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Shadow Dweller
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Prologue [Part 1 of 3]


::PHOBOS HANGAR
::18:44

What the hell? Most people wake up in a nice comfortable bed with the warm sun shining in through the windows. A sound of distant birds chirping in their ears. Not me, oh no. That’s far too normal for my taste. I wake up on the side of a rocky hill strewn with dead bodies of both humans and deformed horrific beasts. I went to wipe the sweat off my brow, only to realize that it wasn’t sweat. It was blood. It was still fresh, so I must not have been out for too long.

Ahead of me was the hangar, the source of the explosion that presumably knocked me unconscious according to the shrapnel all over the ground. I don’t really remember what happened exactly only that I was engaged in an intense firefight with some of my fellow comrades against…well...whatever the hell they were. I approached one of the deformed corpses. It looked human. Hell, I’d even go as far to say that I knew the guy. Not anymore, though. Whoever it was, it wasn’t them anymore; a shell of a friend, now a monster. I gazed deeply into those sockets that I’m sure once held eyes, tracing over its dirtied face, down to the flesh-encrusted teeth in its gaping mouth. Whatever it was, it wasn’t human anymore. None of them were.

As I turned to walk away, I felt my foot brush up against something heavy and metallic with a soft click. My pistol, a small amount of comfort amidst the chaos, now perhaps the only friend I’ll have for a long time. Hell it might be the last friend I’ll ever have. It depends on if I ever make it out of this shit-hole alive.

While the thought crossed my mind, I felt it necessary to check my equipment. I had the pistol I found with a half a clip, a flashlight that didn't seem to work. The explosion must have taken care of that. One MRE that might be useful later if I'm not dead by then, and, of course, the standard issue combat armor. I had no extra magazines and no other weapons other than my combat knife. Awesome. Half-assed, just the way I like it.

Fastening the pistol to my hip, I took off toward what’s left of the hangar, mostly intact, but mostly still in ruin. I didn’t know exactly what I’ll be facing. Then again, I wanted to get in there before I had a chance to think of what I could be facing in there. With any luck there will be a working radio to call for backup, maybe even other survivors. Doubtful, but one can only hope.

I walked up to the door to get into the hanger. From within I could hear all sorts of growls and chants. Beckoning me inside, daring me to enter their new-found edifice. I slid the door open and I entered their keep, down the rabbit hole…

…And straight to Hell…

=================

Once people start posting I'll put up part two and then three. I just want to see how this goes first, so I'm not wasting my effort.

And posting the entire thing all at once is subject to "tl;dr"

So what do you think?

Old Post 09-13-10 19:10 #
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Clonehunter
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Not bad. I like seeing Doom Fanfics, an dpersonally I wish there more of them. Unfortunatly there usually short or don't last.

(Of course thats why I'm writing a full length Doom 3 Fan Fic. hehehe)

Old Post 09-13-10 22:19 #
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naftakin
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I think, i don't get it,
should it just, end, like that,
i mean, it's no good end,

Old Post 09-14-10 20:32 #
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Shadow Dweller
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Well, I did say I was going to post it in parts. But, just to clarify, the prologue is basically my version of Doom 1's back story, so to speak. In parts, it's supposed to go like this:

"Part one" explains what's going on right now (before he enters level one "The hangar")

"Part two" explains why and how he's there.

"Part three" explains why he's knocked out and alone.

I decided to break it up into parts because otherwise it would be one massive post that no one would read.

However, I can understand the confusion, and so I'm going ahead and posting parts two and three. (I hope the Mods don't judge me too harshly for using consecutive posts. As I said, It is quite long for one post.)

Thanks for the feedback, so far though! Not to sound picky, but I am looking more for comments and suggestions on the story itself, like plot progression, character development, you know, writing stuff. But anything's welcome though.

Old Post 09-14-10 22:26 #
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Shadow Dweller
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Prologue [Part 2 of 3]

::EARLIER THAT DAY

The Mars City Military Base never really got much excitement. Most of the “excitement” was Sarge barking orders and mission briefings. Generally search and rescue, some patrol missions, babysitting the eggheads to make sure one of them doesn’t try to make a run for it. As if there’s anywhere to run here, but the UAC hires people to work and, damn it, we’re going to do it.

I never got a whole lot of off time and the few minutes I had in between duties I was usually preparing for the next item on my To Do List.

