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Steam Novel Chapter 01: Shadows in the Afternoon
Well guys, chapter one is completed! Man it's a lot of words, and I'm pretty proud of how this story started. I can't promise that all the chapters will be this long, or that they'll come out this quickly. However, that doesn't mean I won't put all my effort into it. I tried to put all the characters into this chapter, but I'm pretty sure I left some out. Don't worry, though. The new characters will come out shortly...
About this creation
Utter silence filled the dark alleyway, located in the north-western district of Central Junction. Not even the wind blew on such a sunset, it was as if the world has decided to stop orbiting the sun and take a break to meditate. This was quite odd, actually. Central Junction was not only the largest city on the planet, but it also had the largest population-per-square-kilometre rate. This led to an enormous population. With so many people, it was strange to have moments like these at 4:12 in the afternoon. Most people were just coming home, so a rush hour should have been occurring. There was no reason for such a quiet afternoon. The sun cast long shadows on the old and cracked cobblestone pavement, covered in scratches from coaches and the mud from people’s shoes. Most of the lights were just flickering on, having an automatic daylight sensor. Then, the silence was interrupted. The bridge above began to rattle, and the sound of a Jokidoryoku Shinkansen rose from the silence. Almost as soon as the sound had risen, it faded. There was only a brief moment when the train was at full volume. A light grey smoke fell down from the bridge and covered the alley way. When it had cleared, a tall man was standing there. He looked slightly elderly, however most people would say he looked younger than he was. This was only because he was 116 years old, and he only looked like a 60 year old. He wore a full black suit, complete with a top-hat. His shining black cane and monocle added to his classy image. By stereotypes, many would consider him to be a butler of some sorts. He had been a butler once, but that was a long time ago. His masters, and his family, had met their untimely end at the hands of a criminal organisation, known as ‘Blood Brotherhood’. This society had been responsible for a great many other crimes as well. That was why this man, who went by the name of James Wallace, was there that night. The government was trying its hardest to track down such criminals, but they weren’t doing so well. The information from their secret operations had been leaked, and so people like James had taken it upon themselves to aid in the capturing of the members of this terrible society.

As James walked down the streets, he began to notice the silence more. Normally a person would feel awkward about such silence, but James saw it in a different way. It meant that he was close to his target, Longfellow Jones. Jones was the leader of Blood Brotherhood, and he was attempting to rendezvous with his fellow criminals. The government had intercepted communication between these criminals, and when that information was leaked James was quite shocked at first. But that only lasted for a short time. James and his teammates realised that what Blood Brotherhood was planning to do needed to be stopped rather than worried about. With that, they had tracked Longfellow down to this district. James reached an intersection. He looked around him. The wind had picked up now, and his suit was blowing behind him in the breeze. As James continued to look, he noticed something. Someone’s hand was barely visible on the edge of another alley way. James ran over. On the ground lay the bloody corpse of a cake shop owner, still in his apron. His body had at least ten knifes stabbed into different parts of his body. “Ugh” said James as he covered his mouth to cover up the stench of death. He then ran his gloved fingers across the man’s face to close his eyes, and places his hands over his chest. Realising that time was of the essence, he picked up his cane and started running down the dark brick road. The lights were shining through dark green paned glass, giving the street an eerie glow. The sun was still up, but the buildings were so high and the road so narrow that anyone could have mistaken it for the early evening. While running past the cake stalls (one of them probably owned by the dead man) and tailor shops, he quickly stopped and hid behind a corner. A man was standing in the street just around the corner he hid behind. From behind, James couldn’t get a close look at him. All that he saw was the person dressed in three brown items; a cape, boots and a hood. He couldn’t tell what else he was wearing, and even if the man was facing forward he wouldn’t have. James had run behind the corner too fast for that. The man had been walking down the road, but when he heard the noise of James quickly hiding behind him, he stopped. He slowly turned his head. James was able to see him through one of the shop windows, but the man was unable to see James. Now that James could see better, he could see that this strange man had a rather large piece of metal covering his mouth and nose. It wasn’t anything elaborate; it was just a plane strip of silver. It looked a bit like the part ninjas use, not that anyone as to know if ninjas even existed in that universe at all. When the man spoke, his voice was slightly muffled but you could still hear its cold harsh tone.
“I know someone is hiding behind there, and if you don’t come out I WILL kill you.”
James remained perfectly still. The man turned his body to face the corner and raised his arm in that direction.
“I’m not bluffing, you know.”
James calmly stepped out from the corner. Rather than being fear-stricken, he was actually quite calm. The man, however, did not lower his arm. He kept it raised, and let his eyes follow his black gloved fingertips.
“There are two reasons you are following me. Either you want to kill me, or you want to join me. I highly doubt the latter is in your sights.
“Your name is Longfellow Jones, right?”
“Indeed it is.”
“And you ARE the leader of Blood Brotherhood, are you not?”
“Indeed I am, and I suggest you leave right now. It seems as if your information on me has been correct so far, but I highly doubt you know what lies under my sleeves.”
“No need to.”
Longfellow’s brows came closer together. Even though his mouth was hidden under the shiny piece of silver, James could still tell that his patience was becoming shorter. Their shadows were getting longer in the afternoon sun, and neither of them was going to back down.

