UploadVR labored with Jim Ivon, President of Labrodex Studios — the crew 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 creator Ryder Windham, the novel begins within the 12 months 2075, and serves as an introduction to the sport’s characters and backstory.
Scraper: The Rise of Cifer is now obtainable 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 PAX East on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center happening April 5 – 8.
Be certain to learn Scraper: Rise of Cifer Chapter One if you happen to haven’t but.
According to AV-8, LCF-R had maintained that the thieves have been a small group that operated quietly, and left no trails. But after witnessing the thieves blow the lock on the container, Winston needed to query the integrity of LCF-R’s intel, and likewise whether or not LCF-R had underestimated the variety of thieves within the gang. He thought of pulling out or calling for backup.
But then he considered LCF-R’s important accomplishments. LCF-R had devised a plan to sluggish tectonic shift. He’d helped discover the remedy for the Rain-forest Virus. He’d created the Humech V3 Series, and likewise the Humech metropolis managers.
Maybe LCF-R is aware of greater than I do, Winston thought. He determined the evening was younger, and when he spoke into his microphone to handle his crew, he mentioned, “Hold hearth.”
The thief who’d planted the explosive machine returned to the door and pressed a button. Winston’s vantage level didn’t supply a transparent view of the door however he did hear it slide open. A second later, he noticed all 5 thieves leap again from the container as they adjusted the cylindrical objects that they held. The objects clacked and clicked as they unfolded and remodeled into computerized crossbows. The thieves stunned Winston once more once they triggered their weapons and launched a hail of metal-tipped bolts into the open container.
Winston didn’t want his helmet’s audio enhancers to listen to the staccato bursts from the crossbows or the pinging of bolts towards the container’s interior partitions. The solely factor that stopped him from signaling Keevers and Harvey to subdue the thieves was the shortage of return hearth or cries for assist from inside the container. The thieves weren’t even making an attempt to take cowl as they shot in the identical path, aiming on the similar soundless goal. Whatever they have been capturing at, Winston guessed the goal wasn’t human.
Winston’s helmet sensors indicated Harvey was shifting his place on the gantry. Winston mentioned, “What’s occurring, Harvey?”
“The gang’s discharging their crossbows into the container, sir,” Harvey responded.
“I can see that, Harvey,” Winston mentioned. “What are they capturing at?”
“Can’t see that, sir. I attempted to get a greater view, however I’m too excessive up.”
Winston mentioned, “Keevers?”
“I can’t see inside both, sir. Orders?”
“Hold your positions,” Winston mentioned.
Harvey watched the 5 thieves empty extra bolts into the container. He stored his rifle aimed down on the thieves, and his proper index finger near his rifle’s set off. As the thieves reached to their belts and vests for contemporary ammo cartridges, Harvey noticed a darkish humanoid figure materialize within the container’s open door. Harvey adjusted his helmet’s night-vision visor for a sharper view simply because the figure stepped down out of the container, prompting all of the thieves to leap again farther as they slid the brand new cartridges into their crossbows.
Harvey gasped. Winston heard him over the radio and mentioned, “Status, Harvey.”
“Someone got here out of the container, sir,” Harvey mentioned. “He appears like . . . Sir, it’s LCF-R.”
“What?” Keeping low and to the shadows, Winston stepped out from his hiding spot above the maglev tunnel and moved to a special place alongside the overpass, near the place he’d stashed his hoverbike. He magnified the binoculars on his visor, and the picture that got here into focus confirmed Harvey’s statement. Winston noticed the distinctive skull and lean, sculpt-ed-metal body of LCF-R, standing unarmed because the thieves launched extra steel bolts at him.
But AV-8 mentioned LCF-R was within the Pacific Northwest.
Winston not questioned whether or not one thing have been incorrect with the robotic’s knowledge concerning the thieves. He puzzled what had gone incorrect with the robotic’s mind.
But the robotic’s mind wasn’t Winston’s duty. Nor was the robotic’s personal body, which LCF-R hadn’t even tried to defend towards the thieves’ preliminary onslaught.
Winston grew to become much more baffled. He assumed almost everybody with entry to information feeds can be accustomed to LCF-R, and know that he was strictly non-military, not aggressive. Winston thought, The thieves should know who they’re capturing at.
Over the radio, Keevers mentioned, “Orders, Sir?”
