Updates from the Writer’s Corner: February 2018

We’re still adjusting to the whole ‘new year’ situation and are experiencing some difficulties getting the work sessions into full swing (included but not limited to: “the Latvians have an assignment for me,” “food is good,” and “hnnnnnnnnngh”).

Meanwhile, we can boast with the second entry in the serialized Estonian adaptation of “Seeker”! Whoo!

 

ChaosNova drawing board: Taking Flight & universe main arc

Lots of ChaosNova stories and the universe-building are the fruits of collaborative creativity. Often enough, the roleplay- and discussion threads in our forums have served as the birthing pools and testing grounds for that. The forum story-threads also contain multitudes of content with varying usefulness when it comes to stories we intend to share publicly. Basically: over the years, we have accumulated concepts and background knowledge that needs some sorting, especially now that we’re actively bringing some of our universe before the readers’ eyes.

 

This means long discussions to set the backbone of the story-verse that would lead from the tales of “Taking Flight” era to the “Deja Vu” and forum-leakage era, passing through some short stories in the process.

Initially, such discussions took place in private and/or using very vague terms. At some point we decided to start recording those discussions. The following five clips are the result of first such recorded main-arc chat, captured last October (shorter separate clips for technical reasons).

 

 

 

Leaked from the forums: Deja Vu (Part 11)

Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë

Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt

The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.

Read more about the Forum Leakage project here.

Read previous post in this series: https://bit.ly/2uq2Ref

 

And now, let us continue to part 11!

“Remind me again, why did you guys bring so much shit?” Tanikki shoved a piece of beach-muck off the ramp with her boot. “And more importantly, why do we have to take it all to the new ship?”
Knux fell into step beside her. “I know it’s stupid, but just roll with it, at least he’s not talking.”
“Shush, don’t you say anoth-”

“Valued members of the crew! Gather round!” Corey had climbed atop a cargo crate and puffed his chest against the wind.
“Oh, great.” Tanikki rolled her eyes.“Our glorious leader wishes to dispense his thoughts.”


The group congregated in slow motion, their lethargy interrupted by Mia’s excited shriek as she slid down the tilted hull.

Corey cleared his throat and swept his arm in an artful arc. “I know things are looking a little bit tough right now. But I am convinced that together we can do this! Alexis, the new Alexis, is where we belong! We need to move on from the ship that was, and bring our future to the ship that is!”
“And by future, you mean the broken crates,” Tanikki muttered to herself.
“Fate and the twists of the galaxy have brought us here! Everything happens for a reason, and it is our duty to fulfill that reason. I will personally see to it!”
Knux folded his arms. “Are you quite sure you haven’t hit your head since we landed?”
Corey gave him a side-glance and carried on. “For now I need everybody to continue doing what you were doing before I summoned you.”
Knux opened his mouth to say something, reconsidered, then stomped off across the dunes.

Reesto and Moirai nodded to each other, then to Corey. “Instructions acknowledged. We shall resume work now.” They picked up the crate they’d been carrying before the gathering and resumed as if nothing had happened.

Tanikki followed them, pretending to support the crate from the side.“How can you guys be so calm? This is unnecessary and moronic!”
Moirai exchanged another mutual-understanding-smile with Reesto. “Indeed it is. We are fulfilling our obligations to the crew.”
Tanikki threw her hands up and wandered off.
She dodged Mia who heaved a fragment of heat shield, her eyes fixed on the rising tide, and caught up with Knux who was probing an open container in the cargo hold. They exchanged an exasperated look. “How long do you expect this to go on?”
Knux turned his attention back to the container. “Just look busy. He’ll understand this isn’t working eventually… hopefully.”
“I’m not so sure, man. He’s different. The Corey I knew… he would have rage-quit ages ago.”
Knux sent a wary glance towards the outdoors. “What was he like? Your Corey, I mean?”
“Well for one, he would be the first to carry the heavy shit… put his augmented ass on the line and such.”
“Do you miss him?”
“Fuck no. Bastard sold us out.” She paused. “Held a very touching memorial for us, according to the data feeds we were shown…”


Corey watched as the crew got back to work, then his self-assured grin dissolved as he saw Smith stomping across the sand, throwing menacing glances at wreckage and himself. She stepped up to Corey and folded her arms. “Hey. Look. I’m not claiming I get what it is exactly that you’re trying to achieve here but… just look at this mess.”

