science fiction

Eclipse Phase: When Your Heart Stops Beating


The meme team is back! This time they’re on their way to a strange alien garden, filed with dangerous secrets for sure!

Sadly this was the last time we were able to record a Meme Team game, but if you liked this content, let us know! We’ll try and do something like it again.
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Raymond’s Attempt At The Febuary Writing Challenge!

I’m extremely happy with how this months story turned out. I had a lot of fun writing it. I tend not to enjoy first person perspective, but this worked out really well. I hope you enjoy it. If you like to know what the stimulus was, check it out here.

Saffron


 

A loud bang, a clatter of steel balls on plate and brick, a roaring cheer from half the cities uppers. Someone dies, a hero is celebrated. Soon two more performers will take the stage. I’m not in this to perform. I like the killing. I’m chasing the skill mastery. Swift, knee jerk precision; that’s what I’m after. I’m not flashy, I don’t toy with my prey. I just kill ‘em. As quick, and as clean as I can.

Strangely my style has been well received. It’s not what most others bring to the field. Although, let’s be real, people just get off on seeing a cute brunette dispassionately dropping fools.

They’ll be done resetting the arena soon, time to get dressed. My armour case looks like worn shit, but my shell is good. Solid grey plates of modular armour bits. I pull on the under clothes, black nano-adhesive cloth. Black elbow gloves, black thigh high socks, black top. The armour bits just cling to the fabric, like magnets on a fridge. The armours for shit really. The gauntlets and boots cover me a little, and the chest piece covers some of my organs; but there is still plenty of skin. Midriff puts butts in seats though, and it’s not like anyone ever sucks breath long enough to hit me. (more…)

Raymonds attempt at the September writing challenge!

At the beginning of every month we we issue a writing challenge to all our friends and fans.
This was the stimulus for this months challenge!

I tried some different things in this one. I used 3 different narrative voices…4 if you include the computer prompts. As well as 2 different narrative perspectives. ALSO; I set it within Eclipse Phase, though I didn’t need to.


Dim purple light was the only illumination in the expansive triangular room. one of the walls phased from soft ruby to full transparent, clearer than the most perfect glass. Beyond them, lit up in the night; are the domes, souks, and flyways Of Valles-New Shanghai. Only one piece of furniture resides in the room. An antique dining chair; probably a relic from earth. A man easily older than the chair resting in it, a small glass of water at his lips.

He waves a hand next to his head acknowledging the recent arrival of another presence. Slowly pulling the glass from his mouth, he holds in the air next to his chair. Out of the silvery white floor rises and solidifies a simple table, the same colour as the floor. As the guest approaches, a single legged stool extrudes from the floor next to the ancient collector of solitary chairs. A young woman in a blue suit ponders the stool before sitting down. Her short orange hair stands up like quills as her reptilian eyes stare into the old man.

The pause drags on…until golden, mechanical eyes, nested in wrinkled black skin turn to appraise her.

“you took too long getting here” his quite sandpaper voice poorly conveyed his true mood; apathy.

The orange haired woman spoke swiftly, with rapid precision. “I had to resleeve into this…meat.” her hand waves over her body. “A virtual meeting would have been more efficient.” She regarded her summoner with frustration, he simply stared at her; unblinking.

“Much like your target, you too required a lesson.” He spoke more clearly now, whatever pressed in his throat now loosening its grip. “which teacher did you send?”

She raked her hand through her hair as she readied her answer. “A new one. Project Revenant is ready for field trials; this seemed like an ideal occasion.” Her hands brushed her suit, normally a sign of nervousness; in this case just a symptom of a mind unfamiliar with physical form.

His golden eyes flickered with faint light. “you spend too much time riding as data, someone of your station shouldn’t be living in infomorph.” He turned slowly, brushing her away. “Your fortnightly updates will now be delivered in person to me or Toulemonde.”

A fowl snear stretched across her face before she abruptly exited the room. Her stool dissolving behind her as the windows hardened their colour back to red. Somewhere in the swelling sea of data that was the mesh, an encrypted signal triggers the lock release on a cargo container.

> BEGIN STREAMING.
> REVENANT PROTOTYPE 44 ONLINE.
> OBJECTIVE: EXTERMINATION.