“Hey, man, how’s it going?”, sounded a familiar voice behind me.

“Eh, same shit different day.” I replied, “It’s been boring as hell around here lately.”

“Yeah, I hear ya.” He said with a laugh “I’m thinking about catching a shuttle back to Earth”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah, I’m planning a vacation with my girl back at home. I bought her a ring last time I was there, but they shipped me back up here before I had a chance to give it to her.”

“Oh…” The mentioning of his girlfriend reminded me of similar times I once shared not too long ago.

“You still think about her, don’t you?” He said, interrupting my brief
daydream.

“Yeah”

I had recently gone through a break-up back at home. My presence in the UAC as a marine began to weigh heavily on our relationship. Then, one day, it just snapped. We had a big argument, many words were said, many of them I regret. Once things settled, we decided to stop seeing each other, and we peacefully went our separate ways, but I never stopped thinking about her.

“Don’t take it too hard. These kinds of things just happen. You should take some leave time too. It'll be just like the good ol' days .”
Before I could respond, Sarge came into the room. We all immediately stood at attention.

“Marines, We got a situation on the Phobos Base. They are reporting attacks by an unknown enemy force. More Intel will be given on the way there. Get your shit together and get your asses to the hangar. I'm giving you 3 minutes. Let's move it, people!"

After that, it was all asses and elbows. Everyone was running here, there, grabbing equipment, and arming themselves. Every once and a while I would pick up small bits of hushed conversation. People saying things like:

“I knew this would happen, with all that crazy shit they’re doing up there. “

“Yeah, I’ve heard some really fucked up stories about some of the shit they do up there. I heard this one guy…”

I would have liked to have heard the rest of the conversation but I didn’t have time. I figured whatever had been going on at the Phobos Base would become apparent when we get there. For now, I needed to stay focused. Complete the objective, ask questions later.

A few of our guys were already aboard the dropship by the time I arrived. Some of them looked worried. Most of us were. For the veterans, it was just another day’s work. Just another hell-hole. Get in, do your job, get out. Hoorah.

Sarge was already there. The last few marines boarded the vehicle and the air-lock sealed shut. Then, the briefing began.

"Alright, people, listen up, 'cause I'm only going over this once. As you already know, a situation came up on the Phobos Base. We believe the attacks are originating from the anomaly north of the base, where the UAC is experimenting with new Teleportation technology. The results are far from pretty."

Sarge pressed a button on the remote and the video screen behind him flickered to life. The video showed a small team of scientists, one of them holding what appeared to be a Basketball. Behind them a large portal opened up. The portal looked like a large circular field of energy that seemed to distort the space around it. The scientist tossed the ball into the portal and in a flash of light it disappeared. A few seconds went by, then there was another flash of light and the ball bounced back into the room, unscathed.

"What you just saw was the first successful test of the effect of teleportation on an inanimate object. The object was, in fact, received at the Deimos Base where a portal was constructed at a similar anomaly found near the base. However, once they started using live human subjects later on, that's when the project really went to shit."

The video changed and now showed the same scientists in the same room, now struggling to restrain an apparently insane male test subject. I noticed one of the scientists in the background clutching her arm. Her entire sleeve was stained with blood from a severe wound apparently inflicted by the crazed man who was now flailing his head wildly in protest at being restrained. The team managed to secure the subject's arms and legs to the table with some rope before one of the team stepped away to tend to the other scientist's wounds. As the video progressed the restrained man eventually turned his berserker rage onto himself and started chewing at his own arm in an effort to escape. His cries of pain escalated, howling in agony as he began gnawing through nerves and muscle, and eventually he wrenched his arm in such a way that the bone just snapped with a sickening pop. Despite his sobs and painful wailing he continued. He eventually gave his arm another tug and it separated just below the shoulder. He managed to chew halfway through the wrist of his opposite arm before he died of blood loss. The room fell eerily silent.

I heard a sound come from beside me. I looked and noticed the guy next to me looked like he was about to puke.

not on me, not on me...

"The first subjects sent through the portal came back extremely ill. Symptoms of severe nausea and chronic migraines. The symptoms eventually developed into dementia and extreme mental instability, like the subject you just saw. More recent subjects came back in pieces and occasionally not at all."

He paused for a second and then continued.

