Apr 01 2010

Kove’s Review Forum

Published by at 10:30 pm under Review Forums

Please see the comments below.  Thanks!

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Kove’s Review Forum”

  1. Koveon 04 Apr 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for the prompt response, B.Mac
    Here is small sample from the beginning of my story. I hope you guys enjoy it.

    Chapter One

    He had been dodging them for two years, and Hosk still didn’t know who they were or what they wanted from him. He knew, for certain, why they were chasing him; he just had no idea what they would do once they caught him. He checked the time again, it was nearly noon. Weary, dirty, and wet from the slight drizzle that followed the thunderstorm, Hosk only wanted the chase to be over. After traveling on foot for nearly three days now, he still felt as though they were right behind him and he had never been more scared in his life. Hosk looked up from beneath the hood of the faded crimson sweatshirt worn beneath his duster and saw an overpass about a mile ahead; it would be a good place to rest and try to wait out the rain.
    Traffic whizzed by on both sides of him as he trudged along the median, his thoroughly soaked boots splashing water and mud onto his pants and the bottom of his coat. The rain was cold, though it fell lightly now, and a biting wind tore at his coat from behind. It felt more like evening than early afternoon, the overcast sky offered no warmth and very little light. It was autumn in Tennessee and Hosk would have loved to have taken more time to admire the scenery and enjoy the clean, mountain air. His plight, however, kept him from enjoying the smaller things in life.
    Carter Hosk was being hunted.
    He saw the news report two years ago at a cafe in Knoxville and knew immediately that his life was over. The reporter stood in front of a scene of utter devastation. There were half a dozen burning buildings in the background and police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were scattered everywhere, attending to the people and the wreckage. It looked as though a war had been fought at the car dealership behind her.
    “This is Amber Giles from KPPN 5 in Knoxville,” she raised her voice a bit to be heard over the clamor of emergency services behind her. A man screamed in agony somewhere in the distance. “I’m here near the University of Tennessee campus where it appears there has been a firefight of some kind between what eyewitnesses are calling ‘armored cops’ and a freshman boy named Nelson Wright.” She whirled around to look behind her, plugging her ear with a finger as a vehicle half a block from her suddenly exploded, spewing gas and flames in all directions.
    A man in some sort of unmarked tactical armor came into camera view on the right side of the screen holding an oddly-shaped black helmet. He stopped briefly and spoke with another man in identical attire, then jogged off to the left, shouting for his captain. The reporter continued her story, “Some eyewitnesses are actually claiming to have seen a man fly here today and of course, reports of this kind are common after the jetpack incident in Los Angeles just over a year ago. While police and investigators are declining to comment on the events that occurred here today, this woman,” she pulled a woman in her mid-forties into view from off-camera, “Miss Caulfield, claims to have witnessed the entire incident. What can you tell us about what happened here today? ”
    “I saw the boy come out of the coffee shop over there,” the woman began, her thick southern drawl changing the way her mouth moved, “and he just rose into the air! He looked confused, maybe even scared. “She reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. The woman flipped it open, tapped a couple of buttons, and then showed the screen to the camera. “I even got a picture of it right here, see? That boy was flying and then those men in the black costumes jumped on him out of nowhere!”
    “As you can see folks,” Amber Giles continued excitedly, turning from Miss Caulfield back to the camera, “an actual photograph of a man flying! Miss Caulfield, can you tell us what happened to the boy who was attacked? Nelson Wright?”
    “I have no idea,” she replied. It was easy to see that the woman was shaken by the experience. “Those men took him with them when they left, after they knocked him out with some kind of gas. Am I gonna be on TV?”
    “We’re live and on the air as we speak, Miss Caulfield,” the reporter smiled, turning back to the camera. “There’s definitely an interesting story brewing here folks. Remember, you saw it first here on KPPN 5 Knoxville. Back to you Curtis.”
