The Surrogates of the Ghost Writer

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The Surrogates of the Ghost Writer

Post by The Ghost Writer on Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:59 pm

Henry the Bee, and Me
The story behind the characters


Something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time is the style of writing I tend to spill on every page of every story I have written since the fifth grade. Way back (when teachers were mean, and the multiplication table was like Satan’s pitch fork) I had authored a short story series called “Henry the Bee”. If I remember correctly, the staple-clad pages of notebook paper with simple illustrations and somewhat girly hand writing (I had this thing for neat penmanship), were about a young bee, named Henry, who dealt with the day-to-day obstacles of any fifth-grade kid: bullies, sibling rivalry, overcoming shyness, and – especially – surviving the parents. Henry was the character that started it all. Since then I have create a multitude of short stories aimed at youth anywhere from Henry’s age to eighteen. I’ve experimented with an assortment of genres, from modern realism to medieval fantasy, and from science fiction to juvenile law. The one element that always carried over from story to story was Henry, himself.

Henry the Bee was never always “Henry the Bee”, of course. His name would change; so would his background and appearance. But overall, he was the same kid that he always was. Somewhat shy, kind, caring, but always one to become so easily discouraged or worried. He was never without teenage angst, bullies teasing him left and right, or – in my more advanced works – a restless mind. Anything that I have experienced personally has been portrayed in some manner through this one iconic character. Much of it won’t make sense, because it’s hidden in between the lines of ink. At other times, it’s as clear as day, but you don’t notice it because it seems so common. I believe this is how many characters in modern literature are created and portrayed – how they speak to the reader. There is never a clear, concise message that is delivered. Take Fitzgerald’s Gatsby for example. I won’t get into how I think the character is a portrayal of Scott, himself, as I’m currently in an online book club and we’re discussing this famous work (don’t want to spoil my thoughts prematurely), but Gatsby is riddled with clues and windows into Fitzgerald’s life. There are far more clues to his experiences than just the Buchannan’s East Egg palace, or Nick’s deeply personal voice. A lot of it is found the main character – one that isn’t actually the hero of the story.

In way, Henry was always similar. Whatever was on my mind at the time, Henry would be thinking it too. Whatever I was going through, Henry was in the same slump with me. And whenever Brett drove me up the proverbial wall, Henry was buzzing his way to the top of his hive. Eventually, a subtlety began to form with the way Henry and I shared our experiences and our thoughts. I started to take my experiences with working with others and merging them with Henry’s ever-evolving character. I still kept my own personality within him alive and distinct, but I would split the icon into two. In each work I began to create after that moment on, I had two characters that were very similar. Sometimes Henry would be the youth that he always was, and other times he would be a full-grown adult. Whatever Henry was, his doppelganger – of sorts – was the opposite. The second iconic character of the work would be blend of both mine and others’ experiences, as a way for me dissolve what I had learned and attempt to understand it. Like emersion in a language.

The writer’s job is to tell the truth…

~Ernest Hemingway

The youthful character (whether it be Henry or his “other”) became a permanent teenager when I started working with the youth at my church, Community. Listening to them during meals, interacting with them during games, and getting to know them more personally during mission trips all contributed to the “other’s” character. Soon, a multiple personality within one character formed, and I would pick one color (so to speak) of the many that I had blended and use that for each separate prose. This character was never the same as anyone in the real world, however. I never copied, and I hardly borrowed. The experiences of the character’s past were drastically altered, many times completely different. They became the fruits of the inspiration I had gathered by listening, interacting, and getting to know others that shared the character’s age. That way, not only did I avoid mimicking, I could fabricate something that was still connectable to my target audience. On the website Footsteps of Ghosts, I had recently described myself as both an inspirational and coming-of-age author. I firmly believe this is what I am. While my audience can definitely include adults, I only do so, so that they may learn from the youth of today. Issues like sex, depression, anti-social behavior, and especially homosexuality or just plane flamboyancy is greatly misunderstood by the forever aging “Generation X”. Let’s face it, Gen X began as early as 1960… I think we need to rub our eyes a little and re-examine a growing gap in understanding. This is what coming-of-age authors do. They use fiction (and non-fiction as well) to help bridge that gap for both the youth and the adults. However, their books are mostly found in sections labeled “Teens” because their target audience is for that particular age group.

