Author Topic: Through The Far Outback  (Read 2584 times)

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Offline Roose Hurro

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Through The Far Outback
« on: June 15, 2009, 01:58:03 PM »
((ooc))  What's written below is the start of what I hope to be a collaborative novel, inspired by the short film ROCKFISH ( http://www.atom.com/funny_videos/rockfish/ ) on the site ATOM FILMS ( http://www.atom.com/ ).  I know, if you watch the film and read the story, beginning below this ooc, you might not see the relationship between the two... inspiration doesn't mean copy.  Anyway, if anybody wishes to join in the story, be my guest.  That's what it's here for.  Just remember, this is a collaborative novel, not an RP... as such.  This means quality, not quantity.  If it takes you a week to write something good, so be it.  This also means you're creating something new here... joining in on the development of a concept.  So, use what I've written as your own inspiration... hopefully, Rockfish will have tweaked a few creative braincells, as well.

So, a few notables to consider.  First, even though this is a fantasy, it has sci-fi elements as well... technology plus magic... techmagery.  Only someone skilled in techmagery... a technomage... can construct or otherwise repair or maintain techmagery.  You may have the skill to change the oil in your car, but ... unless you're a trained auto mechanic... you wouldn't tear down an engine and try to rebuild it... unless you wanted a pile of junk.  Therefore, to construct, maintain or repair a techmagery device, you must be trained... to be really good, you also need time, experience... and some talent... to build your skills.  Of course, this also means not all devices use techmagery... like any state of the art, such technology is expensive... and mundane tech abounds, in the poorer sections of the Far Outback.  Oh, and not all technomages are the same.  Some are basic, others are masters... some can change the oil, others can build the car.  Good thing is, techmagery not only requires a certain talent... it can be learned, to a degree.  And anyone can learn enough to use technomage devices... they can't all make or maintain them.  Oh, and before I forget... magic in this universe doesn't work unless it is tied to a constructed object.  Something more complex than a carved stick or sword.  Mage energy is more a form of fuel... unlimited free energy... that requires some form of technological object to tie it to.  Magic cannot be imbued in any living person... it is raw in the environment, in natural and/or refined solid matter, accessed and shaped in its function by techmagery, by the skills of a technomage.  Anyway, I ramble....

Second notable... as I mentioned above, you're creating something new here... as in, your character(s).  Yes, you can create one or more characters... a whole family, if you wish.  You can be a roadtrader, a gulltrucker... the guy or gal "creature" pouring coffee at the cafe.  Run wild with it... but, please, no talking unicorns... no familiar fantasy beasts... try to create something unique, original.  However, also feel free to be a Tik'tik, an Aarroon... or a Drol.  From what I've written below, you already know what a Tik'tik looks like... I haven't yet determined what an Aarroon or a Drol looks like... so, bang your head on the table and surprise me.  If you do want to play a Tik'tik, use Rust as an example... a template (just remember, Tik'tik usually shun the desert).  And PM me, if you have any questions or ideas, so I can provide info and review your creations, before they get thrown into the mix.  Oh... human characters are okay... mundane, yes... but if you have a good character idea, run it by me... after all, I did mention a human gulltrucker.  And... umm... I have been thinking... Rust may, during the course of the story, run into a female Tik'tik.  Anyway, please feel free to come up with your own species... just make sure you build them right, and give them a fitting species name... and a homeworld, a native culture, even if your character was born on Pon.  Anything that would add to the richness and believeability of your creation.  In other words, make me believe they are real, composed of blood, guts and... ahem... other body parts.  Again, see my own example below....

Third notable (I know, this is getting long!)... you don't have to have your character interacting with mine, from the start.  Not that you can't... hey, surprise me... but, I would like to see your character(s) thoroughly introduced, in their first post, in a situation that doesn't immediately require interactive dialog from other writers... consider your first post an audition... and consider... if this takes off, and reaches a conclusion... I would very much like to present it to a publisher, with every co-authors' permission.  Further... getting back to character concerns... I think, for believeability, it would be best to play your own gender... still, if you can play opposite with conviction and skill (or your character has a mate), go for it... again, surprise me.

Fourth notable... no, Pon is not a desert world.  The continent of Tuccoort is remarkably similar to Australia... the rest of the planet... as most M class planets... remarkably similar to earth, though with much different flora and fauna... maybe some unusual geology.  Churrtoo Township is a major western coastal city... the only city on the continent with a spaceport... so any off-world visitors would have to arrive there.  At the other end of the continent, on the eastern coast, there is a smaller, though still quite large city... so far, unnamed.  If you want to create one of the tiny towns, or other node of civilization, please remember to follow my examples when you give it a name.  Again, if you have any questions, thoughts, ideas, opinions... well, anything you want to say or add or present... PM me right away, and we'll talk.

