The Travelers

November 14th, 2010.

Professor James Richton, having been working on a chemical compound designed to preserve cellular structure in human beings, finally achieves a viable compound. Ultimately his work is to lead towards cryogenics, freezing a human being and thawing him or her at a later date, as a form of suspended animation. Cryogenically suspending someone under normal circumstances causes cell crystalization, thus killing the human the instant it is frozen. The chemical protein created by Professor Richton is designed to counteract this crystallization.

March 3rd, 2011.

The first series of tests are being done on animal test subjects, with mixed results. At a certain point, the protein breaks down and ceases to function; crystallization becomes a problem again soon after. For a period of thirty days, ten mice were put into Cryostasis. Two came out alive, but with severely limited bodily functions. They suffocated approximately thirteen to fifteen minutes later due to their inability to breath.
The chemical compound was viable on most cells, but did not preserve other vital organs of the bodies, as well as muscles. Autopsies indicate muscle mass had dissolved after thawed.

August 29th, 2011.

Perfecting the chemical compound that kept the two mice alive even for a short time, Professor James Richton began working on a second compound to preserve the rest of the body as well. Today is his first test, ten more mice are being placed in cryogenic stasis with this new compound.

September 29th, 2011.

The compound is a success, nine of the ten mice survived the experiment. An autopsy revealed the tenth mouce to have gone into a cardiac arrest prior to suspended animation, it died before the experiment took place.

January 1st, 2012.

The President of the United States authorizes military funding towards creating human sized cryogenic stasis chambers with Professor James Richton and Lieutenant Colonel Mark Harrison in charge of the project. It is now a matter of attuning the chemical compounds for the cellular structure of humans as opposed to mice, a somewhat less daunting task due to the basis of the compound being much similar.

November 1st, 2012.

The compounds have yet to be tested, but in simulation, are viable. Human test subjects are now needed; the president issues an order that this must be strictly volunteer based. Forcibly using subjects to suspend their lives momentarily is deemed a form of torture by the supreme court, and so is deemed an illegal and immoral act against humanity.
Of the five stasis chambers made, only two subjects volunteer.

The Travelers
His Story

He wasn’t a very optimistic boy anymore, no shining smile or happy outlook of any kind, not since his mother passed on. He was ill-clad, dressed in hand-me-down clothing from his older brother, who died in Iraq the year before. His mother was too heartbroken over his death, Doctors called it Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, which was a fancy way of saying “Broken heart syndrome.” She had a heart attack four weeks ago, and simply didn’t have the resolve to cling to life.

His dad split, though he was never really there to begin with. This left the seventeen year old in the care of his older sister, who started snorting that white demonic powder even though she just got out of rehab. Maybe it was her way of dealing with the sudden loss of their mother and brother. It doesn’t make it right, but Raynor could empathize at least.

He was alone, his absent minded sister and his completely absent father, he had nothing left. He was no longer able to concentrate on his school work, and so he failed out of high school. He didn’t have much of a future without a diploma, so his job sorting out the properly packaged medical supplies with the improperly packed ones at a factory seemed to be the end of the road. It was good money, and he was able to keep up with the rent and take care of himself, but it was fairly clear, this was as far as he was going to go.

He never even got the chance to tell his mother what he really wanted to do with his life. It didn’t matter though, he knew she would never go for it. She was the type of person…well, lets just say Raynor has been to a few camps and knows most of the more bigoted scripture by heart; at least, bigoted to him anyways.

A week ago he saw a news channel covering someone by the name of Professor James Richton. Dad hadn’t deserted them yet and his sister was still mostly sober.

Click “Human Cryogenics, no longer a theory and Professor James Richton, the scientist behind this new experiment is now calling for…” click “Next time on Galaxy Quest, Captain Taggart takes on a new enemy…”

“Wait, go back, what was that cryo-whatever thing about,” Raynor asked his father, who was casually flipping through the channels. The channel turned back to the news program detailing Professor Richton’s experiment.

“…East 14th street, downtown near to the Buskirk Theater and the Thai noodle emporium.”

“Huh? What in the world are they…” Raynor mumbled, confused.

"Once again, if you’re interested in the cryogenic testing or want a tour of the facility and the devices being used, sign up at the Springfield Massachussets justice building, at 120 East 14th street, near the Buskirk theater. In other news, a local dog goes water-skiing on a beach in Cape cod…"click

The TV was shut off, and his dad told him he was heading off to the post office to drop off a few things. It was at that point his father went missing. A week later, he got a call from his dad. “Listen…umm, some things came up and well, I’m not coming back. Take care of your sister for me, see ya around kiddo.”

And now he realized just how alone he was. His sister heard most of that phone call, she was listening in. This was her breaking point where she pulled a stash of her most toxic drugs she did on a regular basis before rehab. With a dollar bill in the shape of a straw and the powder lined up, she was gone.

The days went by and turned into weeks, time just began to fly by for Raynor who was lost in his own world as well. Thanksgiving was in two days, and despite the tragedy of his family, his grandmother still called to ask him if he was going to show up for a thanksgiving dinner. He said yes, but wasn’t really paying much attention to the conversation and didn’t really know what he agreed to anyways. He heard that she would drive over and pick him up around noon that day but that was about it.

During that phone call, he realized he should have been down at the factory half an hour ago. He rushed out, grabbing his coat and wool cap, nearly breaking a bunch of traffic laws just to speed down there. It didn’t matter though, once he arrived he was almost immediately confronted by his boss, before he even reached the factory floor.

“Good god man, you’re late for the fifth time this week, you look like shit and sniff when’s the last time you bathed?”

He put his hand on his head, and looked down to the ground, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be late. It won’t happen again Mr. Grabowski.”

“You’re damn right it won’t happen again, you’re fired! Ya know, I’ve got a stack of applications the size of my fist of people willing to show up on time and do the job right, and in this economy, almost every manager or whatever has them too. I just hope you realize that with the next dumb bastard that decides you’re worth his time to train.”

Dejected and with no room for argument, he walked out. “Hmph, Danny was killed by some terrorist, mom’s dead, dad’s gone, Andrea’s god knows where right now tweaking her brains out, fuck this shit I’m going to Springfield.”

Re: The Travelers

yay! a story that seems promising and got my attention (which has been hard to do lately) keep up the good work jackie

Re: The Travelers

Interesting hook. The main issue I spotted is one of narrative distance. In the beginning, we get a sense of a third-person narrator talking about the protaganist. “He wasn’t a very optimistic boy anymore, no shining smile or happy outlook of any kind, not since his mother passed on” seems somewhat distant. However, a few paragraphs later, we are clearly in his voice. “Dad hadn’t deserted yet and sister was still mostly sober” is clearly him and not a narrator. This isn’t much of an issue if we are going to be with him for the duration, but switching constantly between close and distant would be confusing.

Re: The Travelers

I don’t mind it. The change from objective observer to first person is fairly subtle and quite interesting. Unless the author overdoes it, things should go ok.

Re: The Travelers

Eh, for the duration of “His story,” it’s actually supposed to be an all narration using most of the pronouns (he, his, him, etc) to only refer to Raynor and only Raynor.

If I write the next section of the story (the other subject I have yet to go into detail about), I’ll be doing the same thing there with the next character. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be writing it though, Varvara expressed an interest in helping out a story but I don’t know yet if that means coming up with a few plot hooks and character concepts or actually writing chapters of her own.