"The last report we received described what they called an invasion, Expect a heavy resistance. We'll be landing at the Hangar where we have troops holding back the enemy as we speak. We cannot lose that hangar. Other objectives will follow, but the Hangar is our first priority. Any Questions?"
A couple hands raised.

"What's the status of the Deimos Base? If the enemy is originating from within the portal wouldn't they be facing the same problem?"

"No one has heard from the Deimos Base," Sarge answered. "but we've sent some defensive squads there just in case. Next question."

"What exactly are we fighting anyway?" Said the guy across from me.

Sarge took a moment to think about the question. He looked around, searching for an answer. In the end, all he could manage was, "I don't know, but be ready for anything."

This was the first time I've heard Sarge say the words "I don't know," and quite frankly it made me slightly uncomfortable. I could tell it bothered him as much as it bothered me. Sarge was always prepared, ready for anything. Before any mission he always gathered as much Intel as he could to make sure we knew exactly what we were up against. If there was a sneeze, we were already there 10 minutes ago to catch it. Hearing him admit that he was unsure of any part of the mission didn't sit well.

It was a quiet ride to Phobos. The only sound was the low droning whine of the ship's engines. We all wanted to break the silence, but none of us could find the words. There were no jokes, no war stories, no words of wisdom, confidence, or even comfort. There were no prayers. Just a room of silence, confusion, and dread. As much as we all wanted to get off of the ship and get some action, we all dreaded what was waiting for us on the surface. I think, for the first time, there was even a hint of fear in the air within the Dropship. The videos we saw were only intended to prepare us for what's coming, but I think they hit a disturbing nerve in us all.

Last edited by Shadow Dweller on 09-14-10 at 22:44

Old Post 09-14-10 22:30 #
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Shadow Dweller
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Prologue [Part 3 of 3]


::TWO HOURS PRIOR TO UNCONCIOUSNESS

We landed at the foot of the Phobos Hangar, where we could already see small teams of marines holding back what looked like people. However the closer we got the less human they became. With guns loaded and armor secured, we jumped out of the vehicle behind the defensive perimeter set up around the hangar to contain the swarm.

“What the hell are they?” I heard one guy shout over the roar of the dropship engines.

No one could answer that question. They looked like us. They moved like us. But, they fought like animals. I've seen more honor in dog fights. Their only goal was to kill, killing without an objective, overwhelming and dismembering, even at the expense of their own existence. They were hungry, all they wanted was blood. The blood that wasn't already theirs. They would kill a man, but moments later he would just get right back up. Only...he was one of them. At that point, I knew they would not stop until every single one of us were one of them. Members of their horde. This was our initiation.

Round after round we pumped into their numbers. Machine guns, rockets, plasma. I've seen men go completely berserk and only manage to incapacitate one or two of them before inevitably being brought to the ground. One by one, battered and broken, torn and shredded. We were losing soldiers while they were gaining monsters.

I was trying to stay optimistic, but I had my concerns. While we were holding back the enemy with a decent amount of efficiency, to say the least, I had my doubts that it would last. Our ammo stock pile would eventually deplete, our squads would eventually fall.

Stay focused, marine. We're not done yet.

I aimed down the sight of my Assault Rifle and squeezed the trigger. Out in the field, a head exploded. I squeezed the trigger again. A chest ripped open. I continued firing, and they continued dying. A perfectly synchronized machine of war. Each time I squeezed the trigger another enemy was dragged through the black gates of Hell. A baptism by lead, although not quite as hot as the place they're going.
I'm not sure how long the battle lasted. If you could even call it that. It felt more like a massacre. Just people killing more people. Most of them didn't even have weapons.

The last bloody-faced humanoid staggered out onto the battlefield and barely got out a war cry before it was obliterated by gunfire. We waited, but no more enemies came. The All-Clear was given.

"'Clear! Let's secure that building! Go, go, go!"

We slowly made our way up the hill. Occasionally I would hear a distant cough of gunfire as the bodies were checked for any signs of life. A gunshot meant one was still alive. The key word there being "was." Fire once if it's alive. Fire twice if you missed.

As we neared the hangar I could hear chatter among the ranks.

"Good job, men. Another victory for the UAC."

"Hell yeah! We wiped those fuckers out!"

"Gentlemen, a round of drinks on me when we get back!"

