Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout


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Post October 17, 2011, 04:36:14 PM

Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

I found this one a bit tricky to get into at first. I think it was all the military lingo, maybe a bit too long in the set-up.

However, after the 'thing' happened, it got quite interesting. I especially liked all the drama about keeping Corporal Florek in protective custody. I expected attack helicopters and black-op hit squads, which didn't materialise.

I found the ending a bit anti-climactic but it rounded out the story quite well. Almost an 'X-Files' type finish, you could imagine the camera panning along a row of boxes in a dusty Archive before stopping at a box labelled 'Project INITIATIVE'.

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Post October 17, 2011, 07:51:46 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Thanks much for the critique. I actually borrowed the final scene in the epilogue from the Indiana Jones flick Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Ark of the Covenant is seen resting on a long shelf crammed with other rejected "Top Secret" projects.

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Post October 27, 2011, 09:36:40 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Quite well done, but in the beginning, I found myself scrolling back up to look at the timeline.

And then, I kept wondering if all the fuss was quite realistic under the circumstances. I'm still not sure about that -- I mean, this was a drug experiment, not a shockingly destructive device of some sort.

Nice job, otherwise.
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Post October 27, 2011, 11:15:42 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Lester Curtis wrote:Quite well done, but in the beginning, I found myself scrolling back up to look at the timeline.

And then, I kept wondering if all the fuss was quite realistic under the circumstances. I'm still not sure about that -- I mean, this was a drug experiment, not a shockingly destructive device of some sort.

Nice job, otherwise.


In Marvel Comics terminology, the Project was a crude attempt at creating a supersoldier formula. The recent "Captain America" movie suggests that Captain America's greatest foe was created by an earlier, flawed version of the process that turned Steve Rogers from a sub-98-pound weakling into the world's greatest fighting machine. The monster known as the "Man-Thing" was (at least originally) created by a failed attempt to recreate the Captain America formula interacting with the peculiar (mystical / cosmic) properties of the swamplands surrounding the secret lab. ("Venom", the steroid / stimulant cocktail that allowed the villain Bane to defeat Batman in close combat, is a variation on the same theme.)

The story illustrates the point that the military mind would continue to try to exploit the formula tested with such disastrous results because it WORKED, in many ways: those dosed with the drug were stronger, faster, smarter, and more ruthless. The fact that they also became violently psychotic would be viewed by some as a GOOD THING... Not so good for the soldiers themselves, but in West Point think, the lives of individual soldiers are just numbers in a zero-sum calculation where the winner in a conflict is the last one standing (with men and materiel still available when the enemy's resources have been exhausted).

What do YOU think the Pentagon would do if it had a formula that could make an ordinary grunt into a two-legged WMD?

RM
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Post October 29, 2011, 02:29:54 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Robert, this reminds me of a story of mine from the June 2008 issue, Green T. Government scientists implanted thymus tissue recovered from the crashed UFO pilot at Roswell in 1947. It took over the immune systems of a teenager and transformed him into a strong, aggressive and hostile individual immune to bacterial and viral diseases. A female developed similar characteristics and was impregnated by the male. Supersoldiers thus were created under Department of Defense supervisions.

Maybe we can get some input from Bill Wolfe.

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Post October 29, 2011, 07:50:14 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

gino_ss wrote:Robert, this reminds me of a story of mine from the June 2008 issue, Green T. Government scientists implanted thymus tissue recovered from the crashed UFO pilot at Roswell in 1947. It took over the immune systems of a teenager and transformed him into a strong, aggressive and hostile individual immune to bacterial and viral diseases. A female developed similar characteristics and was impregnated by the male. Supersoldiers thus were created under Department of Defense supervisions.

Maybe we can get some input from Bill Wolfe.

gino


Uh oh -- your story reminds you of your earlier story? Dum dum daaaaaaaa (ominous music)..
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Post November 03, 2011, 08:21:20 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Pretty well written, had a good plot going, but the ending just felt too quickly wrapped up. In the beginning you could feel the challenges awaiting the general, but as he hunted for answers it just seemed like things fell into place and were resolved without any duress on the part of the characters. Though the last bit made up for the all too happy ending.
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Post November 04, 2011, 01:34:22 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Well said. In retrospect, my main criticism of my own story is that the epilogue is much like the end of a screenplay where the outcomes of the individual characters appear over the closing credits of a film. The final lines are, however, quite ominous.

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Post November 13, 2011, 12:42:21 PM

Re: Project INITIATIVE By E. S. Strout

Robert_Moriyama wrote:
gino_ss wrote:Robert, this reminds me of a story of mine from the June 2008 issue, Green T. Government scientists implanted thymus tissue recovered from the crashed UFO pilot at Roswell in 1947. It took over the immune systems of a teenager and transformed him into a strong, aggressive and hostile individual immune to bacterial and viral diseases. A female developed similar characteristics and was impregnated by the male. Supersoldiers thus were created under Department of Defense supervisions.

Maybe we can get some input from Bill Wolfe.

gino


Uh oh -- your story reminds you of your earlier story? Dum dum daaaaaaaa (ominous music)..


Nah, good writers often revisit their earlier themes, with an eye to a fresh angle in the new piece. After all, wouldn't Asimov have been "reminded" of his earlier Robot stories?

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