Showing posts in category Story Mode

antares: purpose

[story mode] want to start from the beginning?

Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Professor Grossman tilts up onto the tips of his toes and shifts his weight from one leg to the next.

1700?  2000?

It is a rough count.  Peering over the room was not easy with the towering speakers blocking his view of the entire left side.  He stands at the bottom of a set of steps that would soon lead him onto the makeshift stage, commonplace for a conference room as such, even if this hadn’t been expanded twice the normal size to meet demand for his talk.  A technical glitch with the microphones gave him ample time to take in the audience, something he never did in his own lecture hall.  He catches himself grinding his palms together.


antares: the vet

[story mode] want to start from the beginning?

Hilton Boston Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

“It’s your money I’m throwing around,” Arthur jokes.  Thomas is right, the hotel suite Arthur, Thomas, and Sean Patrick now share seated around an oversized coffee table has that was-a-smoking-room tinge.  Arthur cashed in a major favor, but with the biggest symposium in Earth’s history taking place across the street, and a public announcement in Government Center expected to draw millions the following day, people were grabbing up anything that wasn’t nailed down, whether that be cups of coffee, T fares, or hotel suites.  With Earth’s longevity now clear, there wasn’t much point in holding onto major favors, and he took what he could get.

“Don’t worry,” Sean reassures Thomas.  “We hired a team to shoot Professor Grossman’s keynote.  We’ll have the video uploaded to your DropBox immediately after our meeting with Liv.”  The three of them had been tied at the hip since Grossman’s MIT lecture, preparing for the public announcement tomorrow.  Still, these little details always caught Thomas pleasantly surprised.


antares: buyout

[story mode] want to start from the beginning?

WHDH-TV NBC 7, Boston, Massachusetts

“Liv, if you’re done napping, come down to the front desk.”

“Get some new material, Marv.”  The joke was just as unfunny yesterday.  Liv looks down over the balcony at the bustling newsroom floor.  She sees Marvin Green, WHDH Station Manager, taking a quick break from assigning segments for the 5PM broadcast to look back up at her.

“Now, Liv.”

I guess the kid gloves are off.

She takes the open air steps to the main floor two at a time, a show that her momentary lapse, although poorly timed, was in fact momentary.

As she approaches, Marv continues to address the team.

“Any video that hits Youtube, Facebook, wherever, I own the exclusive by 4:59.  Signed contracts and videos pulled.  Kim, Tom, you’re the eyes.  Brendon, Jamie, you close the deals.  This is our town.  Anyone who wants video roll from Grossman’s lecture must go through us.  Understood?”


Antares: The Lecture

[story mode] want to start at the beginning?

Institute for Astrophysics, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

John walks to the podium in front of the lecture hall before looking up to access his audience.  It’s his ritual, seeded in the belief that one day he’d look up and there would be no one there.  That would be his last day as an adjunct professor at MIT.

Today would not be that day.  His class had tripled in size since he suspended lectures three weeks ago.  His course “Antares and Supergiants”  needed a complete rework since the announcement.  His students would want to know what was happening, and the global astronomer’s community decided to collectively “pause” the dissemination of information until all research, findings, and theories could be discussed internally.  John is one of the 112 astronomers and scholars invited to the private listserv, his 10-year study on star life cycles and supergiants a major input to that discussion.


Antares: Traffic Report

[story mode] want to start from the beginning?

WHDH-TV NBC 7, Boston, Massachusetts

Liv’s brain hurt.  Not a dull headache hurt, but the kind of sharp stabbing pain that makes your stomach quease any time you move.  She looks across the room at the wall of televisions, streaming non-stop coverage.  It had been this way since the story broke.  First MSNBC.  Then Fox.  Then by the time CNN had it, WHDH-7 was all hands on deck.  They even woke up Sam, Liv’s 5AM shift partner who had been sleeping in the basement coffee shop after an ugly split with his wife.  Since the news broke, for what sleep was to be had, he savored at home.  So there’s that.

Liv checks the mirror a final time before her cut-in during the Today Show.  It was only a three minute segment, but it was dedicated to her traffic report.  If she wants a shot to jump from the balcony’s green screen down to the main floor’s news desk, she has to nail the details every single time.  There wasn’t much competition.  She is the youngest and prettiest of the on-air talent.  But this is NBC, not FOX, and youth always gives way to the hardened veterans.  That and the brass is not terribly fond of her personal instagram account.  But if they weren’t going to feature her, she’d do the job herself.


Antares: Patrick Bale Agency

[story mode] want to start from the beginning?

Patrick Bale Agency, Boston, Massachusetts

“We need a face if this thing is going to work.”

Arthur Bale scans the room passing from person to person looking for a response.  What he offered wasn’t that novel of an idea.  He’s an ad man.  And that’s what ad men do, recommend things like faces and boobs and bigger and more thinking.  Yet the room isn’t following.  He lands on Thomas Motley, newly anointed Chief Marketing Officer for the Human Preservation Agency, the US government’s response to the current crisis.  Next to Arthur, he’s the biggest balls in the room.

“We came for your expertise, Arthur.  I could get an intern to suggest a spokesperson PSA.”  Motley’s team hadn’t traveled far to the doors of Patrick Bale, an independent ad agency in the heart of Boston Common.  It’s a straight shot on Amtrak up the Northeast Corridor.  But he provided Arthur little notice about the visit, a single text message as he boarded the train.  And yet he still expects more.

Arthur continues, “Not a spokesperson.  Not a PSA.  A face.”


Antares: Introduction

[story mode] Start Here.

You have ten years left to live.  The day, the date, the time, they are all set.  You are told this by the news, a friend, a teacher, a lover.  You hear the words, maybe they’re repeated, maybe not.  They are foggy at best.  Grey.  Cloudy.  Dazed.  You now have a clock that runs in the back of your head.  Every morning, tick tock, and every evening, tick tock.  Never to stop.  Until your time is up.

Imagine if everyone everywhere was told this same thing.  10 years.  The end.  The earth will no more be.  Not a disease or sickness that breeds hope and unity around a cause.  No more Earth.  Everything gone.

What does humanity do with it’s remaining time?

[story mode] continue.


On tech blogs and procrastination.

For those of you who write tech blogs, we salute you.  Without you, we wouldn’t know our bitcoins from our bitmaps.  When we set out to cover all the tech that we’ve been pushing lately, like core data in enterprise applications and continuous integration with Jenkins and component-based architecture in Unity, we blanked.  The words wouldn’t come to us.  Then we stalled.  Hard stalled.  The kind of epic stalling you only come across in 3-year-old first-born sons learning to potty train.  And then we wrote a story about 3-year-old first-born sons forming a big wheel gang dressed in full larping regalia unleashing every fire hydrant in the city, dropping the water table well below what’s necessary to keep the toilets flushing properly.  And while that story will remain under wraps until we find complimentary stock photography, we started writing another story that we think might tickle some fancies.  We’ll post as we write, and sometimes we might go back and rewrite.  So without further ado (and this has been some serious ado’ing), we present @lilwins’ first foray into self-published creative writing, the story of Antares.