UploadVR labored with Jim Ivon, President of Labrodex Studios — the workforce behind the upcoming VR shooter Scraper — to submit some excerpts from the sport’s tie-in novel: Scraper: The Rise of Cifer.
Written by prolific sci-fi author and New York Times bestselling writer Ryder Windham, the novel begins within the yr 2075, and serves as an introduction to the sport’s characters and backstory.
Scraper: The Rise of Cifer is now accessible on Amazon in each paperback and digital codecs.
You can expertise Scraper for your self and meet Jim Ivon, Ryder Windham, and different builders from Labrodex Studios at two upcoming reveals: CTGamerCon at Mohegan Sun Convention Center on March 24 and 25 and PAX East on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center going down April 5 – 8.
Lt. Charles “Chuck” Harvey was standing outdoors the Multinational
Guard Recruitment Station, watching a gentle stream of individuals flowing out
from the New Austin Welcome Center and into town plaza, when he no-
ticed two humanoid robots stroll by. The robots had been Humech Version 3s, a
female and male mannequin from the Helpmate line, with Dyneema-skinned
faces that might simulate the usual vary of human facial expressions.
Both V3s had small, distinctive blue lights constructed into their torsos and legs.
Harvey was curious in regards to the goal of the lights, and he blinked on the V3s
as they walked by. A tiny show in Harvey’s good lenses indicated the time
was 19:47 Central Daylight Time, 13 minutes earlier than sundown, on April
18, a Thursday.
He was nonetheless watching the robots when he felt somebody faucet his shoulder.
He turned and noticed a lady with pink hair and a rash of freckles throughout her
face. His lenses introduced an computerized stream of information that recognized the
lady as Lt. Susan Keevers, twenty-eight years previous, New Austin resident,
US citizen, blood kind O unfavorable. Like Harvey, she wore a darkish blue semi-
formal Multinational Guard uniform. He shifted his eyes to kill the info
stream, which he didn’t require for Keevers as a result of he’d recognized her for al-
most three years.
Keevers glanced on the two Humech Helpmates that Harvey had been
taking a look at. She mentioned, “You’re alleged to be maintaining a tally of newcomers
for potential recruits. The human newcomers.”
“Yeah, I do know,” Harvey mentioned. “But take a look at these Helpmates with blue
lights on their coxal-servomotor cowlings and hip actuators. I attempted blinking
for information in regards to the lights however nothing got here up. What’s that about?”
Keevers seemed once more on the Humechs, who had been now shifting previous the
workplace for the Scraper megacity’s Housing Authority. “Beats me,” she mentioned.
“Maybe your lenses aren’t working?”
“No, they’re working high quality. I’m seeing readouts for the whole lot else. Did
you attempt blinking?”
“No, Chuck. I’m not that curious in regards to the lights.”
Harvey used his good lenses to amplify his view of the Humechs’ illu-
minated cowlings and actuators. He blinked once more however his lenses didn’t con-
jure up any info. “It’s in all probability simply an identification factor,” he mentioned.
“Or possibly ICARUS is testing new tech for Humechs.”
“Or possibly,” Keevers mentioned, “Humechs want taillights to allow them to see bet-
ter once they run backwards.”
Harvey checked out Keevers. “Ya suppose?”
Keevers groaned. “Stop staring on the Humechs’ butts, Chuck.”
“I wasn’t staring. I used to be observing. You know, awaiting something un-
traditional. I imply, you’ve by no means seen blue lights like that earlier than on a Humech
both, have you ever?”
“Do us each a favor,” Keevers mentioned, “and deal with our project. Keep
your eyes on actual folks.”
Harvey returned his consideration to the New Austin residents and vacationers en-
tering the plaza. His lenses displayed readouts for his or her names, ages, occu-
pations, nationalities, and different private info. Many folks stopped
on the ICARUS Pavilion, which introduced a historic overview of the worldwide company that was greatest recognized for the manufacturing of ambulatory humanoid Humech robots. A Humech tour information, a Version 1 feminine mannequin, greeted the arrivals. Unlike the V3 collection, the V1s had been fully human in look. The tour information had darkish hair that was tied again in a ponytail, brown eyes, and light-sensitive pores and skin that was, in the meanwhile, a deep tan. She wore a uniform with a tunic that bore the ICARUS brand and a outstanding V1 on the back and front, so even people who didn’t put on good lenses may establish her as a robotic.
