Kalos-Powered Trouble! (PLEASE READ DISCLAIMER)
#1

Engineer’s Log Entry # 691

We have finally finished placing the last solar panel into the new Power Plant wing, and the whole crew is ecstatic. We have spent an arduous three months trying to rush this project; thanks to the big-wigs up top wanting their fortunes sooner rather than later. Executives decided that the Kalos Power Plant wasn’t large enough to produce all the power they wanted.

As such, they forced us to expedite this new wing in the middle of summer. Several other engineers have become ill from overexertion or injured during this whole ordeal. We are meant to be handling the transmission of electricity, not doing manual labor. The severe lack of conditioning has taken its toll on all of us.

Thankfully we can get back to our actual jobs starting tomorrow morning. Management has mercifully allowed us the rest of the day off, and everyone is in higher spirits with the news. I don’t know about the rest of my coworkers, but I’m going straight home and calling it an early night. I’m so tired, and my body wants to fight the very act of movement. I shall continue to keep this journal focused on how the Power Plant is handling the energy coming from the new wing.

Oh, one last thing to note. While we were lifting up the final panel, I happened to catch a glimpse of a strange group of lizards hanging around some of the already placed panels. I had never seen anything like them up on the roof before, but they seemed to be soaking in the sunlight peacefully. They were cute little guys, hopefully they get to enjoy the new solar panels too.


Engineer’s Log Entry # 692

The Gym Leader of Lumiose City, Clemont, stopped by the Power Plant for inspection today. Being the Chief Engineer of the expansion project, he would stop by weekly for oversight purposes. It only makes sense he would want to see the finished portion of the building as soon as possible. Working in the transmission wing of the plant, I didn’t get a chance to see him. Several of my friends who helped guide the tour said he was quite pleased with the overall outcome of the design. However, his primary concern was the influx of energy the Plant was receiving.

I understand his concern, as I routinely check the numbers. The expansion added a whole new set of turbines and other mechanisms to turn the solar energy into electricity. However, they didn’t add any new ways to actually store the energy in times of reduced use. As such, the Plant is running dangerously close to above 100% capacity during the lowest times of the day. Too many instances of this immense power surge runs the risk of equipment failure and complete loss of power for virtually all of Kalos. I heard that Clemont had left for Lumiose after the tour to design another storage method before it got out of hand.

During my break, I stepped outside to better admire the fruits of our hard labor. The panels were glistening in the bright sunshine, while gentle humming from the indoor turbines could be heard. The sights and sounds of electricity at work was why I moved from snowy Circhester in Galar to the warmer skies of Kalos several years ago. While I have acclimated to the weather for the most part, these summers still beat the stuffing out of me. I can’t complain though, as I am being paid very well to bear these months indoors with air conditioning.

As I soaked in as much sunshine as I could handle, my eyes glanced back up towards the solar panels. To my surprise, the little lizard Pokemon had returned. A group of five just basking away on top of the panels without a care in the world. Their predominantly yellow coloration made them stand out from the shiny, silver coating of the solar panels they rested on. I couldn’t help but give a chuckle as I could only imagine how serene that pastime must be for them. Perhaps we can make them the unofficial mascots of the new wing? I will make sure to ask my supervisor tomorrow about the idea. I mean, what harm could come from it?


Engineer’s Log Entry # 693

The Power Plant is in trouble. Late last night, the amount of energy we were storing hit critical levels. As a result, one of our biggest energy storage units suffered a meltdown. At the time of writing this, we have been working on finding a solution for the past six hours and it's mid-morning. With little sleep and a crucial deadline to beat, we have been pushing ourselves to the limit. However, we have decided on a makeshift solution to publicly encourage energy consumption from the public, while the energy is still being generated actively.

Clemont was contacted mere minutes after the incident by one of the night crew. He has been working tirelessly with the rest of the engineers to find a satisfactory answer. He knows the importance of the plant and its vitality to the preservation of our modern conveniences. Heck, his Gym supposedly is designed to challenge potential trainers with a puzzle which heavily relies on electricity. Just based on his dedication to this task, I can tell he views electricity as a necessary part of the world.

However I am personally concerned for night fall. Although homes will use lighting and other electrical objects for a period of time, I fear we won’t siphon off enough excess energy. This could result in a complete shutdown of the plant. Should we lose our ability to generate power, the immediate area will be left reliant on non-electrical means of heating and light. In a sense, we could throw a good portion of Kalos into a more antiquated style of living for a time.

