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Target: The War-Monger

Tahoos first short story!

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Artorias

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Posted Mar 07 2012 - 10:47 AM

So, here it is. My first (probably pretty bad) short story, following a shadowy assassin employed to hunt down and kill a weapons merchant on the island of Zakaz.Brace yourself.----------------------------The boat slowed to a stop, and Delkyr looked out into the water.The shore was still some length away. Delkyr was about to ask just what was going on when the owner of the ship answered."I don't want to get too close. This target is important, and we don't want to get off to a bad start.""So I have to swim?" Delkyr sighed, then chuckled. "Oh well. I'll do anything to get the job done, I suppose,"The island was Zakaz, the homeland of the brutal Skakdi. He was here to kill someone - a Skakdi war-monger who was believedto have been selling weapons to criminal organizations. The information wasn't concrete, but Delkyr knew from past experiencesto trust the Order. He gave his thanks to the Order agent who owned the boat, and slipped off the deck into the warm water.Within five minutes or so, Delkyr had arrived on the shore. He began walking up some wooden steps into a city when he stopped."Oh, no." He mumbled.Up ahead, there were numerous Skakdi guarding the entrance, and a queue of Matoran waiting. They seemed to be stopping incomingvisitors for passes or some such. How was he going to get past this? Surely they'd search him. There was plenty of weapons underneathhis cloak... None of which he wanted to use at the moment. But then he thought of a plan.He waited for a new Matoran to come to the front of the line, and just before the Skakdi started questioning him, he used hisShelek to silence him. This would be a perfect distraction."What's your business here, whelp?" The Skakdi snarled. The Matoran moved his hands, but said nothing. His eyes were wide."I haven't got time for games. What business do you have here?" Delkyr could see frustration in the guard's eyes.The Matoran tried to speak again, but nothing came out of his terrified mouth. The Skakdi appeared to be visibly enraged."What is this?! Stop wasting my time and speak, you pathetic worm!"Satisfied, Delkyr slipped through the other Skakdi guards, who began to get angry too.The streets of the Market District were filthy. The cracked stone pavement was littered with shards of metal and glass,and Delkyr could've sworn he'd seen a lazily hidden Matoran wearing a Pakari stashed away in a dark alley. Being a market district,there were stalls selling all sorts of things all around. Weapons, Kanohi, lightstones and other things Delkyr couldn't identifywere on sale. He had started to move onto the target's house when a shady Matoran in a cracked Hau approached him."Hey. You. Big guy. You wann' buy summin'? I got weapons, disks, arrows... You want?""No thanks," Delkyr replied. "I have... business to attend to." The salesman smirked, and lowered his voice. "I'll betit involves killin', or at least a scrap. Whatcha got underneath that big old cloak o' yours?" Delkyr was beginning to getfrustrated. This merchant was slowing him down. "If you'll excuse me, I must get on." Delkyr started moving faster, andthe salesman left him to his business. "Merchants. They never leave you alone," he murmured.After about half an hour of walking unnoticed in the dusty streets, he came across his destination - a huge iron gate, guardedby two Skakdi. Behind the gate was a luxurious courtyard, with flower beds and a large fountain in the middle. At the far endwas a large wooden door leading into the target's mansion. This Skakdi had clearly been in business for a long time - he'd needto be far richer than most residents of Zakaz. After he had gotten his bearings, Delkyr tried to think of a plan. He could rush in,silence the two guards and kill them before they escaped, he could climb onto an adjacent building and get onto the roofof the house, or he could lead them away to somewhere else and kill them without anyone seeing. Then he remembered the Matoransalesman from earlier, and noticed that the guard's armour matched that of the Zakaz peacekeepers... And he thought of aplan.He approached the two guards and struck up a conversation with one of them. "You are part of the Zakaz peacekeeping force, yes?"The Skakdi nodded."Then I know something that may interest you. Earlier I met a rather suspicious Matoran merchant, who I suspect has illegalcontraband in his possession.""I'm listening," The guard replied. Delkyr directed them to where he had met the salesman, and once he was sure they were far away,he picked the lock on the gate and let himself in, readying himself for the inevitable duel.Quietly, he entered the mansion itself, and was given two choices. Branching off from the entrance were two long corridors - One of them lead to a staircase,the other lead into what looked like a study. Judging by the time, he was probably starting to eat dinner. Guessing