1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Just some excerpts from a novel I'm writting

Discussion in 'SOS Brigade' started by Doomguy, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    If you remember I was going to make a novel called The Forge. The name is subject to change but the themes it touches remains the same.
    It's a science fiction that takes place in an established galaxy ruled by robotic machines. The humans live under it in a sort of caste system.

    I noticed the harder I look for flaws the harder it is to detect what's wrong with it. The old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    I'll be posting some pages on parts that I'm unsure of.
     
    BlackHeartedRose likes this.
  2. BlackHeartedRose

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    60

    I'm willing to help in any way I can!
     
  3. Dungeon Master

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    145

    Cool, I'd be happy to take a look at them.
     
  4. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Okay so this one is important. I make frequent references to it, even if you don't quite understand how it works I'm trying to make a point of it's existence. A good first impression.
    What is it? 3D Chess. I call it Attrition. This is when you first read about it.

    Mrs. Betha frowned at the other miners.

    "Don't be too hard on them dear, men act like fools sometimes. Just take my good for nothing husband over there, he always loses all his hard earned money on that board game."

    Tom Betha was counting tiles over a table set up in the park. A huge crowd was forming around him.

    "What's he playing?" Crystal asked. If she was going to be a part of the crew she might as well try to understand what they did on their off time.

    "Some kind of war game or something. They teach it to all those young cadets and it quickly got around to every bar in the universe. Let me tell you, picking up broken tiles is such a pain. Why can’t they be like regular bar folks and play cards?" Mrs. Betha looked bemused as she went back to serving drinks to the other miners.

    With the increasing militarization of the human race, games of chance were getting phased out in favor of games of strategy. These days, the miners probably did speak for the vast majority of bar folks. Curious, she wandered over to the game. Three boards were stacked on top of each other filled with tiles of various shapes and sizes.

    One of the men, she recognized him as a former pirate from two years ago was playing against Mr. Betha. It seemed the ex-pirate was winning the game.

    "Better watch out Tom, your wife would throw you out of the kitchen if you let my cruiser flank your battleship."

    "Shut up, you talk too much! I'm putting it all on my battlecruiser wing!" Mr. Betha then rolled a twenty sided die. "What!? No wait that was a bad toss!" Tom tried to take the dice back but the other player took it away from him.

    "Haha!"

    "Damn!" Tom then removed three tile pieces from the middle board as the other player moved one tile from the bottom to the middle.

    "Excuse me." Crystal tugged the shirt of one of the spectators. "What game is that?”

    The miner shrugged. "It's Attrition. It's passed down for hundreds of years now. It’s a training lesson for FDF cadets but it was so successful people started to play it for fun."

    "Attrition? How do you play it?" He looked at her kind of funny and then yelled out.

    "Hey guys, Miss Rey wants to know how you play Attrition."

    The ex-pirate who seemed to have won spoke out.

    "Better then Tom I hope!" The crew laughed as Tom took a swig out of his now empty bottle.

    "That was dumb luck! I demand a rematch, I still have tomorrows pay to wager!"

    "Oh no you don't!" Mrs. Betha suddenly came out of nowhere and grabbed her husband by the ear. She pulled him out of his chair much to everyone’s laughter. "You had enough wasting our money on your games! You can make it up by doing the chores in the kitchen now!"

    Defeated in more ways than one, Tom let himself get dragged away by his wife. After the laughter calmed down the man who beat him spoke to Crystal.

    "So you say you want to learn how to play Attrition?" He was counting tiles on the board and putting them into position.

    "Well um...if you don't mind.”

    He motioned for Crystal to take a seat. She remembered his name now, it was Cruz. There was a lot of controversy back two years ago when he defected from the pirate forces. He said he was in search of work.

    Due to the war, renegade human elements started to form gangs that grew into powerful groups of brigands. Even entire starships would break off from the FDF and fly their own flag in defiance of the Forge. The Forge governors were unaccustomed to dealing with these new threats spawned from the war.

    It was even rumored they dabbled in human slavery. Crystal shivered at the thought. Would the Forge protect them? The governors decreed that only they could determine a human’s worth. No human could make that kind of judgment. The official line was that those caught trading in human slaves were punished based on how wrong they valued the slave and not the actual act itself. It was the sort of logic only a Forge machine could come up with.

    She looked at Cruz across the table. He didn’t look like a pirate at all. Not what she envisioned anyway. He had a handsome face and was clean cut that made him look younger than the other miners. She couldn’t place his age, he wasn’t as old as her father that much she could tell.

    Cruz caught her staring and winked at her. “Ready to play?”

    “S-sure.”

    He started to explain the rules. The game revolved on one win condition. One of your tiles must hold the center of the board for five turns without taking damage. You were given four tiles for this task. The fast moving cruiser tiles were your most useful piece since they replenish themselves on the field and cover the most space. The fast and powerful battlecruiser were your hard hitters, far superior to the cruiser tiles but limited in numbers. At last there was a single battleship tile that was slow but able to take on any tile on the field at long range.

    The later two could be deployed at any time in the field given that you have a presence in the area they are deployed in.

    In addition, the battlecruiser and battleship tiles spawn other tiles every turn called interceptors. They were used to modify dice rolls when two tiles go against each other in combat.

    Crystal struggled to understand the rules of the game, it proved as difficult as it looked. Was this what they taught at military academies across the galaxy? The constant movement of the fast cruiser tiles back and forth between the boards made the game a needless complicated mess. Furthermore, it was hard to remember the modifiers between different tiles. Combine that with group attacks and attacks from different boards and she almost gave up. She ran her hands through her hair. How could anyone keep up with this?

    "I don't understand, how do you stop losing your tiles from attacks from the top and bottom?"

    "Try to utilize your cruiser tiles to win as many skirmishes as possible. Since they spawn every turn you have to use them to cover your weakspots. Don’t go wasting the big tiles, positioning is everything. It's a common rookie mistake to think that your battlecruisers and battleship tiles are your best piece. In reality it's the large number of smaller cruiser that will win you the game."

    She never quite got a hang of it but Cruz was a patient teacher and everyone seemed willing to give her pointers. She spent the better part of the afternoon playing Attrition with the miners. Their advice was useful but the game was too complex for her. Still, by the end of the day she learned the basics.

    "Ah there you are Miss Rey." Jeremy found her in the midst of another loss. At least this time she took out a battlecruiser in a three dimensional attack. She lost of bunch of smaller tiles but they were replaceable. Was this what it was like for solders in real war?

    "I see you picked up Attrition. Now that's an old game, I remember when they made us learn it in cadet school."

    "You know how to play?" Maybe she could ask for help from Jeremy.

    "Not very well. That three dimensional aspect is just too strange for my taste. They should have a one board version of it."

    Cruz quipped. "They call that chess Mr. Wallace, and if I recall you suck at that too."

    And now we see a clash of two strategies.
    “Knock it off Cruz,” Sarah clasped her hands. “In fact I have an idea! Why don’t you two settle this over a game?” She went over to Cruz and patted his arm. “This fine gentlemen was giving me pointers on the game of Attrition. He plays different then you Sam. I bet a match between you two would be educational.”

    Crystal perked up. “You play Attrition too Samuel?”

    “All prospective military students learn to play it,” He replied.

    “Now this is an interesting wager!” Cruz said. “I heard about you, so you’re one of those Forge children? I didn’t think people like you came out with brains.”

    “Something like that...” Was he trying to rile him up? Sam just wanted to eat his breakfast in peace. His head hurt and he wasn’t in the mood for games.

    “Ms. Lancaster here seems to have a high opinion of your play style. I’m always willing to try my hand on a new challenge. What do you say?”

    “I’m sorry, I’m really not in the mood,” Sam finished his meal. It was really good but didn’t cure his headache.

    “What’s this?” Cruz looked at Sarah. “I thought you said this guy was willing to take on anyone who challenged him?” Sarah frowned at Sam. Even Crystal managed a look disappointed. Now he just felt worse.

    Sam sighed. “Okay, just one game. I’ll make this quick,” He wasn’t usually this flippant but his head hurt and he just wanted to lay down for a while.

    “Hold on,” Cruz said. “We need to make a wager. A day’s salary to the winner, agreed?”

