So, I had this random idea one day. It went like this. 'What if I rewrote the Arthurian poem 'The Lady of Shallot' and made it a full-length novel? Oh, lets make it steampunk too. While I'm at this, why don't I just switch the genders of the main characters to make things even crazier? Awesome.' Yea. Sayna thought process here lol. So a new story was born .. it doesn't have a name yet, but that will come later.
So the MC is a boy named Shalom, he's a recorder, a person cared for by the government, and placed in strategically hidden places where they monitor and record certain parts of the city through cameras (of sorts, still working on that)
The other main is Lynn, a girl. She's a scavenger, someone who searches for ancient tech to refurbish and sell. It's a dangerous occupation, due to the place one has to go to find these things (nucler waste/wild animals/radiation/rival scavengers/ect)
(And I should ad this is not 'pure' steampunk, it's more a mix of steampunk, cyberpunk, apocalypse, and I'm sure several other sub-genres. I'm not the greatest steampunk expert, still learning here, so yea)
Basically a quick summery of the plot is this: Shalom's greatest whish is to find one good deed .. on pure act of kindness at nobility that the one who preformed it had no ulterior reason aside from honest caring. When he finds that deed in a scavenger, he's intrigued enough to go against his masters and step into the real world to find her again.
So I'm going to be posting some random 'possible scenes' here. The first one is said good deed from Lynn's pov, also just me kind of exploring this world I'm creating. So yea. Enjoy :)
Idea one (Lynn's pov) Edit
The patter of feet mixed with clopping hooves and rumbling engines, a tumult of voices, and a general layer of dirt that seemed to hang in the air. Tall buildings, made half of brick and half of metal, rose toward the sky in close proximity to each other, arching bridges of rusted steel connecting them in a spiderweb of human achievement. The narrow, crowded streets were hazy with dust and smoke, bazars filled otherwise dark alleys, turning them into festivals of color and light.
Hundreds of voices spoke as one, though they all said different things at different times, created a constant hum of life that never ceased. No one really took any notice of the one girl who hurried through the crowds, tattered leather bag slapping against her long legs as she ran. She dodged in and out of the masses of people, alone, and somehow managing to look out of place in a thousand.
Maybe it was the fact she was alone. While most people walked in groups, she had no one beside her, ahead of her, or following her, she was by herself. Maybe it was the stony look in her hazel eyes, a look of fierceness and determination. Maybe it was her light hair and skin, an odd sight in that city of warmer tones. Maybe it was her wiry, tall frame in comparison to her youthful face. Likely, it was all those things.
She didn’t seem to notice any of this, her eyes seemed fastened on a place ahead of her, someplace she was stolidly headed to, but couldn’t yet see. Her dirty boots and tattered clothes told any who looked upon her how poor she was, as well as the smudges of grime on every bit of her skin that wasn’t covered.
She finally slowed her running as she reached a shadowed store-front. This place truly earned the title ‘hole in the wall’, it was crammed into the base of a tower-like building as an afterthought. Just a few feet above the door, a low bridge sprouted from the brick-work, arching across the street and connecting with the building on the opposite side.
The windows of the small store were so filthy, they were opaque. They served as a bulletin board of sorts, sporting signs about the business inside. They weren’t made very well; just messages such as ‘trade junk for cash!’, ‘relics wanted here!’, and ‘busted? Doesn’t matter, we by yur tech!’ scrawled across old, splintered boards in dripping black or brownish ink.
The girl bent down, opening the flap of her old bag and taking a quick peek at its contents, as if to ensure it was the right thing. She then grabbed the nob of the door, complete with stained glass panel in the upper part of it, that would have been very pretty if the colors could have shone through the dirt.
She pulled it open, walking into the dark interior of the building, which, for its unimpressive store front, had a good amount of length. Lamps lit the shop, shelves stacked with tech ranging from computers to mechanical body parts, to firearms, to goggles, to pieces of engines. Really, the only thing they seemed to have in common was the fact they all were very well used.
The girl looked over to the counter, and the woman standing there. “Ya haven’t been in fer two weeks! We thought the worst had happened. Kept regrettin’ not giving you that gun on interest .. what’d you do this time?”
“The only thing that happened was I found an old computer an’ couldn’t fix it. But I don’t wanna give up on it, it’s from before the wars, Maria .. that’s real rare. I haven’t found another like it.”
The lady’s dark eyes sparkled with interest as she leaned over the counter. “Lemme see!”
