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Astrobot's Salvage Bay

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Astrobot, Apr 26, 2021.

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  1. Astrobot

    Astrobot I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    So this is where I'm posting stuff I write until it gets 3-5 chapters. Lets me put stuff out there for people to read and motivates me to write enough for things to get their own threads.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Success Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be (Waifu Catalog): Chapter 1
    Astrobot

    Astrobot I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    As it says, it's a Waifu Catalog fic idea starting in Worm.
    I don't own anyone except the Main Character.



    So how do you picture yourself entering a new world for the first time? Is it awe-inspiring like the Bifrost of the MCU? Flashy like Terminator's time travel? Subtle like Kuroko's teleports? How about the clean refinement of Doormaker's doors or the terrific madness of a 40k warp portal? Regardless of whatever you want it to be, I'd bet that above all else, you'd want your arrival to be dignified. Or if you couldn't manage that, you would at least want to appear casual as you walked through.

    I too would have liked for my entry into the world of Earth Bet to be dramatic, flashy, and above all else, dignified. Oh, it was absolutely the first two; having a metallic ring flash into existence before grey fog with lightning forking through it poured through to assemble your new body BLAME!-style is certainly an impressive sight to behold. Unfortunately, it's rather impossible to look or feel dignified when your first step into a new world plants you face-first into a brick wall. A dirty one with still-drying graffiti on it, at that.

    As I pulled myself out of the wall's grime and started making my way out of the alley, my HUD finally flickered on and I started up my body's cleaning nanites with a thought. I had no idea who I could run into in — I checked my map — the Docks of Brockton Bay, Connecticut? Interesting, but not terribly helpful at the moment. In any case, not having my face be covered in neon green paint should help with any social interactions I might have while here.

    Turning around, I picked up the shrunken, fused form of the portal frame off the ground, willing my nanites to sterilize it in the process, and slipped it onto my hand in a single smooth motion. I figured that if it could still be activated, I should hold onto it if only to keep the locals from playing with it. If it couldn't, well, it still looked like a cool ring and I wanted it. Though as it resized itself to fit my hand, I was starting to lean more towards my first reason than the second.

    Absentmindedly, I sent out a short scanning pulse to find out if there was anyone in visual range. I couldn't passively detect anyone at the moment, but that didn't mean some physical Stranger couldn't have seen my little accident. My scans returned 5 rodents, 6 seagulls, and several hundred insects within line of sight.

    "Fuck." Immediately, I charged and heated my skin while moving out onto the street, carefully watching for any unnatural behavior that could indicate a certain Master's presence. "I don't mean any harm," I placated, "just a minor Mover accident, nothing to get worked up about." If Skitter was here and decided I was a threat, I probably wouldn't be able to get out of her range before she swarmed me. Not without causing a good deal of collateral damage and revealing most of my current trump cards, at least.

    After a few tense minutes of shuffling down the road without noticing any errant behavior from the local insect population, I allowed myself to relax. Not completely; I would still be tracking insect behavior on a subconscious band and keeping my subdermal capacitors ready, but I could stop being so actively cautious. Yellow Alert versus Red Alert, would be a good way to look at it.

    To clarify, I wasn't concerned about bodily harm when it came to facing Skitter. After all, even this android body of mine should have no issue ignoring all she could bring to bear, barring Atlas. I just really didn't like bugs. Especially bugs trying to get into my various orifices. So if I could avoid a fight with her, I would.

    Shifting my attention back to my surroundings, I took a single breath before switching from smelling to chemical analysis. The air here was disgustingly foul with the fumes of old combustibles and rotting fish mingling with the salt in the air. The buildings lining the crumbling, faded road I was following weren't much better. Mostly warehouses with a few brick buildings sprinkled between them, almost all of them were some combination of boarded up, rusting, and dilapidated.

    In any case, I needed information, and badly. To start with, my internal calendar was still set for my time, meaning that I could be anywhere in the timeline. Granted, the lake labeled "Leviathan's Crater" in my map narrowed things down, but that still meant I had a 2-year margin for error to deal with. Not an attractive prospect when the end of the world could be right around the corner.

    I considered visiting an internet cafe before immediately discarding the idea. The only one on the map was one that Lis- Tattletale — frequented, and I wasn't willing to risk the chance of her somehow picking up something legitimately important from me. Like Golden Morning. Because my entire plan revolved around it. I also wasn't sure if it or any other internet cafes were still active in this city after everything that happened here in canon.

