View Full Version : Fanfic Novel Excerpt

21st Jan 2008, 05:27
The revival of the Deus Ex franchise has rekindled my interest in adapting the original game into novel form. Even if this never made it past the fanfic level, I'd like to share a bit with you guys (if nothing else, for the sake of criticism/suggestions/ideas).

Here's the rough draft of the prologue: (please forgive any formatting errors for the time being)

“You’re late.”

The unmistakable sound of a pistol hammer locking into firing position froze Harley Filben in place. Years on the street had tought him never to leave his back unchecked, especially in a dark alley such as this. Yet as he retraced his steps in his mind, he could not figure out how anyone had managed to get the drop on him- not that it mattered now. The “ping” of the slide action identified the weapon as a silenced PS-10. Government issue. Probably never been fired. Harley saw no reason to change that.

Slowly, deliberately, he raised his hands into the air and turned. The voice belonged to a face much younger than his own- in fact, were it not for the man’s neatly trimmed beard and translucent augmented eyes, Filben might have mistaken his companion for a mere boy.

A boy with a gun pointed at my head, he noted.

“I’m not late. You’re early,” Filben grumbled. “Goddamn it, Paul, you’re always early.”

Paul Denton bore little resemblance to a typical policeman. His knee-length overcoat covered an athletic physique forged by constant training. The soles of the black leather boots on his feet were coated in a thick layer of grime, a product of countless hours spent in the back-alleys and sewers of New York City. Denton had connections in every corner of the five boroughs, including several neighborhoods into which NYPD would never dare to tread. But Paul Denton was no typical policeman. He was UNATCO.

Denton surveyed the area around him once more, then lowered the pistol and stepped closer. His eyes seemed to drill deep into Filben’s skull, searching for any sign of duplicity or sudden movement and leading Harley to wonder if UNATCO might have finally developed a form of mind-reading augmentation. Breathing a deep sigh, Filben lowered his arms and held his palms outward.

“Would you take it easy already? You know I don’t carry,” Filben muttered.

“You’re sure you weren’t followed?”

“Jesus, Paulie, I thought you said this was urgent? It ain’t my first time around the block, so stop jerking me off and spill it already!” Filben barked in annoyance.

Denton moved close enough to whisper. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he removed a small microdisc and placed it firmly into Filben’s palm.

“I need you to move this for me. Get in touch with our guy in Queens. Make sure nobody handles it but him, understood?” Denton’s luminous eyes darted cautiously back and forth.

Filben looked down to the small piece of metal between his fingertips. Barely two centimeters thick, the tiny sliver of aluminum could store an incredible amount of data in digital form. Harley could only guess as to what information this particular disc might hold. His intuition told him it was something Paul Denton was very much willing to pay for.

“It’s always the same old story with you, ain’t it? You want me to stick my neck out, fine, but I want double the rate this time, up front.”

After a long hesitation, Denton reached into the opposite jacket pocket and pulled out a handful of electronic credit chits.

“You’re getting greedy in your old age, Harley.”

Filben smirked and replied, “Times are tough, pal. A man’s gotta make a living.”

“Just remember what I said about the disc,” Denton cautioned. “People’s lives depend on it.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m a consumate professional.”

Without another word, Paul Denton turned and began making his way toward the empty parking lot behind him. Filben pocketed the credits and reached for a cigarette, then paused.

“Hey Paul!” he shouted.

Denton stopped and turned his head.

“Is it true what I heard about your brother?”

Denton nodded, “He starts tomorrow. Manderley agreed to let me show him the ropes before he ships out.”

“Is he…?”

Paul nodded again before Harley could finish the question.

“Well ain’t that something? Two nano-augs in the field. Guess that makes you old news, don’t it?” Filben grunted.

Paul Denton had already begun to move out of sight. He was almost too far away to hear when Filben called out.

