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Jumpchain RED [Jumpchain]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by ketch117, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. ketch117

    ketch117 A wicked cricket critic's dinner napkin

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    So, decided to give this a try. This isn't my first time writing, but it is my first attempt at writing a Jumpchain story, so we'll see how it works out. This is a jumpchain, though with a few of the core premisses altered or shifted around. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

    Prologue - JUMP 46 (ACE COMBAT)

    The Messerschmitt's cockpit stank of aviation fuel, cigarettes and regrets - all three of which he ignored with a combination of urgency and long practice. The sky spun crazily in and out of focus, the engine coughed and spluttered and rattled away like a thoroughbred whose heart might have no quit in it but whose lungs are shot, and the controls fought at him as well, and fought with everything they had. In a situation like this, thinking in metaphors came easier than grappling directly with what was at hand - namely that the odds of limping back and landing his plane were higher than an entire commune of hippies on a blotterful.

    Dirty black smoke streamed back from the engine, almost blinding him, and one of his ailerons had come loose, forcing him to lean hard on the opposite rudder pedal in order to keep the most up. The Messerschmitt was a stable, dependable, dull-grey plane with twin rudders and engines and wide wings that seemed to almost respond to his directives before he made them. Nobody on either side knew quite what to make of the retrofitted old warhorse of a plane which carried him into battle. It’s classic lines cut a curious and anachronistic silhouette as it glided through the skies, but then, people were fooled by appearances. Incongruous as it was to see a museum-piece in the battle, a fighter which had been a game contender in the wars fought almost a century past and had been left behind - and with it the causes and issues that men had fought and died for, replaced by the innovations and conflicts of a new age.

    When asked about it, he only sighed, and thought better of explaining the paradoxical concept of ‘Theseus’ ship’ to whoever had asked. Regardless of it’s appearance, nobody who’d seen him fly it doubted it’s right to be here. It was the plane he’d learned to fly in essence, if so extensively modified and rebuilt since that the distinction was largely conceptual, and he appreciated the classic design. What was the present? Everything sacrificed for speed, no matter how she flies or handles? No matter how she responds? No thought to grace? The man who designed those Messerschmitt’s, he had stared at a summer sky and dreamed of eagles…

    The sky was empty, but far bellow the antiaircraft guns had swivelled as they took aim and made ready to knock him sprawling into infinite sleep if he gave them anything resembling a chance. He didn’t intend to let them. He wrestled with the controls and watching the gauges. The atomic clock in his skull kept time to the pumping of his heart, a regular seventy-two beats per minute. Sensors indicated that the air had fallen below freezing sometime after dark. Suspended in insulate gel, encased in an armoured exoskeleton, he would have never known - body temperature remained at an ideal 37ºC; breathing rate - had he been breathing rather then sucking oxygen directly into the bloodstream through a tube - would have remained a perfectly calm twelve inhalations per minute. Yet he was agitated regardless, as he used all the automated strength in his arms to keep the wing's level, as he whipped his mortally wounded plane away violently around the ravenous pillars of exploding shells that were far too close for comfort, but still far enough away. He’d taken a pasting from a whole squadron of enemy fighters over the Osea coast, and it wouldn’t take much more than a near miss, much less a glancing hit, to finish him off.

    To the Royal Air Force of Erusea, his codename was ‘Gawain’ - a familiar handle which he'd carried for a long time and which fitted him comfortably, if somewhat at odds with the fashion of the nations usual conventions when it came to codenames, though still far more to their taste than his squadron, which he called ‘Flying Circus’. Miles behind him, his assailants lay smashed and tangled in the smoking, splintered wreckage of their aircraft, which he’d dutifully marked and reported. And behind them, the Allies were caught in a long and bloody battle that had begun months ago and lasted just long enough to demonstrate what cruel folly it was. Tanks ground towards Dinsmark like tracked battleships, their multiple turrets dulling with the fearsome heat rays of the insect-like Belkan tripods which bestrode the Osean countryside, laying waste to every town and village in their path.