    Hosk wasn’t even watching the television anymore at that point; he was glancing around the room, sweat beginning to bead on his forehead. He already knew that the boy really had been flying and he distinctly remembered seeing two reports like this one before. Witnesses claimed to have seen someone do something seemingly impossible, and then men in those same unmarked black uniforms appeared out of nowhere and abducted them, taking them who knows where for reasons he dared not consider. Hosk was only seventeen at that time, fresh out of high school, and he did what any kid would have done in the same situation. He panicked and ran. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before the black-clad men came for him as well.
    Hosk was a superhuman.
    He was born with the power, according to his father, and it manifested itself at an early age. His father taught him to carefully protect his secret and he even instructed him on the cautious use and control of his ability. Father knew that something was wrong, even then, Hosk realized. His father was always paranoid in public; he frequently changed the channel when Hosk entered the room while he was watching the news. Twice when Hosk lost control of his ability in public, the family had to move a few days later and it wasn’t until Hosk saw that news report that he came to understand why. Father was running scared, Hosk had realized, protecting us. Protecting me.
    Like father, like son, Hosk mused. Now I’m running scared, and I don’t even know who I’m running from. He settled in under the overpass, shielded from the wind and the rain by a thick stone column. Hosk pulled his duster tighter and gathered his power; he could feel it raging through his veins, coursing throughout his body. It was warm and sweet and it caressed his hands like a lover as he formed the raw power into a wide stream of low-intensity heat. He passed his hand over his body, drying first his hair, then his clothes. He then spent a bit more time drying his feet and boots; the boots were soaked completely through.
    The lack of sunlight wasn’t helping to improve his mood either. As far as he had managed to determine, sunlight was the raw energy source that fueled his superhuman abilities. Several times in the past he found himself unable to use his powers at night, only to have access to them again at the first sight of the sun. It was after this happened several times that he learned how to create a ‘well’ of sorts within himself where he could store the raw energy for use at a later time. He had tapped into that well to dry himself and while the amount of energy he could store was substantial, it was very limited and would still need to be replenished as soon as he saw the sun again. He could feel the power within, writhing and thrashing about in his mind, and he knew exactly what he could accomplish with that amount of power and how long it would last.
    Hosk jerked awake at the sound of a car horn and looked immediately at his watch. He slapped his forehead, I slept for two hours? Idiot! He was on his feet immediately, peering frantically in all directions for a sign of the chase. Had he lost them? Were they just waiting for him to show himself? The rain had ceased falling and the sun was streaming through breaks in the clouds on either side of the overpass. I need to keep moving. They’ve seen me use my power and they know who I am. The best way to stay safe is to be somewhere else when they arrive.
    He knew beforehand that saving the man in Nashville was a mistake. The bus was coming too fast, and the man was obviously blind. Hosk acted without thinking. He reached out with his power and lifted the man from the road, setting him down safely on the other side. The strain of picking the man up mentally was taxing and it winded him immediately as though he had run the distance and saved the man physically instead of using only his mind. Bystanders began to point at Hosk and shout; some even fled the scene in terror and confusion. Others were utterly astounded and came to thank the old man’s savior, but Hosk overheard one of the onlookers calling the police and he reacted immediately, frying the woman’s phone with a beam of heat from his outstretched hand and leaping to his feet. He began running, his life story, and didn’t stop for miles. On his way out of town, he glimpsed a nearly silent and odd-looking aircraft pass by overhead with four men clad in black armor and those same oddly-shaped black helmets perched on the landing struts, obviously waiting for the aircraft to land. Fear began to slither through his body at that point as the muted whine of the aircraft’s engines came closer. Calling upon his power, Hosk gathered the energy tightly about him and teleported, visualizing the Knoxville Expo Center. He couldn’t remember his arrival at all; he awoke lying on top of the monument at the Expo Center, his bones aching and his head ringing. It took a few moments of consciousness to clear the fuzziness from his head. Too far, he thought to himself, a hundred and fifty miles is just too far to teleport. I won’t be doing that again.

