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Author Topic: Breaker of Long Thaw
Mecopitch
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As I understand it, you all will be asking questions, and I respond as if I'm my character.
This is a great exercise!

Hi, the name's Breaker. Yes, I get it... Weird name. My family helped settle the colony on Long Thaw. Can I help you?

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Robert Nowall
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Sounded like some primitive caveman moniker. Little more info on you?
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Mecopitch
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Yeah, I get that a lot. My family were among first to Long Thaw. They broke ground on the first terraforming project to encompass a frozen planet. And so they named the first kid from that world, "Breaker." I guess breaking ice would be a better term than breaking ground.

I moved away to Oberth a few years ago, worked as a dock worker, laborer. Nothing glamorous, but it was a living.

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extrinsic
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Ice "breaker" holds strong promises for Breaker's dramatic roles in any milieu and community: social ice breaker, breaker-up of barriers that impede access to resources, and the dramatic conflict of social acceptance and rejection. Congruently, the Basher character from the Ocean's films is an explosives expert.

In my experience, a persuader is a 20-pound sledgehammer or a crowbar, maybe a jackhammer, etc.

So, Breaker, what's your wants and problems wanting satisfaction? Socially? This is complication -- the fundament and fount of expression.

[ April 05, 2015, 03:17 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Mecopitch
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When I moved to Oberth, I worked in the warehouse at Cerebrotech for a number of years. They're an autonetic prosthetic company, focusing on hands, arms, legs and things like that.

My right arm is one of their older models, not 20 pounds of a persuader, but 15 or so. But when the government banned the operations that installed the prosthetics, so Cerebrotech lost its business and fired all of us. Just got offered a job on a ship, managing cargo. Most of that crew is enhanced as well. We'll see how that pans out tomorrow.

I guess my only real concern is to find work and keep my head above water, but I wish they'd repeal that stupid law so I can legally upgrade my arm.

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extrinsic
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So you may be on an as yet unrealized black market upgrade quest. How did you lose the arm in the first place? Also, why was the tech outlawed?

[ April 04, 2015, 03:59 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Robert Nowall
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And are you expected to surrender any, er, current enhancements, to the proper authorities?
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Mecopitch
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Some other companies developed genetic modification therapy, some nonsense about changing our structure to regrow limbs and body parts. It's an easier proceeder and the rehab time is alot shorter. So the Endicott Cooperative, our government, decided to ban the old procedure in favor of the new one. I'm sure they're on the take from the companies who made it.

No, they'll let me keep my arm. But I cannot find a replacement anywhere, and I am not a criminal. I'm afraid I'll have to get the gene therapy if I ever need a replacement.

I could travel outside of the Endicott System to find a place to do it, but I can't afford my own ship, especially not one capable of traversing the Vector Array. Too much physical stress for an old one.

My older model arm works fine though, and I can do work on it by myself for now.

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extrinsic
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They say, it's a rough, tough life we star striders undergo, slinging hash and serving crew to lots who we don't know, and, gone off ashore on ribald liberty, we tell our harrowed escapades and sing our grievous sorrows to knowing mates aboard back alley grog shops' tipsy bar stools. The hard life we know, it is routine for us. So what, pray tell, is your life-complicating, life-defining episode different from your mates' they are eager and raptly willing to bear?

[ April 05, 2015, 04:00 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Robert Nowall
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"Let 'im keep it, he didn't mean any 'arm!"

Has anybody approached you about an upgrade?

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Mecopitch
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Yeah, Extrinsic, space travel sucks sometimes.

Nah, no one has offered anything. I like my arm, anyway. It's easy to work on.

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Robert Nowall
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Maybe a swap with someone who wants something less powerful...
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Mecopitch
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Maybe. But I really do like my arm. I'll probably keep it until I can't fix it.
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Robert Nowall
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(extrinsic: "Breaker" sounds more like 1970s CB chatter.)

Breaker: Does this law against upgrades effect breakage and arm failure? 'Cause if it doesn't, you could wind up without one arm.

Also you haven't mentioned your original arm. Did you have one? If you did, how did you lose it? Or did you just swap it for the prosthetic?

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extrinsic
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Breaker to me brings up the breaking yards where old ships go for disassembly. The workers are breakers; by hand, they break ships into pieces for salvage. They sell their lives cheap.
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Mecopitch
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Sorry, prosthetics are so common place back home that I completely forgot you asked. I was afflicted with frostbite when I was a kid and lost my arm. When I stopped growing, I was fitted with this one.

If repairs are impossible... I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't expect that to happen, barring some accident. If I had to, I could get genetic therapy, but that frightens me a little. What if they screw something up?

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Robert Nowall
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"Stopped growing" is a relative term. You might experience problems with an ill-fitting arm as you grow older. Genetic therapy might produce a new arm integrated with the rest of your body, but, then, it might not be quite what you're looking for in a new arm...
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Mecopitch
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That's why I still have this one. It's got some elasticity to it. If I gain weight, lose weight, or whatever, it still fits me well.

