13th June 2017

Dystopian Begining

Harrison Grant, gazed at the distant ceiling barred by white light that shone on his strong, confident face from slender floor to ceiling windows flanking the walls. He sunk into a huge bed dwarfed by the size of the grand cream walls contrasting the empty blue sky.
He leisurely paced to the to the glass wall as barren mountains far below grew from the windowsill, a white speck stood alone in the brown grass reading “HOLLYWOOD” below a grey sea of concrete rose from the plains to create a mosaic of rooftops covered in solar panels that were bordered by highways. A female voice emitted from the intercom.”Your breakfast is ready. The weather today is sunny. Your meeting today is scheduled at 11:00 am.”
He dressed in a tailored black suit, and opened a thick wooden door to a room more grand than the last. The double height room resembled a blank canvas against an empty wall of glass that had two pillars cutting through the middle where at each one an imposing man in sunglasses stood. Harrison made his way to the kitchen. When he pushed through a heavy door to a screen lit up when he moved into it’s vision. From it a newsroom was chatting about Emily Grant, the first lady held a charity event for X research. giving artificial limbs to children. This took place in San Francisco at the Google convention center.
Harrison took the elevator up a floor to the roof of the California Republic’s new government buildings. a huge sky scraper nicknamed the “glass fortress”. When he stepped onto the roof the sun struck his face. surrounded by guards shouting over the top of a helicopter “Mr President, we need to hurry today. You are on a tight schedule.” He climbed into the black helicopter. Inside it was dark from the tiny tinted windows encased with armor.
He landed on a concrete building hidden by green hills that walled the the landscaped plateau where he was to have the board of commerce and economic development meeting. The meeting room had primary colors splashed across the walls. At the table in the center sat the representatives for the largest companies in California. Next to him was the CEO of Google Charles Porter. he spoke about his proposal to embargo the United States. And to stop the war with the Southern Union by 2050. Others argued about the universal living wage being too low. Or the unemployment rate was too high. By the end of the meeting nothing was decided and nothing was gained.
Harrison walked down the empty corridor to the atrium that read National Mars research center displayed across the wall. the front desk was abandoned behind it was a sculpture of a rocket that didn’t exist. Looking outside past the barren car park he longed to walk out into the lush green grass spread across the valley floor. Locked behind heavy glass doors and two bodyguards. He turned reluctantly away towards the helicopter.
Back in the helicopter he sat alone holding his phone telling his wife Emily that he will not see her tonight. Instead he had to take a flight to New England to the North American Environmental Summit. At the airport the jet waiting for him was a Boeing 2A2. inside it was paneled with wood that was lined with leather seats. through a speaker a clear female voice spoke “Hello Harrison Grant the time is 2:26 the flight to New York will arrive at 6:12 Eastern daylight time. In time for a meal at “The Musket Room” shall I book a table?” “Yes thanks” he replied.
When he stepped out of the plane at 6:18 he put a white mask over his mouth and looked around at the dark empty airport populated by nothing but hazy lights. Harrison surrounded by an entourage of bodyguards sat in the back of an SUV that drove through the empty streets of Manhattan. Past Wall St there was light flooding from the trading floors onto the black street. He arrived at the restaurant and walked upstairs into a modern room with a rustic styling. Only three groups were spread across the restaurant all turned and stared at him whispers slithered across the room until he sat down.
The next morning he woke in a five star hotel beside Central Park facing the founder’s statue on the edge of a walkway. At the summit the president of New England, Warren Richardson claimed that the rest of North America is not aiding in the improvement of the environment, that coal is still being burned and the Lakes District is increasing production on motor vehicles.