Fifth notable (I'll try to be brief)... this is in "Visions Within Ourselves"... and, as the blurb says, "you could come across anything in here"... yea.  I want gritty reality... nothing pornographic, but feel free to create as much reality as you dare, up to that point.  Romance, sex, violence, swearing (maybe you can come up with some new swear words?)... anyway, if in doubt, PM me with your thoughts.  Oh, yea... believeability doesn't require all the above, if you don't want to use it... if it doesn't fit your character.

Yea, I probably left some stuff I wanted to say out... but, hey, this is long-winded enough.  Wouldn't want the ooc's length to exceed the story's!  Oh... and that reminds me... if you have any ooc comments, put them in the ooc thread... don't want to clutter this story up with anything more than what I've already cluttered it up with... Thanks!
  ((ooc))

((ooc))  Supplimentary:  This is a very old story, started on the 11th of July in 2005, on another site.  However, it died, and those who started it with me are no longer available... and I've missed this story, and would like to see how all my old friends here on Altermeta would do.  Well, those who wish to get involved, since RP seems to have died... or had never truly been revived, after everything was lost in the forum movements.  I've been back and forth here, just to see if this place still exists.  It does, and I've seen some familiar names still here, after all this time.  So, since no one else seems to have revived the RP life this site once had, I think it's time I did.  Have fun... oh, and since their is no way to post in the actual PBP section, due to the lack of a "New Topic" button, whoever has the authority/ability to move this there, feel free!  And if I've overstepped something, let me know... thanks.  ((ooc))


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On a world named Pon, in the Far Outback territories of the northern continent Tuccoort, a road passed through... from one end to the other.  There were small cities... tiny towns... along this road.  Places, only a few, where lev-rigs, on their way to Churrtoo Township... near the western shores... could stop.  Yes, stop for a recharge.  For their driverpilots to rest, and find food and drink to tide them over, for the course of their long hauls.  This road, old as it was, cracked, dead-weeded, dusty and unkempt, still served its purpose well.  It really served only as a marker, a line in the desert to follow.  A path where those few poor souls who fit nowhere else could make a life, simply by throwing up a shack and living off the goodwill of gulltruckers.  Didn't matter if they never made a fortune... never went farther than a mile in either direction... if they had some small skill to trade, they could survive.  In the harshness of the Far Outback, just surviving was often satisfying enough.  Yes, something to be grateful for, if not overjoyed.  Most gulltruckers, reguardless of species, knew how harsh life was for such people, yet they also enjoyed the benefits.  Helped, when they could.  Even made friends with the roadtraders.

But, on this particular day... on this small stretch of the road, at this time of the evening... there were no gulltruckers in sight, and no trader shacks at all.  No long-winged lev-rigs, their length shadowing anywhere from a hundred to three hundred feet of roadway.

A yellow sun, G-class... very much like the sun around which a planet known as Earth circled about... fell slowly towards the horizon, just starting to turn the sky various shades of orange, through the haze.  Several miles to the east, somewhere along the middle of the road, a cloud of dust could be seen, floating up... and then scattering, about twelve feet above the ground.  Less than five minutes later, this cloud resolved into a vehicle... definitely not a gulltrucker lev-rig.  No, much smaller, less shiney and impressive.  Stubby-winged... like some ancient dune buggy, mostly exposed frame and bare techmagery... obviously a custom job... well worn, if the chipped and abraded paint was any clue.  Still, on closer examination, finely crafted... most likely masterwork, stripped down for lightness and speed.  At the moment, no guess as to how the driverpilot of this vehicle came to own such a possible masterwork.

And no idea why this vehicle's speed was so low, given the empty road....

Oh... and, yes... the driverpilot.  Also exposed to the elements... very... exposed.  The day had been a hot one, the falling sun and advent of night only now starting to cool the dry air, but not by much.  Nothing kept the driverpilot's species a secret, either from sight or from the dust and wind.  However, a closer examination gave much more information.  The driverpilot of this vehicle came not from this world, Pon... no... not a native, but an immigrant species... a Tik'tik.  Odd, in a way, since Tik'tik normally shunned desert environments.  Further, this individual was male, and looked to be about five feet, eight inches tall... when standing... and even further, other than harness and helmet, he sat completely naked at the controls.  Not that Tik'tik males had any exposed, external genitalia to show off... well, nothing more than their females did... nor possessed the human sense of shame or embarrassment, in the slightest.  And yet, it was still nasty hot out, so being naked in the wind made practical sense.  Allowing windblast to blow over his bare hide, and through his unhelmeted manefur, helped keep him cool.  And further still, such a clear view showed this male Tik'tik to be young, somewhere in his early to mid twenties, most likely... the lighter coloration of his hide gave proof to his youth, even after considering his exposure to the sun.