    Ahead, through the gunsights and bulletproof glass of the windshield, he could see the gleam of Erusea’s chalky cliffs. Below his wings, the hard, ceramic-blue waters of the Channel. The war was behind him now. He’d beaten the odds just getting this far. Almost home now…

    He saw the pillboxes and machine gun nests on the beach at the foot of the cliff. Lines of white surf broke against the sand, and the cliff towered above him: an immovable wall of white rock, at least three hundred feet in height. He glanced down at his dashboard and tapped the altimeter. The dial wasn’t working. He bared his teeth, and hauled back on the stick. The engine spluttered, threatening to stall. The propellor hacked at the sky.

    He only tugged harder.

    Finally, it responded. The nose rose with aching slowness. For a second, he wasn’t sure if he would make it. For an agonising second, the plane seemed to hang in the air–

    Then the cliff’s grassy lip dropped away beneath his wings, and he saw the countryside spread beneath him like a chequered blanket. He took his right hand off the stick, and rubbed his forehead.

    That had been a whole order of magnitude too close.

    A couple of miles inland, through the engine smoke, he caught sight of the aerodrome, and at long last he allowed himself to relax, at least a little. He’d beaten the odds once again.

    He let the nose drop - though not as much as it wanted, trading his hard-won altitude for a little additional speed, until his wheels almost brushed the tops of the hedgerows lining the fields.

    He cleared the first hedge, scattering a herd of dairy cows, and then the second. A skeletal tree snatched at the tip of his starboard wing. The Aerodome’s perimeter fence appeared, right smack between fat mountains beyond the placid blue sea and white cliffs. He pulled back just enough to clear it, and the airfield yawned open like the arms of an anxious parent, ready to catch him.

    The Messerschmitt’s wheels squeaked as they hit the concrete. The stick juddered in his hand. Somehow he kept the nose straight.

    The mortally injured Messerschmitt bumped to a halt at the far end of the field and the engine burst into flames. By the time the fire crews reached it, the engine wasn’t worth saving. Ammunition popped and sputtered in the flames. Paint blistered. But they knew their work, containing the fire and enough of it to save what could be saved. The whole thing would have to be rebuilt, and not for the first time. Theseus’ ship, he thought ruefully. Hell, he was as out of place here as the plane.

    They found him sitting on the grass at the edge of the runway, with his flying goggles loose around his neck, haggard and wan.

    “I need a drink.” He told them, so they gave him a ride back to the Officer’s Mess, while the technicians made for what had once been his plain. The heavy figure of Brutus, swathed as usual in red robes emblazoned with the cog and skull symbol was arriving just as he departed on the back of an army truck. He lifted a hand tiredly in acknowledgement as he passed, but the gesture was not returned. The Enginseer was still human, despite all the bulky augmentations, but had never really gotten the hang of human interaction, on display as he pushed and shoved mechanics and technicians out of the way and moved over to what was left of the plane.

    A few of them asked him what had happened to him, and to the plane. He ignored them.

    The Mess was housed in a canvas marquee at the end of a row of semi-cylindrical steel Nissen huts. Immediately alongside was the abandoned railroad ditch that carried the pipe that carried the aviation gasoline down to the fuel trucks at the airfield. When he pushed through the khaki flap that served as its door, the crowd fell silent. It was a busy night. The bar was busy, the crap table was busy, the ping-gong table was busy. Some young officers - children, really - had been busy at the bar singing old and sentimental favourites which thrummed with patriotic sentiment and nobody ever seemed to get tired of, but they’d paused as well on his arrival.

    Perhaps they were expecting something.

