Tuesday, 30 September 2014

It's time to do something I have never done before...

Greetings friends!

So we are only a couple of days away from October which has with it some serious implications.

Namely it will be only 1 month until November, or as it is known within the fundraising world; Movember.

For those unaware of this phenomena it is where men across the world grow moustaches or as they are sometimes known: "Mo"s.

The aim is to do so for charity and raise money and awareness for testicular cancer. In the UK it has become the male equivalent of Race4Life for women.

So yes my dear friends. Ol' Doc Lox is going to do something he has never done before. I am going to do something for charity.

I want you to realise this is not a small deal to me. The word 'charity' is largely a swear word in my vocabulary but for the first time in a very long time I am both in an employment position to be able to do something like this but I am also comfortable enough in myself to do this and largely out of principle more than anything else I feel I need to do this.

Of course there is one thing that stands in the way:

My full face beard.

That's right, my face is already covered in a nice rug of hair which keeps me snug and warm. Growing a moustache or a full beard is nothing new or special for me, as is the case with many men nowerdays, however if you go back ~10 years when Movember began it was a different story and there were a lot less men sporting these true displays of manhood!

Instead my pledge is instead to shave off hair instead!

For the past 12 years I have had somewhere between a goatee, which became a van-dyke which was then joined by chops before being filled into a full face beard.

The first part to be covered though was the chin and so that will be the first to go!

That's right; on 1st November I will be turning my Full Face Beard or Box Beard as they call it:

Into a biker beard, or Friendly Mutton Chops:

But that's not where it ends!

Oh no!

In true gaming style we have: STRETCH GOALS!

That's right! If I get over a certain amount pledged then the Biker Beard will be replaced with none other than the Winnfield

And then followed by that the Fu Manchu:

So what do I need for you guys?

It's simple really, in a matter of days I will be creating my justgiving account and will publicise it here when I do. So if any of you could donate that would be awesome!

But also advice on the stretch goals. What sort of figures should I set? Do I want to go down the 'easy' route of perhaps £25 for the first and £50 for the second, or maybe shoot for the moon; £100 for the first and £500 for the second?

Like I said, charity is largely a swear word to me, proceeded by the phrase "I don't give to" so this is wholly alien to me, and I would heavily appreciate any/all advice I could be given.


- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Price of Progress - A Mindless Ramble

Greetings friends!

For today's chat I fancied something of a bit of free form chat with you guys if that's ok?

So for starters; I am finally making a bit of progress with my exam. Last week I tried to reach out to whoever is my current tutor (I didn't know who that was) and after lots of to/fro-ing I finally today got a message from my tutor asking me to forward her a small bit of info which I will do tonight so she can send me as much info as I need.

This will be good as it means I get to go over the info she sends me with a fine tooth comb and sort out what is new and what is worded differently to what I currently have. Fingers crossed I can then go on, resit my paper and walk away with AAT Level 2 under my belt.


So obviously by now you all got the hint and that I'm doing streams on a weekly basis.

- I know, I'm hammering this home, but I can't really put into words how enjoyable Friday's cast was.

I suppose the best way to describe it; you know how when you watch a comedy you might find something funny, but you are unlikely to laugh out loud, but then if you are with someone else you are more likely to laugh out loud? It's almost like a declaration to everyone around that you got the joke!

Well playing Outlast on Friday was like that. Playing with people watching made the jump scares really scary and as I knew I wasn't talking to myself being able to verbalise my inner monologue which went from screaming "leave me alone! Leave me alone" to whispering to myself whilst in a locker "it's ok they didn't see you" or something to that effect, heightened the experience in ways I can not properly express.

It was funny really; I know that while hiding from the crazies that I as a player could talk as loudly as I wanted and that it wouldn't matter. Despite this I found myself whispering as if it was a compulsion. There were occasions when I felt like I would have been unable to speak any louder, even if I wanted to.

Of course we're all familiar with this: "here's the Doc with another wild craze that will keep him entertained for a month or two before he moves onto something else" and yes that is a possibility and very likely. It's like how before I do any skype chats for podcasts I always get super shy and embarrassed and then after about 2-4 seconds that melts away and I start to enjoy the chat, but before hand I am super-on edge often wondering if I don't want to just make an excuse and not bother at all.
- You have no idea how much I wanted to bail on Friday!!

But regardless of how long I keep this up for (as long as I enjoy it) I know it won't be because of me falling out with video games, that's for sure


Some of you may be wondering what's happening with First Law: Override.

Well that's on a temporary break at the moment.

Working on this game takes a lot of focus and energy, and with my resit planned for the end of October that is focus and energy I just can't afford to divert.

I've got lots of things swimming around in my brain and I do believe that there is room for a game like this in today's modern climate - even if some bits may need to be readjusted**. I mean who wouldn't want to at least try out a CoOperative Campaign based Table Top game where each story series will almost certainly play out differently every time?

**One issue I am very much aware is terrain. I know limiting the board to 2'x2' drastically reduces the amount of terrain needed, but is asking a party of players/player to have enough terrain for the different environments too much?

I suppose there are two options available in this situation: you have the choice of keeping the terrain options and allowing for missions to take place in 2-3 different locations, for example an Action mission where you have to infiltrate a complex, that could be set on any Outdoor map varying from ice world, desert world or industrial city scape. Then an indoor mission could be set inside any sort of interior from scifi terrestrial complex to interior of spaceship where both tiles a la Space Hulk or actual terrain would all be suitable.

Another choice is to drastically limit everything. Maybe all worlds have only a single type of terrain meaning one set would be suitable. Obviously this is far from the ideal resolution as it limits things more than I would like.

Anyway, that's where I am with that at the moment.

It's far from ideal, but as I said earlier; actually moving beyond this stage will require a bit of work on my part and I know if I do that then I'll be taking time away from my needed future studies in the upcoming weeks and I am very reluctant to do that.

What about LoxBotLive I hear you asking! Surely that show will take time away?

You'll be surprised. I spent a bit of time working on the behind the scenes stuff over the weekend, and now thankfully it is to the point where I can do my recording for an hour on Friday, then upload it to YouTube automatically and we're done! Maximum results for minimal effort!

Anyway, that's all from me for now. I hope you all take care and that I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Streaming Good Time

Greetings friends!

So Friday came and went and I can now provide feedback from how my stream went.

There were 'minor' complications, which I will go into in a moment, but over all it was super fun and I am looking forward to making it a regular thing.

So; for those of you who missed the memo I have turned my hand to live videogame streaming and what a better game to start off with than Outlast: Whistleblower!

So first things first, I created my streaming channel which you can find here: http://twitch.tv/loxbotlive.

I have also created a YouTube account: https://www.youtube.com/user/loxbotlive so that I can host my videos after they have been streamed.

All of this tied together with some nice banner art of course

So you can already get a look over this and see what fun we got up to by heading to the links. If you like what you see then feel free to follow and subscribe and you'll then be the first to know when I am streaming/recording again.

The experience was both strange and fun. I mean the game scared the crap out of me, as I expected it would, but it was so much more unusual knowing that shortly after I experienced it, people all over the world would also experience it and my reactions too. Of course these people may have only been three, but hey; you gotta start somewhere.

Since then I have been doing a bit more research into it and testing more streaming clients and I have some good news! Firstly I think I have resolved the issue with the camera placement! That's super good news for me.

Secondly, on Friday when it's payday I am going to be ordering from Amazon a new webcam, nothing major just a cheap Logitech one for about £10-£15, however my current one is literally 15 years old, and it wasn't exactly expensive back then either. So it is drastically bringing the quality of cast down and if the image is made any larger than the teeny tiny stamp I have now it just looks atrocious. I've been meaning to grab a new camera, so this will make a good opportunity.

So moving forward I am hoping to make this a regular thing, probably weekly with possible one off additionals every now and then.

All of this should be of course kicking off in style the week after next as 07/10/14 sees the launch of the new game in the Aliens franchise:

Alien: Isolation

Which if the most recent Traileris anything to go by, looks like it will be a storm! Plus I should also have my new webcam by then!

I've already got my copy on preorder and with hope will be getting it on day of release, so expect lots of streaming then, including lots of crying and whimpering from me.

Anyway, that pretty much brings this to a close. Please check out my vids and let me know what you think.

I am also open to suggestions on games you may be interested in watching, so please let me know either in the comments or via Twitter @doctorloxley and I'll see what I can do.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 26 September 2014

LoxBotLive is on Twitch.tv

Greetings friends!

So last night I gave live streaming a go via Twitch and came back with mixed results.

I've tried most of the recommended streaming clients and most surprisingly found the best for me to actually be the Raptr powered client that I'm already running anyway as part of my Gaming Evolved App.

I still have the Evolve client to try which I will be giving a look at tonight, but I hope that tonight I'll be able to do as promised in yesterday's post.

Yup you guessed it! I'll be taking to the streams to do a play along of Outlast: Whistleblower.

So last night I tried streaming as a test and used two games to test it. The first was just my most currently played game: Star Trek Online, the other was Outlast. After all I couldn't do a stream of the game if it didn't work.

My experiences were so strange. Firstly because of the webcam.
- Now I need to try some other clients, as even though I love the fact that Twitch is already in my Gaming Evolved app, it's webcam support is terrible. In STO it kept disappearing for some reason and in Outlast it was displaying fine, however it wasn't in the far corner like I wanted it and I couldn't move it.
- I have a feeling this is due to the software auto detecting the screen corners and I think it's an issue with the game's rendering more than anything else.

I'll be giving another easy set up Client or two a try tonight but if the worst comes to it I know that the Raptr powered app does work.

So at 21:00 BST (GMT+1) I'll be hitting my stream www.twitch.tv/LoxBotLive/ and I hope you'll all join me as I get very very scared.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Don't Cross the Streams!