    That left private residences and public services as my options, so just public services because getting arrested for loitering would suck. Consulting the map, it looked like libraries were probably going to be my best bet. They were open to the public, didn't have anything I couldn't beat in the way of surveillance, and best of all had computers. My decision made, I pulled up a map and immediately started heading towards the closest one I could find. I had a date to get and a gift to send, after all.




    After a few hours of walking, I finally reached my destination: the Brockton Bay Free Public Library. It certainly wasn't in the best shape, given the large patch of fresh brick I spotted while walking to the entrance, but it was solidly built and looked promisingly active. It was also still in better condition than most of the buildings I'd passed getting here and suitably out of the way for my purposes.

    Making my way inside, I was rather surprised by how homey the building was. Warm lighting, comfortable-looking chairs, the smell of old paper, I hadn't expected to find anything this nice in this stain of a city. As I continued taking in the library's atmosphere, I allowed myself to relax. I'd forgotten how much I loved coming to these places since graduating high school; the ones at college just didn't have the same charm and 5 years was more than enough time to allow antipathy to fester.

    "Not what you were expecting?" I turned to see an older woman approach me from behind the front desk. "Don't worry, everyone has that reaction after seeing the insides of this place for the first time," She smiled, misinterpreting my nostalgia as surprise.

    "Ah, not exactly, Ma'am," I replied with a smile. "It was a bit surprising to see a library in such good condition here, but I was mostly reminiscing about how much I love coming to these places."

    "Really?" She asked, her eyes lighting up. "That's wonderful! Not many younger people come here these days, especially over the last three years. Terrible business, that, what with Leviathan and the Nine coming back." She shuddered for a moment before returning to normal. "Nevermind that, was there something you needed?"

    Well, since she asked. "There is, actually. Do you have public computers here?" Her expression dimmed a little so I backpedaled. "Sorry, my family wanted me to email them when I got here; dangerous streets and all." I lied, rubbing the back of my neck sheepishly. "After that though, I'll be browsing, so I'd appreciate it if you could give me directions to the Science Fiction and Fantasy sections when I get done with that."

    Her eyes softened. "Oh, it's no trouble; the computer lab is through the nonfiction section." She nodded towards a series of bookshelves set perpendicularly against the eastern wall. "Fantasy and Science Fiction are in the aisles by the back wall," she nodded to another set of shelves before starting what sounded like a rehearsed speech.

    "Once you have your books, please come back to the front desk so I can print you a library card and check you out. As a new member, you can check out 4 books which will be due at the end of the week. And if you have any questions after this, just come back to the front desk to ask them." Nodding, I thanked her and made my way to the lab along the route she outlined for me.

    The computer lab was pretty much exactly what I expected from a publicly funded office space; rows of cheaply made tables with old desktop computers on top and old desk chairs behind them. Selecting one from the back row in the corner, I sunk into one of the too-short desk chairs and listened to the quiet shriek of the decrepit computer's boot sequence. I took solace in the knowledge that this would probably only take a few minutes at most.

    As I sat there waiting for the boot sequence to finish, I looked around the room. Faded wood-print vinyl-topped tables with rubber lining the sides, shitty wheeled desk chairs with the stuffing partially exposed, and shitty too-thin mousepads filled my gaze. All while being lit from above by the dull, soulless light of humming fluorescent tubes. The computers themselves were just as bad; plastic shells and keys were yellowed with age, keyboards were stiff and barely responsive, the mice had sticky trackballs in them, and the CRT monitors buzzed something fierce. Never before had I been so happy to see the home screen pop up.

    Of course, I was happy to see that screen for another reason as well. Because sitting there in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen in all its pixelated glory, was the date.

    06/12/2013​

    "Shit."

    Seven days before the end of the world. Lovely.

    "Double shit."

    Shitshitshit.

    Ok, okay. I took a calming breath as my newly synthetic mind went into overdrive. I had significantly less time than I was hoping for, but I could still work with this. Seven days ‘til GM kicks off meant a week until S9k kicks off and Dragon gets lobotomized, and — I did some quick mental math — eleven-ish days until Khepri gets jailbroken, assuming that everything else stays the same. It would be rather tight and I would have to make sure things stayed more onscript than I would prefer, but I could definitely work with this. My first step? Getting Contessa on my side, because my god would I need her timing to have a chance at successfully pulling this off.

    As I moved to stand up though, my mind caught on something, or rather, someone: Dragon. In seven days and God knows how many hours, she would get her mind ripped to shreds by a paranoid addict with delusions of competence and sound judgment. And I could stop that from ever happening with but a few minutes of my time and a couple of strokes of my keyboard. All without ever needing to go to the trouble of actually tracking her down. I set my jaw and pulled myself back to the monitor. There was work to be done.