There was laughter, men were celebrating, whooping and hollering, singing and dancing. But I knew better. My biggest hint was the subtle tremors in the ground. Eventually, those tremors weren't so subtle. People began to notice.

There was a sound echoing from inside the hanger. It sounded like a steady, repetitive tapping sound. It was getting louder. Louder? Or closer? Me and a few other members of my squad circled around the building to the giant hanger doors. There was already three guys there with their ears to the door.

"What is that?" One of them whispered.

"I dunno, sounds like something moving in there." Said another guy.

"Is it some of our guys? " The third guy said.

"I don't think so, it sounds more like a machine. Back up guys. Get away from the d--"

Before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by a sudden whoosh followed by an explosion that blasted the doors off their tracks. We all immediately hit the deck and covered our heads, dodging shrapnel from the doors. When the smoke and dust cleared the three men were gone. Incinerated.

That ominous rhythmic sound continued, more clearly this time with the doors gone. It was a soft clop followed by a heavy metallic THUD. Getting louder and closer, shaking the ground in a series of tiny earthquakes. When it got to the point where I thought for sure that it was standing right next to me, it emerged.

I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was half machine, half...something else. It had bull horns and goat legs, and sported large object attached to its arm. Judging by what I had already seen, the object was its primary weapon; A missile launcher. Except it was about the size of my car and replaced it's left hand. In general, the creature was fucking huge. All five foot six of me stacked up like dog shit next to a tree compared to this thing. From where it stood in front of me, I could tell that I was only about knee-high to the beast. Everything in my mind was telling me to run, but I just couldn't get my feet to respond.

For the first time, I could say that I was scared shitless. The kind of scared that roots your feet to the floor. The kind of scared that makes you wish you could wake up and be back home in your bed. The kind of scared that makes you want this to be only a nightmare. Because, we all know nightmares aren't real, are they?

Are they?

I wasn't the only one afraid. The others were feeling it too. They started to panic.

"What is that?"

"What the fuck is that thing!?"

It turned and looked me dead in the eye. As I stood and gazed into its eyes, time seemed to come to a halt. I have never experienced a fear of that magnitude. Nor do I expect that it will happen again. In fact, it felt like I would never be afraid of anything again. Every other fear I ever had was instantly burned from my mind. Everything but this. This image would haunt me for the rest of my life, If it wasn't the last thing I ever saw.

It was at this point that time caught up with me and I realized what was about to happen.

RUN, MOTHERFUCKER!

The last thing I remember is that it raised the rather large gun mounted to its arm and the ground exploded.

As I slipped out of consciousness all I could hear was communications chatter relaying the news back to the CO's.

"Sir, we've lost the hangar! Repeat, the hangar is gone..."

...gone...

...gone...


=============

Probably not much better of an ending, but I think it clears up part 1 pretty well.

Also before anyone says it, I know the characters don't have names. I didn't think it was necessary for the reader to be too attached to the other people around the protagonist simply because most of them won't be surviving the chapter anyway. The protagonist doesn't have a name either, again adhering to Doom 1 more or less, that addresses the character only as "You".

Once again, comments and suggestions appreciated. Sorry for the triple post.

Old Post 09-14-10 22:38 #
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Impie
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I don't usually read these 'cos they're usually so terrible I quit a few sentences in. Gave yours a shot on the grounds that I like the structural idea: shows more effort than most fanfic authors invest in their work.

Mark Twain once said "Choose the right word, not its second cousin." After writing something, take a break from it for a while, then go back through and try to find words to replace or remove. Question whether you need this adjective or that adjective and whether a metaphor conveys exactly what you want to say.

I won't tell you everything that needs fixing -- I hate writing people's work for them. However I will give you a few notes to use as a springboard for your next proofreading session.

Notes for part 1:

- First thing that will help you improve this is to give it a better voice. The current narrative feels like an author pretending to be the protagonist. This guy's a marine. If the narrative is first person, it needs to reflect that. Don't use descriptions he wouldn't use on the battlefield or after hours. A marine probably wouldn't say "deformed horrific beasts" (not a good description to begin with); he might say "alien nightmare" or just "demons". Make the narrative grittier and more colloquial. First paragraph almost nails it (I'd ditch "What the hell?" though, as it isn't needed)

- Always be concise. Say what you want in as few words as possible, and if two sentences would be better combined into one (or one broken into several short ones), go for it.
"I wake up on the side of a rocky hill strewn with dead bodies of both humans and deformed horrific beasts."
could be
"I wake up on a rocky hill peppered with bodies. Some are human. Some ain't."