    “Agreed,” At least he’ll make money for the day.

    They set up a traditional three board set up for the game. The board was authentic in its old style. Sam was more used to playing on a hologram that mimicked actual combat. He mentioned as much out loud.

    “This is my personal treasure,” Cruz was saying. “It may not have the fancy graphics of a hologram but it’s the real deal.”

    “It’s so old looking,” Sarah picked up one of the tiles examining the edges. “It’s so pretty, way better than those metal boards that come from the Forge,” She set last piece on the game board and took a seat beside Cruz. Crystal, after some hesitation sat next to Sam on his open bench spot.

    Sam won the dice roll and chose to go first. He was going to end this quick. MKAY taught him that this tactic was his strongest move but he should experiment with other moves to be flexible. Right now Sam wanted to win or lose in the fastest amount of time. Most people couldn’t coordinate this attack.

    He wasn’t like most people.

    His first move was to position his battleship tile ahead of his cruisers. A reckless start meant to blitzkrieg an enemy. Also a great indicator on how the opponent would react to such aggression.

    “You don’t think very highly of me do you?” Cruz responded with a spread formation of cruisers. He didn’t play his battleship tile. “Don’t disappoint me now, a novice wouldn’t know how to answer this.”

    Too much talking Sam thought. It was considered improper to talk to your opponent this way during a game. If the Khrivians didn’t use communication then why include that in this training tool for the military? Sam ignored him and made his next move. He reinforced his battleship with cruisers covering it's rear, using the big tile to spearhead an attack through the middle of the enemy formation. Cruz attempted to probe his defenses but Sam wasn’t going to pull back his battleship.

    Sam’s reliance on his battleship tile, the slowest piece on the board meant that Cruz had the advantage in terms of field control. Each turn was spent preparing for the approaching battleship. The middle of the field was still open. It was an obvious killzone, once someone sent a force there then they’ll get overwhelmed.

    “What’s wrong?” Cruz taunted.”I thought you were good at this but it’s obvious to me that you made a mistake using your battleship piece to soon.”

    Sarah leaned over Cruz and then pointed to the reserve pool. “Hey when are you going to use your battleship piece?”

    “I don’t have too, I got the field position—isn’t that right?”

    He was right but field position meant nothing if you couldn’t project force. Sam pushed his battleship tile into the middle of the board without any escort. The move made onlookers gasp in surprise. There was no way it could last long there.

    Cruz looked disappointed. “What’s this? A joke? Are you even trying?” Cruz took this opportunity to put his battlecruisers into play. He still held back his battleship. He moved to position his fleet around Sam’s solitary battleship. He then took Sarah’s hand and gave her the dice. “How about you give it a roll?” He winked at her. “Here’s your chance to beat him!”

    She threw the dice and rolled the highest number you could get.

    The battleship took immense damage from all attack angles. He marked damage on the tile in silence. Despite the onslaught it still stood. He pictured in his mind the crew inside that ship as they bravely charged into the heart of battle. He saw them getting killed in explosions that destroyed large chunks of the ship’s hull. He saw gunnery crews work the massive guns to return fire of their own. The most heavily armed and armored of the Forge capitol ships were meant to take on the brunt of a Khrivian attack.

    “I did it!” Sarah started to massage Cruz’s shoulder and neck. “Are you even trying Sam? You never did something like that against me. Even I know how stupid of a move that was,” She stood there gloating with Cruz. For some reason her standing over there massaging Cruz upset him more than the implication that he didn’t know what he was doing.

    “Disappointing, ready to wrap this game up then?” Cruz said.

    “Is it over already?” Crystal seemed upset looking at Sarah.

    Sam nodded. “Yes I think it’s time.”
    Now that Cruz has put all his battlecruisers on the field Sam knew just how to take them all out. He amassed his own battlecruiser tiles into the corner of the map.

    “What are you doing?” His opponent was right to be confused. “What good would they do all the way over there? Aren’t you going to protect your battleship?”

    In further defiance to conventional wisdom, Sam then moved a large force of cruiser tiles away from his battleship and towards where the battlecruisers were. Sam pointed at his own battleship. “That’s the anvil,” He then pointed at his new battlecruiser fleet. “And that’s the hammer.”

    “What are you playing at? I still have an unused battleship that will crush those-,” Then realization struck when he saw what Sam was trying to do.

    Sam explained, unable to hide his own smugness. “In your haste to destroy my most powerful piece you committed your forces against it. Even if you play your battleship now it will have to spawn unescorted away from the battle. It’s too slow, it will never make it to the center of the board in time. All I have to do is throw my cruiser tiles at your battleship to slow it down.

    “Not if I destroy your battleship first!”

    Angry at Sam’s strategy, Cruz brought in his battleship which for the moment was too far away to take part of the action. He rolled the dice attempting to blow away the staunch defender in the middle of the field. This was a game however, a game that followed rules and some luck. Once again the battleship survived another bombardment. “Impossible, those rolls were garbage!”

    “Sometimes, the efforts of men go beyond the call of duty,” Sam didn’t have to rely on dice rolls to sweep across the backfield. He positioned his new fleet in key strategic locations on the field. His smallest disposable ships he throw into the path of Cruz’s battleship. They wouldn’t even last a turn but at least they’ll stop it from moving.

    With great tactical precision he maneuvered his ships towards the center of the board. Cruz’s own ships were now stuck between two giants. The action now was fast and furious, each dice roll wiped out the field in minutes. After a few turns of intense close range fighting the kill count now stood—Sam lost his battleship and all of his battlecruises. Cruz lost all of his battlecruisers and middle of the board. His battleship was stuck fighting worthless battles on the edge of the map. A worthy trade Sam thought.

    Cruz sat back stunned. Everyone watching was in disbelief too.

    “Ridiculous, you lost almost your whole your fleet trying to hold the middle!” He pointed to his battleship. “I still have this! It’s crushing your forces!”

    “So what? I have an infinite spawn of cruisers. I won’t let you get in range of the center board. You don’t have any piece to challenge me now,” That was exactly what played out. Cruz tried to get in range to the center of the board but Sam kept throwing away his cruiser tiles to block his path. Cruz’s battleship just didn’t have the speed to cut through a screen of cruisers. In five turns Sam won the match by holding the center. He sure lost a lot of cruisers keeping that battleship pinned down.

    “Good game,” Sam said.

    “You bastard! You have no idea how to play!”Cruz got up so fast that Sarah almost got knocked over. “Do you realize how many pieces you threw away? If that was a real battle the Forge machines would have you court marshaled!”

    “Real battle? It was game give me break. Even if it was real I would get congratulated for winning the battle in such a timely matter.”

    “At what cost?” Cruz said “The lives of hundreds of thousands of people would have been thrown away!”

    “So what?” Sam started to feel a little heated himself. “It’s war, people die. I picked the most logical way to win. In the heat of battle The Forge can’t afford commanders who throw away a victory to save a couple of lives.”

    “Couple of lives!?” Cruz was incredulous “Those people could have been used in another battle for all you know!”

    “For all I know this was the last battle!” Angry Sam got up himself. “I can’t throw away a win for your damn feelings, when it comes down to it I have to make the decision that will ensure victory for the Forge. There are times you can protect people all you want but when comes to winning or losing—defeat is not an option against the Khrivians!”

    “You don’t know shit about fighting the Khrivians! That was just as much of a win for them as it was a victory for the Forge. They want to kill us you fool! Causing the most damage to human life is just the kind of strategy that plays into their hands!”

    Now they were at each faces. Sam may have been short but he knew he was right as he stood in front of the angry man.

    “It doesn’t matter how many resources or lives it costs,” Sam said. “The most important thing is not to allow the enemy any closer to the Forge factory. We can replace the war materials, we have breeding centers to ensure our population never runs out. The Khrivians don’t have that, not at the infinite scale that we have. We must win a battle of attrition against them, that’s the only way win this war. That’s why this game is called Attrition! The Forge invented it for it to be played this way!.”

    “And what if the enemy doesn’t run out? It’s been almost a thousand years! They would have run out by now!”

    “Then nothing changes!” Sam snapped back “In the end, we must stop the Khrivians from reaching the Forge no matter the cost!”