Corey offered a meek smile. “Shared activity… good for the crew development…”

Smith replied with an unashamed glower. “Look at those two – they would probably eat barbed wire on the captain’s instructions. Is that how you want to treat your crew? And Team Engineer-” she nodded towards the gaping hatch – “they have been shifting the same crate back and forth for a while now. And her-” they both ducked to avoid an incoming debris-frisbee – ”yeah. I see no shared activity or development here, only growing resentment. If that’s your goal, congratulations.” She turned and stomped back towards the wreckage.


Corey’s gaze bounced from group to group. “Uh… but… “ He frowned. “Alright… let’s try this.” He puffed his chest and let his voice carry across the dunes once more. “ good news everybody! We’re taking a break. You are all invited to accompany me on a little tour of our newly acquired vessel!”


Reaching Command, the confused bunch wa greeted by an on-screen projection of Alexis. “Oh. Hello again.”

Corey nodded with a knowing grin. “So… Our old ship has been outfitted with a proper synthetic personality now! Quite an advancement, eh?”  

Knux pointed at the screen. “So this avatar *is* The Alexis?”
The projection flickered “Not the. Just Alexis please.” She ignored the awkward silence. “Would you like me to show you around? I will switch to 3D projection.”
A flickering wireframe of a humanoid figure in a battlesuit appeared in front of them. “Shall we?” She sounded amused.

The group moved chaotically through the ship, following the pointers from Alexis’ glimmering wireframe.
“Ah this, really takes me back.” Corey’s face lit up with a blissful smile. “A simpler time… when Alexis was just a wee vessel, pushing on with a factory thruster set… Wasn’t easy to make it all the way to the edge of mapped space… the region of danger and daring where this very ship became the saviour of the Vee-One siblings! Indeed the-”

Knux shoved an elbow to the chest. “You’re doing it again! Who exactly are you trying to impress?”
“I-” Corey frowned, rubbing his pecks. “Well, I mean, pointing out an inspirational moment, is all… I’m taking the lead!”
“And you’re helping nobody, only alienating! You don’t have a clue about this new ship and we all know it. Just watch and learn like we do.” He turned back to the group. “And don’t you dare bringing up my sister again.”

“They’d better sort their damned egos out soon or…” Tanikki had joined Smith on a detour outside the command. They came to a stop at a curving ramp that lead to an unseen level.

Smith frowned. “Hang on. Did you see this here before?”

“Huh… no? I’d say this whole junction looked quite different.”

“Something weird is going on.” Smith stepped up the ramp. “Come. Let’s see where this leads!”

“All right… wait-” she shouted down the hallway – “guys, ask the avatar thing what’s going on with the interior! It’s changed!”

A full-height projection appeared by their side. “Very perceptive, engineer Kall’ovyj. I am calibrating the ship to better suit the crew size and requirements.” The projection flickered. “Would you like to see the crew quarters, by the way?”

They looked at each other and were about to accept the offer, when the projection emitted a loud crackle followed by a cartoonish blue halo. Excited giggles followed the light-show, and Mia poked her head out from behind Alexis’ avatar.

“How…” Tanikki and Smith exchanged a puzzled look.

“She’s not a projection at all!” Mia giggled again.

“Very observant, miss Loki! I suppose I’ve had my fun with this masquerade…” The “projection” solidified, losing the neon wireframe, as well as her battlesuit’s headpiece in the process.

Smith frowned at Tanikki. “This… I thought you guys were briefed?”

“Not that briefed.” Tanikki chuckled in disbelief. “This is some next level shit.”

