Calling All Critiques – Entry # 13

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Entry # 13

Author: Adam Train
Website: N/A
Title: High-Side
Genre: Sci-Fi/Cyber Punk/Adult

The powerful screaming whine of piston pumping engines cried out into the hot dry night. Fading into the distance, the droning wails reached fever pitched highs before giving way to gear changes of complimentary tones. This was the music of the night, a common symphony familiar to any resident of the Barrens; a two hundred and fifty thousand square mile sprawl of burnt out and shattered wasteland.

The wretched plateau was the skeletal remains of a once thriving city-state. A dark labyrinth of impoverished urban rot, streaked with decaying winding super-highways and studded with crumbling mega-structures, it had been left behind by withdrawing populations decades ago. The sprawling morass of lawless favelas, ghettos and slums, fringed and enveloped the gated glistening super-city of Metro; a blazing metropolis of lofty existence. The decaying Barrens wastes wrapped around the bastion capitol like a greying fungal rot around its fuelling nucleus, feeding off its fringes. A city within a city.

In stark contrast to the Barrens that surrounded it, Metro was rich with technology and pleasantries. It grew out of the vapid horizon, into the night’s sky, with blinding intensity, visible far beyond the shrouded halo wastes that drank in its light. Some fifteen-thousand square miles of shimmering towers and colossal rises, tightly packed and stacked behind high, broad walls, the thriving haven three times the span of Tokyo.

Metro’s one hundred and forty million citizens sat secure behind its five hundred foot tall, two hundred foot deep, protective embankment of steel and concrete defence. These monolithic walls kept the Barren’s endless tide of wanton needy masses from entering the sanctuary, breaking upon its gates like waves of discarded social infirmity, repelled and halted in their advance. After all, Metro’s governing authorities couldn’t let the infinite rabble of global refugees into the city. The capital had a finite sum of self sustaining function and the closed system was already at levels that strained the hedonistic comfort of some. The luxurious existence that life was behind the walls couldn’t be obtained by all those who wanted it so. There simply wasn’t enough to go round.

Past the outer most Barren fringes lay an endless abyss of dead earth, a hostile scorched hell of pestilence and predation. Not many if any communities or townships still existed in those vast dry continents of death. With this knowledge, both citizens of Metro and the Barrens accepted their fate and their lot for the most part, understanding where each stood in this remnant neo-world. So it was, that the last known vestige of human civilization lived divided into these two vastly different worlds. The walls leviathan construction of looming dread and definite nature reinforced the boundary between the two, side by side, yet firmly separated by class and geography.

Yet, for all the great wall’s monstrous form and lethal defence, it like all things had weakness, soft spots that could be exploited, and so they were. This is why the screaming roar of engines filled the night and why they would do so for all nights to come. The Barren’s pirate bikers made hundreds of perilous runs each cloud covered eve, braving the winding paths of concrete decay and city fortifications to deliver their smuggled cargo to Metro’s walls.

The calendar year was 2096, some sixty years since the great purge and exodus of civilization, and the glistening climb of Metro’s towers marked her as the last great city of earth.

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8 thoughts on “Calling All Critiques – Entry # 13

  1. Wow, Quanie. I was blown away with the author’s literary language and descriptive tone here. I could picture everything… the Barrens, the decrepit face of death surrounding what was left. I really hope Adam does well with this story. I really look forward to reading more about it!
    Gina Stoneheart recently posted..How I Found the Write PathMy Profile

  2. I also agree with MM Jaye. The descriptions are vibrant and it’s easy to picture everything clearly. I have no issues with the descriptions. However, breaking up descriptions of the landscape with something else would be a good idea, whether it’s dialogue, characters, daily life – whatever. You’ll have plenty of readers who will skip over or skim a lot of this text because they’ll say, “Okay, I get the picture, now let’s get on to some action.” Many readers consider heavy description invalid to the storyline, so if you want to force them to read it, you may want to integrate something else in here.

    Something tells me you’d be good at descriptive poetry, or maybe even experimental. Very well illustrated!

  3. The writing here is very cinematic! I do agree with MM about wondering if I was reading fiction or not, but since we only have 500 words I’m sure that characters will be introduced somewhere down the line? Anyway, great job on the visuals. Good luck to you!
    Quanie recently posted..Calling All Critiques – Entry # 13My Profile

  4. The writing is so rich and lush I wasn’t only drawn in but felt I was watching a film with a strong narrative underpinning the vivid imagery. And maybe that’s my only “regulatory” comment: with no character introduced and great detail of the cities size, history and construction, I wasn’t sure I was reading fiction… Admittedly, if characters and their predicament are strongly presented in the very next paragraph, my comment not valid.

    Fantastic writing, Adam!
    MM Jaye recently posted..Calling All Critiques: Entry#16 (Adult Dark Urban Fantasy)My Profile

  5. nnnnnnnn-YYEE-OOOWWWWwwwwwwww……
    I could hear the the motorcycles screaming!
    I love this!
    Cheers, Mr. Train!

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