As far as the inspirational part goes; I can definitely say I’m one of these, as well. While I’m no Max Lucado, I make a note to incorporate Christian ideology in all of my works; no matter how intense or subtle that may be. Incorporations can range from a simple prayer, to something as more definite like actual scripture quoting or direct dialogue about God. And to sort of go along with Omni’s current theme, I had to praise Mass Effect for doing similar, by not only talking about the “soul” but also quoting Luke 8:30. Such small “eggs” constantly remind the reader (or gamer, in Mass Effect’s case) that Christians aren’t leaving anytime soon, nor will the message they have to deliver.

So, there you have it. How I have composed my stories has never changed; nor will it, as far as I can tell. Henry was, and is still, the iconic character that has survived from Miss McKenna’s fifth grade class to today in the Air Force. He’s seen everything from school bullies, to captured terrorists; and has traveled from a small town in Texas, to undisclosed locations on the other side of the world. Every experience, every deep ponder, and every moment of memorable dialogue that has circulated in my mind has also circulated in his. The story in those staple-clad notebook pages still goes on to this day…

Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.

~George Kneller


Last edited by The Ghost Writer on Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tribulation Saga

Post by The Ghost Writer on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:03 pm

Plans for You - Written Works and Journalism - Mystery, Supernatural


Terrance Sinclair
The main protagonist of the story, and certainly the hero from the start. Terrance Sinclair grew up in 1920's Chicago, enjoying the wealth his family had as a spoiled rich boy until the stock market crash and the Great Depression took practically everything he knew away. His parents fought to collect as much change as possible in the Hoovervilles of the day, trying to put his health before theirs. When he found the courage to finally venture out and try to support himself and his family, he nearly died of starvation. He had been away from his parents for so long, and without any experience and little common know-how, he wasn't of much use to employers.

It was then that the Sagestics found him on the streets and took him in. They took in anyone that showed a strong heart to fight for not themselves, but the ones they loved. Terrance fought to support his parents, and return what they had done for him. The Sagestics were aware of this, and so they offered him a new life; one of purpose and meaning, and one where he would be able more than just his parents; but millions.

Terrance was finally granted the gift of infusion when he turned twenty-four. The element that chose him: Water. Terrance's personality was calm most of the time, but when he was angered or greatly upset, all of that was lost to an unforgivable rage. This is Water. Calm when all is clear, but wrathful during a storm. Terrance mastered all twelve elements by the time he was thirty, and was awarded the white and gold robes of the Sagens.

Since his infusion, Terrance has kept a low profile in the human world; choosing to wear casual clothing, over the robes of the Sagestics. The world misunderstood his adoptive race. They saw them as witches and heathens, more so than protectors and watchmen. Yes, Sagestics are, in a sense, Christian. They believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, the world rejects them because of their abilities to manipulate the material world they know, and defy laws of physics and modern science. Terrance will gladly admit to what he now is, but will not openly show it to every bystander on the street.

Jason

Jason (last name is unknown) is the main protagonist of the series and is supposedly five hundred years old, but was Infused at the age of fourteen, following the conclusion of the saga's first installment. Don't be too quick to judge his youthful appearance, however, as his wisdom far surpasses that of the other elders in the Sagestic Council. Jason is the only Sagen with the ability to control Aether, one of the three special elements and a combination of all twelve base elements. Jason used Aether to severely weaken Trigger in the epic battle at the end of Delavega, the first part of the saga. Ever since, Jason has been regarded as the powerful figurehead amongst the Sagestics. Jason also takes it upon himself to personally oversee the training of each new Sage and becomes Alex's personal mentor and close friend in Tribulation.

