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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword


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About Tralla

  • Rank
    Professionally Dishevelled Tale Spinner
  • Birthday 10/12/1984

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  • Characters
    My characters are in my stories. Meet them there.
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  • Race/Gender Details
    Brown eyes, small hands, and lips that need no augmentation... The rest changes with the seasons.
  • Feedback Level
    Please do not be afraid to criticize. I'm a big girl.
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    Critical accepted
  1. My kitty would would be Tres, the evil looking Siamese mix on the left... The cat on the right is the family cat, Deuce, who *despises* Tres, but in this case they were both so fascinated with the very rare occurrence of snow that she didn't care how close he was. And the pride n joy of my life, my little papillon Dino. This little guy may be soft, but he's got big spaniel eyes that will melt you into gooey puddle from ten feet and more away with his patented sad-puppy-won't-you-love-me look. Him as a 6 month-old baby, and him as he is now:
  2. It's a regular reunion round these parts lately! A very sincere welcome back, Joat. Good to see you're doing well. This Tramin is glad to cross your path again. =)
  3. Very well written, Mynx!
  4. Author's note: Short and sweet. Keep in mind I haven't really written anything in four years and change. Updates may be slow to come. Like most of my stuff, it will probably have its darker elements. ----- “That’s it, little one. Go to sleep now.” Fingers loosened their implacable hold and stroked the hair on the old patient’s head gently. As the blue fluid finished injecting and the eyes glazed over, Jacqueline Ross gave a sigh and straightened. Resting the small dog’s wizened head on the counter, she gave the curly coat a final pat and started cleaning the various medical instruments strewn around her. Dr. Amanda Hansen scribbled some final notes in the pet’s file, folded the sheet over, and set the file aside. She eyed her technician thoughtfully, and then grimaced. “You always let the geriatrics get to you, Jack,” she admonished softly. “You’re going to have to adapt if you want to stay in the field.” “I know,” Jack replied, her gaze fixed on the instrument she was scrubbing vigorously. Clotted blood stuck to stainless steel like superglue. “I’m getting tougher, really, but some of the old farts just… It’s better than leaving them to suffer, but it’s hard being the one to hold them for that injection. I’ll get over it.” Amanda stared at her a moment longer, then nodded and turned away. Jack closed her eyes and leaned against the sink. Her hands shook. Sweat beaded her brow. She couldn’t tell anyone the real reason for her trouble with the old patients. The old, weakened, helpless patients, that triggered every predatory instinct surfacing so inconveniently in her brain. She couldn’t tell a soul that while the blue killing fluid was flooding their veins, she could hear their little hearts slowing, stuttering, and stopping. The meat was still hot and fresh. It would taste so good going down right away, before it cooled and took on the distinctive musty odour of newly dead flesh. She wouldn’t even have to feel the guilt of the kill. Her accelerated metabolism would handle the euthanyl with little more than a slight buzz. She was alone at the moment. Slipping into one of the empty wards with her little bundle would be so easy. She could- Jack jerked away from the sink with a little gasp. Dropping the clean tool on the drying tray, her eyes searched out the clock over her left shoulder. Relief flooded her when she reverted back to her human brain enough to interpret the minute and hour hands. Time to go. Thank god. Studiously avoiding the body still lying on the counter, Jack rushed down to the staff room, grabbed her purse, and made as fast of a getaway as she could. The drive home passed in a blur. She didn’t remember entering her house, or stripping out of her clothes on her way through. Her heightened senses were with her entirely, however, when she stood completely bare in her back yard, acres of grassy farmland stretching around her. Jack glared up at the weak quarter moon waiting just above the horizon, its glow yellowed and sickly from the smog hovering over the nearby city. Still it pulled at her, foreign but irresistible. Her skin itched and ached, yearning to answer the call. Realization of everything she’d lost, and everything she had yet to lose, washed over Jack in a tidal wave of black despair. A cry burst from her, escalating into a broken wail. When that rose inevitably into an inhuman howl, she wept. It wasn’t easy being a newly turned werewolf.
