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Category: Creative Projects

Ever since I was in school, I have enjoyed writing for myself. They were only glimmers of original content, and to this day none of them survived countless computer migrations (one story I remember being lost to the garbage on an old floppy disk). It was only when I jumped into EVE Online, a Sci-Fi MMORPG with a rich backstory, that I began writing more in the form of character backstory. After a while, I had also written other pieces for other players I knew. Finally, my attention turned to my own original ideas.

Ferum Republic – Chapter 1.1: The Best Laid Plans

Ranford Castle – Dourans Province

Year 1844

A few specks of light rain peppered his cheeks as the clouds above him groaned with the sound of building thunder. General Belethor Vorn pressed onward, keeping low as the occasional bullet hissed overhead as it strayed close. Either side, his men followed suit and pushed onward up the slope, seeking the advantage of a better line of sight as they advanced towards the source of the gunfire. The shelter of the tree line, and their forward siege bastion, lay behind them as they pressed on through the initial rocky and uneven land. The terrain beyond was mostly flat, save for the occasional shallow rise here and there between them and their target. Outcrops of rock bordered what had become a no-man’s-land, with the intimidating presence of the castle ahead. A soldier just ahead to his left slipped as a bullet impact struck the rocks close to him. Vorn altered direction slightly as he pushed onward, his breath now sounding heavy in his chest as grabbed hold of the soldier’s elbow and hauled the man back to his feet.

“Keep moving, soldier,” said Vorn. “Get to the top.” The soldier gave a short nod of thanks or acknowledgement. He was not sure which. Vorn followed the rest of the team up the hill.

The Skid Journals 1-3: Meet and Greet

The large gates slowly trundled open with a grinding noise that reminded Cobra of a rock slide, heard even over the steady rumble of his engine. Beyond the widening opening, a second barrier was also sliding sideways to the right of the entrance; a heavy frame construction of rusted metal girders forming a wedge which braced the back of the gate itself. A precaution against ramming attacks. As it neared more than half way open the group got their first look beyond the walls, save for Tuc who had visited before on business. The old cracked road surface stretched directly ahead for about half a mile before reaching the opposite wall and another, equally fortified gate. The town spread to the left of the road around 100 meters before dipping down into the slope. They drove through the gates and along the road towards an old forecourt to the left that may formerly have been a petrol station or used car sales lot. The surrounding buildings seemed to be relics of the old world, maintained as best as can be expected after over a century of post-calamity neglect. At the slope and beyond the buildings were all constructs of salvaged junk, old shipping containers, ruined vehicles and even a large boat, capsized and beached at the edge of the slope. Small outcroppings of buildings had been built out of the upturned hull, clinging to the ship like barnacles made from scrap metals and wood. A short distance past the now-closing gates the group pulled into the old forecourt, each of them getting out and stretching their legs once more.

The Skid Journals 1-2: Making Friends and Influencing People

The mountains suddenly gave way to the vast and endless flatness of the plains beyond. The road stretched out across the world towards the dark stained flats beyond. Further into the journey, three dark looking dots resolved in the distant haze, resting by the roadside. Before long the distinct shapes of three bikes, riders by their side, came clear through the heat ripple rising from the cracked and dusty road. One of the figures separated, driving across the road and stopping sideways before stepping off Tuc slowed his van a little as Cin gave him a sideways glance from his passenger seat.

“What are you doing?” he said, slowly reaching for the assault rifle, now propped up in the footwell.

The Skid Journals 1-1: Blue Skies, Broken Roads

The broken and patchy road, snaking through the mountain range, seemed more determined to shake their vehicles apart with each rapidly passing mile. Both engines protested as their drivers attempted to encourage more speed from them: one, the haggard and sickly rattle of an aged beast of burden, fighting for each yard it travelled; the other, a throaty bellow of a well-cared-for and faithful companion, taking the uphill journey in its stride. Some way behind them, several higher-pitched growls filled the air, gaining ground with the steady determined pace of committed predators.

