WEP Challenge Spectacular Settings entry

Honestly, I’m not really sure why I choose the setting for this. I saw a picture of a standard, bland office building, and thought, “How can I make this place strange? What can I do  to add a bit of mystery and excitement in possibly one of the dullest places?” That is how The Bureau was born.

When the Bureau first recruited me less than six months ago, I thought the job would be easy. I was well aware of the Bureau’s goal of monitoring, capturing and keeping the monsters of myth and legend. Some of them I was told were not of this world. One of the ones not of this world, sat across from my desk. Fortunately for it,the features of its body could pass for human at a distance or a brief glance. It’s odd pigmented skin was almost turquoise in color, which seemed odd since the rest of its face looked more avian. A sharp almost pointed nose, separated large hollow orange eyes, and partly hide its small triangular mouth. There was a slight scar, on its head from something the file failed to mention.  From the file, he was a member of a race called Carnias and was from a planet nearly a light year away from here. Apparently from the description of the race given in the file, the creature was warm blooded and had excellent vision.

I sipped at a small cup of coffee, before shutting the file and placing on my desk. Clearing my throat, I asked “Well this visit is unexpected and not on the schedule for you, Xanu? From what I have glance from your file, your next scheduled appointment with us is in two days. What is so dire it couldn’t wait a couple of days?”

Xanu looked up at, staring at me with those orange eyes. With a soft, almost sad sounding caw before he responded ” My daughter. She has begun to enter the metamorphosis  cycle earlier than expected, between a girl and a women. It is a loud, colorful, and often violent process. I’m afraid my home is insufficient in keeping her hidden and quiet over the next month. I may be new to this world, and I would rather not break my forced exile if she is heard or spotted.This place, this planet was supposed to be a way for me to start over. That is something I desperately need.”

I stared at him stern, friendly and partly curious as to why he desperately needed a new start. From my quickly scanning his file, it was something that wasn’t mentioned. Taking another sip at my coffee, I inquired “Why is that something you need? It isn’t not your file, and when you The Bureau offers protection, but in order to do that you have to reveal everything about yourself. If you chose not to reveal it, than my ability to help you is limited Xan.”

Xan looks at me, blinking his clear eyelids. Silently he stands and pulls out a small handled device, their people had just given us. It was their version of the iPhone, but almost thirty time more powerful. He pushed the device into my hand. “That is not my information to give. My exile isn’t so much an exile, as  a matter of protection to myself and my family. All you need to know is in a file called Relocation_1.exe. It will explain why me being here is complicated.”

I touched the screen until, it came to life, in my hand. The strange clear box, with a slight silver trim around the edges. In a similar fashion to my own smartphone, I scrolled through with a thumb until I found the file Xan mentioned. Tapping on the file, I waited silently as it opened. The file was projected into the air, from the top letting can see the file as well. I wasn’t familiar with the language of his people, since I was more familiar with the language of the supernatural races that lived with humanity as well.

“You may have to translate some, I’m  still learning your language.”

Xan nodded “The long and short of it is, I’m in a protection program that keeps people who expose certain things. However the condition of my relocation, is I gave them all the information of the Carnoir. You would call them a mafia or crime family, on this world.  The Carnoir mafia worked on a little a bit of everything. I exposed their smuggling operation by accident, which is why I was originally sent here. That is why I desperately seek your help in hiding my daughter during her metamorphosis cycle.”

I brief knock, at my office door interrupted my thoughts. Drinking the last of my slightly stale coffee, I got up. “One moment Xan, usually a knock this early in the day is not a good sign.”

Xan nodded, before I walked over to the door. It was a slight surprise when I opened the door and saw Amasis. Her red hair, was tied behind her head, leaving her pointed ears.  A file pressed against her chest some. She was dressed in a collared red shirt, and a black blouse that stopped slightly south of her knee. Her silver eyes, peered at me from behind black framed glasses.

“What is it Amasis? I’m already seeing someone at the moment.”  She smirked some as she answers “You have a visitor. A elf, who wouldn’t give me his name only this file. He said and I repeat ‘Once he opens the file, he will desire to see me.’

