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 Can't Survive Without...

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piflamesofwar
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PostSubject: Can't Survive Without...   Thu Jul 09 2015, 19:58

Gargan III was a planet known mostly for its vast inland lakes that were populated by strange and exotic marine life. Within its few cities, hundreds of thousands of factory workers would process the daily harvest. One of these factory workers, Eti, had inherited his father’s position and carved out a typical life for him and his family.  
             
The entire processing operation relied on the constant flow of water, so Eti was disturbed when the water stopped flowing. Normally a water pressure malfunction would be a quick repair, but after several hours rumors began to circulate that the entire city had lost pressure. Eti returned to his quarters, with his wife and three daughters, and waited.    
   
+++

Two weeks was enough. Others had fled before Eti, making their way out of the city to the closest lake, but now Eti resolved to join them. He packed what belongings he could carry and led his family into the throng of fellow citizens making their exodus. Security forces were doing all they could to maintain order, but several hundred thousand frantic citizens were beyond their means to control.    

After two days of walking, Eti and his family reached the plains that led to the lake. Families were pushing and shoving, their biological urge to drink overwhelming any sense of social order. Even his children had a look of feral desperation etched on their faces. Eti led his family to the fringes of the horde, where there would be less competition. Finally, after rudimentary purification methods, Eti and his family drank and restored their hope.    
 
+++

Eti awoke to the sound of screams. With dawn barely upon them, he had trouble assessing the situation. A blur flashed by and suddenly his wife was screeching in pain, clutching the stump of her arm. His daughters began crying, and before he could react two of them were carried off by winged creatures. Eti watched as the two were torn apart piece by piece in the air, the laughter of the winged creatures drowning out their screams.  
     
A large craft sailed into view, disgorging what appeared to be armored humans, but taller and somehow alien. In that moment he felt a thud in his chest and doubled over in pain, as if every nerve was on fire. Eti’s remaining daughter, clutching the now dead body of his wife, didn’t even notice the approaching warriors until they started flaying her skin.

That was the last Eti saw of his homeworld before falling unconscious.

+++

Eti hung by chains strapped to each of his limbs. Even in the gloom he could make out the pale faces of his captors. One of their race stepped forward with an array of tools, and began to eye him as a sculptor might eye stone. Every other alien in the dank room had the same pained, desperate expression he had glimpsed on the faces of his family as he led them to water.

And they were ready to drink their fill.


Last edited by piflamesofwar on Tue Jul 14 2015, 02:00; edited 1 time in total
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Creeping Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Mon Jul 13 2015, 08:26

The last two sentences really nail it. Good stuff, captures the feel of being on the other end of a raid very well!
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Dragontree
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Mon Jul 13 2015, 09:29

Damn it, with every story that comes out my hopes of doing well in this competition slip further away :p

Very nice story and novel context!

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piflamesofwar
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Mon Jul 13 2015, 14:04

Thanks guys! Honestly I feel the same way, I've read a bunch of great submissions and I don't know how mine stacks up. Honestly it was a good exercise just to get some DE fiction out there, aside from the "Path of the Dark Eldar" trilogy we really don't have a lot to draw on
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CurstAlchemist
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Mon Jul 13 2015, 17:13

Interesting idea for the story, I enjoyed it. I could definitely seeing an Archon creating this scenario to get masses of civilians out in the open to harvest.
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piflamesofwar
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Mon Jul 13 2015, 18:16

Exactly, that's what I was going for, I'm glad you enjoyed it
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Tue Jul 14 2015, 00:09

@piflamesofwar wrote:
Gargan III was a planet known mostly for its vast inland lakes that were populated by strange and exotic marine life. Within its few cities, hundreds of thousands of factory workers would process the daily harvest. One of these factory workers, Eti, had inherited his father’s position and carved out a typical life for him and his family.  
             
The entire processing operation relied on the constant flow of water, so Eti was disturbed when, one day, The 'one day,' is unnecessary the water stopped flowing. Normally a water pressure malfunction would be a quick repair, but after several hours rumors began to circulate that the entire city had lost pressure. Eti returned to his quarters, with his wife and three daughters, and waited.    
   
+++

Two weeks was enough. Others had fled before Eti, making their way out of the city to the closest lake, but now Eti resolved to join them. He packed what belongings he could carry and led his family into the throng of fellow citizens making their exodus. Security forces were doing all they could to maintain order, but several hundred thousand frantic citizens were beyond their means to control.    

After two days of walking, Eti and his family reached the plains that led to the lake. Families were pushing and shoving, their biological urge to drink overwhelming any sense of social order. Even his children had a look of feral desperation etched on their faces. Eti led his family to the fringes of the horde, where there would be less competition. Finally, after rudimentary purification methods, Eti and his family drank and restored their hope.    
 
+++

Eti awoke to the sound of screams. With dawn barely upon them, he had trouble assessing the situation. A blur flashed by and suddenly his wife was screeching in pain, clutching the stump of her arm. His daughters began crying, and before he could react two of them were carried off by winged creatures. Eti watched as the two were torn apart piece by piece in the air, the laughter of the winged creatures drowning out their screams.  
     
A large craft sailed into view, disgorging what appeared to be armored humans, but taller and somehow alien. In that moment he felt a thud in his chest and doubled over in pain, as if every nerve was on fire. Eti’s remaining daughter, clutching the now dead body of his wife, didn’t even notice the approaching warriors until they started flaying her skin.

That was the last Eti saw of his homeworld before falling unconscious.

+++

Eti hung by chains strapped to each of his limbs. Even in the gloom he could make out the pale faces of his captors. One of their race stepped forward with an array of tools, and began to eye him as a sculptor might eye stone. Every other alien in the dank room had the same pained, desperate expression he had glimpsed on the faces of his family as he led them to water.

And they were ready to drink their fill.  

Nice job bringing the water shortage around again at the end. Good story symmetry. It can be hard to squeeze a full story into a flash fiction format. Great work.
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piflamesofwar
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Tue Jul 14 2015, 01:58

Thanks for the quick proofread, I knew I should've gotten more than 3 people to grade it. And I'm glad you enjoyed it, that's what it's all about
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zizza1400
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PostSubject: Re: Can't Survive Without...   Tue Jul 14 2015, 22:32

I like this a lot, it's not as atmospheric or detailed as some of the other entries but there's far more substance to it - it reads like an actual story rather than a mere snapshot of one. You've also done really well making 'thirst' fully integrated into the story rather than somewhat bolting it on like I did Razz

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