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(Nanowrimo attempt) The Jupiter Man (extracts)

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  • (Nanowrimo attempt) The Jupiter Man (extracts)

    This is how much I wrote for my Nanowrimo before giving up due to time, other commitments and energy. I'm more than likely going to continue it, but I would like to see what other people thought about what I wrote. So... if anyone's willing to be crazy enough to do that and then comment, I'd really appreciate it.

    The Jupiter Man
    By Miles Reid


    Chapter 1

    The recent series of riots by the League for the Independence of Colony Worlds has reached a record sixth day on the planet, Mars. The Earth appointed Martian Governor has not been available for comment at this time.
    -Solar News Network, Monday, 23rd November, 2099


    The air-shuttle had landed without any problems and it was not until Graydon’s rental car had reached the inner area of Mars Dome 1 when he saw the protest crowds and signs.

    �2ND CLASS PLANET DOES NOT MEAN 2ND CLASS CITIZEN’
    �MARS RIGHTS NOW’

    He sighed; the situation on Mars had always been bad, but never like this. Swearing lightly under his breath, he managed to ease his car through the crowds of angry protestors and the small army’s worth of police officers until he reached before the gates of the Martian Governor’s house of office. It was quite probably Governor James Lucasius where a lot of the problems had really stemmed from. To many natural born Martians, the role of Martian Governor was a complete joke, an Earth elected puppet head to maintain an Earth Republic grasp on the planet.

    �MARTIANS RUNNING MARS!’
    �LUCASIUS OUT!’

    If the mob had been any smaller, he would have just sounded the horn and driven through the crowds which would separate in front of him and let him through. But this was defiantly not the kind of mob to try that with, they were more likely to turn on him and tear his car apart, beating him to death when they managed to drag him out. He braced himself and stepped out of the car and onto the street. He gestured to two security guards who were standing at attention in front of the gates. They noticed him and one of the guards moved his way fiercely through the crowd to meet him. Graydon smiled and with the guards’ help, he began to force his way through the undulating crowd of protestors. He felt hands grab and tear at his clothes but it did not matter to him, he could always afford a new pair of clothes. The last thing he wanted was to be torn apart by an angry mob. Especially when it was an angry mob whose ideas he sided with. The guards’ arm clasped around him like a shield and he was being slowly propelled through the crowd as the guard used his padded riot armour to clear the two a path out to the other side of the crowd.

    “Thanks,� grinned Graydon to the guard, who merely nodded and resumed his position at the gates.
    The other guard stepped forward with a small, black scanner-gun in one hand and a small. Handheld computer display in the other.
    “I.D Bracelet, Sir.�
    Graydon pulled back his blue, sleeve to reveal a dull, grey wristband. The guard lifted the scanner-gun over the wristband and pulled the trigger, a red beam of light flashed over a blue computer chip imbedded in the metal band. There was a small, dull beep and on the screen of the display, Graydon’s photograph flashed up, followed by his personal information.
    “Okay, sir. The Governor will see you now.�
    Graydon watched as the cast iron door slid open and he stepped through into the courtyard and started to walk towards the extravagant, red building, designed to look like the White House of the Solar Republic of Earth. It was an extravagant sign that had angered many Martians who claimed it to be a symbol of Earth Imperialism. It was almost as if the Solar Republic had gone out of their way to remind the people of Mars that they were merely second class colonists on a dead, backwater planet in the solar system.