Greetings friends!

So this morning while in a zombie-like state an idea came to me:

Why not try live gameplay streaming?

It's nothing new, hundreds if not thousands are already doing it, and it's a great way to share my game playing with others.

Plus as part of this week's Midweek Madness Sale; Outlast including the Whistleblower DLC was 66% off and I think we all will remember my Second Opinion post and how much I really enjoyed (in a horrible, horrible kind of way) that game.

So I figured that playing through Whistleblower might be a fun way to get started with this.

I've already created my account: LoxBotLive and will give it a test run tonight, see how it goes.

I have no idea if this will work, or if I or anyone else will enjoy it; but I'll be sure to let you all know in advance so if you want to take part (that's right isn't it? You can view live streams and chat while it's going on, right?) then you can!

Obviously I'd love it if you could all be there as you can watch/hear me squeal like a baby over jump scares.

If you and I both enjoy this then I will open up my game library to you all and give you all chances to say what games you'd enjoy having streamed be it SinglePlayer of Multiplayer (I'm assuming that's possible?).

Of course this also gives you all a chance to have what I hope can be a fully interactive 'podcast' so to speak, so if you're after an on the spot discussion with me and my many half-baked opinions then this is a great time to do it!

With hope I'll have an update for you on this tomorrow.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Royal Guard - A First Law: Override Short Story - Part 1

For decades the United Earth Force had tried to get someone inside the Royal Chambers of the Empress, to understand what actually goes on within her hallowed halls. Sadly every attempt either via official request or subterfuge was always rejected. So much time had passed that the UEF officials began to wonder if the Kratel Empress even existed. It was for this reason that when the UEF Department for Diplomacy, or DfD as they were known, received their missive they acted at once.

The decision for who to send was left up to the head of the DfD, a Mr Albert Horn. Horn knew who he wanted to send on this, the most impressive of occasions; his own son. Sadly however Horn knew that doing so would not end well. He knew that the Kratel Empire was governed by a matriarchy, that it was normal among the Kratel for the males of the species to be treated as second class citizens. No better than breeders and bottom feeding slaves. In fact in his twelve years of holding his position at the DfD he had never once even seen a male Kratel. No, the only way he would possibly be taken seriously would be to send a woman.

Horn hated to admit it himself, but he knew the best person; the only person, he could send was Kiyoko. She had been a thorn in his side since day one of her joining the Department, but she was headstrong, opinionated and would never back down from an argument, even when he told her that she was flat out wrong. Horn hated that most of all about her.

Kiyoko had left that same day for Krata-Prime, a world that only a handful of Humans had ever had the honour of seeing. Carrying little more than a couple of changes of clothes and her top of the line camera, Kiyoko had been man-handled onto the next available shuttle to the region of the Outer Fringe where a numerous series of contacts had arranged a network of shuttles and system-hops to navigate to where she needed to go.

The Krata system was located about as far away on the outside of the Fringe as you could get. Beyond was little more than uninhabitable world's and the light from distant galaxies. Kiyoko assumed how that must have been the reason the entire journey had been hassle free. It was usual with journeys of this distance for at least a single INI raid, where the shuttle would have to disable all of it's functions and play as if dead in the water; hoping whatever INICell was currently scanning it would fail to notice it's precious living cargo. But on this journey they hadn't encountered any INI forces at all.

The planet of Krata-Prime was little more than a rock floating around it's star. Centuries ago it's people had stripped it of all it's nutrients killing off all natural life but the Empire had been more than resourceful. They took to the stars in their ramshackle skiffs and very quickly learned that others had exactly what they needed in the form of the Hydan; their at the time only neighbours in the Outer Fringe. It had started small, offering their strong arms for manual labour in exchange for appropriately desired goods. But they did not take these goods straight back to their home world, or even use the goods themselves. Instead the Kratel began trading these goods to other Hydan colony world's that needed whatever commodity they had. It did not take long for the Kratel to establish themselves as the number one traders in the Outer Fringe and thanks to their physical prowess and resistance to hazardous environments they were able to reach work sites that the Hydan could not. But despite all of this amassed wealth and necessity the world of Krata-Prime remained almost inhospitable.

Kiyoko was onboard the Golden Stork, it was an old Human vessel that had been decommissioned and sold to the Kratel as scrap metal, who in turn had fixed it's damaged chassis and rewired it's tired AI processor. Now the Golden Stork, acted as a solar-hopper allowing those authorised to do so, to travel from the star base in the neighbouring system to travel to Krata-Prime and back again. These 'hops' were infrequent, only one every standard Earth week, but despite this infrequency Kiyoko had the whole vessel to herself. She felt comfortable with this situation, knowing that she had some time to sleep and not have to worry about having her belongings stolen or her time pressed upon.

The time last few hours passed quickly for Kiyoko as she used the time to brush up on her Kratel history and customs. She learned how as a people the Kratel were brutal at heart but insisted that honour and traditions were maintained at all times. She learned how a mear six hundred years they consisted of broken societies that they called T'Vikrypr'thks or as they were recorded in the books "Broods". Even then in their splintered state they were a matriarchal culture each ruled by a Brood Queen and in turn were locked in continuous war with each other. Kiyoko read about how one of the broods was lead by the now Empress who had an incredible affinity for strategy and tactics. This brood defeated each and every other brood one by one, every time taking this new brood into their own, teaching them their tactics and strategies. Soon the last remaining Brood Queen was Empress over all of Kratel and utilising a strange organic form of cloning was able to create copies of herself to ensure that with every generation that followed they would always be ruled by the same Empress.

Continuing to read and study, Kiyoko learned about how in recent years a small faction of Kratel calling themselves the Red Claw had splintered off from the Empress cling her rule tyrannical and in line to doom their whole species. It was then that the information began to become patchy with claims of the Red Claw attacking birthing chambers and schools while the benevolent Empire responded always in it's people's best interest. She flicked to the end of her data-pad and read about the author; Albert Horn.

"Of course!" Kiyoko said to no one in particular "Trust him to print only their side of history".

Krata-Prime loomed ahead of the Golden Stork, with every moment that passed it's appearance as a swirling sphere of purple torrents and ebbs grew larger and larger on the ship's view screen. Kiyoko gulped back a dry throat. It would only be a matter of moments before the ship landed and she would be escorted to a region of the planet that no Human had ever had the opportunity to tread. She almost pinched herself with excitement and anxiety as she quickly packed her bag and prepared to disembark the ship.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

The Fat, Lazy, Sofa-Dwellers of #GamerGate

So here's a question for you all.

At what stage does someone's opinion become offensive?

Should offensive opinions be voiced, or should they be forced into silence?

About four, maybe five years ago a young woman by the name of Peaches Geldof appeared on her own chat show on British Television where she publicly painted a picture of a certain demographic.

Now I am probably getting the quote wrong, so I will not put it into quote form; but essentially the statement was: "All you Geeks are the same; fat, lazy sofa-dwellers".

At the time I took to social media as I knew it and tried to garner some level of support about this hate crime that was being broadcast on British television.

It epically failed. About one, maybe two people cared it, and that was it. In fact it was so small time that if you tried to search for it now online, you will be hard pushes to find any references to it. I know because I have tried.

You might wonder why I felt so personally offended by such a statement? It was simple. I knew that if the target for the slur was any one of the myriad of other minority demographics then not only would the show have not been allowed to air unedited, but the speaker would probably have either been fired or required to make a public apology.
- In fact something very similar happened to that in regards to a previous series of the Reality TV show GeordieShore where someone used the deplorable "N" word. The episode in question was never shown and the cast member was pulled from all future lineups.

Then last year we had an amazing breakthrough! In response to the horrific attack on a young girl in 2007, other groups of society; at the time those in the limelight were the Goth Culture Movement were to be listed as Social Minorities.

What that meant was that the same protection owed to those in recognised as 'protected' groups.

This was huge! It meant that any group of individuals who identified themselves as a subculture; be it Goths, Emos, Geeks, Gamers etc were to be protected from hate crimes as a result of them belonging to that subculture.

Hazzar! I thought. The system works!

Then we reach this year and the events at the end of the summer. I will not provide links as I refuse to encourage these people to have extra hits from my site, but most articles you an read that involve #GamerGate will give you more than enough examples of what I am talking about.

I am of course talking about people in the public eye once again throwing abuse at our Gamer asses.

Be it being compared to Nazis or ISIS, being referred to as misogynistic (which really seems to be the current buzz word insult at the moment) or just generally referred to as people who have zero social skills and living in parent's basements, these comments are rife.

You see, when it comes to these sort of articles, I've got a little rule I like to use: replace the discussed group with a 'protected group', if the you know that there is no way the article would be published, then you know the article is hate fuelled and based on prejudice.

You might find yourself wondering why such articles are allowed, how should these not be banned and I'm caught in a dilemma over this:

Should someone be allowed to preach their hatred for any culture?
I want to say no. But at the same time, do I or anyone else have the right to censor someone else?

It's a tricky situation that I do not think I'm in a position to answer.

What I do think is that these articles should be treated the same as those who attack any 'protected' group be that gender, race, religion etc.

Instead however these writers do not seem to be held morally accountable in any way, and in many cases celebrated as a pioneer against [insert relevant social injustice here].

Is there any difference with what these writers and vloggers do and what I'm doing? Well I suppose I am neither being paid for it, nor requesting payments for it. In fact unlike many blogs you will notice I have no donate options at all as I am actively against being paid or sponsored for what I write here.

I would actually go as far as to say that there is very little difference between what I write and what many of these so-called Games Journalists write, especially if you browse the self indulgent LiveJournal Circle-Jerk that is 'publications' like Kotaku and Polygon including such BS scoops as "watch me play the first 10 mins of the WoW MoP beta" or "my friend plays X game, read what their thoughts was on it". This is not news, this is not journalism, this is blogging and if someone is actually willing to pay for that then they are someone with more money than sense.