- Good example of the wrong word AND too many words:
"my fellow comrades" = bad and redundant
"my fellow marines" = better
"my comrades" = much better

- "Whoever it was, it wasn’t them anymore; a shell of a friend, now a monster."
Omit. You already say this at the end of the paragraph, and it's said better there.

- "I gazed deeply into those sockets that I’m sure once held eyes"
We're sure of it too so he doesn't need to say so.
suggestion: "I gazed into his sockets"

- "Half-assed, just the way I like it."
Not sure what this is supposed to refer to. Should be reworded.

- "I took off toward what’s left of the hangar, mostly intact, but mostly still in ruin."
Redundant. Would be better as something like:
"I took off toward the hangar (or what was left of it)"

- "I didn’t know exactly what I’ll be facing."
Proofread every paragraph to make sure your tense is consistent. Is this story supposed to be in past-tense or present tense?
"I didn't know exactly what I would be facing."

I'll post notes on the other parts if I find something significant. Also if you want examples of narrative voice relating to Doom and Quake you can take a look at Bank's Quake fanfic from several years back or my own Doom novellas. If nothing else they show how I think these characters would narrate their misadventures in eldritch dungeons.

http://www.doomworld.com/vb/fan-fic...ke-fan-fiction/
http://sites.google.com/site/theplutoniasaga/Home

Hope this helped. Now go forth and find similar stuff to adjust in parts 1, 2, and 3! And happy writing!

EDIT: I think it's funny how everyone who writes a Doom fanfic has a character named Sarge on account of the shotgun guys being called Sergeants. Even the Doom movie did it.

EDIT2: Quick note on dialogue punctuation (something I used to do myself).

“Eh, same shit different day.” I replied,

This is ONE sentence. The period and comma need to be swapped.

A quote which is followed by "he/she said" is a single sentence. Unless the quote ends in a question mark or exclamation point, the punctuation should remember it. I'll use this conversation to illustrate how dialogue should be punctuated, numbering the sentences for clarity.

“Hey, man, how’s it going?” sounded a familiar voice behind me.(1)

“Eh, same shit different day,” I replied.(2) “It’s been boring as hell around here lately.”(3)

“Yeah, I hear ya,” he said with a laugh.(4) “I’m thinking about catching a shuttle back to Earth.”(5)

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Last edited by Impie on 09-21-10 at 11:44

Old Post 09-21-10 11:11 #
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Shadow Dweller
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Thanks! This actually helped me a lot. One minor note about the protagonists grammar, my original idea was for the main character to present himself as a fairly intelligent person and as the story progresses and he continues fighting demons, you slowly get to see his grammatic structure start to degrade (His thoughts become more basic and and more like that of an animal.) and he steadily becomes more insane. I really liked this idea, and I hope that it can be preserved.

Any thoughts?

Old Post 09-21-10 14:18 #
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Impie
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He doesn't presently come off like he's intelligent; more like he's got delusions of eloquence. Being capable of articulating his thoughts -- even in a straightforward manner -- would be enough to show intelligence.

We also don't know HOW his narrative is being delivered to us. If it's standard first person (we're inside his head) and present-tense then maybe he can go off the deep end as terrible things happen to him; but you have it in past-tense, which suggests he's reflecting on all this, in which case there's no real reason for the narrative to degrade at all (though making the narrative voice a little nihilistic and hopeless could foreshadow he's not gonna survive this mess, which would explain why he's reflecting -- H P Lovecraft frequently did stuff like this to great effect). Doing it in present-tense would require very careful work so as not to bore the reader with constant freakouts.

Postmodern lit points out that stories are told for a reason and narratees are equally as important as narrators. That's why I wrote my fics the way I did: the narrator had a reason for telling the story, and somebody had a reason for reading it -- otherwise the story couldn't be told and would just sit undiscovered in a dark corner. The reader often adopts the role of the narratee when reading fiction, as seen in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". I think understanding this concept really helps an author develop fiction (especially narrative voice).

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Old Post 09-21-10 23:09 #
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