  2. B. Macon 04 Apr 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Here are some thoughts and suggestions.

    The first sentence is “He had been dodging them for two years, and Hosk still didn’t know who they were or what they wanted from him.” Instead of referring to them as “them,” could you give us something to identify them? He doesn’t know much about them, but presumably he knows something if he knows they’re out there.

    “He knew, for certain, why they were chasing him.” I think this sentence could be more interesting if he revealed why they were chasing him. Be specific! 🙂

    “He had never been more scared in his life.” Could you show us he’s scared rather than tell us? (For example, maybe he starts jumping at sounds coming out of shadows, but it’s really just a cat or something).

    “A biting wind tore at his coat from behind.” I really like this. I think it sets up the atmosphere quite powerfully.

    “Carter Hosk was being hunted.” I feel like this is redundant with the first two paragraphs. It might help to develop something new about him being hunted or the guys hunting him. For example, it seems a bit unusual to me that these guys are so brazen that they’re coming after him even though there are cars whizzing past. Why don’t they care about the witnesses? (UPDATE: In hindsight, it looks like they’re cops or something similar, so I guess that makes sense).

    The exposition from the journalist strikes me as something of an info-dump.

    While police and investigators are declining to comment on the events that occurred here today, this woman,” she pulled a woman in her mid-forties into view from off-camera, “Miss Caulfield, claims to have witnessed the entire incident. This sentence is a bit awkward. It might help to split it up into two separate sentences. Maybe one showing what the witness looks like and then another one having the journalist introduce her. (Alternately, instead of having the journalist say that she witnessed the incident, you could have the witness launch into her testimony with something like “I saw the whole thing!”)

    “steam of low-intensity heat.” You might be able to replace “low-intensity” with something like “gentle.” I think that would fit in better with the imagery of the power caressing his hands like a lover.

    “only to have access to them again at the first sight of the sun.” You might be able to shorten this to something like “only to regain them at the first sight of the sun” or “only to regain them at daybreak.”

    “The rain had ceased falling”—I think falling is unnecessary here.

    I think that the ability to teleport sort of takes away from the drama of the character being hunted. It might be more interesting if we didn’t know how he was gonna get away from the guys on his tail.

  3. Koveon 05 Apr 2010 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for the input, I’ll definitely be making some changes based on the wealth of experience you have to offer.

    I didn’t really go much further, but teleporting actually has disastrous consequences. The organization that is hunting him can monitor and track enormous expenditures of energy like that. Not only does it drain him physically, but it once again alerts the pursuers to his location. Had I included more of the story, i guess you would have seen that, probably a mistake on my part.

    of course this is just my first draft and i have plenty of revisions to make. hopefully I’ll have more to add here soon and I look forward to more criticism.

    Thanks again.

  4. Koveon 05 Apr 2010 at 10:32 am

    Ok, I’ve made some changes to the majority of my text, taking into account the advice given by B.Mac earlier. I’m hoping that the additional sections of the story I’ve included this time around helps to put a few things in perspective. I’ve read the articles here about how difficult it is to limit the use of teleportation, and I believe I’ve done so effectively. If anyone has any questions or comments, or any type of criticism on my work, I welcome them with open arms.

