Rock Raiders: Invasion
Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:40 AM
This story is officially dead. Don't expect any more.
Planet U: One of the unique planets known to be a “vessel planet”: these planets' surfaces are barren, and life gets more and more plentiful as you reach the hollow core. Their unusual shape, combined with their mysterious abundance of energy crystals makes them an amazing subject for research. While little is still known of these vessel planets, there is a team known as the Rock Raiders who dedicate themselves to exploring these strange worlds. Their last visit to Planet U left them stranded- witness to a civilization in ruin, where the remaining clans fighting over the crystal caches of the world: the very key to their survival- and the Raiders’. Although they managed to escape the planet, it wasn’t long before a return voyage was planned.
However, Planet U has seen a lot of changes recently. After the Rock Raiders team discovered it as a rich source for energy crystals, word managed to spread quickly, and as they prepared for their return trip they were to be followed by many other teams just waiting to get their hands on the planet’s crystal bounty. And while the Raiders now have to face massive amounts of competition, no situation could be as horrible as that faced by the planet's natives, with what caches they could rummage together after the last invasion being hunted by new groups of explorers. Luckily for them, they’ll soon be given the chance to fight back…
Author's comments are in red.
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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:35 PM
Axle’s Log, Entry 01: Power Morons
Waiting for something to be delivered is, and always will be, boring. It doesn't matter if you're in a winding cave system filled with monsters and landslides and who knows what- it's boring. Today, there was a longer wait than usual, and I was looking for anything to amuse myself. I noticed Sparks was tapping his foot and joined in. Of course, I tried to make a tune with it as I always do. The same goes for when I'm knocking on doors- It's something far more fun than it deserves to be. Even though my back was turned from the drop point, the loud ratcheting of the Tunnel Transport's winch let me know that the small digger I'd requested had arrived. Sparks chucked his trusty drill in back, and we sped down a series of twisty tunnels until our progress was blocked by an unexpected river of lava. Docs didn't have complete geological data on this cave, so it figured that something annoying like this would pop up. Since Jet mustn't have gone too far from her previous delivery, I radioed up inquiring about ways across. The tunnel transport doubled back our way, and the small digger was secured for another trip. Everyone jumped in the cockpit and set off.
As we sped across the expanse of lava, I noticed something big coming up behind us. I prayed it wasn't a lava monster. But no, it was a gangly green robot suit, leaping across the jagged islands that spanned the river, making hasty footholds with the water nozzle it had. "Oh god, Power Miners." jet was staring down at the fast approaching vehicle. "You know these guys?" Sparks asked, peering fearfully down at it now as Jet was. "Y'all losers need a lift for yourselves? Didn't come prepared, huh? Well, pay the consequences!" The driver yelled up to us, exuding smugness from every inch of his cut-up face. He started swiping at the suspended digger with it's giant claw. That monstrosity looked to be awfully specialized to bring down here. I mean I guess it’s good for something, different strokes and all that- but I’d rather see myself zipping along in the small digger that was, at the moment, being dangled just out of harm's reach. "I know these jokers a bit too well," Jet said, finally regaining her concentration. "I'll deal with him." I knew what was going on now. Jet was serious. Her eyes narrowed, she hunched over the console, almost looking ready to jump out of the cabin at him. She punched up the speed, and I felt like I'd fly off if I didn't have a harness on. The PM was unrelenting, but Jet was planning something too crazy or him to count on. "Axle, Sparks, when I get to the next bank, I'm ditching the digger. I need you to bail out when I tell you." No one would have wanted to otherwise, but under these circumstances, we'd accept anything.
The TT lowered dangerously close to the bed of lava, and the outside bend of the lava flow was fast approaching. The PM stopped caring about his safety, and the mech started sprinting across the bed, its feet starting to glow red-hot. The small digger was jettisoned, and me and Sparks made a hasty exit from the cockpit. with the PM still pursuing her, she rose back into the air, and the PM tried jumping for her again. However, the mech's legs were so weakened by the lava that it collapsed, ejecting the PM straight into a nearby bank wall and leaving a burning wreckage that slowly drifted downstream. I'd have found out what happened to him, if we hadn't got back up and hightailed it out of there in the digger as quickly as possible.
So, the PM's are here after all. Some of you might have been suspecting this since the introduction, but I don't know. Remember- I'd like as much feedback as possible, so don't be shy on posting critique, it might just help me improve as a writer! So my original plan for the PM's was to just have them be bumbling idiots and make everyone happy, but I much preferred making them into a competent and dangerous rival to the rock raiders instead. Think of them as having the same goal, but none of the scruples. And who else will be in here? Well, anyone who's looked at my youtube favorites should know the boys in red ought to show up soon. And after that? I'll leave it a surprise.
Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:13 PM
I like your take on the Power Miners. Smug, gaudy, and overspecialized -- the hipsters of mining.
Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:16 AM
I like your take on the Power Miners. Smug, gaudy, and overspecialized -- the hipsters of mining.
