1. Fl0wergirl101
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    Fl0wergirl101 Member

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    Story idea

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Fl0wergirl101, Feb 21, 2016.

    hello everyone!

    I've recently had a story idea and I was wondering what you all thought of it.
    I've decided to create a society in which reincarnation is considered the norm. When you are born into your first life somehow or another you know the amount of lives you have left to live. (I thought this could maybe be numbers on the wrist.) the main idea is that people who have been reincarnated less are more reckless and childlike. Whereas those who have lived longer are more wise and cautious. I've decided the protagonist will be a boy. A teenager at the beginning around 16-17 and basically, he's on his last life. So his goal throughout the story will be to make his last shot at life really count but he's unsure how to do this. A girl, his future love interest is very young and has hundreds of lives left. I want her to help him achieve the most out of his life but I was unsure how to bring the two together. I thought of having him somewhat admire her since a young age, they're not friends but they've always kind of known each other in passing. Then perhaps she's out drunk driving maybe and kills someone close to him? Or maybe one of her friends.
    I don't really know where to go from here or how to make the story less predictable. They will fall in love fully knowing that they won't be able to spend too long together. So it's difficult to make it end any other way than one would expect.

    If you guys have any idea or suggestions on where I should go from here or if there's anything I should change let me know, thank you in advance!
     
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  2. shambles
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    shambles Member

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    I have a question about it! Will they be able to remember things from their past lives or not? I feel like that would add a whole other dimension to the story if they could.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that sounds a little strange. To me it could be the other way around, at least if by reincarnation you include some kind of "If you're being good you'll benefit from that in your next life", then the "young" ones would logically be more careful since they have so many lives left to live, and don't want to get into a vicious circle, where they end up worse for each life, while the "older" ones, with less life left to live would be more careless, since they're going to stop reincarnate soon anyway. :) But that is just my thought of it.
     
  4. Fl0wergirl101
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    Fl0wergirl101 Member

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    I haven't decided that yet. Do you think they should be able to? I was thinking having them maybe just able to remember emotions and connections they've made with people. Not necessarily everyone but only snippets. I guess if you found somebody that was perfect for you you'd find your way back to them multiple times throughout your various lives.
     
  5. shambles
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    shambles Member

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    I think they should be able to remember some things, like significant emotions and such, but not the entirety of their past lives.
     
  6. Fl0wergirl101
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    Fl0wergirl101 Member

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    I wasn't initially going to include the idea of karma. Because although the idea of reincarnation does come from Buddhism I just thought it'd be a little too complicated to include karma. But maybe I should, I'll think about it.
    I was actually thinking of making my protag a Buddhist. I think he would have the kind of mindset that, well we live in a society where we know reincarnation exists so why not believe in the rest of it?
     
  7. Fl0wergirl101
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    Yeah, I think if anything really dramatic happened like a real deep emotional connection with another person or they were murdered or something like that.
     
  8. shambles
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    shambles Member

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    Maybe have it so they will see scenes of said important events in dreams? I don't know. That could add another layer to it though.
     
  9. Fl0wergirl101
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    Fl0wergirl101 Member

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    Oooh. Interesting. I actually had something similar to that in a story idea I had previously. It's somewhat similar to this one in the way that people's fears were actually the cause of their death in a past life and that's why they're scared of them. They had dreams of their past lives and if they were murdered they could use their dreams to track the killer down :)
     
  10. shambles
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    shambles Member

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    That is such a brilliant idea! Did you continue with it? If not, you should really go back to it!
     
  11. Fl0wergirl101
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    Fl0wergirl101 Member

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    Aw :) thank you very much! No I didn't really continue with it. I kind of hit a wall in the plot and didn't really know where to go from there. Maybe I should start another thread trying to get other people's opinions on it. Or maybe I should try and merge it into this story somehow. What do you think?
     
  12. shambles
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    I think the merging of the two is a really good idea! It would take some additional planning, but I'm sure you'd work it out well!
     
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  13. Fl0wergirl101
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    Thank you :) I'll give it a go.
     
  14. shambles
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    I'd love it if you shared it with me once you get started!
     
  15. DanielLanex
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    DanielLanex New Member

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    I had a similar idea and I came to post about it but I saw this thread so I thought I would just share directly with you instead. I wrote a sort of rough plot sketch out last weekend. I started with just the idea and expanded to a tentative three part story with kind of a world building and character introduction phase, a rising action phase, an interlude of character development and emotional climax accompanied by the characters going on a physical journey, and then a concluding climax in the action of the plot itself.

    Its different from your idea because it isn't about spiritual incarnation, its coming from a dystopia perspective.

    Futuristic world where people can clone their own dna and relive their lives from a very young age in the exact same body but retain all of the knowledge of their previous lifetime through a super expensive brain transplant procedure. However, the procedure is so expensive that not everyone can do it unless they spend their whole lives making money, which leads to a dystopian society where people are forced to go to ever greater and greater lengths to secure their next life. Celebrities are people who have lived more than two or three lives and can make enough money to not only clone their bodies but also to upgrade them.


