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#1 2017-03-15 22:10:26

Bridget
Barmaid
From: The Internet
Registered: 2006-09-09
Posts: 674
Website

Agent of Change

Agent of Change

When Nick Shilling goes to church camp, he only expects a couple weeks of peace and quiet away from his father.

As things turn from church camp to frat party, however, Nick can't figure out what's going on.  Especially because it's clear that the adults are just going to go along with it.

Shortly thereafter, Nick learns he's got some new friends from out of town, and they have some things they'd like him to do for them.  To help out, they're going to give him a few new abilities to pull it off.

What follows is a mix of the serious, the silly and the surreal.  Can Nick prepare the way for things to come, or will he be discovered?

AUTHOR'S NOTE
This story is not intended to be as serious as some of my other works.  Many technical details will be omitted, altered, or just outright gotten wrong, for the sake of keeping the story simple, since it isn't really about the technology, or the politics, it's about the people.

This story was in part inspired by two other stories that I happen to like.  One finished: They Talked Themselves Into It, and one not: Crystal Control.  Both can be found at MCStories.  This is not an attempt to retell those stories, it is just the tale that was born in my head after reading them.


Please read The Mystic Wolf Pub Critiquing Guide.

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#2 2017-03-16 02:20:20

trknup
Inebriated
Registered: 2013-05-11
Posts: 23

Re: Agent of Change

Interesting start of a new story. Can't wait to see where this goes.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#3 2017-03-16 12:03:50

Drowsy
Inebriated
Registered: 2011-10-09
Posts: 24

Re: Agent of Change

Interesting start, looking forward to more.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#4 2017-03-16 20:54:11

ChiefRock
Wasted
From: Oklahoma
Registered: 2010-11-29
Posts: 215

Re: Agent of Change

I think it will be good Eric. I can see several options you can explore to keep interest. I am not sure where your going with government control but I caught your warning this is just for fun and can deal with that. Idea shows promise.

(posted from the Item Information Page)


My worst day at sea is better than my best day ashore
I found a home in the navy-but they land airplanes on my roof

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#5 2017-03-17 01:51:31

Jacob_McCandles
Tipsy
Registered: 2014-10-12
Posts: 2

Re: Agent of Change

I like it.

(posted from Chapter 1)

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#6 2017-03-18 21:15:08

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Agent of Change

So glad to see new stories coming in after believing we were only getting the continuation of Woodward(amazing book). Does make staying away for days at a time hard however.  Reminds me of a movie/tv series, but I like the way this is coming together, I really look forward to the rest of the series.

(posted from Chapter 1)

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#7 2017-03-23 05:59:43

Ehanson702
Tipsy
Registered: 2017-01-04
Posts: 4

Re: Agent of Change

Looking good so far.  I like that there are may sub threads that can be developed in this story.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#8 2017-03-24 15:04:59

StoryJunkie
Wasted
Registered: 2010-12-31
Posts: 191

Re: Agent of Change

This seems like an interesting read, I haven't read much in the way of Mind Control stories for a while now, but this really does look interesting. Can't wait for more.

(posted from Chapter 1)

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#9 2017-03-28 00:07:17

SlaveMaster
Wasted
From: London, Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2006-12-05
Posts: 106

Re: Agent of Change

This is going to be fun series just saying.


Welcome to The Mystic Wolf Pub

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#10 2017-04-09 09:07:25

Timberwolf92
Inebriated
From: Canton, New York
Registered: 2015-12-10
Posts: 81

Re: Agent of Change

Gripping start Eric. Hoping all is well. As life has stomped me down a few times this month it was great to escape for a while.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#11 2017-04-16 16:58:56

Homeinindy2
Tipsy
Registered: 2016-06-29
Posts: 8

Re: Agent of Change

I can not wait for the next.  I always anticipate your stories each month.  One of the great highlights.

(posted from Chapter 2)

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#12 2017-04-16 17:38:09

thehilz
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2010-09-06
Posts: 352

Re: Agent of Change

Really enjoyed the start of this story. Can't wait for next month's chapter.

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#13 2017-04-29 11:03:32

Neitherspace
Completely Blotto
From: Silver City
Registered: 2006-12-03
Posts: 575

Re: Agent of Change

Haely was a good call she will be useful id sugest that nick "invents" some tech to help her

(posted from Chapter 2)


"I figure that if you can't write decent dialogue for the devil, maybe you shouldn't be a writer."-Richard Kadrey

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#14 2017-05-16 07:17:12

ChiefRock
Wasted
From: Oklahoma
Registered: 2010-11-29
Posts: 215

Re: Agent of Change

Eric I can see this story going for a bit and developing in ways no one could predict. Honestly I can find nothing to suggest your flow and story line are as usual excellent.

