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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-09, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Armoured Core (Non GW *Gasp*)

Hey there peeps. Been at this for a few weeks, never really occured to me to post it up hear. I'm planning on showing you guys the first 10 chapters, I'll upload them in this thread as I do them.

I have chapters 1-4 written, but I'll give it a few days space.

The Armoured Core games have always been a big favourite of mine, this story is loosely based on the latest outing of the series; For Answer, which in my mind has the strongest plotline.

Chapter 1 - Late Beginnings

++Warning. Prepare for Drop++

Speras closed his eyes and tightened his grip just before the world fell out beneath him.

A metallic figure fell through the sky, shining brightly as the sun danced along its reflective surface. It glistened brightly like a falling star before plunging through the clouds, obscuring the drop ship from view. The armoured figure was humanoid; its arms and legs spread eagle as it soared down to the planet below, angling its body gracefully through the air to target its prey. Its streamlined body cut through the heavens with astounding speed, the chest of the figure came out to a point, the head was of a similar design, a glowing blue band was the only feature. Instead of wings, long stabilisers grew from the back of the radiant form; helping to angle it’s decent.

Within the armoured body Speras sighed slightly, another boring task, a cleanup mission like so many before it. The crushing walls of boredom were closing in, this felt more like routine than a battle situation should. How many times had he dealt with this exact situation before? Tens of times? Hundreds? Possibly.

His destination came into view as he neared the ground; a thick steel bridge crossing a great mass of water, a single band of advancement in this drowned and dying landscape. Bright lights flashed past as those on the bridge opened fire, the slugs launching sporadically into the sky. Speras twirled lazily through the air, the rounds whizzing past the construct. He engaged his boosters as he prepared to land. Deep hazy blue lights flaring into tiny, furious white infernos across his back and legs.

The machine slowed drastically before hitting the bridge, and the crossings true size could be appreciated from this distance, a great metallic bandage holding the hulking ocean together. The mechanical form slammed into the road of the bridge, sending cracks snaking and diving along the driveway, the metal merely groaned in protest where the concrete had broken, dust and other small debris fell slowly to the ground after being shook free. The sound of whirring machinery and hissing pistons could be heard through the dust as the construct righted itself. Speras’ radio crackled as he picked up the communication frequencies of his targets.

“That’s...That’s an Armoured Core!”

“No one said anything about a NEXT being here!”

“Open fire!”

Speras shot forward out of the settling dust cloud, jetting across the floor on the tracks under his mechanical feet, the rush of battle surging through his body. He moved with strange grace and speed, something that should be impossible for its size. The construct, the Armoured Core, easily dominated the entire breadth of the road, a road made for moving heavy freight and material. Wide and inaccurate fire flew past him as he closed in on his targets, just regular, outdated military vehicles; a handful of tanks and a couple of small bird-like walkers. One of the rounds fizzled and disintegrated as a protective field crackled into view around Speras. The Green lighting danced lazily before fading from view once more.

“It has a Kojima field...”

Speras smiled at the sound of the enemy’s disbelief before opening fire with his own rifle. He slinked to the side of the street and brought his gun to bear; blowing away one of the bird walkers in a hail of high calibre fire, the small machine was chewed to pieces by the massive rounds, reduced to creaking and smoking shards of metal in seconds. The large and sleek rifle announced a death toll with a roaring thump each time it fired. His suit let out another hiss as he glided smoothly across the street with ghost like speed; he rammed another into the water below with a sharp impact from his shoulder. The diminutive machine flailed wildly before sinking to the dark depths, its form quickly becoming clouded as the ocean claimed yet another prize. More shots began to crackle against the reactive Kojima field, burning harmlessly to nothing before him. A quick and decisive stomp from the Armoured Core crushed a tank beneath its reinforced boot, it protested for just a moment, and then it collapsed in a wail of shattered armour as the tank disappeared, the metal crumpling as easily a paper under the force. A small jet of fire shot out from under his heel, bright death throes of a last machine.

The rest of the targets went down as effortlessly as the first; it was not long before Speras was standing alone amidst wrecked and destroyed machinery, the Armoured Core stood eerily still as he stared out over the ocean. A collection of derelict and sodden buildings poked out from the dark liquid, once tall and mighty constructs, reduced to empty and miserable memories of the fallen city below the waters consuming embrace. The dejected structures radiated a strange and silent sadness that unsettled Speras every time he laid eyes upon then. Great gravestones as a monument to Humanities folly.

With the battle over -if it could even be called that, he though dryly to himself, the looming sense of lack of purpose and monotony came crashing down on him once again. He opened a communication line to his Operator.
“Mission complete, targets eliminated” He felt tired, the tedium was getting to him.

A female voice responded across the radio “Sure thing Sper, why sound so glum?”

Speras huffed slightly before responding “These missions, these operations Rose, they just feel, well, worthless...”

“Hey, works work. We need to make the best of what we have at the moment.”