    Moral issues arise from the "disposal" of the original cloned brain, and the developing child of age 3 who is basically killed to give his/her body to the owner of the dna, (or so everyone thinks.) With an exceeding automation of most of the menial tasks of society the most prized commodity becomes the idealized "most ideal" dna strand, which people seek to inhabit for the stability it would provide, since the fewer flaws there are in the dna the more times it can be replicated before it breaks down; but, buying your way into someone else's dna is an even more expensive process, and this allure of upgrading your body leads to highly competitive and dark side of the high end of society who spend their lives plotting to get insane amounts of money and secure genetically superior bodies.


    All the while the government is secretly covering up a mass sterilization plan for the population, ending the human ability to reproduce its own kind without the use of the cloning process. This will allow the government to control who is allowed to continue living, and who is not. The cloning process itself, as well as the short lived lives of the clones, who only survive as sentient beings before the brain transplant at age 3, is mostly automated and highly concealed from to the public. Some things go without saying but it remains a highly taboo topic of discussion since conformity is extremely important alla 1984. In the underground world hidden from most of the population who are stuffed into massive cities lies a massive network of child labour; clones whose owners were unable to make their payments are used to fill roles of farm labour, gas mining, anything too brutal to be seen by the people who are still "on the upside" but just a bit too complex or awkward for machines to do. These two worlds are kept so firmly separate that almost everyone is completely unaware of what is really going on and everyone believes in the utopian ideal society where all can live forever as long as they remain productive members of society; but since the society is largely cut off from the reality of how it's needs are met it becomes a society which is fraught with opulence: drugs, alternate reality simulations, prostitution, ect. The primary struggle of the people becomes to resist temptation that could lead them off track into their next body. This is contrasted with the struggle of the under-race which is one of physicality, hard labour, poor living conditions, ect. Traditional marriage is frowned upon as well as trying to pro-create naturally. While having natural babies isn't illegal, it is built into the system to cause a quite significant financial strain on the parents almost ensuring their failure to make it into their "next" bodies, since clones are wards of the state and are thus supported through early childhood by the government, but naturally conceived children are not. There is a polarizing view among society that sacrificing one's own consciousness and set of knowledge and expertise and experience for the creation of new dna, (ie: a child who is a unique combination that hasn’t existed before,) is a highly honorable choice, since it helps to retain a more diverse gene pool in the species. However, some people believe that it is more beneficial to retain the knowledge and experience of the old, and that throwing it away by having new children is a waste of intellectual progress.


    All of the goods arrive underground, there are no trucks. Robots handle shipping. Seriously no one knows or cares where any of the crazy nice shit they have comes from.



    Secretly the government is creating propaganda to reinforce this second view, (that is that cloning one's body instead of having children is a better choice,) as they try to gain complete control of the human reproductive process by sterilizing newly cloned bodies; and at the same time making it a social faux-pas to even have your own children to begin with. So, while the government plays a game of mass manipulation to create an eternally loyal lower class of slaves who have known no better life, an eternally motivated middle class of creators and thinkers who advance the technological abundance of the society, and a very small "elite" upper class of near super humans who compete on a public stage for the chance to make it into genetically engineered "super-bodies," there arises a sub culture of people whose devotion to remaining true to the organic reproduction of human life evolves into almost a religious cult. This happens against the backdrop of what should be a perfect society; hard lined for eternal progress, which is in fact a sick society where almost everyone is cheating to get ahead, or to push their competition back. A whole host of entirely non-life essential careers has arisen in a chase for an endless pursuit of hedonism, which has become the only thing left to motivate the already well fed and housed population. It is seen as a sign of higher social standing to be able to waste money on the enjoyment of life, and a lot of people make a living from this industry.


    On the other hand, crime is punished by a forced procedure of reincarnation into a "servant" class. This is a secondary class to the creators, not doing the forced manual labour of the clones in the unseen world, but serving the daily needs of the creators in the cities. This class serves as a deterrent to crime since they are always there to serve as a reminder of what happens when a creator misbehaves. This class is motivated by the slim chance that they may earn the chance to inhabit their original body and take back their place, but this is in most cases impossible because of the minimal wage that they earn.


    So. 6 levels of society. The government. The super humans. The creators. Their offshoot the religious sect of organically reproducing humans who give their lives to have children. The servants. The unseen clones of the unseen industrial complex.


    Two major plot points arise. One: the people who are having kids don’t retain their knowledge and their children are severely disadvantaged when coming against peers who have 1 or 2 lifetimes already in them. This often forces them down into the servant class since they are unable to compete in an ever more competitive job market of creators. Maybe we can have one such character who is conflicted over whether or not she will have her own children, knowing the struggles she is facing, but trying to stick to her religious views. So these people become disadvantaged by design.


    The second plot point is that this mass repression of one of our basest biological urges, to reproduce, leads to a mass production of a wide variety of mood altering drugs to distract people from their own state of denial to their biology. Having your eggs taken out and supplementing with hormone therapy is seen as a responsible way to deal with the problem, as is the chemical castration of men. The government supplements cost of these procedures as a way to encourage them, and undertaking them is seen as a way to commit yourself to the path to a new body. However, other sorts of drugs, alternate reality simulations, massively popular virtual reality sports and an endless pursuit of hedonism, drag people away from their goal of making it into their next life. But since everyone knows that falling too far off track will result in their permanent death, there is a constant struggle to stay the course.


    An off shoot of this is people who purposefully commit crimes so they can make it into "servant" bodies, just for another shot at life. This often leads to intense regret and suicide since the servant class is offered no respect and a vastly lower quality of life than that of the creators.