I'm sure that an arm regrown by genetic therapy wouldn't be what I want at all. My arm might be kind of ugly, but it's worked really well.

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Robert Nowall
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Y'know, we've spent a lot of time talking about your arm, but not much about you, Breaker of Long Thaw. Curiosity about a few things...what do you want out of life? got a girlfriend (though I don't think it's come up whether you're a guy or a girl)?
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Mecopitch
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My arm is a part of me, but sure.

No real career ambitions or anything, but just trying to get by. Only girl in my life is the Captain, but she's a bit too tough for my tastes.

There is this kid I picked up on Oberth, took a pretty bad beating from some thug while the place was under attack. Last time I checked he was still asleep on his bunk. He dragged himself to our loading dock and the Captain told me to strap him in.

The whole crew is really just trying to figure out who would attack a tiny colony like Oberth... But my first job is to find a place to sell the cargo we've got. Just cattle feed, but we can't make it to Endicott because whoever attacked Oberth is already there...
Not a good situation.

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extrinsic
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So predator problems complicate the rough and tough routine, with a want of just getting by unbothered. That's a story's plot structure that may appeal to mates aboard a back alley bar's stools.
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Jed Anderson
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Have there been any negative reports of the genetic regrowth of limbs? Too expensive?

I'm trying to figure out why you are so hesitant on getting an arm grown. I understand you've, and I'm sorry for the wording, grown attached to it, but your resistance has to be more than sentimentality.

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Robert Nowall
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Having a kid in your life kinda makes you a father figure.
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extrinsic
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I see now dots of a storyline and plot outline. All pivots upon mechanical prostheses.
  • Breaker wants upgrades for his prosthetic arm, is content with the arm as it is.
  • The Endicott Co-op aligns with genetic limb, etc., regrowth in opposing and banning autonetic extremity makers.
  • Breaker crews on freight haulers.
  • The kid from Oberth, badly injured by some thug while another freighter delivered freight to Oberth. (Maybe a wound gapes where an autonetic device was ripped out? Arm, leg, foot, hand, ear, eye? And he took a thorax beating? That matters and connects up to the whole.)
  • The thug and his predatory group lay in wait at Endicott.
  • They pirate autonetic devices from users? At the behest of the co-op and the gene group?
  • Breaker and his crew evade the predators?
  • They make contact and a battle ensues?
  • The predators board Breaker's vessel forward?
  • The predators have the upper hand until Breaker and two mates board the predator vessel aft and stir up a diversion that divides the predator combatants?
  • Breaker discovers a chest filled with stolen prostheses?
  • He and his mates carry the chest back aboard their vessel? Meanwhile, leaving a surprise behind that cripples the predator vessel?
  • The vessels part ways, the predator ship to repair and lick its wounds? Breaker's vessel, likewise, and deliver its cargo?
  • From the purloined chest, Breaker now has all the upgrades and spares he and his crew mates will ever want and then some?
  • A crew mate reattaches the kid's stolen appendage?
  • At full strength again, Breaker's mates and vessel -- uh-oh, Breaker discovers a backup memory drive hidden in the chest?
  • The drive contains records documenting the predators' heists, and their collusion with Endicott's co-op and gene company factors?
  • Now the predators are ever more desperate to retrieve the drive?
  • They meet again?
  • This time, Breaker's crew triumphs, detains the predators, and hands them and the records over to trustworthy authorities?
  • Breaker keeps the leftover chest prostheses?
  • Outcome, personal and public, the gene group's monopoly is broken, anyone now may choose between regrowth and autonetic implant?
  • Life for Breaker returns to a new normal rough and tough routine? Now a more mature man than before?
  • The captain love interest, maybe she and Breaker exchange roles? She now still captain though less personally controlling now Breaker is fully man?
Now that's a story I'd gladly and raptly bear aboard a back alley bar stool. I'd stand Breaker to a drink, too. As would our mates, we wearers of prosthetic implants; and for the rest of Breaker's life and long after a drink and hearty toast from every mate!

[ April 13, 2015, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Mecopitch
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Well now, Extrinsic, speaking as Mecopitch, not Breaker.
That's not half bad, but since you've only got one character profiled, there's so much more, understandably.
I'm going to start another thread for another character. One who you've met in my first 13.

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extrinsic
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Just a light touch, so to speak. Though I go to far in imposing my creative vision on yours. Just an outline of a thought process related to a main event sequencing for illustration purposes.
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Mecopitch
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Definitely a cool idea though. Could work some elements of it into a flash fiction bit within my universe. My short work has become more of a full-legth novel... Stupid creativity.

Here's the link to my first 13, I thought you were one of the few who checked it out. I was wrong.
http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/writers/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=004756

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