    Chapter One

    He had been dodging them for two years, and Hosk still didn’t know who the armored men were or what they wanted from him. He knew, for certain, why they were chasing him; his reckless display of power in Nashville had revealed his existence to the public. His worry was that he had no idea what they would do once they caught him. He checked the time again, it was nearly noon. Weary, dirty, and wet from the slight drizzle that followed the thunderstorm, Hosk only wanted the chase to be over. After traveling on foot for nearly three days now, he still felt as though they were right behind him and he found himself consumed with paranoid thoughts. Twice now, he whirled quickly to defend himself from some imagined threat, only to discover it was a dog barking or a homeless man coughing. Hosk looked up from beneath the hood of the faded crimson sweatshirt worn beneath his duster and saw an overpass about a mile ahead; it would be a good place to rest and try to wait out the rain.
    Traffic whizzed by on both sides of him as he trudged along the median, his thoroughly soaked boots splashing water and mud onto his pants and the bottom of his coat. The rain was cold, though it fell lightly now, and a biting wind tore at his coat from behind. It felt more like evening than early afternoon, the overcast sky offered no warmth and very little light. It was autumn in Tennessee and Hosk would have loved to have taken more time to admire the scenery and enjoy the clean, mountain air. His plight, however, kept him from enjoying the smaller things in life.
    He saw the news report two years ago at a cafe in Knoxville and knew immediately that his life was over. The reporter stood in front of a scene of utter devastation. There were half a dozen burning buildings in the background and police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were scattered everywhere, attending to the people and the wreckage. It looked as though a war had been fought at the car dealership behind her.
    “This is Amber Giles from KPPN 5 in Knoxville,” she raised her voice a bit to be heard over the clamor of emergency services behind her. A man screamed in agony somewhere in the distance. “I’m here near the University of Tennessee campus where it appears there has been a firefight of some kind between what eyewitnesses are calling ‘armored cops’ and a freshman boy named Nelson Wright, whom many people claim to have seen fly here today.” She whirled around to look behind her, plugging her ear with a finger as a vehicle half a block from her suddenly exploded, spewing gas and flames in all directions.
    A man in some sort of unmarked tactical armor came into camera view on the right side of the screen holding an oddly-shaped black helmet. He stopped briefly and spoke with another man in identical attire, then jogged off to the left, shouting for his captain.
    Hosk wasn’t even watching the television anymore at that point; he was glancing around the room, sweat beginning to bead on his forehead. He already knew that the student from the report really had been flying. Witnesses claimed to have seen someone do something seemingly impossible, and then men in those same unmarked black uniforms appeared out of nowhere and abducted them, taking them who knows where for reasons he dared not consider. Hosk had seen enough, he distinctly remembered seeing two reports like this one before and he knew that he had good reason to be afraid. If superhumans were being hunted and captured when they displayed their powers in public, Hosk needed to make sure that he wasn’t the next victim. Hosk was only seventeen at that time, fresh out of high school, and he did what any kid would have done in the same situation. He panicked and ran. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before the black-clad men came for him as well.
    Hosk was a superhuman.
    He was born with the power, according to his father, and it manifested itself at an early age. His father taught him to carefully protect his secret and he even instructed him on the cautious use and control of his ability. Father knew that something was wrong, even then, Hosk realized. His father was always paranoid in public; he frequently changed the channel when Hosk entered the room while he was watching the news. Twice when Hosk lost control of his ability in public, the family had to move a few days later and it wasn’t until Hosk saw that news report that he came to understand why. Father was running scared, protecting us. Protecting me.
    Like father, like son, Hosk mused. Now I’m running scared, and I don’t even know who I’m running from. He settled in under the overpass, shielded from the wind and the rain by a thick stone column. Hosk pulled his duster tighter and gathered his power; he could feel it raging through his veins, coursing throughout his body. It was warm and sweet and it caressed his hands like a lover as he formed the raw power into a wide stream of soothing heat. He passed his hand over his body, drying first his hair, then his clothes. He then spent a bit more time drying his feet and boots; the boots were soaked completely through.
    The lack of sunlight wasn’t helping to improve his mood either. As far as he had managed to determine, sunlight was the raw energy source that fueled his superhuman abilities. Several times in the past he found himself unable to use his powers at night, only to regain full use of them again at dawn. It was after this happened several times that he learned how to create a ‘well’ of sorts within himself where he could store the raw energy for use at a later time. He had tapped into that well to dry himself and while the amount of energy he could store was substantial, it was very limited and would still need to be replenished as soon as he saw the sun again. He could feel the power within, writhing and thrashing about in his mind, and he knew exactly what he could accomplish with that amount of power and how long it would last.
