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Arcanus: Story


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I'm still waiting for the books to stat out my world. So I thought I'd write a short story to flesh it out some more. Let me know what you think.


Part One


Burning diesel fuel and cigarettes. God this place reeks, Carlos thought to himself. I’ve been waiting for this hack, who calls himself a mechanic, for over two hours. Enough is enough. “Hey man! When can I cruise outta here? You said this was an easy job!†As if a response, another part of Carlos’ baby rolls out. Only stop next to a pair of grease stained jeans sticking out from under the fender.


“Well mate, whoever tweaked your hover system really nodge’d it all up. You’ve got more generators than your capacitors can ‘andle.†This voice came from somewhere to the left of the legs. “I re-routed your forward stabilizer so it syncs up with the rear boosters. You should keep more speed in the turn without gettin’ that feelin’ like your keister is gonna shake loose from your boots.†At this point the legs grew into a full person as something rolled out from underneath the bike. Carlos was now looking down at a grease covered, hairy gorilla. The gorilla said he was human but Carlos wanted paperwork. “Now if you want a ride that will keep you from the five-oh, I suggest you go back to your chair and pop a sim in or something. I got work to do.†Carlos returned to his seat and picked a magazine.


He never even considered popping in a waiting room sim. Sure it took you away to some tropical beach for a few hours. Meanwhile your meat-bag is left dead to the world. Might as well hang a sign saying “Please Rob! - keys are in my left pocket†Settling in for the wait he took stock of his surroundings. Dingy chairs, racing posters, and a ragged counter. He never liked these dual-purpose shops. The sign out front says Jeffries Generator’s but the bulk of the work is tricking out skids. I just came in for a tune-up. It rattled a bit I wanted it fixed. This jerks got half the engine torn apart, what did I expect, being from off-world. Carlos wasn’t from around here that’s for sure. Originally from the south side of New Detroit. He made his creds running things around town. Break it down to brass tacks and he was nothing but a high paid delivery boy. Call it what you want the money was good.


As Carlos rested his feet on the large black case containing his “add-ons,†he stared up at the counter. Can’t be more than another hour, don’t know why I’m in a hurry. Haven’t gotten one job since landing on this frozen rock. Back in the New D he worked for somebody. He did what he was told and took what he got offered. Not that the Yaks were a bad people. He got all respect that a new Mexican working for the old Japanese deserved. None. During one of his runs he slid down by the star docks. A.F.D. Spencer was headed out to Neptune. When he saw the freighter was offering up an empty seat he took it. Dropped of the package at its home and was waiting for lift-off in 30 min. No clue what waited for him but if he was running from the Yaks he had better run far. Back in the present, he rested his hand, inside his coat, on the handle of his Cobra and drifted off to sleep.


“Hey this aint no hostel.†a rough boot kicked Carlos awake. The gorilla was back. ‘sides, your skids done.†Finally. As he rose to peer over the counter his baby came into view. The trip in the freighter had not been kind. The front wings were dinged and the paint scratched. The gorilla must have replaced the broken windshield.


“I didn’t ask you to fix the glass†muttered Carlos. I am not paying for that.


“You also didn’t ask me to up your out-put 30%. Also re-zero’d your targeting system and got you a new seat. Nice and cushie†The fur covered face split into a smile, showing a fairly human mouth in definite need of dental care.


“Yeah and what are you going to charge me for that? I ain’t made of credsâ€




“Ok sure, then what do you want for it. Even gorillas don’t work for free.†Carlos regretted the comment as soon as it left his lips. Whatever, if he wants to do charity work that’s on him. I don’t owe him anything.


“I got a friend just out of the zone. He needs some engine parts to fix up his ship. You delivery them out there and you can keep the mods. I’ll even throw in a grand for your trouble. Easy job there and back†There and back. I’ve heard that before. I got nothing better going on.


“Alright gimme the grids and the stuff, I‘ll do it†beats standing in the cold.



Never claimed to be Charles Dickens. Just trying to get the imagery of Arcanus. Any thoughts?




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Re: Arcanus: Story


Nice little storyline, dude. Had good pacing and really captured the sense of place. It will be interesting how you map the more high end supers kinda drama with this gritty level cyberpunk stuff.


(And not a bad writing style, either. You should write more.)

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Re: Arcanus: Story


It will be interesting how you map the more high end supers kinda drama with this gritty level cyberpunk stuff.


I'm hoping that the players actions will be easy to describe. Hero helps that out. This story has more of a gritty feel. but this is a loner/runner. The Red Stars will be a military team. So the gritty stuff will be beneath them. This story hopefully shows the grit of Arcanus. While our adventure shows the beauty. Dealing with the grit when needed.



