miércoles, agosto 22, 2012
-KICKSTARTER: RELIC KNIGHT UPDATE 19
Quedan 18 días aún para que finalice el Kickstarter y nos la amenizan con la continuación del relato que publicación hace unos días. Malya Ulixis: Origins Story - Part 2
Malya could feel the buzz of excitement in the pits. Her racer “Sedaris” unpacked, pacing her on a rented grav sled as she made her way through the concrete underbelly of the massive raceway center. Cerci Prime had been under constant construction for more than a generation to bring it to what it is today. A gleaming planet spanning metropolis where one can find just about any distraction, elicit or otherwise. But the main draw for millions of visitors, the Cerci Speed Circuit. A globe spanning network of raceways built through the massive cities entertainment districts, overhead, and underground. The galaxies eye turned to Cerci when the races were running hot.Malya continued into the ready bay, security allowing her to proceed with her participants pass fully scanned and registered. Down a broader thoroughfare now with hundreds of racers spread out on what looked like the flight deck of a space carrier. Small teams of mechanics, security, sports models, media teams, and other entourages created a cacophony in the large hanger’s reinforced bay. A spritely young spokes model brushed past Malya having a lively conversation with a small creature perched on her shoulder sipping a beverage. “Look Tomn-Tomn, you can have a play date with that cute little guy!” Giggled Malya to her companion.
Mr. Tomn ducked low into his bag, ears flat, and a distinct static field was building in magnitude around the little cypher. Mr. Tomn Squinted intensely at the other cypher as the girl in the revealing costume sauntered past. The offending cypher merely looked over his shoulder at Mr.Tomn, flicking it’s tails in precocious dismissal before going back to sipping it’s beverage. Mr. Tomn and Malya both visibly relaxed as they continued to their start position.
The hanger continues to buzz, Malya gives Sedaris a thorough once-over, priming ignition, fuel reserves, vectored thrusters and actuators working well. The high gloss of the pink and white finish gleaming under the lights.
In the gantries, amongst the onlookers, a few new faces appear in the crowd. Dark visors cover their eyes, heavy cloaks cover their bulky forms as they move like eels through the sea of people assembling to see the race off.
Malya clamps on her gravatic dampeners, each metallic node attaching firm. Upper arms, thighs, ribcage, to protect her from gravity shock, and in some extreme cases, might even save her life if she is thrown from the saddle. Each one lights up blue in turn to indicate they are operational as Malya jumps into the saddle of Sedaris. She flashes a cute salute to the nearest vid crew. “C’mon Tomn-Tomn, we gotta get going” Mr. Tomn poked out from under his bag and scrambled up the back of Sedaris and into a satchel at the front of the bikes saddle where he would ride along.
“Target sighted” voiced a visored stranger watching intently from the gantry.
Through his visor, red icons danced over the heads of the other members of the Black Diamond target exploitation team. The members of T.E.T. were all elite servicemen in their careers, and the high paying contracts the Black Diamonds employ are certainly motivators in keeping the best trained people on the mission. This mission was a simple smash and grab, secure the target, and exfiltrate to a secure facility here on Cerci to drop off their quarry.
The lights come up, and a loud voice over the network announces the start of the next quarter final. “Racers need to take their marks.” Echoed the audio channels.
The quick bustle of activity clears out the hangar space quickly, media steps off, vid drones hover overhead for action shots of racers from a hundred different worlds. Racers go about quickly securing their rides, strapping on bits of armor, fastening helmets, and tucking away contraband weapons into discreet panels and pockets of their costumes.
The race will take the racers over 6,000 miles of Cerci metro air space. The course, having been camped out for weeks by a million spectators, bustles with activity and anticipation. The grav rings have been hoisted into position, the raceway is set, and half of civilized space is watching. A ready marker chimes, and over 200 engines and propulsion units fire to life. Sedaris whines to a hearty hum under Malya's bare thighs, the vibrations forcing her cheeks to flush with anticipation. The far bay wall engages, and the floor shaking sound of a hundred tons of shielding wall start to recede, letting in a wash of warm muggy air from the ruddy colored and perpetual twilight sky of Cerci outside. It was mid-afternoon, and the race was expected to last at least 6 hours. The gantry was filled with security, media, and a lowered platform detached and hovered into place at the head of the racers with a small swarm of vid drones buzzing around the generous figure of the spokes model Malya had seen earlier. She posed for the cameras, as outside, vid screens as large as space freighters introduced this year’s flag girl as Candy. Giving a wink to the cameras, she spun in place and the glow orbs on her sleeves began to glow intensely bright. First violet, hundreds of shouts and engines revved up in the hall, kickstands disengaged as gravatic motors held the bobbing sea of helmets aloft. The dancing patterns woven by Candy’s arms began to move faster as the orbs transitioned to warm amber. Her arms moving faster to an inaudible tempo, no doubt the same thumping beat that could be heard out in the crowded stands, here at the top of the city.
