Dredgery – Well-wishes

Well-wishes – Indepentional

Well-Wishes came right after Letterbox – Indepentional  and followed much the same style of ‘Only Dialogue’. Whereas Letterbox’s oddity was the Narnia-like post office in the boy’s closet, in Well-wishes it’s a mysterious, possibly magical, card for well-wishes. The gag with their ‘no-relation’ names didn’t carry over to this one mostly because the boys never interact with anyone beyond the two of them.

I’m racking brain to remember the inspiration. Beyond the obvious Letterbox, the main clue is me using the Ouroboros for the grandparents signature but ultimately I can’t say. I think Letterbox is the much better of the two so not knowing is hardly a great loss.

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Dredgery – Letterbox

Letterbox – Indepentional

Letterbox was a really fun one to write. The limitation (inspired by this short by the author Brandon Sanderson) of it being only dialogue meant I had to describe any events and actions purely by the characters talking about it. It’s a format I really want to delve into some more (did it once which will be covered next time).

Another thing about it that I really enjoyed was all the characters either being named after celebrities (David Beckham) or characters from other stories I’ve written (Mrs Daunton). Somehow that really tickled me.

Dredgery – A Brief Liaison

A Brief Liaison – Indepentional

A Brief Liaison is a story I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It is a quite simple story with simple characters based pretty much entirely around the gimmick of a single page. I did not want to get into the ACTUALLY romantic scene so I had to extend some scenes further than they really should have, all to fit it into 1 page’s worth of space.

Dredgery – The Quelling War

Dota – The Quelling War

For those unfamiliar with Dota, it is an online multiplayer game about, among other things, a war between 2 ancient creatures. Each team consists of 5 people playing a character with a selection of abilities. Simply put, each team attempts to breach the enemy base and destroy the Ancient at its core. Now, this game has quite a thriving competitive scene. The biggest of the Dota tournaments, the International, had a prize pool of 20 million dollars in 2016. Part of how the company funds this prize pool is through sales of a compendium you can buy in Dota, with a series of rewards and challenges for the community. The very first of the Community Challenges in 2016 was cutting down trees in the game map. Quite a lot of trees. 20 billion trees, in fact. The Dota community is by no means small, but compared to the task at hand, it might not be sufficient.

Enter the YouTube Dota content creator and commentator SirActionSlacks – CALL OF THE C.U.T. CORPS

The video is what gave me the idea for the story that simply showcases part of a day in this ‘war’. As the actual Community Challenge never really mentioned WHY we are cutting down all these trees, the story also gives little reason as to why this is necessary.

Dredgery – Security Drone

Security Drone – Indepentional

One thing I love about alternative worlds is imagining the world and events around the story that it itself doesn’t cover or only touches in parts.

Security Drone is my little piece of fanfiction for the Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game “The Secret World”. In TSW you play immortal, and as such eminently disposable, agents of various secret organisations trying to protect their interests, and also Earth, against supernatural threats. You are very much a Warrior Drone in the grand Beehive that is Earth in TSW, with your powers being represented by bees and sounds of buzzing. Nuggets of lore are spread throughout the game zones, shown as chunks of honeycomb, followed by the line “Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see.”. Nowhere in the actual text of the story is “The Secret World” or their organisations mentioned, so initially I wanted to see how many caught on to its relation to the game.

So Security Drone was inspired by a mix of this bee-symbology and the dirty bombing of Tokyo in the story. Each of the notable persons in the queue represent one of the 3 major playable organisations in the game; The asian man represents the Dragons, a faction that plays off the other two to use the resulting chaos for their own plans. The elderly man with the storm-beard is with the Templars, that are pretty much what they sound like. The woman you spend most of the story with is aligned with the Illuminati based out of New York. Again, pretty much what it says on the tin.

One issue I had with this story was that it had been some 6+ years since last I had travelled with an airplane, so my memories of airport security checks were somewhat hazy. Luckily I went on a trip by plane to Italy with the family around the time I was writing it, which helped immensely. The plane’s destination is a nod to the lore of the game, where Tokyo is bombed a short time before the game opens, an event that opens the gates even further to all kinds of supernatural creatures, some of which are unfamiliar even to a world that has vampires, werewolves and poltergeists on the regular.

Dredgery – Unwelcome

Unwelcome – Indepentional

Unwelcome is a story that I thought off after being exposed to a variety of different post-apocalyptic fiction settings, Fallout and Warhammer 40K among them. Whatever form this apocalypse took, both its form and the world that came before has largely faded from public memory. Only the idea that the world Outside is dangerous and should be left alone.

Coming up with names for the characters of Unwelcome was a good chuckle. Gremli and Organaisa are probably the most obvious ones; Gremli is a bit of a troublemaker, so she is a “Gremlin”. Organaisa is one of the few who remembers the world before, whether through scant few years of personal experience or tales delivered down through the Elders of the the tribe. Being one of the Eldest, he can’t do too much physical work anymore, so he is an “Organiser”. Wida is a bit of a cruel one I suppose, being a comment on her good physical healthy and sturdy frame, that she is “Wide”. Finally, the group Gremli is part of, the Youngs. The story doesn’t mention it nor is it shaped by it, but Unwelcome takes place somewhere in Germany. So ‘Youngs’ is another word-change from “Jungs” which means guys or boys. That the group contains no small amount of girls is simply because they don’t know any better.

Dredgery – Collage

Collage – Indepentional

Collage, along with Baggage which I will cover later, is an attempt at more slow-burning horror. It was inspired by a combination of remembering the basement of my old family home and an old mousepad I had, as silly as that sounds. It was an old present, a pair of mousepads printed with a picture of me and my dad on a vacation. A good present that I got a lot of use out of. But they both had a tendency for the wear and tear to show up on on my face, the black underside of the mousepad slowly replacing my features. It didn’t exactly keep me up at night, but it was a little unnerving at times.

But enough about that. As said earlier, Collage was meant to be a slow burner. So I tried to extend the scenes of Blake looking at the collages as much as I felt reasonable. For this I also had to describe characters you never ever meet in a fair amount of detail, from their appearance to their hobbies and achievements. The idea behind Mr Wilkinson was that he targets people that either have achieved something or someone that he believes will in the near future. As the main character, Blake is, of course, the next target. As shown in the final scene.