Kronos Excerpt #4

Jove felt a mix of annoyance and panic. With eyes shut tight, the cool metal of the ladder rung seemed to cool some of the burning in his head. He spoke in a measured voice through gritted teeth, “Would you rather wait for the guards to find us? We can’t stay here. We definitely can’t go back.”

An unsteady sigh sounded nervously from a few feet behind. “I-I think we should give ourselves up then. We’ll die for sure if we go up to the surface.”

Jove spun around to look at his best friend. Virgil had never given up like this but now he stood dejectedly wiping his grimy glasses on his dirtier shirt futilely trying to clean them while he waited for my answer without meeting his eyes. Virgil had always been the short, stubborn ass of the gang who refused to give in no matter how tough the going got. This wasn’t him.

Jove was striking even now covered in the filth accumulated from hours of crawling through sewage. A tall boy with bright blue eyes and long dark hair shaved on the sides, he was a fierce friend and natural leader.

“Virge don’t you know-” Jove began sharply.

“Of course, I know.” Virgil snapped. “Don’t bark at me like one of your new recruits, I’ve followed you since the beginning but… but I won’t follow to your end.” He finished with his voice a few octaves lower in a false swagger.

“We have to try.” Jove implored with a desperate, fanatical gleam in his eye. “I have to try. I won’t go back to Juvie or be forced into the hole, I’d rather die.” Nodding encouragingly, Jove motioned with an outstretched hand and watery smile.

Virgil merely shook his head wearily and took a step backwards.

Jove’s vision blinded with sudden rage at his friend’s foolishness. He had the urge to punch the face of his longest follower who was now telling him he would have to go alone.“You actually believe their stupid fuckin’ lies?” Jove spit into Virgil’s face. “That the surface is uninhabitable due to out of control global warming?”

“Why else would our ancestors have moved here?” Virgil solemnly replied.

“A thousand reasons!” Screamed Jove. He spoke increasingly more rapidly with bulging, angry eyes, “Famine, plague, war, debt, taxes, fuck! How should I know? No-one wants to go to the surface because we’ve been told that we’ll die within hours. But has anyone in living memory even tried to see if this is true?”

Virgil sighed and seemed to look through his best friend. He softly whispered, “It was the massive global warming events of the 21st century… Everything I’ve ever read… confirms…” The grey eyes of his flicked back to reality from ODINN to stare sadly into Jove’s vibrant blue ones. He had just skimmed through every book and article he’d ever read just to double check. Jove’s heart lightened considerably as he realised that this behavior was for him. Virgil didn’t want to leave his side, not really. But, his best friend truly believed something that Jove did not. They both knew that this is where they part.

Jove had no idea what to say but Virgil walked forward to embrace him. They hugged tightly for a few seconds and with a clap on his back, Virgil’s dirt and tear-smeared face turned from Jove’s to walk through the door. Jove had no idea if his friend had looked back or not, he was already climbing the cold metal rungs toward the unknown.



 

Been working hard on my novel and working long hours at the day job. I apologize for the lack of content and interaction recently gotta get back to daily posting. have this slightly manic plan to make up all those days I’ve missed with stories. I realize this is short but its all I feel comfortable posting, the rest of the work is in development and editing. I’ve been considering different environmental charities to donate a percentage of profits (if I get any) from my novel. Any suggestions? Thank you for reading,

Roderick Wills

11 thoughts on “Kronos Excerpt #4

  1. Yikes, well you will certainly get the die hard Global Warming/Climate Change fanatics…. Those to whom it is a religion. But, I fear you’ll loose those who doubt that it exists or any of the research steps or conclusions along the way. My only advice, make it seem less preachy? Could be that I’ve read your intentions with the novel so I am looking forward to it though? Also, my advice, find beta readers who don’t know your agenda AND/OR who disagree with it so you can make it appeal to a larger audience?

    That said, the writing was concise and the prose were tight so your writing looks great!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, wow thank you for your comment it was insanely insightful and just the kind of critical feedback I’m looking for! This passage did come off a little much I’ll probably tone down the overall ‘preachiness’ of the scene in the finished product but I cannot make everyone happy. I have to make decisions about ideas and themes I think are important. Rapid global warming that would effectively destroy almost all life on the surface as it exists currently IS the setting, and it is a terrifyingly possible reality no matter how small the probability. The fact that such a world is a possibility both excites and frightens me as I think about what such a world would look like and consider a possible set of scientific achievement and historic migrations would allow for the continuation of the human race on a planet in which there is a rapid global ecosystem collapse due to positive feedbacks not accounted for in climate models. The first half of 2016 has blown away previous temperature records, so I believe that this is an issue that people are becoming more receptive to and less likely to scoff at. I wholeheartedly agree that I need beta readers who are impartial or even negative towards the subject can give me some good critiques so it will be more marketable because while I want it to share ideas about what I believe our world could look like 100 years into the future I also want to put my books into as many hands as possible in order to spread some of the technological and situational topics that are scientifically possible. I’d love to send you a copy when I finish to get your thoughts, your comment alone has been really insightful, thank you again.

      P.S. Interesting you mentioned the move to these fanatical global warming organizations that have become a sort of ‘religion’ for some. I’ve been nursing this idea that my citizens of an underground industrialized city state with only one tree would in come to revere such a tree as it came to symbolize the continuance of life and the earth. Hope exists through nature especially in a world where no other hope is given. I imagine hippy monks who spend their time meditating under this massive tree and spreading their message that life will one day flourish and how the ‘earth mother’ or Gaia is angry with those that lead lives of waste. Still in development… for that kind of cult following to work I need to make it believable and somewhat relatable which is difficult. At least it’s controversial, I can already hear the hardcore Bible thumpers calling me a pagan heathen purporting the worship of false gods. But then again even bad publicity can help sales.

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      1. Thanks, I was afraid I might’ve offended you. I almost didn’t post it, so it is nice to see you handle it that way!!

        As for the religious cult idea, that sounds great!! The TV adaptation of the book series THE 100 also a Gaia/tree worship thing going on, it can work!

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        1. Every single constructive criticism I can possibly get from you wonderful readers is insanely appreciated. I still don’t like most of what I write and have trouble with motivation sometimes so to see that at least a few are not only reading my work but are willing to discuss it between myself and others is an insanely cool feeling. It’s indescribable but all I can say is thank you and to yourself and anyone else reading this please comment!!! I will not get offended even if you say that I’m complete shit. Well maybe a little then but it’s still appreciated. I’ll have to check that show/series out sometime, thanks J. R.

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      2. For the record, I am a historian who knows things happen cyclically AND that Earth is actually due for an ice age. It could happen anywhere in the next few hundred years, but we are historically due for one. I think the environmentalist movement has been co-opted by the same Global Warming Cultists BUT I am all for responsible stewardship of Mother Gaia… I simply prefer to call it conservationism to separate myself from those nut jobs. I don’t think environmental policy needs to be done to the detriment of humanity. Yes, I can see my own bias too,…. just being up front about them. I have seen and read too much that the process for gathering and analyzing the data has been flawed and/or skewed by political agendas on both sides. I honestly believe that there is too much we don’t know and neither side has the answers. And yes, the anti-GW crowd has its own share of nut jobs! 🙂 Hope that clarifies.

        PS: Would love to help you with a beta read…. just be warned my own grammar is atrocious so that wouldn’t be a service I offer. Dang public schools taught Language Arts and punished the teachers that taught actual grammar. 😛

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        1. I too have read that we are due for an ice age. But like you also pointed out, all of this data on climate is based off of observations most of which that are scientifically sound were made during the last century or so. There is a sort of arrogance in our generation that because of how far science has taken us that it can do no wrong. However, science often replaces “outdated” theories, that were ubiquitously trusted, with a new theory and claim that there was no truth in the old theory. In this century I
          believe that we are about to learn all sorts of new such theories about the Earth and the global climate. We are arrogant enough to debate over the results of different models based around ideas that are almost without a doubt not all the way understood and very likely that there are other ideas or theories not included into such models that could fundamentally change such models were they to be included. We still haven’t been to all parts of our ocean yet we claim that we know what will happen with our climate a year from now or a hundred. Industrialization and invasion of the human species on the Earth is an experiment that has never been attempted before. We have no idea the true extant that our widespread influence on the earth has and might influence in the future. I basically repeated what you said that there is too much either of us don’t know but truly this is a phrase that so many would be terrified to admit, feels good to see someone else voice this and also to write in my own words.

          I really like that phrase: “responsible stewardship”. I’d love for you to be a beta! I don’t plan on using my betas for grammar I just want to get a general understanding of how the ideas and characters are received. Gonna pay for that pro line edit when the time is right 😉

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          1. You should look into some of the newer discoveries regarding the dinosaurs… they found the remains of a cold blooded one in South America. It was so large that for it to have lived, the temperature as we know it for the era would have to be a few degrees higher. Anyway, I just mention this to show that there is still so much of our own planetary past that we don’t know.

            And to quote the great Will Rogers, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”

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  2. I really enjoyed this snippet and I kind of disagree about the ‘preaching’ comment. I think’voice’ is very important when building a character, as a result the information you give in narration following that character should represent what the character knows or believes to be true. They can have a change of heart, be proven wrong or right etc later but (to me) the way a reader comes to understand a character is through the tone of narration. Presenting a balance of opinion when in fact the aim is to create a feeling of fanatacism would mean a lose of depth. It follows the adage that a writer should show and not tell – that way the reader gets to have their own experience.

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    1. I mentioned the “preachiness” because in previous blogs he has explicitly said he was working on a novel to raise awareness of his cause AND donate profits to a charity that centers on the notion. That said, I agree with what you said! He can get his ideas across WITHOUT being preachy AND raise awareness though…. others have successfully done so. Orson Scott Card, C.S. Lewis, and even Terry Goodkind managed to voice there ideas and tell a good story.

      Oh, and I also agree that in toning down his own bias he should be careful not to loose his voice! Good warning to all I would say!

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    2. Thanks for the insight Sam! I agree with your points on characterization and tone. Interesting point on the loss of depth true balance in opinion would bring. I personally do not share the beliefs of some of my favorite characters from literature but due to their often times unconventional actions and dialogue. Presenting controversial viewpoints in such a way as to immerse the reader in the story must be done in a fanatical manner in my viewpoints. Powerful but controversial ideas like global warming, population control and resource allocation cannot be meekly danced around and hinted at; they need to be almost literally shoved under the nose of the person. Too much subtlety or neutral writing will cause the central themes to be indiscernible. However I did feel that this piece was a tad heavy on dialogue references to global warming. Maybe that’s just my own insecurities talking or the fact that I modified it slightly during my light edit to contain a few more references then originally intended to better explain the world from an excerpt standpoint. Regardless, thanks again for reading and sharing this was really constructive for me to see.

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