    “Screw the Forge, this is about-“

    “That’s enough gentlemen,” Sarah moved herself between the two men. “I think we should all take a break now and cool off.”

    Space chess is serious business.
     
  5. KazutoKeagia

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    10

    Go for it doom that was awesome I want to read it from the beginning now I'm hooked from just that and I love when a novel can do that for me I even go to the bookstore and before I get it I flip to a random part and see if I want to keep reading after one page
     
  6. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Here's another part of the novel. This is one of my forays in writing an action scene. I had to make up some stuff along the way just to give the character a fighting chance. I can't tell if it's believable or understandable. First some background.

    So far in this story, the reader has been told repeatedly how great Sam is at combat. "Show, don't tell" is in full effect here. It's time that I (the author) start to prove it. This is only one battle scene for Sam. There's plenty more later on but this is the one that sticks out the most because of the odds.
    The events so far is that pirates have taken hostages in a colony. Sam is trying to rescue them by himself.

    The real tough action starts a little further down. Anyone can kill two guards but storming a room by yourself? Tell me what you think.

    Sam kept his distance as he lined up his shot at one of the guards. From this far out they wouldn’t be able to hear him but the visible red beam could still give him away. He wished he had his personal gun with him, It was back home in his case. He aimed at the guard facing his direction and pulled the trigger once. The bright red laser beam hit the target square in the chest burning a hole into him. The second guard spun around to the direction of the shot but before he could shout the alarm Sam shot him right in the head. This time it was only enough to burn a clean hole through his skull—it killed him all the same.

    Sam scrambled out of his cover and ran up to the front door. The coast was clear, he signaled to Crystal who waved back.

    Alright let’s do this.

    He opened the front door to a very long and wide hallway. It was empty and lined up with doors on each side. A stairway leading up was at the end. Where were the guards? Were they inside the classrooms? He went up to the first door on his left, if they were inside with the hostages he would have to make this fast.

    This was just like city fighting and room clearing. It would have been much easier if he had a squad with him. Crystal wouldn’t know what to do. Besides, he really did need someone to keep reinforcements from coming in from outside.

    He was ready to start, he kicked the door inward with all his strength and burst inside the room. It was empty. Maybe they were in another classroom? He went door to door with the same routine, his superior strength all but knocking the doors off their hinges. Each room was empty. By the time Sam got to the second floor it was obvious that each of the classrooms were empty.

    He looked at the separate stairway leading to the roof. If everyone was holed up there than it would be much more difficult to clear the room. He contemplated his choices. The auditorium would hold about 250 people. What could he do? He had no idea how many pirates were in there. What’s worse was how vulnerable he would be attacking from the stairway. Then there was the hostages, how could he do this?

    “Good evening human,” Sam almost had a heart attack as a small machine poked him on the leg.

    He cursed out loud. “Where did you come from!? Who are you!?” It was a Forge machine, that much he could tell. It looked kind of like Mr. Tin but was shorter.

    “I am MINIE-131 and the instructor of this facility. Allow me to thank you for releasing me from my entrapment.”

    “You were trapped?” The tiny robot must have come from one of the classrooms.

    “That is correct, unidentified humans locked me inside room 2-B. You are unidentified. State your name and business—you are trespassing on Forge grounds.”

    “I am...”

    The machine cut him off “One moment. You are Samuel. MKAY-421 has confirmed your location.”

    “How...how did you know who I was?”

    “My communication with the governor is online. I am informed that you are Samuel.”

    Amazing, even though MKAY was billions of kilometers away it could connect with one of his subordinate machines in an instant. Such was the power of a Forge machine. Their presence was a daily reminder that no matter how far you were, the Forge was always nearby.

    This small machine would be connected with MKAY who in turn connected to the Forge Masters. The three tiered system was simple and effective. The governors were more than capable of running multiple machines at the same time.

    “Are there any other Forge machines on this colony? Maybe deactivated Assault Droids or something with some firepower?”

    “Negative. I am the only Forge machine here in this colony. The governor asks for a status report.”

    Sam told the small machine about what was happening in the colony. It seemed MKAY had no idea what was transpiring here. Nathan must not have been able to send a signal. The pirates probably jammed all communications like they did to him out in the field with Crystal. Such jamming wouldn’t work on a Forge machine. The thought must have slipped Nathan’s mind.

    “Can you tell MKAY to send reinforcements?” If the FDF was nearby they could rescue the colony.

    “Negative, blockade of Genosis II takes precedence. No ships can be spared at the moment.”

    “Why!?” Angry he waved his fist in front of the machine’s optics. It looked stupid but it was the only way to communicate his anger at the governor. “What’s so important about that? Your neglecting your duties protecting the miners!”

    “The orders come from the Forge Masters themselves. It cannot be disobeyed. Blockade of Genosis II will continue for the search of Soujin Nomura.”

    It was useless to argue this with him. Governors are just the instruments of the Forge Masters. The enigmatic machine rulers on the factory don’t often make direct commands but when they do it tends to be heavy handed.

    “One moment please,” The Forge machine seemed to be waiting for something. “I have received word that the governor is able to reroute the battlecruiser ‘Titania’. This was the ship meant to pick you up in Mathilda space station.

    “Well that’s convenient,” He said. “How was he able to do that? It’s not needed in the blockade?”

    “The Forge Master orders dictate that ‘By order of the Forge all FDF ships in the Koei Asteroid Field are to blockade Genosis II’. Since that ship was not in the Koei field at the time of the order it is exempt from the command given by the Forge Masters.”

    “Thank you!” He knew MKAY would pull through. It was just the kind of technicality the governor would use. He wondered if the governor communicated if that was okay with the Forge Masters. Something told him that he didn’t, governors were known throughout the galaxy to be rather autonomous and flexible in the ways they ruled their systems.

    Not everything the governors did was by order of the Forge Masters, it was just assumed that it was. The Forge Masters were just the common link between all the governors. They ensured that all aspects of human society had unity. Unity that was on the verge of collapse these days in the face of pirates and war.

    “I have orders for you Samuel,” The Forge machine said. “It is direct from the governor and cannot be denied,” It was kind of funny he thought, that something this small could boss him around in a situation like this.

    “By order of the governor you are to resolve the situation on this station under any circumstance.”

    Any circumstance? So he has authority here now. “I can do that, but it’s not for you. These people need help and I promised them.”

    “It matters not how you assist—only the results,” The Forge machine moved up to the stairs and with its mechanical arms climbed each step one by one. It look like some kind of toy.

    He studied the machine. It was far too small to carry a gun and it didn’t seem to have any combat abilities. How was something like this going to help him? He asked the miniature robot what it could do.

    “I can inform the intruders of their obligations to turn themselves in. Their sentence can be reduced if they surrender.”

    Sam stifled a laugh. Sarah was right, the machines were pretty stupid when it came to dealing with people.

    “I don’t think that’s going to work. What kind of combat abilities do you have?”

    “I am a educational machine equipped with all knowledge pertaining to mining. I am not a combat series assault droid.”

    Great, what am I to do with Mr. Mini over here?

    “I do have utility functions that may prove useful,” The machine stopped halfway up the stairs and looked down on him.

    “What kind of functions?” He asked.

    “I control the lighting system in this building. Human fighting effectiveness drops eighty percent in low light situations,”

    “That doesn’t help me either, I could hit the hostages. How would I see where the enemy is?”

    “I can deactivate all lights in the building. Then I can activate individual floor lights in the room above to light individual targets. Once a target has been dealt with, I will switch the lighting to another target,” Sam recognized this, it was a training exercise where targets lit up in a dark room and you took shots at them. Each one you hit turned dark while you waited for another light to shine. It was training to fire on light sources in dark rooms.

    “You can do that? How can you see though? How could you tell who’s friend or foe?”

    “My optics allow me to see in low light situations. My facial recognition software is Forge made and second to none. I can detect if a human belongs to this colony in an instant. Any unidentified human above us will be highlighted by the floor light. The retractable dome is closed, it shall be a zero light condition. The rest is up to your abilities to eliminate the targets before they close in on you.”

    A shooting gallery that shoots back. He was impressed, the Forge machine may not be able to fight but it could give him the means to take on overwhelming odds.

    “Just make sure you pick the right targets for me to shoot at.”

    “I shall prioritize targets close to you first. I will not switch until you eliminate the selected targets.”

    “I understand,” He checked his rifle. He will have to shoot fast, he wished he had gloves. This guns tend to heat up when firing too fast. This was it, if he screwed up he was dead. He could be perfect and still die if the pirates focused in on him at the same time.

    “Alright Mr. Mini, spot those targets for me and stay out of the crossfire.”

    Sam took up position at the top of the stairs. He saw the double doors leading into auditorium as the Forge machine climbed the final few steps. He tried to still his beating heart, this was reckless charging into a pitch black room with no idea how many enemies there were. At best he could hit a dozen targets in a row in eight seconds. This was different, these targets were going to shoot back even if they couldn’t see him.

    Remember your training, deep breath, square up, aim for the chest , squeeze trigger, combat roll, repeat. Alternate between combat rolls and short sprints.

    I can do this.

    “Mini do it! Blow the lights!” Darkness engulfed the stairway as the Forge machine cut all power to the building. Even the emergency lights. Sam opened the auditorium door as the Forge machine motored its way inside. There were sounds of shouts and curses in the pitch darkness. Then one of the floor lights turned on to Sam’s left.

    Sam didn’t’ even look at the man’s face as instincts made him fire on the target without hesitation. Less than a second passed when the first light went out and another appeared to his right. Sam once again aimed and fired on this target.

    He rolled to his left, a stationary target was a dead target and by now someone would have seen the red laser light from his rifle. The floor light turned on for another target. He shot this one whose blood splattered over the light turning it red.

    That turned off soon for another more distant target who was raising their guns at Sam. The pirate missed his first shot—he wouldn’t get a second as Sam fired a perfect shot through his forehead.

    He sprinted hard to his right and squared up for his next shot. The enemy was now firing blind into the darkness. They however were bathed in light as Sam fired once, twice, and three times into untold numbers of pirates. He felt his laser rifle grow hot in his hands, it was dangerous to fire too quickly but he had no choice, each light that shone was an enemy pointing their gun in Sam’s direction.

    Screams and pandemonium echoed in the auditorium as the miners took this chance to strike back against their captors. It was at this time all the lights came back as the miners picked up weapons and fought in bloody hand to hand combat. Unable to tell who was friend or foe, Sam collapsed on the floor. He felt numb on his left shoulder, as he touched it he saw that there was blood on his hands.

    The last thing he remembered was a cold sensation poking his leg.

    It wouldn't be realistic for Sam to be able to take on an entire room by himself. I had to introduce his robot helper. This little guy is important so it doesn't look like I pulled him out my ass (Which I did but that's not the point). If your going to introduce a crutch than it better have relevance for more than one part of the story. Works for R2D2.
    Should MINI have a more active role in this part? Or did Sam do enough to prove that he's a certified warrior?
    The miners/hostages breaking out in the end is an excuse so I can knock Sam out for a scene change after this.
    This is the kind of thing I envisioned Sam seeing
    If that's the picture I painted when explaining than I achieved what I wanted. If I completely lost you then it's back to the drawing board.
     
  7. Dungeon Master

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    145

    I'm still not entirely sure how the game works, but I definitely want to play it. Seriously, it sounds like a lot of fun! 3D Chess with a D20 system, count me in.

    Just remind me not to play it with Cruz. Space Chess really is serious business.

    Nah, I caught onto the idea quickly and it's an all-around great battle scene, just the right mix of creativity and smooth execution. If I could change one thing, I would play up the chaos and confusion the pirates must have experienced when the lights suddenly went out on them just a little more. Other than that tiny detail, well done. :)
     
  8. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    I don't know how to play it either :confused:

    An earlier version of this part was more specific. It felt like too much of an info bomb.
    I forgot to add this little part that happens after this scene.
    “Attrition has a flaw,” He explained. “It’s time. In real battle, we can’t fight for days, weeks, or months. If we did then mistakes will be made. Attrition rewards the patient player but in real battle we don’t have that kind of time. That’s why some people decide to game the system and attack sooner when it may be more wise to hold off. I always wonder if that’s why the Forge introduced the concept of the dice rolls.”

    “What does the dice do to the game?”

    “The dice represents luck and the fluctuations of chance in a battle. I admit, I got a little lucky. If Cruz had deployed his own battleship earlier then the result would have been different,” Sam rubbed his forehead, he should go lie down and rest. “He was probably afraid of what I was going to do and played it safe. You can’t show that kind of indecision against someone who has no regard on how they win.”

    I think the lull between the first action sequence and the second is too large. What I could do is shorten back information leading to the second sequence.
    Sam kept his distance as he lined up his shot at one of the guards. From this far out they wouldn’t be able to hear him but the visible red beam could still give him away. He wished he had his personal gun with him, It was back home in his case. He aimed at the guard facing his direction and pulled the trigger once. The bright red laser beam hit the target square in the chest burning a hole into him. The second guard spun around to the direction of the shot but before he could shout the alarm Sam shot him right in the head. This time it was only enough to burn a clean hole through his skull—it killed him all the same.

    Sam scrambled out of his cover and ran up to the front door. The coast was clear, he signaled to Crystal who waved back.

    Alright let’s do this.

    He opened the front door to a very long and wide hallway. It was empty and lined up with doors on each side. A stairway leading up was at the end. Where were the guards? Were they inside the classrooms? He went up to the first door on his left, if they were inside with the hostages he would have to make this fast.

    This was just like city fighting and room clearing. It would have been much easier if he had a squad with him. Crystal wouldn’t know what to do. Besides, he really did need someone to keep reinforcements from coming in from outside.

    He was ready to start, he kicked the door inward with all his strength and burst inside the room. It was empty. Maybe they were in another classroom? He went door to door with the same routine, his superior strength all but knocking the doors off their hinges. Each room was empty. By the time Sam got to the second floor it was obvious that each of the classrooms were empty.


    He looked at the separate stairway leading to the roof. If everyone was holed up there than it would be much more difficult to clear the room. He contemplated his choices. The auditorium would hold about 250 people. What could he do? He had no idea how many pirates were in there. What’s worse was how vulnerable he would be attacking from the stairway. Then there was the hostages, how could he do this? No need for this, one sentence tells how it will be hard.
    “Good evening human,” Sam almost had a heart attack as a small machine poked him on the leg.

    He cursed out loud. “Where did you come from!? Who are you!?” It was a Forge machine, that much he could tell. It looked kind of like Mr. Tin but was shorter.

    “I am MINIE-131 and the instructor of this facility. Allow me to thank you for releasing me from my entrapment.”

    “You were trapped?” The tiny robot must have come from one of the classrooms.

    “That is correct, unidentified humans locked me inside room 2-B. You are unidentified. State your name and business—you are trespassing on Forge grounds.”

    “I am...”

    The machine cut him off “One moment. You are Samuel. MKAY-421 has confirmed your location.”

    “How...how did you know who I was?”

    “My communication with the governor is online. I am informed that you are Samuel.”


    Amazing, even though MKAY was billions of kilometers away Bad idea to do measurements. This should be simply "on Genosis IV" it could connect with one of his subordinate machines in an instant. Such was the power of a Forge machine. Their presence was a daily reminder that no matter how far you were, the Forge was always nearby.

    This small machine would be connected with MKAY who in turn connected to the Forge Masters. The three tiered system was simple and effective. The governors were more than capable of running multiple machines at the same time. This is already explained later on.

    “Are there any other Forge machines on this colony? Maybe deactivated Assault Droids or something with some firepower?”

    “Negative. I am the only Forge machine here in this colony. The governor asks for a status report.”


    Sam told the small machine about what was happening in the colony. It seemed MKAY had no idea what was transpiring here. For some reason Nathan must not have been able to send a signal.The pirates probably jammed all communications like they did to him out in the field with Crystal. Such jamming wouldn’t work on a Forge machine. The thought must have slipped Nathan’s mind. This can be explained when the time comes. It may look like a plot hole but I'll just move it elsewhere.

    “Can you tell MKAY to send reinforcements?” If the FDF was nearby they could rescue the colony.

    “Negative, blockade of Genosis II takes precedence. No ships can be spared at the moment.”