    Hosk jerked awake at the sound of a car horn and looked immediately at his watch. I slept for two hours? Idiot! He was on his feet immediately, peering frantically in all directions for a sign of the chase. Had he lost them? Were they just waiting for him to show himself? The rain had ceased and the sun was streaming through breaks in the clouds on either side of the overpass. I need to keep moving. They’ve seen me use my power and they know who I am. The best way to stay safe is to be somewhere else when they arrive.
    He knew beforehand that saving the man in Nashville was a mistake. The bus was coming too fast, and the man was obviously blind. Hosk acted without thinking. He reached out with his power and lifted the man from the road, setting him down safely on the other side. The strain of picking the man up mentally was taxing and it winded him immediately as though he had run the distance and saved the man physically instead of using only his mind. Bystanders began to point at Hosk and shout; some even fled the scene in terror and confusion. Others were utterly astounded and came to thank the old man’s savior, but Hosk overheard one of the onlookers calling the police and he reacted immediately, frying the woman’s phone with a beam of heat from his outstretched hand and leaping to his feet. He began running, his life story, and didn’t stop for miles. On his way out of town, he glimpsed a nearly silent and odd-looking aircraft pass by overhead with four men clad in black armor and those same oddly-shaped black helmets perched on the landing struts, obviously waiting for the aircraft to land. Fear began to slither through his body at that point as the muted whine of the aircraft’s engines came closer. Calling upon his power, Hosk gathered the energy tightly about him and teleported, visualizing the Knoxville Expo Center. He couldn’t remember his arrival at all; he awoke lying on top of the monument at the Expo Center, his bones aching and his head ringing. It took a few moments of consciousness to clear the fuzziness from his head. Too far, he thought to himself, a hundred and fifty miles is just too far to teleport. I won’t be doing that again.
    He had learned his lesson about over-extending his powers and would have to explore his limits another time. For now, he needed to continue his journey and focus on remaining as hidden as he possibly could. After assuaging his fears and confirming that there was no immediate threat, Hosk turned north and began walking, thankful that the rain had finally stopped. He stepped out from beneath the relative safety of the overpass and a sudden squealing of brakes overhead startled him so thoroughly that he actually jumped. He looked up toward the railing of the interstate above, hearing the loud crunch of metal on metal and the blaring horns that usually signal an impending accident. The commotion was pierced by wailing screams of fear and agony as a green coupe tore through the railing and plunged headlong toward the street below.
    Hosk acted on instinct, throwing caution to the wind. Reaching out with his power, he fashioned a force-field beneath the vehicle, shaping it like a massive ramp to prevent the car from slamming full-force into the asphalt directly in front of him. The coupe hit the ramp with a screech of metal and the rear end was sheared clean off by the top edge of the ramp. The car landed sideways and careened out of control toward a building about a hundred feet away. With little regard for the consequences of his actions, Hosk teleported into the passenger seat of the coupe, gripping the panicked woman somewhat roughly, and teleported back out just as the car hit the concrete wall and burst into flames. He could feel the heat from the flames as he rolled clear. He let the woman break free of his grasp and drop to her knees, emptying her stomach of its contents. Teleportation is no joke, Hosk thought as he righted himself. It’ll make you sick for days if you let it.
    The only problem with teleportation is that he usually felt as though he had manually traveled the distance. His lungs burned and his body ached and he was sometimes short of breath. He could avoid these side effects if he just traveled shorter distances. The woman finally managed to stop vomiting and stared up at her rescuer, first with relief and admiration, and then fear clouded her face, tinged with alarm. She apparently registered the means of her rescue and began backing away from Hosk as he reached out to help her to her feet.
    “Are you alright?” Hosk asked, catching his breath. “That was very close.”
    “S-stay away from me!” She shouted. A crowd was gathering now and police sirens began wailing in the background. Several onlookers crowded close to Hosk, congratulating him on his rescue. Many others moved to attend to the shocked driver of the totaled coupe. “What are you? How did you do that? He’s some kind of super-powered freak! ”
    “Please, there’s no need-” Hosk paused, cocking his head slightly. The all-too-familiar whine of the pursuer’s aircraft was barely audible over the rising noise of the crowd. Hosk was already moving when he saw the craft come into view beyond the other side of the interstate, three of the armor-clad men jumping close to fifty feet to the ground to give chase. Hosk thrust his force-field outward, shoving all of the innocent people out of harm’s way as the first armored man reached him and tackled him to the ground. As they tumbled from asphalt to grass, then back to asphalt, Hosk was startled by this man’s physical prowess. Either he has powers of his own, Hosk realized, or the suit is enhancing his strength. The helmet prevented Hosk from seeing the man’s eyes, but he could hear a maniacal laugh echoing behind the glass. Twice, three times he connected with Hosk’s abdomen with nearly debilitating blows that drove the wind from his lungs. Hosk lashed out with a concentrated beam of yellow-tinted heat, blasting a hole clean through the man’s shoulder. He screamed and let go of Hosk, rolling clear of him as the second man reached Hosk and dove at him, arms outstretched. Hosk teleported two feet away, just far enough to watch the man land on his face. Movement from above caught his attention as a floating sphere came into view about twenty feet overhead. It had a single red eye at its center and its attention seemed to be divided between Hosk and the armored men. Hosk was caught completely off-guard when he heard a metallic voice shout “Run!”