Like flesh dripping acid I come to life again. My body rebuilt. New instincts written into my mind. I hear the prayers echoing in a part of my head I can’t quite access. Kill them, kill them all. snuff out all life in this place. they whisper it on repeat, like a song stuck in your head. what’s a song?

Eyes open now. too much input. Don’t need thermal, not yet anyway. Electrical sense can be dulled down too. Focus on the human spectrum; limit it. This place is bright, even with only 3 colours. large grey room, open; bar a few boxes like mine. powerful fluorescents. Is that a…what’s the word? BLACKCURRANT. No, wait…SECURITY GUARD! That’s the word; security guard.

Pain. mild. Right shoulder. Bruising. He shot me. He shot me with a gun. Shouldn’t I be bleeding? What’s Bleeding? They armoured the flesh more. Not just the torso and head, they armoured the arms as well. Right hand still works. Should probably claw his eyes out.

Wow. I move faster now. Closed that gap in under a second. Huh, no more claws on the rig…Oh i see. Smart Corrosives; Much better. Holy fuck. No more eyes for you Barny. Or brain. Or Telctra High Grade SterilCrete. Stuff is hungry. Wait…who’s Barny?

Noise, hallway. Two guards. I can see into the terahertz range now, that’s useful. Other Barny and Different Barny have non standard weapons. What is this, Bring your rail pistol to work day?
Oh, they replaced the left arm with steel; goodie.

> DIRECTIVE: USE MELEE WEAPON.

I can hear the prayers again. You don’t just want them dead, you want them to keep dying. Fear so strong you can stand living. Ok then. I guess I’ll take this Kama and cut their hands off. Then their legs. Gotta be quick. One of their bullets just punched my armour. Can’t get hit again. Damn it. Knee is killing me. Fuck you then friend, decapitation it is.

HaHaHAHHA…heuh. Different Barny dropped his gun. Mother fucka you technical? I’m an undead killer robot with acid for fingernails. You think I care if you surrender? Bye bye hands. What’s a mother fucker? “Hang on. I can bifurcate your legs. Sure it’ll take an extra 30 seconds, but i think it’ll traumatize you more.”

Did I say that outloud? That is a lot more blood than I thought there would be. OHHHH that’s what blood is. Okay. Let us just use this kama like a meat hook. “se ve un poco agradable en el hombro , verdad?” I think I should stop talking. What Language was that? Which way is…shit. DORMITORY! probably…left.

This corridor is long. If you wanted all these people dead why not just use a few kilos of plutonium or something. Better yet; Antimatter.

> YOUR PLACE IS NOT TO QUESTION.
>INTEL: ROOMS ARE LOCKED. SAFETY PROTOCOL. ON YOUR LEFT IS A WASH ROOM.
>DOOR WILL OPEN IN: 15.
>14.
>13.
>12.
>11.
>10.
>9.
>8.
>7.
>6.
>5.
>4.
>3.
>2.
>1.

These people have no clothes on. There is water everywhere. Water is a precious resource. It is essential for life. WRONG: Ionic gas lifeforms require no water to live. oxygen is non-essential to their survival. All attempts to transfer Ares into a Ionic Cloud form have failed. electronic mind forms not compatible with…<CORRUPTION DETECTED>

These people look scared. I was scared once. Keep the axe Different Barny. “you’re really pretty. you remind me of mommy.” Was her neck as soft? Don’t recall. It was however just as easily snapped. Now hang on little guy, you need to die just like she did. perhaps not just like her. “Holy shit DAWG! Did you see the hole her corpse made in the wall! All cracked like a spider web and shit.” If I insert my fingers into his skull like this…with the right application of force; ahhh. There we go! Bifurcated naked man head. Is Bifurcated the word of the day or something.

Good lord…Is that what I look like. I didn’t realise…Where’s my face? You can see my jaw bone. Are my eyes glowing? WHY CAN’T I CRY?

“WHERE IS MY FACE?!”

<INTERNAL OVERRIDE>
<INSTANCING PERSONALITY COMPOSITE 47>
<PALADIN MATRIX STABLE>

>CANCEL STREAMING
>EXECUTE SELF UPON TASK COMPLETION
>TOTAL ATOMIZATION
>FIELD TEST SUCCESSFUL.
>OUTSTANDING RESULT.