    He just shook the rain from his fleece lined jacket and walked into the room. Nobody said a word, they stopped talking and playing cards, updating social media, checking for updates, fiddling with their phones or computers - all of it. Everyone turned to look at him, tall and dark and bearded (counter to regulations, but he would have shaved if they’d asked and nobody had) - handsome enough even with the discrete but noticeable scars which hinted at extensive surgery and only a few flourishes to his appearance that hinted at how little of him was left (Theseus' ship again), dressed in a greasy flight suit and fleece-lined jacket. His artificial eyes weren’t obvious in the light, and they didn’t miss a detail - they all appeared as grainy, green-tinted holo-images, because his filter needed adjusting. Smoke curled above their heads. Their faces were amused and curious, and he didn’t recognise any of them - save a few old familiar faces that he knew as well as his own, mixed amidst them all like an alloy.

    There were four of them seated together at a table, near the crap table on which Jenny always managed to win. Miranda, as it turned out, wasn’t any good at gambling despite being as close to perfect as science and nature could achieve, but Jenny was just as good at shooting crap as she was at playing ping-pong, and she was just as good at playing ping-pong as she was at everything else. Everything Jenny did, she did well, and everybody who knew her liked her, and people respected Miranda but they mostly didn’t like her very much, and she mostly didn’t give them a reason to. That was the way she liked it, or so she had told him anyway.

    It wasn’t common to see them to sharing a table, since Miranda was a political appointment and was much too far up the chain of command to be involved in the persecution of the war. In practical terms, Miranda was not a political officer, she was a spook, a government appointment. Actually, she was a lot more than that, but she wasn't spreading that little fact around - people were worried enough about her already.

    He should have sat with them, the rest of his squadron who were fighting a war they didn’t have a stake in, sat down and got to figuring things out. Or just found something to talk about, but he didn’t feel up to it. Not right then. He shouldn’t have been flying alone, that’s what he had a squadron for, but he hadn’t done that either. He was becoming erratic, and that should concern him, but it didn't either. Nothing really seemed to be getting through.

    Most of the people gathered, however, were strangers. The men had moustaches and slick-backed hair, the women wore their hair short, and they all wore brand new flying jackets over crisp uniforms. And they were all needed - the war was still going on. Young men and women were going mad and they were getting rewarded with medals. Not just here, all over the world, from Anea to Antarctica, boys and girls on every side of the front-lines were laying down their lives for what they had been told was their country, and no one seemed to mind, least of all the boys and girls who were laying down their young lives. There was no end in sight. The only end in sight was their own.

    Ignoring them all, he loped over to a corner table and climbed onto a chair. After a moment, heads turned away and discussions resumed. Another moment after that, the Mess Officer shuffled over. He looked up at him thoughtfully. The mess officer was a sad, birdlike man, very neat and very clean with the worst combover in the world whose idea of a good time was to have a good sulk while people were likely to notice. But in spite of that, the mess officer was good at his job, and he quite liked him - mostly because he wasn’t expected to.

    As a connoisseur, of sorts, he liked bars and clubs and other places to have a drink best of all when he was the first customer, just after they opened for the evening. When the air inside was still cool and clean and everything shiny and fresh, when the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth in the knowledge of how vital a good impression could be.

    He liked the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and most of all the anticipation. He liked to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. He liked to take that drink and to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar - that's the sort of simple pleasure that will bring a man back from the dead, in his opinion anyway.

    A long way away from the Officers Mess, in other words. He’d endured worse, of course, but he didn’t see why he should have to.

    “Tea or coffee, squire?”

    “I’ll let you know when I figure it out.” He replied, settling back in his chair and lighting a cigarette. The cigarette helped clear the reek of aviation fuel from his nostrils, and now all he wanted was a rest. He yawned. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been asleep. Not dreaming, just sleeping. He was getting to feel as though it had been forever, flying one sortie after another in an endless string of confused dogfights, fuelled only by nicotine and whiskey and sheer bloody-mindedness, climbing and diving and twisting and turning steeply and sharply with an aching howl of engines, as he wove his way through the filthy barrages of flak.