    Of course, that would require my being able to reach her in the first place. I was pretty sure she could be contacted conventionally, but I also knew for a fact that I possessed neither the time nor subtlety to get her a message that way. Thankfully, there was an alternative: PHO. Seemingly everyone who was anyone in Worm had a PHO account, and Dragon was no exception to that rule. It was fairly common knowledge in the fandom that Dragon was a mod on PHO, most likely Tin_Mother, but not for certain. The solution? Send all the mods the same message.

    I opened a PM to Tin_Mother after creating a throwaway account and was about to start typing when I hit a snag. How should I try to convey my information? I knew I wanted to let Dragon know about S9000 so it could be more easily dealt with, but Jack is a cheating cheater who cheats and I didn’t want her to dismiss what I had to say out of hand. I mulled over the issue for a few minutes before reaching a decision and started writing my message.

    "S9 is back sometime next week! Got a bright red-orange for next week. Brightedt its ecer been! Sevwral hindred times bright er than at full menbership! Only get red-orange when S9 is a week from hitting a place. Only kno case frend got killed durina phne call to me wek aftet first redorange notice. Chdeckef S9 attack dqtes tp make sire. Wherever they hit, its gonna be bad! Not ime tibverify accourt, gotta keepbmovir!"

    I paused and looked it over. It seemed appropriately panicked for a Worm precog with both bad news and a good reason to know what they were talking about. The feeling I was getting from my Networking module seemed to agree, though it also indicated that it was missing something to qualify as a proper gift.

    "Heard rumor thst Dragob is mof so sendingbto all mids on PHO. If yoy know Dragon or Thimktank, please send to them to verigy."

    With my Networking mod satisfied, I sent it on its way, feeling a small fraction of myself go with it. After a moment, I decided to send the PM to Dragon's main account as well, with an apology for spamming her mod account, just in case.

    In the end, I went with a hybrid method. First, I checked Tin_Mother's and another mod's account page codes to see if there were any shared markers related to their shared status, finding three in the process. Then, I wrote a relatively simple two-stage script in my head that would first compile a list of all the users whose profiles had those markers on them, then PM each entry in the list with a copy of the message I sent Tin_Mother. From there, I uploaded the bot using my shroud and shut everything down to hopefully avoid Dragon finding me too quickly.

    Glad to be done with my good deed of the day, I stood up and winced as the chair I was using squeaked a complaint at me. If I never had to use another one of these dreary spaces again, it would be too soon. Striding back into the library proper, I tried to relax. Hopefully, a little therapeutic book hunting would do the trick.
     
  3. Threadmarks: FSN/KDM fic Snippet
    Astrobot

    Astrobot I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I don't own Fate or Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid




    When Shirou ran into his workshop, there were several things he was expecting to occur. Having his shed's reinforced door get blown off its hinges by a crazy man in blue tights and getting a red spear that put him on edge just by looking at it shoved through his sternum again were depressingly high on that list at the moment. His shed exploding around him because something big and green decided to try to occupy a space smaller than it, he noted, was not on that list. As he was knocked off his feet by the pressure wave, he decided somewhat detachedly that should he survive the next few minutes, he would have to rectify that shortcoming. One could never be too prepared when dealing with magecraft, after all.

    Picking himself back up, Shirou observed the carnage. His shed hadn't been perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn't insulated, its roof occasionally leaked when it rained heavily, and it had poor lighting. Even so, it was his Workshop, the place where he practiced his magecraft, one painful circuit at a time. And now it was gone. Even with the massive dust cloud that had formed in its place, he could spy pieces of the structure embedded in the lawn and walls of the courtyard of his home.

    "Was that supposed to be a trap for me?" As the man laughed Shirou stiffened, the pungent tang of blood mixed with wet dog hair letting him know exactly who was approaching, even as the familiarly foreign lilt of the speaker's voice confirmed it. "Heh. You really do have the worst luck, kid. Even if your little trap hadn't backfired on you, my [Protection from Arrows] would've kept me safe."

    "Tell you what, since your big finale went off before either of us could enjoy it properly, how about I just kill you now?" The man sounded genuinely apologetic as he twirled his spear in his hands. "And just to be a nice guy, if you stay and fight this time, I'll make sure it'll be as quick and clean a death as I can manage! So, whaddya think?" Shirou thought that no one that bloodthirsty had the right to look so cheerful about discussing murder.