    At the critical juncture where the government about to begin creating clones who do not have an organic reproduction capability to begin with, the ever disadvantaged but determined group of "religious fanatics," (who have been having kids regardless of the over-arching societal view,) stage a mass revolt. This is triggered by a data leak that makes its way to one of our main characters who discovers a memo describing the government’s plan. I know the whole "data leak," "hactavism," thing is probably corny as heck, and it might be better to have it happen another way but then again maybe not. It needs a really nerdy, nerdy computer person's mind to make that sort of idea live and I don't have that mind.


    Much to everyone's surprise a massive clone army, (not even known to exists by the reader,) is brought in by the government seemingly from nowhere to quell the rebellion when it reaches a critical stage of overpowering traditional law-enforcement. The government enacts a state of martial law during the ensuing chaos, enforced by the ever loyal clones who have not even been taught the same language as that of the populace, but who so eerily look just the same as everyone else, but for their uniforms and menacing firearms.


    [Bring out points about how the increasing genetic instability of a repetitive cloning process is leaving more and more clones non-functional, meaning one person might have to clone his own dna several times to come up with a suitable new body. The other bodies are either discarded or used as clone slaves. This ever increasing price of re-insertion into a new body creates an artificial hand of natural selection that kills off people who can't make enough money to pay for their potential new bodies as the dna continually degrades with each generation and the price of a new body increases.]


    The government's plan, after the complete sterilization of the populace, is to take all of the people who can make it alive to the "cut-off," some 75 years in the future, and combine their dna to create new combinations. This freshly created diversity is expected refresh the dna pool and propel evolution forward lightyears ahead of where it would be naturally. This cycle is to be repeated every 200 years, growing the population to a certain size and then shrinking it again, to create a diverse gene pool and then select the best out of it for the next stage.]


    Days after the quelling of the rebellion the government announces that the natural reproduction of offspring is now illegal and that members of the religious cult are now enemies of the state. Cue the future holocaust. As this happens we begin to see how the majority of the population is becoming polarized: having lived easy and supervised lives for centuries, some of the people cling even tighter to their belief in the system, even as it's pure corruption is revealed. Another portion of the population is appalled by the revelations and takes the side of the religious cult. War within the city ensues.


    The war quickly degenerates into a slaughter as the vastly superior weaponry and organization of the clone army shuts down any direct opposition. People who are first generation clones or better are quickly transported into a safe zone. People who are original are sent to a processing center. Our characters find their way into a safe zone and meet with a group of surviving cultists. They find a way to get out of the city and into the uninhabited zone.


    This brings us to the second act.


    Now the group of fleeing “refugees” comes upon the barren wilderness of the outer world, and they are greeted with a stunning revelation. Farms that are run by machines and clone slaves, vast mineral mines, vast fishing operations, the building of vehicles, airplanes, spaceships, weaponry, computers, factory after factory, seemingly endless. The clone slave population speaks a strange dialect which seems simple and barbaric. Shockingly, any attempt to free the slaves is met with violence from the slaves themselves, and there does not seem to be any violent force acting upon the slaves as they work. Stockholm Syndrome. But something else is also observed. The slaves freely express a kindness and love to one another which is foreign to the creators. At night they have sex in groups, although they are all sterile. They sing songs and play primitive musical instruments fashioned from basic tools. This shows how despite their proximity to high technology they remain primitive because of their relationship to that technology: as the ones being controlled, not the ones in control. We can see that they have some sort of implant in their heads which is like a small box over the left temple, with some wires running just underneath the skin to another small box at the base of the spine. It seems unclear what function this serves.


    So here we can go into more than a few sub plots. How the group is able to survive by scavenging from factory to factory. Slowly amassing a collection of high technology and weapons. How the leaders plan an eventual return to the city to rescue their comrades, but over time begin to see how running away might be a safer option. A need to preserve their own safety is contrasted with the guilt of leaving their compatriots behind.


    As they mingle with the slave clones they begin to exchange culture with them, they initiate trade with the slaves of one factory to another, helping to get them more food, clothing where needed, things like this. The slaves readily except their help but will openly resist the action of stealing from a factory if they see it take place. But when the refugees collect goods from the factories away from the view of the slaves and then bring them back at night as gifts the slaves seem to lose understanding of any wrong doing having occurred, and they except the gifts with gratitude. Our refugees begin to learn the slave language a little. One slave girl falls in love with the main character. He and the prostitute will perform a surgical operation on her to remove the implants in her brain, but she almost dies. The main character does this secret away from the rest of the people and we see that he is greedy to have what he wants and that is more a motivation for him than the actual freeing of a slave. He offers the prostitute a massive payout to help him with the procedure since she has had some experience with medical procedures somehow, like in an underworld situation where she had to stitch up some criminal guy who couldn’t go into see a real doctor for fear of his own capture, so he paid her to sow his wounds back together. The slave girl will depart with the group when they leave and will become totally attached to the main character. Some of the others are shocked that Marcus took a potentially fatal risk in performing surgery on this person, but he fends off their accusations by saying that it had to be found out it if the removal of the implants would result in the death of the host. It is clear to the reader that his only real motivation was a sexual conquest.


    Despite how the refugees have been welcomed into the slave culture it is continually seen that there is no way that the slaves will ever leave their duties behind. They are utterly and completely conditioned to fulfill their tasks on a daily basis. What little they need is provided for them and despite their hard lives they find strength in a togetherness that the higher society of the creators completely lacks in its total competition.