Ahh, yes... the coloration of his hide.  A golden yellow, tinted with the desert sunshine's natural bronze tanning, paler on his underside, and darker towards his back... his mane fur, a dark reddish copper, tinted with brown.  Dark gray and metalic copper stripes could be seen, marking his upper thighs... most likely also marking the base of his tail, though the seat he sat in covered that part of his anatomy.  Otherwise, bare hide... not unmarked by flaws, however.  His arms, legs... also his neck, shoulders and muzzle... showed scars.  Not many, none disfiguring.  More like nicks and small cuts, some silver white with age, a few others... more recent, and still haloed by the characteristic, temporary blueblack smears of pigmentary trauma-reaction.  Of course, Tik'tik hide wasn't completely smooth.  On the lower portion of his arms and digitigrade legs, he carried a slight hint of scales... and a roughness on the palms of his hands and soles of his feet... as well as more and thicker scaling, presently hidden on the backs of his hips and tail.  This scaling pattern, visible on his arms and legs, had been what had very clearly marked him as male, since female Tik'tik showed such scaling texture only on their shoulders, neck and upper back.  And a ridge of thick, mobile, extendable, overlapped scales... five of them, along his lower spine... would have also marked this individual as male, had he not had his back pressed firmly against the seat.

And further still... heavy, somewhat blunted steelgray claws, graced his fingers and toes.  His short, broad muzzle grimaced with surprising flexibility, while one of his clawed hands reached for, and then lifted, a dented t-alloy waterbottle... from its holder, up to his mouth.  Yes, he drank a few swallows, exposing an unusual dentition... a single, wide, fused incisor tooth, between sharply ridged, jagged canines... on both upper and lower jaws. Watching him grip the waterbottle and drink, anyone could see how his limbs stretched long and sleek, but athletically muscular, as he pushed out with his legs, shifted upward in his seat (briefly exposing a thick, tapered, two foot long, strangely kangarooish tail), returned the waterbottle to its holder, and settled himself more comfortably against padded leather.  With his body so exposed to sight, no one could fail to see the healthy conditioning of his muscles, as they slid underneath his hide.  Every twitch and movement spoke confidence and strength... a wild animal freeness.  With the windblast blowing over his face, his large, flexible and expressive ears were turned down and back... with the grimace, it gave him an angry look.  But... his eyes startled with their brilliant silvered-yellow shine, filled with clarity and life and intelligence.  And emotion, not quite shielded behind his helmet's now flashing magesight optics....

Over the last minute, his vehicle had been accelerating, and his eyes had kept careful watch on his instrumentals.  When his speed crossed a certain upper threshold, his vehicle started to vibrate and stutter... again.  The sound of his heavily gurred voice, when it came, carried a few unpleasant four-letter words he'd learned from a human gulltrucker, not too many years ago.  And so, he was forced to slow... soon, he would have to stop, to find and fix the problem.  Good thing he had the skills... repairs, and even maintenance, on a vehicle like his, were expensive... if a professional technomage was necessary.  Fortunately, the problem felt like a flux imbalance.  Most likely, due to a random surge in the leyline the road had been built over.  Yea, great.  One of the problems with a highly tuned machine.  But... more annoying than serious.  Keep the speed down, no problem.

Still, frustrating... with the night coming, his water running low, and his stomach grumbling... he wanted nothing more than to reach the next gulltrucker stop, in Bentooloo.  Rent a room, take a bath, find a good meal... and sleep.  Early tomorrow morning, in the coolness just before dawn, he could rebalance Slider's drivecrystals, and be on his way... at full speed.  Yes... one thing this particular Tik'tik liked was speed.  Any fast movement, really.  Part of the reason he ran this road so frequently, in the course of his part-time courier work... of course, the other part was the good pay, and the perk of meeting... interesting people... along the way.

His right hand dropped to the space between the seats, just off his right hip... his fingers rubbed the grip of an old but well cared for revolver, holstered there.  Bulky, a bit heavy, yes... but with eight rounds of .377 DOA, each one just a triggerpull away.  Yes, in the last two years, he'd met a few... very interesting... people.  Out of those, there were several he felt glad he would never meet again.  He also appreciated the law-enforcers' wisdom and judgement, here in the Far Outback.  His hand returned to the controls, steady and relaxed.

Oh, yea... almost forgot.  This Tik'tik's birth name was Ruror'tusa... but everybody who knew him called him Rust.  Not Rusty... oh, no!... never Rusty.  Just Rust....