I nodded and took the file, out of curiosity. After dealing with Xan I would read the file, since it may have been pressing but I previous business at the moment. Silently I walked over to my desk and took a seat. I stared at Xan, some as I politely put the other file on my desk. As I settled things with Xan, trying to fulfill the mission of the Bureau my thoughts turned to the elf who had delivered the file. How did he know what was contained within the file would get my attention? Who could this mysterious elf be? Was he from my past, or was he someone new?

This is the actual entry to the contest, is below:

They told me the Guardian statues were relics, of a time long since past. A time when man was capable of building great machines. Some were made to instruments of war. Others like the Guardian statues, were said to be machines made for peace. On this world and worlds beyond ours. Now they act as silent watchers of our world, surrounded by floating orbs. A large globe of our world, rests in his hand covered in a dark brown sand. 

Now, as I stare at it from horseback I can see how it inspires awe. It easily dwarfed the largest thing I had ever seen. I looked at it transfixed, as a sense of wonderment and interest. Part of me wanted to turn back, and gallop away. Another part of me wanted to get closer and study this strange relic. With a soft kick at the side of my horse, I gently pushed it forward. The journey back home would be long, and I had no desire to get stuck in the wastelands. Fortunately, the clouds had stayed close as I rode through the barren landscape. I wasn’t foolish enough to, believe the strange tales of the wastelands. Tales of monsters, small pale skinned men, and even tales of roaming groups of bandits. Yet, I had no inclination to find out if the tales were true.

As I approached the Guardian statue, I heard something odd.  Much to my surprise, my horse didn’t seem to hear it.  If it did, it failed to buck as I expected it to.  Being careful, I pulled my pistol from my waist. It was old fashioned kind, one that fired actual bullets and not bolts of refined energy. As I did so my horse whinnied, for reasons I didn’t see. Instinctively I tightened the grip on the gun, while I carefully steered the horse forward. My horse suddenly stopped, near the base of the statue.

I looked down and saw a queer figure had stopped my horse, with a gloved hand. His face was completely covered by a tan cloth. Two thick black lenses were the only thing that penetrated the cloth. In a partly muffled voice he remarked “You are late. It is a good thing, I am a patient man Alister. Another few years and I would have left.”

I let my gun drop some as the stranger spoke my name. “You know my name but I don’t know yours. I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage for the moment. Fortunately I have the high ground, and a shot at almost point blank range,” letting him see the gun.

He chuckled briefly. “I am well of that aware that Alister, but my name is irrelevant. However, why I am here is important. Something old is once again approaching this world. A enemy of all life, not just the ones on this world. You are here to help repair, this lead Guardian Statue. Your choice to fight or not has already been determined by the same power that sent me here. If you attempt to run away, all your roads will lead back to here.”

I gave him a confused look, trying to understand what he was talking about. What power could he be talking about? Why would they want this particular Guardian statue fixed, out of the several others that were said to exist? What made me so special? How would I fix this statue, since I barely understood how to?  This technology was greatly outside of my area of understanding. Then again I doubt many people alive understood these statutes, or the technology that was said to be housed inside them.

With a stare of slight interest I remarked “You do realize  I have a better chance of blowing it up than getting it working. This is beyond my understanding, not to mention my time. I doubt anyone alive could fix this thing, let alone me.”

“That is where you are wrong. Something that makes a living connection to the Guardian statue behind me. A technology made around the same time as the statue. Approach the statue, and that should awaken the machinery that is dormant in your brain. There is still some power left in the statue.Besides I have been using a generator to boost the storage cell that is hidden inside.”

The strange man was beginning to gain my curiosity. “How do you know, so much about the Guardian statues? These things are said to have been standing for almost five centuries. There is no way you are that old, even with old world tech.”

He looked at me, letting his black lenses flash against a orange sunset. “That I cannot tell you, for that would be extremely dangerous. Some knowledge should stay in my head. Otherwise unleashing it, could easily destroy world, as well it could save it.”

“Well, arent you a wealth of cryptic information,” letting my growing frustration come through with each word. “I could easily shoot you and leave you  for dead, leaving this so called destiny behind in a gallop of dust.”

Without much warning he grabbed my gun, and pointed the barrel at his head. “You could easily, yet you haven’t. Of course all that would do is spell doom for this world, and your wife Jasmine. Along with the child that rests in her belly.”