    It hadn’t been that way when he’d first arrived. It never was, of course, the urgency had to be allowed to build before it could get it's hooks in you. At first it had been exhilarating, but it never lasted. The shrinks called what he was suffering ‘battle-fatigue’ - by which they meant that he was as well balanced as an upturned pyramid. He’d seen it happen before, more times - many more then he could begin to say, in other places and times. He’d seen it happen here as well, to other pilots. They lived too long, lost to many comrades, and withdrew into themselves. Then, one day, they stopped caring altogether. They took mad chances, pushed their luck beyond the ragged limit, and they died.

    Was that what he was doing? Was he finally tired of it all, ready to pick his patch of ground to die on? He wasn’t sure, and that scared him - the idea that his subconscious might have taken a turn to the self-destructive without telling him. He didn’t have a problem with the idea, exactly, but he would like to be kept in the loop of the decision making process.

    He’d gone up against five F117s flying in formation this afternoon, black diamond-shaped fighters straight off the factory lines, said to be invisible to radar, turbofans whirring within their bellies, as they hunted. And he’d chosen to face them, even though they’d had a height advantage on top of everything else. Two he could have handled, had handled plenty of times, but three would have been pushing it, and pushing it hard. An entire formation of five had been asking for it - he should have turned and fled, at least tried to manoeuvre them onto more favourable ground. Called for help. Anything. If one of his companions had been so reckless, he’d have had them confined and put under observation, even given Dr Dax permission to ask his intrusive questions and poke around in their heads for their own good. But there was nobody to do that for him, at least nobody that he’d listen to. That was the burden of command. In spite of everything, he’d carried the day, and skill had played a part, but he’d been fortunate beyond reason to make it home in one piece, and he knew it. Was he pushing his luck until it broke? With a sigh, he reached for his flask, then stopped, as someone firmly placed a bottle between the two of them. He looked up to find Jack standing there, his face as familiar as his own.

    Jack - the other Jack - was a moustached man in his early forties like always, habitually contemptuous of any uniform and dressed in mufti - western chic as were his preferences. He looked the part of a true all-American male - not that anyone here had ever heard of such a place: a black ranchers hat, black denim jacket, black denim jeans, black tie and black boots and the crowning touch: a silver flask belt buckle. All well tailored, and comfortable on his lean frame as a second skin. “You’re not going to get very far drinking that - it’s the good stuff today. You know what this is?” He asked, something about the way he drawled it suggesting it was a trick question.

    He looked up. Wafer thin lenses in his artificial eyes turned. “A bottle of Statesman reserve?”

    Jack - Agent Whiskey shook his head. He had a good-ole-boy attitude combined with a no-nonsense professionalism, and exuded the calm confidence of a man who could handle himself in any situation, whatever it might be. “Missed, but close enough. It’s actually the last bottle of the Statesman Reserve. After this, it’s all used up - who knows what we’ll do for lubrication then?”

    “The last.” He repeated, as though he couldn’t believe it and picked it up gently, almost reverently. It had been bottled in 1969 - whenever that was, relative to him and to now - a question he couldn’t begin to untangle, time was a thing that happened to other people, or so it seemed. They’d taken a dozen barrels, and worked their way through it all. He sighed. Men weren’t meant to live this long. Sometimes he wondered how the gods could stand it.

    “That’s what I said.” Jack replied. "The last."

    “So what’s the occasion? Why are we opening it, rather then holding it back and waiting?”

    “Well it’s another day when we’re all alive. Seems reason enough to celebrate, now don’t it?”