This is a stressful situation, and all the engineers are reaching their breaking points. I can only hope a feasible direction can be found, and soon. I honestly don’t know what will suffer a meltdown first; the engineers or the remainder of the Power Plant. I so desperately want to take a nice long lunch break, but that luxury seems like a distant mirage in a desert of despair. Everyone has disbanded for the moment to cool off and check on the rest of the plant. I may just briefly head outside and soak up whatever fresh air I can before heading back to the deliberations that are sure to ensue. This has not been the grand beginning any of us has been expecting.


Engineering Log Entry # 694

As I am writing at this moment, my thoughts are still unable to process the good fortune we have fallen upon. As I headed outside to get my brief respite from the situation, I noticed Clemont staring up at the direction of the new solar panels. While that wasn’t as surprising to me initially, it was his smile that left me unsure as to what he was thinking. Clearly I had made enough noise to break the young man from his mesmerization, as he turned to face me and nodded.

“Oh, good to see you Drew. You caught me at the most wonderful moment. Take a look up at the solar panels,” he boisterously mentioned while gesturing with his head towards the roof.

Despite my immense uncertainty in the situation, I shrugged and turned myself to face the panels I had gazed upon several times before. At the sight that fell upon my gaze, my jaw dropped. The small lizards were back, and there weren’t just five. Twenty or so of the little buggers had made their way onto the roof and were doing their usual basking in the sunlight. It was an amazing sight, but needless to say I was still quite confused why Clemont was smiling. I tried to alleviate my stupor by asking the Gym Leader while staring at the lizards,” So… why are we fortunate those little guys are here?”

Clemont replied to my question with a surprising chuckle. “Those are Helioptile. They’re called the Generator Pokemon,” he started to say as I could see him turn back to the panels from my peripheral vision. His tone got noticeably joyous as he continued, “Those little guys are our solution to this conundrum. They absorb sunlight to generate their own electricity, so I guess you could call them living solar panels!”

Needless to say, I was still incredibly confused as to why that was a good thing. The only thought running through my head was that I thought we needed to reduce the power, not supposedly add to it.

I was about to turn and voice my concern, but Clemont had already beaten me to the punch. “Hear me out. We need to store electricity for a couple of days right? Well Helioptile can be used as makeshift power cells until we rebuild the damaged one!”, he exclaimed with the most joy I think I had ever heard come from him. He went on to explain that he had a Heliolisk, which I guess is the evolved stage of those Helioptile. The plan was to have it convince the large group of lizards to help us out for the days we would need to repair the old unit. I thought he was crazy, but he was also the Chief Engineer so I wasn’t going to argue.

Watching Clemont’s Heliolisk interact with the group of Helioptile was like watching a presidential candidate at an election rally. It was incredibly animated and vocal while addressing the seemingly stunned group of lizards. The whole plan was beginning to feel as far-fetched as it sounded, until the whole group of Helioptile let out various tones of warbles and growls as Heliolisk finished. Clemont laughed and told me that apparently the plan had worked, and we now had time on our side.

Sure enough, it is now evening time here at the Power Plant. Clemont and his Heliolisk have gotten the Helioptile to work together inside the plant. I guess they will cycle every little while to ensure none of the little guys get worn out and can still rest. How Clemont came up with this idea, I will never know. I guess his ability to think way outside the box is why he was named Chief Engineer on the project. No matter, if this plan works out I will be eternally grateful to the man’s ingenuity. Given his exuberant confidence, I don’t think we will have to worry.

As for me, I have been allowed a reprieve from my duties for the night. The regular night crew and Clemont are going to stay around and just make sure nothing weird happens. It may be a rough night for me, but my mind is much more at ease thanks to those little lizards. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we have made a great step in the right direction. I may not be well-versed with Kalosian Pokemon yet, but I’m beginning to gain a new appreciation for them.
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#2
@”ExistentialBeemo”

Maybe I started this one a little late, lol.

Diction & Presentation – Basic
[Borderline Intermediate]

Overall, I like all the technical terms used. The narration style overall is a touch more formal too. I feel both of these things really sell that it's this electric engineer's journal.