Alexis nodded. “Stowaway Smith, Engineer Kall’ovyj – pleased to meet you. Again. You shall be briefed on the ship’s, that is *my* full functionality soon enough. For now, it will be sufficient to know that my current form is possible due to Dr Cervonious’ Particle Programming Protocol.”

“Patent pending!” Mia squeaked.

Alexis accepted her high-five. “Indeed. It appears that SOME of the crew has gone beyond their curriculum. But now, let’s join the others at the Control. I am to give you an orientation to this particular reality.”

 

***

 

The Command centre was filled with contemplative frowns, unasked questions, and tacit attention, all of it crowned by the utter concentration on Corey’s scrunched face. “So, like, we are not, uh… FROM here, strictly speaking… and yet we are connected with the “here”, is that what you’re saying?”

“To put in crude terms, yes. Most of you have been extracted from different space-time continua, whereas the “here” as you put it, represents a major, earlier offshoot of a parent-timestream.”

Corey rubbed his cheeks. “I don’t mean to be rude but… how many versions of us have you seen?”

“Oh not many” Alexis casually leaned her armored back to the bulkhead. “When it comes to  Corey Hendersons, approximately eleven to the seventeenth power.”

Knux blinked rapidly, assigning some of his circuits to do the calculation. He gave Corey a dumb look. “That is… a lot.”

“What?”
“Oh… silly me.” Alexis displayed a glowing haze on her cheeks. “My knowledge has been merged with the… others. I was counting the sub-stream versions to the fourth layer of  branching…” She adjusted her posture. “Let’s just say your particular rating is among the more suitable third. Quite far from the 100% mark, but nothing to be embarrassed about.”

“So what about that… 100% Corey?”

“Oh, he had to be contained, I’m afraid.” Alexis flashed a toothy smile. “Don’t worry, his most essential experiences were extracted and will be incorporated to your learning program.”

She cut into the awkward silence. “I believe this is enough orientation for the moment. You might want to carry on with your… teambuilding exercise. I have also taken the liberty of augmenting a multi-terrain tug with some extra tethers and hover modules for you. You’ll find it in the ground access bay.”

The crew spilled out of the Command with new excitement. Corey blinked to himself and set to follow them.

“Wait.” Alexis vanished and materialized on his way. “Perhaps you won’t learn anything from today, but here is one piece of insight I can give you. Throughout all the timestreams, all the variations, there is one dynamics that never changes. Corey Henderson is nothing without his crew.”

Behold! The new shiny website!

We have updated our website! The new and shiny and site can be found at the familiar address – www.ChaosNova.Co.UK

The new and shiny site also comes with its own blog function. This means that we will be posting our news, updates,  stories, etc. from now on.

But worry not! This WordPress feed will remain as a backup; any news you catch on the new website you can also catch here.

Leaked from the forums: Deja Vu (Part 10)

Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë

Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt

The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.

Read more about the Forum Leakage project here: http://bit.ly/2gkGNrm

Read previous post in this series: http://bit.ly/2mGGryS  

 

And now, let us continue to part 10!

 


Corey awkwardly stretched his body into a control seat and prodded at the console. “The interface looks familiar enough.”
Elder Knux crouched by another workstation, trying to get a peek of its underside. “‘Looks’ being the operative word. How do you actually run this thing?”
Corey grinned. “Heck if I know. Only one way to find out!”
He placed his hands on the controls.The console gave off a few encouraging beeps, then a display activated and the whole control centre lit up. “Nice. So it’s official, we have a new ship.”
“What do we do about the old one?”
“Ah, sod. I didn’t think of that.” Corey dug out his datapad and poked at Moirai’s tag. “Hey, it’s us.”
“Indeed, your identification is displayed very clearly.”
“Hmph, yes, very well. There has been a development, we have a ship.”
“Yes, I am aware of that too, I am guarding it.”
“Er, no, I mean… we have a new ship. We were… ah, it’s a long story.” Corey straightened himself in the seat. “What’s important is, we need to get our gear to the ship… the new ship somehow.”
“I see. Would it not be the easiest to bring the new vessel over to the landing site?”
“But… I mean… Surely we can’t just fly over.”
Tanikki dropped the manual she’d been reading. “Why not?”
“Oh! Right…” Corey turned back to the datapad. “Yes, what she said. We’ll be on our way shortly, Don’t let the other ship out of your sight.”
“Of course not, I am guarding it.”