    So basically we get to contrast one society in which the people have an extremely low standard of living but enjoy sexual freedom and a lack of hierarchical leadership, (since the only thing they are submitting to is their implants,) with another society with an extremely high standard of living but with extreme sexual repression and a rigid social hierarchy, that has led to sexual predation, the selling of sex, the abuse of power, ect.

    I was thinking of making the younger original girl character fall into prositituion because she can't compete with her clone peers in the job market. That's the prostitute I was talking about, she is someone who has been with the group since the city.


    We see also how despite the fact that the group has rebelled completely from the control of the government, they are still almost completely dependent upon the industry that government created: fishing out of massive spawning tanks and cooking on fires in the isles of the assembly line with the cuttings of the lumber factory. The machinery of the factories and fields rolls forward completely ignoring the presence of the refugees. It is like a great empty soul that is lost in giant, perpetual motion.


    Maybe at first we can have them stealing food directly from the slaves, who receive rations out of some sort of automated food dispensary machine into which the slaves scan their implants to receive a daily ration, but this action is met with violent opposition and it is seen that despite their technological advantage the refugees cannot take advantage of the slave population because they are hopelessly outnumbered. Instead, they collect food directly from the farms and factories themselves under cover of darkness, and use primitive methods to prepare it for themselves.


    Some slaves are trained to fix certain robots, to fix certain machines. These slaves have higher social status, they are responsible for ensuring that maintenance checks are carried out daily, and they become very angry when anyone tries to interrupt the function of any robotic task or piece of equipment.


    The refugees stay hidden and on alert at all times, sleeping in shifts, keeping watch from the top of the factory buildings, ect.


    After a time, (maybe a few days… not long enough for the government to realistically have completed the stabilization of the city but long enough for the leaders of the group to be nervous of what might be coming after them and what might be happening to their companions who were left behind,) there arises a debate over what the course of action should be. Some of the cultists seem dead set on arming themselves with weaponry from the weapons factory and going back inside to fight the clone army in a straight war, but Marcus persuades them to reconsider since the clone army has been seen to be very efficient at its task and vastly outnumbers the refugees He suggests that they take what tools they need for survival and make off into the deeper wilderness to avoid contact with the government forever, essentially becoming a rogue state of people living solely off the land. This is seen as cowardly since it would leave the fate of the vast majority of the cult members left inside the city up to the government, which almost surely means they will end up dead. Another group of cultists/refugees argues that staying with the slave population might be the best choice, in other words, if nothing has gone wrong yet, why not stay here and keep waiting? They decide to run further away. Any foray back into the city would almost certainly result in immediate capture due to the intense surveillance around it and the massive military presence. Staying put isn’t an option because the government will eventually come to tie up their loose ends. After much deliberation everyone agrees. All of the while we are left to wonder what is happening in the city, and why the government still hasn’t come chasing after our group of cultists.


    They take what they need from the factories in the dead of night to avoid any confrontations with the slaves, and set out. After a day of travel by road (in vehicles,) they crest a ridge and see something entirely different: the massive cloning facility. This is something that none of our characters have ever seen before. No image of it is in any school book, no word is spoken of it in the city. The cloning process is largely kept a secret and those few who become experts in its industry are seen almost as the priests of the culture: ones who are close to god and keep secrets of a higher power. They live in a separated portion of the city and speak little of their work.


    [Important to note how the utter lack of security on the outer world speaks to the complete unpreparedness of the government to handle any kind of escape. The utopian city is so perfect at serving the needs of its population that no one has ever fled before, and it has been so long since it was considered a risk that there exist nearly zero security measures beyond the gates of the city itself.]


    It is such that our group of refugees finds themselves walking into the cloning facility. The first thing that becomes apparent is that it is completely nonfunctional, or at least that it is stopped completely. “Why is nothing happening?” Someone says. They walk through halls of incubation pods, stacked five up in endless rows, but they all seem empty. We come through various halls which contain different things that would seem to indicate areas that are used to care for very young clones in different stages of development: nursing machines, cradles, diaper changing stations, ect. Wistful music pipes through a PA system, something that hits Marcus in his deepest memories, safety and unconditional love. “I’ve been here before.”

    “Of course you have. Do you find it odd that you remember the sound of the music?”

    “Odd?”

    “The brain that was here in your body isn’t in your body anymore.”

    “Somehow I remember the music.”

    “Funny.”

    Suddenly he was on his knees, tightly clenched fists pressing into the linoleum floor while unhindered tears shook him.

    No one seemed to know what to do but they all stopped, except the slave girl who was clutching him from behind and humming a song into his ear.

    “This is his third life?” He tried to keep his voice low.

    “I think so.”

    Somewhere deep inside of him he felt a relief he hadn’t known before. He felt a disgust that penetrated him so deeply he couldn’t breathe, he felt as if his skin had betrayed him, as if his body knew that he had lost humanity. It was something about the music. And the way the slave girl had him in a consuming bear grip, harmonizing. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d cried. Was it in a past life?


    Anyways so that was random. We pick up from there and they keep walking until they find a massive hallway with a bunch of doors. They go inside and they find all of the surgery rooms, with a bunch of technology that no one recognizes, and big robots with 12 arms stooped overtop of 5-foot-long operating tables. Nothing is moving, nothing is working, there are no children. The party continues on.