I blinked at him in disbelief. My courtship of Jasmine had began shortly before I left, yet he told me her and I would end up being wed. “How do you know about Jasmine? I have yet to be intimate with her, so she cannot possibly be with child.”

“Than approach the statue, and meet your destiny. The statue will grant you great knowledge. Be careful in how use it, and who you share it with.”
His dropped his hands from my gun, before abruptly vanishing in a  cloud of brown dust. That left me alone, with only my horse and the strange statue as company.

Word Count: 1000 RE: FCA

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18 thoughts on “WEP Challenge Spectacular Settings entry

  1. When I read the Bureau piece, I thought of the Men in Black, and when you introduced the elf, I thought of the TV show Special Unit 2. Very imaginative and a great way to spice up a rather drab and dull building!

    I especially liked the picture that you drew from to write your next piece, the Guardian statue, very inspirational! The rider has a lot to learn, and I wonder which direction he’ll go. Will he turn and try to leave only to find himself at the same spot as the stranger warned? Or will he approach the statue and find his destiny resides there? This is a great set up to a promising science fiction short or novel. I hope you’ll let us know your intention. I did find that a few words were missing, but an easy fix such as “Another few years and would have left.” The missing ‘I’. Or a missing letter such as “There is still some power left I the statue.” The ‘n’ is missing. As I said an easy fix.

    Very well done, and a wonderful submission to the WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge, thank you for participating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I just went through and fixed the mistakes you pointed out, that I didn’t notice earlier when I attempted to edit. Honestly I’m not sure what my intention is. It partly depends on if I could get permission to use the artwork as a cover. If that happens I could easily make a small novel, hopefully.

      Like

  2. Hello Christopher!

    Your Part A was very atmospheric. I enjoyed reading it very much. I especially enjoyed the description of Amasis when she arrived. I like details.

    Your work was the second passage. I liked the story and the setting. And wow isn’t that statue amazing! It kept moving along and so much intrigue was included right to the end. I love your description of the queer figure: ‘His face was completely covered by a tan cloth. Two thick black lenses were the only thing that penetrated the cloth.’ Again, great detail. The idea of Jasmine with child is a question I’d like to know the answer to.

    As you state FCA, Christopher, I’ll just point out that there were some typos that you missed with your proofread in both passages. I’m not going to point them out. If you go through your work again, I’m sure you’ll find them. And there was some inconsistency in tenses that we all make from time to time. I also found commas in places I wouldn’t expect, but I know people have different ideas of where to put commas.

    Thank you so much for participating in WEP.

    Denise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything in the first two comment. Your attention to detail is excellent. One suggestion: proofread, then read out loud. Numerous grammar, spelling, and syntax errors, especially in the first piece, really slowed the reading and at times created confusion, something you don’t want to do as a writer. Clarity is the goal! Language usage is the tool to achieve that goal. Cinda

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi,
    First, using your own work as an example of a setting was genial. I was in the bureau and thinking about the creature sitting opposite you. Your descriptions gave me a feeling of being somewhere in another world, probably Mars, where people might be have turquoise coloured skin and orange coloured eyes. I’m thinking that the genre is Sci-Fi and if it is, it is excellent because it pulled me in and I am generally not a Sci-Fi fan.

    Your picture put the icing on the cake for me. Fantastic idea and for me the picture was a bridge between the two setting. But in your submission, I felt like I was participating in an archaeological dig with Indiana Jones.

    Both settings drew me in.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

    Liked by 2 people

  5. While I enjoyed both pieces, what stood out to me was this: “How can I make this place strange? What can I do to add a bit of mystery and excitement in possibly one of the dullest places? That is how The Bureau was born.”
    Asking ourselves questions such as that, my friend, is how great stories are born.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, so can I. Downside both will end up being series, of some kind. The Guradian will be Classic scifi. While the Bureau will be slightly experiential since I can combine elements of folklore, and elements of the strangely fantastic. The Bureau will end up being a word based pinball machine of ideas. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed you fantastic tail. The statue reminded me of so many things one of them Destiny. Nicely done. Both held my attention and brought me into other worlds and thoughts.

    Like

  7. Pingback: August’s ends | Strange new worlds

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