Why we wait.

Post your MFZ-inspired fiction and artwork for others to admire
Forum rules
This is a game - This is fun - All your posts should reflect this

Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:56 pm

Protocol's protocol; no amount of whinin' gonna' change that. You wanted to make land-fall with your old man, breath some real air, feel the dirt? Well there's work to be done before we know how safe it is. Wasn't always the case, now; full bio-scans. Used to be we could hop out of a lander soon as we were brave enough to do so. Almost twenty years of prospecting before that came back to bite me, and now we've got rules. What? You don't think I've been doin' this my whole life without a few nasty mishaps along the way? Listen here, young-bug.

I was thirty-six, by old Calander. Whole five years 'fore you came along, Em. Pshaw, seems like yesterday. Prior three dustballs had treated me nice, earned me enough to gate somewhere new, plus a bit extra to put away for a rainy day. Crew and me heard a lead on a proper agro-rock out in Kelvus Serendi. Rich soil. Company what bought it taking its time to rustle up settlers; figured they'd do it right on the first go. Not strictly-speaking legal- jumping a claim like that- but I was young, bold, successful.... Stupid.

And I felt my crew and I deserved a little somethin' special, I s'pose. Nice change of pace, the air bein' breathable an' all. Not full've particulates 'could cut you up like lungs full of angry little razors. And that river. Geological survey put our ideal camp in a valley with the bluest water I'd ever seen. We worked our a- our rear-ends off getting that old base set up, but all we could think of was jumpin' into that cool blue beauty. Soon as we'd finished, we raced down to the shore, shuckin' our cover-alls and gear as we ran. Aw, don't make that face, child. Felt like a life-time since I'd last touched natural, flowing water. I dove in without a second thought, and was sure I'd found Heaven. Ain't a happy story, little bug, best get ready for what I'm 'bout to tell you.

Swum out to the deepest part of the river and figured I'd float to some rapids a ways down, but it wasn't scarcely a minute 'fore I felt a pain you wouldn't believe in my right leg. Fast, sharp, and hard, like an impact-hammer to the sole of my foot. Was sure I'd broken it on a rock or somethin', sluggish as it was to respond. I hollered and swam fast as I could, but the bad leg was draggin' me down. Noticed I was gettin' pulled down-stream but fast. Leg started feelin' peculiar, convulsin' and twitchin'. I chalked it up to shock of the injury, but I knew I had to get out of the water. Pain damn-near had me blacked-out by the time I pulled myself to the shallows on some rocks around a bend, and I looked back at my leg ready to see the worst, quiverin' and quakin' as it was. I did not expect to see what I saw, I will admit that.

Latched onto the ball of my foot was a meter-long water-snake of some sort, maybe somethin' more like a lamprey. Body was a blue so dark it was nearly black, with a pinkish, spotted under-belly. And it was writhin' around like a creature possessed. Probably grabbed my foot thinkin' it belonged to a smaller critter and was tryin' to drag it back out into the river. Thought it might've had a bright red sucker for a face before I realized I was gushing blood all over the place. I grabbed that vile critter by the head, but couldn't pry it off. It was stuck on too good and the pain was too much. Sapped my strength right away. I did get a look at the mouth; Lord I wish I hadn't. How I wished I'd been unconscious through the whole ordeal and let one of the crew deal with that sight. It had a sucker, alright, and behind those rubbery lips were a mouth glommed full of teeth. Not little spikes like lamreys back Sol-side. No; big teeth, like a canine or feline. Long, curved, wicked teeth, juttin' straight out of its body, into mine.

As I struggled to pry it loose, it panicked; decided it was gettin' its fill before it lost its meal. That sucker came down hard, I could see impressions of its teeth pushin' from underneath the top of my foot. Must've been knitted 'tween all them bones but good, I tell ya'. As it worked its jaw, they shifted around, shreddin' what was there 'fore the suction slurped it out. I don't remember rightly what happened after that, but the crew closed in on my screamin' and found me beatin' the poor thing to death with a river rock, to hear 'em tell it. Took a week straight of tissue-replacement therapy to replace what that thing took out of me, and I lost a lot of sleep over it. To this day, I have a re'currin' nightmare of walking barefoot through a field. A tuft of grass pierces my foot like quills, and a dense moss takes root on my bones.