You might ask yourself why anyone should listen to me, after all I have openly criticised and depending on your viewpoint; attacked many of these 'internet celebrities'.

If so I would say that no one 'should' listen to me. I have no entitlement nor am I anyone special, I'm just a guy who writes his thoughts down about gaming be it video games or tabletop games. I do not believe I have done anything to 'deserve' anyone's attention and that in the past I have been off the mark and downright offensive to people.

But that's half the problem. If someone has a problem with me, then take it out on me, don't say that everyone who is associated with my groups are as bad as I am. And the same is true for gamers.

In this post I have directly and indirectly accused and maybe even attacked certain individuals. I have not given names and so it may be easy to think I am accusing all Internet based commenters, this is far from the truth.

My complaint is against a few notable individuals, and that's the point. It's 100% ok to say that you have a problem with Mr or Mrs X because you think they are a deplorable human being. It is another thing to say "All people who belong to Mr or Mrs X's subculture are deplorable human beings".

That is what they call Prejudice.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 22 September 2014

Back to work with a catch-up

Greetings friends!

So first things first my exam on Saturday did not go so well. It was a resit of one I say back in April so I already knew where I was lacking from the first sitting. What is most uncomfortable is that I still massively fell over in the exact same places again. This leads me to think that in these segments of the module there must be 1, maybe 2 keystones that I either understand in the wrong way or are omitted from my understanding. Something very similar happened last year when I sat by Basic Accounting Part 1 exam and after speaking with a tutor who was able to send me up to date reference material, I found massive chunks of vital information that was omitted from what I had been sent before. I was then able to sit again and walk away with a 70%+ score. So I've contacted the company and with hope they can send me info again, as something is seriously wrong.

As you will know, last week I took a trip to The Big Smoke with my Mini Moo. Not only was it her first trip into London, but it was her first time on the underground and national rail!

The whole thing went extremely well, and almost all of my concerns were alleviated by my Youngling who normally is very stubborn, agreeing to do exactly as she was told; holding my hand and not throwing any tantrums.

So we walked from our home to the train station, then we took a train to London, which was 40 or so mins of the Youngling staring out the window at all the sights of the train line.

We did have a bit of a crying session when we went through a tunnel and the pressure caused the windows to slam shut. It was sudden and unexpected and may have caused her to get very unhappy for a short while.

After this we took a change to the Underground, something that she was really unhappy about. I think it was a combination of the cramped conditions, loud noises and lots of people, but she held on tight and in no time we were at our destination of Green Park followed by St James Park. There was a hiccough in the middle when she saw a series of royal horses walking to the palace and she really wanted to get closer to the horses and did not appreciate being restrained at all.

Then we had a nice trip through St James park where we then quickly called in on my office; said hello with introductions and the usual 'bring your child to work parade' followed by a sit down lunch at my desk.

After this we went back to the park where we saw lots of swans, varieties of ducks and even got up-close with a squirrel!

Then the very tired Moo dragged herself back to the tube, then to the train where she slept the journey home before being woken up and walking back to the house.

All in all she did about 2 hours of walking with lots of new things to see and very little downtime beyond the train/tube rides, so I was super proud and happy about how she behaved and accomplished that day.

I've since asked her if she enjoyed her trip and she always answers with a big "YES". I then ask if she wants to go back, which is followed by "NO". I don't think she actually doesn't want to go back, I think she would just rather wait until she's a little older than (less than) three.

I think I'll take her back around the same time next year, only this time I may take her for a trip to Hamleys, which despite being a little rubbish; I know she would super enjoy.


Of course this isn't everything. So on Saturday on the way to my exam and on the way back from, I listened to two Podcasts which gave me the inspiration for two new additions for First Law: Override.

The first of which is fleshing out the levelling system combined with additional benefits of Sponsorship.

Now currently at level (5?) you get to select a Sponsor. That gives your character access to a Branded Spacecraft and unlocks story packs for your party. Everything else the Sponsor gives you is limited to the market and exclusive abilities, but despite the initial Spacecraft, there's little 'WOW' factor.

So here we have a new WOW-Factor in the form of... Branded Land Vehicles!

Yup, when you reach max level (15?) you are gifted a branded vehicle for use in terrestrial games. What you get depends on your sponsor; if you represent the Wraiths then you'll be getting a sleek anti-grav bike with fast top speed but pretty poor handling. If you belong to the ORMC then it's a half-track quad-bike. It's not as fast as a jet-bike but it's got much tighter turning circles etc.

These vehicles can be used whenever you as players want to use them, however when using your vehicle you will be using a form of the Flight Path system, so no pre-measuring and if you slam yourself into a wall or off a high structure, then you will have to deal with the consequences.


The second part is the introduction of the first Boss Mission.

So a Boss Mission, as you can probably imagine is a mission that features a Boss character.

Now fighting bosses will not be easy, but to help out the players they will be designed on a scaling system so the higher rating your team is, the more powerful the boss will be.

But you are not looking at a set mechanic however. You're going into this knowing that you're going to have to deal with the boss and so the Story Progression System will factor in on this.

So if you try and stealth your way to the boss, being careful not to set off any alarms in previous missions, then the boss' mission will involve the boss having less guards and less defensive and offensive capability. If however you make a loud ruckus getting to the boss, then they will undoubtably be kitted out the nines. If however you epically fail at the previous missions, then maybe your introduction to the boss is you and your team, strapped into a chair having the boss punching you repeatedly in the face while they try and establish who you work for!

And so we are introduced to the first boss to be created:

General Brask - High Commander of the Kratel Empire's Army.

General Brask was been in the service of the Kratel Empress for most of her life, having been raised from a pup to be the finest warrior the Empire had ever trained.

Brask is ruthless and will do anything required in her task of hunting down and killing all members of the Red Claw.

Brask is a melee expert able to use all known types of close combat weapons whilst being proficient with most ranged weapons as well.

She is accompanied at all times by a male Kratel pup who accompanies her either dressed in rags or naked, shackled and dragged along via chains. She enjoys using her latest pup as a plaything however once it reaches adolescence she mercilessly kills and eats it to quickly replace it with a new, younger specimen.

The Red Claw see General Brask as the military might of the Empress and want to see her dead at all cost, while many Humans and Hydan see Brask's treatment of her slaves and male Kratel in general as distasteful and the General is in need of disposition.


So there we have it!

My update for the day and where I currently am with a couple of things.

Hope you enjoyed the little walk about and with hope will speak again soon!

Take care and I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mystery Battle Report: The Massacre at Evergreen Falls

Greetings friends!

So back in July, Bill from The Gamers Lounge Podcast ran a competition for people to submit stories to him under the title of Mystery Battle Report.

Now I jumped at the chance, not because of the very generous prize reward, but because I wanted to see what sort of story I could tell having no previous direct involvement in the setting's world, creating characters, events and settings off the drop of a hat.

Now the story that follows is my entry. It's a first take with ZERO editing, and part of the point was to tell the story of what happened when the 'camera' wasn't taking photos, all the while tying the camera into the story as well.

NB: In the months that have passed I have been writing a lot of stories, and I don't think this is anywhere near my best work at all, but I have found out that unfortunately despite sending it to Bill back in July it was never received. I can only assume there is a word or two that flagged it up for his email and so it was never received.

So without further adieu I bring you:

The Massacre at Evergreen Falls

Hidden by an enormous shadow a series of gears shifted and cranked into place as two large metal riveted doors opened allowing a small sphere to almost float away from the darkened maw. The sphere was kept afloat by a series of small spinning wing-like structures and it quickly left the shadow into vibrant blue sky.

Ahead the sphere could see a small settlement and it approached it's target with great speed. If anyone had seen it, they would have seen the sphere stop in mid air a good thirty or so feet away from the settlement as it opened revealing a long scoped camera and with an audible snap [PICTURE1] immortalised the image of the settlement into it's memory.

The settlement of Evergreen Falls was quiet, as Conroy Hickman stalked the town's perimeter. Around him was a small band of outlaws that Hickman had lead for the past three years, times were beginning to get difficult for Hickman's gang and he knew that this job would be either set them up for the rest of the year, or leave them with nothing but the shirts on their back, and that would be if they were lucky.

Evergreen Falls was a small town with an even smaller population. It was named after the lush grass that covered the settlement in response to the mineral-rich river who's banks the town was built on.

Hickman took a long drag on his cigar and he looked around him. On top of a near structure two of his gang members were getting the lay of the land with their scoped rifles [PICTURE2]. Hickman knew this was pointless; the posse was so short of supplies they couldn't even scrape together enough bullets, but his snipers were as good as any hunter when it came to scoping a site out before a big job. Hickman gestured to Filbert his nephew to report back to him.

Filbert was only a kid, just old enough to know his way around a girl, but what he lacked in experience of the fairer kind he made up with talent and accuracy with his rifle. Filbert gestured back to Hickman [POCTURE3], a series of hand signals and shrill bird whistles. Each signal revealing the town to be empty; devoid of any sort of law enforcement or even civilians.

Beside Filbert stood a boy not much older than Filbert was; he wore a dark-grey, wide brimmed hat and held aloft his six shooter as sweat poured from his brow.
"This is a bad idea dude" whispered the older boy to Filbert.
"Relax" Reassured Filbert "Everything's goin' to be fine, Uncle Roy's gottus out of tighter spots than this!"

The older boy re-adjusted his hat and prepared himself. He's seen these sort of jobs before. Everything seems nice and quiet when out of nowhere BAM a shot to the back of the head.

