So I have this dream, and there's these machines digging down to the centre of the Earth. No, not the Earth - I'm somewhere new and strange and yet I seem to know the place well. I'm down in some caves, watching as screens show me the inevitable descent, the drills turning their way towards the centre of the planet. And I know they need to stop. What sleeps down there must not be awoken. Then the drills reach the bottom and stop, and it's free.
This dream did not act as the catalyst for Citizen Alpha, but it's the damned nearest I can get to identifying the one moment that kicked off my first ever real project. Citizen Alpha was a swirling storm of ideas and daydreams and concepts that had existed in my head for a good long while. We had people who could, through a computer, gain access to different worlds. There was a maze of corridors beneath the world of Citizen Alpha that was inexplicable in origin, and below that the drills worked. The whole city was an artificial environment below the surface of the planet, unbeknownst to its inhabitants, and at one point some was going to turn off the sky. A prophecy seemed to control the actions of the characters that moved through the pages, and a dragon was going to destroy the city. Demon-esque people, too, were involved. People with strange powers ran through the city and evoked a discrimination exploration very much reminiscent of that seen in any X-Men film. The story was driven by events that happened before the story took place, and old grudges and feuds informed the plot at every step.
Citizen Alpha was a veritable riot of ideas, a mess of such convoluted ambitious that I cannot help but admire the writing audacity of my younger self. Through my experimentation and attempts to push myself, my writing identity has been lost it often seems. I can't help but feel that it's about time I recaptured some of that lost spark.