    “Why!?” Angry he waved his fist in front of the machine’s optics. It looked stupid but it was the only way to communicate his anger at the governor. “What’s so important about that? Your neglecting your duties protecting the miners!”

    “The orders come from the Forge Masters themselves. It cannot be disobeyed. Blockade of Genosis II will continue for the search of Soujin Nomura.”

    It was useless to argue this with him. Governors are just the instruments of the Forge Masters. The enigmatic machine rulers on the factory don’t often make direct commands but when they do it tends to be heavy handed.


    “One moment please,” The Forge machine seemed to be waiting for something. “I have received word that the governor is able to reroute the battlecruiser ‘Titania’. This was the ship meant to pick you up in Mathilda space station.

    “Well that’s convenient,” He said. “How was he able to do that? It’s not needed in the blockade?”

    “The Forge Master orders dictate that ‘By order of the Forge all FDF ships in the Koei Asteroid Field are to blockade Genosis II’. Since that ship was not in the Koei field at the time of the order it is exempt from the command given by the Forge Masters.”

    “Thank you!” He knew MKAY would pull through. It was just the kind of technicality the governor would use. He wondered if the governor communicated if that was okay with the Forge Masters. Something told him that he didn’t, governors were known throughout the galaxy to be rather autonomous and flexible in the ways they ruled their systems.

    Not everything the governors did was by order of the Forge Masters, it was just assumed that it was. The Forge Masters were just the common link between all the governors. They ensured that all aspects of human society had unity. Unity that was on the verge of collapse these days in the face of pirates and war.
    The biggest cut. What happens later isn't a concern to the governor or to the reader. I'll save this tidbit of info later.
    “I have orders for you Samuel,” The Forge machine said. “It is direct from the governor and cannot be denied,” It was kind of funny he thought, that something this small could boss him around in a situation like this.

    “By order of the governor you are to resolve the situation on this station under any circumstance.”

    Any circumstance? So he has authority here now. “I can do that, but it’s not for you. These people need help and I promised them.”

    “It matters not how you assist—only the results,” The Forge machine moved up to the stairs and with its mechanical arms climbed each step one by one. It look like some kind of toy.

    He studied the machine. It was far too small to carry a gun and it didn’t seem to have any combat abilities. How was something like this going to help him? He asked the miniature robot what it could do.

    “I can inform the intruders of their obligations to turn themselves in. Their sentence can be reduced if they surrender.”

    Sam stifled a laugh. Sarah was right, the machines were pretty stupid when it came to dealing with people.

    “I don’t think that’s going to work. What kind of combat abilities do you have?”

    “I am a educational machine equipped with all knowledge pertaining to mining. I am not a combat series assault droid.”

    Great, what am I to do with Mr. Mini over here?

    “I do have utility functions that may prove useful,” The machine stopped halfway up the stairs and looked down on him.

    “What kind of functions?” He asked.

    “I control the lighting system in this building. Human fighting effectiveness drops eighty percent in low light situations,”

    “That doesn’t help me either, I could hit the hostages. How would I see where the enemy is?”

    “I can deactivate all lights in the building. Then I can activate individual floor lights in the room above to light individual targets. Once a target has been dealt with, I will switch the lighting to another target,” Sam recognized this, it was a training exercise where targets lit up in a dark room and you took shots at them. Each one you hit turned dark while you waited for another light to shine. It was training to fire on light sources in dark rooms.

    “You can do that? How can you see though? How could you tell who’s friend or foe?”

    “My optics allow me to see in low light situations. My facial recognition software is Forge made and second to none. I can detect if a human belongs to this colony in an instant. Any unidentified human above us will be highlighted by the floor light. The retractable dome is closed, it shall be a zero light condition. The rest is up to your abilities to eliminate the targets before they close in on you.”

    A shooting gallery that shoots back. He was impressed, the Forge machine may not be able to fight but it could give him the means to take on overwhelming odds.

    “Just make sure you pick the right targets for me to shoot at.”

    “I shall prioritize targets close to you first. I will not switch until you eliminate the selected targets.”

    “I understand,” He checked his rifle. He will have to shoot fast, he wished he had gloves. This guns tend to heat up when firing too fast. This was it, if he screwed up he was dead. He could be perfect and still die if the pirates focused in on him at the same time.

    “Alright Mr. Mini, spot those targets for me and stay out of the crossfire.”

    Sam took up position at the top of the stairs. He saw the double doors leading into auditorium as the Forge machine climbed the final few steps. He tried to still his beating heart, this was reckless charging into a pitch black room with no idea how many enemies there were. At best he could hit a dozen targets in a row in eight seconds. This was different, these targets were going to shoot back even if they couldn’t see him.

    Remember your training, deep breath, square up, aim for the chest , squeeze trigger, combat roll, repeat. Alternate between combat rolls and short sprints.

    I can do this.

    “Mini do it! Blow the lights!” Darkness engulfed the stairway as the Forge machine cut all power to the building. Even the emergency lights. Sam opened the auditorium door as the Forge machine motored its way inside. There were sounds of shouts and curses in the pitch darkness. Then one of the floor lights turned on to Sam’s left.

    Sam didn’t’ even look at the man’s face as instincts made him fire on the target without hesitation. Less than a second passed when the first light went out and another appeared to his right. Sam once again aimed and fired on this target.

    He rolled to his left, a stationary target was a dead target and by now someone would have seen the red laser light from his rifle. The floor light turned on for another target. He shot this one whose blood splattered over the light turning it red.

    That turned off soon for another more distant target who was raising their guns at Sam. The pirate missed his first shot—he wouldn’t get a second as Sam fired a perfect shot through his forehead.

    He sprinted hard to his right and squared up for his next shot. The enemy was now firing blind into the darkness. They however were bathed in light as Sam fired once, twice, and three times into untold numbers of pirates. He felt his laser rifle grow hot in his hands, it was dangerous to fire too quickly but he had no choice, each light that shone was an enemy pointing their gun in Sam’s direction.

    Screams and pandemonium echoed in the auditorium as the miners took this chance to strike back against their captors. It was at this time all the lights came back as the miners picked up weapons and fought in bloody hand to hand combat. Unable to tell who was friend or foe, Sam collapsed on the floor. He felt numb on his left shoulder, as he touched it he saw that there was blood on his hands.

    The last thing he remembered was a cold sensation poking his leg.

    Won't change the actual battle but trimming the fat leading into it might be useful to the pacing.
     
    #8 Doomguy, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  9. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Okay so this one I'm looking for some feedback on whether I make it clear who the speaker is. This is dialogue between multiple characters in the same scene. I don't want people to get confused on who's talking. I also don't want it to be stiff and overdone with "he said, she said."

    Always a tricky thing to pull off when multiple characters are involved. If I did this part good then the other scenes I have that are similar should be good too. I tend to follow the same style.

    =============================

    The next day Maya was eating with some of her squad mates in the mess hall. She already told them about HIKEL’s message.

    “An execution huh?” Gilbert was talking with his mouth full. “Can’t say I imagined our first combat being against traitors.”

    McGregor—his hair still dyed purple—pounded his fist on the table. “This sucks, I signed up for action against Khrivians not some cowards,” He pointed his fork at her. “Can’t you get that governor to send us to the real fights?”

    “It’s not up to me,” she said. “HIKEL got the word from the governor in Genosis. You know how they don’t interfere with each other’s business right?”

    He scratched his head. “How would I know? I’m not that smart, how about you El? What do you think?”

    She noticed that Elwood just arrived with a plate of food. He sat between the two guys and lowered his head. Tall, thin, and lanky, he was the quiet one of the group.

    “She’s right, the governors act on their own most of the time.”

    “Who cares?” Gilbert was taking a biscuit from Elwood’s plate. “Hey you want this?”

    “N-no.”

    “Anyway,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on in Genosis but it sounds like some action at least. Deserters or not, they’ve been declared enemies of the Forge. That’s enough for me.”

    Gilbert nodded. “I expect nothing less from you. And I agree wholeheartedly! I’m going to see if I can get our squadron first to strike against whatever fighter screen they have. Did the governor say what type of ship we’re up against?”

