Hello all. I used to be on here a lot more. I would mostly post in Radicons, because my primary interest is TF customizing (and collecting). One of the things that I've been working on lately is a sci-fi novel called "F You, Robot Pilot!" It's sort of inspired by Evangellion, Gundam, and the death of Middle America at the hands of corporate elites. It's also about how I miss arcades, and how if zombies really existed, they'd probably be really boring- not violent or exciting at all. It has atomic monsters too. It doesn't really have any TF stuff in it, except for a few obscure references, but I like this community, so I figured that this would be a good place to promote it. I'm a little nervous about posting this, but that's something that I'm going to have to get over. It's still a work on progress, but I have over twenty chapters up so far. I figure it will be about thirty, when it's done. I'd love any feedback that you can give. As we say over in Radicons, all comments and criticisms are welcome. Note- To comply with board rules, I edited the sample to remove any harsh language, but if I missed anything, let me know and I can take it out. Thanks, we appreciate that, and we've had to delete the links to other sites, complying with Rule 8... No Website Advertising 8. No Website Advertising or Personal Ads Any posts or threads solely to promote a website or store, Transformers related or not, will be removed. This includes making posts with the intended purpose of promoting your own web endeavors such as review sites. You may place a link in your signature. The more you contribute to threads, the more exposure your site will get. If you wish to share your reviews, please post the entire content in the review here (text, video, pics, etc) for the community to interact with. Links to the source can then be placed at the end of the content. Personal ads looking for roommates, dates or “vote for me in this contest” will also be removed. Also, while it's not Transformers, it's FanFic and you have robots... so it's a better fit in our Fanfic forum than anywhere else on the boards. mpl SAMPLE- Chapter 3 - "ROBOYOJIMBO BATTLE!" The Arcade's grand opening drew in just about everyone in the town whether they cared about video games or not. Earl even spotted Mister Ackerman milling with the young people waving his arms and going into crouches as if he was going to attack someone. The kids responded with the same feigned enthusiasm that they always used on him to make him think that this act was amusing and not at all creepy. A lot of the kids were already a little confused by the place itself. No one under thirty in Boilertown had ever played a video game in an arcade. For them video games were something you played at home or on your cell phone. The only arcade machines they'd ever seen were those sad ugly boxes with flickering CRT monitors in gas stations or take-out joints. They were usually broken and most kids ignored them even when they worked. In here the games were big and clean and exciting. Lights flashed. Music boomed. This place was something new. The main floor was the lowest and contained the rows of free-standing arcade games. Above and around them (and behind a huge plexiglass wall) arched a stadium-like arrangement of gaming PCs. These were filled with the online gamers. Ellen informed Earl that this was a lot like how internet cafes in Japan and Korea looked. Waitresses moved around the games depositing drinks and snacks to the often oblivious gamers, as they shouted commands into their headsets. On the arcade side of the plexi-wall, loud music blared everywhere. None of it made any sense to Earl's ears. Ellen was pretty sure it was from some fighting game, but it might have been an anime theme. Flashing lights filled the ceilings and glared from every game screen. Faces from school were everywhere. Earl couldn't figure out if it was better for everyone to know that he was here or to keep out of sight. Ellen grabbed his hand and dragged him deeper into the chaos. Someone knocked past Earl striking him hard in the shoulder. He looked up to see a head of white hair movie away from him. It looked a lot like a new kid he'd just seen at school. He'd popped up behind Earl while he was at his locker and asked him where the principal's office was. The question had surprised Earl because, as he thought, how could you have missed it, it's right as you come in? He'd wanted to say something like that, but he'd just stood there staring at this new kid. There had been plenty of them lately, but this one... He had white hair. "Platinum blonde" he'd heard people call it, and true enough, with all the Germans in town, it wasn't that far out of the ordinary. It was his eyes that did it. They were maroon. Not brown. Earl wasn't really the sort of person who noticed people's eye color. He'd spend hundreds of hours with Ellen, but if you'd asked him what color hers were, he'd probably have guessed blue. (They were green.) This kid's eyes though, sitting there, framed by that long center-parted white hair- that got him. He couldn't speak. He couldn't move. After what had actually only been a few seconds, the white-haired kid saw that he wasn't getting an answer, said "Never mind" and walked away. Ellen tugging Earl along brought him back into the moment. She'd managed to snake them pretty close to the centerpiece of the main gaming floor- a raised platform with a ring of silver and red pods. The pods rocked and tiled, as lights flashed all around them. Each