Corey folded the datapad away and gave the console a determined frown. “Very well! Let’s see if we can get us to the beach.”

The lights flickered, and his console gave off an exaggerated audio chime, followed by a pleasant artificial voice. “All systems online. Airborne sequence engaged. Calculating vector: scrapyard-beach. Altitude adjustment engaged. Descending. Vector complete. You may now disembark.”


“Ah, we are done. That was neat.” Corey glanced around, trying to make eye contact with the others. “How did you do that?”
“Why you looking at me?” Tanikki shrugged. “I didn’t do anything.”

The pleasant artificial voice spoke again. “It was I, Alexis. I extrapolated your intended command sequence based on the two-way interaction. I also cleared your personal pad of non-essential data.”
Knux chuckled. “There goes that gigasecond of smut.”

Amidst the suppressed giggles and snorts, Alexis spoke again. “You may now disembark.”

“Hmph, Well, alright then.” Corey stood and cleared his throat. “Er, ah, yes. Excellent! I thank you on behalf on my crew. We shall disembark now.”

We were featured on the Writership podcast!

One of the highlights of last year was having a sample piece of “Seeker” analysed by the Writership crew. Thank you so much for the thoughts and pointers, and of course , the wonderful audio experience!

We were actually able to put some of the Writership advice into use and gave the first chapters a few tweaks.

Listen to the episode here: https://writership.com/podcast-episodes/2017/11/30/does-your-scene-contain-conflict

Our original submission as well as the updated text are posted in the show notes.

The Forum Leakage Project: Update 1

Cheating a little, we are nearing ten posts in the Forum Leakage Project!

 

In this video we discuss some of the work process, the goals, and the achievements that this project has given us. Namely, the work routines practice, the consistent creative output, an outside look to the greater story arcs of the ChaosNova universe, and just some plain fun.

 


These are the forum leakage reading samples we have posted so far. Enjoy!

Part 1 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=212
Part 2-3 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=219
Part 4-5 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=223
Part 6 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=227
Part 7 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=230
Part 8 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=234
Part 9 – http://www.chaosnova.co.uk/wp_newsupdates/?p=243

Leaked from the forums: Deja Vu (part 9)

Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë

Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt

The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.

Read more about the Forum Leakage project here: http://bit.ly/2gkGNrm

Read previous post in this series: http://bit.ly/2A2TK2b

 

And now, let us continue to part 9!

—————————————–


Corey took a long, thoughtful toke. “A recap of what the fuck just happened? Anyone?”
Smith stepped out from behind the rubble, barely able to contain her chuckles as she saw Corey’s contorted expression.
Knux tried to hide his own snicker. He cleared his throat and forced a serious frown on his face. “From what I gather we didn’t time travel. It only seems that we did, but in fact, we have been pulled into parallel reality. Dimension. Timeline. Or something.” He shrugged.

Corey’s face settled into a pout. “From where I’m standing, the things we see here have already happened a long time ago. So what’s up with that?”
“Apparently, the time flow is not synchronized between these realities? So if we travelled between timelines, we’d end up at a different… er milestone? Makes sense to me!”

Corey huffed and spat. “Since when are there parallel timelines that you can travel between? I mean, come on!” He began pacing back and forth. “This is stupid!”
“Perhaps-” Knux rubbed his stubbled chin – “perhaps that is how things have always worked. We just didn’t have a way of knowing about it. What if that’s just… how reality, well, is?”

Knux stood, happy with his ability to provide a logical explanation. He cast a gentle magnanimous smile towards the others and nodded. Then the smile vanished, and Knux clutched his hair, a wild look in his eyes.
Smith examined the Elder with a frown, and waved her hand in front of his face. “Hey… you all right in there?” She turned to Corey. “Uh, I’m not sure what just happened. Your friend here… looks like his brain just crashed. Do we need to restart him or something?”