    They then find a long hallway which leads to a room with a long row of conveyor belts. They look down them to see each one drop off down an incline about 30 yards from the entrance to the room. Someone begins to walk forward but Marcus stops him. The room smells very sterile, a bleachy overtone hiding something else entirely.

    “Walk out of here.” He said

    The slave girl started to whimper. It was a very strange sound in the otherwise quiet room.

    “You mean we aren’t going to see what’s down there?”

    Marcus turned sharply. “Walk out of here now.”

    No one spoke for a moment but they were all frozen. Something inside Marcus snapped.

    “Go!” He screamed. He pushed everyone aside to get back to the door. He levelled his shoulder into it and it burst open. Then he started running. After four paces the rest of the world was gone. His breathing was perfectly regulated, his legs were perfectly balanced in motion, his arms pumped in alternation like the pistons of a steam engine. All that existed was full, powerful breath and exhilarating speed. He was far away from the thing had sensed him in that room. The thing that had reached out to his soul and touched him with its thin decaying hands. That thing was far, far away. It would never catch him.


    Here we explore something that I want to keep touching on which is the leader who has more capabilities than anyone else in the group but who is actually more frightened than anyone else because despite being in on the cause of the cult he is the only one among them who has lived more than two lifetimes and the lure of never dying is to him very strong. He struggles with the temptation of this, knowing where his current path will eventually lead him.


    After this experience they decide to go back and find out what happened in the city. Marcus decides that there is no way he can leave his old reality behind and all of the people who are doomed within it.


    Which brings us to the third act.


    They go back in and find that a completely separate revolutionary movement that never left the city found a way to defeat the clone army and have taken over as the rulers, and now they are trying to perform a genocide on the clone population, rather than the cultists.


    Now they re-enter the city to find it completely under control of the cultist movement. This is a massive surprise. Marcus discovers that cultists now in power are methodically murdering all of the clones of the creator class and have decreed that only natural birth is legal. This also involves the mass murder or the entire remnant of the clone army. Pockets of clone resistance exist but the situation is largely under control. This leaves a huge dilemma for Marcus, for since he has been working on the side of the cultists for his entire life and in his past life he cannot go against their rule but he is also now condemned to death by law. Moreover, the public opinion has swayed so far to the support of the cultists that being in that extreme view has become the only way to ensure one’s own survival. Most of the people do not know what Marcus has done to spur the revolutionary movement and only know him as the gladiator he once was. He is asked to keep quiet while the decided upon course of action is carried out by the remaining cultists. They hide him in a prison cell.


    Marcus tries to reason with the people who have taken charge but he finds that they are of the more extreme end of the religious spectrum and they believe that every clone is an abomination to the purity of God’s creation, and that all clones must be wiped off the earth to purify the will of God upon the human race. We found out that the slave girl is pregnant with his child at some point here. He is to be spared in secret by the religious institution but he and the others cannot be seen by the public since the decree of all clones must die has been deemed law and unchangeable. He tries to convince them that they would be in great error to carry out a mass holocaust of the clone slave population which they are not even yet aware of under the same law, but they do not listen. He remains in the prison cell. He starts doing a shit ton of drugs which the cultists provide him with.


    This is the total collapse of the main character. Now, separated from his group and all hope of unity between the clones and the natural people, he falls in defeat at the hands of the drugs which are readily supplied to him by the religious leadership who wish to keep him docile and hidden. Someone who isn’t in the know about what he did to start the revolution in the first place finds out about his presence and that person spreads the word that one of the “super clones,” is still alive, and then the population as a whole riot for his execution. We can intersperse scenes of the slave girl giving birth to his child with him getting killed. That’s probably the best way to end it. It doesnt have to be a tragedy but since we're writing about life and death to begin with as a subject it would seem pretty silly to come out on a fairy tale ending.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2016
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  16. DanielLanex
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    DanielLanex New Member

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    Some characters:

    Marcus – An Olympian basically. He is a celebrity human who has succesfully upgraded his genetics through the wildly popular sports-like virtual reality competitions of the time. A corrupted christ figure. (He saves the world but dies.. We are left to question if the world is truly saved at all in the hands of the religious extremists.) A third generation clone, secretly in position to gain intelligence for the cult. Probably about 28. Massive celebrity, shows a charismatic self to the public but is tormented by an inner turmoil between his true purpose and the allure of leaving it behind forever. At the same time, he could be beaten in the arena and lose his position as well, so a pride emerges within him of how he has earned his social status, despite an almost sub-conscious knowledge that the system is corrupt and that the cloning process is a corruption of nature. He is very conceited and looks down on almost everyone else as they have not achieved what he has achieved, nor have they risked what he has risked, but he hides this from everyone except those who are closest to him. He is surrounded by people who are all fake friends, trying to get his money, basically. He knows this, but plays the game nonetheless and uses his influence to get anything he wants out of the people around him: sexual favors, the sabotage of his opponents, think hedonism on a Wolf of Wall Street scale. He balances this on a thin line with the relentless work ethic which keeps him at the top of his game in the arena. On the outside he is powerful and secure but on the inside he is tormented by an endless stream of artificial relationships which leave him in turn craving real emotional codependency and also hating women for taking advantage of his sexual thirst to gain power over him. He struggles also with a God complex, seeing that he has the power to influence anyone and more or less buy anything.