pod had clear doors, but the players inside were barely visible due to the flashing lights around them. Big screens displayed each player's point of view. Giant robots smashed into each other with maces and swords against a barren wreckage-strewn landscape. Machine guns the size of school buses hurtled explosive projectiles the size of refrigerators. Swarms of missiles exploded against steep cliff faces and ripped through robots the size of buildings. Limbs were mangled and cockpits exploded in flame. Earl watched as the digital self of a robot pilot sailed through the air in flames, slapped against a rocky cliff and hit the ground hard. From where he was standing, Earl couldn't hear it, but in his gut he knew that it made a sound like a raw steak hitting a brick wall. Through the POV of another pilot he saw an enormous foot rise into the air and slam down onto the body of the pilot. SMUSH! Earl felt his fists tighten. He was into this. "Yeah!" He yelled and realized that he had pushed tight into the crowd standing around the screens. "Chill man! That's my ear!" A kid in a Steelers cap yelled back at him. "Ah, hey sorry man! It's awesome! What game is that!?" Every word in the arcade had to be shouted just to be herd. "ROBOYOJIMBO BATTLE! It's new!" The Steelers Hat kid, yelled back. His eyes didn't leave the screen. A mushroom cloud erupted from what was the torso of another of the giant robots. A pair of titanic arms, one holding a glowing shield, the other a sword with spinning chainsaw blades around the edge, fell flaming to the ground. The legs crumpled beneath it. The spinning blades of the sword caused it to pull out of the severed hand and go skidding across the dirt until it glanced against the hulk of another demolished robot. "Damn!" Earl cursed, wishing that he's seen how that kill shot had been executed. The fight was now down to two robots. Looking at the pods, Earl saw that only two still had their lights on. The images spun around the ring of monitors and a pair of POV shots popped up alternating across all of the screens. They were the last two survivors of an epic battle. They circled each other in a field of smoldering rubble and robot parts. One was mostly white with red details. It had a low, squat torso, and thick arms. Its right arm ended in a huge back wrecking ball. It reminded Earl of a football player- with a basketball for a hand. The other was black and yellow with a body mostly made up of connected spheres. It's long, creepy arms hovered out above four spidery legs. Text flashed across the screen: FINAL BATTLE!!! MELEE WEAPONS ONLY!!! Missile pods and artillery cannons, detached from the shoulders and backs of the two giants and crashed to the ground around. A dust cloud swirled up from the impacts around their feet. The one with four legs pulled a pair of blades off of its back and started swinging them around on chains God of War-style. FIGHT!!! The announcement was jarringly loud even over the wall of noise inside the arcade. More and more of the crowd was falling away from their games and looking up at the screens. The black robot erupted from the dust cloud and rocketed toward the white one. All four of it's legs fell into a gallop, as it launched itself into the air. Thrusters on it's back turned it into a blade-spinning missile of death. "THRUSTER DASH!" The white bot dodged sideways causing the black bot to nearly collide with a cliff face. Instead, it managed to stop itself in time and landed two of it's four legs against the rocks springing towards its opponent's back. Its spinning blades flashed like lightning sending its victim's right leg spiraling through the air. "CRITICAL DAMAGE! The white bot went crashing to the ground but recovered into a somersault. It scoped up its own severed leg up and in a flash, threw it at the black bot sending it staggering backwards on those creepy bug legs. The white bot's boosters lit up on it's back, sending it straight at the black bot. "THRUSTER DASH!" It swooped right in between those evil blades and brought its wrecking ball fist down onto the body of the black bot, crumpling it into scrap. "PLAYER 5 WINS!!!" "TOTAL DESTRUCTION!!!" The camera now flew around the two fighters in a spiral. An instant replay showed the heaviest hits of the fight, ending with a close up of that savage hit that tore open the torso of the black robot. At this angle, the crowd could now see the cockpit tearing open and the force throwing the pilot's mangled body clear of the wreck. The slow motion and the angle of the shot made the bloody body's journey through the air seem to last forever. Blood and oil and shattered metal sailed along with it in a carnal ballet. When it all collided with the cliff face, the arcade exploded. The cheers of the kids were deafening. No one could hear any of the games or music any more. It was just the crowd and the victory. Mister Ackerman's face had lost its feigned excitement, and he looked around the crowd. A quick scan of the crowd gave clues as to who was and who was not accustomed to viewing video game violence on this scale. Into this insane outpouring of adolescent joy stepped a man in a tee shirt and baseball cap. He emerged from within the circle of pods. Spotlights spiraled around the room and fell directly onto him. Up on the deck with the games control pods, and under the screens, all showing his face, he looked like a nerdy demigod. His, small round glasses reflected the lights, and made his eyes seem to glow. He held his arms up and