Lynn climbed onto one of the bar-like stools, reaching into her bag and pulling out a dusty black cube about a foot tall and six inches across. It really didn’t look like much more than that, but the two seemed excited about it.
“One of those! We’ve only ever had one other .. an’ this one’s in better shape too. Ya couldn’t fix this?”
Maria asked it incredulously, as if Lynn had committed a great shortcoming.
“Hey, it’s not my fault, some of the wires burned through. Lookit the back here, something singed it pretty good, and if ya take off the panel, there’s some internal damage. I was wondering if Eugene could fix it.”
“He left this mornin’ on business. I can give it a try though .. where’d you find this thing?”
Lynn shrugged in reply, clearly not about to divulge that piece of information. “In its state right now, what’d ya say it’s worth?”
“Oh ..” Maria had removed the rear panel and was looking it over. “It’s still real valuable. I’d give ya that rifle ya wanted, an’ throw in some charges and a pistol. Even a little cash after that.”
“Seriously?” Lynn seemed hardly able to believe her luck. “An’ what if I had its screen?”
Maria snorted. “If you did .. screens rarely survived that age, they’re one in a million ..”
Her words died off as Lynn lifted a small, flat pad from her bag, and laid it on the counter. Her short, nimble fingers pushed several buttons, and a hologram in the form of a rectangular screen blinked to life above the piece, glitching a little, but maintaining its shape.
Neon blue letters blinked across it, reading, ‘Hello. Last log in; four hundred and seventy-one years ago, time, eight forty-seven a. m. status; offline, computer not found. Please connect device to tower and provide password to continue.’
“Ya .. how .. what’d ya have ta fight ta get this thing?”
Lynn shrugged. “Let’s just say I want the firearms fer a good reason.”
Maria shook her head. “I can imagine .. what else have ya got to show me?”
The young scavenger pulled some chunky pieces of metal and a number of wires from her bag, dropping them on the counter. “Just some junk.”
Lynn reached for the hologram screen, pushing several buttons and watching as the transparent blue surface flickered and vanished. She placed it in her bag again, and Maria stated, “That thing’s invaluable .. name yer price on it.”
“Name my price?” Lynn sounded amazed. She couldn’t remember ever choosing a price for anything, once. “I actually hoped .. you and Eugene could fix the tower, so I could see how it worked. Then I’ll sell it.”
Maria looked somewhat disappointed, but she nodded in understanding. “We’ll get it runnin’ again, come back inna couple days. Ya know where the guns are, get yer rifle and pick out a pistol, I’ll get yer money and a couple charges fer ya.”
Lynn smiled a rare, crooked smile, sliding off her seat and hurrying to the rack holding the firearms. She carefully picked up the rifle she’d had an eye on for a few months, feeling it’s smooth, dully polished barrel. It was simple, but well-made and deadly, which were the qualities she was looking for. She slipped its plain leather strap over her head, enjoying the comforting feeling of it laying across her back. Her only other gun was so rusted, she was honestly afraid to fire it.
Two guns in one day .. and charges for them as well! She really needed to find more computers like that. Lynn ran her hand across several of the pistols, finally deciding on a standard sized one with mostly worn away silver detailing.
She stroked its worn bronze surface as she returned to her seat and Maria walked out of the back room, laying six charges on the counter, along with a number of silver coins, and even a few gold ones. “Three for the rifle, three for the pistol. If you need more, bring in something I need, ya know how it goes.”
“Sure.” Lynn shrugged in complete understanding, shouldering the rifle better as she collected her goods, depositing them in her satchel. “I’ll be back in a couple days.”
She looked over her shoulder at Maria, raising an eyebrow. The lady sighed. “Ya know ya could always work fer us.”
Lynn had heard that before, so she shrugged. “Maybe, if my scavenging luck ever runs out. But fer now I’ll stay where I am.”
“If yer luck runs out Lynn, you’ll be dead.” Maria’s eyes were sad.
The young girl paused, before nodding slowly. “I know. See ya soon Maria.”
She flashed the shop lady a half-hearted, crooked smile, before trudging out of the shop, her newly acquired weapons making her look older than she really was.
Lynn stepped out into the shadow of the pathway arching above the shop. She took a deep breath, Maria had pressed her to give up scavenging before, but she’d never been quiet that frank. Of course, Lynn understood she could die. She just did her best not to focus on it.