Then, everything happened so suddenly. A small knife quickly flew from Longfellow’s hand, flung in the direction of James. Not having much time to react, James ducked backwards in a precise Matrix-style manoeuvre. After finishing a complete backflip, he landed on his feet and brought his cane in front of him, perpendicular to the ground. His right hand slid over the top, turning it to the side. This revealed a small compartment, from which twin swords were suddenly launched into the air. He put his cane away and caught the swords with ease. Then, realising that two more knifes were flying at him, he quickly deflected them with utter precision. The knives fell on the ground, and James turned back to long fellow. Longfellow looked slightly confused for a second, but ten his expression changed to that of calm once again.
“For an old man, you seem rather nimble. How old are you again?”
“116 years young.”
“Years young? Aren’t you at the stage when you’re considered old, not young?”
“My family has been well known for having long lifespans. Furthermore, my skills as a swordsman have been refined for almost a century. And please, I doubt you will have enough of your petty knives to throw at me for long.”
“Throw? Who said anything about throwing them?”
Longfellow raised his sleeves to reveal a strange mechanism underneath his arms. A chain, with small knives attached to it, was travelling all the way down beyond his elbow, and on his wrist was a launching mechanism. Longfellow kept his sleeves open for a few seconds, but he quickly covered them up again.
“I have more than enough knives to kill you. After all, you’re just one person.”
“One person? Ha! If there’s one thing you need to know about me…”
Suddenly, Longfellow turned to see another figure holding a pistol at his head. The man was a lot younger than James. In fact, he looked as if he was only in his twenties. However this man was younger than he looked, because he was only 16. The man had a clean shaven face, and rather spiky hair. Longfellow rolled his eyes, and the man finished James’ sentence.
“…it’s that we never travel alone.”
James turned to the newcomer.
“Moda! It’s about damn time you got here.”
“Sorry, there were a bunch of mecha I needed to take care of. I lost them, but then I found you. Longfellow Jones, leader of Blood Brotherhood. MAN! You sure are in trouble, aren’t you? Trying to figure out how to travel between parallel universes? My my, I’m starting to reconsider my thoughts on sparing you. After all, you did kill James’ family and masters. Don’t you remember? He was the butler for the remaining members of the royal family; the ones who didn’t follow in the king’s footsteps. You attacked them ten years ago…”
Longfellow remained silent. Moda turned to james, and then back to Jones. Suddenly, a crashing sound came from the distance. It was then followed by repetitive mechanical noises, and then even more crashes. James turned to Moda.
“Moda, did you say you lost the mecha?”
“Um, maybe?”
The sounds were getting louder. James and Moda could make out a lot more of those mechanical noises now. Longfellow took a few steps back and smirked.
“Well boys, it looks like you’re not the only ones who travel with backup. This will probably be the last time I see you, so have a safe trip to the other side.”
And with that, five mecha came crashing through one of the warehouses down the street.