As he was about to continue a white head rose above everyone else. In a calm Southern drawl the man spoke.” Now hold it right there.” aided by an ornate cane the large man cruised to the front of the room.”How can we cease this mining? How can we prevent our honest hard working citizens from losing their livin’s. they will just be taken by robots or the un-pure. You uppity Yankees are nothin’ but talk. y’all start a ruckus with us and tell us that i’m gonna need to turn tails on my people! When you’re hidin’ from the rest of your country on your private island. I don’t think so!” A shout from a suit at the back of the room flew at him “Turning tails! Is that not what you did in New Orleans.” The southerner’s silver beard contorted into a grimace, “that was a terrorist group.” the reply “a terrorist group of 250,000″ was thrown at him. The room fell silent when his voice rose to an astonishing level” I shall not be judged by you! You Don’t have the right! When my life ends only God will have the ability. These negotiations are over.” He turned and barged out the door.
The day turned into bickering over who’s the worst country. When Harrison was sick of a room of angry men he slipped out the back and quietly walked out the front door of the hotel.
He walked across the empty street to Central park as his bodyguards scrambled after him. but he wasn’t worried a Manhattan travelers permit was hard to buy. Hidden from the view of skyscrapers by a breathing ceiling of leaves he strolled, his hands in his pockets and smelling the fresh scented air that engulfed him in the peaceful, living grounds. The sound of leaves was destroyed by shouting commands as crack echoed through the woods.
He turned to see a hooded man holding his arm rigid controlling a metallic glint in his hand. his guard crumpled on the ground his back was facing him his head slumped into the shade of his twisted torso. The man slowly rotated his neck revealing an emotionless face. His thumb grasped at the hammer pulling it towards his body. Harrison’s legs started to move. He saw a body dressed in black darting through the trees. His shoes digging into back of his ankles. As a bullet screamed beside his ear. Sprinting down the narrow path he kicked dirt around corners slipping along the ground. He reached a dead end at dark cold pond. scanning through the wall of trees like a deer finding a hunter. The thumping against his eardrums competed with his uncontrollable panting to alert someone.
He cowered below a low stone wall split by fractures spilling dust. The noise stalled when footsteps marched down the path and halted beside the wall. Sweat dripped into his eyes. there was a metallic click the man was holding something he could hear every shaky movement, every exasperated gasp. A muffled robotic voice echoed through the trees “Found him.” his eyes forced shut as a hail of bullets tore through the water and from behind the wall a body collapsed into the pond. waves pulsating from the body transforming it into a sickly crimson.
An army of men in suits of armor grabbed him. Shoved against a cold black mask the letters N.E.A.T.U. printed across the side. His arms were lifted like they were being torn off he was dragged through the dirt looking back at the black hoodie face-down in the red pool.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. This initial draft is excellent. It’s strengths are in the developed us of descriptive language – which swiftly established a sense of ‘place’ and in the underlying idea. Our discussion today concentrated on how you could better navigate the fine balance between being didactic (which is a real risk in dystopian writing) and confusing the reader. I encourage you to pull back on the explanation, and instead make the integration of Google into the world of the novel apparent through fragments of information – colours, neologistic names, dialogue conventions.

    One of the more interesting examples of present-day language morphology that arises from the advent of these major multinationals is the ‘verbing’ of their trade names. We don’t ‘search’ for something any more, we ‘google’ it. You could have a look at how you might extend that known effect into the world of your text.

    Also, I personally think it’s sinister that Google’s holding company is called ‘alphabet’ as if they now claim ownership of the basic building blocks of language itself!

  2. Now that you’re working into this piece, have a good look at your writing at sentence level. An example of how you night improve the fluency of your sentences follows. It’s about deciding what information you want to place in the foreground and using the sentence structure to achieve this:

    “Harrison Grant, a man who had a strong, confident face gazed at the distant ceiling striped with white light that shone from slender floor to ceiling windows flanking the walls.”

    Could be constructed many ways, like:

    Harrison Grant gazed confidently at the striped white reflection on the ceiling that shone from the slender floor-to-ceiling windows that flanked the walls.

    Harrison Grant gazed at the distant ceiling. Stripes of white light that shone from the slender full-height windows shone on his strong confident face


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