“As chances are you’ll know,” the tour information mentioned with a pleasant smile, “ICARUS
is an acronym for India, China, Australia, Russia, and the United States, the
house international locations of the scientific companies that based the consortium.
ICARUS can also be a proud sponsor of subsequent yr’s Olympic Games, which is able to
be held right here in New Austin. Unlike older metropolitan areas, resembling New
York and Hong Kong, which advanced into cities with skyscrapers, New Aus-
tin was conceived and developed as a self-sustaining Scraper megacity. Con-
struction started in 2048. Seven yearslater, the firstsix million folks grew to become
Harvey had heard the speech too many occasions. He adjusted the communi-
cation studs embedded in his ears to tune out the tour information’s voice. He
seemed to the middle of the pavilion, which featured a sprawling, live-broad-
solid holographic show of New Austin. The hologram enabled viewers to
see your complete metropolis at a look, together with the Olympic Park and Stadium that
had been nonetheless beneath development, and likewise the large terraforming machines
and cellular 3D-printer development platforms working on the metropolis’s perime-
ters. The tallest Scraper was the ICARUS Space Agency, though town’s
space-elevator complicated was technically larger as a result of the elevator’s flexi-
ble segmented enclosures and cable prolonged to an area station in geosyn-
chronous orbit. Despite the dimensions and scope of the holographic show, most
guests to the plaza, particularly younger kids, loved watching the minus-
cule holographic representations of themselves within the pavilion.
Another feminine Humech V3 Helpmate entered the plaza, and Keevers
observed Harvey staring on the V3’s lights. Keevers mentioned, “Hey, Helpmate.
Yeah, you.” The Helpmate stopped and turned to face Keevers. “Lt. Harvey,
right here, he needs to know what’s up together with your blue lights.”
The Helpmate checked out Harvey and smiled. “Greetings, Lt. Harvey. The
Humech blue current in all present V3s comes from the mechanical lumines-
cent glow that’s created by the lithium compound mixing with a proprietary
mix of mineral oils.”
“Oh,” Harvey mentioned. “Okay. Thanks for telling us. Because I attempted blinking
for knowledge, however—”
“But the info is proprietary,” the Helpmate mentioned.
“Oh, certain,” Harvey mentioned. “I perceive.”
The Helpmate tilted her head to 1 aspect. “Will that be all, Lt. Harvey?”
“Yeah, that’s all,” Keevers mentioned. “Carry on.”
The Helpmate walked away. Harvey watched her go. Keevers mentioned,
“I assume,” Harvey mentioned, “however I nonetheless marvel why ICARUS modified the
coloration to blue.”
“Ask the subsequent feminine Helpmate who sashays by.”
“Aw, give me a break,” Harvey mentioned. “I’m not that curious.” He yawned.
“Chuck, can I ask you one thing?”
“Why did you be a part of the Multinational Guard?”
“That’s a simple one. My mom was an MG pilot. I needed to be like
her, and assist with rescue operations. Disaster prevention and aid. Delivering
meals and medical provides to these in want. You know, all that stuff the MG used to do.”
“So why aren’t we doing all that stuff?”
Harvey laughed. “You know why. Heck, it’s all spelled out on the ICA-
“Maybe, however I need to hear you say it.”
“Because six years in the past, and on the day earlier than my twenty-first birthday,
ICARUS produced LCF-R, the Lithium Cold Fusion Ranger and the neatest
AI ever. And then a few yr later, LCF-R created the Humech V3. And
then ICARUS put the V3 into manufacturing, after which robots put us people out
of the rescue enterprise. No extra want for human pilots both. The finish.”
“So you wound up monitoring pedestrian site visitors, and also you’re good with
Harvey checked out her. “Good with that?” He laughed once more. “What am I
alleged to do? Protest towards Humechs risking their circuits as an alternative of MG
troopers risking their lives? Do I appear to be an anti-robot fanatic?”
“Forget I requested,” Keevers mentioned.
“No, you began this, so let’s—”
Their communication studs buzzed. Harvey and Keevers blinked to lens
up a textual content communication. Each learn the identical message.
Return to HQ for briefing re. reassignments for supervision of
reinforcement for southern sea wall.
—Cmdr. A. Winston
“Reinforcement?” Harvey mentioned because the message vanished from view. “But
that wall’s constructed to take a tsunami.”