Jason's personality is tricky to figure out, even for those, like Terrance, that have known him for a while. This is more than likely due to the fact that the teenager has been trapped in an under-developed body and state-of-mind for so long that his own psyche is constantly transitioning between that of a child's and that of an adult. His reasoning is rarely arguable, however, as his experience compared to the other elders' is something to be reckoned with; however, his childhood antics will often confuse his fellow Sagestics into thinking he's joking when he's actually not.

The original element that seems to have chosen Jason, though it cannot be accurately confirmed without some reference to a past life before Delavega, is Light. In the first installment, Jason's character appeared to be of a darker nature, symbolized by the all-black attire; robe, pants, boots, and gloves. However, when Jason activated the Light element, all of his garments would dramatically polarize in color to white, this also included his hair and eyes. This transformation from the use of an element is not natural for Sagestics and, so far, Jason is the only character in the saga that has shown this trait. After the discovery of Aether, however, Jason no longer experiences this transformation when he uses the Light element. Whether or not this is any indication of an unheard of change of his signature element to the latter remains to be known.

Many references are made to the "crystal blue" eyes and blond hair of both Jason and the other main protagonist, Alex, who is the same age. Much of this links back to a prophecy in the beginning of the saga attempting to describe the looks of a "young boy" that will "rid the world of evil". It was generally accepted that Jason was this "chosen one" after he defeated the antagonist Trigger at the end of Delavega. However, obviously, the evil of the world was never rid and the Sagestics later understood that Jason was, indeed, not the child that the prophesy was speaking of. Instead, that child would not come until the start of Tribulation, when Jason sends Terrance out on a mission to find Alex in a Californian school.

As little is known about the legendary Sagen, it is hard to determine Jason's origins and heritage, but one may notice a slight French accent whenever he becomes irate, and is occasionally witnessed speaking the language fluently. At the beginning of Delavega, the first installment of the saga, we find the younger Jason in a French village, though he was only there to recover from wounds he had sustained in a previous altercation with the antagonist knight and his henchmen. No relatives of his are mentioned in the series, and it almost seems as if Jason simply appeared in the beginning with no background at all. However, a remake of Tribulation (be it role play or a private work) is expected to be released sometime in the future, and may unlock Jason's mysterious and unknown past.


Last edited by The Ghost Writer on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:10 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Further background information added to Jason's dossier.)
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G22 Installments

Post by The Ghost Writer on Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:13 pm

G22: Unclassified, G22: Avalon - Written Works and Journalism - Modern, Military, Conspiracy


Lieutenant Captain Selma Granger


Pictured left, the Appleseed character, Deunan Knute, represents the G22 installment character, Selma Granger, as well as the uniform concept of the organization's legendary Commandos.

Selma's history with G22 isn't very long, but her experience as a former MI5 operative was the main attraction to the secret organization's recruiting. Selma was originally offered to become a Shadow Agent, in which she would be able to use her skills in the espionage industry to infiltrate governments and other powerful organizations and businesses around the world, sending classified information to G22 servers and expanding on their knowledge base. However, a standard physical exam - required for all new recruits - resulted in scores that fit the requirements for another profession with G22.

Selma accepted her current position as a Commando, an elite stealth warrior, and survived a full year of the most intense, combined military training on earth. The result: a lethal fighter capable of carrying out infiltration, reconnaissance, assassination, sabotage, and security missions of all types. Her and her brethren of other G22 Commandos are faster, stronger, and more agile than the typical soldier of any other army.

The female's Irish background brings along a slight accent, and she is often mistaken for being naive, though her cognitive skills and outstanding critical thinking under pressure will stun her male counterparts. Selma is also able to adapt to many environments, whether it's the extreme heat of a desert, or the numbing cold of the arctic tundra. Her survival skills and quick thinking came along with her former career at MI5.

Dossier is incomplete. Continue to read the G22 installments (including "G22: Unclassified" and "G22: Avalon") to unlock the rest of this character's dossier.