that the dining room was upstairs, he pushed backhis cloak, unsheathed his sword and crept up the staircase. He could hear voices coming from behind a door."So, is the next batch ready? Our client wants them by next week. If they aren't done, tell those lazy workers to hurry up." A deep, growling voice, like a particularly short-tempered Skakdi. Delkyr assumed it to belong to his target."A-almost, sir. Are you really sure about this, Hazak? Dealing with... with Makuta?" A weaker, quivering voice. Most likely a Matoran."Of course I'm sure, Larik. Tell the workers to hurry up. Now, I must eat." Hazak replied."Yes sir, I will make sure they go quick-fast." Responded Larik. Delkyr heard the Le-Matoran walk down another corridor, and as soon as hewas sure he was gone, he made his move and opened the door. Hazak stopped suddenly, and rose from his chair. Delkyr clicked a button on the hilt of his sword, and an extension of the blade flipped up, then another one. "Good evening, Hazak. My name is Delkyr, an agent of the Order of Mata Nui. You are my target. Prepare to die."He raised the sword, pointing it directly into the back of the Skakdi's head. He kept it there, then charged into him.Hazak ducked down and rolled to the right, then stood up, before bashing through a door leading into another corridor on the right of the room.Delkyr recovered from his thrust, then followed the Skakdi down the corridor. At once, he saw that this man was indeed the owner of a weapons factory - therewere swords, maces and other deadly weapons lined up along the walls, some particularly well-made ones stored in glass cases. As Delkyr had feared, the Skakdi stopped and grabbed a longsword from the wall and turned around to fight. He swung at Delkyr's shoulder, who only just managed to side-step in time. The Skakdi turned to face him, and grinned madly. "I've never been bested before in a fight, whelp. I'm not going to tarnish my reputation!" He snarled, and struck for Delkyr just as he raised his sword to block.Their swords locked together, they walked in circles, their faces hard and controlled. Delkyr side-stepped elegantly out of the lock and slashed at his arm. The blade's edge made contact, and the ferocious Skakdi yelped in pain. He was wearing no armour, which gave Delkyr the advantage in terms of defense. The Skakdi recoiled, and went to inspect his wound.But it was a feint, and he struck back at Delkyr's wrist.It had little effect, however, as Delkyr was practically coated in lightweight, durable armour made of some unknown alloy. Furious, Hazak opted tosimply ram his shoulder into him, and he managed to do so successfully. Delkyr was suddenly jammed into the wall, covering his cloak in dust. Hazakstepped away before grabbing Delkyr's throat. Of course, the assassin still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Delkyr flicked his wrist, and glinting clawsslid up from his arm onto the tips of his fingers. He clamped them down onto the Skakdi's thick, powerful wrist, and Hazak howled in pain.Holding his arm, Hazak dropped his weapon and started sprinting down the hallway towards a window at the end of the corridor. He slumped down against the wall, seething with rage. "Defeated. My first time. Oh well, I guess it won't matter when I'm dead. Go on then, kill me, worm." His voice was low and hard, and his teeth gritted with each word."As you wish." Delkyr responded, and lifted up the defeated Skakdi by the throat with surprising strength. He hurled through the window, making sure the Skakdi was facing the ground. They slammed into the courtyard below, Hazak's body absorbing the impact. Delkyr had landed safely. He stood up, his hands on his hips, and took a look at his handiwork. "All's well that ends well." He chuckled, and looked up at the night sky. He sheathed his sword and claws, and took out a small, smooth steel ball from a pouch underneath his cloak. He tapped it three times, and it started glowing with a warm light."This is Delkyr to Helryx. My mission is complete. The target is dead, and no one witnessed the murder." He waited for a response."Good. Nice work. We'll send you pick-up by sea." The calm, collected voice of the leader of the Order replied.Satisfied, Delkyr put away the sphere and vanished from the crime scene.The body was found the next day. The peacekeepers of Zakaz suspected him to have cut himself on one of his weapons, and blundered confusedly out of the window.The two guards who were at the gate to the mansion had their suspicions about the mysterious, cloaked Toa who diverted their attention, but they kept quiet - The effects of Delkyr's Shelek were going to last for a while...-----------------------------------So, there it is. Comments? Criticisms? Insults? Praise? Tell me what you think.And yes, that last sentence does indeed imply that Delkyr silenced the two guards. Yes, it wasn't mentioned before, but I felt it was a nice way to end the story.EDIT: Sorry if there are any random skips between parts of sentences, I copy-pasted it out of notepad. I removed the ones I found, so it should be fine now.