The mecha were dark green, and their body structure was much like that of an ape. However their heads were not ape like at all. The heads looked like that of a snake. Each mecha had a different weapon. One had twin wrecking balls with spikes on them, one had a machine gun, one carried a sword, one carried a machete and the other two had rifles (in the proportion to their large bodies). Although they didn’t stand too tall, they were at least ten metres high. Within seconds, they had Moda and James surrounded.
“James, I can have us extracted in a couple of minutes. I know where Longfellow’s heading, but there are two complications.”
“What are they?”
“The first is getting past these guys.”
“Leave that to me…”
James stepped out in front of Moda. He took a small bow, pressed in his monocle and took a sword stance. He then charged at the mecha holding the machine gun. The mecha attempted to shoot down James, but he was too quick for that. Within seconds, James was on top of it. The pilot inside the mecha wasn’t anyone special. He was just some random alcoholic, signed up for money to fuel his obsession. Now he was even less than that. He was a mere mouse, metaphorically speaking. He looked into the eyes of James hoping that he was safe behind the large hunk of metal and glass, but his hopes weren’t answered. James sliced both of his swords into the mecha’s singular eye. They travelled all the way to the driver’s heart, killing him instantly and almost painlessly. As James retracted the swords, the driver fell back into his seat. James made a few quick slices on the yellow glass eye, and it quickly shattered. He then reached over to the trigger that controlled the gun. He sheathed his swords into his cane and closed it, after which he used the cane to smash the trigger. The mecha began to lose control, firing in all directions. James jumped down from it, taking no notice. Moda looked at him with slight fear.
“Woah! That was harsh, even for you.”
“It’s thanks to these people that my family and masters are dead. I am merely returning the favour in the name of justice.”
“Still man, a human life is-“
“Extraction. Now.”

After running several blocks, James and Moda reached a green steam truck containing two of their allies. They quickly hopped into the back, aided by tall man with dark brown hair. His brother was driving the truck, and stepped on the accelerator immediately. Moda made it to the front, and began to discuss what to do next.
“So, Gale, how bad is the opposition down at the docks?”
“Pretty bad. There aren’t any mecha, ‘kuz the rift is too small. However they do have at least fifty guys down there.”
“Man, that’s a lot. What about the police. Have you called?”
“Yep, but they won’t be there for another hour or two. We’re gonna get there first anyway.”
“What about our weapons?”
“We haven’t got much, but there is a little ray of sunshine in this sea of black.”
“What’s that?”
Gale turned to the back, where James was sitting with the man who’d helped them on earlier.
“John, how’s The Reaper going?”
“Quite well. It should be powered up within a couple of minutes.”
Moda seemed very worried for a second. James looked at him, woundering what was going on. It was but a quick head shake from John that made him feel reassured. Moda, however, was still not.
“That thing is a death trap. Last time we used it, he almost lost an arm! I thought I told you to dump it by the lake!”
“Listen, we Arcans have been relying on improvements for years. I’m sure that it’s safe now. Besides, we can’t take any of the larger mecha through the rift. They’re too large.”
“You sure that the reaper is small enough?”
Gale turned back to the road, and sighed.
“We can only hope, Soda. We can only hope…”.