Aaron Nguyen


Aaron was a simple kid with a simple life on Caligo until Selma and Chris arrived at his home with the disturbing news that his older brother, Malek, was to follow in their father's footsteps. Aaron and his brother were abandoned by their father fifteen years prior to the events in Unclassified and Avalon, towards the end of the military conflict between the Caligoans and Blue Trinity. Their father, who we soon come to realize was the leader of the secretive organization calling itself G22, left in order to protect the family he had forged on Caligo from any more outsiders wanting to invade the island. However, though his island-native wife, Teresa, understood everything about her husband, the man's sons had absolutely no clue why he left or who he even was.

This thirteen year-old child blames his father, Selma, and Chris for the murder of his brother, Malek, on board what was supposed to be an abandoned Blue Trinity naval facility some few nautical miles from the island. Aaron knows that the struggle with their former enemy is not far from over, and that a new enemy (his father's own organization) has now entered the game with a surprising advantage; as well as equally advanced, devastating weapons technology.

Hatred burns in the boy's heart for Selma and Chris, and would gladly kill them himself should he ever have the chance. Unbeknown to him, however, the former G22 commando is awaiting his return to the island with his rescuers and shade. The last that Aaron saw of Selma was her being blown off a cliff by her own kind. Will his anger escalate further knowing that she's alive?

Dossier is incomplete. Continue to read the G22 installments (including "G22: Unclassified" and "G22: Avalon") to unlock the rest of this character's dossier.

Christopher Miles


Christopher, or Chris, is a Shadow Agent that has been working for G22 since 2030, when he was recruited by the Shadow division's higher-ups personally during a lunch break while working at Langley's CIA headquarters. As a former CIA operative, Miles' connections with assets and information sources around the world proved invaluable to G22, and had aided both him and the organization as a whole on several occasions during the second Cold War.

Miles has a carefree attitude in most situations, and always approaches problems with a calm and cool demeanor, giving the impression that he's being cocky. In truth, Chris is a very cocky individual; but a lot of this is acting the part so as to keep others from digging into him. As a shadow agent, Miles has a lot of secrets to protect and cannot afford to become too close to anyone.

In the unlockable epilogue of Unclassified, we learn that Chris is captured and taken to a G22 facility (which we can, later in Avalon, assume is the abandoned Blue Trinity facility that the Nguyen boys were being held captive at), where he is directly confronted by Arcades (under the guise of Albatross) and offered a tempting deal. Chris was asked to share the information that CHASSI had decrypted in the signal waves on the island, or the boys were to be executed. Having little choice, Chris obliged and spared the Nguyen brothers in favor of revealing to Arcades that the waves were the key to the protective connection between a Caligoan and their shade counterpart. For his cooperation, Arcades gave Chris back his title as a shadow agent and forgave him of his "treachery". Is Christopher Miles really giving in to G22, or will he act as a double-agent?

Dossier is incomplete. Continue to read the G22 installments (including "G22: Unclassified" and "G22: Avalon") to unlock the rest of this character's dossier.
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Mass Effect Installments

Post by The Ghost Writer on Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:36 pm

Mass Effect: On the Edge - Advanced Role-Playing - Science Fiction, Fan Fiction, Just Plain Epic


Commander Johnathan Titus


Commander Johnathan Titus, born in 2158, one year after the First Contact War, served in the Alliance military as a lieutenant until his aggravation with the politics of the modern era forced him to retire his uniform early when his contract came up for renewal, rather than reenlisting. During his time in the Alliance, however, he was a commended N7 Marine and highly skilled marksman. It was his leadership abilities and deadly aim that sparked the Illusive Man’s personal attention. In 2182 he was recruited by Cerberus and, two years later, was given command of his own starship, the Vindicator.

One of the most technologically advanced starships of the current era, well beyond most capabilities of even Alliance vessels – which pride themselves on being state-of-the-art – the Vindicator is now a second home to nearly one hundred souls, including its commander.

Titus may not always see eye-to-eye with the Illusive Man, due to his extreme moral character, yet he remains a fiercely loyal Cerberus operative. Even though he is not as prejudice against alien species as his fellow Cerberus comrades, he shares the organization’s vision for the advancement of the human race. He is prepared to see that vision through to the end, even if it means bearing the weight of being “extremist” in the eyes of the galactic community.