    As Graydon was let into the main foyer of the Red House, security guards waved scanner guns over his body.
    “Do you mind if we take your sidearm, sir?�
    Graydon smiled charmingly and slid his small plasma pistol out of the holster sown into the inside of his jacket.
    “I have a licence card if you want to see…� he offered.
    The guard placed the gun in a grey box and shut it.
    “No need, sir. Being the President’s son, I would imagine you’d want to be armed when in the colonies.�
    Graydon laughed falsely and nodded.
    “Yes, quite, quite. Is the Governor free to see me, or do I need to wait?�
    A door to the left open and a tall, attractive figure rushed out with a wide grin on his face.
    “Graydon, my dear boy… how are you?�
    Graydon smiled and embraced James Lucasious.
    “I’m fine, Sir. You look as well as ever, I’d have thought with the recent high prices on Earth grown fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t be able to keep up such a healthy diet.�
    “Oh goodness me, no. The Martians outside have to worry about paying the prices to have food imported from Earth, not me. I’m Governor, the people pay for my food.�

    Lucasious guided Graydon through the splendid corridors of power and into a small, pleasantly furnished lounge. Graydon noticed with some small glint of black humour that even in the other side of the Red House, they couldn’t escape the sounds of rioting protestors. He was eased into a chair and Lucasious opened a small drinks cabinet and pulled out a bottle of wine.
    “It’s a 2079, a decent enough vintage. Your father gave this to me when I got this damn job.�
    “What’s to hate about this job? You govern an entire planet.�
    Lucasious poured two glasses and passed one to the youth.
    “It’s a wretched life, trapped in a giant, fifty mile wide dome having to control the lives of people who would rather see me dead? I’d rather have my old job back managing your father’s affairs.�
    He grinned and sipped his wine.
    “At least then, I would only have to suffer the possibility of a bomb threat once every few years and not on a weekly basis.�

    Graydon sipped at the wine casually, but not eagerly. He was not really a liker of wines, but it would be rude not to drink it.
    “Ahh,� sighed Lucasious nostalgically, “I remember the old days. When Mars was just a little backwater colony that I could simply forget. Now, it’s a planet that occupies my every waking thought. How I miss the Earth, how I miss its brilliant blue skies and its great oceans.�
    “But the sky here is blue,� noted Graydon.
    “Artificial programming in the conditions of the dome to recreate the sensations of day and night on this bloody planet. It’s about as close to the real thing as a photograph of a flower, you only see a filtered, reflective beauty…�
    “Have you been drinking again?� said a soft, tender feminine voice, “you only ever really become poetic when you’ve been at the bottle…�
    Graydon found himself gazing at an incredibly attractive, although nicely plump young girl with brilliant red hair. He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment as she smiled at him.
    “Hello again, Graydon.�
    Graydon stumbled to his feet and took her hand in his and shook it vigorously.
    “Hello, Verona…� he spluttered, grinning like a man possessed. He noticed that his hand had assumed a tight, vice-like grip over Verona’s and let go quickly, he was always flustered by attractive woman and especially Verona in general.

    There was then a ringing sound, Lucasious pulled up his sleeve revealing a bracelet communicator. With a touch of his finger, a small screen rose from the device and a face appeared on it.
    “Lucasious here, what seems to be the problem?�
    “’His’ ship has arrived in orbit.�
    Both Graydon and Verona saw Lucasious flinch visibly.
    “He arrived from Earth sooner than expected… We’ll have to clear Docking Dome 74 and set up a basic, type three reception. I’ll come down right away and we can begin to discuss how to settle with this in the best way possible.�
    He clicked the screen down and stood up; Graydon noticed that the man was sweating intensely.
    “We weren’t expecting him for another few weeks. I’d hoped that we would be able to calm down the rioting by then; the last thing I want him to see is that I’m unable to keep the populace under control. He might believe that his victory is inevitable.�
    “Pardon me for sounding stupid,� said Graydon, with a slight tinge of embarrassment, “but who are you talking about?�
    “Don’t you watch the news?� said Verona. “Didn’t you know that Jeremiah Galtero was going to arriving on Mars to begin his campaign?�
    Graydon’s embarrassment vanished in an instant, he had heard of Jeremiah Galtero of course. The spacer-man usually referred to as �the Jupiter Man,’ the infamous speaker of space-human equality. Graydon had once heard the man speak on Earth before he had left for Mars and had heard rumours of Galtero’s plans to run for the Governorship of Mars in the upcoming elections. But the three month journey on an Earth-Mars luxury liner had distracted him from the current affairs of late.
    Lucasious stood up and stumbled over to the youth and patted him on the shoulder, but the bravado and joy on the man’s face a few mere minutes ago had been consumed by an emotionless and businesslike manner.
    “I’ll have to leave now, try and make sure Galtero’s arrival on Mars isn’t a total bloody shambles. Verona, would you show Graydon around, keep the boy out of trouble?�
    Verona nodded with a slight smile flickering on her face. Lucasious did not say one more word as he stalked out of the room.