“Hold hearth,” Winston mentioned.
LCF-R’s arms had been dangling by his sides, however he raised them quick. The thieves responded by triggering their crossbows once more, unleashing one other barrage of bolts that pinged and glanced off LCF-R’s steel body. As dozens of bolts shattered towards his torso and higher legs, LCF-R not solely stood his floor with ease however appeared away from the 5 bowmen to direct his gaze on the lengthy hydrofoil moored on the close by wharf.
Watching LCF-R’s motion, Winston grew to become satisfied that the robotic had malfunctioned. He felt no sympathy as extra bolts bounced off LCF-R’s body. Despite LCF-R’s exceptional fame for serving to people, he was additionally a machine. Winston wasn’t about to permit his all-too-human allies to have interaction with the trigger-happy thieves except it was mandatory.
But then Winston observed that LCF-R had turned his head once more, and now gave the impression to be trying straight at Winston from throughout the space. As a ultimate volley of bolts smashed into LCF-R, the robotic prolonged his left arm to level to the wharf, after which Winston heard the robotic’s voice through his helmet’s radio. “Commander Winston, I imagine the gang’s chief is on the hydrofoil.”
Son of a gun, Winston thought as a brand new realization hit him. Nothing was incorrect with LCF-R’s mind. Some circumstance will need to have compelled LCF-R to vary plans, and to maintain some info to himself.
Winston knew what to do subsequent. He mentioned, “Harvey, take the 5.”
Harvey’s energy rifle was nonetheless angled down, aimed on the thieves who’d shot at LCF-R. As Harvey squeezed the set off, LCF-R flipped backward, leaping out of vary of the huge burst of power that spat from Harvey’s rifle and struck the thieves. The surprised thieves’ arms jerked away from their our bodies as they dropped their crossbows earlier than they collapsed to the bottom.
Still standing on the overpass, Winston appeared to the docks and noticed a lone figure on the hydrofoil. Before Winston might situation orders, a stack of delivery containers exploded close to Harvey, spraying hearth and jagged steel in all instructions. Blinding gentle stuffed Winston’s night-vision-enhanced visor. He squeezed his eyes shut in response to the sensible burst as he fell again towards a girder, and he heard Harvey cry out. The blast launched two containers straight into the mid-section of one of many gantry cranes beneath Harvey. The gantry buckled, the crane swung wild, and Harvey was thrown off his ft.
Harvey fell towards a tangle of steel cables. He held tight to his rifle with one hand as he instinctively reached out with the opposite to seize at something which may cease his fall. His left thigh struck two parallel cables and he bounced off them earlier than he landed exhausting atop a container.
The explosion additionally overloaded LCF-R’s photoreceptors, and for a break up second stuffed his imaginative and prescient with intense gentle. Recalibrating his optics, he glanced again on the dock and noticed the hydrofoil start to drag away. He was about to go after the boat when he heard somebody groaning on the highest of a stack of containers behind him. He ignited his built-in thrusters and ascended, flying up and over the containers till he was hovering above Harvey. LCF-R mentioned, “Are you all proper?”
“Nothing busted,” Harvey mentioned as he pushed himself up, “however my hel-met’s sensors could also be fried. Everything’s blurry.”
Over the radio, Winston, nonetheless briefly blinded, mentioned, “Keevers, what’s your standing?”
Keevers didn’t reply.
Winston mentioned, “Keevers! Respond. What’s your standing?”
Harvey mentioned, “Keevers?” He heard his personal voice waver. He listened, waited.
Winston mentioned, “LCF-R, are you able to find Keevers together with your sensors?”
LCF-R mentioned, “Negative, Commander. Her transponder and warmth signa-ture are gone.”
“Gone?” Harvey mentioned. “Gone the place? Where is she?”
“She is gone, Lt. Harvey,” LCF-R mentioned.
Winston contained his rage. He needed to remind LCF-R that the plan was for nobody to get harm, however he knew blaming the robotic would accomplish nothing. And Keevers knew the dangers of such missions, and rage wouldn’t convey her again. Winston took a deep breath and mentioned, “LCF-R, are you able to see the hydrofoil?”
LCF-R shifted his body within the air above the containers and mentioned, “Yes, Commander.”
“Then go after it. If the chief’s on it, don’t lose him.”