“Take care of the kid, Paul! There are a lot of dangerous people in this city…”

21st Jan 2008, 05:43
Great, hits the right tone and makes me want to read more (and I know there is more)! :)

21st Jan 2008, 15:10
An actually decent fanfic. Keep it up.

21st Jan 2008, 18:21
Thanks, guys! I'll go ahead and post a little more. This next segment comes from the first chapter. Again, formatting errors abound:

The rumbling of the speedboat motor dropped in pitch as the watercraft slowed to a halt near the dock. Paul Denton, standing at the edge of the pier, extended a hand to J.C. as he stepped out of the boat. Without hesitation, Paul pulled his younger brother close and hugged him.

“Paul. I thought you were in Hong Kong?” J.C. stammered, taken aback by the uncharacteristic display of affection.

Paul smiled, “C’mon, you really think I’d miss my little brother’s first day?”

“Didn’t think you’d have a choice. The TV station said the Triads are making a real mess of things over there.”

So much had changed since Paul first joined the Coalition. Standing on the dock, with a cold east wind cutting through the lining of his leather jacket, J.C. could not shake the feeling that the face before him belonged to someone other than his brother. Gone was the mischevious, almost irrespressible grin which once distinguished Paul Denton from his peers. A neatly trimmed beard replaced the stubbled chin of his teenage years, and his brow remained furrowed even as he smiled. But his eyes, now illuminated by the glow of tiny nanoscale photoreceptors, still flickered with the keen intelligence which first caught the attention of UNATCO’s recruiters.

“The Triads are a problem, but we can talk more about that later. How was your graduation?” Paul seemed eager to change the subject. “At the time I could’ve cared less that Mom and Dad came to mine. I wish somebody could’ve been there for you.”

“I’m used to being on my own.”

Paul looked away for a moment, “One can become too self-sufficient, I’m beginning to believe.”

The brothers shared a heavy pause. J.C.’s thoughts drifted to another eventful day seven years ago, when a fatal car wreck had set his feet upon a far different path to the Coalition.

“I wonder what Dad would say if he were here?” J.C. pondered aloud.

Something tugged at the corners of Paul’s eyes, a flicker of pain emanating from wounds long scarred over. Then, in an instant, it was gone. “He’d be proud, that much I know. Mom, too. This is what they wanted, after all.”

“You believe that?”

Paul grimaced once again. “I have to.”

The wail of a cargo freighter’s signal horn resonated across the bay, shattering the silence which followed Paul’s reply.

Shaken from his reverie, Paul clapped his brother on the shoulder, “C’mon, kid. Enough standing around out here in the damn cold. It’s time to go to work.”

The brothers made their way up the length of the pier and approached the stone wall surrounding the island perimeter, where a bipedal Bravo-3 “Peacebringer” security bot stood watch next to the gate at the compound’s southern entrance. The bots, manufactured by Page Industries and deployed by numerous law enforcement agencies across the globe, were often described as a “walking turrets” by UNATCO infantrymen. An air-cooled 7.62x51mm mini-gun hung suspended beneath an optical imaging package used to analyze potential targets.

As J.C. approached the security checkpoint, the bot’s single red “eye” swiveled to follow every step of his movement. The Bravo-3’s simple but effective artificial intelligence system could be programmed to cross-check thousands of visual records in less than a few seconds, providing police with a valuable tool for crowd control and static defense. Paul motioned for his brother to stop as the bot scanned J.C.’s retinal patterns for a potential match within the U.N. database.

A deep, electronic voice rumbled through the bot’s external speaker system, “ID confirmed. Agent J.C. Denton approved for entry.”

Inside the gate station nearby, two UNATCO troopers peered out through a reinforced glass window. One of the men tossed a casual salute in Paul’s direction, then signaled for the Denton brothers to approach.

“Don’t let Ginger bother you, Agent. She’s just getting acquainted.”

J.C. kept one eye on the barrel of the bot’s mini-gun as he slid his identity badge beneath the opening in the window.

“Always nice to meet a kindred spirit,” he quipped.