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Re: Arcanus: Story


Here's the next installment:




Carlos flipped up his hood and walked his baby out into the world. The cold wind stung immediately. 40 billion creds to make an atmosphere on this rock and they couldn’t install one heater? It didn’t snow on Neptune but the wind and the air temperature was bad enough. Taking one last look at Jeffries Generators he hopped up on his bike and headed back into Downtown. Downtown. The term is used very loosely. Downtown was a 15 square mile area. It took up maybe 30 percent of the zone. The rest of the zone had outlying shops and ghettos. Compared to New Detroit, “Downtown†was a desert. Maybe 2 million people tops. Their space scrapers barely touch hit 100 stories. Just a desert. No wonder I have to settle for hauling engine parts across the great gray waste. Carlos had never known engine parts to come in 6 small, matching, black, plastic cases but it wasn’t his job to pack them; just delivery them. Besides, usually it was better not to know.


Professionalism dictated that he head out right away. Screw that, his 10 min job took 4 hours. I got time for a beer. Finding a nice seedy looking place he decided to stop. Not one to take chances, Carlos turned on his bike’s security system. Now if somebody tried to start it 15,000 volts would light up his body like a Gift Day tree. Let one person try, jus one. I need some new boots. With that little prayer he walked in.


This bar had obviously been in one too many bar fights. The chrome chairs were dented and cracked. He saw a sim booth in the corner but the amount of bottles piled inside said it wasn’t working. Well, who needs sims when you can drink yourself anywhere? There were maybe 30 people inside. All various forms of filth. The curtain in the back moaned with some form of debauchery. The group off to the left just radiated “gangbangers†why do they always where the same color? A couple of junkies stumbled about but nothing to be concerned with. Finally his eyes rested on his destination. The last open bar stool.


“Hey! What ‘ave ya got?†hollered Carlos, at no one in particular. Responding to his request a view-screen lit up in front of him.


An older sour looking-man stared back at him. “Don’t ‘hey’ me, son. I ain’t no horse. We got anything you need.â€


“Just a beer pops.†maybe a little debauchery. But that will be later.


“Call me pops again and you can drink somewhere else.â€


“Keep calling me son and you’ll need a new throat.â€


“Whatever big talker here’s your beer. Plug your cred in and shut up.†A nice cold longneck slid up from the back side of the bar and then over to Carlos. Taking the beer he plugged in his cred-stick and let the payment happen. A lot of people worry about these cred-sticks. Saying people can trace you and other bull. That’s why everything he buys he uses a un-registered stick. Pretty traceless since it had no connection to a bank account. Just a set amount encoded on the stick. Most of Carlos’ paycheck came on these sticks.


Carlos sat back and enjoyed his beer. People milled about flirting and threatening. There really wasn’t a difference with these people. One of the 5 gangbangers got up to leave. The ’banger gave a quick nod towards Carlos before heading out. what the heck was that about? About 5 minutes later the sound of electricity arched through the air. Followed closely by the smell of burnt hair. Ah that’s what it was about. Poor small town guy. Two of the ‘bangers ran out to check on their bud. The other two stalked over to Carlos looking rather upset.


“Hey ponch! Is that your skid out front?â€


“Could be†Carlos tried to remain clam as his hand slid down to his Cobra. The other two ‘bangers came back shaking there heads with pistols at there sides. Carlos didn’t know how many friends the ‘bangers had but four was already a bit rough if they got the drop on him. not likely.


“Well your skid just fried my coz. What are you gonna do about it?â€


“You coz should have bought one instead of stealing†Carlos lowered his eyes at their leader. “And you should think long and hard before making your next decision.†The Cobra was warmed up and ready. All four ‘bangers crowded him now.


“One for one ponch.†With that the leader went for his waist. Carlos never gave him a chance. His twitchy reflexes reacted much faster then this poor sod expected. With a smooth motion Carlos fired his Cobra from under his jacket and brought his elbow into a second ‘bangers nose. The energy pulse sank deep into the leaders ribcage. Burning flesh and bone, on it’s way through and out the other side. The remaining patrons began scattering for the door. Fools have probably never even seen an energy pistol this far out. The remaining ’bangers feel backward grasping for their own pistols. Carlos leaped the bar and was covered behind it before the leader hit the floor.


Gunfire erupted inside the bar. Glass and bullet fragments rang down on Carlos’ bunkered position. All that ammo and they still can’t shoot. Amateurs. Among the chaos Carlos waited patiently for his moment. It came soon enough. All the firing soon switched to a series of clicks and curses. Smiling Carlos stood up and drew down on three fools. All reloading at the same time. Two quick shots dropped two dumb ‘bangers. The third looked up to see Carlos standing on the bar with a bead on his head. “5...4...3..†Carlos began counting. The ‘banger began running. “2...†The ‘banger reached the door and dived out. “1..†Carlos let him run away. Cute kids. They need a better leader. With that he walked out to his skid and left. Boots on the victim seemed small so he left them. Average response time of the five-oh out here was 7 minutes for a gunshot call. Checking his watch he grumbled. “should’ve finished my beer.â€



Episdoe Three will finally have him heading out.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Re: Arcanus: Story


I agree, you have a great writing style. I look forward to the third installment. The world sounds very interesting. Storn's right, the description of the 100 stories and such being small gives great perspective as to what a large city may be like. Please keep me updated on the progress of Arcanus.

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