    [Marcus falls in love with the slave girl because she sees him as the same as everyone else. She doesn’t know where he comes from or the power he has, and he is completely disarmed by her innocence. I mentioned before that he is only after sexual conquest, but maybe we can frame it that way in the beginning and have it evolve.]


    Natalie – The scientist, engineer type. 35. She is the polar opposite of Marcus in many ways. In her first clone body, she is in the middle of a long career in the space exploration industry. She spends long hours at work and finds herself increasingly dissatisfied with the monotony of her work. She feels like she has been relegated to tasks which are too menial for her skill set but she keeps her mouth shut to avoid rocking the boat which she worked so hard to board in the first place. Her connections with her coworkers around her are minimal and quite formal. She pretends to be excited about the importance of her work but she secretly longs for another life, doing something which fulfills her desire to experience the world outside of her lab. Everyone looks up to her as an example of a successful first generation clone, and she accepts this praise, but secretly she hates it more and more as she sees herself as just doing what she is being forced to do in order to keep herself from losing a place that she has long since forgotten why she wanted. The definition of working a job you hate to buy things you don’t really want to impress people you don’t really like in the first place. In her private time, she is fascinated by the study of the outside world, the wilderness beyond the walls of the city, and she wonders what it would be like to explore the world. She has one friend who is closer to her and they sometimes spend time together watching the arena games, but she never speaks outside of the lines of tight social conformity. The guy she hangs out with is not a first generation clone, he is an original, but he has undertaken the chemical castration procedure to commit himself to the path to a new body. The hormonal replacement therapy leaves him docile and effeminate. Natalie is secretly disgusted by his lack of maleness even though he is conforming perfectly to the societal norm. Receiving no affection even from him she turns to medication to bring herself some sense of pleasure, but is all the while more and more frustrated by the bars of a seemingly invisible prison which keeps her in the lab day after day.


    Dax is a young clone – maybe 17. He is still a ward of the state until his 18th birthday and as such has all of his needs met by public funding. In a past lifetime he worked in robotic programming but an ever growing fascination with the virtual reality games has drawn him into a pipe dream: to become a dominant competitor in gladiatorial combat and earn a genetically enhanced body. He sees himself as not only running from a life of monotony but also pursuing a higher ideal of what humanity can be. He is convincing himself that in his youth he has time to explore this path, but even as it becomes more and more obvious that he isn’t good enough to compete at a top level he becomes more and more addicted to the rush of the game itself, the simulated reality becomes more real than the permanence of his own body and he pursues performance enhancing drugs to try and boost his chances of success. People tell him to give up and get back into his safe zone, but he only uses their discouragement as motivation to try even harder. As the last few months of his government funding draw to a close he pulls out all of the stops to try and make the cut. He believes in an almost divine purpose, or destiny, which is driving him on his path, when in fact he merely a pawn to the propaganda of the government and a slave to the numerous drugs and virtual experiences which he indulges in.


    Emily is a young original: her parents left on her own when she was 16 to fend for herself. The allure of their next bodies was too great and it overpowered their sense of parental responsibility. She was quickly forced out of school by a lack of funding and finds that her only option is to take up the role of the servant class. She finds herself basically in the food service industry and finds that she can barely survive without ending up on the street. She meets a seemingly fatherly man on the street one night and he brings her into his apartment with promises of a warm meal. He convinces her to perform sexual acts on him for money, and then he gives her drugs after as a reward. So she becomes a prostitute and this man lets her stay in a separate bedroom in his apartment for free and brings customers in. He rewards her with drugs and enough money for her to go out into the world in her free time and pass off as a regular member of society. She is free to go but chooses not to, and she is to short sited to see where the path she is headed down will eventually lead. She meets another prostitute who encourages her to pursue her own customers independently since she will be able to keep all of the money to herself, but this plan backfires when she is almost kidnapped and narrowly escapes. She returns to the apartment to find her pimp lying in the living room with multiple stab wounds. He instructs her to administer medical attention to him, but after sowing up his wounds he begins to admonish her for her absence and asks where she has been. Unable to lie and believing that the pimp truly has her best interests in mind she reveals her pursuit of business independently, which leads the pimp into a blind rage. He tries to attack her in anger but is handicapped by his wounds. She takes a frying pan and hits him over the head with it, knocking him down. There is a moment of insanity and her traumatic life experiences trigger bestial rage which leads her to basically mush his head into pulp with repeated strikes of the frying pan. She stands over his dead body and finds that she feels no remorse. She finds the bloody mess beautiful in a way. She goes into his room and takes a large dose of drugs, and falls asleep on his bed.

    Somehow they all meet during the revolutionary crisis and escape together, leading to the second act. That's what I have so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  17. shambles
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    shambles Member

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    Wow! These are intense characters! I like them already!
     
  18. Fl0wergirl101
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    Ooooh. This seems really really interesting. My friend would be super into that because he's really interested in cloning. I find most of philosophy, religion and ethics to be really enjoyable . There's a book you might like which I haven't read personally but I need to get round to it. It's called unwind and it's set in a society where as an alternative to abortion families have to raise their child up until the age of 16 I think. And then they're taken away and 'unwound' which means their body is taken apart so various parts of them will be used for transplants and things. It's very different from our ideas but it tackles ethical issues and things.
     