Then, and almighty cheer erupts, Candy’s arms shoot out to both sides, fingers extended, face serious. The orbs nearly explode with intensity as they turn green, and her hands drop to her sides as 200 of the galaxies craziest racers erupt from their start positions into the open sky and through the first ring.
“Hold on Tomn-Tomn” Malya shouted above the roar. Her furry companion hunkered down, ears back, and poised himself for the acceleration. Malya hit the booster as the racers in her row erupt onto the open raceway. The quarterfinal for the Cerci Prime has begun!
The warm air of Cerci Prime is split like a knife by the wind field projected from the front of Malya’s bike. The twinkling lights ahead, thruster fire from about four dozen racers well ahead of Malya in position in the race, and the rest catching up behind her fast. Tipping the nose of Sedaris into a deep dive to the next ring, Malya squeals with delight, feeling the G-forces through her dampeners. The audible flapping of Mr. Tomn’s ears and the delighted expression on his face mirroring her own as they bank hard left to the next marker.
The wide avenues, hundreds of meters in the air, are a blur of lights, tall buildings and the sound of thousands cheering, music blaring, advertisements on brightly lit commercial boards, barely noticed by Malya over the sound of rushing wind and Sedaris’s heavy thrusters. After about two hours of race time, two racers pull into Malya’s blind spots, both left and right. Aqualian riders, with their domed helmets containing their home world’s nitrogen rich ocean water, glow internally and reflect off of their finely scaled faces. A little shorter than humans, they have a natural tolerance for high speed and changes in gravity, making them strong competitors.
The nearest Aqualian, with his Orange metallic speeder, nosed in uncomfortably close as the second rider pulled ahead. Mr. Tomn lent his preternaturally speedy summation of the situation in a blast of chattering prattle. Malya looked nervously over her shoulder, and raised the nose of Sedaris, easing back on her thrusters hoping the Orange racer would pass underneath. A steep climb was coming. The changing track was now leading racers to go up and over a nearby building, as the gravatic repulsors on the race rings moved the track into a new position, riders ahead compensated and started a slow incline to breach the new objective. The rider ahead slowed up and positioned himself in front of Malya, just overhead. As much as she would jig right and left, he kept up, the orange racer on her rear. They were going to force her into the wall! Now about 2 miles out, she was going to cover that space in a matter of seconds, and needed to escape this pincer move now. The orange racer moved in, matching Malya’s speed perfectly. As if she could see what was happening behind her as clearly as she was looking ahead, the orange racer was reaching into a sliding compartment on the side of his vehicle, drawing out a small hold out pistol. He raised the weapon to fire… “No!” she shouted, the discharge went off and pattered harmlessly off of a shimmering wave of green light. The astonished orange rider was dazzled by the exploding light, the lead Aqualian broke into a steep climb, Malya in close pursuit, the orange rider spun terminally into the tall buildings impact shields, reducing the rider and his gear to cinders as to not rain death on the citizens in the hab blocks in the lower levels of Cerci.
Rin Farrah struck an imposing figure, she moved from vid screen to vid screen, leaning over her young security officers to get a picture of the situation in the various race zones. The officers flush with discomfort, trying terribly hard not to stare at the places where Rin’s unorthodox security uniform failed to provide adequate protection. More so, because to be caught staring was to end up polishing defunct P.A.C.E. units in the Cerci custodial pits. Rin calmly watched another few riders tumble to their demise on a sharp turn, the riders glowing sigils turning amber and adding themselves to the third row of names, confirming active racers, injured or stopped racers, and deceased. The small command center managed security across all 6,000 miles of the Cerci quarter final track. Lines on the map shift as the track makes adjustments to itself, accommodating higher priority traffic, other races, or “interference”. It was this last category that Rin Farrah was a particular expert in. Needless to say, races with such high stakes often involve interlopers, criminals, assassins, saboteurs, and people who simply want to put the odds a little more in their favor. Rin’s network had already picked up news of a large increase in Black Diamond presence in the last hours. Some teams have already been identified and were being followed for good measure. There seemed to be something interesting about this race, as they were converging on the last stretch of raceway.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” She said, as she slung “Rudy”, her trusty sniper rifle, over her shoulder and headed for the door. The command center was in good hands until she returned.
Leopold’s ADDER chase craft tore through the high atmosphere of Cerci, the amber glow under the cloud cover lent an eerie effect to the night side of Cerci. Down there was his prize.