She shook herself, walking out into the sunlight and swirling dust of a warm afternoon. Time to drop into a bazar and get some provisions. Lynn knew the way well, and her feet followed a path she’d walked many times before, she barely even thought about where she was actually going.
The bazar she ended up at was crowded and it took her a while to find the things she needed. Even at midday, it was still a festival of light as it sat in the long shadows of several buildings and the bridges connecting them. She walked out into the sunlight again about thirty minutes later, her bag heavier than before.
Lynn pulled out a loaf of bread and broke a piece off it, munching on it as she leaned against the warm stones of the building, observing the streets. They weren’t quite as busy as they had been this morning, but there were still plenty of people traversing it. A few glanced at her, but moved on without a care, as loitering was hardly an offence worth mentioning.
All of a sudden, she heard the sounds of a struggle, also someone begging for mercy. Lynn blinked, craning her neck to look over or around the people walking through the street, and soon caught sight of what was going on.
Three teenagers, somewhat older than her, had a huddled figure pinned on the ground, Lynn couldn’t get a good look at what type of person it was. One of the boys kicked their prisoner, sneering something. Lynn couldn’t pick it up from across the street, but she felt her eyes snap with anger. Filthy gangs .. they thought they could do whatever they wanted.
She clenched a hand as another boy grabbed the unfortunate’s mop of hair, wrenching their head up and yelling something in their face. Lynn could now tell it was an older man, weak and bruised badly. She looked at the people in the streets, most who did their best to ignore the brutality of the thugs, but some who stopped to watch with sick interest.
No one stopped to help. After all, it wasn’t any of their business. It wasn’t any of hers either. Two voices were yelling in her ears, one telling her to save the man, and the other telling her to look away.
As she stood in indecision, the first gang member grabbed the man’s satchel, pulling out a handful of coins. “That all ya got, filth? Ya weren’t even worth robbin’, yer just poor scum. It’d be a favor if we killed ya, ya an’ all yer kind, peasant!”
Lynn’s mind was suddenly made up, and her eyes burned with hate. She whipped out her new pistol, clicking the safety off and running across the street, yelling, “Get back!”
The crowd seemed to freeze, and they quickly moved aside to let Lynn pass. The three instigators turned to look at her, staring in disbelief. One of them laughed, letting go of the old man and turning his evil gaze upon the girl. “Who do ya think ya are?”
“I’m the one with a gun aimed at ya.” Lynn’s eyes flashed darkly. “An’ I will shoot.”
One of the thugs was reaching for his rusty shotgun, but he caught sight of Lynn’s gaze and paused. The one that seemed to be the leader looked a little less certain, but he still sneered, “Yer just a kid.”
Lynn raised an eyebrow. “Ya wanna risk it? Be my guest. But if I were you, I’d back off and leave the man alone.”
The third gang member whipped out a pistol of his own, growling, “It’s three against one little girl!”
“Maybe so.” Lynn’s face suddenly twisted into a dark grin. “I can kill two a ya before the survivor kills me. Who wants ta die?”
For one second, the street seemed frozen, before the lead thug suddenly backed off. “He isn’t worth it. Come’n, lets get out a here.”
He shot Lynn a black glare, before back quickly away, his companions close behind. They took to their heels, but Lynn kept the pistol trained on them until they vanished into the crowd. Her arms slowly lowered, and she gasped in a breath as she realized she’d barely inhaled throughout the entire confrontation. Her grin melted away, and she suddenly felt light-headed.
A sudden hand gripped her arm, and she jumped spontaneously. She found herself looking down at the man she had saved, and he gasped, “Thank you!”
The crowd had begun wandering away once the hope of a fight had vanished, and the street was returning to normal, only a few stopping to notice the girl with a grown man on his knees before her. Lynn took several deep breaths, nodding mutely.
The old man was in fact middle-aged, not so old as Lynn had first thought. However he was gaunt, covered in scrapes, cuts, and bruises, and his cloak was badly tattered. Either he’d been in numerous fights or traveled a long time, and the later seemed more probable. Probably the most distinguishable thing about him was his goggles with just one eye-piece. Lynn had to wonder if he even had the eye it covered.
He got to his feet, leaning weakly against the wall of a nearby building. “I don’t know who you are .. but you probably just saved my life. I’m Leon.”
“Lynn ..” She raised an eyebrow. “Ya isn’t from here, are you?”
He shook his head. “No, I’m from the northern settlements.”