The topic entrants were given was the following, 'Write a short story - or rather, the "expository chapter" to a longer story - that engages in worldbuilding - by which I mean a text that shows what kind of world the story takes place in, what it would be like to live there'.
Any thoughts, positive or critical are welcome.
Meanwhile, you can expect a new review to be posted over the next week.
A stranger arrives on a planet after drifting through space for more years than he cares to remember. Little has happened during his journey however he possesses a strong feeling that this is about to change. Every so often a world comes along which is interesting, a world which appears serene yet has an underlying threat of…unrest. A planet which is home to a people that appear universally happy. A planet where any moment the peaceful lives of those inhabiting it are going to explode. Yes, this is a place he could settle down for a while. Watch as the very fabric of the world is ripped apart. Maybe he could even help push things along a little?
He sits on a rock-face observing the beings go about their daily lives. He recognises them, not personally of course, but as a race. They are human, settlers on a planet which wasn’t made for them. They’d adapted to the planetary conditions over the years. Originally they’d walked around in those big suits but now, generations down the line and the suits long gone, it was as if they were meant to be here. Everyone looks comfortable and relaxed, at ease with the surroundings. He recognises the differences between this planet and the other they occupy, a place he’d visited a long time ago. Gone are the sprawling metropolises and extravagant structures, the seedy alleyways and rubbish ridden streets. Instead, everything here looks like it’s been kept purposefully small scale and simple, clean but unimaginative. Every building in sight is made of the same grey stone that dominates much of the landscape. Most are dome shaped and there appears to be only a few varying sizes. The place isn’t dull however. It has a vibrancy which seemingly emanates from its residents, descendants of those whom took radical steps to change their lives.
The temperature rises to a slightly uncomfortable level, seemingly coinciding with the reduced number of passers by. Although the heat is of no consequence to the stranger, he gets up from his position on the rocks. The faint daylight provides enough illumination to the outside world for artificial lighting not to be needed. It allows him to make out a sheltered gathering in the distance. He walks towards it, slowly and with curiosity. As he approaches, he sees the crowd staring up at a screen. It looks out of place in the more primitive looking surroundings and is broadcasting someone making a speech. The individual talks of kindness and humility, about the pioneers to this planet who wanted to create a better world, something that was unachievable on the motherland. He talks of poverty and indulgence, has to explain the concepts of these things to the people who have little or no grasp of what they are. Most of all however, he talks of happiness. He smiles, the crowd smile back. His eyes though, they are cold. He is one of them, not a human, one of the others.
The stranger smiles too, not at the screen, but to himself. He knows something the humans don’t. Something they are completely oblivious to, made more intriguing because it is in front of their very own eyes. Aside from the one making the address, the stranger had already seen ten of them. Walking around unnoticed, exchanging pleasantries and going about their apparently normal lives. He can see through them though, see what they really are, likes what he sees. The people on this planet, kind-hearted and idealistic as they are, will soon realise that not everyone or everything is like them. And it’s going to be soon…very soon.
With this being a prologue, the first chapter would then introduce the main human protagonist.