A thread or a category for beginnings?

Would there be a point in a thread or a category for commenting on the beginnings of works in progress? (Said beginnings posted to that thread or starting their own threads in the category, or in this one.) I for one might appreciate comments on the first impressions of a story too unfinished to post even in part: Whether or not descriptions were thorough enough (or excessive), if something was either too subtle or anvilicious or in dire need of proofreading, if something was tantalizing or seemed to tread a thoroughly beaten path etc?

Of course, people who do not wish stories even slightly spoiled in advance or want them only as polished end products should avoid that thread/category. Could this eventually even help with the usual problem of stories that offer two pages of an interesting beginning and then never continue?

Just go ahead. If this would become a regular thing, I’ll create a separate category. For now let’s just use this thread.

Here we go. Be cruel.

This is the beginning of a whimsy inspired by the thread about time travel.

The Tindalos Archive

The web of sacred machines in my brain woke me up and text flared in my vision. “Mission briefing in 20 minutes. Read attached file. Prepare for immediate transition after briefing.”

The tone was unlike anything before. No greetings, no exhortations to meditations of virtue, no background, no final blessings, wishes or dedications. Just terse orders, as if given in extreme hurry.

This had to be a drill. Instinctively I stretched in bed and immediately cursed myself for a fool. I was probably under real-time evaluation that very moment and I had wasted entire seconds with physical pleasure of a base kind.

Ashamed, I opened the file, dropping baseline reality to the background in my sensorium while my body operated under automatic orders, getting out of bed and settling to lotus on the cold glass floor that lit up as my feet touched it.

01-A-1 Tindalos Archive

I stared at the heading in total shock. The first two numbers were for case priority, in descending order. The one 02 in the history of the Order of the Doctrine of Time - informally known as the Inquisition - had been a time-locked parallel-squozen successful assassination of Hitler with multiple critical irremovable witnesses among a thousand observers to 31st century technology. There had never been an 01.

The letter was for allowed actions. A stood for any and all, at the sole authority of the operative. The last number was a running number for cases of this priority.

This rated a higher priority than anything ever before. The name implied utter horror.

“Tindalos” was a code word for the kind of hypothetical danger that could, if unleashed, itself reach through time to catch the unwary. It had been a purely theoretical concept reserved for something like a lost time-traveling culture of Atlantis or a crashed alien timeship. Its etymology was long lost in forbidden literature.

I had to adjust my heartbeat down to silence the medical alert. I continued reading. No Atlantis, no alien timeships, but something that might be much worse. The Hitler case had been initiated by a well-meaning amateur historian and assisted by three ODT support staff led by a charismatic idiot subtechnician. They had had no understanding of the Tree of Destiny, no ability to calculate resonances or estimate ripples, and were merely too proud and foolish to see that someone else would know better.

The usual motivations of timecrime were idealism and greed. This case was neither. This was high level corruption. This was sheer evil. A highly trained temporal operative of the Inner Circle was in transit, apparently with intent not only to prune a branch of history but to leave the entire known Tree a ragged stump replaced with, for the lack of a better word, perversion.

The manner of his corruption was unheard of. The science of memetic warfare had only evolved in the past two hundred years and the Order of the Doctrine of Time was as protected as the cutting edge of technology allowed. No-one had ever thought that the past could hold memetic weapons that could touch us.

Two months ago Inquisitor Xavier-14031303 had found what the document before me called the Tindalos Archive. It was relevant to his studies of cultural niches and seemed to be a collection of stories from the 21st century. Unaware of danger he had started studying it and an ancient evil had started seeping into him.

For obvious reasons they hadn’t given me access to the archive itself, but I had a redacted copy of Xavier’s diary. There was too much of it to assimilate before the briefing, but I scanned the relevant parts quickly.

His first reaction to the archive had been incredulous amusement and then growing nausea as he had understood that a strange subculture had actually found this material titillating.

In spite of everything, he’d eventually found himself liking a story titled, loosely translated, Excessively Self-Referential. In his notes he claimed he liked it for the plot, not for the deviant sexual activity, which at any rate, he said, was fortunately only implied.

At that point he still considered this fortunate and not a defect.

Two days later he confessed to understanding why some of this stuff was “kinda hot” quoting an expression of the era. In retrospect it was evident this was not a scholar’s whimsy but evidence of contaminated thought-patterns taking hold.

In less than a week he’d started masturbating. That in itself was a severe aberration worthy of immediate dismissal and therapy, but he was soon using euphenisms for it, and they weren’t those of shame but expressions of glee and celebration. At this point he should have been sent for neural rewiring, but he was already so far gone he’d avoided confessing to his sins.

Still, a moment before he stopped writing, he had at least some doubts. One entry read “I can’t believe the stuff (or STUDD hehe) I’ve started getting off to.” I was sure this was a cry for help and an acknowledgement of his growing sickness. Why hadn’t he sought treatment at that point? The capitalized word was a link to something in the quarantined source of his illness.

I rose from the floor and stepped into the dressing alcove. The icy mists cleansed me and the gripfields wrapped my most formal toga around my body. Since my need was urgent, I had to forgo the usual kinhin and called for a teleport to the spire of the Inquisition.

Instead of the antechamber I appeared directly before the thrones of the five High Inquisitors, showing a further abandonment of ritual. Kramer, Travera and Torquemada were seated…

[Five High Inquisitors are named and described, mission briefing with practically no new information, descriptions of Xavier’s and the narrator’s timeships and their equipment]

[Arrival to Port Royal in 1692. The narrator hears of what seems to be a pirate incident with UFO overtones and correctly guesses this would be Xavier’s doing. He invisibly enters a hearing with a survivor.]

The boy, 18 at most, looked at the judge. “And they fucked my… my…” Suddenly his tone changed. There was something sly in the last words and his eyes had a coy look. “My boypussy!”

My vision started flowing with warnings. Minor systems were crashing and an entire section of my brain was temporarily cordoned for purging. The word “boypussy” was weaponized with 31st century memetic technology, carrying far more meaning in neurally resonant tone modulations than it had any right to do.

The judge looked at the boy, temporarily slack-jawed. The guards had lost their military bearing. They swayed, showing symptoms of having just been hit by an over-sized information burst.

A few seconds later the judge seemed to be recovering. In a thick, slow voice he said “Boypussy… Fucking…” The awful modulation hadn’t yet crawled into his voice but I was sure it was on its way. In tones of a drunken epiphany he exclaimed “A boypussy is for fucking!” and started lifting his now-tenting robes. The guards seemed to be waking too, but their eyes were glazed with sick lust and they too started taking their clothes off. The boy was not surprised at all. Instead he had already bent over to receive hideous abuse in the hands of those who should have been his rescuers.


As many of you can see, the story is shamelessly meta and intended as a tribute for several stories I’ve read and liked. Xavier is re-enacting them in the past, for both artistic reasons and an ultimate design.

So. Be brutal. I’ve got roughly a dozen other stories to concentrate on, if this seems bad.

I was also wondering this, I’ve begun to write a story as well and it is only a few paragraphs so far. First time writer block i suppose lol. Is there a minimum word count??

I don’t see why there should be, as long as something of the idea or the feel of the story is there.

I would like some opinions on how to improve or where to go. This is going to be the final chapter of my Bulges series and I’m a bit stuck. I have an idea of where I want to go with it but I just can’t think of a way to go to get there. Any help would be appreciated! :smile:

The story draft as of now: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1No-Ao-wrW2NFZ9LPqz3xeh1t62o2xTQq