That sounds like Black Mesa and Aperture Science (Snobs vs Slobs)
Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:15 PM
Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:46 PM
The system of tunnels eventually emptied out into this big, domed cavern, which seemed to be the point where most tunnels in this stratum met up. Naturally, those Power Miners were there, too. They were taking a big drill to the wall- one was carrying it, and another hefted the generator. “Why can’t we just start blasting?” The smart aleck complained. “Well, we brought it down here, didn’t we?” said another, confirming my suspicion that these guys don’t care for practicality. Me and Sparks were just looking at each other and then back to them. We didn’t know whether to charge in and surprise them or just wait for them to kill themselves off. If you’re drilling rock that should be blasted instead, that usually means that you’re asking for a landslide to get you. But then they uncovered their reward, and it wasn’t a good one. It was a red rockwhale, and it began barreling towards them into the dome.
These guys must’ve been more scared that they had ever been. No creature on earth is quite as dangerous as those on Planet U. Even if they had experience- just like I did, there’s no way they could be prepared. Looking on to this disaster, I was too astonished to move right away, but when I turned, Sparks had jumped in the small digger and was attempting rescue. He obviously didn’t want to stoop to their level and leave them to die, but at the same time he was rushing into a situation where he was in incredible danger. One of the Power Miners was right in front of the rockwhale, and his confusion caused him to do one of the worst things you could do near a charging rockwhale: stand still. Sparks tried to shove him out of the way and swerve in the other direction, but ended up clotheslining him. I would have laughed if the rockwhale didn’t immediately ram into the small digger, upending it and sending it flying straight into the side of the dome, tumbling end over end with Sparks still in it. I heard him teleporting out, but no word came from the Explorer.
My radio could have just been on the fritz, but I was left in a situation far scarier than knowing Sparks was dead, and that was not knowing what happened to him at all. Teleporters are finicky things, he could have ended up in so many horrible situations I couldn’t even move as I contemplated them all. When I dared to looked below, I saw the PM’s playing chicken with the rockwhale. They thought they were being awful funny, but then I heard a deep bellow from the walls and had the good sense in me to hightail it out of there, as every cavern wall in the area released itself into the dome. The rockwhale had passed out from shock, but the PM’s were buried under rubble, and since the shovels were back in the twisted metal hunk formerly known as the small digger, I had to dig them out with my bare hands.
I know it doesn't sound it, but the situation Axle is in is pretty scary isn't it? After all, what's scarier than uncertainty? Also, even though they're dangerous, PM's are still pretty stupid.
Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:30 PM
...yes, you've given the powerminers a good theme.
Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:53 PM
You know, even though they weren’t much dumber than your average cadet, I just couldn’t feel sorry for these guys. Honestly, if Sparks hadn’t tried to save them, I wouldn’t have cared at all about them, but now I felt like I was entrusted to finish his job. In a way, I wasn’t really doing this for them, but for a friend. And nothing could confirm this quite as much as finally saving one and having to listen to the words out of his mouth. “Oh thanks for that, a lot quicker than waiting for rescue.” That really got me. I just saved the guy’s life and he treats me like I’d just held the door for him. I could have asked him why they had no auto-teleport for emergencies, but at this point I was so enraged that I kept quiet, since the next thing to come out of my mouth at that point would have most likely been a stream of obscenities. And as I surveyed the PM’s battered body, I noticed a gold chain on him. “Did he really?” I wondered to myself, “Did he really wear a monocle while operating heavy machinery?” Anyway, at this point I was tuning him out by default, but I caught a few quips from the guy. Apparently he was the team’s biologist, and he found the creatures of Planet U “fascinating”. Yeah right- the only time I feel comfortable with the wildlife here is when it’s at gunpoint. After I finished with him, I decided to just leave back up what remained of one of the tunnels and told him to dig the others out by himself, which he obviously couldn’t. At least after so much pointless noise coming out of his mouth, having the PM hurl empty death threats at me was refreshing to say the least.
So yes, they survived. I could have killed them all off easily, but I wanted to put Axle through the pain of putting up with one of them. So I just made him leave them to die .
Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:20 PM
Anyway, I always envisioned Axle being...less enlightened, so to say.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:45 PM
Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:45 PM
Nice work with the Power Miners too, I've always been on the side against them, and would likely have portrayed them worse - in a complementary way to you. I think you've done well with them
Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:18 AM
Finally, after an arduous walk back up the tunnels, my radio managed to switch back on. “Axle? Are you there?” It was chief. “We lost contact with you. What happened down there?” I was silent at first, but I knew staying that way would have him worried. I had to push out the question I wanted, no matter how difficult it was. “Chief… Is Sparks alive?” He was dead silent. “We haven’t received him yet. I’m afraid we may have had a teleporting error.” ”Oh god, he must be in another cavern! I have to…” I would have continued on, but I couldn’t hold back anymore, I bolted down the cavern faster than I’d ran in years. Sparks was probably stuck in a cavern with critical shields. One run-in with a monster and he was toast.