“Uhh…?” Corey shrugged.
Knux sank to his knees, and began mumbling to himself. “…all for nothing… haven’t changed a thing…”
“Does he often get like this?” Smith crouched by his side and looked up to Corey. “Do you know what he’s on about?”

“Yeeeahhh…” Corey lit another smoke. “I get how this must sound to you, but… we thought we’d figured out how to time-travel. Go back, fix things, you know. We thought we HAD fixed things. Saved loved ones, prevented disasters, you know the drill. If we have merely… side-stepped to another timeline it means we never interfered with all that. Everything is still happening.”

Knux was rocking back and forth, still sobbing and mumbling. “…for nothing… still happening… all gonna die…” He looked up, his natural eye dulled by tears. “And there’s nothing we can do to help!”
“Unless you find a way to return to where you came from…” Smith looked at the two men’s despair and hoped they hadn’t heard her wondering-out-loud. She stretched to hide her discomfort and let her eyes wander across the junk piles. Farther on the path, next to the hull of a toppled cargo drone, there were three human figures approaching. “Um, guys, you know these people?”
Corey glanced at Smith. “What people?”

“Look, look! I think they’re headed here.”
Corey squinted: a guy, large in size, and two women, one of them taking measured strides, the other skipping along the path. He nudged Knux, and pointed at the approaching group. “Un-fucking-believable…”
The measured-strides-woman waved and smiled.

Corey flashed a huge grin at Smith. “Allow me to present: Tanikki Kall’ovyj, Reesto Chelik, Mia Loki! Some damn fine crew I’ve had the pleasure to work with! Never expected to see any of them alive again,” he added quietly.
Knux got to his feet and brushed himself off. “You know it’s not really them-them, right?”
“Shut up, you twat, you’re ruining my moment.”


As the group drew closer, Tanikki spoke up. “Look at you! Not too shabby for an old man!”
“You ain’t so bad yourself, haven’t you aged at-all?”
“Technically I’m supposed to be dead, so, no.”
“So what brings you to our corner of the scrapheap?

Mia poked her head out from behind Reesto’s wide back, her dark eyes shining. “We’re improvising!”

Tanikki chuckled with a nod. “Lil’ Miss Space Cadet is right. According to the original scenario we were supposed to take positions at the bar, act naturally, and once you’d arrived, pretend we belonged there. Here. In this… you get the idea. But then you…” She drew an arc in the air.

“Yeah-yeah. They told us. We were early.”

“Right. So our handlers decided to skip the spectacle and send us to r-v with you directly.”

“We went to a briefing!” Mia clung to Reesto’s arm, attempting to spin him around.
Reesto stood his ground, smiled, and extended his right hand.

“Oh, right!” Corey waved his arms around with an awkward giggle. “Soo, introductions. Smith, Reesto. He doesn’t talk much. Tanikki… and junior surgeon here-”

“I’m Mia!”

Corey caught her high-five. “The one and only. Er… And our resident cyborg here…”

“Oh, that is engineer Vee-One. We were briefed about you.” Tanikki moved in for the jumble of handshakes. “Didn’t say anything about you, though.” She tilted her head and looked at Smith.

“Oh… I guess I’m not really supposed to be here.” Smith drilled dirt with her bootheel. “I just kinda hopped in on the ride.”

Corey stepped aside and climbed atop a little dirt mound. Taking his best captain-y stance, he let his voice boom. “People! Now that we have all gathered here, let us board and see what good old Alexis has to offer!” He fumbled with the security sequencer until the outer hatch popped ajar. “Yes-yes… through here. Let’s locate the command centre. Naturally we can’t expect the layout to be exactly-”

Tanikki put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s all right. We were just briefed, remember?”

“Right! Everybody follow Engineer Kall’ovyj!”

To himself, Corey mumbled: “That went well.”

Updates from the Writer’s Corner: November 2017

(Sidenote: what ever happened to October? Moving on.)