Edited by Tahoo, Mar 10 2012 - 03:37 AM.

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"The sun is a wondrous body, like a magnificent father! If only I could be so grossly incandescent!"

 

My PBZP: http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=4267

I hadn't even known it was posted until much later... Oops.

 

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#2 Offline Grantaire

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Posted Mar 10 2012 - 04:27 PM

Official SSCC review!Ahh, feels so good to be able to say that again. :biggrin:All right, for your first short story, you did a good job, a lot better than my first. The grammar gets you special Zarproval: too often, fist short stories are written with bad grammar, which is an annoyance. yours was pretty good overall, which made for an easy read.The theme was a decent, although common one, but you executed it fairly well. Although I have a fair amount of nitpicks, I was able to read it without deeming it noobish/annoying.A major nitpick, which gave me a bad impression of the story was how you overused the enter button, ending a line quite unnaturally. For instance:

The boat slowed to a stop, and Delkyr looked out into the water.The shore was still some length away. Delkyr was about to ask just what was going on when the owner of the ship answered."I don't want to get too close. This target is important, and we don't want to get off to a bad start.""So I have to swim?" Delkyr sighed, then chuckled. "Oh well. I'll do anything to get the job done, I suppose,"The island was Zakaz, the homeland of the brutal Skakdi. He was here to kill someone - a Skakdi war-monger who was believedto have been selling weapons to criminal organizations. The information wasn't concrete, but Delkyr knew from past experiencesto trust the Order. He gave his thanks to the Order agent who owned the boat, and slipped off the deck into the warm water.Within five minutes or so, Delkyr had arrived on the shore. He began walking up some wooden steps into a city when he stopped."Oh, no." He mumbled.

First gripe: you have two forms of paragraph breaks. One where you leave a space, and another (when they're speaking) where you simply start another line. You might want to use one form only.Next, the first paragraph should looks like this:

The boat slowed to a stop, and Delkyr looked out into the water. The shore was still some length away. Delkyr was about to ask just what was going on when the owner of the ship answered."I don't want to get too close. This target is important, and we don't want to get off to a bad start.""So I have to swim?" Delkyr sighed, then chuckled. "Oh well. I'll do anything to get the job done, I suppose,"The island was Zakaz, the homeland of the brutal Skakdi. He was here to kill someone - a Skakdi war-monger who was believed to have been selling weapons to criminal organizations. The information wasn't concrete, but Delkyr knew from past experiences to trust the Order. He gave his thanks to the Order agent who owned the boat, and slipped off the deck into the warm water.

the comma should be a period, for the record. Also, notice how I combined some of the lines? Only break them when someone is speaking, or when a new paragraph begins. You did this a lot throughout the story.

Up ahead, there were numerous Skakdi guarding the entrance, and a queue of Matoran waiting. They seemed to be stopping incomingvisitors for passes or some such. How was he going to get past this? Surely they'd search him. There was plenty of weapons underneathhis cloak... None of which he wanted to use at the moment. But then he thought of a plan.

Okay, personal nitpick, but I think those two lines could be expanded a little.

He waited for a new Matoran to come to the front of the line, and just before the Skakdi started questioning him, he used hisShelek to silence him. This would be a perfect distraction."What's your business here, whelp?" The Skakdi snarled. The Matoran moved his hands, but said nothing. His eyes were wide."I haven't got time for games. What business do you have here?" Delkyr could see frustration in the guard's eyes.The Matoran tried to speak again, but nothing came out of his terrified mouth. The Skakdi appeared to be visibly enraged."What is this?! Stop wasting my time and speak, you pathetic worm!"Satisfied, Delkyr slipped through the other Skakdi guards, who began to get angry too.

ehh... it just sounds to me like he got in a little too easy here... A more challenging entrance would definitely hook the readers a bit more.

The streets of the Market District were filthy. The cracked stone pavement was littered with shards of metal and glass,and Delkyr could've sworn he'd seen a lazily hidden Matoran wearing a Pakari stashed away in a dark alley. Being a market district,there were stalls selling all sorts of things all around. Weapons, Kanohi, lightstones and other things Delkyr couldn't identifywere on sale. He had started to move onto the target's house when a shady Matoran in a cracked Hau approached him."Hey. You. Big guy. You wann' buy summin'? I got weapons, disks, arrows... You want?"

That sentence sounds a little odd to me... perhaps "he'd seen a pakari wearing matoran lazily stashed away"?

"No thanks," Delkyr replied. "I have... business to attend to." The salesman smirked, and lowered his voice. "I'll betit involves killin', or at least a scrap. Whatcha got underneath that big old cloak o' yours?" Delkyr was beginning to getfrustrated. This merchant was slowing him down. "If you'll excuse me, I must get on." Delkyr started moving faster, andthe salesman left him to his business. "Merchants. They never leave you alone," he murmured.