“Yes, Commander,” LCF-R mentioned once more.
Harvey heard a loud whoosh from overhead as LCF-R flew off. He needed to drag off his helmet and rub his eyes however he knew that wouldn’t assist, that he’d simply have to attend for his imaginative and prescient to return again.
Winston wasn’t so affected person. Dragging his gloved fingers alongside the sting of a girder, he shuffled throughout the overpass to the place he’d left his hoverbike. As he moved, he mentioned into his helmet, “Winston to base. Dockyard 37 mission vital. Five thieves down, two MGs blinded, Lt. Keevers MIA. Bring large weapons, search and rescue.” He discovered the bike’s handlebars, slid onto the sad-dle, slung his rifle and stored his eyes closed as he mentioned, “Find Harvey. No lights.”
The hoverbike’s autopilot took over. As instructed, the bike’s headlight and working lights remained off because it launched away from the overpass, with its engine emitting a low hum. Winston hoped that the mixture of the virtually noiseless engine and deactivated lights would assist him attain Harvey’s place with out attracting consideration from any enemies who would possibly re-main in hiding.
The bike circled above and round a cluster of stacked containers earlier than it got here to a hovering cease close to Harvey, who rested on his knees together with his rifle clutched in entrance of him. Harvey acknowledged the hum from Winston’s bike. He slung his rifle over his shoulder earlier than he prolonged his arm towards the noise.
Winston opened his eyes. Small bursts of sunshine swam throughout his imaginative and prescient, however he managed to see Harvey. He reached out, grabbed Harvey’s wrist, and tugged him as much as his ft.
“I’m nonetheless blind, sir,” Harvey mentioned as he climbed onto the again of the bike. “You can see?”
“Barely,” Winston mentioned.
“We’ve obtained to seek out Keevers,” Harvey mentioned. “Maybe she’s alive. We can’t let her—”
Both males have been trying away from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico when one thing exploded offshore. Winston noticed the explosion flare and blossom out of the nook of his eye, and fought the urge to look straight at it. He stole a fast sidelong look towards the Gulf, and noticed flames rising from an object on the water.
Harvey mentioned, “What was that?”
“The hydrofoil, I feel,” Winston mentioned. “LCF-R, what’s your standing?”
LCF-R didn’t reply.
“LCF-R,” Winston mentioned once more, and waited. As seconds ticked by, Winston felt a mixture of nervousness and anger. He anticipated the Multinational Guard brass would give him worse than hell if the invaluable LCF-R didn’t survive the mission.
Harvey mentioned, “Maybe LCF-R’s transceiver obtained broken?”
“Or he’s down,” Winston mentioned. He cursed the robotic and his allegedly foolproof plan. He was about to direct his bike to fly after LCF-R and the hydrofoil when he noticed one thing transfer under, close to the 5 fallen thieves. He blinked, urging his imaginative and prescient to get better sooner. He noticed what gave the impression to be a pair of figures in darkish garments, strolling quick, shifting shut collectively, in tandem, away from the container that the thieves had damaged into.
Winston thought his eyes is perhaps tricking him, that he was seeing dou-ble, and the pair of figures strolling throughout the bottom under is perhaps a single individual. He blinked. He wished for the figures to merge into one, and for that individual to be Susan Keevers, alive and unhurt.
But his eyes had been proper the primary time. Two folks, each sporting black sensor helmets and coveralls. They moved behind a shed. Winston realized he’d been holding his breath. He set free an extended exhale.
Harvey mentioned, “What is it, sir?”
“Two extra thieves,” Winston mentioned as he unslung his rifle and adjusted the bike’s controls to handbook. “Hold tight.”
“But what about discovering Keevers?”
“She’s gone, Harvey,” Winston mentioned, and hated himself for it. He knew how a lot Harvey needed to see Keevers alive too.
Keeping his eyes on the shed, and the bike’s lights off, Winston tapped the accelerator and steered the bike right into a steep descent between the rows of stacked containers. Behind him, Harvey leaned again as he clung to the bike’s passenger restraint deal with. The bike was nonetheless plunging towards the bottom when Winston heard a hoverpod engine begin with a loud whine, after which noticed the supply of the noise. It was a streamlined pod, rushing away from the shed. The pod had purple working lights however its headlights have been off.