I grabbed all the dynamite and weapons I could from the tool store. Docs yelled at me to explain, but I couldn’t’ be bothered. I hopped in the nearest transport truck and sped off. Our geoscanners had charted almost the whole cavern. No sign of Sparks. The only possible spots were past a big expanse of hard rock over to the east side. Pretty far off, but it was a straight shot from the base, at least. The supports along the wall warned me that this section wasn’t too stable. I had to hurry. I whipped out the dynamite and tried blasting through everything in sight. This place was bigger than I could have imagined. I found Sparks lying on top of a collapsed seam. He was unconscious. Moreover, he looked like crap. The local animals must have assumed he was dead, because I had to shake several hungry-looking small spiders off him. I teleported him up to the medical wing immediately and hoped for the
Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:24 AM
Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:06 PM
Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:17 PM
Alright everyone, the story itself has been added to google docs. The link to it is in the OP. I'd reccomend you bookmark it. You do not need an accoutnt to view it, but comments on the document are disabled, to keep feedback in the thread.
Jet’s Log, Entry 01: The Real Scoop
So, I understand that word of my run in with the PM’s has been spreading around the crew. Today some engineers joked that I might want to keep the destroyed tunnel scout as a trophy. Ugh, if they knew who that trophy really belonged to, I wouldn't be able to show my face around here. Those Power Miners look like such a bunch of chuckleheads, you'd think a cadet could handle them blindfolded. Then they whip out the explosives and you wish that you'd never gone near them.
The thing is though, it wasn't the dynamited tunnel scout that was the weirdest thing about that day. It was... I'm getting ahead of myself. The fact is, I'd had the guts to face off with a team of PM's. I got a bit of cocky, maybe I flung a few insults their way, but either way I did something that REALLY cheesed them off. Their aim was better than I expected, and pretty soon i found myself going down. I had no control and I very nearly went down into a lava pool. That would have been one hairy situation if I hadn't had the experience landing in even worse conditions. Yeah, you heard me right, I've been through worse. But that's a story for another time.
I managed to get away from the downed Tunnel Scout, and to what I at least considered at the time, a safe cavern. You know when I was running away I thought to myself, "Man, the mechanics are going to be bugging me forever about this." And what do you know, they did. I must be psychic or something.
But here's where it gets strange. Okay, so it turns out I wasn't safe, that you know already. They were after me, and they had plenty of ammo to spare. I was pretty panicky at this point, I was listening to every noise my pursuers made, and for every one they made, another chill came down my spine. And there was this woman barking orders to the others, not that that was special on its own, but there's the thing... Her voice sounded familiar.
It was so unsettling that the voice of someone you knew, even if you couldn't really didn't know who, was hunting you down. But that isn't the worst implication. This meant... Maybe, it was a possibility, that this Power Miner, maybe more of them, were ex-Rock Raiders. It all explains how they are able to come here and start mining offworld. From what I heard, the original Power Miners only had experience with terrestrial operations, and if they wanted to go to space, then they would obviously try to pick up people with the most experience with off world mining, hence, ex-RR's. call me crazy, but it just makes too much sense. I haven't spread around this theory much, since people'd either panic or even find it too outlandish, but I am putting in a request for old records that would let me learn more about former Rock Raiders. It may take a while, but you know me, never give up and all.
Anyway, as for the whole escaping thing? I lucked out. I thought they had me pinned to a wall, but when I thought the noise of drilling on the other side spelled doom for me, it turned out to be another rock raider team! They tossed me a gun and we were able to fend them off until chief could TP us the heck outta there!
So, writing for Jet was very refreshing, since it let me get away from the walls of text that plagued Axle's Log, and to take up a short & snappy writing style closer to my normal one. I wanted to make sure each Rock Raider had a different "voice" in their writing, I hpoe that went over well. Also, for those who read Chief's note, you'll notice he said that logs from non-RR's would be included, as well as some less important RR's. We'll see what that's all about next time.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:44 PM
[Edit: it's done. Fast worker ain't I?]
Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:54 PM
Posted 07 May 2013 - 01:15 AM
So, I decided to scrap the framing device of RR:I being made by the rock raiders, because I'm planning on including logs from characters that it wouldn't make much sense for the RR's to be in contact with. However, I thought that the section with chief introducing the story was well-written enough to be preserved here:
During our second voyage to Planet U, I decided that selected Rock Raiders would keep a personal logbook, as an easy way to keep track of day-to day activities outside the normal reports, and to give on-ship personnel like myself a better view of how planet bound activities are running. In the end however, what we ended up with was an amazing tale of what I at least consider, our team's finest hour. "Invasion" will draw from the logs of Rock Raiders, from our elite forces down to the smallest teams, as well as accounts from other eyewitnesses to paint a detailed and exciting picture of these events. This first volume will cover the events of date 01, the first day fully recorded, and a perfect start to our tale. Enjoy
Also, the first part of Trevor's log is up. I tried to be a little more humorous with this section, as you can tell by the rock pun right in the title. I thought the idea of following a raider that was experienced, but not in a particularly high position would be pretty cool. It hasn't come up in the story yet, but Trevor's expertise in flooded caverns comes from a past history with Bandit, which I might write about in the future.