THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT
The universe is an extremely dangerous place. Benjamin finds this out quickly after being kidnapped by aliens. Snatched into a web of alien intrigue for purposes unrevealed to him. Book One tells the tale of Benjamin's experiences during the first week of being abducted. Growing Up Gray describes the fear of his initial introduction to his new guardian’s, The Grays. The series chronicles Benjamin’s life while he navigates this alien intrigue. Something is coming. Something so dangerous the universe can no longer remain divided. Benjamin is the unwitting cog in a grand Atenian design to save the universe. A hail Mary thousands of years in the making. The Atenians, The Grays, wanted a soldier, they got one. They just need to raise him first, and hope he survives the process. Benjamin uses his blog called Growing Up Gray to chronicle the adventures that took place while he lived among the stars. A time Benjamin was Growing Up Gray.
THE ANTAGONIST PLOTS THE POINT
Commander Hatton, the Atenian tasked with training an alien. Hatton will follow orders. The commander isn’t to inflict any lasting harm. What is harm in alien terms? How far will Hatton push these boundaries?
The Revisionists, a secret organization bent on bringing back Atenian dominance to the universe. Is Hatton part of this? These forces attacked Benjamin for reasons he can’t comprehend.
The Atenian Emperor who set all this in motion. Is Hetalar as benign as they pretend? Member nations of the Concord sworn enemies of the Grays. The Raak whose love of battle tests Benjamins resolve and burgeoning skills.
Overseer Nylen, whose need to spawn the Return, puts Benjamin and those he loves in mortal peril. It was a one-way trip for Nylen’s forces. How is Benjamin to stop this tyrant without the help of his guardians?
There is always the question of why? Why him? Will he ever find out? When he does, will he keep his humanity intact?
CONJURING YOUR BREAKOUT TITLE
1. Growing Up Gray (a.k.a name of the blog referenced throughout series)
2. Lost in all the Gray
3. Bringing Humanity to the Universe
Science fantasy/ Science fiction
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I use this because Benjamin is in a fight for his life. Much like the heroine of that story. His fight is with aliens of differing races, not humans. The one rule is to survive and advance. Using only archaic methods of combat. Benjamin's tournament is to decide the fate of the universe. This will be the last installment of Growing Up Gray. The epic conclusion of the series. Benjamin isn’t aware of this at this point in my tale. Like Katniss, Benjamin must prevail to save what he holds dear. The fate of billions is riding on it.
2. The Grays by Whitley Strieber
New York times best-selling author for Communion. I picked this comparison, because it shows there is interest in the Grays in many forms. My setting is unique, but these aliens are iconic. In Growing Up Gray these aliens come to life on the page.
CORE WOUND AND THE PRIMARY CONFLICT:
Growing Up Gray The series by Michael Gray
The universe is a dangerous place. If you 're ever kidnapped by Gray aliens, you’ll discover this quickly. Benjamin Benson did, and now he is fighting for his life.
OTHER MATTERS OF CONFLICT:
Many things conflict Benjamin. He feels guilty for not missing his home and family more. These aliens have outstanding tech, bordering on the magical. He feels like he is living in an episode of Star Trek for real. Isn’t it only natural to be awed by his surroundings? Benjamin should be angrier and resentful of his captors, only he isn’t. He cannot comprehend why the Atenians chose him, and his captors refuse to explain their reasonings. Throughout the series he struggles with these questions. Through it all, he must hold on to his humanity while coming to terms with his inescapable situation.
Benjamin sees these aliens aren’t that different from us. They have prejudices in their society. Subcultures deemed inferior for reasons Benjamin can’t, or won't, comprehend. The Atenians are nonbinary. Sexless, but the genetic disposition of this race isn’t irrelevant. Some take on their ancestral characteristics. Mirroring a time before the Atenians became what they are today.
The Atenian elite decline to notice those Atenians whom they deem inferior. Tools for the aristocracy to use and discard. Benjamin is aware of this. His growing respect for an Atenian solider and the disregard for his friend Cordarius in Atenian society is prevalent throughout the series. He doesn’t like it. Benjamin will demand change for his cooperation. His parents taught him all people are important. If humans can figure it out, Atenians can as well.
Confronted with racism and being bullied by his trainers is a constant theme. Benjamin isn’t a fan of either of these things. He struggles to reconcile how these exist in an advanced society. Later in the series, Benjamin becomes immersed in a struggle for dominance between two opposing philosophies. A sentient forest encompassing an entire planet is under attack. Benjamin must resist these forces, curb the harm done to the climate before it's too late. He must confront his disgust at the wanton destruction unleashed against nature in the name of expansion and greed.
THE INCREDIBLE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING:
The settings of the series change from book to book. In book one Benjamin describes the incredible Atenian Battle fortress from the inside. Benjamin is more a guest than a prisoner. His captors are eager to share their advances with the awed human. The High Adjudicator itself takes Benjamin through this truly wondrous ship. A ship so huge we could consider it a moonlet when orbiting a planet. Benjamin sees firsthand how insignificant Human science is when compared to the Atenians. The Grays make the commonplace into the miraculous. There are endless wonders for a young boy to marvel at, and Benjamin does. The Nicroba is a battle fortress. Benjamin witnesses the devastating power of this ship in combat against the Votonus, a species the Atenians consider a scourge on the galaxy. He quickly realizes any of these alien races could squash the earth like an elephant stepping on an ant.
Book two takes place partly on a planetary body called Tochar. The seat of power for the Tocharian Protectorate. The Ultima Adjudicators on Tochar are part of the puppet masters controlling Benjamin’s life. Benjamin becomes the first human to walk under an alien sun; the first earthling to breathe air not of the earth. The rest of the book takes place on the Nicroba. Benjamin recalls his training and the struggle he faced from being too aggressive with his trainers.
Book three takes place on Emperor Hetalar’s seat of power. A super Earth for lack of a better description. The Planet Marinion is a tropical paradise where the Atenian dynasty's official government resides. The unofficial, the clandestine part of Hetalar’s empire, rests in orbit on a space station so huge it casts a shadow on the planet. Benjamin views all of this wonder, with the Emperor as his host, while being drawn further into the political intrigue surrounding the Empire.
Book four takes place on a planet called Othvoran. The Othar are a gentle and conscientious race. A planet spanning forest covers Othvoran. A forest that is aware it is alive and wishes to continue living. The forest is under attack. It is angry, and actively fighting those trying to carve out a piece of the planet by eliminating the trees. Othvoran is a living ecosystem worshipped by the original inhabitants. A truly wondrous place. Appearing in this book, Benjamin also visits a water world inhabited by a species emerging from the depths of their ocean to travel the darkness. The Atenians help this world stave off attack from the Votonus, and the Moraden. Book five will take place on Othvoran as Benjamin struggles to survive the forest and the aliens trying to destroy it.