AmusedSquid, The Reader
20 years old, IT major, writing/reading enthusiast and friendly guy.
A historical ficiton involving cowboys, bandits and everything in between.
Recent PostsProjected Casualties on 10/20/2018 8:51:00 PM
This is a story I wrote in high school for a class. It is largely unedited since then, so keep that in mind as you read it.
In the endless dark vacuum of space, the sea of darkness is split only by the comparably dim lights emanating from the Miranda. At the helm of the massive ship stood her captain, a tall man whose jagged muscles stretched at a sharp contrast from the sleek metal covering half his body. His mind constructed like a computer, his very being an affront to the natural order of things. Nature screamed that this man should be dead, his heart beating only with the aid of a constant electric charge, the electrical surges of his mind aided by a network of interconnected processors. His ship was like him, a metal mass welded together but useless without the humanity inside. In the deep vacuum of space, the only way the captain knew his ship still moved was the shift in the stars surrounding the ship, millions of light years on in all directions.
The Miranda was once a colony ship, ferrying the masses from the Earth to Mars, Titan, Europa and the other colonies humanity had forged. It was only when the plague began that the ship was sent away. Infinitely self sustaining, the vessel carried humanity’s hopes, dreams and ambitions with it into deep space, far from the terminal conditions the plague left humanity in. The last radio signals had been sent decades ago, the last fuel burned out shortly after. Newton's laws kept them going. Arguably, the need for a captain disappeared when the ability to maneuver the ship did. Most found it harmless to let the captain keep his stature, however.
So the metal man stood alone on the bridge. His eye, normally trained on the stars ahead, was gazing at movement ahead in the dark.
As the ship got closer to the strange movements, the dim lights began to pierce the shadows concealing the foreign objects. The light washed gently over an asteroid. Then another. Soon, the captain found himself faced with a minefield of randomly flying hunks of frozen rock and ice. He stood silently as the monitor above him sprang to life.
"Danger imminent. Recommendation: shift off course... No fuel detected." The robotic voice of Miranda echoed throughout the bridge, emotionless and stoic. The system set to keep them alive found itself useless, no course of action could be taken. "Projected Casualties: 15,000/55,000"
The first asteroid struck the rear. Thankfully, the useless engines absorbed most of the impact, shattering off of the ship silently save for the shock felt by the rest of the Miranda. A second glanced off the ship's side, shattering glass and sucking oxygen out of the exterior rooms. The captain looked back and saw bodies floating gently out into the void. A third impact crushed the ceiling of the bridge, forcing it inward to the ships protest. The captain stood still as debris floated past his nose. The bridge has been compacted but not breached.
More collisions happened throughout the day, each one taking more people with it. Women floated into space, faces screwed in terror, screaming doing nothing but wasting their lungs away, not heard by even the glassy eyed children huddled against them.
Miranda passed through the asteroid field. The cracked monitor light up. "Danger passed. Damages: 30% hull collapse. 17,500/55,000 casualties. None injured."
The captain looked onward, his emotions long ago replaced with calculating logic. Regardless of losses, 37,500 people were left. Alpha Centauri never felt further away.
Calling the holographic map to him, the captain saw the ship had hardly left its home solar system, a vast amount of empty space separating them from their goal. They didn't know what was awaiting them there, but it was certainly better than what waited behind them. The captain's face betrayed no emotion as he once again faced the reality that, once they got there, they would just go on by. They had been careless with their fuel, and it would be their doom.
A few months later, the captain once again spotted something strange in space ahead. It appeared much larger than an asteroid, however it moved with much more stability. He waited patiently as the ships light range crawled closer toward it.
A rogue planet came into view. Long ago, it has escaped from its star and travelled into the waiting embrace of deep space. The freezing temperatures killed off any life that could've been on the rocky mass. Fear of this happening was a major reason for the colonies being set up. The rogue planet appeared closest to Mercury in the home system, small and lacking an atmosphere.
As the Miranda approached, the captain felt a raking shutter as the ship was grabbed by the tendrils of gravity. They turned abruptly, their course askew. The planet came into full view, filling the window on the left side of the bridge. The captain could only see so much around the rubble from the asteroids, however he stayed rooted to his spot. He knew that, no matter what he did, he could do nothing for them, those poor souls trapped in the metal tomb that was the Miranda.
The gravity itself was not dangerous per se. It simply ripped the ship off course and sent it randomly into space. The real concern was its moon. The small lunar mass could be compared to Pluto in size, however that was well big enough to destroy the Miranda. Seeming to sense this, the monitor suddenly sprang to life. "Danger imminent. Recommendation: boost to engines... No fuel detected.
"Projected casualties: 20,000"
The captain gazed blankly ahead, calm on the outside but alight on the inside. His mind made full use of its additional power, running through scenarios of catastrophic ends to the ship’s voyage. In the end, the captain decided to simply wait.