  5. I liked this, overall. Although it's a concept that's been tackled by many people, there's something a little horrifying about it, so they can be quite powerful stories. Okee, here's for the more picky critique. Feel free to disregard, just giving my impressions. “Your time has come. Report to debriefing room ... A little melodramatic. If they're addressing machines, what about something like, "You have an assignment." Your later conversations suggest she's an experienced agent. A routine mission shouldn't be a momentous event. The eyes blinked lazily and #117 unfolded herself to stand uneasily on cybertronic legs. I'd replace 'lazily' and 'uneasily' with, say, 'slowly' and 'unsteadily'. To me, the first words have too many emotional undertones for a creature with no emotions. The bottom part and left side of her torso were also a silver mass of wires, tubes, and metal plating. Her left forearm and hand glimmered, sleek and smooth as the most expensive of alloys. ... She was just like the other, forgettable and insignificant. The first half of the first sentence is awkward. Try describing the body area differently, ie 'left and lower torso'. For the second sentence, IS it an expensive alloy? If you're going to use simile, it should probably read 'AS sleek and blah blah blah'. And for the last sentense... otherS. You drop a lot of 's's throughout the story. I do the same thing all the time with 'ed'. Proofreading should fix this. Slowly at first, then picking up speed, #117 walked out of the room Walked is a little... blah. Perhaps a more descriptive verb? Did she stride? March? Stagger? “#’s 318, 211, 423, and 117: you have been specially selected for Code 13-BCX. You will live among a certain group of humans and analyze their actions. Become like them. After a period of two weeks we will collect them for processing. Your service will greatly benefit the Company. Step through the door and receive your temporary identities.” 'Numbers' instead of '#'s' might make that statement a little easier to read. Another thought: if they're essentially robots, why bother telling them what's going to happen in two weeks? It's none of their business. Their job is the recon. Or, if they're experienced operators, they already know the recon is for extraction. And why bother telling them their service will benefit the Company? It's wasted breath. Just order them around. They're flat machines. The man felt chills run up his spine. Cliche. Is there another way you could describe his unease? The four entered the smoky, loud, thrumming club. It wasn’t hard to locate the group they were looking for. They were a group of college students, muses, punks. Set the scene. Is it humid? Do they work their way through a press of talking, laughing bodies? Does the music grate on cyber nerves? This is an important scene for the story, a little more depth might pull your readers in better. The young man, stunned, nodded at her dumbly. Shook his head? Nodding would suggest someone WAS siting there. "...They are so clipped.” Loved this. Slang made it instantly feel like a more realistic culture. "I don’t have any mates yet.” She corrects this statement for Gabe, but then two more friends saunter right on up! I'd have a big question mark over my head on that one! The girls eyed the young man approvingly and the young men inwardly sighed. Those still single had been hoping to snag Viola for themselves. I wouldn't bother with the second sentence. Pretty redundant. Viola inwardly shattered the image with a silent glare. I had to reread this several times. I didn't understand what it meant. It was one of the reasons she was so good for her purpose Again, 'good' is a very blah word. How about 'perfect', 'ideal' or 'well suited'? ...in 13 days and 22 hours they would be joining their ranks. Who and the what now? Try to avoid the words 'they' , 'their', etc, referring to different groups in the same sentence. The meaning of the sentence comes into question. “Hey, sir, look at this.” ... “Yes, sir. I’ll see to it myself.” I would delay this interlude a little longer, maybe lump it in with the other headquarters scene a little farther down. You tend to lay out your answers immediately after your questions. Building mystery and leaving your reader wondering will build suspense and pull your reader deeper. I was kind of disappointed the snap happened so early. A little more time spent with the group, or even a superficial resemblance between Clint and Josh, would explain her attachment to him later on. ie, if he's just another human, why would his name penetrate her firewall? His name is just meaningless data unless he means something to her. Men in white lab coats grabbed Viola, yanking her off of the scientist. If she's all souped up and cybertronic, could mere humans really restrain her? The men yanked her wig and clothing off, stripping her bare. Why waste the time before you have her subdued? If she needs to see her metal bits, one of the men trying to restrain her could accidentally tear something... “We can’t! We’d have to un-strap her and