Everyone has their pet setting. This is mine.
It is in the future. The deep future. It is after the end, though which end isn't known. It is not simply post-apocalyptic: it is post-post-post-post-post-post-apocalyptic. Man's empire has waxed and waned and waxed innumerably, to the the point where no one remembers where the species has been nor where it is going.
The Earth is the single most evident example of this. The North American continent is rent in twain, separated by a Mississippian ocean. The remains of dying governments cling to outdated mandates to rule. They call themselves the Extant States of Usonia. Nomadic gatherers hunt twelve foot tall dogs amidst mile high skyscrapers. Strange machine cults prowl vast desert/junkyards, hoping to reassemble their broken gods. Ape-kingdoms, led by a tougher, more virant strain of humanity, wage war and win slaves from their black stone keeps. Sand is no longer found near water; beaches are covered in endless sea-glass mosaics.
The moon, shining and green, speaks to unimagined changes. If you focus a telescope you can see cool black lakes, and green fields with white flowers, and the remains of crashed starships.
This strange new world has strange new rules. You can prove a man a wizard by his single black hand; every time he casts a spell, the nanomachines grow and consume a little more of him. Always make sure to drive out the electronic ghosts from any tech you find. And one must never mistreat a cat, for it may rise upon two feet, shot you with it's laser pistol, and call you a wanker. Unless it's just a cat.
There are whispers of other worlds. That on Mercury the wheeled city of Mist races to avoid conflagration on the planet's sun-lit side, while looting the tomb-tunnels of the First Men. That the gods still walk on the water world of Venus, and may bless you with a new, more aquatic form. That on cold, snow covered Mars the Clone Kings war, even as they scheme and plot to plunder the asteroid belt before the Thought Lords of Saturn can do the same. And that on Jupiter, past the Galilean moons and the Rad Boys and the Great Maze, lies a way out. To the rest of humanity.
But who can say what that even means, among the clones and the mutants and the bio-engineered beasts and the mad gods. Man has no true faster-then-light drive, no pathway to the stars. Perhaps that is for the best.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Well, I posted about Battle Mountain. Real place in Neveda, by the way, but the point is I am now free to never talk about it again. Instead, fiction! And D&D! And no doubt incoherent ramblings. Once a day! More then once a day? Probably not more then once a day. Probably once a week, maybe, until this thing dies a slow and painful death. Like all blogs do in time. Except this will take like what, a month tops?
Whatever. Bring it on, Battle Mountain.
Whatever. Bring it on, Battle Mountain.
We are gunning across Nevada, cruising at a hundred miles an hour on a thin grey river of asphalt. With the sun behind us and the plains ahead of us we are awash in gold. It soaks into our skin and gleams off our smiles. And it is at this point, were everything is beautiful and nothing hurts, that we see the sign: white letters on green metal, it says simply: Battle Mountain, 12 miles.
Well that sounds cool.
As we head over a small hill the freeway stretches out in front of us and in the distance, the sky darkens. Clouds have gathered, blotting out the sky like a jar of spilled ink, and their shadows form a rapidly approaching jagged line that rips the earth into light and dark. On the sides of the road are skulking black things, the frayed remains of tires, arranged like the skulls of dead foes. Go back, they say. Go back or join us.
Suddenly, lightning. There's a flash, and then a white chain strings itself across the sky. It's arc is parabolic: does it remember what ground is? As if in answer, another jolt of lightning slams into the earth, then another. Pillars of energy light our way in the now black landscape, soundless in the confines our car.
Traffic slows down, slightly, and our neighbors crowd in. Though we drive two ton metal monsters some deep part of our brain whispers that there is safety in numbers. And then, the rain. It's scattered and sparse, but unfelt winds drive it into the windows like a jack hammer. TAP TAP TAP it screams, trying to get inside, and soon it is pouring, smashing into us in side sweeping sheets, a windborne torrent. The whispers are defeated and futile; it feels like driving underwater.
Meanwhile the slope steepens. Mountains seem to rise around us, primal and raw from the earth, the howling winds their birth screams. Behind us the sun shine a furious crimson from a gap in the dark clouds. And in front of us, shrouded in winds and rain, wreathed in lightning, and burning red from the gaze of an angry god, looms Battle Mountain.
It is the most metal thing I've ever fucking seen.