Truthless - Series 1, a Science Fiction story | SparkaTale


Truthless - Series 1

By: Gracie Rose

Status: In Progress


A thousand years into the future, humanity has spread across the galaxy, making a home on the distant worlds of the Nexus System. Earth is but a distant memory now, or so most would have you believe. But all is not well in the new planets, trouble stirs in the seats of power and, soon, harsh secrets will be revealed, secrets that could destroy everything humanity has worked so hard to achieve. It is up to four people, with buried pasts more dangerous than they ever could have known, to stop the destruction of everything they know and love... FIRST DRAFT! PLEASE DON'T FLAME!

Created: August 1, 2017 | Updated: August 2, 2017

Genre : Science Fiction

Language : English

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Comments: 1

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1: Episode 1.2 4323
Total Wordcount: 4323

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      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        As per usual, I will begin with a disclaimer that all below is my personal opinion and if you disagree with something I say or suggest, you are of course free to ignore me.


        Initial Impressions: This was my interpretation of what I read over. If your own interpretation is any different in various areas, then I would consider simply re-reading that area to ensure that you believe that your vision of what is occurring is as clear as possible.

        We open with an action packed movie cinematic. A man with a rifle sits alone on the roof of a fast moving train, its path arcing high and low through a bustling sea of concrete. His experience is obvious and status apparent; he’s working, and his task is about to come to fruition in a sudden burst of smoke and flame. With practiced ease he pulls off the job, eyes meeting for just a moment with his objective. As the train pulls away into the distance he drops away out of sight right in the face of the man, the great oppressor of this dystopian future. The game is on.

        Break away to a private get together, a psychiatrist and her client who is looking to return to the field. They seem well acquainted with one another, beyond that of a long term client and practitioner. Perhaps they are friends, since Dr. Emerson goes beyond the needs of her duties and stretches the margins of acceptable conduct. Protocol says she should deny her client his request, but she feels that a return to the field is what he both desires and needs. The quiet contemplation as the officer steps out into the interior of the imposing government facility is a stark contrast to the previous violence. This is a place of order and civility.

        Quinn was something of a prodigy, but he’d been off duty for a short period following a recent tragedy. His superior had been pressuring him to return, and now, he was finally back. And now, he was going to meet with him. He walks solemnly towards his fate, his eyes drawn mostly to the faces of the people who cross paths with him. He finally reaches his superiors office, only to find that much had changed in time he had spent away. What hasn’t changed is his relationship with his superior; they are still as comfortable and casual with each other as ever, or so it seems on the surface anyhow.

        But that familiarity soon fades into the background, he is after all here on business. The grim business of controlling the masses through violence, that same business that cost him Cara. Just reading the file prompts a flashback to the moment, pulling him from reality until he finds himself again. He is here and alive, and his superior is handing to him a new assignment…along with a promotion. He is surprised, unsure of if he is ready or suitable for this task, but his superior Tallan dismisses his misgivings.

        Quinn has never been much of a team player, even before he worked best with just his partner. But now he’s faced with a new task hunting down an old enemy, and if he’s to do so he’s going to need allies.  His superior suspects that the organization is no longer secure. And the Blackwatch, their old enemy, remains elusive. Now he must assemble a team to hunt down these agents of chaos, once and for all.

        Characters: My impression of the characters from a read through.

        Lucca: The marksman on the train comes off as a classic, stereotypical shooter. Experienced and unattached, he takes a quiet satisfaction in his proficiency in his line of work. As a professional, he considers what he does to be important, and as such does not hesitate to take lives when he deems it necessary to the cause. That aside, other aspects of his personality are difficult to determine since he displays little emotional inflection besides the satisfaction at a job well done, and minor irritation at his comrade.

        Dr. Emerson: I have mixed feelings about Dr. Emerson. She strikes me as an older, experienced individual, who given her line of work, should be able to act as a mentor to Quinn. However the tone of her dialogue doesn’t really give me that sort of impression, instead she feels like an old friend who has been taking care of him during his downtime. While this might be true, there is a level of professionalism which is lost in this current iteration of her character which I feel should be there if she is to retain her role as some sort of D.I.S government shrink.

        Quinn: That Quinn has recently suffered the loss of someone important to him is made immediately obvious, but the emotional effect is not readily there. As a reader, I can observe the effects of the trauma, but whatever kind of government agent he is supposed to be, I don’t really get any sort of vibe from his speech patterns or relationships that he does the kind of work that is anywhere close to Lucca (who is on the other side) from earlier. It’s all and well that he’s friendly with his co-workers, and his psychiatrist, but the casual language, especially the tone he takes with his superior Tallan (who likes him, admittedly, but even so differences in rank and position exist for a reason), I find unfitting for someone in his line of work. Of course, this remains my personal take on it; if this is the atmosphere you want to establish with these characters then by all means retain them as they are.

