20 April 2013 - 2:00 pm

Writers’ Asylum: Challenge #4

Imagine a cityscape. Choose any world, but preferably one you’ve never written in before. What era are we in? What kind of city? It can be anything: an alien city of gravity-defying structures; a medieval hamlet of dirty, cobbled streets and wattle-and-daub walls; a cluster of skyscrapers and headlights.

Is it tall? Sprawling? Crammed onto an island? Dull or shining? What kind of climate does it live in? Is it flat and level? What geological features does it compete with: mountain slopes; the moving water of a river or the sea; encroaching swampland; earthquakes and shifting?

Is it a busy city? Does it sleep at night? What are its distinguishing features? Is it well lit, day or night? What is the chief characteristic of its people?

In this cityscape of yours, there are two parties moving very quickly: one fleeing and one chasing. Their hearts are pounding and they’re both very intent. Are they on foot? In vehicles? On mounts? A mixture? What parts of the cityscape does their chase take them over or through? What do they use on the way? What do they avoid? Why? Is there collateral damage in their wake or do they leave the city’s surface unruffled by their passing?

Who are these two rushing parties? What is their goal? Do they share the same one, or do they have opposing aims? Why is the one in front running, and why is the one behind chasing? Are their hearts in it? Are they both recklessly focussed on their goal? What are they willing to do to get away or catch up?

Rewind to the beginning of their journey. What started them off?

The title of this challenge is Chase. Describe their journey across the city. Make it fast and exciting, and don’t stop until someone wins or everyone loses.

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2 comments

  1. Daniel says:

    The streets of Crystal City rushed by, a blur of lights and sounds, wind whipping his face as the hover bike sped past building after building in pursuit. Jarred couldn’t let him get away, not with the key to the Elders’ estate!
    He dialled up the throttle on the pink hover bike’s handlebar, and the vehicle jerked ahead with enough force to make Jarred have to lean forward and into the slightly more protected console to avoid the worst of the wind resistance. Wasn’t this city supposed to be an enclosed environment? It was a floating city with a dome on it. Surely they wouldn’t have to worry about winds amongst these buildings? But apparently they did, as cold hair blasted his eyes and made them tear up.
    Ahead, the thief zipped between airbuses and hovering cars as they presented themselves, veering into the unregulated airspace zones and back again. Jarred swung out into unregulated space, off the path marked by fluorescent light strips, and right into the path of a restored and modified Cadillac. He swerved upwards, narrowly missing the heads of the man and woman, and was back closer to the diagonal path again, on the thief’s trail once more. The thief looked over his shoulder, saw Jarred, and plummeted. Jarred followed suite, and the thief swerved left over China Town’s fireworks.
    Sneaky bastard, Jarred thought, as explosions ripped through the sky and paper tubular dragons danced past. Jarred swerved every way through the floating objects and thought he’d lost the thief, when he spotted him making for the Elder’s sanctuary. Jarred couldn’t let him get there. It was a straight run to the building. Increasing the thrust to maximum, Jarred closed the distance to within throwing length, and called up his power.
    His outstretched hand crackled with electricity. With a force of will he opened his palm and a vicious lightning fork streaked from it. It missed. The thief dived, and Jarred followed, sending another lightning bolt from his hand. This time the bolt struck the thief’s hover bike in the back, right near the engine, and fire and smoke poured from it as the bike’s flight became erratic. Swaying, the thief brought the bike down onto the court where a water feature stood and finally, several metres from the concrete, leapt off. The fiery bike exploded.
    He landed and rolled. Jarred slammed on his brakes and pulled up a metre from the ground. He leapt off as well and his own bike hovered there, obediently.
    The thief drew a plasma sword handle and activated the blade. Swirling blue energy pulsed to life in the shape of a sword. Jarred drew Silverflame in response, called out its true name—Argama Fiamdel—and the silvered metal blade lit up on fire. The two clashed.
    The thief was a good swordsman too. But Jarred was faster. Extra energy coursed through his veins, and his strikes were just as strong, only faster. The thief realised the difference in ability and quickly reached into a pocket, and brought out a canister which he threw into Jarred’s face. It scored a direct hit and exploded into a spray of grey powder that choked Jarred’s eyes.
    Jarred coughed and sneezed, unable to see anything as the thief’s footsteps carried away in the direction of the voting. Jarred rushed to the water feature and dunked his head in, eyes open. The water cleared away the grey powder, which fell from his face in muddy splotches. Jarred brought his head up again and gulped for air as he cast about frantically for the thief. There, having just attacked the two guards either side of the nearest door with his plasma sword!
    Jarred rushed up to the scene and darted straight through the metal detector, which only made a scene when he passed through. The thief tore through the grand ballroom, down the red-carpet stairs and into the mass of elegantly dressed voters, pushing them out of his way if the plasma sword’s threatening presence didn’t do it for him.
    Up on the stage was the successful candidate… and his security team. All ten of them, essentially brutes in tuxedos, stepped into a defensive ring in front of the newly elected leader, and drew their own plasma swords.
    The thief ran his sword through his own stomach.

    April 20th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  2. Mel says:

    Interesting mix of genres and themes in this one. I love a good chase scene. Thanks for sharing this!

    April 22nd, 2013 at 8:59 am