Exercise 2 - superfrail
With a Generalization
Everyone felt the same, and for a while we were united despite our diversity: three hundred and twenty billion souls in search of a home.
With a Description of a Person
When she cried, she looked just like a spring flower after a cold rain.
With Narrative Summary
The average time it took to build a colony ship was five years, three months, and eleven days. This estimate was widely-known in the last years, as the deadline for the end of the world drew near.
"I'm staying here, Em," he told her as the transport's engines began to whine. "There's nothing for me out there."
With Several Characters but no Dialogue
The solitary woman by the tensile glass window—she looked like a nun, but she wasn't—crossed and recrossed her legs in the time it took for Kaya and I to make it to the far side of the terminal. The window was enormous, bigger than most houses, and we could see the Earth suspended in the inky sky above. Several other passengers shifted nervously on the benches. A weathered old man with calloused fingers and his pretty, white-haired wife. A family of four. A young couple cradling each other further down the line. No one said a thing.
With a Setting and Only One Character
The Baron stood on a low rise covered with dry scrub grass overlooking the desert, dunes like waves, while the bronze evening sun neared the horizon behind him.
With a Reminiscent Narrator
It was being pulled away from home that killed me, being locked in a tin can hurtling through the stars. I'd drift like a ghost down the halls, sifting through my memories. The crash of waves. The smell of earth. I realized how much I truly missed her then.
With a Child Narrator
I wanted to watch the liftoff with the rest of them, but there wasn't room, so I waited outside the observatory. I saw the glow of the rockets on the floor by my feet, though, and that made it so much harder.
By Establishing Point of View - First Person
I spent the evening in the pool inside one of the conservatories—CN-3, I think—since the experience of being in the water came closer to memories of home than any other activity I had participated in. For that short time in the artificial twilight of the Ark, I was light years away, the homeworlds were safe, and there had never been a mass exodus to the stars.
The thing you remember most about that day was the sensation of falling, your stomach leaping up to your ribcage as the convoy entered the cocoon of hyperspace. You'd watched through the porthole the glistening gunmetal of a dozen spaceborne colonies performing their slow dance in orbit around Solohexi (you could no longer see your homeworld), twin suns glinting off their prows as the diligent tugs eased them into formation. You remember your hands shaking and sweaty. You remember the crackle of the intercom and the looks on the faces of those around you, most of whom, like you, had never traveled faster than light. But it was the jump, the sudden hollow tensing of fields, the instant black (devoid of stars and sister ships) that enveloped your Ark - this you will never forget.
His gnarled fingers whitened around the handle of the garden rake while Annie read the edict aloud, her voice shaking. His bare feet dug into the sun-warmed soil, while birds rode thermals high over the flatland and the dust-coloured shack, their home of thirty-five long years. He looked past the graves of his children, looked across the well-cultivated fields to the slow rise of the forested foothills on the far horizon. He leaned into the old rake, resting his head in his arms, as if he no longer had the strength to stand, while Annie brushed a wisp of white hair from her face and read the final lines of the document,
"Done at Pbasus, seat of the United Planetary Alliance, this 30th of Septens, 20662."