Counted Blessings (Story)

Joeyray's Bar
Hey guys,

This is my second Starcraft based short story. This one is pretty short. Only a few posts (Probably around 6-8 mediocre posts). This one features some of my most in-depth and favorite characters ever written.

If I had to choose which one got more reads between the two short stories I'm writing right now, I'd choose this one. I think it's better for several reasons. The plot is simple and planned. The characters are intriguing and real.

Anyways, I'd really appreciate it if you guys gave this a once-over. Your approval means a lot to me and I am confident I could be a very successful writer if you guys would just throw me a bone every once in awhile.


Official Story Posts

December 23, 2500
2:34 AM
Bridgeport, Tarsonis

Downing a shot glass full to the brim with whiskey, Daniel Mar slapped the glass on the counter and heaved a sigh. Some nights were better than others and this was definitely not a better night. It was sixty degrees in Bridgeport, a small town on the ruins of Tarsonis. Daniel had experienced many nights like it. Tonight was no different than the average night. The realization of this reoccurring norm came to Daniel’s attention. He spent nearly every night in the past month alone on the very stool he sat on.

Ever since Jennifer was taken from him, it’s all he could think about. That and his next fix for a drink. Daniel could still hear her yelling at him in their old apartment’s living room. In reality, she hardly rose her voice. Daniel had come home in a drunken haze and she finally snapped. Just upped and left.
This had been Daniel’s seventh broken promise to her. He vowed to stop drinking and to spend more time with Jennifer. He did neither. Instead, he spent the night on the street, too drunk to walk home. It only took a few hours after that for Daniel to rethink his life. Daniel could still feel his heart drop when he heard the news. It had come from a bartender.

“Jennifer took the last shuttle off-world.” Said the overweight bartender as he cleaned a glass, “She told me to tell you that she went to visit her mom back on Korhal. She’s in the hospital.”

“How did she know I was going to be here?” Daniel asked, tone dripping in a mixture between fury and sorrow. The bartender gave him a shameful look before returning to his glass-cleaning. He was at the bar more often than not. Everyone knew where to find Daniel. After the conversation, Daniel stormed home. He didn’t leave for three days. It was then when Ruth broke the news to him.

Daniel could still remember the anticipation he felt when someone knocked on his door a few days later.
“Jennifer’s shuttle was scheduled back yesterday.” Ruth told him. “It’s remains were found by a salvage team.” Jennifer’s body was never found. After Ruth left, Daniel shot each and every bottle of alcohol on his shelf from his reclining chair with his T10 pistol before breaking down into tears. Jennifer was the only beam of light in his pitiful life.

Months later, nothing has changed. With nothing to live for and no reason to live, Daniel spent the rest of his retirement money on alcohol. Drowning in memories of the brood wars and still hearing Jennifer’s voice in the back of his head, Daniel would close his eyes and wait to die every night. Every morning he would wake up and spend the day at the bar. Occasionally he would work out in the morning. Old habits die hard, as they say.

Light pierced the dark dingy musk in the bar as the door opened. Daniel knew who it was. He had come every day for the past week at the same time. Each time he would offer to make Daniel the sheriff of Bridgeport. Each time Daniel would refuse.

The boots of Bill Hicks lightly echoed as he approached the stool beside Daniel’s slouched body.
“Are you ready to take charge of your life, son?” Bill said after lowering his weight onto the stool.
“How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me ‘son’?” Daniel asked without giving him a glance. Bill ignored the question.

“Why do you sit here in the same bar day and night drinking booze like a fool?” Daniel took a second to answer. Not because he didn’t know the answer, but because he didn’t know whether it was worth answering.

“Don’t play preacher man, Bill.” Daniel pleaded with a complete lack of enthusiasm. The bartender poured another shot and slid it to Daniel. Bill glared at him before returning his attention back to Daniel.

“Listen, I’m done trying to convince you to do something with your life.” Daniel finally snapped.
“Then stop!” Daniel was quick to retort. “I don’t want you doing it any more than you do, so just stop!”
“I’m not doing this for me, Daniel!”