she’d kill us all. Reference as proof for above comment about regular men not being able to restrain her. Bring on the drugs, baby! "That’ll take several hours at least.” ... it had only been about half an hour... “There you are!” he exclaimed. “You’ve put us severely behind. I was supposed to be working on #117 by now!” If he was supposed to be processing for several hours, and it had only been a half hour, how could Clint have put them severely behind. And he wouldn't have been working on #117 by now, it's only been a half hour! I was also really disappointed by the whole escape thing. Draw it out! Make it dramatic! It's the climax of the story! More struggle, more tears! When Viola gets the emotion chip, why doesn't she kick some serious butt, then she and Clint run through the complex, dodging Eras and bolting past horrors, screams, and rooms with row upon row of dormant cyborgs? THEN they get caught, or walk into a trap when they think they're home free, or something? I could have skimmed the entire description of their struggles and not missed anything. It wasn't involving at all. The scientist placed what appeared to be two sharp needles on either side of 117’s head, directed at each temple. He switched on several computers and watched as their screens loaded up. He pressed a green button and the needles jammed into Viola’s head. Again, hype it up. She has the emotion chip still in. Is she screaming? Spewing obscenities? Is she experiencing overwhelming fear, rage, or what? What does she feel when the needles go in? Static hazing to blackness? Her self of self spiralling away from her grasping fingers? Excruciating pain as the emotion chip collides with the deprogramming of her identity? Just skipping to the next scene gives us no chance to identify with your main character. You are to guide #836 through the Company so that he may learn the paths. Learn the paths? Vague and unscientific. What about, learn operating procedures, prepare for future missions (ominous sense of continuity of the evil company...oooh) or something a little more technical? Immediately her firewall jumped up and cut off that train of though. 'Jumped up' is also a weak phrase here. Got anything with more punch? Hopefully that helps. Sorry if I bruised your muse. I really did like the story, otherwise I wouldn't put so much effort into helping you either improve it or your future stories. I look forward to seeing anything else you might write about this character. You could have quite a little adventure evolve out of this short story.
  6. Better late than never! A very happy birthday to you, Alaeha!
  7. Rac: what are you looking for in a sig? I can't do original art, but I used to cobble together a number of the sigs that bounced around here.
  8. *cough* speaking of people packing their things and walking out the door... Hey look, she's not dead! The usual apologies on extreme inactivity extended, with sincere good intentions to do better. Health hasn't been too hot the past few months, but that's nothing new. What is? I wrote a whopping page. First words out of my muse in... three, four years? Something like that. Go me! Big hellos to all my old friends, and hope to stick around to meet some new ones.
  9. That sounds like a fantastic holiday, Katz! Congratulations on the wedding and everything else, too! I'm glad you enjoyed my home province so much. It's a shame we couldn't meet up, but I'm a lot farther from Victoria than most people seem to think. =( I took that trip from Victoria to Seattle, too, once; it's very pretty, in an extremely rural sort of way. Welcome back!
  10. Hey, you always know you got my vote, Wyv. Good luck on compiling!
  11. Like? It IS a Bachelor of Science. My major is in Actuarial Mathematics (risk analysis and mortality statistics), and I also minored in Microeconomics. Don't I sound like the life of the party?
  12. So I've graduated. Whoopee. BSc and top of my class. I also have virtually no prospects in my field for the next 6 months or so. Not a surprise, given the trend with university education these days. BUT, after two months of complete and utter down time in which I do nothing more challenging than write the date in files at work, I have managed to muster enough mental creative muscle to drag my muse back by her hair. She came kicking, screaming, and cursing foully enough to make a carpenter-sailor-ex-wannabe-gangsta curl his toes, but she is at least putting in a grudging appearance. For the first time in four years, there are stories mud-slogging around in my brain. Gods, I've missed it. I've missed you.
  13. Aww... thanks guys =D Being a part of the incredibly enlightened (/sarcasm) Canadian province of BC, I've been able to drink legally for two years... Vote for three. Go me. =P
  14. ... screech that could make a dwarf's ears bleed. Meanwhile, the penguins duck and run for cover, searching the skeletal trees around for the semi-expected shape of a pretty little angel, co-conspirator of butterflies. Instead, they find...
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