(posted from the Item Information Page)


My worst day at sea is better than my best day ashore
I found a home in the navy-but they land airplanes on my roof

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#15 2017-05-16 13:05:40

thehilz
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2010-09-06
Posts: 352

Re: Agent of Change

Enjoyed the new chapter. Hope you muse continues to treat you well.

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#16 2017-05-17 17:52:18

Rescue25
Wasted
Registered: 2014-07-06
Posts: 122

Re: Agent of Change

Good start.  Hope you will continue with MANY more chapters.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#17 2017-05-18 08:32:07

StoryJunkie
Wasted
Registered: 2010-12-31
Posts: 191

Re: Agent of Change

I'm liking this story Eric, glad to see you still have some muse working.

(posted from Chapter 3)

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#18 2017-05-19 08:25:18

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Agent of Change

Aside from my own personal issues with the story, it's a great read. My personal issues are tiny things like, getting things going is just a little to easy for him. But, first it is fiction, and second he does have a symbiote (Spelling) that can control peoples minds basically so i should assume things will be easy for him. I guess that is actually my only issue with it, beyond that, it's fiction so basically everything else is plausible. It reads smoothly and there is a lot of attraction to the story line and characters. Hope it keeps going smoothly. Sorry if i seem rude.

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#19 2017-05-19 18:48:20

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Agent of Change

Okay, Let's clear THIS one up right now, because I'm not going to spend an entire story defending this choice:

Elessar wrote:

and second he does have a symbiote (Spelling)

(emphasis added)

HOWEVER...

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of symbiote
    :  symbiont

By this, I take them to mean that "symbiont" is, in fact, the preferred spelling, since...

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of symbiont
    :  an organism living in symbiosis; especially :  the smaller member of a symbiotic pair

Note on which variant the actual definition lies.

I'll also note that the Wikipedia article on symbiosis uses the word "symbiont", not "symbiote" to describe members of a symbiotic relationship.

I had originally spelled this "symbiote" in the story, assuming it was the correct way and that Deep Space Nine was just being weird.  Turns out, they were not. 

Take away from all of this: Before you complain about someone's spelling, make damned sure they're wrong, first.

Now, as to the ease with which he got things going:  Did you REALLY want to read entire chapters about him trying to find ways to get started?  Where would have been the interest in reading that?  I freely admit that I eliminated any repeated "no, this way won't work, either" scenes for either the building or getting into City Hall.  The reason is simply that him getting to those places wasn't really the "point" of the story, and stretching out those issues didn't serve a purpose.  I could have had him looking through a half-dozen empty buildings before he found the one he wanted... but why?  What does it serve?  Similarly, I could have had him struggling to find a way to get into City Hall.  But ultimately, if he had to, he would have just found a way to mind-control things to get what he wanted, so that, too, didn't really serve a purpose.

As I pointed out in my description, this story is not as serious as some of my other works.  That's, in fact, the entire point of it: to give me something to relax a little bit with and not have to work so hard at.

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#20 2017-05-22 06:02:44

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Agent of Change

Alright, first I apologize for the misunderstanding with the word Symbiote. I had added the (spelling) bit and forgot to put the (?) at the end, I was trying to say that I didn't know if that was the right word or not. I was at no point trying to insult you or anything along those lines.

Now as you are actually asking the question, yes I PERSONALLY, wouldn't mind a little more background and seeing some failures before the ultimate success. As for what it serves, well to me it would show he does make many mistakes and it connects with me as a reader more then just getting it done his first try.

If I remember right he was still waiting for the symbiont to heal, course that may have happened faster then I thought it would. I THOUGHT the chapter previously said it would take a couple weeks but I'm unsure of the length of time that has passed.

I apologize for any misunderstandings.

Eric Storm wrote:

Okay, Let's clear THIS one up right now, because I'm not going to spend an entire story defending this choice:

Elessar wrote:

and second he does have a symbiote (Spelling)

(emphasis added)

HOWEVER...

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of symbiote
    :  symbiont

By this, I take them to mean that "symbiont" is, in fact, the preferred spelling, since...