    “Better than many.” He allowed. Again, he wonders about ‘Battle Fatigue’. He thinks about the war, though not this one. In his mind, they’re all one, one endless conflict stretching behind and in front of him. Sometimes he feels as though a million voices are crying out to him from where they were left in no-man's-land, all pleading only for a release from pain. Help me, help me, help me. He hears them in English. French. German. Russian. Other languages, many no longer spoken. He hears the whispers of a dozen disparate empires lost and forgotten by time, and the alien sounds of those dying beneath an unknown sky. Voices which screamed at the sight of their own exposed organs and ruined limbs. Which implored the heavens to take away their pain. To bless them with death. Voices which could soon be his - which nearly had been, countless times.

    When it is as bad as it gets, he begins to feel as though he's the only human being alive, that it’s just him and the voices of the dead, all haunting him. Bodies move around him, talking, eating in the officer’s mess, sometimes talking to him and then waiting as if they expect a dialogue. There are bodies everywhere he looks, men and some women chatting, military and some civilians - but no people. One of the bodies who he talks to in order to save Dr Dax the trouble - an army surgeon - took the time to explain to him that he's suffering from what's actually a common stress disorder, survivor's guilt. This may be so, he admits, but it doesn't change anything.

    Jack nodded, still following the conversation he's barely aware of but sensing the direction of his thoughts, and placed a pair of tumblers beside the bottle, then opened it and poured them both a generous measure. The amber liquid rolled seductively in the glass. His nostrils flared as took in the scent. As Sir Winston Churchill (or perhaps it was it Oscar Wilde) once said, ‘my tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.’

    “Absent friends.” Jack said, raising his glass.

    They drained their glasses, and he refilled them. This time they didn't toast, they just drank.

    “So who’s worried about me?” He asked, swirling the liquid around in the glass thoughtfully.

    Jack nodded, telling him his assumption was the correct one - someone had put him up to this. Jack wouldn’t have himself, he was of the belief that talking it though did not good, men should suffer in silence. Jack’s codename was as out of place as his own, of course, but it fit him, somehow. Better than his real name, even. “We all are. But it’s my turn to make sure you’re alright.”

    He let out a small chuckle. “Well don’t ask me. I’m not an expert. I’m… coping.” The voices that he imagines do not leave him when he dreams. They all come at once. They twist and turn in their unheeded millions, little difference between them - or at least there seemed to be. His dreams did not confine themselves to the current conflict but embraced every war man had instigated - he’d seen them all, or enough of them, at least. Vividly, he remembered huge battles. Some of them he recognised, others were only dry history and imagination. Some had never existed at all. Most, however, were merely the repetition, with different costumes, of the obscenity he had witnessed again and yet again, each as painful as the socket of a missing tooth. He has a mouthful of emptiness, bitter and aching, out here in the skies.

    “Are you?”

    He puffed on his cigarette to avoid answering the question, or at least buy him some time. Was he? What is it that they were doing, exactly? Every day, they climbed as high and as far as their machines could take them. To the very limits of human achievement. To the gates of heaven itself. And then tried to kill each other. They stained the sky, in order to fight a war in heaven.

    Jack could be irritatingly perceptive at times. Or maybe he was just a lot more transparent than he liked to believe. “Must be a reason we’re here.”

    “Must there be? I’m starting to wonder.”

    “There always has been. So far, anyway.”

    “Or at least, that’s what we decided. Afterwards. Do you ever wonder if that’s all it is?”

    Jack finished his glass. “No.” He told him. “You do the job in front of you, then you do the next one. That’s… life. That’s just how it works. In my experience, which is extensive.” 'Even before I met you' went unsaid.

    “Maybe I just need some perspective.”

    “Maybe you need some time to get your head straight.”

    He sighed. He’d been here for six years now, and this was the second war he’d fought in, during that time. And, unlike the previous battle, which had started and finished so quickly the world had barely noticed, this one would be fought all the way to the bitter end - whenever that might arrive. No war could last forever - something always gave out.

    His name was Jack Mitchell, Graf of the nation of Erusea and the last of his earthly line. And this, it seemed, was his fate.