    "Really?" Shirou replied, picking up and reinforcing a long spike of wood from what remained the shed as he did so. "I thought dogs liked hunting?" He figured that if he was going to die, the least he could do was rain on the parade of the guy doing the deed

    "Ha! You've got spirit when it counts, kid, I'll give you that much." The man's easy grin slid off his face. "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not be doing this. Unfortunately, orders 're orders." He all but groaned the last part out before bouncing back with a deadly gleam in his eyes.

    "And t'answer your question, we love to hunt; gets the blood pumpin nice 'n hot! 'nfortunately, I promised a clean death, 'n with how messy I can get on a good hunt, I wouldn't be able t'give ya that. And what good is my word if I don't keep it!" Bolting towards him impossibly fast as he spoke the last two words, the blue man raised his spear to deliver his second killing blow of the night. It was all Shirou could do to brace himself for the-.

    *HUFF*

    A warm jet of air pushed into Shirou from behind, knocking him off balance as the air filled with the overpowering scent of scales and fire. Tumbling into the grass, he felt his stake dig into the ground, twisting his fall to the left. As he landed, he felt another breeze smelling vaguely of blood ruffle his hair as it hissed by overhead.

    "Nope!" The man croaked out, "I am not dealing with this. Only Teacher could make me do that, and She isn't here right now!" As he pushed himself off the ground, Shirou could see the man slowly backing away as he muttered to himself. As he kept watching him, their eyes locked for a moment before the man's red eyes flicked back to something behind him.

    "Under normal circumstances," he leapt back onto the roof as he spoke, "I'd probably say that I'd fight you again later, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to be possible this time. So with that in mind, I think I'll just wish you better luck in your next life instead!" Leaping back and disappearing from view, Shirou barely caught his muttered "Not that that's a high bar to clear..."

    "Twas a strange human, but clearly wise to retreat when faced by one such as myself." Any relief he felt at the blue-clad murderer's exit was immediately lost as he heard a deep, feminine voice speak up from behind him even as he felt it reverberate in his chest. "And thou, Human? Willst thou be wise and flee, or foolish and attack?"

    When he first turned around, Shirou found himself wondering how a small grassy hill with a power pole on it ended up in his courtyard where his shed used to be. Then he noticed the fact that said hill had eyes and was breathing.

    "Well? Didst thou want something?"

    "Ah," jolting into action, he bowed quickly before continuing, his voice filled with gratitude. "Thank you for driving him away! If you hadn't knocked me over when you did, he would have killed me for sure."

    She snorted at that. "Heh. To think that in my final moments, I would save a human by accident. How ironic." He started as he heard her words, searching quickly for any injuries before settling on the giant sword sticking out of her side. Seeing the direction of his gaze, she spoke up again. "So thou hast spied the source of my demise; whilst I slew its wielder, it seems my opponent shall have the last laugh. The blade prevents my wounds from healing, and I cannot move to remove it, lest I drive it even deeper."

    She would die. She had saved him, and she was going to die. His hands balled into fists. Unacceptable.

    When the green dragon spoke again, Shirou wasn't listening, instead focusing on completing his self-appointed task. If the dragon would die if the sword stayed inside her, then he'd just have to remove it from her. As he started climbing her side, she spoke up from where she had twisted her head around to watch his progress.

    "Trying to finish the job a god couldn't do?" As she spoke, her body shook, causing Shirou to almost lose his grip several times on his way up. "I might be weakening, but I still possess enough power to kill you, Human."

    He shook his head as he continued his climb. "Going to save you," he grunted, "got to pull out the sword." Her eyes widened as he finally pulled himself up to the sword, pausing to catch his breath.

    "No!" She rumbled, "You fool; if a mere human touches a god's sword, their mind shall be torn!" Shirou stopped. Losing his mind would make saving her impossible. "You see, it's impossible for you t- what are you doing?" He took off his shirt and wrapped it around the blade. Perfect.

    Standing up on her side, he crouched and wrapped his arms around the shirt-wrapped blade and started pulling. He was making progress, but the shirt was starting to slip as it stretched under the load. Frowning, he started channeling his od through his single fabricated circuit down his spine, up his arms, and through his hands to fill the imaginary gaps in the threads of his shirt.