    “A light cruiser I think,” Details of the mission were still vague but that would get cleared up by today. They were only a day away from the system. “A cruiser of that size wouldn’t have much in the way of an interceptor defense.”

    Elwood raised his head. “Oh good, something easy.”

    Gilbert got up to leave. “Nothing is easy,” He looked over at Maya. “Isn’t that what they tell you? Combat probabilities are just that...probabilities.”

    “True,” she said. “but you can twist it in your favor.”

    Gilbert left while McGregor scooted over and took his spot on the table. He gave Elwood one of his biscuits and turned to Maya.

    “By the way, where’s the others?”

    “You mean Joanna and Greta?” Maya surveyed the room. Now that she thought about it they didn’t show up for breakfast. “I’m not sure, it’s not like Greta to skip a meal either.”

    McGregor chuckled. “Seriously though, I never seen a girl as strong as her. You hear how she gave that guy yesterday a concussion? For throwing a stupid metal ball at his head from across the room. How do you figure that?”

    “Well she does work out every day. They say that heavy gravity really does wonders to a person’s body if they were raised in it,” Greta would make a wonderful ground trooper. She even looked the part. Her knowledge of space piloting was too much to ignore however. It would be a waste of her talents to have her as a common foot soldier.

    Elwood muttered something unintelligible.

    “What was that?” Maya asked.

    “Oh...I’m from a low gravity,” He nodded towards McGregor.

    “El doesn’t do good in heavy gravity. It would be dangerous for someone like him.”

    That would make sense she thought. Some people on low gravity worlds don’t react well to gravity. It wasn’t true for everyone but for some unlucky few they just couldn’t make the adjustment.

    “She’s something else alright,” McGregor continued. “but I wonder if the rumors about her are true?” He gave her a curious look while Elwood buried his face in his hands.

    “What do you mean?” She said.

    “Well you know...about those rumors. The one they talked about yesterday.”

    Maya became confused. “I’m sorry?”

    “About whether she li-“

    “Come on she won’t know,” Elwood tugged his friend’s sleeve. “Don’t forget who you’re talking with. Just ask her other friend about it.”

    “Fine,” McGregor pointed his fork at Maya again. She was starting to hate that gesture. “What’s her name again? Joanna right? Could you ask her what kind of guys Greta likes? I’m asking for an anonymous friend.”

    “Um...is this friend Gilbert?”

    McGregor stifled a laugh. “As much as our esteemed squadron leader would like to get to know all the ladies of this ship—she doesn’t fall into his category. He rather go after the clueless and gullible ones. That way they don’t physically kill him afterwards. I’m not sure if you noticed, but Gilbert isn’t much use in a fight.”

    Maya had to agree. Gilbert didn’t look like he would amount to much in a real fight. She was trained herself to be a capable fighter but couldn’t compare to someone like Greta.

    Elwood whispered something in his friend’s ear.

    “By the way...” McGregor kept his voice low and leaned in. “Mind if I ask you a personal question? You can ask us something in return.” Elwood leaned closer to hear. What were they up to?

    “Uh, sure.”

    “Is it true that Forge children can’t reproduce?”

    Maya gave him a perplexed look. “Where you hear that? That’s not true. The only people who can’t reproduce are Councilors. They have that ability removed from them so it doesn’t get in the way of their work for the Forge.”

    “But..” McGregor looked unconvinced. “And don’t take this the wrong way but aren’t Forge children the same way? Just a bunch of brainwashed folks who don't care if they live or die for the Forge? You just seem different from what I thought you were.”

    “That’s true but...” How could she explain? She was an exception rather than the rule. HIKEL took care of her on a personal level. The difference between her and the generic government raised children was obvious to someone like her. “I guess it’s easy for me to forget that most people can’t tell the difference between me and the other Forge children.”

    Both McGregor and Elwood looked confused.

    “I was raised by the governor himself. Apparently that makes a huge difference then someone who was raised by a facility controlled by thousands of machines. Those babies are pretty much brainwashed and never amount to more than breeders or common soldiers. Someone like me can think for themselves.”

    Elwood looked like he understood and spoke up.

    “So the governor took the role as a father then. Interesting, I had no idea the governors were capable of something so human. I never seen this kind of story from the utopia.” He looked at McGregor who still seemed lost. “She’s human and thinks like us. We should warn Gilbert not to assume she’s a robot or something. Maya has feelings too.”

    Of course she had feelings. Was she really that strange to them? She wondered if there were more to the questions then idle curiosity.

    “Well now it’s your turn to answer one of my questions,” She said.

    McGregor nodded. “Only fair.”

    “Tell me about Lieutenant Gilbert.”

    EDIT: Okay I removed the part after the page break since it doesn't make sense out of context. I can't expect you to know what happened before.
     
    #9 Doomguy, Apr 16, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  10. KazutoKeagia

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    10

    I could fully understand who was talking it did get a little confusing later on for me in there other than that I see no issues with how it's laid out
     
  11. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Okay I removed the second part after the page break since it wouldn't make sense out of context.

    Now this one is probably the most important part of my story as far as convincing someone to read it. It's the opening chapter. The first part of it anyway, not the whole chapter.
    Chapter 1

    The imposing metal machine stood watch in front of the military academy gates. It’s appearance as a large computer monitor on tank threads would be comical if not for its absolute authority in the solar system. MKAY-421, the robotic governor of the Genosis system was both feared and respected. The Forge governor greeted the arriving cadets for their final school day. They were nervous as they saw the machine here today, MKAY seldom made public appearances.

    For the students at the prestigious Genosis IV military academy the pressure was immense. The class of 987 was a promising bunch if computer predictions were to be believed. With the normalcy of a thousand years of constant warfare, test scores have begun to rise at a steady rate. Human society, which has for so long remain dormant under peaceful Forge rule has now adjusted to permanent wartime conditions.

    As the students arrived one notable person was late. As usual, the class president was the last to arrive. A habit that has irritated the governor for years. MKAY was starting to suspect that it was a deliberate act of rebellion. The machine saw him arriving now and called out to him.

    “There you are. Do you have any idea how late you are?”

    Samuel waved back in response. The young eighteen year old was a short man with short black hair. A rock solid build with fine toned muscles. The heavy atmosphere of Genoisis IV has made many Genosians stronger than their contemporary humans from other worlds. Samuel wasn’t just strong in body, his mind is what brought him to this academy this day.

    “Morning to you too MKAY,” The Forge governor didn’t faze him like it did to his peers. The reason was simple—Samuel was the governor’s own property. This is the final day he proves he can be of use to society.

    “You are late, the exam begins in 5 minutes and 40 seconds. You should have been the first person in the classroom to greet your classmates.”

    “And break my streak of 840 days of showing up to class right before the bell rings?” The lights on the Forge machine flashed different colors. A sure indicator the machine found something worth calculating.

    “And why would you keep track of such a nonessential statistic? What reasoning is behind this logic?” It was always about numbers for the Forge governors. They always assumed that humans would act in a predictable matter when in reality they were motivated by base emotions. Sam explained his position.

    “See if I do what I always do then it would make the others feel more relaxed. I don't want to show everyone that I'm taking today any differently than any other day. A commander that shows the same consistency no matter the situation raises the morale of their soldiers before a big battle. Today is that big battle, what better way to show everyone that it's going to be okay then to act normal?”

    The blinking lights finally stopped. “Your methods are as unorthodox and unpredictable as always.”

    “Ah thank you! It was you who always says that I should lead by example.”

    “I had in mind of you being punctual and on time. Not a constant mockery of your duties as class president.” However MKAY did know that he was right despite his juvenile example. Ever since the old robot governor took him in as his ward, the young baby grew into a self confident and highly capable human being. It was rare for a governor to raise a human child in such a personal matter.

    It was not something that MKAY had much knowledge on. Raising human beings was best left to other humans. Prior attempts of machine-human upbringing ended with them turning into mindless foot soldiers and low skill workers.

    Samuel being here today is proof the robotic governors can succeed in raising their own humans. The Forge Children program devised from the outbreak of war was about to get a serious upgrade. MKAY started to review the exam with his ward .

    “Do you remember the procedures?”