Titus is a paragon character. More information will be added as the role play progresses.

Braden Reynolds


The fourteen year-old Braden can no longer remember the name of the colony he was born and raised on, but he will never forget the fear that he experienced as he witnessed the massacre of his family and friends by a random geth attack. The colony was not prepared for the onslaught and, as a heavy price, nearly everyone was lost… except for Braden. Unfortunately, the young survivor was quickly abducted by batarian pirates after the geth forces cleared out of the system; and was later sold as a slave to new masters on the notorious Omega space station in the Terminus systems.

He endured the life of an abused indentured servant on Omega until a risk-taking group of humanitarian aid representatives rescued him. Shortly after being taken into protective care, it was discovered that he had astounding biotic abilities that peaked to extreme levels whenever he had an emotional meltdown caused by multiple stress fractures from both the geth attack and as a slave. Further medical examination and physicals shortly after proved that he was one of many human children that were exposed to element zero in-utero.

Braden quickly became a student at the esteemed Jon Grissam Academy, where he attended the Ascension Project in order to learn how to control his biotic potential and contribute to the research programs. One year later, he was selected to be one of the many grade-A students to be relocated to a top secret AP facility on Eden Prime, where they would be able to practice and develop their biotics in an open atmosphere. He was later recruited to Commander Titus’ crew aboard the Vindicator after the commander visited Eden Prime on orders from Cerberus.

The teenager is still coping with mild retrograde amnesia affecting his declarative memory. He cannot, at this time, recall the colony he was original from, nor several other things that one would be able to normally recall from their childhood: such as his home, personal belongings, and even the faces of friends. All he can remember are the faces of his parents, and the horror of the geth attack.

---

After Commander Titus noticed a mark on the boy's ankle, left behind by a tracking bracelet worn by slaves, the Vindicator traveled to Omega. Titus initially offered Braden a chance at revenge, but the reader now knows that this chance was more so to allow Braden the opportunity to choose who he wanted to become. After subduing his former batarian slave master, Gavin, the boy was ready to execute him.

Before a life-altering decision could be made, however, Lance stepped in to reason with Braden; ultimately preventing him from carrying out a deed where the consequences would only, and ironically, enslave him forever. Officer Williams noted that Braden grew "ten times stronger" that night.

To Mass Effect players, this would be the resemblance of a paragon or renegade decision moment.

Braden is a paragon character. More information will be added as the role play progresses.

Lance Williams


Lance Williams is the main battery officer aboard the Vindicator, and loyal Cerberus operative. Until recently in the story, all the reader knew about this character was that he had a strong sense of humor, often sarcastic and playful. But unknown to many of his shipmates, Lance hides a dark history.

It isn't uncommon to find many racist attitudes amongst Cerberus troopers, and Lance is no exception. After turning away from his childhood dream of following in his parents' footsteps to join the Alliance, Lance became a hired gun and traveled the galaxy as a mercenary. He admitted to Braden Reynolds, during the teen's own loyalty mission, that he had killed before and that his actions are sins he must live with. After he left his career as a mercenary behind, Lance joined Cerberus and, after a year, met Commander Titus. At first, the two didn't quite get along, and it was Titus that eventually confronted the man about a sour attitude.

Lance admitted to his problem with being prejudice against aliens, mostly because he found them "annoying". He also revealed to his commander that he had tracked down a mercenary he used to work with that had a direct involvement in the sabotage and crash landing of a human frigate. He asked for Titus' help in hunting him down. The commander objected at first, but ultimately agreed to assist his crew member. In the end, however, when Lance had the alien at gun point, Titus managed to speak to him through reason and convince Lance that what he was about to do would haunt him forever.

Ten months later, in the middle of Omega, Officer Williams used the same reasoning with Braden, preventing the boy from executing his former batarian slave master out of cold revenge. While revealing his own past to the young biotic, Lance gave the implication that Commander Titus was the best leader the Vindicator would ever have, and the reader may assume to two to have a better, stronger relationship.

Lance is a paragon character. More information will be added as the role play progresses.
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