“Then who the hell are you doing it for!?” Daniel threw his arms in the air and turned to Bill. Reaching into his pocket, Bill retrieved a piece of creased paper. He slowly unfolded it and set it on the bar beside Daniel. MISSING. Those were the words plastered above and below a picture of a young girl – no more than ten years old. Those words caught his eye.

“What am I looking at?” Daniel asked.
“Ms. Beverly Johnson. She’s been missing for three days now.” Daniel knocked back the cool shot of tequila and eyed Bill.
“Why don’t you go after her?” He queried.

“I have. The day she went missing.” An odd silence persevered as Daniel waited for the rest of the story. It was obvious Bill wasn’t excited to share it.
“And?” Daniel asserted.

“And I got a hydralisk spine to my gut!” Daniel turned to the bartender and motioned for another drink.
“Getting old, Bill?”
“!@#$%^- it, Daniel! This little girl’s life is at stake!”

“Then go rescue her.” Daniel turned to Bill with a hard stare. Bill returned it. They continued their stare-down until the overweight bartender poured Daniel another shot.
“Nobody else has the combat experience you do. Especially against the zerg!”

“Those days are over, Bill.” Daniel downed his fifth shot for the evening and gently shook his head to rid of the repercussions.

“Those days aren’t over, Daniel. Beverly? Beverly’s days are over unless you take this job! This one job!”
“I told you once, I’ll tell you again. I’m retired.”

“Would you look past your damn self-pity already?” Bill moved his head into Daniel’s gaze. “This town needs you, Daniel. This little girl needs you.” Daniel avoided eye contact and gave a groan.

“You done?” Daniel finally said. Bill sighed out of disappointment. Picking himself off the stool, Bill set his cowboy boots on the floor and headed for the door. Daniel put his elbows on the counter and motioned for another drink before pinching the bridge of his nose.

Just before Bill reached the door, he looked back to say one last thing. One last retort.

“What would Jennifer have you do?” He then vanished through the doorway. The words ringed through Daniel’s ears. The bartender passed the drink across the bar and it skidded to a stop in front of Daniel. The clear liquid inside wobbled and rippled as waves collided into each other. Jennifer would have him quit drinking and rescue the girl. Daniel knew it. Bill knew it. After staring at the shot for several seconds, his forehead fell into the palm of his hand.

“What am I doing?” He asked himself in a light whisper. He closed his eyes and all he could see was Jennifer. A scowl slowly grew on Daniel’s face. He then rose and stormed for the door, leaving the shot behind.

“Hey, you forgot something!” The bartender shouted for Daniel. Daniel paused and looked back. He then transferred his attention to the shot before looking back at the man behind the counter. He then proceeded out the door into the dusty streets of Bridgeport without another word.
It's okay. But I must say, this Daniel guy seems like he's half of a Raynor if ye know what I mean.
A guy who's drunk and obessed over this one girl only this time Jennifer is dead though I doubt she's dead because there was no body so someone or something could have taken the body or had successfully recover Jennifer alive.

And before you ask if I read it, yes I did. And truth be told I'm quite surprised he hasn't drank himself to death.
I definitely know what you mean. The inspiration of Daniel was a combination of Jim Raynor and Cobb from Inception. In Originality's defense, he's not a cowboy xD Raynor and Daniel definitely share attributes and characteristics, but they also share many differences. Daniel was fighting on the opposite side of the war compared to Raynor and they share very different views on several subjects.

Bear with me as his character develops into more of an original character.

Thanks for reading! And yeah, the point is Daniel pretty much has drank himself to death :P
CR is obviously analyzing this too tropishly.

*Goes and looks up tropishly*

I don't think you used that word correctly. Mind giving us your definition?
I used it entirely correctly.

I also made it up.

Tropishly (TRO-pish-lee) - ADV - in a manner that invokes many tropes.
Ah, gotcha. Yes, he is. But at the same time, it's very much appreciated. I would prefer "tropish" input rather than no input.
08/24/2013 04:10 PMPosted by CrymsonRaven
I doubt she's dead because there was no body

I try not to think about things like that, because it interferes with my suspension of disbelief.