  19. DanielLanex
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    DanielLanex New Member

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    Ha that's messed up, I like it. That kind of stuff happens in real life, its interesting to imagine sometimes what the world would be like if the nasty things that happened behind closed doors were normalized and people were conditioned to believe that those things were the normal, (or natural,) way of things.
     
  20. DanielLanex
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    DanielLanex New Member

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    Yo check it out I came up with like an introductory scene for the servant girl character. Trying to like introduce some of the ideas of the premise and bring her in as a character. Lemme know what you think and hit me with something you got from yours. I decided to name her Ella because I thought it was better.


    Sometimes you get high off it. Sitting on the bus. Not even knowing anyone around you. Not needing anyone around you. Somebody talking on his phone, somebody reading a book, somebody looking around too much like he’s never been on a bus before. It’s a feeling you usually get right after work, on a Friday. Sometimes you can get lucky, and you get it on days that aren't Friday. Maybe you’re lucky enough to get that feeling every day. Making it. Still here. Still looking out a greasy window while the bus steams past everything and the commercials everywhere, all the things you might one day have, all the people you might one day know, thinking about the body you might one day inhabit. It almost feels like there was never any doubt that you’d make it. Save that for another day. That was a morning feeling. It wasn't a feeling for right now. Right now was when you might start talking to just any stranger, might get off the bus and walk down any street, in any direction. Just to see what might happen. What could go wrong?

    Ella was feeling it. Her feet were sore, she smelled like grease and coffee grinds and one too many breath mints. She felt that if she could make it through ten hours in that place then she could do anything. Be anyone, that it somehow qualified her as a success. She felt like it wouldn't even be that long until she had enough. Not that long at all. It had been so long already. If she could make it this far, she could make it all the way. That’s what she told herself now.

    It’s hard to contain your excitement sometimes when you’re seventeen. Hard to look in one direction like you’re supposed to on the bus. Hard to avoid stealing a glance at anyone else, hard not to hope that they might be stealing a glance at you, wondering who you are and where you’re from. Wondering what they’re going through, or who they’re going home to. She tried to just look up and to the left, but she couldn't hold it. She wanted to catch someone’s eye, to see them smile at her, or to catch them smiling at a thought and have the privilege of imagining that it was because of her instead. That would be much more exciting than staring at an advert for genetic enhancement, or one for some new career, or for some new virtual reality sports event. She could imagine that somebody knew who she was if they smiled at her.

    Some days it was like everyone knew who she was. She would smile her best and serve everyone as quickly as she could. She would dart around and keep every cup full and even ask conversational questions. Some of the people came by all of the time. Dale was her favourite. Secretly she pretended that he was her Dad coming in to check up on her every morning, because he acted like it, and because he came in every morning. He would always say hi, and she would say hi back. She would bring him his coffee and he would order the same thing that he always did. If only everyone was like Dale.

    Sometimes Dale didn't come in though, and sometimes Ella didn't have the heart to smile her best. Sometimes it felt like her life would never end. Sometimes it felt like too many people knew who she was. Her boss. Sometimes she thought she might prefer if he didn't even know her name, for the way he used it when he wanted to tell her what she should be doing, or doing better, or just doing differently. In those moments she liked to think about the bus, and the street, where no one knew her name. Where everyone was so focused on what they were doing, where they were going. She wished she was like one of those important people, one of those people who wore suits, and worked in space exploration, or in human dna replication, or in the Virtual Sports Leagues, or in Robotics, or in… anything. Anything but what was real.

    It was raining outside today. The sky was so grey it was almost like night time at 5:30. The bus was like a safe little island of warmth against it, ferrying her to her destination like some sort of stupid loyal dog chasing a treat on a string. She had always been fond of bus drivers. They were all fat; well, most of them were. She imagined them as if they all took turns playing Santa Claus at Christmas time. It was a funny thought. She smiled a little and looked around at everyone, but only for a brief second. Not to actually look at them, but only to make sure that they were all still there, as if they would suddenly disappear if she stared in one spot for too long. It would be a good weekend. Nothing could possibly go wrong. It was almost like the next day at the café was as far away as her next life, as far away as the hope that she might one day be able to buy a new body from the government, to buy a new chance at her dna, as far away as the hope that she might one day have a child, and as far away as she was from where she thought was home.

    Whenever she felt too sad she had to giggle at herself, if only a little. There was something ridiculous about self-pity, because there was a pleasure in it. It was like inverse masochism. Acknowledging your own pain but taking pride in it. Seeing your own struggle and observing your own loss of hope like it was a circus act, with two little clowns in an undersized buggy trying to serve coffee and doughnuts and eggs and hash browns to the crowd without being able to reach out of their windows for lack of limb space. It was pretty funny. She knew that if she laughed out loud she might look a little crazy. That was okay though. Crazy was the least of her worries right now.

    She knew that if she ever gave up on herself it would only get worse. That was something that she had learned a long time ago. Back when her parents were there, it was like she could still reach out and touch their faces, hear the sound of their voices. She knew she couldn’t think about it. It would send her into a downward spiral of anger and resentment that she knew all too well. Why even have children then? If it was that big of a sacrifice. Sometimes she felt like it would have been better if she hadn’t been born at all, but then Dale wouldn’t have anyone to talk too on cold Monday mornings, early Monday mornings where the streets were almost empty, with the grill freshly clean and the first eggs and bacon spitting on it like handfuls of sand hitting the pond. She would be strong and she wouldn’t think about it. It wouldn’t do any good, trying to not exist. It was a silly idea to begin with.