We continue editing (sometimes adapting) our forum posts into reading samples. Stay tuned for a designated post with links and rants.

***

We are also working on several short stories for a future collection. Here is some video evidence.

The rest of the short story worksessions can be found in this playlist.

***

We’ve managed to maintain consistent presence and content flow on some social media places. Check this forum post for links and details.

***

While all this is going on, “Seeker” is still available on Amazon, as well as Draft2Digital!
You can find a handy preview under this link.
We’ve also crafted some image quotes for each chapter (prettiness may vary).

Leaked from the forums: Deja Vu (Part 8)

Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë
Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt
The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.
Read more about the Forum Leakage project here: http://bit.ly/2gkGNrm
Read previous post in this series: http://bit.ly/2m3MNe0

And now onward to part 8!

—————————————–

“Briar…” Corey muttered through grit teeth.
“Briar?” Knux accepted her hand.
“That’s Briar Rose to you.” She grinned.
“Quite a thorn in my ass, too.” Corey added with a scowl. “So what brings you here? Last time we met, you had me at gunpoint, happily blabbering about your bright history with the good Doctor.”
“Cervonious?” Knux broke the handshake and stepped back.
Corey stood his ground with a blank stare. “Not gonna lie, with all the weird stuff going on, I’m glad to see another familiar face. It’s not one I trust though.” He pulled out a cigarette. “And how would you know what we did “last time”?”

“The mixed feelings are mutual. Come, I will brief you on the way.” Briar waved them along, farther into the scrapyard.
“Now, technically speaking, you and I have never actually met. But I do know quite a bit about you two.” She pointed at Knux and Corey. “A version of me met with you briefly, and explained some things concerning Dr. Cervonius that likely didn’t make any sense at the time.”
She paused to pick up a compression control, looked it over, and tossed it back into the pile.
“The gist of it is that Doctor C has encountered your inter-dimensional boogieman, I mean, “the skilf” during his trans-dimensional experiments. One concept he learned from them was ‘setting the deck’. This is how they fight. They pick a stream of spacetime continuum that has the parameters they like. They will then invade the sub-variations of that continuum, keeping the “parent-timeline” intact; they learn by making all the mistakes and suffering all the losses, and with that knowledge assure themselves a victory in the “main branch”.”
Rose continued leading the others through the junkyard. “That brings us to what Greg, I mean Doctor Cervonius is doing. We have been learning how to manipulate spacetime continua using similar principles. He is using their own tech against them, cheating the reality if you will. With some tutoring from his multi-reality counterparts, Greg’s been gathering his own army. You are going to meet many people you know, people who are not the same. Like myself.”

Corey cut in. “Wait, if I was planted here, does it mean there was another me? Here?”
Briar suppressed a sigh. “What you need to understand is… This is the fabric of reality we are speaking of. Sure, we can change the parameters and “players” of any given timeline, but predicting where the reality takes it from there is another matter. Every new “traveler” brought in will trigger more unpredictability; multiple inserts multiply the chaos effect. That’s why we generally avoid allowing duplicates in any reality.” She sent a quick side-glance at the elder Knux.
“But how-”
She kept walking, her eyes on the ground. “Often enough you can simply choose a timeline that is lacking your chosen “player”. Sometimes there are negotiation options. Sometimes… not. Enjoy your free rejuvenation and don’t think too hard, you will give yourself nightmares.”
Briar came to a halt. “This is my ride.” She hopped into a junkyard service vehicle and pointed beyond the nearest heap. “And there’s yours.”

Corey looked where she was pointing and his eyes widened. He looked at Knux, then back at the ship. “Is that…”
“Yes. That’s Alexis… With some upgrades.” She threw a security sequencer to Corey. “Get on board, re-acquaint yourselves. Any questions you’ve got, ask Alexis.”
She fired up the trucks thrusters and spun around. “I’ve got a couple people to kill, but I’ll meet back up with you at your camp after dark. Tell your friend she can come out of hiding. And try not to get yourself killed before I get back!”