Sadly, it's true.
08/25/2013 03:02 PMPosted by KnarledOne
I doubt she's dead because there was no body

I try not to think about things like that, because it interferes with my suspension of disbelief.

Sadly, it's true.

I hope you guys keep reading and tell me what you think of my decision. We've established that the author(me) has an opportunity with this situation. What I do with the opportunity will establish whether I am a good writer, bad writer, or somewhere in between.

I hope you give me your verdict when I play out my hand :3
08/24/2013 05:05 PMPosted by KnarledOne
CR is obviously analyzing this too tropishly.
I didn't know that I was analyzing this tropishly and I probably forget what one is but what is a trope?

08/24/2013 07:10 PMPosted by ThaneKrios
Yes, he is.
You agree with him? Damn, I must be left out in the dark.
08/25/2013 04:36 PMPosted by CrymsonRaven
You agree with him? Damn, I must be left out in the dark.

I guess we'll see in due time how much of your presumptions are conspiracy and how much is wise foresight.
Wouldn't tarsonis still be a festering zerg pit though? I know that it did eventually get cleaned out but I thought it was later ... eh ... not sure ...
08/25/2013 06:34 PMPosted by TheLostMorph
Wouldn't tarsonis still be a festering zerg pit though? I know that it did eventually get cleaned out but I thought it was later ... eh ... not sure ...

Glad someone brought this up, actually.

This is a few months after Tarsonis was eradicated. The funny thing about the invasion of Tarsonis is the zerg immediately left after overruning the plannet. In this fanfic, there are still a few straggler zerg who stayed behind.

The Terrens are Tarsonins who his in underground vaults. I find it unrealistic that the plannet's population was literally reduced to zero. There HAD to be at least one person locked in his basement or something. So in this fanfic, there is one town with no connection to other towns. I'm going for a post-apocalyptic feel for the story.

Also remember that the Dominion quarantined Tarsonis and set up a blockade. I strategically placed the date to be a few months after the zerg invasion and a few months before the Dominion erected itself.
um ... error then on that ... as DECEMBER 2500 is AFTER the Dominion has been around for a good bit AND after the Brood Wars. Also the zerg did NOT simply leave after destroying Tarsonis they stayed for a good bit. Of course once the UED arrived they did sort of evict the zerg and after they were destroyed Kerrigan pulled her zerg from the planet. of course that was in the time between September and October 2500. and its human Population was reduced to zero while the zerg were around. Either they were infested or killed outright. The dominion came about in March of 2500 which was not very long after the Confederacy fell.

And as for people hiding in basements or underground vaults ... the zerg fecking TUNNEL! vaults and basements would be worthless!
It's a fanfic! My point was, I did put a little effort into making the dates line up.

Also, the Starcraft Wiki disagrees with you on a few points there :\

Yes, the zerg tunnel, but seriously? You're telling me the zerg killed every last person in an evening? No surviving fishing boat in the middle of the ocean? No crazed scientist living in one of the polar areas lived?
FRAGMENTED September of 2500 then REFORMED September of 2500!
I know it is a Fanfic ... and yeah ... the zerg are !@#$ing bastards ... they reduced the 2 billion+ person population to nothing within HOURS then they still had MONTHS to reduce any stragglers to bone or infest them.
I quote this directly out of the wiki
Some of the zerg left some time afterward for Char with their prize.

yes the terrans resettled Tarsonis but not until after the UED arrived.

Sadly ... no ... those bastards are efficient hunters ... overlord and mutas would take out the fishing boats. lings, hydras or other ground based strands would have found and either infested or killed the scientist in the polar areas ... eh ... hurry up and post your next section god damn it!
Ah, !#@$... I hate being wrong...

rofl xD

Next segment tomorrow. It's written, but not edited.
I was also bugged by that, but was going to let it slide.

Sorry if my reviews are less than helpful - I'm not that into Terran stories. I read everything Smylez writes, because he usually writes about Protoss... but I sometimes overlook your stories just because they're about Terrans, and sometimes don't even contain Protoss or Zerg.
Would like to point out that there were no oceans on Tarsonis either.

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