Harvey’s abdomen lurched as Winston leveled off and swung across the shed to pursue the hoverpod. Winston noticed the pod angle over the maglev tracks earlier than it vanished right into a freight tunnel that led to the town. Winston tapped the accelerator once more, veered into the tunnel, and sped after the pod.
Thin strips of blue lights illuminated the lengths of the tubular tunnel’s decrease partitions and arched ceiling. Harvey grew to become conscious of the lights as a stream of blurry ripples, and as his imaginative and prescient returned, the ripples appeared to solidify into single strips.
Winston banked by means of a curve within the tunnel. Harvey mentioned, “My imaginative and prescient’s virtually again to regular, sir.”
“Good,” Winston mentioned.
Harvey heard the pod’s engine, then appeared forward and noticed a pair of diamond-shaped purple eyes that appeared to develop bigger and brighter. He realized he was trying on the pod’s aft, and that the eyes have been really the car’s taillights. He virtually wished his imaginative and prescient hadn’t come again.
Winston noticed the taillights seem to develop bigger too, and knew he was go-ing too quick. He decelerated and dropped again to place a safer distance be-tween his bike and the pod, then matched the pod’s pace to maintain up. He thought he noticed a shadow ripple throughout the higher wall to his proper. He appeared up and noticed that the shadow resembled a flying individual, with two arms ex-tended ahead.
The tunnel’s blue lights flickered and the shadow vanished.
Winston feared his eyes have been nonetheless taking part in tips on him, however he stored after the pod. He knew that the freight tunnel was a part of a broad transportation community, and he puzzled the place the fleeing thieves have been headed. He remembered that LCF-R had mentioned he believed the gang had a hideout in Beaumont, which left Winston with extra questions.
Why’d they take the tunnel? Why didn’t they struggle escaping throughout the Gulf? Or are they hoping to double again to the dockyard? Although his helmet might show readouts for maps of the tunnel community, he knew higher than to seek the advice of such readouts throughout a high-speed chase by means of a darkish tunnel. Keeping his eyes on the pod, he mentioned, “Harvey, name up a map. I wish to know the place they’re—”
The pod’s brake lights blazed in entrance of Winston, and the pod’s engine went from a whine to a wail because the car got here to a sudden cease. Winston resisted the impulse to brake as a result of he knew such motion would launch Harvey off the again seat and straight into the pod in entrance of them. He made a split-second choice to swerve across the pod.
Without slowing, he despatched the bike into the slim hole between the tunnel wall and the pod’s left facet, then hurtled in entrance of the pod. He and Harvey heard the pod’s engine rev behind them, after which the pod’s headlight kicked on. The pod leaped ahead, rushing after the bike.
A protracted straightaway yawned out in entrance of Winston. He knew he and Harvey have been susceptible in entrance of the pod. If the thieves rammed the bike, then he and Harvey have been finished for. He thought of his restricted choices to down the pod or keep away from a collision. He stored the bike’s headlight off as he accelerated into the straightaway, looking out the decrease partitions for chevrons that may point out any upcoming junctions.
Harvey mentioned, “Sir, the best way they braked, they have to’ve recognized we—”
“Quiet,” Winston mentioned. Keeping one hand on the bike’s controls, he pulled off his helmet and launched it behind him. The helmet sailed again and bounced off the pod’s windshield, and the pod jounced within the air because it continued after the bike.
Harvey puzzled why Winston had tossed his helmet. The motion appeared so reckless, and now Winston’s head was uncovered and unprotected. Then Harvey appeared forward, previous Winston’s shoulder, and noticed a light-weight within the distance. The gentle grew bigger and brighter, and Harvey realized they have been heading straight for an oncoming maglev practice.
Winston noticed it too. He swerved to the fitting and ascended near the tunnel’s ceiling, elevating the bike’s proper facet a lot that he and Harvey have been flying virtually sideways.
Harvey felt his abdomen lurch once more. He noticed the oncoming practice’s gentle develop nearer, and glanced again to see the thieves’ pod had vanished. He and Winston lifted greater, and the practice whizzed previous them, so shut that Harvey tucked in his left elbow and unintentionally pushed his rifle’s barrel into the tunnel’s curved ceiling. Sparks sprayed again from the barrel’s tip however Harvey stored his grip on his weapon and pulled it again, away from the ceiling. The practice made a vibrating, whooshing noise because it traveled previous the bike, after which the practice’s final automobile whizzed previous the bike and vanished into the tunnel.
