Archive for April 11th, 2012

Free Write #20: Keeping Score

by on Apr.11, 2012, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Gotta get this done before I eat. Enjoy!


Keeping Score
By Nojh Livic

“A22,” Clark said, leaning forward slightly in anticipation. Andy’s eyes searched the grid in front of him. He cringed dramatically and pressed a button on his console.

“Hit,” Andy sounded resigned but Clark grinned in excitement.

“A23,” Clark said with only slightly concealed glee.



“Score. Carrier 3.” Andy’s shoulders had slumped and he was hunched over his console.

“That just leaves your support vessel,” Clark reminded his opponent. His attention was half on Andy, half on the grid in front of him. The little abstract symbols representing his opponent’s various units. All but one group had a red outline while his own units remained a nice neutral blue, showing Andy’s superior strategic skills.

“C1,” Andy said after taking a sip from his cup of coffee. There was a pause and Andy lifted his head from his console to look over at his opponent. “Clark? C1.”

“Score. Support Group 3, 4, 2, and Carrier 5.” Clark intoned, his voice barely audible, his face hidden from Andy by his own console. Andy gaped in astonishment.

“You mean you-” Andy began but Clark raised his head and glared back in response. Andy quickly ducked and began searching his grid, now that he understood his opponent’s supposedly superior strategy.


“Score. Support Group 1. Frigates 1 through 4.”


“Score. Carrier 3 and 4.”

Clark watched his forces slowly disappear in gleaming red borders, his face becoming more and more flushed with each score. Systematically Andy discovered all the pocket grid points that would allow multiple units to cluster and targeted them until all but one of  his units remained. He had yet to discover where Andy’s last support vessel was hiding.

“I’m sorry to interrupt gentlemen,” a female voice intoned over a speaker in the war room. Clark looked up towards the ceiling, momentarily distracted from making what he was sure his last decision. Andy too looked up.

“I regret to inform you that we have received communications from Commander Clark’s homeworld. A cease-fire has been declared effective two standard hours ago. Your battle shall now be terminated.” To punctuate her words, both consoles flickered and ceased projecting the battle grids. “Thank you for using WarCom’s intergalactic battle command center. We hope you will consider our services for your future intergalactic conquest needs. Please follow the blue and yellow lines respectively to your delegations.”

“Close one,” Andy said as they stood up, gathering its things.

“Yeah,” Clark said, offering a shaky smile.

“Same time next week? Assuming negotiations break down?” Andy asked, offering a hand.

“Sure. Your turn to bring the coffee though.” Clark shook his hand.


Ever seen a movie called Robot Jox? It was about nations of the world using giant robots to determine the outcomes of war. People controlled the robots from inside them. It was very cheesy but I loved it as a kid. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of civilized warfare. So the question remains, were they actually controlling real forces or was it all simulated?

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