        Tallan: This one is a little more difficult. Once you sit on the seat of power, it is simple enough to do as you please since no one can tell you otherwise what you should be doing. He seems rather carefree with Quinn, who he is clearly friendly with, but given this familiarity his lack of compassion for his underling who he knows has lost someone close to him is somewhat odd. He offers words of support, stating his confidence in Quinn’s abilities, but outside of this expectation of success seems unremorseful for having called him back to duty so soon.

        He is apparently more professional once he learns that Quinn has been reinstated, and adds that last comment as Quinn is going. Overall, I’m not quite sure of what kind of impression you want to be creating of Tallan’s character, who is to me, at once distant, but at the same time friendly with Quinn. Perhaps you might put this down to creating a balance between acting as a friend and acting as a superior officer, but the current execution of this mix seems somewhat off to me.

        Nitpicking: I’ve gone down through just the first section (I’m lazy), but in this vein for the whole of this chapter I recommend giving things a read through and trying to remove redundancy and simplify sentences where possible.

        Of note, I would pay particular attention to the dialogue to make sure words that are spoken flow like a conversation. Narration and dialogue should be two separate things, and there are features to narration which don’t translate well when placed into a conversation between characters.

        “The train rumbled its way along the tracks, suspended miles above the ground floor…”

        -Pick one, ground, or floor.

        “…run in one giant loop…”

        -Personally, I would use (ran in a) or (running in one/a giant)

        “Seated atop the middle car, with little to keep him in place but his own centre of balance and the foot jammed against the side of the roof, Lucca watched the world through the magnified vision of a rifle scope.”

        -Cool as this is in concept, it is a somewhat impractical and improbable position for a marksman (woman) to place themselves in. To retain the setting, I would perhaps either write in some kind of stabilizing equipment for Lucca, or just add some fixtures to the train roof against which Lucca can anchor himself.

        “Gazing through the cross-hairs at the city passing by below him…”

        -You may choose to omit both “by” and “him”, for a cleaner sentence

        “ he marveled the mobs and groups that lingered through the streets”

        -An (at) appears to be missing following “he”

        “…fighting to get past and through each other like so many bickering ants.”

        -I would select either “get” (through/past), or opt for (to pass through each/one another)

        “Idly, he matched his breathing… “

        -This one is more personal preference, but I prefer synced (Synchronized) here, and would prefer the ordering of (He idled, syncing his breathing…)

        “But, nevertheless, …”

        -You may omit (But)

        “Six years, he had never missed a shot. He didn't intend to start now.”

        (In six years he had never missed, and he didn’t intend to start now.) Is how I would do it, just to avoid a glut of sudden short sentences. But regardless of how you do it, I would recommend the addition of an (In) or (For)

        “…ahead of it’s…”

        -(its) rather than “it is”

        “ bigger..”


        “…the whole train he rode on, let alone a prison fence.”

        -We already know he’s riding the train, and a more typical phrasing for what you’re looking for, in my personal opinion: (…the whole train, never mind the prison fence.)

        “ …inhaled deeply, and tightened his finger over the trigger.”
        -Your mileage may vary, but I am personally informed that when shooting many prefer to fire as they are exhaling so as to avoid unnecessary movement.

        “From two miles away, the sound was strong enough to draw a loud collection of gasps from the passengers inside his chosen car, the explosion bursting up in a shower of sparks, flame, and uprooted dirt. On contact, it would have been earsplitting.”

        -omit “chosen”. By “On contact”, I assume you mean something along the lines of (At ground zero) or (Up close), both of which I find to flow better.

        “…until his position became wrong and his rifle useless, all the while the scope swung, back and forth, up and down- there! “

        -(until he was out of position…) followed by either a period (.) or semicolon (;).

        “…settled for grinding his teeth together as he was forced to watch her painfully slow progress.”

        -Likely a sentence break is needed, along with an (Instead, he settled with/for/on grinding his…)

        “…into a normal focus and leaping back into real size…“

        -Pick one of “into normal focus” or “real size”, of which I prefer the former.

        “…whistling wind that had filled his ears since boarding now replaced by…”

        -You may omit “since boarding now”

        “…its neighbours and acting as a constant reminder to the people that the Department were always watching.”

        -You may omit “and”, “to the people”, and I would use (that the Department was always watching.)

        “that building, and in his mind’s eye, those who dwelled within.”

        (that building, imagining those within.)


        “You’re move Nye. Play…”

        -I would add an (It’s) to the front, so that Lucca’s words properly match the previous sentence affirming what it is that he knows.

        “So, Quinn, tell me this; do you really feel you’re ready to return to fieldwork? It’s not just some, I dunno, misguided urge to deliver justice? Or perhaps a method of escaping from your problems?”

        -This shrink sounds a tad unprofessional in tone, which doesn’t match my impression of how a psychiatrist should behave. However if this is what you intended, carry on. And Quinn’s experience with shrinks makes it sound like he’s also worked with some rather poor psychiatrists.

        “she was nearly a decade his elder, yet it didn't show on her softly smiling face, nor in warm honey eyes.

        -(she was his elder by nearly a decade), or (she was nearly a decade older,) (smiling face, nor her warm honey eyes.)


        August 4, 2017 | Kai Ho