And Rust... tired, sweaty and thoroughly dusted as he felt... also felt his heart beating, the blood rushing through his limbs... tasted the dust on his blueblack spotted, copper colored tongue... scented the dry, onrushing air through his flaring nostrils... heard the sound of wind and humming machinery in his ears, and saw... yes, he could finally see Bentooloo in the distance, small as the place was.  One of those tiny towns, grown to serve the needs of gulltruckers, over the last few decades... and the needs of any other travelers along the road.  Rust gurred in his throat, happy to see Bentooloo again, after all these weeks stuck with minor but numerous repair jobs, around the eastern shop locality.  He enjoyed his regular work, but he also looked forward to his times away... to his times alone.  In the Far Outback, freedom came in many forms, when and wherever it could be found.  In his heart, Rust had an independent spirit, always scratching to get out.

Another gulp from the waterbottle took the edge off his thirst.  Slider... yes, the name he had given his vehicle... continued to cruise, just below the threshold... well below triple digit speeds.  With a light touch on the steering yoke, Rust kept his eyes forward, watching for hazards.  Bentooloo, growing ever closer, as the minutes ticked past.  And Rust... feeling not only an increase in his hunger, but a growing need to pee.  Shit in a pile!... probably wouldn't reach the town soon enough...

... so, only one thing to do.

Rust scanned the offroad wilderness, looking for a good place to stop.  Not in any great hurry, but... a few more miles onward... ahhh, there!... just the place.  A tap of brake, followed by a smooth turn of the yoke, guided Slider off the road, towards a clump of stunted, twisted trees... with scattered rock formations and sagebrush.  As Rust landed Slider, with only the slightest of bumps, he snatched off his helmet, tossed it on the passenger seat, grabbed his gun out of its seat-side holster, hopped out, and found a place to relieve himself... behind a large rock, right next to a small but fragrant bush.

On his way back, Rust yawned and stretched, rubbing his face with one hand, claws then grooming through his mane.  The old revolver occupied his other hand, finger off the trigger... muzzle pointed away from any vulnerable flesh.  Definitely wouldn't be smart, if he shot himself in the leg... or worse, in the head.  Those cartridges weren't labeled DOA for nothing....

Fifty-two years ago, Rust's gun had first belonged to a young Aarroon officer, a native of Pon... a highly competent female, who's greatest goal in life had been the protection of others... who's dedication ended seven years later, in her death during a raid.  For seven years afterwards, her gun had been kept on display, to honor her length and pride of service... then returned to her widowed mate, who presented it to his eldest daughter.  From there, no clue as to its history... till two years ago, when Rust's guardian... an aged male Drol, named Suto... had presented it to him, along with the gift of Slider, revealed from under a protective cover, in the far dusty corner of Suto's techmagery shop... yes, both gifted shortly before he died.  Rust had been granted ownership of the shop as well, in Suto's will.  And... Suto had also taught Rust techmagery, but... his master teacher had died too soon, having imparted only a small part of his skill.  Still, it had been enough, and Rust... over time, and through experience... could only build his skills higher.

Rust retook his seat, slipped the old revolver back into its holster.  A hand touched Slider's framework.  Rubbed over chipped paint, as memories flowed.  He would never forget that old coot... not for as long as he lived.  On impulse, Rust stood up in his seat, pulled himself up onto the top of Slider's framework, and perched between the overhead spotlights, his spinal scales raised... a perfect place to observe the desert from...

... as the desert's evening winds blew through his mane, and carressed his hide with a cooled warmth....


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Through The Far Outback
« on: June 15, 2009, 01:58:03 PM »

Offline confusedcious

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Re: Through The Far Outback
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 01:52:48 PM »
Interesting idea... I'll read this more thoroughly later and see if I can come up with anything :)

Thanks to Russ for the sig!

Offline Roose Hurro

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Re: Through The Far Outback
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2009, 03:43:20 AM »
Hi, Confusecious...

Long time, no see!  Be my guest... read, and see what you can come up with.  These links to the Original (Old) thread material should help:

http://www.unicornsvisions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2269 ... Original main thread...

http://www.unicornsvisions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2270 ... Original OOC...

http://www.unicornsvisions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2254 ... Species List...

Enjoy!  I'll be adding an OOC and a Species list, once things get rolling.  Hope to hear from you (and Tiggerjay and anyone else interested) soon....

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 12:01:23 PM by Roose Hurro »

Offline Tiggerjay

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Re: Through The Far Outback
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2009, 05:22:34 AM »
I'm going to be spending most of the day tomorrow on airplanes, so I'm going to be doing my reading and character creation.  So I'll be able to submit my character bio and backstory tomorrow night.  However, i'm going camping for a week on tuesday, so I'll be spending that time working on my first post.  Just so you guys don't think I'm just slacking.
People in cars cause accidents.  Accidents in cars cause people.

Offline Roose Hurro

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Re: Through The Far Outback
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2009, 08:10:11 AM »
Thanks for the update, Tiggerjay... have fun, take care.

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