    “I guess that’s it. The secret.” He told his old comrade. “Don’t stop and think about it. Don’t stop and ask why. Just go on, because the only way out is getting through. And don’t think of what’s waiting for you on the other end. Because it’s only more of the same.”

    “That’s a way to look at it.” Jack Daniels allowed. “But you know, in three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life. It goes on. Shall we drink to that?”

    He inclined his head, acknowledging the point. “We’d better.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  2. Trek

    Trek Know what you're doing yet?

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    Too confusing, where is the build? current jump? who is the mc, what special rules are you using for jumpchain.
    I couldn't bring myself to care at all about this guy, I know nothing about him, he is a battle-scarred soldier who flies planes. That's it. Why should I care about him? Is he going to go on a jumpchain? what are his ambitions? desires?
     
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  3. ketch117

    ketch117 A wicked cricket critic's dinner napkin

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    Well, those are all very good questions. Firstly, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

    There isn't a main character as such, though the Jumper is the POV character, Jack Mitchell. That's not his real name, like everything else about him it's been replaced as the jumps proceeded. Infact, the current Jump and the number proceeding are in the title (JUMP 46 (ACE COMBAT)).

    And I'm sorry that you couldn't bring yourself to care about him, but in my defence this is only the first chapter, there's only so much I can be expected to do as far as that. While perhaps not obvious, the idea was to start in the middle and work my way up to that, to an extent - with the prologue (the above chapter) working as a taste of what's to come. That's also why I didn't post the build - that, and I didn't want to post forty six jumps worth on the first page - I figured I'd post them as they came.

    As for what have I changed from the 'conventional Jumpchain Experience (if such a thing exists)… well, you'll have to wait and see.
     
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  4. Trek

    Trek Know what you're doing yet?

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    The problem with that is your jumper does not look like someone with 46 jumps under his belt. There is simply no way for someone with 100s of perks from 46 jumps to end up in MCs miserable condition. Not to mention 460 years of experience and wisdom.
     
  5. ketch117

    ketch117 A wicked cricket critic's dinner napkin

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    Well, let me assure you, this is forty six jumps in, and over the course of that he's had considerably more that 460 years of experience (not so much wisdom), and that's what got him into this mess - his experiences have turned him into a shell of a human being unable to relate to his own companions anymore, much less other people. Yes there are perks to fix that, however he hasn't acquired them yet (and by the time he does, his outlook will be so alien that really that's the least of it).

    If it bothers you that the jumps I've chosen haven't left him able to be endangered by something so pedestrian as a shooting war in a setting designed around crazy experimental weapons, then I'm sorry you feel that way, but it suited the narrative better and so that's what I went with as far as design. The intention here was never to create an all powerful character, and so he reflects that. As a character, he owes more to 'Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever' than Silver-Age Superman. There's nothing wrong with writing about Superman (Silver-Age or otherwise), it's just not what I'm going with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  6. Trek

    Trek Know what you're doing yet?

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    If he can't relate to humans why is he helping them and risking his own life and his chain while doing so? If he is a shell of a human being where is his alien, ruthless mindset? But really you would never get were mc was with even just the body mod because of the resolve augment. If you did the generic first jump you would have the therapy couch which would fix you right up.

    Mc could have easily dropped by a jump which did provide a mental self healing power, it would have been trivial, cost what 10 years? 200-100cp? So what mc went though 46 jumps, never bothering to pick up a mental buff even though he could see his own mind become mush?

    Jumpers are not mundane, brain dead characters, there are too many ways to fix that even for a jumper with just 5 jumps under his belt much less 46. You don't even need a cp backed item/perk, there are many many hyper-efficient therapist type software in tons of jump worlds.

    If your jumpers goal was to kill the other side why is he wasting time flying a metal box which shoots pellets? Why hasn't he simply snapped his fingers and disintegrated them all? If your jumpers does not have any loyalty to either side of the war why is he helping them and destroying his own mind in the process, more so why is he helping whatever side he wants in such a useless manner when he probably has millions of better ways to win the war in days, hour, hell maybe even seconds.