    Chapter 2

    As long as the Earth holds our planet. The red blood of the Martian world will forever be blazing against the green Earth!
    -Quote from the pamphlet �Our Martian Right’ by Gwyr Gryphin

    To many on Earth, Gwyr Gryphin was considered a terrorist, an annoyance to the face of Earth authority. To a select many on Mars, he was considered a patriot, a fighter for the rights and freedoms that the original Martian settlers had desired when they had first landed on this desolate, blood red planet and had been taken when the Solar Republic had assumed governorship of the planet. To himself, Gwyr Gryphin was a man who believed that only Martians had the right to dictate how Mars was controlled and ran. If this involved threatening a few Earth politicians, organising civil disobedience and walk-outs and in a rare selection of incidents, violence, then so be it. There was never any evidence, no proof linking him to any of these actions; he had too many 'friends' in the right places to turn a blind eye at the right time.

    There was a knock on the door, Gwyr’s hand instinctively reached for his gun.
    “Who is it?� he asked.
    “It’s Kent,� said a familiar, quivering voice. Gwyr smiled and opened the door, his hand drifting away from his weapon. He looked down at the young, scraggily dressed blonde man and ushered him in.�
    “How’re the riots going?� were his first words.
    “Well, there’s a huge crowd outside the Red house…� Gwyr smiled, when Mars was free, the first thing to go would be that monstrosity of a symbol to Earth power.
    “What about the traffic in the main commercial zones?�
    “All blocked, sir.�
    “Can it be traced back to me?�
    Kent smiled,
    “Not to worry, sir. I’ve made sure that none of it will be traced back. As far as the majority of the protestors know, they were gathered together by members of various political activist parties.�
    “Excellent. Although, I want to be out there, leading the fight as it were. But it wouldn’t be wise for me to publicly admit my various dealings. It would more than likely allow Lucasious’ jackbooted thugs to get the chance they’ve been waiting for to finally take me down after all these yea…�

    He was interrupted by another knock at the door, Gwyr’s hand went back to stroking his gun, he nodded to Kent, who crept forward and opened the door. A large, well dressed man strode into the room, followed by two bulky plain clothed guards. Gwry let go of his gun and straightened his shirt.
    “Mr.Loeb, nice of you to drop in,� he purred, his words dripping with irony. Theroux Loeb merely nodded, as one of the few Martians allowed on the Mars council; it would be incredibly dangerous to his career if he were caught with a man as infamous as Gwyr.
    “So, what is you’ve come for, A nice big donation for me?�
    “No, Gryphin, no more donations. In fact, I’ve come here to cut off all ties and call our �unpleasant relationship’ to an end.�
    Theroux smirked with undisguised glee as he finally saw Gwyr Gryphin lost for words.

    “But why? We have an understanding; you’re one of the few people in a position of power who understands what I stand for.�
    “Because, Gryphin, I’ve finally realised that what you stand for is only going to allow Earth to tighten their noose hold around our colony’s neck.�
    “What a nice thing to say after five blissful years of silently �aiding the cause.’ Have your Earth Masters finally paid you off at last?�
    Loeb raised his hand and the two guards grabbed Gwyr tightly by the arms and held him in place. Kent scuttled back into the corner of the room, not wanting to be noticed.
    “You have to understand, Gwyr Gryphin, that those of us on the Mars council, such as it is have not been praying for you to be the saviour of Mars-kind. As you may know; if you had bothered to actually read the news that we have been campaigning for the chance to allow a delegate of our choice to run for the role as Governor of Mars.�
    “So what?� spat Gwyr defiantly. “Just another one of those Earth-paid bastards running the place. A puppet Governor? Is that what you place your hopes of freedom on?�

    His answer came in the form of a knee to the crotch, forcing him to crumple to the floor in pain.
    “It’d be a start. Earth may be in charge, but we would finally have a figure willing to voice our concerns and maybe change the way we get treated. Those of us on the council who were born and raised on Mars have spent years trying to get things changed for the better, only to have it fall on deaf ears. We’re a minority on the council compared to those who are either from Earth or are in Earth’s pay. This is the best chance to sort things out peacefully without the fear of bloodshed.�
    Loeb knelt down and patted Gwyr’s face patronisingly.
    “You and I are over. Your little dreams of being �Mars’ Saviour’ will be over when the Jupiter Man gets elected. In fact, when the Jupiter Man gets elected, I wouldn’t be surprised to find our dead little planet being the centre of a whirlwind of change.�
    “The Jupiter Man?� Gwyr swore loudly. “You plan to replace that stinking Earther Lucasious with that damn Jovian hippy?�
    “Don’t be so rude. That �damn Jovian hippy’ is going to do what you could never do and free Mars.�
    The two guards dropped Gwyr and he collapsed to the floor spluttering as Loeb and his guards walked out of the room. Kent helped Graydon to his feet.
    “So, what now?�
    “Wh-what do you mean, �what now?’�
    “Well, I guess this is the end now.�
    Gwyr pushed Kent away.
    “It doesn’t end… I don’t care what the damn Council want. Their little agendas won’t give Mars the political freedom it wants. It won’t give us the freedom we deserve and if they think that my followers are going to sit quietly and let them do this. Then they’re mistaken.�


    Chapter 3

    “I don’t want you to think I don’t pay attention to current affairs,� exclaimed Graydon, “but when you spend your entire time at home having a front row seat to political events, to have a chance to merely switch off is relaxing.�
    Verona laughed as she pulled the car through the Martian streets.
    “I know what you mean. When your father is the governor of an entire planet and a large majority of the population don’t even like the fact he’s there in the first place... Well, you tend to get sick of politics.�
    They laughed, both sharing the frustrations of a heavily political upbringing.
    “Actually, I lied,� said Graydon quietly. “I knew that Jeremiah Galtero was going to be here. That’s why I’ve come here.�
    Verona tutted and with her free hand gently stroked his.
    “Here was me thinking you’ve come to reignite old flames.�
    He blushed,
    “Well, I have to admit. The thought of seeing you again was very much a major factor in my coming here.�
    “But mostly, it was because of Galtero?�

    Graydon nodded.
    “Yeah, I saw him speaking back on Earth. It was completely an accident; after all, the last thing my father would ever want would be for me to be seen at a public appearance from a man whose politics are completely opposite to his own.�
    “What’s he like? His files and records contain no photographs and apart from his writings and public appearances, there is no information on him at all. Only the fact he was born in deep space en route to Jupiter and that he spent his upbringing living on the Jupitorian colonies.�
    Graydon leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes.
    “I didn’t meet him personally. But just hearing him speak… he was a very… magnetic man.�


    Graydon Kreel pulled his hat down over his eyes and hoped that no-one noticed him. This entire event was bound to be under intense public scrutiny, if Father found out that he had been here then he would be in serious trouble and it could damage his father’s career on incredible levels. Who could take one of Earth’s leading political figures seriously when his own son seemed to be against his political views.

    The crowds was large, a good thousand people. For a demonstration against the Pro-Earth bias of the Solar Republic, that was a large sum. Around the crowd, groups of police officers surrounded the park where the demonstration was going to take place. Were they here to protect the demonstrators from violent retaliation from anybody who wanted to start a fight, or were they to break up the demonstration and carry everyone away in as efficient and as violent a manner as possible? Personally, Graydon hoped it would be the latter.

