Engines of Progress

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ignition, Jul 30, 2013.

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  1. Science was such a dangerous force.

    A force that could change the world, for the better or for the worse.

    In this case, it had changed it for the worse.

    Just a month ago, the British Empire felt their first, vicious attack from within as their steam-driven servants, the Engines of Progress, suddenly began to exterminate all human beings in sight. Tougher, larger and stronger than humans, the Engines succeeded in killing hundreds of thousands of British citizens before the country had even had so much of a chance at fighting back.

    The year is 1901, and the Engines prowl a war-torn Great Britain, and possibly the rest of the world. It is the War of Progress, and it is a dark, horrific time for British people everywhere.


    It wasn't easy being an eccentric genius. And it especially wasn't easy being a genius in a country torn up by bloodshed and war.

    Ben Clarke was no stranger to conflict. Engines had gone haywire before. But they'd been taken care of before any significant damage could be done.

    This was different. People were dying out there, and the military was in shambles. Running water, power, food, medicine; these were all luxuries now. Even air was becoming scarce near London, as the Engines had begun unleashing clouds of deadly smog as a way of "smoking out" any surviving humans.
    So for now, all Ben had was his workshop, which was located safely underground, and hopefully safe from all Engines.

    Ben was a tall, slim fellow, still dressed in nice vestments even during this grim time of violence. His brown suit and black pants were marred with ash and dirt now though, along with his prized dull green top-hat.

    Always clean shaven, even when doing dirty work, one of Ben's more prominent features would be his left ear, which was replaced by a small, silver horn-like device that allowed him to hear again. A Hermes Engine had blown off the ear just a week ago, but with his scientific knowledge, he was able to create something to put it in mostly working order again.

    Ben's original above-ground workshop had been destroyed by a legion of Engines, and it was a miracle that he even survived that attack in the first place. Now he was used to a more humble life underground, beneath what used to be a farmhouse, before a Colossus Engine knocked it over some time ago.

    Spending most of his time designing devices capable of shutting off Engines entirely, most of Ben's efforts have been met with little success. His best bet were in some sticky mines he had created, which could discharge enough electricity to stop an Engine in its tracks, if only temporarily.

    Now he sat in what could be best described as a spacious cave of sorts, beneath a discrete trapdoor hidden within the remnants of the destroyed barn. When not working on his craft, Ben spent most of his time digging out more space.

    As he wiped away beads of sweat from his forehead, shoveling more and more dirt away, he could hear the faint rumbling in the distance, the possibility of Engines patrolling above. Miles away from London, the threat of Engines was still very prevalent. Even in the countryside, no one was really safe.

    So when a slight knock could be heard on the trapdoor above, Ben did not immediately know how to react.

    He knew in an instant it couldn't be an Engine. Unless they had already learned the nuances of knocking in the first place, they would simply break through. But a human would obviously knock, hoping someone was there if the trapdoor itself was indeed locked from the other side.

    Letting whoever was up there in would present a number of problems however. How could he trust them? They might kill him the moment he turned his back. Plus, he only had so much food and water left over for each day. How could possibly support both himself and this newcomer effectively without having to constantly traverse above in search of supplies?

    These questions and more went through Ben Clarke's head as he reached forward towards the clasp of the trapdoor.

    Sure, he didn't know who it was, but it had to be human, right?

    This was just the wrong time to be a lone genius. If it wasn't an Engine up there, ready to shatter his spine, then it was good enough for him.
  2. Quick Character Sheet
    At the age of twelve, it was time to learn how to survive on her own. But things were not easy and they will never be.
    "Roxik" Turmino had many hills in her life to climb, but even before she became a teenager, she had to climb to tallest of them all. Roxik's parents died as they tried to buy her some time to hide from her understanding "monsters". Though she remembers very little of anything let alone her parents.

    Roxik managed to find shelter with an elderly lady that seemed to be the only one to understand her and she knew better to trust anyone other then her trusted partner, though food was tough which made her travel some ways.

    But one day enough was enough to Roxik and it was time to move on. She couldn't stay with the elder anymore as much trouble she have gotten in with her bow "Artillia". The elder just sat in their little shelter humming to herself and telling Roxik stories and would make her clothing. But those days were over. Roxik took a deep breath and hugged the elder gently.

    "Thank you for all you have done. The comforting nights and the wisdom you shared. But I can't put you in anymore trouble."

    The elder gently touched Roxik's face and rubbed her cheek with a crinkled thumb. The elder shedded a few tears that left moist trails. Roxik had to wipe her delicate, pale cheek to keep dry.

    "I'll try to visit, promise...Ardel."

    Roxik stood up and shifted her stretchy goggles down covering her upper half of her face and that made sure that her soft brown eyes was completely invisible that looked at her closely. Roxik picked up Artillia and setted her over her shoulders as she headed out if the hidden building that was disguised as a brick wall. As she stepped out, a gust of disturbing wind blew her brown hair that was slowly growing to a gross-like green from the tainted air that cursed her hair.