    ”I remember, first is the written test. The infamous H.U.R.T exam. They'll ask us about decisions we might have to make on the battlefield and how we should react to them,” The H.U.R.T, or ‘Humans Understanding Robotic Triumph’. It existed even before the war, it is the bases for the caste system the Forge government has implemented to ensure humanity is always on the correct path.

    “The exam is tailored to your strengths,” MKAY said. “It is unique to every single human. Your instructor notified me that it cannot predict what kind of answers you will give,” The robotic teachers who served under the governors determined the strengths and weaknesses of everyone's class. Students who lagged behind were sent to lesser programs in the caste. Higher performing students moved up that ladder.

    No one was left behind, every single human being received quality education from the Forge machines. From there they were assigned to different castes where they lived and died serving the Forge.

    “Who cares about the test? I just want to pilot a space ship,” Every military cadet no matter what rank they were or what branch they served had to learn how to fly in space. Even though Samuel was expected to make it as an officer he showed some promise in simulator combat.

    “Don't go and make a fool of yourself on the flight test,” MKAY said. “I made sure you got the most rusted piece of metal on this side of the galaxy. It's even older than me and I predate the new calendar.”

    Samuel frowned. Older than the new calendar? Older than MKAY? The ship would be well over a thousand years old then. The Khrivian Hive invasion 987 years ago started the new galactic calendar. The utopia the Forge created before then faded into legend. With the arrival of the mysterious alien race came an end to the easy free living that the Forge station provided the humans. The production shift to war machines has made it more difficult for the Forge station to supply nonessential goods.

    “So you're giving me a deathtrap? “ He said. “Machines get eccentric after a thousand years of use.”

    “Is that a veiled question of my abilities as governor?” The lights started blinking again from MKAY. Samuel didn't know why people thought that was scary, upsetting the Forge governor is his favorite pastime.

    “Oh no I would never do that. I just don't want to get killed because someone forgot to perform maintenance on a thousand year old machine.”

    “There is no need to worry. It is made from the Forge station itself which also makes it FTL capable. It’s design has been copied since time immemorial. Your ancestors came from those ships. You decedents will too one day. This is proof of the station's building power that something so old can remain so durable.”

    The Forge, the star sized space factory capable of building any material known to man and machine. The unique faster-than-light engines created from the station fueled the expansion of human society throughout the galaxy. Star systems, no matter how far away were reached by those ships. Any further history of the factory was left vague, only that the lack of innovation before the invasion was deliberate. The machine rulers of the station—the Forge Masters, controlled society in a stasis. They called it a utopia.

    Until the Khrivians invaded from out of nowhere.

    “You better hurry to class,” MKAY said.

    “Okay wish me luck.”

    “I'm a machine, a machine does not wish luck.” By then Samuel was out of earshot.
     
  12. Dungeon Master

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    145

    Very nice, I like it. In one chapter, you've established the main protagonist's personality and backstory, given a pretty good idea of what the setting is like and even left a little ambiguity as to what the Forge is and what the Forge Masters' true goals are. To quote the gif in my signature, WONDERFUL!

    There's just one thing, though. I can't stop thinking about a giant, old-school computer monitor rolling around on a set of tank treads. It's a little distracting. :D
     
  13. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    I'm almost done, I feel a sense of exhilration as I get closer to the end of my novel. I'll still have to proofread everything and clean up some inconsistencies but the structure is in place.
    I'm a little nervous though that over the course of the writing I had to tweak some of my original plans. This was planned to span multiple books so I want to make sure my ending lines up correctly.

    Going to get close to 700 pages, a decent length I think for a light sci-fi story.
    One of the space combat scenes.
    Space was lit up by laser weapon fire, roving bands of interceptor squadrons crossed the vast expanse of space and concentrated fire on other enemy squadrons. Large cruisers advanced deep behind enemy formations and laid down suppressing fire on larger warships from their blind spots.

    As Maya and the rest of Violet squadron quickly learned, it was easy to lose your head in the confusing and deadly crossfire between the two sides. A quick glance on her navigation computer showed her an accurate map of her forces and the enemy in a three dimensional hologram. It looked as though the enemy reinforcements were arriving every minute.

    They didn’t know we were here waiting for them.

    That was one advantage the FDF had over the Khrivians—they were always detected in advance. Whenever the Khrivians depart an invaded system it was easy to tell which direction they would go next. The space lanes that linked the solar systems were the same for the humans as it was for the Khrivians. The problem though was when they invaded from deep space. Nothing should exist from out there but they knew something the Forge didn’t. It was the surprise invasions that caused the FDF headaches.

    “Khrivian warship dead ahead,” She called out. It was heading straight to one of the FDF’s battleships. “Should we slow it down?”

    Gilbert communicated back. “Negative, when possible focus on the interceptors. There’s a squadron of one of them now harassing the Naguzo heavy cruiser. They are requesting squadron aid.”

    “Copy that,” She turned her ship—a heavy and enlarged version of the normal interceptor—towards the new target. It didn’t take very long to see the Naguzo taking small but consistent fire from a large squadron of Khrivian interceptors. They were knocking out the subsystems, she could see the large ship desperately try to shoot the small and nimble ships but to no avail. The repeated hits in the engines would cause it to stop at random frequencies.

    “Naguzo needs our help!” Joanna cried out.

    “I got point, follow me!’ Maya led the squadron from the frontr—all one hundred of them—and then swooped down onto the enemy fighters. They were so focused on the Naguzo that they didn’t notice the FDF interceptors dropping in on them. Maya’s squad laid down punishing fire on the Khrivians circling the big ship. She wasn’t worried about hitting the Naguzo since interceptor fire did so little against the heavy armor of the cruisers.

    “That messed them up good!” McGregor shouted in communications.

    Gilbert chided him. “Stay focused, they are regrouping.”

    Sure enough the Khrivian squadron that was attacking the cruiser pulled back and regrouped to attack them. Maya knew she couldn’t let them form up and chased after them.

    “Maya wait!” Gilbert shouted at her.

    “Come on! This is our chance!” With no choice but to follow her they pulled up behind her. The enemy didn’t have time to regroup as Violet squadron chased them down and isolated the group. “Wipe them out!”

    Maya jerked her craft hard to avoid the enemy counter fire. Despite the slower maneuverability of the larger interceptor she could predict when the enemy were focused on her. She shot down the Khrivian that shot at her and then chased down another that was focused on one of her squadmates.

    The short but intense engagement was over in ten minutes. When it was done they shot down over a hundred Khrivians at only a loss of a few. The Naguzo, now safe from the harassing fighters sent them thanks and pushed forward as soon as their engines repaired.

    “Good job, how’s our situation?” Greta asked.

    “We’re still at fighting strength,” Gilbert said. “There’s another cruiser near us that is in need of help, or we can assist one of our battleships in their brawl with an enemy battleship.”

    “What’s that about a battleship?” Maya asked.

    “The Zeus is trying to take on an enemy battleship at close range but it’s struggling. It’s calling for interceptor assistance to help it knock out the subsystems of the enemy to help turn the odds in its favor.”

    “Let’s go for that one,” She said.

    “But we don’t get a score for that...,” McGregor said.

    She argued back. “Who cares about that! Assisting the capitol ships is our main duty as interceptor pilots. Our battleship is more important than the cruiser that is calling for help.”

    “But...,”

    “No Maya is right,” Gilbert interrupted. She was surprised he agreed with her on this one. “The Zeus is more important than the cruiser calling for help. That’s what you’re saying right? It fits the conventions, as FDF pilots we are also tasked to make these kinds of decisions.”

    They turned to where the distress call was being made. It didn’t take long until Maya saw two huge ships at close range blasting each other with their big guns. Chunks of metal were ripped off the ships on each laser blast, the laser turrets of the battleships were much larger and deadlier to ships. The only ones who could withstand the intense shots were battleships themselves. That’s why they had to get so close to do real meaningful damage.

    The guns were enough to rip apart smaller cruisers at long range but the loss of energy over such a large distance wasn’t enough to destroy larger ships.

    “There’s the Zeus, it’s in big trouble,” Joanna said.

    “I don’t see any interceptors,” Maya kept checking but it was just these two ships in the immediate area. “How do we do this Gilbert?”

