A new beginning (compo entry)
My name is Badtoad. It’s a nickname. I’ve forgotten my real name along with so many other things. People call me Badtoad now. Why I don’t know. I’m not bad, I just look bad, well, I don’t think I was bad… was I?
I don’t remember too much about the incident. I was on a ship with a crew in a storm wall, when we lost… well, I’m not sure what we lost but I ended up here. For that matter where is here and where are the rest of the crew. Maybe the ship went down.
Gods I took a whack on the head. I can’t even remember anything but basic schematics. Back on topic. where is here? Well it’s a floating island. Well of course it’s a floating island. That’s all that is left of our world since the cataclysm… Damn can’t remember the history of that that either, Huge meteor impact, alien invasion, war. Hell it could be all three for all I know. Anyway, I nearly fell off the island after I’d climbed down from the revival chamber. In retrospect I should have waited for my head to clear a bit first.
Time to explore, to see what my new temporary, well, hopefully temporary home has to offer. The island is weather beaten. I’d go as far as to say eroded, full of nooks, crannies and caves. This was an old part of our world. There are trees here. That’s good I can build a raft, if I can find some metal. After an extensive search of the island I’ve got some cedar, some bronze and a little iron, plus three atlas shards. I’ve also found some data banks. You know, the old weird computerised cylinders you can tap into for info.
I used the knowledge gained to learn how to make a basic wing. I’m afraid engines and cannons are just pie in the sky at the moment. “Pie in the sky”… I made a joke. No I don’t think it’s funny either but I think I might be losing my mind a little. Several days eating nothing but berries and gathering “stuff” just to build a raft can do that to you. Not to mention fleeing the huge flying bugs. I mean, I need the wood and they have plenty of other berries to eat, so why chase me.
Damn, I forgot, I can make a pistol. That should make gathering far less stressful in the future. After a little bug hunting I seem to be quite good with it too, I don’t remember learning how to shoot but I’m glad I can. That recipe I found for bug stew in that chest today came in handy. Berries are great but you can’t beat a bit of meat. As long as you don’t think too hard where the meat came from it tastes quite good. I would say it tastes like chicken but I don’t know what a chicken is. Where did that weird thought come from anyway? I’ve seen some creatures flying around the island too. Mantas, I remember that’s what they are called. I even remember to stay away from them if at all possible.
Grappling, I remember grappling. I’m not good at it. In the last few days I’ve got so many bruises that my bruises have bruises. Add to that I’ve nearly fallen to my death three times and you can see why I can’t wait to be able to build a big safe ship. It’s gonna be a while before I can build anything like that. For that matter how the heck do I make a ship anyway?
I sit down and study the gizmo on my arm for several minutes going through menus etc until a semblance of understanding comes back to me. Ah! I need a shipyard and an assembly station. After a bit of fiddling about I figure out how to assign the correct mats to the correct schematic and press the button to create a shipyard. There’s a lot of creaking groaning and crunching and then a glowing hologram projection of the shipyard appears. I look around the site I have chosen to place the shipyard and deploy it. It pops into existence from the gods knows where and unpacks itself ready and waiting for my input. Quite where it pops into existence from, I have no idea. The tech details are lost on me. Probably the same place my mats are stored. Your guess is as good as mine. Unless you’re an expert on the ancients technology.
I feel a sense of achievement as the shipyard displays a list of designs for me. I chose the default dingy and then proceed to alter the design to strip it down to a basic deck. Why I am doing this I don’t know but something in the back of my mind tells me small is fast and fast is good.
The design I end up with looks like a floating deck with a small wooden wing attached at an angle on each side. “Right, what’s next toad me old buddy?” I find myself asking. Gods I need to find some company soon or I’ll be talking to the wildlife. Actually a pet bug could be fun. I could call him Dave. No scratch that idea, who wants a pet several times bigger than themselves with a habit of knocking you for six every time you want to gather some firewood.
Ah the assembler station. What a marvel of design that thing is. Assign some mats press a button and watch as a huge piece of ship appears in front of your very eyes. Over your very eyes… shit… I just manage to dive to the side as a few tens of kilos of Atlas core hurtles downwards. Bloody hell why can’t the thing just float there after it’s made. Ok, what’s next, Ah a helm and personal respawner. Those items soon find themselves attached to the Flying Squirrel. What? You don’t like the name Flying Squirrel? It was more tasteful than some other names I thought of.
So, time to be off into the sunset. I climb aboard the Squirrel and lift her off the ground. She responds quickly lifting her meager weight easily. I turn towards a distant large flat green island. I push forward on the throttle. I curse as it dawns on me the ship has no engines and I will need sails. I lower her back to the ground explaining to a nearby tree that I was just ensuring I had enough lift and it was a planned exercise.
A sail fitted, I try again. I lift high above my island and unfurl the sail. The wind fills the sail which swells and sends me hurtling towards the green island with a surprising turn of speed.
“Look out you blaggards I’m back” I shout at no one in particular and adjust my course.
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