    Roxik gave a disgusted grin and dashed out in her leather boots that were chained by a bronze metal to help keep them on. Her body was covered in mainly leather or cloth that covered from head to toe. Her neck was covered in a metallic brace that helped her take better breathing techniques. Her shoulders had bronze metal padding that helped her carry her detailed metal bow that was gifted to her by her father.

    The pair managed to find a field that looked dead, but without the will, Roxik may have never found it. Roxik kneeled down exhausted as she rested her bow up-striaght.

    "Great a field. Think we are going to find anything Artillia?"

    Anyone would think she has grown insane and probably thought in her head the bow was a person but Roxik knew better. She knew it wasn't a legit person, but it spoke. Roxik closed her eyes and listened.

    "Shelter? I don't think a broken building is going to get us much of a shelter Artillius.... but let's go."

    Roxik soon found the building that looked like ruins, but she decided to be cautious and approached slowly scanning every inch of the area. She had no energy to try to fight and even if she did, she had no where to hide. With enough quick steps and inch crawls, she reached the building. There was literally nothing here. She shook her head and glanced at her bow that rested on her shoulder. But as she glanced she caught something else to her eye.

    'Artillia...look. Is that one if those weird ground doors?"

    Roxik approached the door on the ground and brushed some rubish off if it. She thought for a moment then looked around making sure there was no sign of life. As she looked back to the door she took a deep breath and eased her face expressions. If there was someone down there, she had to look innocent right? Roxik struggled for a minuet then set Artillia close by and knocked. She waited and listened. Roxik knocked again....
  3. There was a short noise as Ben opened up the locked trapdoor, revealing the breezy air and newcomer above.

    She was a girl, from what he could tell, but probably not too far from his age. Her appearance suggested she had been up above for a while now, as she looked like she was wearing enough armor to take a hit from an Engine and survive it. Most peculiar about her was the strange device in her hand. It caught Ben's eye immediately.

    True to his eccentric nature, Ben was suddenly and totally attacked with a rush of curiousity. He seemed to almost barrel out of the trapdoor, snatching up the bow-like construct from Roxik's grasp without even asking. Pacing back and forth, he ran his fingers along its structure, his face aglow with excitement.

    "My, my, my! What a fascnating device you have here! It has such grace to it...nothing like the frames of those lumbering Engines."

    Continuing to ignore Roxik, Ben measured the bow against himself, marveling at its size. His eyes mentally deconstructed it as best they could, but seconds passed, and he still had no idea how it worked.

    "This is marvelous, my lady, simply marvelous. Do you know what kind of science you are holding here? If my calculations are indeed correct, and mind you, they are always correct, then this bow may have technology inside it that is far beyond anything of this good Earth! Oh, what the Royal Academy of Sciences would do to get their hands on this..."

    Clearly, Ben was as giddy as a boy in a candy store.

    It was only after another minute of looking at the device that Ben realized he had been talking nonstop and basically ignoring this newcomer.

    Stopping himself, he took the hat off his head in a polite gesture.

    "Oh, my, I do get quite ahead of myself, don't I?. Allow me to introduce myself as the one and only Ben Clarke; scientist, philanthropist and tea-tasting extraodinare. I'm sure you may have heard of me."

    Ben chuckled under his breath as he eyed the bow again, before turning his gaze back to RoxiK.

    "Technology always ruins my manners. So, what is your name, miss? And what you might be doing up and about in this dreadful land crawling with Engines?"
    #3 Ignition, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  4. Roxik was shocked to see a decent dressed man compared to the others back up town from where she came. She was use to seeing scrap metal and some ragged cloths in most. She felt the warmth rise up from the ground and a musky smell that she wasn't use to.

    She examined the man but could not define him easily. She debated on making the first move though she was unsure what to do or say to someone she could not define right away. Roxik shifted slightly and before she could regain a comfortable posture, the stranger took holds if Artillia. But when he rambled on about complete nonsense, all she had to do was shame her head. She was already ready to make a move if he made any other move than examination.

    Moments passed before he finally hushed and acknowledged her then became polite. Roxik took hold of her bow and tugged it out if his hand defensively and gave an intent stare.

    "It's not just a bow with some stinkn' "high-grade" technology. Her name is Artillia, as for my name that isn't important to either of us right now nor why I'm out here."

    Roxik paused for a moment looking at her bow apologetically and gently placed her hand on it. But after a moments thought she began to show some confusion as she looked at the man who called himself Ben.

    "What is a phil-ant-epist?"

    She clearly never heard if the man but she cared not either. She lifted Artillia up onto her shoulders and slowly got up on her fight with little trouble. As she looked around at the lifeless country side, she huffed and looked back at her bow. An idea came to her mind that made her grin. It could be one if her better ideas, or worst. She looked down at Ben.

    "I'll let you have a better look at my partner Artillia, IF you let me stay for a bit and lend me some food. I might be if some available service too..."

    Roxik stood still as her metal armor and Artillia gave a dim glimmer as if sun has hit it in the right spot though she kept a defensive posture. Her hair blew gently hitting her face as her traces of gross green shown, she looked down at Ben.
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