About twelve hours earlier, in another universe entirely, a young man in the fishing industry was beginning a rather normal day. He had absolutely no idea of the events occurring in the parallel, and even if he did he’d probably just ignore it. His name was Michael Onncod, and his story of how he fell through the system is a rather tragic one. He began the first years of his life with a promising future. He studied many forms of science, and went to a top university overseas. However his father had died, and to support the family he needed to pay off the debt. Since he had no money, and was mid-study, he made a deal with the debtors. The debtor, whose name is rather insignificant, had recently acquired Mike’s father’s fishing company. He promised that if Mike worked for forty years, he’d get payed retirement and the debt would be paid for. Michael was now twenty-five. He was bored out of his mind with his everyday job, his everyday pay and his everyday life in general. He had a few friends in the small town he lived him, but like him they all seemed to want to leave but they couldn’t. Sam was a policeman who dreamed of joining the army, however crime rates were rising and he felt a need to stay. Johnny was a naval officer stationed in the area, but he wished to go home and visit his family. Art was a music store owner, but he one day wanted to become a record producer. Tim was a housecleaner, and although he liked his job he always believed he was meant for something better. All these people wanted to be someplace else. Perhaps it was just a random case of events, or maybe it was destiny, but either way these people were about to have their lives changed in a dramatic way.

The day was rather boring, however tonight Mike had something to look forward to. His friends were getting together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the town’s rebuilding. The town had been burned all those years ago, and people had to make it new from the ground up. Sadly, though, it wasn’t a large celebration. All that Mike could get in regards to the event location was an abandoned warehouse, placed slightly dangerously on top of a quay. All the other town halls and catering companies had been fully booked, because of the small size of the town. The town went by the name of ‘Ricostruita Da Terra’. It was about a few kilometres from the outskirts of Northville, and was well known for its fishing. Sadly, it wasn’t known for much else. For a scientific person like Michael, it was a rather dull place to live. This was one of the reasons why he was looking forward to the afternoon when the party began. One of his classmates, who had gone on to become the prime minister’s personal assistant, was coming over for the week. Since he had the same name as Michael, he often called him by his last name; Stark. Stark was his only link to the outside world, so his visits were very much anticipated.

The party began at 4:30, and it was going quite well. Nobody had too much to drink, and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was only at 5:00 that the two Michaels sat down to have a proper talk.
“So, how’s the job going?”
“For the most part, it’s going well. However, nowadays things are going a bit odd.”
“Odd?”
“Noj has been becoming a bit, er, distant.”
“Distant, ay?”
“He’s been keeping things secret from the other members of the senate, and most of the stuff that turns up on his desk is a little weird.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, none of it seems to make sense. It’s all these random equations and stuff, so I really don’t understand it.”
“Maybe I could help. I mean, I should be able to get off work for a little break soon.”
“This kind of stuff needs to be handled in a specific manner. No outsiders allo-WHAT THE HELL!?”
At that moment, something strange had started to happen. The table in the centre, with all the pizza, pasta, potato chips and someone’s grandma’s awful spicy sauce on it, was floating. Most of the people were just standing still, staring in awe. The table began to spin. Mike looked to Stark.
“This your idea of a ‘I’m back’ joke?”
“Hell no! I’m really worried about this. Who started it?!”
Everybody gave each other blank looks. The table was spinning faster now. The disgusting sauce was splattering everywhere, but the table kept going. Soon, it was nothing but a blur. And then, it disappeared. There was silence. More silence. Even more silence. And then from the air, as if someone had opened a curtain and revealed an actor, came a man dressed in brown. Although nobody knew it, he was to be feared by everyone else. The newly materialised man looked around, and thought but one thing; by the end of this day these people would remember the name Longfellow Jones…
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THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO THOSE ALREADY PART OF THIS CYOA
Please comment on this creation and tell me what you want your character to do. Yes, you too Sam Sanister. Even though your character hasn't apeared yet, he will appear next chapter. Anyway, next chapter has all the good guys from our world facing off the blood brotherhood. Now, the good guys from the steampunk universe come a bit later, with John Arcan's 'Reaper' referring to a small iron-monger sized mech suit. They quickly realise that they're on the same side, and when the fight's all over Longfellow escapes back to the steampunk world. Then, Ervan arrives and says that they could use the skills of the people at the party. Other than that, you guys decide how the battle plays out. The coreography is in your hands. Don't let me down. :)

THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO EVERYONE ELSE
Thanks for reading my chapter! If you liked it, then like comment and add me as a favourite builder. Also, are you sad that you didn't realise about this CYOA and still want to take part in it? No problemo! Just click HERE to check out the group and sign up. Any newcomers are welcome, and although your entry may not be for another chapter or two you'll still get in! Also, click HERE to check out the whole novel in one place! It's not on MOCpages, but it's still cool...