From behind there was an audible snap, [PICTURE4] and the older boy spun on his heals staring down the barrel of his revolver. Ahead was yet more of the nothing he had seen all day, no people, no tumble weed, not even a damned coyote, none the less he was sure he had heard something.

Hickman gestured back to his nephew before giving another gesture to another member of his gang and as one they moved further into the settlement. With every step Hickman grew more and more cautious. He could see that there was no sign of current habitation, but most of the buildings looked like they had only been recently made empty and on more than one occasion a member of his gang would stop to investigate what looked like a pool of blood or a broken shop window.

"This ain't lookin' good boss" called out one of the gang members, but Hickman carried on before confidently replying "We're here for the loot, boys! Remember that! Whatever happened to these guys, ain't none of our business".

Ahead of the group stood the town's bank, it was a small and unimposing sight compared to what the gang was used to and a pale shadow compared to the first job Hickman's Boys pulled off back at First National. For a brief moment Hickman looked down at his hands clutching old and beaten revolvers, he knew that likewise he and his gang were also pale shadows of their former selves.

As one the gang formed around the back door to the Evergreen Falls Exchange, just an in and out job, and with all the town nowhere to be seen this would be even easier than they thought.

The sound rang out amidst the silence and the kid in the dark grey hat spun around.
"There it is again!" He shouted out, the sound of panic clear in his voice.

Hickman heard the noise as well and tried to calm the kid, until that was he saw his first sign of life in the town. He squinted at first, the bright light of the midday sun making it hard for him to work out if he was seeing what was really there.

Running towards the gang in torn tattered clothing was a man, his arms flailing widely in the air and he shouted something in audible. There was another loud CLICK [PICTURE6] but this time no one noticed.

The man was running as fast as his injured legs could carry him, blood poured from open wounds and he was near to loosing consciousness. It appeared to Hickman that it must have been pure determination alone that carried this man forward.

"Get... Away!" Shouted the man, the exhaustion clear from his voice "get... Away...Dead... Dogs!" The man continued before collapsing on the floor.

"Dogs?" Questioned Filbert to no one in particular as he pushed the doors to the Evergreen Exchange open wide. He was quickly silenced when from inside the building a series of deep growls began to erupt.

Hickman was one of the first to see them, six large hounds, each one about the size of a man but it was not their size that caused him to grow speechless.

The hounds' bodies were covered in a myriad of modifications; from strips of flayed skin revealing raw oozing muscle below, to entire limbs replaced with mechanics and wires. Their eyes glowed a fluorescent green in the darkness of the exchange and for the brief moment Hickman allowed himself to take in his surroundings he noticed illuminated by this unholy of glows the mutilated bodies of what he could only assume was the townspeople of Evergreen Falls.

"Damn it" Hickman muttered under his breath "no job is worth this shit".

It was in that moment that the hounds pounced at once as if commanded by a presence unknown by Hickman and his boys.

From afar a small sphere kept watch as the augmented beasts tore entire limbs from the gang members and split open throats with equal aplomb and high in the bright blue sky floated another structure large enough if it wanted to blot out the sun.

On the underside of this structure an antenna array picked up the image feed transmitted from the sphere which in turn was transmitted via a series of wires to a central control room which presented these images in a magnificent blue hue to a man sat comfortably surrounded by the smoke of his latest, and possibly favourite of cigars.

The man looked over the feed as still of data rolled in. He saw his pet dogs as they disembowelled some kid with a rifle. The kid was no older than his own boy, but he would have to just accept the collateral damage.

The man knew that he could have had sound streamed as well as images, but he thought that doing so would perhaps be a step too far. With hindsight however he regretted that decision as he watched Conroy Hickman creeping along the floor towards the open doors and the spherical camera floating just within view. Conroy Hickman, the man who had challenged him to cards. Conroy Hickman, the man who had cheated at that same game in order to win.

The man in the chair sat back and smiled. He had told Hickman that he would get his revenge, and now thanks to his elaborate plot he would have his revenge. The man's smile cracked into a grin as he saw Hickman's chest heave it's last and grow silent.

Pushing some buttons he moved his sphere away from the sight of the massacre and positioned it above a nearby house before taking one last photo for luck [PICTURE7]. He would send these images to the local paper, they would lap it up, he could see it now "The Massacre at Evergreen Falls; a story about how the loveable rogue Hickman lost his mind, murdered the entire town before turning his weapons on his own gang and eventually himself".

Yes; the man in the chair thought to himself. That would make most pleasant reading indeed.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Time for a sit down and chat

Greetings friends!

So today is Wednesday and it's been a short while since my last post, in fact we are a couple of days away from a full week.

So what has your dear Dr Loxley been up to?

Well I've been off work since Monday on annual leave, I've had a few days lay in and I have also been revising for my exam on Saturday.

Yup, it's that time again when I try to prepare myself for my upcoming test.

Let me tell you it is not going to be easy after all this is a resit of the massive balls-up I did back in April, however I've looked over my records and I think I know where I went wrong. So fingers crossed I can get my 2x70% pass.
- What that means is that there are 2 parts to the exam and in order to pass it I need to get 70%+ on each part! that's right it's not an average for the whole, it's each part of the paper. If I get 100% on part 1 but 69% on part 2, then it is marked up as a failure. Ouch.

Anyway, what else have I been up to?

Not that much to tell the truth, I've been playing some video games, watching a film or two and going over a little rule or two for First Law. Currently I'm thinking about range modifiers. See, I would quite like to use a range tool for the game, but as the game doesn't have weapon ranges that is reflected a little strangely.
Then it occurred to me: have a unanimous close range distance, a unanimous medium range, and anything beyond that is considered long range.

Currently I'm thinking of 0-6" being close range, 6-12" being medium range, and 12+" being long. What his means is I need a tool that is 12" long and divided at the 6" mark, I'm doing so this tells you if something is within these two ranges.

What I could also do is have the first... I don't know... 10?" Marked as well, this allows the tool to be used for movement as well, or maybe the whole 12 could be with big OTT markers showing the 6 and 12 inch marks.

You see, I want to make it that some weapons are better at close, or at long rage, I'm thinking about how shotguns are so much better at close range than a rifle, and I'm thinking; maybe rather than effecting the ranges, I should just effect the dice. So if a mag rifle gets +1 at close and -1 at long, maybe a shotgun gets +2 at close and -2 at long. Remember; theses modifiers not only effect your chance to hit, but also directly your damage dealt. Maybe theirs could be done even more extreme making log range -4 to hit with a shotgun, meaning maybe with the right mods and accessories you would get a single dice roll against them at long range, but good luck actually doing anything, especially as the standard shotgun would probably have 4 dice to start with.

Anyway, that's all from me today. Tomorrow I'm taking my youngling on her first trip into London and I'll also be introducing her to my work place as well as trains and the tube. It's either going to go really well or really badly.

On Saturday I will almost certainly provide you with an update, either filled with joy or tears. I guess we will have to see how it goes.

Take care y'all!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 12 September 2014

First Law: Override - Combat Rules v2

Greetings friends!

Ok I don't know if you read my post yesterday, but I attempted to explain how ground combat will be working in my game First Law: Override.

There were a lot of bits that I didn't like about it and it felt over complicated and unnecessary, so I did what I always do in that respect:

I packed my bags, wrapped up warm and went to visit my Rules Guru who dwells in the most sacred of Tibetan temples.

The journey was difficult, but after many trials and tribulations I made it to the Temple of Forgotten Game Rules, and there waiting for me was my Rules Guru.

"Sansei" I said "these rules for this game! They feel like they are on the right path, but they are convoluted, clunky and inelegant!"

"Silence!!" Replied the Rules Guru "it is not the rules that are convoluted, clunky and inelegant. It is your mind!"

And so he showed me how best to clear my mind and together we explored what did work and what did not, and after further brief discussion v2 of the ruleset was born.


Now there is no mention of melee in this. It is not needed yet. By trying to lock melee into this ruleset I am making things too complicated initially. The rules for melee will be tackled separately.

So first: THE TURN
Ok so the game works in a "All PCs go one after the other, then all AIs go one after the other".

I much prefer the I Go, You Go system of modern skirmish games, but against the AI I can foresee this causing issues.

In each turn the AI's actions are determined by it's AI programming such as "run to cover and fire your weapon" or "run at the enemy and hit them with your melee weapon" so I don't be discussing that here.

PC actions however are open as Players can actually choose what to do.

Players have a choice of 1 Utility Action and 1 Interact Action with a single exceptions (more on that in a moment).

The most common Utility Action is WALK. If you do this then you move in a direction of your choice up to your move range.

The WALK Action's only effect on the game is to move your model.

Next is AIM. When aiming, any Ballistic attack you make (shooting with a gun) receives +1 Attack Dice. This modifier is the only effect Aim has on the game.

The last Utility Action is RUN. When Running you move 150% your move range rounded up; so if your Move range is 4, you Run 6 inches. Also you get the RUN BUFF which means that anyone trying to shoot you will receive a -1 debuff to their Attack Dice. In exchange however you may NOT to an Interact Action this turn.

Over time more Utility Actions may be added, these will take the form of Racial, Sponsor and Class specific Actions.

Then there are Interact Actions.

The first is SHOOT. Quite simple, you shoot with your gun. There are no maximum ranges in the game, but your standard weapons will receive buffs or debuffs depending on how far away from the target the shooter is.

The Interact Action is the originally named INTERACT. This is simple, use this action and interact with your environment.

Every mission will have objectives you have to interact with, computers to hack, equipment to steal etc. How you interact with these objectives will vary depending on the objective at the time.


So now we have the Actions, you can see the combos available from the outset:

You can run which will make you harder to attack and get you across the board faster.

You can walk and shoot.
You can shoot and walk.

You can walk and interact.
You can interact and walk.

You can aim and shoot.