21st Jan 2008, 21:57
Haven't I heard this somewhere before? :lol:

21st Jan 2008, 22:11
Hehehe, yes, those of you who lurk about the OTP forums (or are kind enough to grace the Man in Black forums from time to time) have probably read most of this already. :D


22nd Jan 2008, 19:42
Here's a bit from Chapter Two:

‘Ton Hotel, Hell’s Kitchen
New York City, NY

Pain flashed through the nerves of Trevor Maddox’s arm as the needle pierced the skin and moved into the vein beneath. With the syringe gripped tightly between the fingers of his right hand, he pressed down on the plunger and clutched his left hand into a fist.

A rush of adrenaline struck him like a hammer blow to the face. He inhaled deeply, allowing the chemicals to cycle through his body and carry him far away from the dingy hotel room surrounding him. The static-filled hum of a broken television set in the corner began to fade further and further into the background. Peeling wallpaper swam and danced before his eyes. Within seconds, the pain in his arm transformed into a feeling of euphoric bliss.
The zyme was pure grade, not the cheap, half-cut street blend he was accustomed to.

As his pupils began to dilate, Trevor fell back on to the sweat-stained mattress and spread his arms out wide to embrace the blackness…

Two doors down the hallway, a group of men gathered around a map spread out across the floor. The room was dark except for a small portable lantern and a few beams of moonlight peeking through the boarded windows. A heavy chair had been pushed against the door to prevent forced entry. Three men with masked faces stood watch nearby, gloved fingers gripping the automatic rifles slung under their shoulders.

Leaning against the wall near the back of the room, Decker Parkes struggled to suppress his desire for a shot of liquor to calm his nerves. Not tonight, he reminded himself. You’ve got to be sharp, got to be ready for anything.

The tattered Army jacket he wore did little to keep out the chill seeping into the poorly insulated hotel room. Instinctively, he crossed his arms tight around his chest and stamped his feet to maintain as much warmth as possible. One of his fingers brushed against the cold metal of the 9mm semi-automatic strapped to a holster beneath his left arm. Ready for anything.

Each of the men in the room had been with Decker from the very beginning. He’d watched as they grew strong as a unit, learning and adapting to the dangerous game they played with the police every waking minute of their lives. Decker had chosen to organize his cell around the model of an army squadron, with three separate fireteams each reporting to a section leader. He felt great confidence in their ability to survive the upcoming operation.

That confidence did not extend to the rest of the National Secessionist Forces. The NSF valued limited action above a full-scale engagement, but firefights with the police were already becoming more frequent as the rebels expanded their influence over New York City’s underground. Desperate to increase their numbers in the face of mounting casualties, the NSF now provided weapons to anyone who showed an interest in causing trouble for the police. The rebel leaders saw this as a means to an end, but Decker knew these street thugs were more concerned with lining their own pockets than any political agenda.

A knock on the door snapped Decker from his reverie. The men standing guard raised their rifles. Three of the section commanders on the floor froze in place. The fourth removed a cigarette lighter and held it above the map, ready to destroy any evidence of their plans should the signal be given. Decker gave no such sign. Instead, he made his way to the door, motioning for the gunmen to lower their weapons. The police don’t knock in Hell’s Kitchen.

One of the guards moved the chair blocking the door, then stepped aside. Decker cracked the door open wide enough to peer out into the hallway, where a familiar face awaited him.

5th Feb 2008, 21:53

I've just read your first text and it's great, one thing though:

-“Well ain’t that something? Two nano-augs in the field. Guess that makes you old news, don’t it?” Filben grunted.

From my point of view, Paul would have been amused, he would have slighty grinned. But that's just my opinion. Onto the others now I guess!

7th Feb 2008, 04:51
Thanks, jordan. I'm aiming at a trilogy, but of course, I should probably focus on finishing the first book before getting too far ahead of myself.


7th Feb 2008, 06:33
Very cool, I enjoyed reading those bits, but like Fox said, I want more! :D