The ship sailed far too close to the moon, narrowly avoiding a head on collision. The gravity shattered any window that had survived the asteroids, and the ship automatically locked all the doors to any room containing a window, sealing the fate of all those who chose to spectate the unfolding events. People shot out of the ship, bodies fell to pieces from the force when they slammed into the moon. The ship lurched dangerously, but ultimately completed a slingshot around the moon and flew out into space.
"Danger passed. Damages: all exterior facing rooms with viewing ports locked off and
inaccessible. 25,000/37,500 casualties. None injured."
12,500 were left.
The captain brought up the holographic map, displaying no emotion as he viewed it. 'Will arrive at: Solus 3. ETA: 15 million years."
This time, the captain noticed nothing coming when the monitor sprang to life. He looked
up at it, staring blankly.
"Danger imminent. Recommendation: turn around... No fuel detected. Projected casualties: 12,499"
The captains' long suppressed human emotion surged forward. The ship expected everyone to die. Everyone except for him. His lapse corrected, the captain looked forward. He still saw nothing, until he noticed the glass fogging up. There was some sort of gas outside. The window began to crack at the edges, and the captain could do nothing but stare. The window shattered, and the strange gas filled the bridge. The captain felt no adverse effects, but then he remembered; he was more machine than man.
A quick check of the ships interior footage showed all the ships inhabitants choking on the gas, dying painfully. They all suffocated within minutes, and the captain was alone. He toyed with the thought that the human race was now wiped out, as he was practically a robot. This thought gave him nothing other than mild amusement. He could not die of Old age, and so the lonely captain settled in for 15 million years of waiting. He kept his eyes on the stars, particularly one star, dim but dead ahead, and he waited.
The captain looked ahead grimly. His entire ship behind him was a graveyard, skeletons left after years of bacterial consumption. You simply couldn't kill these bacteria. Through his 3 million years of waiting so far, the captain had settled on the explanation that they were alien bacteria from the asteroid field so long ago.
Ahead of his massive monument to humanity's failure, its last strive to survive, was another rogue planet. This one was no mercury analogue. It was more of a Jupiter one. A super massive gas giant had the ship caught in its gravity, there was no escape. All of humanity’s dreams had died millions of years ago with the ship, leaving nothing more than a metal husk with a metallic man at the helm. There was nothing left, and the ghost of the Miranda began to sink into the gas giant's atmosphere. The captain accepted his fate long ago. He knew the odds of getting safely to Solus 3 were so low it was hardly worth looking forward to. He closed his eyes as the monitor sprang to life.
“Danger imminent. Recommendation: … No solution detected. Projected Casualties: 1.”
Hey there! on 9/13/2018 1:58:24 PM
The most popular ones are fantasy, sci-fi and horror, if the top rated list is anything to go off of.
The Last Emperor on 9/12/2018 2:00:59 PM
Foreward: Thanks to Mizal for forcing me into the furry prison until I wrote some. This is an unfinished work, published now to give a demonstration of my writing.
The sounds of battle ring out from all across the city, and fires rage across numerous old districts of the imperial capital. Theodore rushes into his villa, his armor tattered and his curly black hair drenched in sweat under his thick bronze helmet. He lets his sword slip from his hand onto the marble floor and takes hold of any furniture he can find, using it to block the entryway into his home. His wife, Sophia, runs up to him, their young daughter Phoebe in tow. “What’s going on?” Sophia asks. “Have we won the battle?”
“You know we haven’t won the damn battle!” Theodore rages. “The city is fallen! Quickly, help me seal the entryways!” He tosses his helmet to the floor and heaves a statue onto the haphazard pile forming in the doorway.
“What about Stephen?” Sophia stutters, frightened. Their elder son, Stephen, had taken up arms and rushed to the city’s defense when the call came for volunteers.
“Don’t think about that now, odds are he fell on the walls.”
Sophia fights back tears, lowering herself to Phoebe’s level.
“What’s going on, mommy?” Phoebe asks, wide-eyed.
“Be a good girl now and go to your room. I will come fetch you in just a little while.” Sophia says, running her hand through Phoebe’s curly hair. Phoebe turns and runs, disappearing around a corner. Sophia aids her husband in hastily piling up furniture in the doorways of the villa.
When it is done, Theodore draws in a deep breath and sits down on the floor. Sophia hesitates a moment before laying her hand on his back and rubbing gently. “Theo?” she says. “What happens now?”
“The end of the world,” he responds, defeated. “The walls were supposed to be unbreachable, but they came with cannons larger than any I’ve ever seen. The emperor himself was forced to enter the fray; he put on the garb of a common soldier.”