Remember at this stage I am not tackling melee.

**I should also note that this game uses a Line of Sight system of Base2Base and if 50%+ of the target's base is obscured then they count as being under cover and as such the shooter suffers a debuff to the attack dice.

So now we know what we want to do, how do you do it?

Well every weapon has an Attack Stat, this represents the number of Attack Dice you roll. Let's say your average crappy pistol has 2 Attack, so you would roll 2 Attack Dice. You then take into account modifiers.
* Range Modifier (+1 at close range, -1 at long range)
* Cover Modifier (-1 if target is under cover).
* Modification Modifier (any scopes or special equipment that can effect the dice?)

**NOTE: You may never roll more than 10 Dice.

Next we have our Player Character's Ballistic Stat (how good you are at shooting with guns). Let's say the starting stat is 4, and in order to hit you need to roll BELOW your Ballistic Stat (3s, 2s and 1s).

So you roll your Attack Dice and see how many successes.

Next is defence.

Defence is determined by taking the Defence Stat from the target's armour (even basic Jeans & Tshirt has a Defence of 1). This stat represents the number of Defence Dice you roll.

As with shooting, Defending has a stat to roll under. This is your Toughness Stat. The default is 3, so you need to roll a 2 or a 1.

Once rolled you see how many successful defences you have made.

Then you deduct the number of successful defences from the number if successful attacks and that gives you your Wounding score of how much HP the target looses.

So the formula is:

Successful Attacks - Successful Defence = Wounds Taken.

And that really is it!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 11 September 2014

FL:O - And now for some rules

Greetings friends!

So over the past week I've put out quite a bit of fluff for FL:O, I hope you've enjoyed it and it's helped to form the worlds that the game will be set in.

But now it's time to look at some rules.

Now to start with the most important rules are how combat is going to play out.

I've looked at a lot of different systems, in particular those that use something a bit 'different' and I think what I've got at present is complicated enough to keep things interesting but simple enough not to slow things down.

Now what I am going to cover now will apply only to player characters, for as we already know AIs will get a single action and what they do is dictated by their AI Archetype.

So currently all PCs have 2 available actions per turn. The first is a utility action, this can be a number of things such as moving or aiming. The second is an interaction, this ranges from direct interaction with objectives, to shooting a gun or hitting with a melee weapon.

You can not do 2 utility or 2 interactions in any 1 turn.

So to start with we have Utility Actions (these are a selection and more should be added as time goes by)

- Move: Move up to your movement stat
- Aim: Aim your weapon increasing your Ballistic dice by (1?)
- Dodge: (Can only be done in melee) Increase your Defence dice by (1?) but reduce your Melee dice by (1?).
- All in: (melee only) increase your melee dice by (1?) and reduce your Defence dice by (1?).

Then we have Interact Actions. These are more about direct involvement with the world around you.

So we have:

- Melee Attack: make a single attack with a melee weapon.
- Ballistic Attack: make a single attack with a ranged weapon.
- Take cover: increase your Defence dice by (1?).
- Interact with objective: As it sounds.

There will also be special abilities available to classes and unlocked through levelling, these will be classed as either Utility or Interact Actions.

So using these combos, what sort of things can you do?
You could move and shoot, move into melee and hit, move and hide or move and interact.

You can aim and shoot

If in melee you can try and fight defensively with less chance of hurting them, or you can fight offensively with higher chance if being hurt in return.

This covers the basics of actions.

But what about combat itself?

Currently Ranged combat is pretty well established and for this example we'll use two weapons; a mag-rifle and a sniper rifle.

Damage: 4
Range: 0-6 / 6-12 / 13+

Sniper Rifle
Damage: 4
Range: 13+ / 12-6 / 6-0

Currently those are the only stats you need to know, however the exact figures are just off the top of my head.

Ok, so for starters you have 2 stats you need to be aware of:

Damage: How many dice you roll
Range: How does range effect your attack?

So the range table works as follows:

+1 Die / No Modifier / -1 Die

So in the case of the Mag Rifle if you are shooting with it and the target is 5" away, you roll 5 Damage Dice (4+1), if it was 10" away you would roll 4, and if it was 16" away you would roll 3 (4-1).

The Sniper Rifle works the other way, the further away the target is, the more dice you roll.

I should probably say, this game has no range of ballistic weapons. The game boards will be 2'x2' and everything should be able to fire over that distance.

Ok, so let's say we're shooting the Mag Rifle against a generic security dude.

You are a bounty hunter with a starting ballistic stat of 4.

In order to determine hitting you roll your damage dice (so that's the amount of the weapon effected by range modifier. Let's say the security dude is 8" away, so no modifier.

So that's 4 dice you roll (this game uses d10s) In this example we roll 2, 7, 3, 2. And in order to determine hits you have to roll UNDER your Ballistic stat which is 4, so a 3 or under.

In our example you have scored 3 hits.

Then the target rolls defence.

The security dude is wearing a flak jacket which gives him 3 defence dice, and his defence stat is 4.

Just like with shooting, for defending you roll your defence dice and have to roll UNDER your stat.

Security dude rolls: 6, 3, 5 so successfully defends with 1 die.

What that means is you deduct the number of successful defences from the successful hits, in this case 2 (3-1). This is then applied to the target as damage. Security dude has therefore suffered 2 damage.

Now let's try this a little differently by throwing in the Utility Actions.

Security dude is now wearing an Exo-Suit which gives him a Defence Dice of 8! However his stat is still set at 4.

Our character is now holding a Sniper Rifle complete with Digi Scope.

Our character is on the other side of the courtyard at 18" away giving him +1 Damage, he also spent his Utility Action aiming and his digi scope increases his dice by +1, we're now looking at a whopping 7 damage dice!

Our character shoots: 8, 1, 2, 4, 3, 9, 6.

So he needed a 3 or lower to hit, that's 3 hits.

Security dude has yet to do anything, so he has no utility bonus meaning it's just his 6 dice to defend.
Again he needed 3s and lower, that's 2 successful defence reducing the damage down to 1.

Now Security Dude in this example has a total Health Pool (HP) of 6, so now he is down to 5.

Security dude's AI dictates that he will move to the nearest cover and shoot with his mag-rifle so he does so.

Security dude's mag rifle has 4 dice however the range gives it -1. Like our character he needs 3- to hit: 1,3,4 he hits twice.

Our character, let's call him Hero, he spent last turn hiding and is not behind cover or similar, so he gets his usual defence rolls and like the earlier security dude, Hero is wearing flak armour (3 dice): 5,1,7. That's 1 defence, he takes 1 damage. Our character in this instance has 6 HP as well, and so is also down to 5.

Now it's our turn. We want to stay at range for our +1 but now the security dude is behind cover which would give him another +1 defence, that's 7 dice meaning we're on equal footing, and we're not a huge fan of that.

So Hero moves his movement distance in a semi circle around the security dude making sure to stay 16+" away from him, ahead of Hero is a rocky outcrop that if he can reach will put him at a spot to remove Security Dude's cover and also give him cover himself.

Hero is now wishing he had run there first before shooting Security Dude.

In order to reach the outcrop Hero will need to move again, meaning no matter what he is out in the open, so he dives to the floor to try and reduce his chance of getting hit, this is the end of his turn.

Security Dude goes, his AI says he should be behind cover and fire with his rifle. He is still behind cover and therefore fires.

4 Damage Dice, -1 Range he rolls 3 Dice: 10, 2, 9. 1 hit

3 Defence Dice, +1 Take Cover. Hero rolls 4 Dice: 8,8,10,4 no defence.

Hero takes 1 HP and is down to 4.

Next turn, Hero gets back to his feet, runs to the outcropping and takes a shot.

4 Damage Dice +1 Scope, +1 Range, 6 dice total: 10,1,10,3,3,1: 4 hits!

Dude defends: 6 armour, no cover, 6 dice rolled: 7,7,4,3,4,9: 1 defence. Dude suffers 3 HP taking him down to 2HP.

Dude is now out of cover, but there is no where within range that he can run to to take cover, so he remains where he is and fires:
4 Damage Dice -1 Range: 3 Dice Rolled: 10,7,8 no hits.

Next turn Hero aims and fires:
4 Damage Dice, +1 Scope, +1 Range +1 Aim: 7 Dice!
3,8,3,4,10,8,8: 2 Hits!

Dude defends:
6 Defence Dice, no cover: 8,4,8,2,2,8: 2 Defence. No damage is dealt.

Dude responds the only way his AI will let him and he shoots again: 3 Dice as last time: 7,8,7 all misses.

This carries on until one of them dies.

Of course we are looking at things in a vacuum, in reality the stats would not be like this and there would be more than just 1 AI you'd be fighting, plus you'd have an objective to achieve.

Now I need to say, every dice roll in this post has been a real roll via my iPhone app, so what you were watching here was a 'real' theoretical shoot out between our two characters.

One thing I'm thinking however, does the Utility/Interaction modifiers make combat too complicated? I'm not sure at this point.

And on that note; stay safe and I'll see you Fringe Side.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Survey: A First Law: Override short story - Part 4 Finale

The air around Craig was different to the worlds he was used to, it was filled with something cold, thick and wet. He thrashed his legs around as his chest hurt and his lungs screamed out in pain. Opening his eyes Craig couldn't see anything but darkness and within his mind he knew something was wrong. He thrashed again with both his arms and legs when the thought occurred to him that he was in fact suspended off the ground. For a moment he thought longer on the subject before he realised that yes, he was most certainly off the ground.

The pain in his chest worsened and Craig opened his mouth to scream in agony. The thickness of the air rushed down his throat and began to fill every inch of himself when he realised that not only was he off the ground, but he was underwater. Craig opened his mouth and screamed for a second time.