    Idk, your mc can pick his own jumps yes? so why is he so desperately trying to self-sabotage? If he cant pick his own jumps did you force low power, useless jumps on him such that 46 jumps all were so useless that mc couldn't even get some power, protection and mental help? So many mental fortitude and willpower perks exist that you would have to go out of your way to avoid them.

    Even if you had no cp backed items from the 46 worlds, you went to them, you had the chance to copy their tech, their magics, their unique elements, better yourself. In short even with no perks, with access to 46 different fictional worlds, you could have acquired close to planet busing level easily.

    Now maybe you have mc under some kind of permanent power loss and amnesia drawbacks which is why he ended up here but in that case please let the readers know now because reading a mc with powerless is not fun.

    Now don't let this discourage you from writing more, I am simply trying to figure out mcs motivations and how he could have possibly ended up in this position because I see no way it could have happened. So even we disagree on some aspects I still look forward to more chapters.
     
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  7. ketch117

    ketch117 A wicked cricket critic's dinner napkin

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    Well, I'm glad that I've got you thinking so much.

    True. Fortunately for this story, I didn't. I started him up on Great Detective, for what it's worth, because I didn't want to start him up with training wheels.

    That's one preconception you want to move away from. The MC has absolutely no control where he ends up - none whatsoever. He is a leaf on the wind. That's actually mentioned in the chapter - Jack tells him that 'there must be a reason they're here', and he replies that he doesn't know what to believe. This guy never got a helpful cosmic being who explained things to him, and while he does get perks the process isn't the form you describe - he doesn't get a useful list of options before entering into a jump either. If I may make a tired Star Wars reference, there are no Midiclorians in his experience.

    That's pretty clearly not his intention, I made a great effort to show that he's going through the motions, which I'm sure you must have noticed. Could he destroy the other side more effectively? Sure, if he cared one way or another about the resolution of the war. Could he say 'fuck this' and go and hide in space for ten years? Well within his abilities. The fact that Enginseer Brutus is hanging around pretty much states that he has access to a very powerful spaceship. The fact that he's not, he's just letting himself be pushed along with the tide, is indicative of his unstable mental state, rather than lack of ability to resort to the nuclear option.

    No he cannot.

    Well, that's a good question. Obviously you feel it can't be the trauma, so you're looking for e a bigger and better answer. Human nature, perhaps? A reflection of my own tendency to be a miserable self-defeatist blown up in proportion, in the way that so often such things are reflected? Disassociation with himself and his existence? An existential cry for help in an overwhelmingly complicated universe in which he cannot fit himself into? A family tendency towards depression?

    Most mental fortitude perks are for resisting outside influences, actually, and the ones that aren't tend to be very unhelpful - a bit like how all luck perks come with a caveat 'if you rely on this it'll stop working'. This is an internal thing. And he's got an excellent psychologist - Dr Darius Dax, who isn't with him on this jump, but is very good at that.

    So what? Feeling the blues, blow up a planet? You seem to have missed a logical step or two along the way there, comrade. And power is a very relative thing - what it is and what it is not power often depends on 'where' you happen to be.

    Incidentally, outside tech only works if it's CP backed. Otherwise the differences in the laws of physics means it either doesn't do anything, or fails spectacularly.

    Well, his cybernetics are still working, so it's safe to guess that the rest of him is as well.

    Don't worry about that - I'm happy to see you take such an interest. It might help to let go of your preconceptions about bestriding the world as a god a little, but it's all good.
     
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  8. Trek

    Trek Know what you're doing yet?