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of symbiont
    :  an organism living in symbiosis; especially :  the smaller member of a symbiotic pair

Note on which variant the actual definition lies.

I'll also note that the Wikipedia article on symbiosis uses the word "symbiont", not "symbiote" to describe members of a symbiotic relationship.

I had originally spelled this "symbiote" in the story, assuming it was the correct way and that Deep Space Nine was just being weird.  Turns out, they were not. 

Take away from all of this: Before you complain about someone's spelling, make damned sure they're wrong, first.

Now, as to the ease with which he got things going:  Did you REALLY want to read entire chapters about him trying to find ways to get started?  Where would have been the interest in reading that?  I freely admit that I eliminated any repeated "no, this way won't work, either" scenes for either the building or getting into City Hall.  The reason is simply that him getting to those places wasn't really the "point" of the story, and stretching out those issues didn't serve a purpose.  I could have had him looking through a half-dozen empty buildings before he found the one he wanted... but why?  What does it serve?  Similarly, I could have had him struggling to find a way to get into City Hall.  But ultimately, if he had to, he would have just found a way to mind-control things to get what he wanted, so that, too, didn't really serve a purpose.

As I pointed out in my description, this story is not as serious as some of my other works.  That's, in fact, the entire point of it: to give me something to relax a little bit with and not have to work so hard at.

Eric Storm

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#21 2017-05-22 07:00:36

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Agent of Change

Yes, that ? would have made all the difference.  It would have changed what was a "you didn't spell this right!" comment into an "is that the way it's supposed to be spelled?" question, which I would have reacted very differently to.

As to your other issue:

The symbiont didn't need time to heal.  Nick needed time to recover from the joining, but that happened before church camp ever ended.  The symbiont merely had to finish the joining, and that happened before Nick could even start recovering.  So, if your thought was that Nick would be making mistakes because he wasn't yet fully "together" with his symbiont, that simply wasn't the case.  I think what you may be getting confused with is that Nick's need for sleep would reduce over the "next few weeks", but that's not an indication of a need to heal, just the process by which his body adjusts.

And the thing is that the repetition you seek would not have been Nick making mistakes.  It would have been him looking at a building and saying, "Nope, this one doesn't work", and then moving on to the next one... and doing the exact same thing, until he found one that was suitable.  Once he had found a suitable building, he used his spy and his mind control powers to get what he wanted.  That process could not be seen to be untrustworthy, or it would have destroyed the entire rest of the story.  Nick's mind control, and Hayley, are basically what are going to allow him to do what he needs to do.  If he can't rely on them even for something this simple, he's nowhere, and wouldn't have the ability to rely on them to handle anything in the future.

As to the city hall thing... what other way would you have liked him to have tried?  He went to city hall and asked, "Is there a way I can get involved with the government?"  If there was, they were the ones who were going to have that answer.  Did you want me to force him to work behind the scenes entirely?  How would that really have been that much more difficult or troublesome for him?  And, again, it would not have been him "making mistakes".  It would simply have been him not finding a suitable opportunity, and so having to choose another method.

In other words, the repetition wouldn't be learning experiences for Nick, and they wouldn't really result in character growth.  They also most likely would not have helped you connect with the character, because they wouldn't be the "mistakes" you are advocating.  How does one make a mistake, really, in picking a building, when you know what you're looking for and price is not an object?  You just keep looking until you find one that meets your needs.

In any case, Nick will have problems enough in the future, but they're most likely to be of the relationship type until he gets heavily involved in government above the local level.

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
----
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#22 2017-05-22 13:57:07

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Agent of Change

I understand.

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#23 2017-06-18 23:35:25

StoryJunkie
Wasted
Registered: 2010-12-31
Posts: 191

Re: Agent of Change

I liked this chapter, this story is looking more and more interesting as it goes.

(posted from Chapter 4)

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#24 2017-06-19 01:20:02

thehilz
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2010-09-06
Posts: 352

Re: Agent of Change

I'm am enjoying how the story is progressing. Keep up the good work.

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#25 2017-06-19 11:44:02

Crusader
Wasted
From: Madison, WI
Registered: 2007-07-19
Posts: 154

Re: Agent of Change

You have written Teresa very well, assuming you were going for just a rebelling teen and not someone who was really thinking about no longer being a theist.

I would write more on this but my bus stop is arriving and I need to walk 30 min.

(posted from Chapter 4)

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