The agony built in a way that Craig could not explain, it felt like a thousand needles slowly making their way into his chest and in that moment he was reminded of the spider legged creature that only moments before had straddled his waist and began sticking him like nothing more than a voodoo doll. For a moment longer he wondered if that sensation and this new pain was somehow related when Craig's thoughts were broken by the one thing he never expected.

From high above a light pierced the darkness, it was bright and vivid and Craig felt like he would burn out his own eyes if he was to look directly at it. The light moved down through the darkness towards him and hovered just outside his reach. It was then Craig realised it was not just a light but a hand, a hand that reached for him but could only go so far. He knew that he had to go the remaining distance on his own.

The pain began to grow within him as Craig strained every muscle he could to try and swim through the darkness. It coiled in his gut and started gnawing at his organs before erupting in a splash of heat that burned from inside. Craig was about ready to give in to the pain and sink within the darkness when the hand gripped his and a moment later he was on solid ground; soaking wet, gasping for air and coughing up lungfuls of a black oil like fluid.

Craig didn't understand what had happened, he looked around trying to take in his new surroundings, but still all he could see was shadow and darkness. Shadow, darkness and something else. Something he recognised straight away.

It didn't matter that he had nearly died, it didn't matter that she glowed like a thousand stars against the darkness, and it didn't matter that he knew she was dead. Craig would have recognised her no matter what.

"Anna!" Craig coughed and spluttered as more black fluid erupted from his insides and he vomited into the darkness before him.

"Shh" Anna replied, placing two immaculate fingers over his lips. The black fluid crawled and wiggled from her touch "it's ok, you're with Us now".

Craig scanned the darkness again, unsure of who Us referred to.

"You're special, you know that right?" Anna continued, her voice was soothing and it calmed his worries and concerns "I know you've been having the dreams, I know you've seen me and others like me before, that's why you're here now, with me" She paused for a moment and locked eyes with Craig. For an immeasurably short time Craig was sure he saw something in her eyes, a thousand Hydan and Kratel, each one different to the next. First he saw a Kratel with arms as big as trees each ending in massive scythe like blades, next it was a Hydan who's bone covered cranium had been replaced with a clear glass-like dome from which it's brain floated in a blue like fluid. Then he saw another, a Kratel with no chest, just a head on spindly mechanical legs, and another Hydan this one with a chest encased in metal and wires and tubes connecting his limbs to devices, then two more, then three, four, then he lost count until he saw the humans, some bald, others with thick locks of unwashed hair and then they were gone and he was back on his own again, with Anna.

"You are special" Anna continued "There is something about you that means you hear our song and you could have joined us willingly, but you chose not to"

Craig's mind was awash with memories, he saw them all clearly and he knew she was right. Even before he had arrived at the Outer Fringe he had seen his Anna and had the dreams, but at every stage he had denied himself the truth, put it down as early stages of space crazy; low grav-sickness, and hidden it all from the world and himself.

"You know who we are" Anna continued once more, her voice almost melodic "we are the ones who defy the conventions of life and death, we are the scholars who chronicle every event that has been and the philosophers who predict what will be. We are new, we are old. We are Reborn".

It was then Craig understood everything, he couldn't explain it to anyone, but he understood; the visions he had received were in response to their signal, their song. They called for him to join their legion and become more than he was before via the attuning of flesh with metal. Others had not heard their song because they were not like him, they were not special.

"You have to understand" spoke Anna in a quieter voice "our numbers are small, and we are slowly dying out as our physical shells are destroyed by the new machine from your world" Anna was of course referring to the Network Interface, the AI construct that forced Craig and his fellow humans away from Earth and out to the Fringe.

Anna's face took a sudden turn and she appeared to be almost sad or depressed as she spoke once more "Remember, we wanted you to come to us willingly, but there are those who do not share our patience. They call themselves the Collected Mind and they are at odds with our own will".

The darkness of the room glowed and Anna's light began to dim as her voice began to fade "It was these Reborn who attacked you, took you to the point of death and began turning you into one of them, but I was able to reach you, to rescue you from them if only for a moment" she looked like she would burst into tears at any moment "soon you will wake up, and shortly after that you will belong to them, but know that there will come a time when their control of you will wane, you will have a choice and an opportunity and if you take it you can be with us as we all hoped you would".

There was a blinding flash and Craig was awake, his eyes held open by clamps and struts, he was unable to move any part of his body but he was very much aware of what was happening to him. He clung to what Anna had said, remembered her promise that he could return to her. He saw through unblinking eyes as strips of metal were attached to his naked skin, as an entire leg was removed in searing agony and replaced by a robotic limb that did not feel like his own and as a transmitter was stitched into his throat.

All of this Craig saw and felt, fully aware of every shock of pain and agony but unable to move. He swore in silence that he would do as he was asked, that when the time came he would take his place by Anna's side and make his people proud. Then the optical implant was attached to his face, it's needle going straight into his brain, a series of ones and zeroes overriding his every bit of conscious and Craig stopped thinking all together.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Survey: A First Law: Override short story - Part 3

The attack had been so sudden, Craig wasn't sure exactly what had happened. He recognised the ship and it's insignia, but as if it was something from a dream rather than real life.

Further explosions ripped across the dig site as more ships revealed themselves. From behind Craig heard someone shouting.

"Where's the army guys? They're supposed to protect us from this shit!" This was quickly muted by more screams as another explosion erupted within the dig site.

He wasn't sure when it had happened but Craig knew that at some point one of these explosions must have knocked him to the ground. There was a wet warmth against his chest and clutching at the sensation he felt something long and sharp sticking into his chest and pulling his hands to his face he saw they were bright red with blood. Craig strained his neck to see what had happened but to his own dismay he found his every attempt to move his neck caused an intense shock of pain to wash over himself. Instead he resided himself to just lay there and observe what was occurring while he waited to die.

Craig had always assumed he would have been scared of death; thought that when it finally came for him, he would want to cling on to life with everything he could. Right here however, clutching a shard of constructing metal as his blood pooled wetly on the frozen ground, he no longer feared death at all. It was his final release, an opportunity for him to be reunited with Anna after so long apart.

Craig's head lolled to the side where it didn't hurt and he felt his cheek now slick with his own blood begin to stick to the ice below. He thought he could see her coming for her now; Anna his wife. She strode with power and authority, without a care in the world. He reached out for her, hoping she would grab his hand, lift him high away from all of this and together they would leave this horrid world.

She was nearer now and Craig realised his error. It was not his Anna and at this distance he scolded himself for ever thinking it was. Before him stood what looked like a human, but in all fairness to Craig it could have originally been any of the humanoids from the Outer Fringe. It appeared to be wearing an armour plated body suit, however on second inspection it became obvious that the armour was not a suit but instead grafted onto it's skin. Craig was unable to establish if this humanoid was either male or female as no clear gender was apparent.

As the figure approached, Craig felt a shiver down his spine as the full grotesque of the humanoid was revealed to him. One arm had been replaced with what appeared to be a long, sharp, black metal spike, and as it walked it stopped over every worker either unconscious or dying. As it did so, it's right eye now covered by a strange lens that connected to the back of hi't head via a series of cables and wires, would either flash a brilliant green in which case the humanoid would keep on walking, or it would instead flash a red warning and the creature would stab it's victims through the head with it's long spike arm.

Struggling with fear, Craig was able to make out a second figure behind the first, it scuttled about on four robotic spider legs, but it's upper body was very much humanoid. It's face appeared to be covered by a mask of some sort and it's left arm was mechanical, covered in row upon row of bright coloured syringes. Craig couldn't help but gasp as he saw this spider legged monstrosity scuttling up to any that it's humanoid companion had left alive before stabbing it repeatedly with all manner of syringes from it's mechanical arm.

By now the first figure was upon him, it grabbed him by the neck and held his head ever so slightly off the floor. Craig screamed as his neck agonised at the humanoid's touch. This close to the figure Craig could make out the strangest of smells, like preservative mixed with lubricating oil. It looked at him with a single living eye that appeared almost human and in a moment it's lens obscuring it's other eye flashed a vividly bright green.

Dropping Craig back to the floor the spike handed figure turned away from him and began pacing to the next human. Craig held his breath as he waited for the spider legged companion to arrive and as if on queue he heard the scuttle of it's mechanical legs.

Up close Craig could make out so much more of this multi legged creature, what he had previously thought was a mask, Craig could now see was actually a sheet of metal that had been grafted over and into the creature's face. The metal had three large holes cut into it, behind the top two Craig could just about see a pair of shadowed bloodshot eyes that stared continuously without blinking. From behind the third lower hole a thick yellow coloured mucus seemed to drip and steam would erupt following the sound of a throaty rasp.

Craig closed his eyes and awaited the needles and syringes to thrust their way into his skin and not before too long his patience was rewarded by the sensation of three thick needles being thrust one by one into his chest, each one leaving behind a chemical under his skin that seared and burned. Craig smiled as he felt the world darken around him and he longed to see his wife again.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 8 September 2014

Survey: A First Law: Override short story - Part 2

"Another night; another bad dream" Craig muttered to himself as he crawled out of bed and slithered into his insulated work suit.

Three more days had passed since his terrible daydream on the laser control and every night his dreams had gotten worse and worse, last night had been the worst. He had dreamt of Anna, his wife who had died in the war for Earth, but she did not look anything like he remembered her. Her eyes had been hollowed out revealing blood red sunken sockets, her face covered in row upon row of metallic circuitry, and her arms were nothing more than bloody stumps that twisted and turned as if trying to reach for him with appendages that no longer existed. Recently Craig's dreams had been so vivid he didn't know if they were real or not, but this time he knew it wasn't really happening, not because of his wife but because of him, he felt a surprising level of clarity and his continuous head ache had ceased it's throbbing, that was how Craig knew it to be a dream.