    “Focus on the secondary guns, at that range they are powerful enough to do real damage to the Zeus,” The secondary gun batteries didn’t have the range of the primary guns but the ones onboard the battleships were more than powerful enough to do harm to any ship that got in range. The only real counter to the huge ships were other battleships, preferably a well supported one at that.

    They closed the distance on the enemy battleship, it’s immense size made it difficult to gauge just what it was they had to shoot.

    “Ignore the port side,” Gilbert said. “we have to knock out the guns that are on the starboard side of the ship. That’s where they are firing upon the Zeus.”

    They circled around the enemy battleship and then when the secondary guns came into view they opened fired. Their puny lasers did little to the well armored casing of the guns as they flew past on their first run. They then turned their ships around for another pass, this time the enemy battleship returned fire with the anti-interceptor guns lined up all over the ship.

    “That got their attention,” Greta said.

    “Ignore the small guns, we have to knock out the secondaries,” Maya said.

    The second pass didn’t even put a dent in the secondaries, what’s worse, they were taking casualties because of their bunched up formation. Gilbert ordered them to spread out their formation and left it to the squadron sub-leaders to pick their targets. The only way they could do real damage to the thick armor is to repeatedly attack it over and over.

    Maya ordered her group to keep attacking one of the secondary guns in waves. Interceptor after interceptor would fly by to attack the armored target. It took at least five passes until one of the secondary guns was finally exposed to laser fire. The thick armor that surrounded them required accurate and concentrated firepower to blast them away. The other squadron leaders were met with similar success.

    A quick glance at the Zeus showed that it was still taking a beating but at least it had a few less guns shooting at it. After about an half-hour barrage of fire on the secondaries the gun fire died down.

    “That’s the best we can do,” Gilbert said. “Look, the Zeus isn’t taking as much damage anymore,” It was true, the large Forge battleship was now only taking hits from the big guns of the enemy ship. Those unfortunately were completely invulnerable to small interceptor guns.

    The Zeus, now taking less damage to the superstructure should be able to hold out against the enemy battleship.

    “I thought we’ll never knock out those guns,” McGregor said. “That took a lot of time, don’t these ships get destroyed?”

    “Battleship class warships are designed for drawn out battles,” Elwood explained. “The Zeus should win this by the end of the day,” Looking at the two ships firing at each other she had to agree. It was now the Forge ship that was unloading all its firepower into the Khrivian warship. Piece by piece, the armor of the warships were blown off as they chewed their way into the heart of the ship.

    “They don’t stop firing...,” She wondered out loud. It was as if they did nothing at all. She supposed if the battleships could be destroyed quickly they wouldn’t be built in the first place. The difference between the Zeus and Titania wasn’t just in size, it was the large increase in armor plating at the cost of increased mass and speed.

    “What’s our next target?” Greta asked.

    “Hmm...,” Gilbert was probably studying the map of the battle. Maya wasn’t so sure where to start either. There were so many targets to choose from, so many skirmishes happening that picking one over the other could have profound effects on the grand plan.

    “Let’s go back to knocking out enemy squadrons,” He said. “Our forces look like they are lagging in the interceptor theater, we need to get in there and tip the scales.”

    They agreed and set out to the next section of space that was under fire. Everywhere they looked there was some kind of battle taking place. Squadrons were usually given freedom to pick their targets since micromanaging them was too much of a hassle. The larger capitol ships would be acting on a generalized battle plan. She wondered where the Supreme Commander was located in the field. Most likely directing individual admirals to attack and defend certain targets.

    A bright light flashed ahead of her, it was one of their capitol ships, it exploded not far from where they were.

    Elwood spoke softly. “You see that? I recognize that kind of explosion, the energy cells under the turrets were ignited. The armor must have been breached,” Similar scenes played out around them. Due to the asteroid field long range gunnery was difficult, that’s why so many ships were getting drawn into close range combat. The powerful lasers of the capitol ships would have no problem punching through armor at these ranges. In some cases she even saw some ships conducting ram attacks.

    There was an enemy squadron ahead of her. “Enemy squadron spotted, shall we engage them Gilbert?”

    Gilbert voice was sober. “This isn’t just a single squadron, it looks like they are working as a full wing. That’s a whole ship worth of fighters. I’m going to call for help, in the meantime let’s get the drop on them.”

    Maya pushed her interceptor forward. Now this was the kind of challenge she was looking for.

    It's really hard when multiple characters are in a scene. Maya is a POV character and wants to push herself to be the best, she is leading from the front for this battle. Gilbert is the squadron leader and plays it by the book (when on the battlefield anyway...)

    Joanna is more of a gentle soul while Greta is a tough no nonsense soldier.
    McGregor just wants to get easy kills to make the squadron look good while Elwood is the quiet smart guy.
     
  14. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Alright I'm finished! Now I just have to go back and reread the whole thing and make sure it lines up well. There's a couple minor plot holes I fixed up.
    Most notable one was where I broke the science of space flight, I can't make mistakes like that in a sci-fi book. Got around the plot hole by using gravity as a way to move. What I did already existed in my book so it was easy to tie it into the use of ships too. I had a ship that needed to turn off the engines which means the thrusters don't work. Can't change the direction it's going with no thrusters! (although you can change orientation but let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be.)

    Used a made up gravity control field to get around it so it doesn't need a planet to move. Ain't future technology grand?

    Aside from that, the biggest plot hole actually had to do with something in a planned future book. I got around that by upgrading a minor character into more of a badass. Honestly there is no problem with that at all.

    Going through the editing now, I hit over the 150,000 word mark I was aiming for so I might trim away some of the more redundant dialogue. At some point the reader has it drilled into their brain how a hover-train works inside a spaceship. I don't need every character talking about how convenient it is. Maybe I'm a closet train fanatic?
     
    Dungeon Master likes this.
  15. Dungeon Master

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    145

    Awesome, can't wait to see what's next for The Forge!
     
  16. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Planned it completely, I know exactly the outline for the next few books. I can go prequel route afterwards but after the main stuff is done I want to dabble in fantasy.
    A better version of Twilight but without sparkly vampires and wimpy female lead character?
    A kickass nun/mage whose goals aligns with a werewolf that seeks to resolve the horror of a medieval town under the shroud of a growing darkness.
    The church blames the wolves, but what of the rumored vampire that lives in the castle on the hills? And what of the new court wizard with his strange ties to black magic. And then there's the prince, with his blond hair, dashing looks and charisma. Is he prepared to take on the throne of his ailing father?
    I'm still debating making that guy a vampire for a great love triangle. Decisions... decisions...
     
    Dungeon Master likes this.
  17. Doomguy

    Rank:
    Rank:
    Rank:
    Messages:
    2,018
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    240

    Super done! Trimmed it to a touch above 140,000 words. The tool I use says I like to use the run of the mill vanilla words like he, she, said, the, has, had , etc. etc.
    That's a lot but science fiction gets special treatment or so I hear.
    I think it's pretty well balanced but I never took a proper writing class, I'm just going on based on what I actually read. I'm no editor (nor do they expect me to be one.) I'll leave it up to the experts now assuming I get a bite on the pitches I'm sending out.

    Now onto book II. They'll love me more if they know I'm working on a sequel. Not to mention I have nothing to do now as I wait anxiously for my first foray into this. I will make this work. God as my witness I won't give up.

    The galaxy is ruled with an iron fist by the Forge, robotic overlords whose seat of power is situated on a star sized space factory capable of producing the light speed ships of humanity. The empire it has formed is now on the brink of collapse. Humanity is in the fight of their lives against the Khrivian Hive, a race of genocidal aliens whose appetite for destruction is matched only by the cold calculating logic of the machines.

    No method is considered too extreme to defend the Forge factory against invasion. Society has been divided into castes where the vast majority of the population is either forced into the military or into massive breeding centers. Humanity is stuck between an oppressive benefactor and immanent destruction.

    My story will take place through the eyes of three characters who will see this empire unravel in an age of strife and fear. Their tale is neatly interwoven in a complex plot thousands of years in the making. For there is one man who seeks an end to all things. A man who seeks the end of the Forge.

    This is the goal I strive for in the making of my novel. Where unifying against a common enemy is difficult when your own side deems you replaceable.
     

Share This Page