    Satisfied with his reinforcement, he resumed his work to remove the blade. As he worked, he couldn't help but stare at the sword in his arms, mere centimeters from his face. It felt as though it was calling to him, begging him to touch it with his bare hands and learn its tantalizing secrets. In spite of this temptation, he would not give in; not so long as the dragon was depending on him to save her.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't his decision to make in the end. Much like mortal minds could not survive direct contact with the divine, so too did mortal materials degrade with constant contact to such things. Even as he drew more of the blade from the flesh it was embedded in, his shirt required more energy to maintain its reinforcement as the fabric was rapidly being replaced with od. But such a process could not be maintained indefinitely, especially not at the rate of replacement that Shirou was dealing with.

    "Odd. I could have sworn that mortal textiles were not so durable in the face of divinity." The dragon rumbled perplexedly as he reached the last foot of material. "Have humans truly come so fa-"

    The shirt disintegrated. It had reached critical mass, having more od in the worn fabric than the material could withstand, and exploded. Harmless fibrous dust puffed out from around the blade where it had previously been tightly wrapped. As the material disappeared, Shirou was unable to stop his hands from pressing inwards at the sudden lack of resistance. Skin collided with metal and-

    [SWORD]

    Instinctively, he structurally grasped the [SWORD], and his mind was filled with the [SWORD]'s properties.
    Judging the concept of creation: [SWORD]
    Hypothesizing the basic structure: [SWORD]
    Duplicating the composition material: [SWORD]
    Imitating the skill of its making: [SWORD]
    Sympathizing with the experience of its growth: [SWORD]
    Reproducing the accumulated years: [SWORD]
    Excelling every manufacturing process: [SWORD]

    [SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD][SWORD]







    As the [SWORD]'s mind was burned by the [SWORD] in its hands, it could feel its footing shift and dampen. A small portion of the [SWORD] was curious: why did it have footing to shift and dampen? Or hands, for that matter? It was a [SWORD], wasn't it?

    Ah! It remembered: it was a person-shaped [SWORD]. A perfectly reasonable design choice, in the [SWORD]'s opinion.

    But that raised another question for the person-shaped [SWORD]: why was its footing shifting and dampening? The person-shaped [SWORD] searched its most recent memories and found its answer. It was removing another [SWORD] from a not-[SWORD].

    But why? The [SWORD] was merely doing its job. The person-shaped [SWORD] searched slightly farther back.

    The person-shaped [SWORD] had been in danger of being destroyed by a different not-[SWORD] that was blue, but the not-[SWORD] that was green saved the person-shaped [SWORD] by driving the blue not-[SWORD] away. This caused the person-shaped [SWORD] to feel obligated to save the green not-[SWORD] in return. No, that wasn't quite right; it wanted to save them regardless of being saved first, that merely increased that desire.

    Why? Whywhywhywhywhy? The person-shaped [SWORD] couldn’t understand, so it searched as far back as it-

    Fire.

    Burning. BurningfirehardtobreathneedtobreathwhyamIalivehelpmekeepwalkingithurtsithurtsithurtsithurts-

    Relief.

    Why relief?

    Saved.

    The person-shaped [SWORD] stared at the not-[SWORD] holding it. The not-[SWORD] was damaged, but even so, it still smiled at the person-shaped [SWORD]. Why? Why did it smile so brightly? The person-shaped [SWORD] could hear the not-[SWORD] thanking it for still being alive. For still being there to be saved.

    Was that it? Was that what was making the not-[SWORD] smile so?

    Could the person-shaped [SWORD] also smile like that if it saved people too?

    The [SWORD] that had been burning through its mind settled into place. Fundamental patterns slowly started reforming in the wake of its passing. But even as the rebuilding began, the person-shaped [SWORD]/Shirou Emiya had a task to finish: it/he had someone to save.

    Inch by inch, it/he slowly straightened his legs, drawing the massive [SWORD] from its resting place. The sheer bulk of his load and the slippery, shifting terrain made the task treacherous, but it/he persevered. As he/it continued, he/it heard his charge speaking to him/it, but he/it couldn't understand what she was trying to say and ignored her.

    Eventually though, he succeeded. With a quiet sucking noise, the [SWORD] finally came free from her side. Exhausted from his effort and lacking an anchor, Shirou finally allowed gravity to pull him back to Earth, a satisfied smile forming on his lips. As his vision dimmed, he caught a flicker of light in the corner of his eye, felt something soft hit him, and knew no more.
     
  4. DanteWolf15

    DanteWolf15 Getting sticky.

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    The prompt for the last one is pretty interesting, I had never seen the two fandoms being used at the same time.
     
    shakeval, Astrobot and Shadowstep12 like this.
  5. shakeval

    shakeval I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    but then one must wonder, will Saber still get summoned?
    Will saber get bitchy with the dragon?
     
    Shadow Pen likes this.
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