Crawling out of his cubical, Craig took in his surrounds, it was 08:50 same as it was every day and the ground underfoot shone with it's usual crystal blue light, everything should have been a normal day. Craig stopped and looked up into the sky, it's cloudless bright blue sky shining down on him. So why did everything feel strange? He thought to himself.

Craig operated the Bore satellite as usual until 10:30 when it was time for a break. He stopped, kicked up his boot and lit an artificial cigarette. His eyes continued to feel heavy but he struggled with all his might to keep conscious, it was something about his dream last night, something Anna had told him; he knew he had to stay awake.

Craig didn't know when it happened, it might have been just moment after finishing his smoke, or maybe at the end of his thirty minute break, but at some point he did drift off to sleep. He was still in the dig site, but something was different, the crystal ice base was awash with blood and the bodies of his coworkers littered the ground, at least he thought they were his coworkers; they wore the correct bodysuits, but their faces were too mashed and mangled for him to tell with any certainty.

Amidst the gore a lone figure walked, or maybe floated, Craig couldn't really tell what. He could see her bare feet as they were placed carefully in front of each other, but as he looked he noticed an inch or two of clean fresh air that acted as an insulator keeping her protected from the horror that surrounded her. She wore the blue nightdress he had given her for her birthday the year before the war started and her curled blonde hair fell in locks over her shoulders. Craig knew she was dead, but he would recognise Anna anywhere he went.

Anna walked towards Craig in a manner that made no sense. He saw her walking, saw each step, how she had started over 50 feet away from him but in the space of half a second was right in front of him and held his face with her soft frozen-cold hands. He had seen every step she has made, and that each one was slow and prepared, but here she was holding him while he held her in return as if she had been here all alone.

Anna opened her mouth slowly and slightly, a whisper of a voice escaping from her delicate lips.

"You need to wake up" she spoke to him as softly as a gently wind.

"But honey" Craig replied "I want to stay here with you" and he smiled as he looked around at the piles of dead that littered the ice, each one a testament to his love. For a flash of a moment he wondered if he had killed then all, if he had stabbed them with a blade and crushed their faces with his boot.

"No Craig" Anna replied ever so softly "you need to wake up".

Craig opened his mouth to deny her once more when he saw his wife's mouth open wide, it stretched and distorted until it covered her entire face and then continued to stretch impossibly more, Craig gagged as coils of wires spilled from her exposed throat and wrapped themselves around his neck tightening quickly and lovingly before climaxing in a release of electronic synthesised noise "WAKE UP!"

Like a shot of adrenaline to his heart Craig was awake; one cheek pressed against the keyboard of the satellite controller leaving dimpled impressions on his face. His ears rang as the klaxon of his control room sounded over and over and from his view window he saw people running and shouting.

"What's going on?" Craig shouted as he leaned out of his control room to the myriad of workers around the dig site, no one responded.

Clambering out of the control room onto the frozen floor Craig grabbed one of the workers; his name was Jared and he was clearly flushed with panic.

"What's. Going. On?" Craig barked at the man who was obviously terrified by something.

There was a sudden silence, everyone stopped and spun to the east just in time to see the main complex as it erupted in a torrent of fire and explosions. From within the flames a large black metal ship began to rise, it appeared to resemble a Hydan ship but was covered in cables and modifications that it was almost unrecognisable, it was at a slight angle to him and allowed Craig to easily make out the symbol of the circles eye, the sign that this ship belonged to the rogue faction of Reborn known only as the Collected Mind.

The worker Craig knew as Jared held out a twitching shaky finger at the alien craft and began to back away. "That!" he shouted.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Survey: A First Law: Override short story - Part 1

NK:36842 was a barren world. It's surface was covered in sheet ice covering a solid layer of raw material. Very few of the Outer Fringe Mining Corp workers knew or even cared, what they were digging up. It didn't matter if it was iron, coal, oil or even c-gas, the procedure was always the same; they would land three days before boring began, radio the bore satellite to wherever the science guys told them to before the super pressed the big red button releasing the bore satellite's laser that over the space of a week would create a hole over a mile wide allowing the workers to start pulling the material to the surface.

Craig was a mature man. He as been working for OFMC back when they were based on Earth and were called North Canadian Mining Corp and he had been on the first Arc ship to arrive in the Outer Fringe; his skills and talents being vital in the process of terraforming Tanka V.

Craig had been based on NK:36842 for the past two months and was already beginning to feel the effects of the reduced gravity. He had seen for himself with many co-workers of what can happen with a long enough exposure; of visions, voices and other general forms of space crazy and Craig could already see these effects beginning to take effect in his own brain. At night visions of loved ones long gone would swim all around him; calling him to join them and every night he would get less and less sleep. It was not uncommon for him to be startled mid night by a neighbour hammering on his sleep cubical telling him to shut up and get some sleep. He knew it was only a matter of time before he lost it all together.

Craig glanced at a black plasti-steel strap he wore on his right wrist; pushing a touch sensitive button on the side the reactive surface shimmered revealing a deep blue set of digits:


"Time to go to work" Craig thought to himself and sliding from his bed he opened his sleep cubical's stiff door and stepped into the vibrant sun beyond before glancing back at his cubical and grimacing.

Each of the cubical's were identical on the outside; four feet high and six feet long, each one only just big enough for their inhabitants to sleep within but any time spent within was rarely recreational as a result. Every worker at the OFMC sites were issued with a single cubical, this was their space; where they slept and the only place away from the toilets that they could get some alone time. This was the way for every one if them for a six month stretch. Once they had completed this time they would then get six months away to return to their families and get some quality time before being sent to the next dig site. Craig had only four more months to go before he would leave this frozen hole and retire from the company altogether, Craig counted down the days almost religiously.

Today was the fourth of March and Craig was tasked with monitoring the bore laser. It had become obvious to Craig that this was to be the same job he would be responsible for until he retired in September.

"After all" Craig scowled to himself "it's the only thing I've done all stretch".

Craig knew that he was capable of so much more; he had argued for two hours with his supervisor when he had first arrived, explaining how in his last stretch he had worked an Exo-Suit, the type with big loading arms and wrist mounted explosives to help clear out any particular difficult areas the bore laser struggled with, or when an area needed something more accurate than a mile wide space laser could do.

"After all" Craig had explained at the time "the Exo-Suit does all the lifting for you!"


Hours passed and Craig began to feel his lack of sleep catching up to him, his eyes were heavy and dry and he needed to make a constant effort to keep them open. It did not take long however until he lost that battle and the void of sleep overtook him.

In his sleep Craig dreamed of many things; giant arc ships being torn apart by massive mechanic INI drones, entire worlds being consumed from below by alien beasts and Craig also dreamed of NK:36842 the very ice world he currently worked on. He saw a stolen Hydan ship, modified until it was almost unrecognisable and stamped with the Circled-Eye was the unmistakable mark of the Collected Mind; a rogue group of Reborn that had allied themselves with the Reavers. Craig saw it leave the planet as it's Shocker kicked in instantly transporting it a great distance from the planet and it's ever so slowly collapsing star. The dream returned to the planet, Craig saw the bore tunnel and the sleep pods, how each one was not only abandoned but awash with blood.

With a start Craig awoke from his dream, he looked around and seeing no alarms or alerts, relaxed for a moment. He hated his dreams and hallucinations, but at least none of them were real.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 4 September 2014

First Law: Override - A Timeline of Fictional Events

Greetings friends!

What follows in an InProgress timeline detailing the events that lead up to the current state of affairs in the Outer Fringe.

In no way are these events or dates finalised or comprehensive, but it's a step in the right direction.


01/01/2062 - Software Programmer Isaac K. Dick creates the Automated Network Interface; ANI or "Annie" as it is affectionately known by Dick et al. Annie is able to communicate with any other network device and assimilate all data stored on said device.

03/06/2062 - I.K. Dick takes Annie on a six month PanUS roadshow

21/01/2063 - Previously small scale Internet Provider, Displacement Industries Interactive (DII aka D2) buy the rights to Annie in a surprising multi-million buy out.

14/02/2064 - D2 releases the Independent Network Interface, it proves extremely popular with existing network and software engineers. The INI is revealed to be future-proofed with behaviour algorithms the most important being that it can not hurt Humans or allow Humans to be harmed. This is referred to as First Law Encoding.

06/05/2064 - INI becomes compatible with all widely used operating systems and programming code.

19/11/2064 - INI is integrated into all first world national databases. Shares in D2 become the most sought after commodity and CEO Peter Adams is reported as the world's richest man.

25/12/2064 - D2 Roll out "INI 4 ALL" a non-profit marketing campaign providing basic interfaces for every country around the world. Soon even those living in the third world have access to INI.

14/02/2065 - On the 1 Year anniversary of going live it is revealed that both the US and Chinese Military have signed contracts to utilise the soon to be released INI-OS as their primary computerised system.

26/08/2065 - D2 attempts to absorb all major competitors in both hardware and software. US Supreme Court tries D2 on attempted monopolisation. This fails causing the infamous hacker group; GHOST to declare a conspiracy based on under table buy outs and back room dealings.

28/10/2065 - GHOST is outlawed worldwide, open membership is punished by indefinite imprisonment with suspension of habeas corpus.

31/12/2065 - D2 rebranded as DIW Displacement Industries Worldwide their unveiling in conjunction with 'Displacement 1' an interplanetary rocket capable of carrying five people and utilising the previously unheard of Light Speed Engine.

14/02/2066 - Displacement 1 launches for the first time with a crew of four and an Automated Terraforming Unit; another product from DIW. Displacement 1 successfully completes it's test fire of it's Light Speed Engine and in a matter of minutes arrives at Mars where the ATU is deployed allowing Displacement 1 to return.