    She pushed a button when her stop was next and got off. The rain hit her face and her body and it was cold but she was used to it. It was almost like an old friend in a way. The one who always made sure you were keeping it real. She began walking down the street, knowing she would be inside before long. She was holding onto that high. Having hope was the most important thing, that was something she had learned a long time ago. One day she would have a brand new body, and everyone would know her name. Everybody would love her. 1st generation clone Ella. Her skin tingled and she felt that high again. Making it. It seemed inevitable and impossible all at the same time. It seemed like the only option and a death sentence, but everyone was facing it just like she was. The possibility of living forever.

    The street was kind of dirty. There was this sandy brown soil running down the sidewalks and the gutters with the rain but Ella could never figure out where it came from. It was just there, mixing with the rainwater and the cigarette butts, a used condom wrapper and a barely recognizable page from the morning’s paper. Everyone else was like a pack of zombies, clutching their coats tightly, or their purses, or their backpacks, heading somewhere just like she was. She was just like all of them and not like any of them. Just another person floating down the stream like a broken piece of wood into the ocean, heedless of the depths that lie under it while it still floats.

    Most of the buildings looked the same but the one where Ella lived was especially grungy. The landlord was a drug addict himself but he had inherited the building from his grandmother. He remodelled the upper floor with 20 bedrooms and divided it into four separate units each with one bathroom and one kitchen. The bottom floor was a tattoo parlor which the landlord also rented. She liked to think that if she was as lucky as he was she wouldn't be charging her tenants nearly as much rent. She liked the idea of being a benevolent landlord. Mike was his name, and she imagined him begging her to let him stay another month, even though he didn’t have his rent money together. Just another ten days, he would plead. Just another ten days and I’ll have it all together, please don’t throw me out. She liked imagining that.

    The door was covered in graffiti and the steps to the second floor were concrete. Somebody had painted the concrete white and it didn’t hide anything of its nature, but that it was definitely painted. Sometimes there would be empty coffee cups or someone’s bike in the foyer, or some piece of clothing or a huddling drug addict who had managed to get inside somehow, but today it was empty. It was clean and empty. Mike had probably just been by.

    The high was still there while she climbed the steps. Freedom. She could do whatever she wanted now. She could travel across the whole wide city in any direction, she could even go to the square and see if she could see someone famous. Maybe she would do that tomorrow, if it wasn’t raining. Maybe if her feet weren’t so sore. Someone was playing loud music from a room upstairs and it was thumping like a broken heartbeat. The whole place smelled like a combination of sweaty socks, too much floor cleaner and marijuana. A lot of marijuana. She needed to do her laundry before she went to bed.

    At the top of the steps the feeling hit her. The way she knew she would feel when she unlocked her unit, knowing so surely that she might as well already be back in the café on a Monday morning, serving some asshole. Knowing that when she unlocked that unit she would do the same thing that she did every day, that she would do every day.

    She reached down and stuck her key inside and opened the door. There was a round table in the middle of the kitchen that nobody used because everybody took their food into their rooms. The kitchen itself was a mess. She avoided cleaning it by not using it and ate at work. Someone's socks were on the floor, a pair of panties next to the refrigerator door. There were the six or seven steps to the end of the hall, and then the four or five more steps down the next hall to her bedroom. There was the door. She unlocked it. She was fighting so hard to hold onto that feeling that it hurt a little. She sat down on her bed. It hurt a lot. Hopelessness was a headless monster with four arms holding her down, pressing into her chest just like she knew he would when she was on the bus. He was always there waiting for her when she got home. Whispering in her ear. Telling her how to escape.

    She knew what she had to do to get him to crawl back into his lair, or maybe just to have him loosen his arms a little, just for a little while, just for long enough that she could believe again, maybe for long enough that the belief might stick, and maybe if the belief stuck she wouldn’t need to swallow the pills anymore. Maybe this time it would stick. Maybe this time.

    She forgot about hope this time. She forgot about hopelessness, and getting a new body, and how dirty the bathroom was, and how she needed to do her laundry. She saw how pretty the ceiling was. It was white like the steps. It looked like it might start dripping on her any moment, like the rain. She knew it wouldn’t though. It was just something to look at.
     
  21. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Um, I don't think this unwinding concept happens. If that's supposed to be a criticism of abortion, you have no idea how this shit works. And natural is a stupid word. Everything exists in the system of nature and arises from and is governed by natural processes. There's no "artificial" in what humans make. A lot of other things can make or alter stuff, including other organims like termites or elephants. Suns are actually more powerful in this regard. They make something like half the periodic table casually and can destroy entire galaxies when they explode.
     
  22. DanielLanex
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    DanielLanex New Member

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    Wasn't talking about abortion was talking about the underground organ trade.
     
  23. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Wow, both ideas are great, looking forward to reading both if you can work them out.
     
  24. Oscar Leigh
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    Oh okay. Sorry.
     
  25. DanielLanex
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    Haha, yeah I'm not really trying to say anything about abortion or a woman's rights or anything like that more trying to create an allegory about the rising cost of real estate in larger cities. :p
     

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