“You know higher than to query orders from Winston,” Keevers mentioned.
“He says soar, we soar.”
An MG soldier stepped up in entrance of Keevers and Harvey. The soldier
saluted them and mentioned, “Staff Sergeant Stephenson reporting for aid obligation.
Commander Winston needs you each at Headquarters.”
“We know,” Keevers mentioned. “We simply acquired his message.”
Stephenson seemed across the plaza and mentioned, “Quiet night?”
“Isn’t it at all times?” Harvey mentioned. “Carry on.”
As Harvey and Keevers walked away from the Recruitment Center and
headed for the closest hoverpod depot, Keevers mentioned, “I hope Winston’s
briefing gained’t take lengthy.”
“Why? You have plans for later?”
“None of what you are promoting.”
“Oh,” Harvey mentioned. “Then I’ll simply must sit up for complete strangers
applauding me on the karaoke bar.”
“Maybe you haven’t observed, however the one applause you get is from the
bar’s service robots.”
“Well, that’s as a result of their listening to could be very discerning, they usually appreci-
ate my vary and management. Even my housekeeper likes my singing.”
“Yeah, my place got here with a built-in unit. She even sings with me when
I’m within the bathe.”
“Ugh,” Keevers mentioned. “I actually didn’t have to know that.”
They bypassed a bunch of vacationers who had been ready for a public hover-
bus, and boarded a reserved hoverpod, an enclosed compact four-seater with
Multinational Guard emblems on the doorways. The MG pod’s sensors scanned
and recognized the 2 officers, then slid open its door for them. The pod’s
console-mounted autopilot laptop mentioned, “Greetings Lt. Keevers and Lt.
Harvey. Destination: Multinational Guard Base, Fort Nelson.”
As Keevers and Harvey boarded the pod, Harvey muttered, “Why don’t
pods simply name it ‘Fort Nelson’? It’s not like anybody would confuse it with the
previous base, Fort Rios. The MG shut down that place over ten years in the past.”
“Go figure,” Keevers mentioned.
The pod’s door slid shut, after which the automobile rose quick by means of an align-
ment of gravity-propulsion rings to hold its passengers out of the plaza.
They had been rising previous the 80th ranges of the Gateway complicated and a neigh-
boring residential Scraper, and lightweight from the setting solar was gleaming off
the buildings’ home windows, when Harvey felt his abdomen sink. “Aw, nuts,” he
mentioned. He rolled up his left sleeve to disclose a transdermal biometric strip on
his inside forearm.
Keevers mentioned, “What’s flawed?”
“Adjusting my anti-vertigo meds,” Harvey mentioned as he lensed the strip.
“The vertidram isn’t kicking in quick sufficient so I’m rising the circulate.”
“I forgot you’re afraid of heights,” Keevers mentioned. She cringed towards her seat.
“You’re not going to throw up, are you?”
“Not now,” Harvey mentioned as he pushed down his sleeve. “And I’m not afraid
of heights. It’s my abdomen. My abdomen hates heights.”
Something massive and really quick soared previous the pod, touring by means of the
air at unimaginable velocity. Harvey and Keevers seemed by means of the pod’s win-
dows and used their good lenses to amplify and establish the flying object as
it handed the ICARUS complicated that housed town’s Humech-production
facility. Their lenses introduced into focus a black-and-silver humanoid robotic
with blunt-edged blue wing blades that prolonged from his again. They recog-
nized the robotic however their lenses mechanically displayed knowledge anyway.
Class: Limited-series AI robotic
Title: City Manager of New Austin
Type: Civil servant, non-military
Model: Avionic Vilicus
Model quantity: 8
Year of manufacture: 2074
AV-8 angled off on a trajectory that despatched him between a chilly fusion re-
actor tower and town’s central Life Sciences Scraper earlier than he vanished
from view. Harvey blinked off the lens knowledge as he eased again towards his seat.
“Hard to consider AV-8’s solely a yr previous. Wherever he’s going, appears to be like like
he’s in a rush.”
“He normally begins his night patrol about now.”
“I want I may fly like that.”
“If you ever do, first take loads of vertidram.”
“Very humorous. But c’mon, you need to admit, AV-8 is spectacular. He’s
greater than a civil servant. He’s like a superhero.”
Keevers rolled her eyes. “What is it with you and robots?”
