Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Concept Story - Part 1 - written by Zack Sparks


A special treat today :)  Zack recently came onboard as the project concept writer, and sent me the following section.  I find this incredibly useful; while reading it I can get concepts for new objects etc (see the clock below).



One moment, everything was fine. Gage sat on a beach chair, scanning through the tablet book in front of him, sipping something saucy and listening to waves lap and soak the sand. The wind rustled, and he looked up across the ocean.

There was nothing on the horizon. Nothing but clear, light blue above an undulating dark blue, cresting gently with the horizon line. His sunshield visor slid up, accommodating for Gage's viewing angle into the sun. He sighed. “Shield off,” he uttered. The shield slid back. Gage wanted to view the world in all its majesty for a moment. 
Just a brief moment.  Because in the next moment, everything was not fine. It started simply enough—just a droning buzz in the forest behind him. He turned and looked behind him, into the tropical trees. He saw nothing.

But still, the buzz grew. It was droning, like a child blowing on a noisemaker, growing louder and steadier. The sound almost reminded Gage of a lasersaw cutting something very large.  A structure sat to the right of Gage's peripheral. Whatever the buzz was, it was shaking the brushed metal structure; it was vibrating as if in an earthquake.

Gage removed the visor piece from his ear completely and sat it on the table next to the chair. The pieces that formed over Gage's brow retreated into the earpiece, and Gage wished he could retreat as well. Whatever it was back there, it sounded evil. He stood up and turned fully to face the noise when he heard something else. 
This time, it was a child. At least, it looked like a child. She was walking in a hurried pace out of the forest, moving quickly to Gage's position. 

“What's that noise? Is everything okay?” Gage asked instinctively.

The child's speech became clearer as she approached Gage's position. “...should really go with the Global Transport solution. It saves time and energy from the usage of the fusion car.”  Gage was puzzled for a moment.

“Global Transport—contact your local representative today.”  His brow furrowed.

“6:40 this morning on a beautiful Caldoria day, just like all the others. Today is a Rainer, so remember to take a change of suit if you plan on being outdoors after noon...” the child's speech continued.

In the next moment, Gage was lying on his side in his bed, hair messed and matted down, a small puddle of saliva formed around the corner of his mouth and spilling out onto the bed. He groaned, rolling over and touching the holographic clock on the bedside table. Its task complete, the clock dissolved into the surface of the table. 
Gage lay still a moment and stared at the bland, gray ceiling. He knew, on a deeper conscious level, that there was some blue sky somewhere behind that ceiling. But there it was, obtrusive and arresting with its nonstop assault of gray stucco.

Why? Gage thought. Why is it always the good ones?

He spun, placing his feet on the ground and sitting upright a moment. His ear-length hair remained hopelessly matted to his head, and his shoulders slumped, hands resting on his thighs. Gage Blackwood was definitely not awake.

“Mmph. Light.” 

The lights in the room rose from the floor, sliding upward out of small panels in the floor on tracks mounted to the wall. They brightened, slowly, as Gage stood up and walked to the window.   The glass-domed East Garden stretched in front of Gage's window, with plants of many colors dotting the landscape. Bushes with big leaves did their best to try and hide the smaller flora, but it was of no avail—the smaller flowers were too bright and saturated with heavy color that they were almost shining through the leaves of the larger plants. Above, the glass dome curved outward and bent the perspective of the sun shining overhead.

Gage walked to his desk, extending from the corner of the room. A monitor was tucked into the corner above the desk, as news tickers slid across the bottom with some talking head on the main screen. Gage's desk was nearly empty—a couple of computer tablets were resting on the desk to the right of a small light, and the holographic projector was throwing an image of Gage's personal machine on the wall. To the left was a gray sliding door, split down the middle into two panels. The lights on the wall had reached their final position and brightness for this time of morning.

Gage stood for a moment in his shorts, staring at the desk, trying to will his brain into the thoughts of his morning routine. In its weakened state, his brain chose clothing first. 

He stepped out into the great room, through the sliding gray door. A coffee table sat in the room's center, with a circular bar rotating out from the far corner of the room. Two loungers sat along the short wall of the great room, with their angled, cushioned design calling for Gage to rest on them. A sofa of a similar style to the loungers was placed on the long wall, while a projection screen dominated the wall now at Gage's back, opposite the loungers.
Gage walked forward, into the single panel sliding door in front of him. His bathroom was the only thing he disliked about this apartment—it was just too small. Gage's size was above average, and it made everything in the bathroom feel miniscule, as if he had entered the room of a child. Everything in the room was shinier, compared to the brushed metal and dull gray and light brown look of the great room. Gage pulled his shorts down and reached in front of him, beside the mirror, to press a button.

At the touch of the button, rings on the floor surrounding the panel on which Gage stood began to turn in opposite ways, rising up with tiny holes dotting the circumference of each ring. Six rings rose out of the floor in all, with the highest stopping above Gage's head. Gage stood in the midst of the rings, head cocked to one side, wiping his eyes. The mounted wash basin in the room had retreated into the wall, and water began to spray gently from the holes in the rings.

Gage used the time to try and shake off some more cobwebs. He shook his hair around and stretched his neck from one side to another, loosening up his lateral muscles. He let the polarized water wash him, and he felt cleaner just standing in the mist.

Out in the great room, a red light began flashing on the coffee table. Shortly after, the projection screen began to flash the same red, as the words “Urgent Message” began to scroll across the projection. With his shower complete, Gage stepped back out into the great room. His eyes were now fully in realization of what the message meant.

“Dammit,” he said, almost as an utterance to himself. He crossed to the coffee table, took his earpiece in his hand, and placed it on his ear, switching it on. He felt the machinery slide into his ear canal, and the click as the connection firmed in his bio implant was jarring in his brain, as it always was. A small extension of the piece slid around Gage's brow and extended downward, with its blue screen in sharp contrast to the message it relayed:

Gage pushed the air out of his lungs, quickly and business-like. Crossing to the wall next to the sofa, he pressed a control. One of the panels on the wall slid back and a rack of suits stretched out from the wall. Gage wriggled his body into one of the suits as quickly as he could as it sealed behind him, and he crossed to the door opposite the sofa to leave for work. As he approached the door, the background and message on his eyepiece changed:

His eyes rolled, disappointed in himself, as he darted back into his bedroom and grabbed his Global Transport card from his desk. The Global Transport solution. Sure—it was making all our lives easier.  Now, Gage thought, if only they'd invent a bio-implant to wake people up on time.

Gage tucked the card into his belt and exited the room, as the message in front of him changed one last time:

“Always something,” Gage uttered as he left his apartment behind.

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