But what was the moment? Similar operations such as this is all he felt he’s accomplished in who knows how long, and a constant struggle was hardly a new thing. Though Rose was new, she’s been his Operator for nearly a month and they had accomplished seven missions of comparable prestige and difficulty together. That was one time milestone at least. “There are a few more contracts coming in, good job you’re so popular” Speras smiled at the tease. “Want me to open them up for you?”


But before Rose could respond his entire screen blacked out and his entire suit went dark. Speras narrowed his eyes and looked around the cockpit for some answer. His reply came in the form of his view screen crackling back into life. The image of two flags waving lazily against a clouded sky, the picture was incredibly grainy. One of the flags was the image of a solar eclipse; light barely able to break past a dark sphere. The other was simply black.

“We all need to make choices” The voice was deep, smooth and seemed to hold the weight of age, experience and sorrow all mixed into one. “Where will you stand when the time comes?”

The image cut out and the cockpit lit up once more.

“Rose, what the hell was that?”

“...What the hell was what Sper?” she sounded reproachful.

“That message, strangest Corporation ad I’ve ever seen...”

“I haven’t sent you any of the assignments... I asked if you wanted me to open them for you and you didn’t respond.”

Speras was silent for a moment. “I just got a message that was, quite frankly, weird. Can’t you track it or something?”

“There’s nothing to track, are you sure your feeling all right after the drop? Come back and I’ll run a diagnostic over the suit.”

“I feel fine.”

He lied as he stared out at lost, portentous buildings dead in the water.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-09, 12:12 AM
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Woot, Armored Core! I'm liking it, Concrete Hero, don't really have anything more to say than that at the moment. Be pretty cool to see a spider-legged Next though XD.


“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company

Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-29-09, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default Chapter Two

A bit of a late prologue is Chapter Two.

Chapter Two: The World We Live In

The World was a different place, Humanity had seen to that.

The year was 2089 and the planet was dying. For long had it suffered under the polluted drive of ‘civilisation’, until it simply became too toxic to inhabit certain areas. The World had certainly changed. Deserts were a common sight on the new Earth, the stripping of the ozone layer had left the globe open to the punishing glare of the sun and many landscapes had simply given up. Becoming starved and parched, sandy shadows of their former selves, nothing but blasted wastelands.

To mirror the creeping advance of the deathly desert the sea levels had risen, drowning many of the human races greatest achievements in a callous watery embrace. So this was the new World, both drowned and dry.

Though the technology of Humanity had not been completely lost, some see it as a cruel joked played upon them that civilisations greatest war machines had survived, the last laugh of a dying planet. They are called Armoured Cores, or NEXTs. Machines that resemble us only in shape, these great constructs of war were truly devastating. Able to carry armaments that could sink a battleship, with the speed of a fighter jet, finished off with the instinct and dexterity of a foot soldier. NEXT pilots, or a Lynx as they are called, are wired directly into their machines on more than a conscious level. They see through camera lenses as if they were their own eyes and feel through the metal outer casing as if it were their own skin.

Though not all can handle being interred so deeply into a machine, or they simply do not possess the skill to operate an Armour Core. Less advanced suits are much more common across the Globe, referred to with a variety of different names, always labelled as ‘Normals’ by the Lynxes.

Governments broke down, unable to keep up with the rapidly altering World. The power of Humanity was now held by a chain of companies and private services known collectively as ‘The Corporations’. These were the power plants, the weapons manufactures and science business that were able to make a profit from Earths current situation. A loose alliance is held between The Corporation, though this is usually for face value only. The many companies often hire the Armoured Cores for their own interests, many of the Lynxes operating as mercenaries. Some are often completely created and owned by certain factions. These companies use the Lynxes for their own ends; sabotage, theft or whatever destructive means that will result in them placing higher than their rivals. For even in the lofty heights of the upper atmosphere, each day was still a passing battle for survival.

Many places on Earth were too inhospitable, through either being wiped off the map by a growing sea, choked in thick smog of deadly pollution or gripped in the burning embrace of the wasteland. Many lived their lives high above the clouds, soaring in great crafts known as Cradles. These astronomical machines flew on great wings of metal, gliding gracefully under the suns direct gaze, each ship home to millions of people. These Cradles were few, and far from everybody ever had a chance to live in the last clean place on Earth.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-09, 01:27 AM
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Primarily a very interesting, intriguing start
Your language is as ever brilliant and easy to read and I'm looking forward to the next part

kudos to lillian thorne for the awesome sig
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-09, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments guys :D

Chapter three be a bit more descriptive, I'm trying a bit of characterisation with showing rather than telling.

Chapter Three: Tavern

The tavern was warm, musky. Familiar smokey tinge fogged the room.

Speras sat at an old, warped wooden table, its age apparent in more than just the level of grime and scum around the edges. He ran his hand over the wood; the many ridges and contours drew an interesting pattern under the eyes of his fingertips, feeling for a moment something more than decade’s worth of scores and scratches. His eyes were heavy and his shoulders slack; he slumped back into the chair and leaned his head back. The heat didn’t help, nor was it doing any favours for the smell of the room. Stuffy, still air crawled its way through his nose; the smell of timbre mixed with dried alcohol stains and sombre, too warm people was a strong one. Despite the punishing glare of the sun, the bar was relatively gloomy, Speras was sat by the only tinted window and the lights glowed feebly in their cages, not managing more than illuminating the smog that choked them.

There were a handful of people here, though it was relatively silent; nothing more than the odd murmurs between the bartender and those seeking the solace of another drink. A man wearing a muscle suit sat at the bar, a curiously patterned helmet sat upon the table. The thick outer cores of the suit flexed as he moved, the overall impression was of a human body with their skin flayed, the muscle structure displayed for the entire world to see. The hard look in his eyes warded off any kind of conversation. A shrouded figure sat in the corner of the room, the light struggling with a losing battle against the darkness. His face was shadowed by a wide hat and his body hidden under a long overcoat.

Speras exhaled a long and doleful note before turning to the window. Even after the tint of the glass the sand shone, an ocean of glowing particles. There was more buildings outside, a tower block stood out, leaning slightly over, just waiting to fall and be rid of it all. Not a single window remained intact along its entire surface. There were people here, despite the barren look of the place, though to venture out under the sun’s rays was uncomfortable to say the least. The buildings all shared the same appearance; baked by the heat and dust clogged in this sandy graveyard. Speras lost himself in thoughts of the past as he stared out of the window. Aimlessly he brushed a strand of blonde hair from his face. His eyes stared through time and seemed slightly misty amidst the memories and his features seemed hard, even in this dream like state. Amongst more distant recollections he cast his mind back to the strange message; Rose and gone over all the communication channels (albeit a little reluctantly) and had found no trace or record of the strange message. He hadn’t made peace with it, it took him long enough to convince her it was some hallucination brought on by the heat or strange subconscious vision from being de-wired from the Core. But maybe she was right, the technology they used was top notch, unregistered communications was simply something that didn’t happen, but it had felt so real...

Roaring engines shook him from his reverie, the sound of something large taking flight, an Armoured Core if he wasn’t mistaken. As always when confronted with the possibility of a NEXT around while he was out of his Core made him feel slightly skittish and vulnerable, it served to shake him fully back into consciousness at least. His brow furrowed, he could have sworn he didn’t see any AC’s around when he’d arrived, something alien in his peripherals caught his attention and made him turn. He almost started when he saw it sitting on the table right in front of him; a small disc, about the size of his hand. A rush of annoyance swept through him, whoever had left it there had been close enough to kill him while he was swimming amongst memories. Because of that he guessed it was safe to touch at least, he’d already played the part of the amateur. It was cool, delicately his finger removed the quickly settling dust; smooth metal. His eyes widened as an icon in the centre became clear; light trying to push its way past a dark circle, an eclipsed sun. He quickly leaned back towards the window, hoping futilely to catch a glimpse of the mech. Several people had left the bar, including the obscured figure who sat in the corner.

The sound of wood scraping against wood rang out as he pushed his chair out and left the bar, some air of purpose returned to him. The burning light stung his retinas even behind tight eye lids; he scanned the sky, blue for once, but saw nothing. Whatever had left had been fast. He stared down at the disc, mixed emotions playing out under a stern mask.

This disc was at least proof what he had seen wasn’t some creation of his mind; he had to get it back. He circled around the building, the door of his aircar opening with a hiss. Even out of the sunlight the insides felt like stepping into an oven. With a flick of a switch the machine buzzed into life, lifting gently off the floor, kicking up small whirling tornadoes of sand. The humming note of the aircar increased in pitch and the streamlined pod lifted itself gracefully into the hair, a blurring wash of heat keeping the craft aloft as it dived into the intense azure ocean of the solar illuminated sky.

Tears of rain slid down the domed glass, unable to cling on in the raging wind. Lightning dived between the clouds in hot shouts of anger; the storm did not hide its feelings. It had burst from nowhere, blisteringly hot and clear one moment, Wrath of Olympus the next. Such was another by product of a tortured world.

The air car cut through the rain, a powerful sky swimmer. The flashes of light played off this fishes scale-less hide. Speras turned to the disc, resting patiently in the passenger seat. It looked odd, but it had felt... Wrong leaving it in the back or even his pocket. The smug object beamed, shining menacingly with the lightning, strange off tempo heart beat.

He wanted to tell himself he was over thinking, being paranoid. But that nagging sensation at the back of his mind had saved him on more than one occasion.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-09, 02:18 AM
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Killer. I really like it. There are a few spots where it bogs down a little and some words out of place, but nothing a look over will not fix.

Seriously though, +rep.

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