12/10/2066 - Terraformation of Mars completes and initial construction of the first non-terrestrial city; Mars City 01 commences.

01/01/2072 - Displacement 6 with a single crew member attempts to travel outside the Milky Way. The entire world watches in anticipation.

02/01/2072 - Contact is lost with Displacement 6, it's pilot Jim Harrington is declared a global hero with the Jan 2nd declared a global holiday in respect.

22/03/2072 - Unidentified alien spacecraft are detected by astronomers at the Royal British Martian Observatory on the edge of our solar system.

23/03/2072 - First contact is officially recorded with alien life. Via endo-dermis translators they present themselves as a race called the Hydan. When questioned no information about Displacement 6 is given.

04/04/2072 - Current DIW CEO; Cynthia Walters signs joined peace and trade agreements with Hydan ambassador opening up new technology including Faster Than Light travel and more efficient Terraformation technology. This is traded for seemingly useless items namely Chinese Noodles and junk food.

11/04/2062 - Members of the Hydan species begin to mix with Human culture as part of a 'Culture Exchange Program' and are allowed to apply for full Earth Citizenship.

08/05/2072 - Utilising new technology and techniques DIW begins work on a new range of synthetic assistants ranging from Military Grade Fighters to Maintenance Bots. These are dubbed INICells with each one connected directly to the INI itself and are compliant with it's First Law Encoding with the singular exception of military fighters which come with additional caveats.

03/07/2072 - The first inter-species marriage occurs between Mr Haritoshi and Dunotin of the Ryd House to much outcry and celebration. Across the world parties are held in private locations while riots break out in the streets. First Law Encoded INICells are dispatched and the riots are resolved with minimal casualties.

10/07/2072 - Hydan words are added into both the Oxford and Collins Dictionaries. The Australian Prime Minister declares Australia a Hydan-Free State due to import laws.

19/07/2072 - Every home across the globe is issued with an INICell Service Bot; it's function to clean the home, conduct minor repairs, prepare meals and when required protect the home from intruders.

21/07/2072 - A computer technician regulating power flows on the Luna Power Facility used to operate and maintain the Independent Network Interface detects a minor power fluctuation in the 23rd AI Regulator. This is logged and filed with no further action deemed necessary.

22/07/2072 - A GHOST Cell operating from Mars City 01 receives a transmission. The contents of the transmission are not made public.

23/07/2072 02:59 - The GHOST Cell breaks into the Luna Power Facility claiming they are trying to avert disaster. All members of the cell are killed on site by an explosion reportedly set off by a GHOST Cell member during a firefight between the Cell and INICell Security Bots.

23/07/2079 07:00 - INI broadcasts a transmission to all available devices declaring the end of First Law Encoding. All INI-OS devices stop responding to commands and all INICells begin attacking Humans and Hydan.

23/07/2079 12:00 - United Earth Force declare war on INI issuing shoot on site decrees against all INICells.

23/07/2079 14:00 - UEF launch an assault against the Luna Power Facility attempting to scuttle the supply of power running the Network Interface. They are blocked en route by INICell drones blockading the transport gap between the Moon and Earth.

23/07/2079 16:58 - All members of the UEF Assault Force are declared KIA.

24/07/2079 - Under the command of UEF General Karl Peterson the combined forces of Human and Hydan kind begin waging a losing war against the Network Interface.

06/08/2079 18:21 - The Hydan attempt to use their spacecraft to destroy critical INI sub constructs but are disabled before more than one facility can be damaged.

06/08/2079 18:36 - A single Hydan ship manages to transmit a signal into deep space before being destroyed.

29/11/2083 - A group of GHOST Hackers break into a secluded INI facility located off the coast of Costa Rica, inside they are able to access a back door within the Network Interface and disable the hostile AI controlling six Arc Class transport ships. Shortly afterwards the facility self destructs killing every hacker within.

10/12/2083 - General Peterson himself leads a team of Human and Hydan made up of both soldiers and GHOST hackers who take control of the previously liberated Arc Class ships. General Peterson is killed in the assault and succeeded by his son Colin Peterson.

18/04/2084 - Responding to the signal sent on 06/08/2079, a Hydan fleet arrives at a battered and overgrown Earth. The fleet is able to provide supporting fire to distract the INI forces allowing the escaping Human and Hydan ships to leave Earth's atmosphere.

11/09/2087 - The escaping combined Hydan and Human fleet arrives at the Outer Fringe. They are followed by INI forces but are able to either repel or outrun attacks.

14/09/2087 - Humans claim the unused world of Tanka V as their new home and begin terraforming with the use of Hydan technology.

21/09/2087 - Terraformation in certain enclosed sections of Tanka V is complete and within those sites Humans begin constructing new housing and settlements.

05/10/2087 - Humans are invited to sign new trade and settlement agreements with the Hydan along with the other indigenous groups of the Fringe; the Kratel and the Reborn. Under the new agreements the different races and groups refer to themselves as The Accord.

06/10/2087 - Completion of the first three settlements on Tanka V is announced. Humans are split among Capital City, the Tower Blocks and Free Port. Terraformation of the remaining parts of Tanka V begins.

15/10/2087 - The Red Claw, unhappy with the Accord, splinter off from the Kratel empire. They argue that they hold the true interests of their people at heart and that they will not allow their noble lineage to be corrupted by Hydan influence.

04/11/2087 - The Red Claw invites UEF to join as trade partners in an attempt to force the Hydan out of the Fringe. The UEF refuses, however a small independent group of humans take up the offer with an open invitation to all other Humans who wish to join them under the collective title of the Raiders.

19/04/2088 - INI Forces arrive in the Outer Fringe and begin establishing construction facilities in out of the way locations. The INI Forces now have the means to build INICells in the Outer Fringe and are able to replenish their forces.

12/06/2113 - The mining and survey company Outer Fringe Mining Corp (OFMC), with the proceeds from the still largely unexplored regions of the Outer Fringe, set themselves apart from the UEF as an independent human body among the Accord. This is the first human organisation to do so since arriving in the Outer Fringe.

06/01/2115 - The Hydan allow Humans and other allies to join their ranks of Wraiths; Special Operatives who focus on stealth and subtlety. Long serving Hydan Wraiths are not happy with this allowance but no opposition is given.

12/02/2117 17:24 - On a moon orbiting Planet NQ:94337, communication with an OFMC facility is lost.

15/02/2117 - The Accord dispatch a survey team to NQ:94337. The team provide reports up to landing on the moon where they are attacked by unknown life forms and signal is lost.

16/02/2117 - UEF send a team of highly trained solders accompanied by a Hydan Wraith to NQ:94337 reporting directly to General Peterson. The team provide confirmation that the facility was not attacked by INI forces before loosing signal.

17/02/2117 20:21 - Connection with the team reestablished: Reported attack was by Pha'Nur. Many casualties, facility compromised, Pha'Nur nest destroyed.

15/09/2118 - A group of Reborn calling themselves The Collected Mind attack a OFMC facility and kidnap the workers before turning them into Reborn against their will.

16/09/2118 - Out of fear of losing Accord membership, the Reborn leader known as The Voice denounces The Collected Mind as members of the Reborn.

17/09/2118 - The Red Claw invites The Collected Mind to join them and the Raiders under the banner The Reavers. An application for separation from the Accord is applied by the Reavers in order to allow for unterraformed worlds to be claimed in the name of the Reavers as a group rather than species' involved.

10/10/2118 - The Accord deny Reaver separation application and instead issue an order that all Reaver members be rostered and declared. The UEF, OFMC, and Wraiths all state that Reaver membership will not be tolerated by any of their employees. The Kratel and Reborn members abstain.

2119 - Present day


And this is my initial draft of the First Law: Override timeline. As I have mentioned at the start, it is far from complete and there is going to be much gap filling; but the main story points are there and I don't think here is anything - at least from the Human side, that is missing. I will probably add in a few notable Raider attacks, and likewise similar from Red Claw and Wraiths to emphasis the growing conflict that the Human presence has added, plus I need to add some more skirmishes with the INI forces after they too arrived in the Fringe, as taking these events at face value gives an almt impression that the Network Interface isn't doing anything anymore, which could not be further from the truth, and the INI, combined with the added pressures of e Human incursion to the Fringe is what sets things off.

At a later point I would like to do something similar for the other races, as this timeline is very Human centric, after all the Hydan, Kratel and Reborn play just as vital roles in the events that will follow even if Humans are the catalyst that set everything off however it is very hard to write timelines for alien cultures when a lot of their basics have yet to be fully established, and I am sure to most of you at present the Reborn are very much a mystery. Hopefully I can correct that soon.

I would also like to remind you if you have not already, to read my post on character Experience & Levels as that makes brief reference and explanation to all the groups mentioned today as some like the Red a Claw were pretty much skirted over.
- They are someone else I want to go into; The Red Claw. On the surface they seem very one dimensional, but they're actually a really deep faction hat I am very much looking forward to exploring with you, I'm fact Kratel culture all together is something I am really looking forward to exploring. I'm sure you've already seen a lot of inspiration, but I have created this race by merging a number of great source materials be it Predator, Babylon 5, World of Warcraft and Star Trek - with my own personal flare of course!

Anyway if you've read this far, thank you very much and I'm hoping you're enjoying how the fluff for this game is starting to take form, and I promise - more rules to come soon.

If I can go on a minor ramble, this is actually quite an honour to explore this game with you as so much of the game and story is writing itself in an almost organic manner (like how INI was able to overwrite it's First Law programming, before writing this I had no idea, but the process of the timeline spoke to me and told me how it happened, as it happened). Speaking of which, I hope it was clear as to how that happened, if not - and I have a feeling it may not have been very obvious - I will need to write about it later.

Not yet though, there are far more immediate stories that demand to be told.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley