EXERCISE Genre Bender Challenge: The Hyperdrive is Offline

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Revision, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. The point of a genre-bender is to take a well known, genre related trope or story starter and transplant it into another genre.

    The Hyperdrive is Offline

    Dead in space and dead in the water. Becalmed. Left without a hyperdrive in the middle of an epic escape. The heroes only have a few minutes to make things work right or they will be caught. Or maybe they have limited food or air and must survive a week on three days worth. No doubt you've seen or read about this happening. It is a heavy player in space sagas and pirate movies. But what about elsewhere? Take the idea of being stalled out or becalmed and translate it into another genre!
    Use your imagination and have fun! Write a short scene or story about being becalmed.
     
  2. "So, are the plants safe to eat?"

    Ellevar groaned and tried to give me the bird with two of his four limbs. The monster failed midway, and resumed rolling on the ground, clutching his stomach in pain. I smirk and look on over to Citrine, our resident mage. The scrawny little girl in the ill-fitting robes shifts and stacks several piles of rocks in all sorts of positions and configurations, looking none too confident about any of them.

    I turn my bat ears over to get a better frequency.

    "Maybe if I turn this... no, that won't work... how about--nah, that exploded the last time... but maybe in this dimension the rules are a little bit different..."

    I leave her to her work and turn back to the vast expanse of unexplored land before me. A gigantic forest of curly trees, with trunks of purples and leaves pinks; a healthy green river, twisting and turning every which way; huge patches of land, stretching up into the sky, held up by vines and giant, flying turtle beasts...

    Some would say that being stranded in an alternate dimension is a tragedy. I call it an opportunity for adventure.
     
  3. Young man, young woman, both in their early to mid twenties, walking down the streets of Paris or Vienna or Rome, some romantic city in Europe, in the heart of Nyx, talking. Talking about life, love, philosophy, politics, anything. Just talking. And letting love bloom.

    Man:
    "Okay, wow, I never thought our conversation would drag this far into the night. 1 o'clock? And what have we been talking about?"
    Woman:
    "Religion. Politics. Love. You got what you wanted. A long, 'romantic' conversation dragging far into the night, into the morning, about random things, getting more and more personal, more and more real, like in that movie."
    Man:
    "Before Sunrise."
    Woman:
    "Yeah. And I guess the two of us are now, I dunno, 'bonded together in modern, conversational heart-love' and" (she laughs) "and shit. Soulmates or something..."
    Man:
    "Yeah..." (he yawns)

    Ten minutes pass. Ten minutes of silence.

    Man:
    "What now?"
    Woman:
    "I don't know. All I know is I just don't want this to end" (she kisses the man) "I... I think I love you"
    Man:
    "I..." (he chuckles) "I know"
    (they both laugh)

    Another ten minutes. The two have stopped walking, are sitting down on the steps of some fountain, some monument, whatever works. Still, the two are in silence.

    Woman:
    "I think... Don't we have anything else to talk about?"
    Man:
    "I... Maybe? I don't know. I don't think RiverNotch gave us any three-dimensionality or something"
    Woman:
    "Who's RiverNotch?"
    Man:
    "I... I don't know"

    Another ten minutes. The conversation has stagnated. Both are getting bored. Any more time spent in this silence, and the magic will end. The love will be over, before the sun rises. No great, wistful ending for these two. It'll just be over. Over like... over like that.
    They better think of something, or else oblivion will come earlier than expected...
     
  4. The skies were mostly clear expect for the odd cloud which they sped past but there was no time to appreciate it. Captain Artemis of the sky-ship Saturn could barely hear himself think above the cacophony of the wind rushing past his ears, the painful creaking of the masts, the billowing sails, the blasts of cannonfire and wailing of the wounded. Though they had a slight advantage in size they were outnumbered three to one and more pirate craft were on the way.

    Where the hell is our backup?!

    The Captain grabbed his megaphone that fed directly into the belly of the ship and spoke as calmly as possible;

    "Give us more power or we're never getting out of this alive."

    A frightened voice replied "Aye sir, doing our best here."

    A few seconds later the two chimneys at the back of the ship roared out steam and the ship lurched forward as the rear thrusters blared plumes of fire. The Captian checked their surroundings; two of the sky-ships were keeping track of them, the other was nowhere to be seen.

    "Sir they're coming up on our port side!"

    The Captain simply drew his fingers across his throat and pointed at the enemy ship and the orders were shouted to fire. A full broadside went into the hull of their target causing a massive explosion at its stern and immediately it began to drop, trailing black smoke and flames. The cheers of the crew did not last long though as several grappling hooks fired from the downed ship shot up above the hull and then raked back downwards, cutting through anything in their path until they were locked in place. Saturn groaned horribly as they were violently yanked sideways and began to spiral out of control, being dragged downwards by the deadweight of the other ship. The men screamed in terror, trying to grab anything to hold onto as they rolled across the deck or worse, falling off and into oblivion. Artemis could only look on in horror as the other ship angled itself downwards for another broadside and fired. Cannonballs rained mercilessly down on them and smashed their way belowdeck to a terrible symphony of splintering wood, tearing metal and screaming crew. Artemis with one arm hooked around the helm through himself to starboard to try and counter the spinout and shut his eyes, sure that they were finished. He pictured his family waiting for him at home and wished with all his heart that he could just see them one last time...

    He was interrupted by an almighty crack. But there was no pain or darkness that engulfed him. In fact the ship jolted upwards and slowed down, righting itself and turning the direction he was telling it to, the deafening rush of the wind and cannons now replaced by an eerie stillness as they came to an eventual halt in the air. The grappling ropes must have broken or been severed, either way he didn't care and he scrambled to his feet and surveyed the damage. There were wounded and dead all over the main deck which was littered with holes, but remarkably all masts were still in tact if only just. The frightened voice from belowdecks appeared in the Captain's dented megaphone, cutting through the stillness:

    "Sir... We've taken a major hit to the central furnace down here, it's been blown wide open and there's a fire starting to burn. We still have our backup furnace but that won't give us any speed, only enough to keep us floating and we can only contain this fire for so long."

    Artemis slammed his fist against the helm in frustration, he thought they might have got away with it. To make matters worse the second pirate ship had been rejoined by the third and they were arcing back around in front of them for a pincer movement. He sighed in despair and bowed his head, ready to give the order to grab as many parachutes as possible and abandon ship, but there was now a new sound coming from behind them. It sounded like the choo choo of another steam engine, more than one in fact. Artemis spun around and the sight was nearly enough to make him weep with joy. Three sky-ships flying friendly colours were streaking towards them and could be only minutes away. He was suddenly reanimated, they might still make it through this somehow. He barked into his megaphone:

    "Keep us up for as long as you can and above all, contain that fire!"

    Then addressing the remaining crew on deck he shouted:

    "All remaining crew not servicing the furnace are to man the guns, help is on the way but we may still need to defend ourselves. GET TO IT!"

    As the crew rushed to their stations Artemis retook the helm and motioned his first officer over, instructing him to ready the wounded to disembark to another ship and to get parachutes on as many men as possible. Then patting the oak of his beloved sky-ship he whispered to her like he did before every voyage:

    "Just one last job Old Girl, then we can go home. I promise."