    Disoriented and confused, Hosk turned to flee, deciding against attempting to gather information about these men. He took one step before one of the men latched onto his legs, clamping them together as the second man slammed into him, head-butting him full-force. Stars danced before his eyes and Hosk nearly blacked out when he felt blood pour from his nose and down his shirt. The third man joined in the fight, locking Hosk’s left arm behind his back and yanking it upward. Hosk let out a scream and his eyes began to glow with a radiant orange light as he lost what little restraint he had left. With a cry of pain and rage, he flung the men in three different directions with a massive output of telekinetic force. Struggling to his feet, Hosk limped away from the conflict, glancing back long enough to see that two of the three men were on their feet already, pulling side arms from their holsters and leveling them at him. The sphere that advised him to run was gone, its presence was a complete mystery but Hosk had no time for pondering its origins. He began running again, stumbling the first few steps, then quickly regaining his footing and moving full-speed away from the conflict. The men were already in pursuit and Hosk felt, as well as heard, projectiles of some sort whizzing past his head. He erected a force-field behind him about three inches from his body, its slight green tint assuring him that the sun still shone overhead and his powers were still at his disposal. As he ran, Hosk focused half his attention on replenishing his power-well. Clouds still dominated the sky in patches and the last thing he needed was to find himself bereft of his abilities when he needed them most.
    A sudden impact at his back sent him sprawling face-first in the mud. The force-field held, as he knew it would, but an oppressive weight landed on his back, forcing his head underwater. Hosk panicked for only a moment as the weight increased and the men grasped for his thrashing limbs, then he teleported about a hundred feet away, dropping to his knees. He expanded the protective shield around his entire body, halting his filling of the energy pool within. He looked back and saw that the men were already gaining on him and so he teleported again, this time five hundred feet down the street, taking a moment to lean on a tree and catch his breath.
    This isn’t working, Hosk thought, his mind racing. I need to get away now! This fight is exhausting me and teleporting in small jumps like this is ok, but I can’t do it indefinitely. He looked around, searching for an easy way out. The men were closing at an incredible rate and their hovercraft was already circling overhead. I don’t want to kill them because they don’t seem to want me dead, but it might be the only way to escape. I can’t let myself be caught. The realization that they weren’t trying to kill him was all the more frightening because he had no idea what they planned once he was caught. Experiments? Cloning? Maybe some kind of brainwashing? There was no way to know for sure and he had no intention of finding out. He moved again, steeling his resolve for the task ahead. He had never killed anyone before, but he never had a reason to do such a thing. This time he moved toward his armored assailants, gathering massive amounts of his power at his hands and eyes, readying himself for his first offensive strike. The men stopped about thirty feet away, glancing at one another and most likely questioning his motives, but Hosk had no way of hearing over the deafening roar of the power coursing through his body. It went from warm to hot, then to nearly burning as he channeled the power to his hands, feeling the warmth race across his skin and create a yellowish glow. Hosk calmed himself and quenched the raging inferno of his power from within, holding massive amounts of it at his fingertips.
    Hosk stared down his adversaries, getting a good look at the men for the first time. They were covered head-to-toe in armor as black as night, their masks reflecting the afternoon sun. They each had weapons of some sort at hand and were poised to strike. These men were armed to the teeth and they seemed well-trained, probably ex-military.
    “What do you want from me?” Hosk shouted, straining to keep his voice from quivering.
    “Give up!” The man in the center replied, his voice sounded strained and Hosk saw that he was bleeding heavily from the gaping hole in his shoulder. “You can’t win here and you’ve caused enough damage already!”
    “Me?” Hosk was furious. “I’ve been chased by you guys for years! And for what? For saving people’s lives? I won’t be hounded anymore!”
    Hosk released two brilliant beams of energy, incinerating the heads of the two men on either side of the speaker. He realized too late that he wasn’t going to be fast enough and the remaining man fired his weapon just as his two companions fell to the ground. A crimson lance of energy struck Hosk in the chest and the world swirled around him as he lapsed into unconsciousness.

    There is a lot more that I actually have written, I just wanted to include a bit more in the hopes of creating more of a picture of what was going on.

  5. Koveon 05 Apr 2010 at 10:39 am

    made a bit of a mistake with the earlier text, i guess i failed to copy it properly from MS Office 7. this part of the paragraph should read as follows:

    He already knew that the student from the report really had been flying as this wasn’t the first report of this kind that Hosk had seen. Witnesses claimed to have seen someone do something seemingly impossible, and then men in those same unmarked black uniforms appeared out of nowhere and abducted them, taking them who knows where for reasons he dared not consider.

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