Author Archives: lance schukies

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Crimson Corruption first 800/100,000 words

Crimson Corruption written by Lance Schukies 

Description:

 Dean moves to a third world country to set up a IT business unbeknown to him, he is been shadowed by corrupt policeman, who’s goal is to put Dean in jail in order to extort a huge sum of money from him, this is a cat and mouse game which dean can lose everything. 

First 800 words:

Arrival in Manatree – Feb 2012

Walking across the tarmac from the aircraft he first notices the smell.  A pungent odour of raw sewage and rotting plants.  At 11pm, on this dark, moonless night, Dean feels himself merging into a surreal and dreamlike state. Lack of sleep isn’t helping.  He pinches himself. These new surroundings are disorienting.  It is his first visit to Manatree.  It is also the first time he has visited a third world country.  Listening to the garbled fluency of people talking in a strange language, he begins to feel like an alien. 

Most of the people he can see are Manatree locals.  There are a few business people like himself, but definitely no tourists from this late night flight.   Manatree is not a tourist destination. Tourists do not usually travel to miserable dumps like this to either watch people rot or risk losing their holiday money to the extortionate fees applied by anyone who has even the tiniest bit of power over them.  For example, airport porters.  There are too many of them.  All uniformed, with ID badges pinned to crumpled shirts. Poised and hawklike, only one step back from the incoming passengers waiting for their luggage to spill into view.  A few porters begin to crowd around Dean and the other aliens, each hoping to grab one of their bags and claim an outrageous fee.  Dean brushes them off with a ‘go away’ glare and, for the more persistent ones, a discouraging wave of his hand.  Dean notices a western woman who has red hair and he is reminded of Vicki, his ex girlfriend of 20 years. he quickly moves his thoughts to his surrounding to avoid the hurt and tears that will surely manifest. “damn 6000 miles and I can’t get away from her” he says out loud to no one. the nearest porter looks at him and seeing dean talk to himself quickly moves away. He is so busily engaged in warding off porters he fails to notice a man in a gray shirt watching him, Dean pulls his bags from the airport luggage conveyor and looks around. 

Nothing about the Manatree International Airport looks familiar to Dean. The main building is old and rundown, built during the 1950s and never expanded.  The paint is faded and discolored and, in some areas, peeling from the walls. The darker color beneath tells another story.  Dean muses that, more than likely, a painting contractor had cut corners by slapping cheap paint on without preparing the surface.  The scene is absurd.  International airports are not supposed to look like this…are they?  Even the airport staff look different; both from what Dean had expected and from each other.  Their uniforms are made from cheap, synthetic fabrics and none look the same.  Varying in colour, cut and style, some are even threadbare. Uniformity without uniformity.  The scene is an odd one.

A number of armed guards are spread out across the airport, presenting their own contradictory image with unmatched uniforms and mismatched weapons.  Some of the guns look aged and rusted.  Even bullets lined up along belts look the same ages as the rusting guns.  A few of the ammunition belts are complete and others have bits missing.  There are gaps in ammunition holders, spaces where some item or tool should be and a general inconsistency in appearance.   Dean had not expected to see this run down, private army protecting a government-owned airport.  He makes a mental comparison between these men and the Australian airport guards. There is no similarity.

Dean reads a sign secured to a far wall.  Written in several languages, he understands only one.  ‘To the Quarantine Station.’  Throwing his bags into a trolley, he follows the arrows and heads toward the station to pick up Rover, his faithful ‘bitzer.’   He had been told that the dog would be available for collection after landing.  Rover would not be carrying any disease unfamiliar to Manatree.   His most recent trip to the veterinary clinic in Sydney had resulted in the dog being given a stringent health check and a few unwelcome injections. Rover, he knows, is a very healthy animal.   Dean is not expecting any hold-up. But, in this country there are other kinds of delays.  Dean is about to learn that the staff at the Quarantine Station like to collect ‘taxes’ from visiting aliens with accompanying pets.

Again dean didn’t notice the man with the grey shirt who was standing next to the security officers at the luggage carousel, with his grey shirt he could have been mistaken for one of the Airport supervisors.  Now with his phone in his hand he could’ve be mistaken for  the security guards supervisor. the man wearing the grey shirt didn’t work for anyone in the airport he was there looking for targets like Dean.

How much of a photo do you need to alter to avoid copyright infringement? Hint: Cheshire Cat – Stanford Copyright and Fair U…

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/2014/12/22/much-photo-need-alter-avoid-copyright-infringement-hint-cheshire-cat/

And as for Fair Use factor three, the amount and substantiality of the portion used … the court wrote “Defendants removed so much of the original that, as with the Cheshire Cat, only the smile remains.” The original background is gone, its colors and shading are gone, the expression in the eyes can no longer be read, and the effect of the lighting is “almost extinguished.” “What is left, besides a hint of Soglin’s smile, is the outline of his face, which can’t be copyrighted.”

Why Ashley Madison hack is not bad news

There is a lot of talk about privacy, everyone needs the ability to encrypt their data, companies should help us keep our communication private and put a stop to any government having back door access to our data and communication. We can not rely on a Geneva Convention for the internet, so that people like the US government can violate it with impunity like it does that actual Geneva Convention.

Trust no one, as every computer system is insecure due to the human factor. There is always a possibility that one or more employees or contractors with the right access to companies and/or government databases going public with our data, selling it, stealing identities, or trying to extort money from us. That’s why always protecting our privacy is important.

I do hope this public hacking of private data makes everyone aware of the need for securing our data and results in more secure systems.

» Elena Ferrante Explains Why She Publishes Anonymously: “Books, Once They Are Written, Have No Need of Their Authors”

http://electricliterature.com/elena-ferrante-explains-why-she-publishes-anonymously-books-once-they-are-written-have-no-need-of-their-authors/

Exactly if the words don’t sell then no amount of publicity is going to make them any better.

Hunger Games

The first two books to me have a strange ending, I would change the first book with Katniss going home and enjoying her winnings, with a hint about her relationship with Peeta. The second book I would have ended it with the arena being destroyed.

Then started the last book with her rescue. For me the last book does not work as it follows this formula, which it has already over the first two books:

Readers are introduced to the hero’s world. A “call to adventure” or a disturbance interrupts the hero’s world. The hero may ignore the call or the disturbance. The hero “crosses the threshold” into a dark world. A mentor may appear to teach the hero. Various encounters occur with forces of darkness. The hero has a dark moment within themselves that they must overcome in order to continue. A talisman aids in battle (e.g., the shield of Athena for Perseus; the sword, Excalibur, for King Arthur). The final battle is fought. The hero returns to their own world

I would completely change the last book and have Katniss end up the leader, showing that Coin was corrupt and there was a plot to remove Coin.

P.s. I would also have it that the people in the games do not really die, that using advance technology keeps them alive but in captivity, to be rescued at the end.