“What do you imply? There’s nothing flawed with admiring well-made
“Yeah? This pod we’re using in is a well-made machine. Do you admire
“Well, certain, however it’s not—”
“So you admire humanoid robots extra?”
“I assume, however—”
“Because you suppose robots are attractive.”
Harvey blushed. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
The pod’s disembodied autopilot laptop mentioned, “Do you suppose I’m
“No,” Harvey mentioned, “and keep out of this!”
Keevers laughed. “Take it straightforward, Harvey. I gained’t inform a soul.”
Harvey seemed out the window. “There’s nothing to inform.”
The pod proceeded by means of the gravity-propulsion rings and right into a
transport hub, the place it modified course for an additional collection of rings that went
northeast, throughout and between the terraforming boundaries on the megacity’s outskirts.
Harvey and Keevers noticed Fort Nelson, a cluster of towering domed
buildings on a terraformed peninsula.
The pod approached the central dome, and the MG base’s automated air-
site visitors programs took over, guiding the pod towards a tunnel entrance that was
ringed by inexperienced lights. The pod handed by means of the tunnel and right into a hangar,
the place different pods had been magnetically moored beside a V-shaped dock. Keevers and Harvey noticed Commander Winston standing on the dock along with his fingers clasped behind his again, ready for them.
Winston was a giant man with broad shoulders, and his armored fight
go well with made him seem even bigger. He was fifty-one years previous, and had a
shaved head, a piercing gaze, and a deep scar above one eye. The pod slowed
to a cease on the fringe of the dock. Keevers and Harvey bought out and saluted
Winston, who saluted in return.
“I hope you two are feeling match,” Winston mentioned, “as a result of we simply landed
a covert rush job.”
Surprised, Harvey mentioned, “Wait, so our reassignment to the southern sea
wall . . . ?”
“Necessary subterfuge,” Winston mentioned. “Best method to hold such missions
secret is to not let anybody find out about them.” He gestured to a late-model
sensor gate, a tall, cylindrical glass sales space with sliding doorways. “You know the drill.”
The doorways opened and Keevers went by means of the sales space first. A whirring
noise sounded from the highest of the sales space as a veil of pale blue gentle stuffed the enclosure. The gentle vanished. Keevers exited the opposite aspect of the sales space. She blinked twice, seemed round, and confirmed that her lenses and communication studs had been offline. No readouts materialized in her imaginative and prescient.
Although the deactivation course of was innocent, Harvey gritted his enamel
earlier than he entered the sales space. “I hate pure imaginative and prescient,” he muttered. “It’s like
watching TV that solely will get one channel.” The sales space deactivated Harvey’s
lenses and commstuds and he stepped out.
Winston mentioned, “This manner.” He led Keevers and Harvey throughout the dock
to an extended, blue hoverbus with darkish home windows, a army transport constructed to hold
troops and hoverbikes. They entered the bus’s predominant cabin. Harvey gasped
when he noticed one other passenger already on board.
New Austin’s City Manager, AV-8, had retracted his wing blades and
stood in the midst of the cabin, which was lined with racks that held armored com-
bat fits and non-lethal weapons. AV-8’s head consisted of black
and silver armored plates, with a single digital blue eye on the middle of
his steel face. He bowed his head, which practically touched the cabin’s ceiling,
and mentioned, “Lt. Keevers and Lt. Harvey. A pleasure.”
“Whoa,” Harvey mentioned. “We noticed you flying throughout town simply minutes
in the past.”
“I noticed you too,” AV-8 mentioned.
“Really?” Harvey smiled. “Next time, possibly we should always race!”
AV-8 tilted his head to the aspect. “But that may be harmful,” he mentioned,
“and I’d win.”
Harvey laughed. “Yeah,” he mentioned, “you certain would!” Then Harvey observed that
Winston and Keevers had been taking a look at him humorous, and he realized he was behaving
like a starstruck child. The smile fell from his face. “Sorry. I used to be solely joking.”
Winston turned to direct his voice to the pod’s autopilot system, and mentioned,
“Pod, proceed to the vacation spot coordinates.” As the pod pulled away from
the dock and headed out of the hangar, Winston confronted Harvey and Keevers
and mentioned, “Put in your fight fits. Then AV-8 and I’ll temporary you.”
Harvey and Keevers modified out of their jackets and sneakers and pulled
on their fight fatigues, which had been lined with bulletproof mesh and light-
armor plating. They placed on their boots and slipped into their chest-protectors
earlier than locking armored pads over their knees, elbows, and wrists. They in-
spected every others fits to verify all of the items had been in place, then
turned to face Winston and AV-8.
Winston glanced at AV-8 and mentioned, “Tell them what you advised me.”
“Yes, Commander,” AV-8 mentioned. “As chances are you’ll know, whereas I handle
every day operations of New Austin, my very own creator, LCF-R, oversees operations in all megacities and off-planet settlements, and supervises the gathering and distribution of assets essential to keep up and develop all
Scraper municipalities. Recently, I found robot-piloted transport
did not ship a cargo container to the Space Agency Scraper. I reported
my findings to LCF-R, who carried out an investigation. LCF-R decided
that no less than 5 shipments have gone lacking over the previous eight months.
These shipments included meals, prescribed drugs, and constructing provides for
New Austin’s growing sectors. LCF-R additionally decided that AI administration programs weren’t accountable, not at fault for the losses, and that the
shipments had been taken by a small group of thieves, ten people or much less. Evidently, they’re—”
“How are you aware they’re people?” Keevers mentioned. “Maybe they’re ro-
bots, like Humech V1s, robots that look human.”
They steered their bikes into the large shadow of a docking platform.
Below their place, a broad expanse of cargo containers, some in rows
stacked ten containers excessive, resembled a small metropolis of enormous, modular coloured
containers. Beyond the dockyard, they noticed boats moored in marinas, and cargo
carriers shifting throughout the Gulf of Mexico. They didn’t see any hydrofoils.
Winston used his helmet’s sensors to pinpoint the placement of the container
that held the precious processed metals. He discovered it lower than fifty ft
away, surrounded by stacked containers, and resting on a flatbed automobile that
hovered a couple of ft above the maglev tracks. The container was lined with
pale yellow paint and patches of rust, and on no account betrayed the worth of
Winston’s helmet sensors detected no current footprints across the container.
He issued temporary directions to Harvey and Keevers, telling them
the place to cover their bikes and tips on how to place themselves. They moved off in
completely different instructions.
Harvey clambered onto a catwalk between two rusted gantry cranes and dropped to a crouch. Keevers climbed to the highest of a stack of cargo containers
that ignored the container that was the thieves’ goal. Winston
introduced his bike to an previous overpass that prolonged over a maglev prepare tunnel,
then left the bike and moved right into a darkish recess between the girders that supported
the overpass. From their respective positions, Winston, Keevers, and
Harvey had large views of lots of of stacked containers, and a triangulated
view of the yellow container.
They activated their night-vision scopes. They watched and listened.
They waited for one thing to occur.
They didn’t have to attend lengthy. Winston noticed an extended silhouette of a
hydrofoil drift into the marina with its lights off. The hydrofoil slowed to a
cease by a wharf, and 5 shadowy figures slid off the vessel. The figures
started strolling towards the dockyard.
“Got 5 incoming from the wharf,” Winston mentioned into his helmet’s microphone.
“I see them,” Keevers mentioned.
Harvey mentioned, “Ditto.”
Winston adjusted his scopes. He couldn’t inform if the figures had been males or
ladies, however he was sure they had been human. They wore previous military-surplus
sensor helmets, which had been uniformly black and freed from ornamentation, as
had been their darkish jumpsuits and boots. Each carried a darkish cylindrical object,
and Winston assumed the objects had been weapons. Because the 5 people’
warmth signatures didn’t seem in Winston’s visor, he guessed their jumpsuits
had been lined with insulated reflective material.
“Ready,” Winston mentioned, signaling Keevers and Harvey to angle their
energy rifles on the approaching thieves whereas he did the identical.
The 5 thieves moved in silence alongside the maglev tracks, making their
well beyond the container stacks as they headed towards the yellow container.
They got here to a cease in entrance of the container’s aspect door. One thief shifted
his cylindrical object to a one-handed grip, then used his free hand to drag a
thick, disc-shaped machine from a pocket in his jumpsuit. The thief affixed the
machine over the door’s locking mechanism, then stepped again. The different
thieves seemed away from the container because the machine exploded with a loud
And in that second, Winston realized that LCF-R, reportedly probably the most
clever particular person on Earth, could have been flawed in regards to the thieves, and
that he could have made the type of mistake that will get folks killed.
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