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEXT CHAPTER.



Comments

 I made it 
  August 29, 2013
Quoting Timothy Wallace Sorry I didn't comment earlier... Great chapter, Declan!
Thanks! :)
 I like it 
  August 29, 2013
Sorry I didn't comment earlier... Great chapter, Declan!
 I made it 
  August 27, 2013
Quoting Beardless Dwarf Sweet chapter! OK So I would like Mr. Jones to smile slyly (from under his metal ninja mask of course) and offer them a deal. Basically he offers to let them join him and promises them riches and what not if they succeed. If/when they don't, he gets really angry and starts blasting like crazy. How many he takes down is completely up to you. Oh and I would like him to eat the nasty sauce and like it :)
I might make it slightly different, but the general idea will stay.
Quoting Stephen Boe YOU sir, have got talent as a writer! Can't wait for the appearance of my character!
He'll come soon. Don't worry...
 I like it 
  August 27, 2013
Sweet chapter! OK So I would like Mr. Jones to smile slyly (from under his metal ninja mask of course) and offer them a deal. Basically he offers to let them join him and promises them riches and what not if they succeed. If/when they don't, he gets really angry and starts blasting like crazy. How many he takes down is completely up to you. Oh and I would like him to eat the nasty sauce and like it :)
 I like it 
  August 27, 2013
YOU sir, have got talent as a writer! Can't wait for the appearance of my character!
 I made it 
  August 27, 2013
Quoting Thatch Gears Very nice! Well written, fun, and exiting! I'm looking forward to the appearance of my character!
I'll have to check who you want your character to be in the group. I was performing all day yesterday, so I didn't have much time...
Quoting Sam Sanister Well, you definitely had a writing streak going there. Let me get back to you on how Ervan gets to the party (literally).
I was planning on him meeting the others back in the steampunk world, and then accompaning them to 'keep them safe' (because he thinks they need it, even though they don't).
 I like it 
  August 27, 2013
Well, you definitely had a writing streak going there. Let me get back to you on how Ervan gets to the party (literally).
 I like it 
  August 27, 2013
Very nice! Well written, fun, and exiting! I'm looking forward to the appearance of my character!
 I made it 
  August 26, 2013
Quoting Michael K. Very good! Do you plan to add pictures in the future? What kind of scientist is my character?
He's not a scientist. He's the prime minister's personal assistaint. He'll have his own story that occurs in 'our world', and reveals some secrets related with the prime minister. And no, there will be no photos.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2013
Very good! Do you plan to add pictures in the future? What kind of scientist is my character?
 I made it 
  August 26, 2013
Quoting Reaper the Ultimate . YES! Oh wow, this is great! Absolutely fantastic! I love that comment about the Reaper, it's pure me. Not only is the plot good, but this is well written & grammatically correct. Oh the joy that delivers unto me. I think we should discuss the choreography of the battle in the group, as it allows for better back-and-forthing of ideas. Oh boy, this is absolutely fantastic.
Thanks for the praise! Yeah, I'll open discussion tomorrow. I've got a MASSIVE performance today, so I won't be online for 90%. Maybe in the afternoon, but then nobody will be here. :(
 I like it 
  August 26, 2013
YES! Oh wow, this is great! Absolutely fantastic! I love that comment about the Reaper, it's pure me. Not only is the plot good, but this is well written & grammatically correct. Oh the joy that delivers unto me. I think we should discuss the choreography of the battle in the group, as it allows for better back-and-forthing of ideas. Oh boy, this is absolutely fantastic.
 
By Declan Muller
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Steam Novel Chapter 01: Shadows in the AfternoonSteampunk


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