Theodore became silent, unwilling to say any more. Sophia contented herself to comfort him for a time.
Eventually, the sounds of battle give way to celebration and looting. Twilight comes, and the bright orange of the raging blaze casts long shadows over Theodore’s villa. The city appears to be in a place outside of time, the brightness of the flames creating an artificial daylight in the night. Smoke cast a thick blanket over the stars, dimming them from view. Thick patches of rubble from the crumbling walls cover the roads, creating haphazard cover for the few militiamen still resisting the conquerors.
Theodore stands at the head of his barricade, keeping a sharp eye out for anyone approaching. The looting had not yet reached his part of the city, as the conquerors took their time with the wealthier financial and imperial districts, but he isn’t willing to run the risk of getting taken off guard. He’s been nervously watching for hours, only taking a short break to relieve himself, although even then he couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility that someone was crawling over his barricade while he wasn’t there. It was a great relief when he returned and saw nothing had changed.
Amongst the dancing shadows, Theodore catches a glimpse of movement. He ducks down, hiding as much of himself as he can while keeping his eye squarely on the fallen columns he saw movement behind. A man emerges, tightly gripping his left shoulder and limping heavily. He stumbles toward Theodore’s villa, closing the distance quickly as he can manage.
“Hey,” he whispers. “I saw you back there. I’m a Roman, too. Let me in.”
Theodore whispers back harshly, “No room here, go away!”
The man ignores the command, reaching out and pulling himself up over the barricade with one hand. Theodore flashes his sword, standing up menacingly.
“You wouldn’t stab me, I’m a Roman citizen. Just let me in, I have news.”
Theodore hesitates before grunting in annoyance and grabbing the man’s cloak, pulling him over the top and into the villa. The man sucks in a breath through his teeth, groaning in pain. “Thank you,” he says.
“Yes. A Turk’s spear caught me in the armpit, between the plates of my armor. I’ll survive.”
“We don’t have medicine to spare, nor much food.”
“Shelter will do well enough. Who else is here with you?”
“My wife and daughter. If you weren’t already hurt I’d bound you to keep them safe.”
“Relax, I’m no threat. Just looking for some peace to recover in.”
Theodore gathers together some pillows and lays the man down upon them, tearing a strip of cloth from a tunic in his closet and wrapping it tightly around the man’s wound. As he tended to the man’s wounds, Theo commented, “Plates of armor? They gave me only chain and leather.”
“I was the emperor’s bodyguard, if that matters at all now.”
Theodore paused in surprise, quickly looking into the man’s eyes, and seeing only sincerity. “I was unaware you are of nobility”, he remarks carefully.
“Please, treat me as any other man. My noble line dies with the emperor.”
Finishing his treatment of the man’s wounds, Theodore leads him into the kitchen and prepares everyone seats around the hearth. “We have a guest,” Sophia remarks, eyeing the stranger suspiciously.
“I mean no harm, were I even capable of causing it.”
Sophia notes his freshly bandaged wound and cautiously takes her place around the hearth, passing the food around the group. “I see.” Phoebe sits next to her mother, tapping her foot energetically and staring hungrily at the food.
Theodore clears his throat and makes the sign of the cross, quickly followed by everyone else. They bless the food, and begin to eat. “So, what was the emperor like?” Theodore asks inquisitively.
The stranger leans back against the cool marble wall, taking a deep breath. “He was an exceptional man, of great character and honor. Not boastful, nor proud. He was skilled with sword and horse.”
“Was?” Sophia asks.
“He’s dead now. Led a final charge with the remnants of those mercenaries, I assume he got struck down at the front. It was so chaotic, no one knew quite what was going on. The charge broke apart the moment it hit the enemy and devolved into a slaughter.”
“Seems he should’ve fled then and saved his hide”, Theodore remarks cynically.
“He had nothing to flee to, were he the sort to flee. There are things greater than life, things worth dying for.”
“And that’s why you’re here instead of lying next to him.”
The stranger falls silent, closing his eyes in contemplation. Quiet falls over the room, only the crackling of the hearthfire and the occasional distant laughter from the conquerors bringing them back to reality.
Hello everyone! on 8/2/2018 11:48:02 PM
Hello everyone! on 8/2/2018 6:46:55 PM
Well, I used to go on this site as a kid, and back then I really enjoyed this zombie one I can't recall the name of. This was before BerkaZerka's zombie story came out, for time reference. I also really like "Ground Zero". I think the best storygames are the ones with more options, and I like stories with emotional impact as well.
Hello everyone! on 8/1/2018 11:03:48 PM
Hello all! I'm new here and thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Connor, 20 year old college student. If you really wanna get me talking, ask me about God, computers or internet culture. I like to think I'm a nice guy, and I look forward to getting to know you all!