Cobra jerked the wheel to the right again before pulling back to the left. One of the three pursuers, a dune buggy of some old pre-Starfall design, locked its wheels as the driver jammed the brakes on to avoid the side-swipe from the larger SUV. The three assailants were from a war gang called the Bisons, as evident from the tattered banner trailing behind the buggy depicting a horned skull pattern emblazoned in dull red ink the colour of dried blood. The Bisons claimed a large tract of badland near the entrance to the mountain road. Just ahead of Cobra’s truck, the lumbering faded-green van they were escorting struggled with the rough road surface. Behind, as the buggy recovered from its skid, the other two pickup trucks closed the distance.

Chronicles: Remembrance

Intaki V – Moon 5, Astral Mining Inc. station

“And the next shipment?” enquired Darius. “I hope it will go better than the last one.”

“I have refitted our haulers.” replied the Vherokior on the other end of the holoscreen. “Should survive enough punishment to get to warp. So, yes. They will be fine. The production line ends in… another 4 hours. I will have them loaded up and begin moving them straight afterwards.”

“Thanks Haq.” Several seconds of silence followed.

“Gratitude.” Came the eventual reply. “If I didn’t know better I would say you were starting to like me finally.”

About Apocalypse World

Introduction to the Apocalypse

“What the hell year is it, anyway?” Bogs dropped the last few inches to the dry, dusty ground from his improvised perch on top of the vehicle, his boots sending a thin cloud of earth up from the impact.


“The fuck should it matter?” replied Ranch, squinting out over the road below from the seat of his rusted buggy. “It’s today, and today we get paid.”


Bogs scraped his boot along the ground, sending another drift of dust and grit skittering behind him. “Haven’t you ever wondered, though? I mean, I know it doesn’t change much but surely someone would have kept track of it. I mean… hey!” Bogs whirled around to face Ranch as the rock struck him in the back of the shoulder. “Man, fuck you!”


“Shut it! Listen…” Ranch held up a finger as he leaned out over the steering wheel of the buggy. Bogs stood for a moment and let the world around him settle. The unmistakable drone of another engine echoed along the rock faces around them. It was hunting time…

Welcome to the apocalypse, mucker. I hope you came well prepared, otherwise the wasteland will rip you up quick.

Apocalypse World is a tabletop roleplay game, published by Lumpley Games and available at their website. The setting is, as the name implies, the post apocalyptic, though with no specific theme or setting. Instead the players create the world setting together, throwing ideas into the pot to cover several basic areas of world building and then they let the story unfold. Unlike many other tabletops games, where play is dictated by dice rolls and structured rules, the game is more about narrative flow where the game master only makes his own moves against the player as a result of their faulture in skill tests

If you are new to roleplay games and are looking for a good place to get started, but you are unsure about having to remember 400 pages of rule book, this is a good game to get started on. And the character play books are totally free to download on their site, so your players can get a free reference copy without needing to buy in themselves.

So, is this an advertisement or something? I know it is coming off as such, so thank you for putting up with it. Now, onto the writing part of this whole saga.

Apocalypse Journals

I ran a few sessions of this game with some friends before we were slowly but surely unable to continue playing due to personal schedules, and the story was just starting to get good. I did, however, keep all the notes about the setting of our particular apocalypse as well as scraps of ideas and background info for the different factions that inhabited the world. One day recently I sat down and looked at the files I had and felt a little sad that this world was not going to be explored further. Then I realised, though not in the spirit of the tabletop game itself, I could still continue to flesh it out in story form.

And so begins the writing of the Apocalypse Journals. Initially the stories will follow along with the adventures the group I played with had in the world of The Skid, with a little artistic interpretation thrown in for the sake of flow. After all, not everything is roleplayed in tabletop and some exposition is briefly thrown on the table for the sake of conceptualising the humdrum and moving on to more exciting stuff. After that I will continue with the ideas I had for future potential sessions and see where the story goes from there. Heck, I may even roll on the character sheets to see what happens as I write. One of the great things about the game rolling mechanic is that a failure does not always mean harm to the player. It just means something different happens to what they wanted, the tables turned on them and instead you continue telling the story with this in mind.

Going forward, I may also further explore other apocalypse settings and write more stories in the future with different flavours of the post-apocalypse. I have some inspirations I could work on, but one thing at a time. it has struck me that, outside of video game, TV, and movie settings there is not a lot of post-apocalyptic representation in literature. Let’s see if we can change that.