A world of swirling black clouds fades into view. In the centre a woman made of orange light hovers. A playful voice calls through the clouds. “Were you live sampling the subjects consciousness stream?” The question echoes like gentle thunder.

“I find the discordant brain impulses intoxicating.” As she whispered purple beams of radiance escaped her lips.
“though the puzzle is trying to comprehend them. They lack form. They are more like emotional impressions than true thoughts. Unreadable to anyone even close to human.”

The soft voice called back, tenderness hanging inside its tone. “You’re insane my love. But I drink your brilliance regardless.”


Well I hope you enjoyed that, I kind of LOVED writing it. Thanks to Grace Burns and Lilia Andrea for some of dialogue. Please check out our other content here on wordpress, or our podcast files over on soundcloud. You can also get the latest news about up coming podcasts and projects by following us on twitter, or liking us on facebook.
If you have any feed back or requests, or even just want to say hello, feel free to leave a comment on any of our social media pages. You can also email us at insertquesthere@gmail.com.

Farewell from the past, I’m Raymond.

Raymonds attempt at the May writing challenge!

At the beginning of every month we we issue a writing challenge to all our friends and fans.
this was the stimulus for this months challenge!
this month I tried to write something that wasn’t just a vehicle for my love of violence. It was a joy to write, and you can read it below. if you’d like to share your own attempts at the challenge, feel free to post a link in our comment section. Or if you want you can email them to us at insertquesthere@gmail.com.
parallel
Farewell from the past, I’m Raymond.

the Gardner’s trip to market

in a sea of sea of hills, thick with a mossy red grass, loomed a towering, sparse, great rock. it curled in on itself like a crashing wave, and had managed to resist the encroaching crimson that covered the surrounding hills. nestled in the pipeline of the stone wave sat a small cottage; the shape of an octagonal egg. the odd little home seemed to be made of a mixture of plastic panels and wooden supports. around its outsides grew bushes of flowers, and shrubs of herbs, all in their own pots and planter boxes, irregular shapes and sizes. the plants were all bursting with colour, which seemed to be all they had in common with each other. some looked like they belonged in shallow tropical water, while others had leaves and stems of crystal and metal.
tending to the alien plants was a golden skinned young man with black wire hair. his under clothes were scratched chrome armour plates attached without bindings to smoke grey cloth. Over this hung a heavy brown hooded cloak, rated with burn holes, and tears. His gold flesh bounced the bright green light of the sun around his yard. his was more worn than it should be for a man of his age, wear you’d see on someone fresh from a 32 hour work shift, or a week of nightmare sleep. his eyes glowed a soft dark red as he bent over a s planter. it was full plants with scaled snake like trunks at seemed to sway and pulse as he came close. he held out his hand near a bulb on the the end of one’s stalk, it flared with silver shimmering thread that caught his gilded skin drawing out a purple blood from his knuckle. he flinched back shaking his hand before exclaiming in a soft voice.

“I think you might be ill little friends.” He glanced out towards the horizon, where the green sun of this world hung a hand and a half above the hills. “Might have enough time to pop to the market before bedtime.” he sucked on his finger before dashing inside his home.

inside the walls were more smooth than the geometric outside, though very cluttered. the floor was a mosaic of warm glowing tiles, and in the centre sunk into the floor was a bath of blue milky liquid serving as a bed. hanging from the the apex of the egg was nest of pulsing LED lights, constantly shifting through soft cool colours, with the occasional flash of red. the white walls were littered with multitude of masks, no two the same; with only one ancient looking brass wardrobe to break up the collection.

The masks were of hundreds of different styles. some were quite plain while others were so intricate and complex they must have cost a small fortune. there were masks the looked like alien creatures or monsters from nightmare. some looking like diving masks, or the faceplates from some kind of space suit. it one of those masks he picked from the wall. it cover his was mostly a rigid plate of orange rusted metal; but hanging from the cheeks were 2 clear vials filled with swirling blue dust. there were there eye holes, 2 in the regular place, and one above the nose; there wire covered by a silvered glass that obscured the wearer’s eyes from outside viewers. as he lifted the mask to his face an animated black rubber grew from the edges of the mask to engulf his head, hair and all.

he pulled the brown hood of his cloak up over his head so only the mask could be seen. he then reached for pouch that hung at the back of his armour uniform and plucked out a pair of old black leather gloves. he tugged the gloves over his hands as he padded towards the doorway. resting by the exit was a slender black wood staff. embedded in the swelled timber head of the staff was a rainbow of polished, glass spheres. when the gardner clutched the staff the orbs started to glow with an internal light. he took a deep breath, as did the staff then exhaled. as the air left his mouth the staff burst with light and the gardner and his staff disappeared from the red hills of Phow’klarsh.