Harvey appeared again and noticed the thieves had adopted Winston’s maneuver. Their pod was nonetheless following the hoverbike, touring alongside the tunnel’s left facet, elevated near the ceiling. Winston turned his naked head and shouted, “Shoot the pod.”
Harvey didn’t query the command. He unslung his rifle, shifted it to relaxation on his proper shoulder, with its barrel aimed straight behind him, and squeezed the set off 3 times with out trying again. The first blast of en-ergy missed the pod however the second and third thudded towards the cowling under the windshield. The blasts rocked the pod however didn’t cease it. Instead of pulling again, the pod elevated pace.
Winston tapped the bike’s accelerator. The pod was gaining on the bike when he noticed a stream of inexperienced and yellow chevrons that angled off to his proper. He knew the inexperienced chevrons indicated an exit route. The second he noticed the purpose forward the place the tracks diverged, he swung the bike to the fitting and into one other tunnel. Harvey glanced again and noticed the pod was nonetheless trail-ing them.
Seconds later, the bike sailed out of the tunnel and right into a transport depot subsequent to a dried riverbed on the outskirts of New Austin. In the evening sky above the depot, the towers of the Scraper metropolis prolonged so excessive that their spires appeared as if they might pierce the celebs. But Winston didn’t waste time admiring the view. He tapped the bike’s brakes and lower the engine as he swung exhausting, turning the bike so it confronted the tunnel’s exit. The bike was nonetheless slowing to a mid-air cease as Winston unslung his rifle.
Harvey spun his personal rifle round simply because the pod shot out of the tunnel. Winston and Harvey opened hearth, sending a cascade of power straight into the pod. The hammered pod continued straight for the bike, so Winston nudged the ascender to ship the bike up greater. The pod handed under-neath the bike and descended uncontrolled. It crashed into the riverbed, kicking up mud and filth earlier than it rolled onto its left facet and skidded to a cease, with its proper facet dealing with skywards.
“Call for backup,” Winston mentioned.
Harvey stored his rifle aimed on the pod whereas he made the decision through his radio, and Winston steered the bike in a large circle across the pod. The pod’s inside airbags had deployed, obscuring the home windows with vibrant yellow plastic. Winston descended towards a close-by embankment and introduced the bike to a hovering cease. Keeping their eyes on the pod, Winston and Harvey climbed off the bike, taking their rifles with them.
“Set rifle for heater,” Winston mentioned, “and canopy me.” He crouched and began strolling for the pod.
Harvey switched his rifle’s energy setting. He’d solely used the warmth ray in coaching and fight simulators, however he knew that the path of high-frequency microwave radiation would trigger water within the higher dermis to boil, inflicting intense ache for human targets. He hoped he wouldn’t have to make use of it.
Winston held his rifle earlier than him as he moved across the pod. The on-ly factor he might see by means of the entrance and rear home windows have been the airbags, which have been beginning to deflate. Harvey adopted Winston, protecting a number of steps behind as he stored his rifle skilled on the pod.
Winston approached the rear hatch, got here to a cease and mentioned, “You’re surrounded by the Multinational Guard. Exit the pod together with your fingers held excessive in 5 seconds or we’ll fry you. Five . . . Four . . . Three . . . ”
“We’re popping out,” a person shouted from inside the pod. The right-side door hissed open and two pairs of fingers prolonged up by means of it.
“Pull yourselves up and out,” Winston mentioned, “however preserve your fingers the place I can see them.”
The similar two black-helmeted thieves that Winston had final seen on the dockyard climbed up by means of the door and held their fingers excessive as they slid all the way down to the bottom. Winston mentioned, “Now, utilizing each fingers, helmets off. Slowly. And maintain your helmets above your heads.”
The thieves did as they have been instructed and revealed their faces. One thief was a person, the opposite a girl. Both had purple hair. Winston and Harvey had by no means seen the person earlier than, however they acknowledged the girl.
“Keevers?!” Harvey mentioned.
Lt. Susan Keevers stared at Winston and mentioned, “Surprised?”
“Not fully,” Winston mentioned.
Tagged with: Scraper
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