Penumbra – Part 4: Dangerous Skies

Darkness once more. It was becoming all too common a sight. This was somehow different. He could sense something different in the air, though he could not focus enough to determine what it was. He could not remember where he was or how he got there. But he was… comfortable, somehow. Warmer. Clothing… he was wearing clothes. He had forgotten how they felt. Clean. He was clean too. All rewards from his master. His mentor. The man who had shown him the way. And the man who had shown him his enemy.

He was not alone either. In the darkness behind him, several guards stood their silent vigil. A hum, there it was. His mind was waking to the world around him now. A light? It was dim, orange, above the… door? A door ahead of him. The light barely illuminated the small cubicle room which felt… yes there it was. The room was moving down. And elevator. He was inside an elevator cart, large enough to be a freight elevator. His returning senses further began to realize the situation around him, resolving in gradually hardening detail as he slowly regained full consciousness.

Penumbra – Part 3: The Enemy of My Enemy

A battle-scarred Rupture cruiser gracefully slid into the dim lighting of the docking bay and parked in the center, guided with pinpoint accuracy by the station interlink to the ship’s navigation system. Through the various large alcoves on either side of the dock, other ships in similar disrepair were visible either making an entrance or already docked and being attended to by emergency crews and station drones that were buzzing around them. With an almost eerie sense of symphony, his ship was subjected to the same welcoming party by small robotic droids using nanoprobes to repair the damage to the armor.

The hatch slid open amidst the distinct buzzing of the drones’ anti-gravity drives and regular short bursts of Halon gas, sprayed from the nozzles under the drones’ nano-probes every time the flames pick up again. Darius stepped firmly onto the walkway leading to the ships hatch, his exit from the ship announced to all by the sound of his heavy boots rattling the gantry. Darius took a few steps away from the towering Rupture before turning to watch the ballet of drones dance across his vision. Things were a little different now he had joined the Freelance Unincorporated crew some months earlier. His old corporation could never have afforded such things. Nor were they necessary back then for such a small corporation as his.

Penumbra – Part 2: Revisiting Sins

The small, metal-walled room was poorly lit, save for a small candle burning on a low stool against a wall. A dark figure kneeling in front of the candle cast a barely noticeable shadow across the hard carpeted floor. Hands firmly gripping his kneecaps, Darius’ eyes were clenched tight as he tried to focus on his meditation. Not even able to control his breathing, Darius gave up the struggle and opened his eyes, relaxing his shoulder and neck muscles. He had not noticed how tense he was until that moment. He let out a deep breath and sighed as he rose to his feet. Darius made his way through the dark to his bathroom to get a glass of water. His throat was dry from the re-circulated air in the station quarters. At times like this, he craved the tranquillity of home on Matar. The humidity in the air would be a welcome change from the coarse air provided by the station’s air filters. Not to mention that there were too many distractions in a station to even contemplate meditation. There was a slight but constant deep humming noise that seemed to reverberate through the solid structure. It was even more noticeable, and somewhat irritating, when he was sitting in silence in a dark room trying to clear his mind.

Darius waved a hand over an optical sensor mounted to the wall of the bathroom and, with a reluctant flicker, the lights switched on. As he ran the water and put the glass under it, he caught his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were red and sore looking. They were sad. He rubbed them gently, smearing a tear across his cheek. The memory of his late brother Kordan’s death came back to him. He dropped the glass into the basin and ran his hands under the cold tap, splashing the water on his face and around his eyes. He tried to wash the tears away, but he could still feel them.

Part 1 – The Fire Within

Darius leaned closer to the terminal in his office at the Anubis Inc. headquarters in Pator and frowned. Across the table, his younger brother Kordan could sense a change in the air as Darius growled in the back of his throat.

“Something wrong bro?” He inquired with his usual silly grin on his face. Darius did not even need to look up to know it was there. One day he was going to have that grin surgically removed from Kordan’s face, just as soon as he could find a doctor that knows how.

“Nothing…” he replied curtly followed by a pause. “Well, actually, yeah. Our resident agent for the security services has a tip off about some kind of Angel Cartel scouting operation she wants me to gatecrash. They suspect they are checking out the defenses of a remote outpost on a moon in Audensder and will be followed by a slaver fleet.”