A few moments he reappeared in a puff of random light and silver mist. His cloak was slick with moisture. He took a slow survey of the alley he stood in. the place was dry and cold. a city rose up around him to hang from the sky…the true sky could not be seen from this level of the city, unless you were at it’s edge. The Gardner sucked in the light from his staff to quiet its glow, before plucking a small pen like device. blue laser shot out from the end of the thing as he burnt symbols into the wall to mark his entrance. as he turned to leave the alley he saw similar markings on the opposite wall…had he used this alley before? probably.

He walked with purpose, stepping on to the busy street, clogged with humans and grime covered machines; both groups fixated on their own tasks and lives. The Gardner quickly stole a glance at the at the mega structure that hung in the sky. one city literally resting on the shoulders of another. He’d only seen a handful of examples. most of the people in this city lived in the apartments in the sky, while the ground floor was mostly industry and markets. a spider legged robot rushed past the gardner almost knocking him over. he wondered where it was going? was it looking for groceries like himself? perhaps it need parts or repairs? maybe it had a hot date to get to? He smiled under his mask as he moved towards the rich scent of food.

sadly his destination was just outside the boundary of the food market. It was a pristine building of polished faux-stone, and steel. a neon sign hung outside in a language He still couldn’t read. a curtain of light marked the entrance. he step in and was greeted by an aroma of spice and medicine. a tall lanky human in a poncho of red heavy fabric stood watching him.

“Ahhhh! a Skreyen customer! not many of you come here!” the human exclaimed, excitedly. the Skreyen travelled the stars here. 3 eyed beings that could only breath human atmospheres when they diluted the air with a blue mist.

“perhaps i’m just posing as one” the gardner chuckled, he could breathe oxygen just fine. though the nitrogen content of this world’s air did scratch at his throat.

the shop keep paused before grinning and shaking a finger “classic Skreyen humour!” he jested. “what can i get for you traveller?”

the keeper puzzled at the wooden staff his new customer was holding. The gardener looked around the room before he was interrupted. “you know i think i’ve seen on of those before…what’s your name guest?”
the Gardner went back to his search before calling back. “Siorus.”
he paused before saying anymore. he wasn’t one for secrets, but he couldn’t reveal anything else about himself. he plucked up small jar of coffee grounds before looking back at the storeman.

“was this grown in a greenhouse or a field?” he asked the clerk. greenhouse would be ideal for his needs.

the clerk swiftly answered. “i wish i could say field so i could charge you more, but that is just greenhouse stock.” Siorus sighed with relief as he walked to the counter and placed the grounds on the counter.

“I have an alien plant that needs something similar to cold pressed coffee in order to solve it’s wilting problem. you have saved me human!” The gardner exclaimed pulling a credit disk from his pocket and handing it to the native in front of him.
“well i’m glad i could help you. wish i knew where i’d seen that staff before mastling Siorus.” remarked the clerk as he waved the disk through a credit gate. Mastling was an honorific used by Skreyen, usually used to refer to someone above you in class.

The Gardner strolled from the shop chipper that he found what he needed. he glanced towards his staff as a few dim lights flickered. “Shoot!” he exclaimed, as he realised it was almost sunset at home. He broke into a sprint, armoured boots clanging on the steel street underfoot as he rushed to his entrance. peeled round the corner into his alley, where two robed figures stood waiting for him.

they wore armour not unlike his own under their immaculate brown robes, in their hands were beautiful straight edged white staffs. the glass globes of light that adorned the staffs were arranged in symmetrical spiralling pattern. “Siorus, you are wanted for the illegal use of ‘verse skipping technology, the abandonment of you post, and…” they paused for a moment, their heavy stern voices still echoing faintly in the alley. “…and violation of inter-dimensional customs. surrender your staff and come with us!”

Siorus glared under his mask before holding his staff aloft and shouting. “you are my keep no longer!” he slammed his staff on the ground, vanishing in a violent burst of rainbow light.