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    So he cant even pick his own builds?
    Even if he had nothing explained to him too many jumps are available that are set in the modern world, mc could have easily copied over all jumpdocs and explanations from there if no one explained anything to him.
    A family tendency towards depression would get fixed instantly as soon as he got a altform or bodymod. Its impossible for all your altforms to have inbuilt depression from their genes. Plus unless you are constantly picking drop in you will get years of memories and personalities of people who are not depressed merged with you. Every 10 years you get to see how amazing life is, how a healthy person thinks like as such its trivial for you to see that and get yourself fixed up.

    You can be in a spiral into depression for years, yes, but in the end you will hit rock bottom and reach out for help or die. When help is so easily available with mental perks, sifi therapist software, even your companions! Its simply impossible for mc to be in a depressive spiral for 460 years. At most 10 years, at best 5 years of this sort of thing could have happened.
    Mate, I don't know what mental fortitude perks you have been looking at but most of them are a flat increase to your mental resilience and willpower the protection against outside influences are just a bonus. The chain is littered with these perks, you can easily find them, I bet in your 46 jumps there are at least 5 of perks like this.
    In addition, if you had help and counseling for 450 years from one of the best psychologists than there is simply no way you would instantly sprial into your mcs position even if you didn't have access to your companion for the jump.
    There is no logic skip, if you had access to 46 fictions worlds of varied sort its inevitable you can easily, trivially enhance your mind to be more resilient even without perks. With perks its almost a guarantee.
    Even your first jump has LockJaw perk, the hat item, which would have boosted mcs mental resilience to 10x, no conditional turn off, its permanent. The hat item gives full clear-headedness which means "alert and thinking logically and coherently.".
    I dont know where you got that idea, its jumpchain canon that you can take non cp backed items into your warehouse/personal really and they keep working like normal. Same with self genetic modification and cybernetics, they don't just stop working once go to a new jump. Your jumper fiat makes them work even under different physics. There are literally drawbacks that make this not work, so it's safe to assume that they work normally. Read the warehouse document, it clearly states that you can collect in jump stuff and that it will work.

    Like I said, with just your first jump I found 2 things which would help mc instantly and stop his current position form ever happening so this is why I find it pretty much impossible that a jumper on his 46th jump is having mental problems.

    Jumpers are nascent gods, hell they can become literal gods in some jumps. Why do you want to forcefully push them down when you know their potential? You dont need to bestriding the world, you just need to see that its harming you mentally and retreating from that position.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  9. ketch117

    ketch117 A wicked cricket critic's dinner napkin

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    Nope. They are selected for him. From a Doyleist perspective, they are selected by me for the sake of the narrative, from a Watsonist perspective by his subconscious which selects the tools he needs for the jump ahead (and which doesn't see a tendency towards depression as something to shore up it's defences for, since it's more concerned with survival in the immediate sense).

    Also, since you ask, Jumps set in the modern world (or an approximation of it) are different worlds with broad similarities to our own - different faces on the money, different names in history, different events. I don't know if you've ever read 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen King, but it's a lot like that. Even if it did, copying all the jump docs is of little use, since he's got no ability to control where he's sent, and while it might help him figure out what's changed about him from jump to jump, he doesn't get to make the choices.

    I don't use Altforms. He keeps the same body from jump to jump. So do all my companions (so those who aren't human don't get human freebies). And while I am aware that you can keep stuff in your warehouse in the wider Jumpchain canon, this is the way I see things - CP backed items and skills work out of their universe of origin, others will not necessarily. I am aware that there are options to write it in other ways. I have not.

    Finally, as you have pointed out, if I wanted to build a guy with no tendencies towards self-reflection or depression, it is well within my power to do so. So logically, the reason he's that way inclined is because that's the story I want to tell, and I'm not trapped, forced by my own incomprehension of the Jump Build documents, into writing him the way I have. You're misapprehension is I want to write him that way - a character who covers all his bases and goes about getting as powerful as possible is not the character at the heart of this narrative. I want to write him the way that I am. If it breaks your suspension of disbelief that I would take that direction, rather than shore him up as a 'nascent god' (as you put it), then that's your business.
     
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