egged on the the crowd. Earl could see his mouth moving, but the roar of the kids was too loud. He seemed to be saying "Yeah!" over and over again with the stray "How 'bout that?" thrown in. The man nodded to someone unseen, and the music abruptly cut off. The rowdy crowd stared to catch it's breath as the man lifted a microphone and spoke. "Let's hear it for our players!" More thunderous cheering and applause. To Earl's surprise, the players who got out of the pods were all much older than crowd. Most had beards. A lot of them had ponytails. They were all wearing tee shirts with designs or phrases across them that he didn't recognize. "What the hell's a brony?", Earl asked himself, not expecting an answer. "It's a guy who likes My Little Pony." Ellen answered him. Earl looked around. Oh right, Ellen's here. He started to form a question about how on earth that was supposed to work, when the man started speaking again. "These guys here are some of the programmers who designed ROBO YOJIMBO BATTLE," Cheering. "...and a lot of the other games you kids are going to get to play here at GAMPLA FUN ARCADE! Let's give them another big hand! Yeah!!!" The cheering was starting to give Earl a bit of a headache, but he loved being a part of it. The shaggy programmers all held up their hands and waved. It was a stage-full of the happiest bearded guys Earl had ever seen. A voice from the crowd cut into the applause. "Brony!? Brony!? Hey nice shirt f_____!!!" The cluster of laughs erupted on the other side of the room. Six spotlights trained on the heckler and the place went silent. The man on the stage eyed the boy for a few moments before he spoke. "I'm sorry, I haven't introduced MY-self yet. My name is Rudy Gardner, and I own this arcade, and the company that built these machines, so I set the rules. And the number ONE rule at all of MY arcades, is that they are a safe, anti-bullying zone." He thrust an accusing finger at the lead boy, striking a bit of a pose at the same time. "Apologize to my programmer for that remark!" The kid rubbed his nose and sniffed as he eyeballed this 'Rudy Gardner'. He considered his answer. "Hey fuck you man!" One of his buddies slapped him on the shoulder. Rudy cocked his head and folded his arms. In the previously deafeningly loud room, Earl could hear the blood rushing in his head. Behind their glass wall, the PC gamers were unperturbed. Rudy Gardner held his hand up like he was going to karate chop a board. He swept his hand to his left. "Everyone on this side of the room, stand aside this way". He swept his arm to the right. They did. "Everyone on that side of the room, stand aside that way." They did. The parted crowd had formed a path to the front door. He pointed at the group of boys. "See that path? Now use it, and get out." The crowd cheered. The lead boy said something but was drowned out by the jeering crowd. He took a step toward the platform, but the sight of a pair of bouncers eyeballing him changed his mind. Looking back he saw that his friends were already almost to the door, and he followed, casting one more hateful look at Rudy. "No Games For You. Come back, ONE MONTH!" Rudy yelled. He cast a grin around the room. The room seemed to like it, but most of them didn't catch the reference. He shook his head and turned to one of the men behind him. "Sorry about that Juan." The bearded Brony shrugged and smiled. "S'cool man," he said as he donned a pair of small, round shades. Rudy turned back to the crowd. "Now, like I said, I'm Rudy Gardner! I'm glad you could all come out to help me open this new arcade. This is my gift to the people of Boilertown. I've already met most of the grownups here today. Principal Ackerman. Pastor Larson. Chief Faber." Earl's head snapped around. Holy crap is that the Police Chief?! "And of course, all of the kids who are here to enjoy these fantastic games. This is OUR arcade, and I couldn't be happier to have you all here. We're going to be opening up ROBO YOJIMBO here for public play in a little bit, but for now let's all welcome some of the girls from KAWIICO MAID CAFE to the stage for a song! A bouncy, weird, electro beat filled the arcade and six girls in different colored maid costumes bopped , skipped and danced up onto the platform in front of the game pods. Their big puffy skirts and ribbons twirled and fluttered in the spotlights. One of them had what looked like huge rabbit ears flopping around on her head. The song was fast, super cute and impressively choreographed. No one in the crowd Earl and Ellen included, understood a single word of it, but they stood transfixed. Rudy worked his way around to the front door where the adults were congregating and started shaking hands. The nervous looks that they wore while watching the game had vanished and were replaced with big smiles. Everyone was very happy to see Rudy and thanked him for everything that he was doing for their town. On their way home, Earl asked Ellen if she'd noticed the white-haired kid. "Oh, you mean the one who looks like Sephiroth?" "Who?" "You know. From Final Fantasy?" Earl furrowed his brow... "Oh my God, he does!" Composing himself Earl tried a second take. Cooler, "I mean he sort of does." Ellen giggled at him. "I can't wait for KawaiiCo to open. They're going to have a little boutique in town that sells Lolita dresses too." Ellen grinned and caught he breath. "Oh my god!" Earl nodded. He didn't really know what Sephiroth looked like or what a Lolita was, but it didn't matter. He'd figure it out.