained and the group marched through the carrier. The conference room was set up as a television studio, and a number of seats were present. Victor obeyed the command to take a seat, although watched as Captain Silent checked with the one manning the camera about particulars.

A few officers had also arrived to take a seat before Colonel Terrell showed up with her team. Victor smiled as she complained to Captain Silent about her hair being too long to quickly and easily get into proper fashion. The young man did not say anything in return, but pointed to a cameraman signaling the passing of time and told her that he was glad she looked so lovely.

A television screen came active and everyone watched as two UN delegates were murdered. Their deaths were not as dignified as that of Debra, but their blindfolded forms squirmed upon the poles to which they were tied while pleading for mercy. A line of armed soldiers were given commands to ready, aim, and fire, and then no more sounds were heard. After a few moments, the voice of a certain country's leader made some ridiculous demands that needed to be met to prevent the slaughter of the rest of the UN delegation. The one demand that all in the room voiced as truly being unacceptable was the turning over of a man known as Silent.

Colonel Terrell took over speaking as soon as the television screen went blank. She informed the group who had just been murdered, mentioned Debra that had been killed earlier, then spoke the names of those who were still held hostage. Colonel Stacy mentioned the demands that were made before making her own comments.

"We don't deal with terrorists. We also do not like standing idly by while innocent civilians are slaughtered. Those of us in the military however understand that we are not a vigilante group, so wait upon the commands of those who have the authority of the will of the people to tell us which evil gets tolerated and which one we get to act upon. Captain Silent has however become someone very special to me. Giving him up will therefore be an order that I would desire to disobey, although I feel strong that he would no more be contained than I was."

Captain Silent now took over the presentation with a brief outline of his and Colonel Terrell's last two missions. He started telling how the lady had orders to tour the country in order to become familiar with the locations and language. Considering that he was basically touring the world at the time, he surreptitiously joined the lady. He noted that it was on that mission that a certain computer had been stolen giving them the knowledge of other secrets that could be found. Having the computer and being in-the-know caused him to be an active agent on the next mission, and it was due to his aid that Colonel Terrell managed to set up conditions enabling him to steal the bomber. He ended his presentation by noting that both missions were a success.

Colonel Terrell took back over with a lecture on the specifics of the stolen bomber. While certain advantages of the plane were mentioned, she focused upon parts of the aircraft that were unique without a clear benefit or even use. The lady mentioned her desire to find answers to the mysteries of the stolen bomber, although admitted a fear of returning to the country. She stressed that she had been the active agent in the missions with Captain Silent being a covert operator, and at that time civilian, so not someone of true importance although she admitted that he had been the one to fly the bomber out of the country.

"It is presently unclear how Silent was identified. He believes that it was his secondary computer contacts, done with his laptop set up with his handle of 'Silent,' that identified him. I however feel that it was me having to contact him on a couple of occasions that made the country aware of his presence. We both understand that his flying of the bomber did increase whatever importance his name might have had with certain figureheads. At present, Silent no longer has his given name as we want to keep his identity as much of a secret as possible. While the country might know of Silent, we still have leverage in that they really do not know who he is."

The lady continued speaking, although made no mention of what actions were necessary to have Silent now part of the Army. She simply skipped to a number of events that worked together to force her return to the country with a UN delegation. The television screen came alive with a demonstration of Colonel Terrell performing the transformation that had her become an enlisted soldier of the problem country. A signal from one technician to another to rerun the demonstration was met with approval by those in the audience, although the expression from the lady was something close to annoyance. After the second showing, she spoke quickly to move her presentation to the locating of the factory and again calling upon Silent.

The Army captain now took back over the discussion with a general description of the factory and the operation that went on. He stressed that proper protocol was followed, as he was the one that had established certain rules and he was training another. Victor noticed that Senior Airman Franklin was not identified as Captain Silent let it be known clearly that he had not been responsible for the destruction of the factory.

Colonel Terrell now told what she had learned by listening to those who barely survived the explosion. She made certain to go into detail concerning the horror of the scene. When she moved her presentation towards the objects she had obtained, all understood that what they were witnessing had importance worth more than being another nifty toy.

As the screen showed the bomber dropping a couple of bombs, Captain Silent took over the job of speaking. "What you just witnessed was not the third attempt, or the fifth, but the first. We did not have to tinker with the objects. We did not have to rewire a part of the bomber. We simply had to attach the objects to the plane, then put our bombs hooked up to the objects. To quote a certain Chief Master Sergeant, 'It lets them throw our grenades back at us.'

"Now, our present predicament is loaded with questions. How do they know about me? Do they think Colonel Stacy Terrell is dead? Do they know that we have knowledge of these objects? Do they have any of our bombs to send back upon us? How do they expect to get a duplicate bomber into our air space to drop the bombs upon us? And there are other questions we are asking as well."

The lady took back over speaking. "We really have no answers. What concerns us is that the killing of the UN delegates forces our hand. We are attempting to gain answers, but understand the need of those we serve wanting to take action. You have the data, and we await our orders."

The sound of everyone in the room suddenly sitting up straight almost drowned the voice of the president of the United States as he asked a question. Victor had assumed that the cameras were recording the presentation for the viewing of the leader of the country, but he had not considered that the man was actually watching in real time. Colonel Terrell and Captain Silent calmly answered each question seeming to already have known that they would not have a chance to edit their presentation. While Victor looked around hoping for a screen showing the distant audience, those in front of the camera looked into the camera understanding who was staring at them.

Finally, the president said, "I thank both of you for your time, and for the service you have done for our country. Captain Silent, let me ask you, just for the record, what do you believe about being sent into the country?"

"I believe that I will be going to my death. I would certainly like to have a situation as Colonel Stacy. Escaping, moving about the country in secret, then stealing some new piece of technology sounds like fun. I believe the country has learned their lesson however, and the laxness they accorded to such a lovely lady would not be given me."

She spoke her agreement. "If anyone could make their escape, move about undetected, and make such a theft, it is Silent. He wanted to sneak into our nuclear arsenal to check out our objects. Only common sense on my part had us go through proper channels. For that reason however, I would not expect them to allow him to live."

After hearing the supreme leader of the country again thank the two for their presentation, the room filled with sounds as a number began moving. The technicians working the equipment began to turn things off and begin putting up certain instruments. A few officers moved up to thank the couple for doing such a professional job. Victor stayed seated silently even as he heard the others under the command of Captain Silent or Colonel Terrell whisper questions about what would happen now.

It was the lady that came over to answer the questions. "Okay, everyone should now have an idea of what Silent and I have been working to achieve. The work continues. It is early, as this was scheduled for the president and not for our convenience. I want all of you to go get something to eat, then meet for another day of searching for answers."

One enlisted man asked, "Why should I go get something to eat? Captain Silent sends me on enough runs to keep us adequately fed."

"I am glad that we all know our duties. Eat, then let us get back to work."

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 10
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