    Suddenly, on the podium, a figure strode up the steps with a casual, yet determined step and took the podium. There was applause and cheers from several of the demonstrators and Graydon Kreel found himself taking a look at Jeremiah Galtero- the Jupiter Man.

    He was dressed in a smooth, almost velvet black suit; it was an incredible contrast to his pale, unhealthy complexion. Not pale because of any sickliness he may have contracted as many space raised humans were known to have troubles adjusting to Earth’s environment and natural sunlight. His face was pale because he had spent his entire life in enclosed environments such as spaceships and space colonies. But if any feature gave him away, it was the jet black glasses on his face, making his eyes unseen. Again, like many space humans were unable to adjust to a planetary environment, so they were unused to the natural sunlight that it irritated and hurt their eyes Even with the glasses, his face was handsome and aquiline and his hair was a natural red. He made no sign of stopping the applause, merely waited for it to stop before he spoke in a crisp, soft voice.

    “My friends, it is good that I have been found worthy of your applause and your appreciation. But it saddens me to think that people such as me, space-humans would not be given the same courtesy such as I have been given. I know that it is only my status as a political figure that gives me such prominence. Many of my fellows would not be allowed a room at expensive hotels or even given a chance to speak as I am speaking to you now.�
    Graydon looked from side to side to see that nearly the whole of the crowd were listening to his every word.
    “I know to the large majority of Earth-humans that anyone who was not born on Earth is merely a second-class or worse, a third class citizen. Why is it that we should not be granted the same status of living merely because of a matter as trivial as planetary geography? We are all human; I remember reading of a time in the history books when men and woman of different skin and religious basis were seen as being �lesser people.’ Now those old prejudices were destroyed and sadly when man finally left for space and settled on the Moon and Mars and built colonies in orbit of Jupiter and Mercury they were the new pioneers, space was the new frontier. But then Earth built the Solar Republic and slowly brought the rest of the occupied planets of our solar system under Republic control through controlling the exports on food and claims of unifying the planets under a single government system. But I say to you now that such a system is flawed and only existed for one reason, to allow the people controlling Earth to have control over Mars, Jupiter and their moon based space colonies. We went from independent planets to mere colonies overnight and it is not something we are happy about! In this day and age, mankind should not be acting like this, it is only because of the Earth Government’s fear of a military build up on the other planets that could threaten their wealth and rule… citizens of Earth, no, citizens of humanity, we must strive forward into a new age of mankind, an age where…’

    A shot flew over his head, embedding itself in the floor of the podium beside him. The crowd went wild, someone had just attempted to assassinate the Jupiter Man.
    “You see? This is what Earth is capable of? They’d rather shoot than listen, they do not want mankind to evolve, they don’t want change!�
    The police began to charge the crowd, shock-clubs high, shields at the ready, the peaceful demonstration had stopped being peaceful. Graydon tried to push his way through the rioting crowd, trying to escape what seemed to be on the verge of a terrible bloodshed. He briefly looked to the stage to see Galtero watching the carnage. Due to the goggles, he was unable to see if the Jupiterians face was shocked or pleased at how the action had turned out, his face was merely blank. A black, trench-coated figure leapt up onto the stage, his head was covered in white bandages and he was armed with a small gun in his hand. The figure argued with Galtero and started to escort him off the stage.

    Suddenly, he felt an elbow slam into his face, snapping him back into the reality he was facing

  • #2
    Hi Manmiles!
    That sounds like an interesting idea. From what I've read, your story has a lot of potential. It would be interesting to see where you choose to take the story. Not that I know much about literature but I thought the structure of your story was well-planned. I liked the way that you introduced the characters and hinted at the possibilites to come, it drew me in and got me hooked.

    I can fully understand why you didn't want to ruin it by keeping up the relentless pace of NaNoWriMo (which certainly took its toll on my novel attempt). There are parts of my novel that I dread to go back and read. In my opinion, what you're written is really good.

    Keep up the good work!

    Spaced ;)

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