Who said that, delkyr or the merchant? A little unclear wording there.

He approached the two guards and struck up a conversation with one of them. "You are part of the Zakaz peacekeeping force, yes?"The Skakdi nodded."Then I know something that may interest you. Earlier I met a rather suspicious Matoran merchant, who I suspect has illegalcontraband in his possession.""I'm listening," The guard replied. Delkyr directed them to where he had met the salesman, and once he was sure they were far away,he picked the lock on the gate and let himself in, readying himself for the inevitable duel.

Again, I think this was too easy. I mean, trained guards leaving their posts just because a random matoran runs up to them and reports a merchant selling illegal stuff? I doubt it, especially since from the company would probably kill/fire them for doing that.

his cloak, unsheathed his sword and crept up the staircase. He could hear voices coming from behind a door."So, is the next batch ready? Our client wants them by next week. If they aren't done, tell those lazy workers to hurry up." A deep, growling voice, like a particularly short-tempered Skakdi. Delkyr assumed it to belong to his target.

Perhaps 'hurry up," spoke a deep growling voice,'?

He raised the sword, pointing it directly into the back of the Skakdi's head. He kept it there, then charged into him.Hazak ducked down and rolled to the right, then stood up, before bashing through a door leading into another corridor on the right of the room.Delkyr recovered from his thrust, then followed the Skakdi down the corridor. At once, he saw that this man was indeed the owner of a weapons factory - therewere swords, maces and other deadly weapons lined up along the walls, some particularly well-made ones stored in glass cases. As Delkyr had feared, the Skakdi stopped and grabbed a longsword from the wall and turned around to fight. He swung at Delkyr's shoulder, who only just managed to side-step in time. The Skakdi turned to face him, and grinned madly. "I've never been bested before in a fight, whelp. I'm not going to tarnish my reputation!" He snarled, and struck for Delkyr just as he raised his sword to block.

Okay, first, for a trained warrior, that's like the LAST move you'd use against an unarmored foe. A slash or a thrust would be natural, harder to dodge/block. Second, what possessed Hazak to grab a longsword? The longsword is the last weapon you'd use inside a room, with the exception of a pike. It's too long. A one handed sword or a mace would be the best in such quarters.

Their swords locked together, they walked in circles, their faces hard and controlled. Delkyr side-stepped elegantly out of the lock and slashed at his arm. The blade's edge made contact, and the ferocious Skakdi yelped in pain. He was wearing no armour, which gave Delkyr the advantage in terms of defense. The Skakdi recoiled, and went to inspect his wound.But it was a feint, and he struck back at Delkyr's wrist.

All MU persons have armor built into them. Why would Hazak remove his? Also, just for the record, a hard blow from a sword to an an armored risk would hurt a bit from the force, although it would never break armor.

slid up from his arm onto the tips of his fingers. He clamped them down onto the Skakdi's thick, powerful wrist, and Hazak howled in pain.Holding his arm, Hazak dropped his weapon and started sprinting down the hallway towards a window at the end of the corridor. He slumped down against the wall, seething with rage. "Defeated. My first time. Oh well, I guess it won't matter when I'm dead. Go on then, kill me, worm." His voice was low and hard, and his teeth gritted with each word.

Why didn't the Skakdi use his eyebeams? Also, another personal gripe I have is that the fight was over far too quickly. if Hazak had been armored and better armed, the fight could have lasted longer, and been more interesting.

"This is Delkyr to Helryx. My mission is complete. The target is dead, and no one witnessed the murder." He waited for a response."Good. Nice work. We'll send you pick-up by sea." The calm, collected voice of the leader of the Order replied.Satisfied, Delkyr put away the sphere and vanished from the crime scene.

Period should be a comma.Overall, although I have gripes with the realisticness of the plot, this is an excellent first story. With some work, it could definitely be an excellent work period. I look forwards to seeing more of your writings, especially as you improve. :)
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#3 Offline Artorias

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Posted Mar 11 2012 - 03:59 AM

Overall, although I have gripes with the realisticness of the plot, this is an excellent first story. With some work, it could definitely be an excellent work period. I look forwards to seeing more of your writings, especially as you improve. :)

Thanks for the review. I'll try to improve for my next SS.Yes, I do have plans for another one, and I do believe no-one has done this idea before...

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"The sun is a wondrous body, like a magnificent father! If only I could be so grossly incandescent!"

 

My PBZP: http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=4267

I hadn't even known it was posted until much later... Oops.

 

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