Normally, I'm not one for dates because, as a reader, they mean very little to me usually, but in this case, I think labeling the entries with a date as well would also help you portray the importance of time. I assumed that these were daily entries, but that might not be the case. Since time was a concern for the conflict in the story, you could really play around with time—is he entering in things multiple times a day as a way to interlude between working on this problem, are days passing between incidents, etc.

Descriptions of things were okay for a journal. There's a point where going overkill sounds super fake as someone's notes to themselves, but I think you had a nice balance of describing things without making it unrealistic.

I do think that the first journal entry may have been a good opportunity to set up the initial description of the Helioptile, though, especially since the engineer exclaimed never having seen one before. It was odd that it was saved until later (especially considering there are only four entries).

Grammar & Style – Intermediate

You mentioned that this was an experiment in a new style, and I think that's fantastic! That's exactly what writing stories should be about. It's important to try new things and get feedback on them.

I think this style is super interesting. I've only read a handful of other URPG stories in the same vein, but I have enjoyed the majority of them. Here, it's sort of set up like a three-act play with a prelude. Since it's a journal, it's maybe a little less dramatic since everything is post-event, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

One of the important things to think about is the balance between what's exposition for the reader's sake and what would actually be realistic for that person to write down in the notes they are making. For the most part, I think this was handled okay. I think the first entry is where it could've maybe been tweaked a little.

Some of the information here, such as taking thee months rushing the project and all that followed about it, would have been information the engineer had already wrote about, considering this is entry 691. The style you wrote this in implies there have been other entries before, so this would be information that didn't need to be repeated except for the reader's sake. Which then, as a writer, becomes your challenge to transmit that same knowledge without becoming an exposition train.

I think the key to this style, is thinking about who the journals are for. Are they notes observed by his boss and colleagues? Are they memoir for himself later in life? For study? For fun? Sending to family?

Those things will really determine what details to include and how to say them.

Pokemon Integration – Intermediate

I feel Helioptile here was mostly fitting. An argument could maybe be made about a few other Electric-types taking its place, but I liked Clemont's reasoning as a key fixture here.

Maybe it could have been a little more involved—in two entries, its just briefly mentioned, when maybe it should have been a point of interest. But it still was a thing that was introduced earlier in the story that came back to help solve the problem that cropped up.

Character & Plot Unity – Intermediate

As far as conflict goes, there was an established place, a problem that came up, a plan that was worked out, and a resolution to that problem in a realistic way. I sort of wish the main character had been a little more involved with either the formation or execution of that plan though. From the story set-up, I know he was just part of a team, not a head researcher or installer or anything, but I feel maybe his connection with the Pokemon could've made the resolution feel a little more rewarding for him.

This could have realistically happened with a little more interaction between the two. Instead of just noticing the lizard existed, what if one snuck back on his coat after his break and he saw it drawing power from a lamp or something? I feel some sort of investigation (even on accident) could have maybe given him some ideas to help out Clemont and the others.

Setting - Intermediate

Not many complaints here. Since it's post-happening, there isn't an active setting, so we never get a strong sense of like where the engineer is staying/living, but you do describe the places where Helioptile is seen and the country in general.

Since it's a journal, there isn't a lot of immediate need for a “grounding” environment, but the details you use for describing the state of the plant and stuff do paint a good enough picture for most of it. I was a little curious about where he was staying though, since it implied it was at the plant sometimes, but then he also mentioned going home (unless he meant back to the other country?).

Dialogue - Intermediate

Since there's no real dialogue between characters, I more saw this as how the engineer talked to himself/the reader in the notes.

I do enjoy the slightly technical tone of it. But there was some personal stuff in there too, which I think is important in this style of story. Sometimes, it's less about what happened and more about how you hear it happening. It's really an opportunity to explore that character.

Some of the places where it was slightly expository, like rehashing the three months thing in the first entry, is a place you could have shifted that exposition to a reaction to the details—a way of sort of including them, but not making the reporting about the actual fact, just as his reaction to it.

For example, saying something like “geez, these three months took forever” or “I blinked and three months have passed” can really reveal what the character things about certain events without having to spell it out in a clunky way.

In Summation

Overall: Medium

I really do like these styles of stories. And I think it's brave and important to try new things! I don't think this experiment went too badly at all, since Helioptile is captured! And you get an extra +$7,500 on top of that due to the story pass! Woo!
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