And that, my little treasure-hunter, is why we wait.
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby Atavism » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:17 am

This kind of hurt my foot to read. Good job! :D
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am

Re: Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:07 am

I based this story centrally on a nightmare I had over the weekend. I simply polished off the dream-fog and gave it context inside another story. The reference to a recurring dream is also based in truth. They seemed too similar not to bundle together. Glad you enjoyed it!
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby gusindor » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:16 pm

Chilling. I loved the distinctive voice of the narrator, it really felt like someone telling a story.
Always bring a speech to a gunfight.
User avatar
gusindor
MFZ:RA Game Designer
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:20 pm

gusindor wrote:Chilling. I loved the distinctive voice of the narrator, it really felt like someone telling a story.


Glad I had some successes there. To tell the truth, this is my first attempt at using a first/second-person perspective for the entirety of a short story. It's technically all dialogue, so I wanted to make the narrator's dialect a prominent feature, but I'm unsure how to balance it and not make it distracting or disjointed.

Thanks for the kind words!
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby spacemonkey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:25 pm

Neat story; as gusindor already said, you do a great job of bringing out the character of the narrator through the telling. The only thing I don't follow is how a small crew could effectively (or repeatedly) "prospect/claim jump" unsettled planets given there would be no way to transit back until a transit gate was built by a proper colonial establishment?
User avatar
spacemonkey
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:48 am
Location: Sioux City, IA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:34 pm

spacemonkey wrote:Neat story; as gusindor already said, you do a great job of bringing out the character of the narrator through the telling. The only thing I don't follow is how a small crew could effectively (or repeatedly) "prospect/claim jump" unsettled planets given there would be no way to transit back until a transit gate was built by a proper colonial establishment?


One-way gating is a thing in the lore, but that's not what's going on, here. There's already a gate in this system, but it's far away. Subluminal flight and technologically-induced Torpor keep folks fresh and happy in the mean-time. The money a small prospecting crew can make comes from close geological exploration and a minor amount of excavation. They "Prove" a concentration of valuable materials on an asteroid/moon/planet and sell that information to a company who has the capacity to excavate en masse. There's a significant risk involved in this type of prospecting, especially doing so as illegally as Simon Thelos had. If you gated to a new area and there were no desirable materials/interested buyers, you are hutched in an almighty way.
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby spacemonkey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:01 pm

Ah, I get it now. Once a new colony finally gets their gate up and running, these prospectors take their chances with sneaking into the system and scouting for other potential resources away from the primary planet or habitat; extremely risky but potentially very high rewards when successful.
User avatar
spacemonkey
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:48 am
Location: Sioux City, IA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:12 pm

spacemonkey wrote:Ah, I get it now. Once a new colony finally gets their gate up and running, these prospectors take their chances with sneaking into the system and scouting for other potential resources away from the primary planet or habitat; extremely risky but potentially very high rewards when successful.

Exactly. Think California Gold-Rush.
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: Why we wait.

Postby FrostCollar » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:06 pm

Yikes, that's a nasty creature to run into. Kudos for this story, I enjoyed reading it and I am very happy to see a story about the dangers of travel to other planets that isn't based around an alien disease.
User avatar
FrostCollar
Talkative
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Why we wait.

Postby Mantisking » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:07 am

User avatar
Mantisking
Mod Team
 
Posts: 4807
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Natick, MA, U.S.A.

Re: Why we wait.

Postby Dukayn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:29 am

Mantisking wrote:Blogged.


And the reason I've just now read this. Nice work here. Has a real Firefly/Serenity feel to the style of narration. And that is always a good thing.
User avatar
Dukayn
Mod Team
 
Posts: 2817
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:43 pm

Re: Why we wait.

Postby CmdrRook » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:35 am

Mantisking wrote:Blogged.

Awfully flattered you thought it was worth a mention, sir.

Dukayn wrote:
Mantisking wrote:Blogged.


And the reason I've just now read this. Nice work here. Has a real Firefly/Serenity feel to the style of narration. And that is always a good thing.


Watching the series and the movie has certainly had an impact on how I envision believable sci-fi and the characters who live it, but the cues for dialect and 'isms come from my early exposure to JD Salinger's colorful story-telling methods. Thanks muchly for the kind words, as well.
User avatar
CmdrRook
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA


Return to Mobile Frame Fan Fiction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest