xinoehp512

Eternal - Book One of the Keyed Trilogy

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Eternal
Book One

Hello, and welcome! This is a project that me and @Shard of Thought have been working on for a long time. All feedback is appreciated!

Prologue

Spoiler

 

Prologue - Awakening

The room was dark. The darkness of an eternity of neglect, of forgetting and loss. Complementing the darkness were the lights, blinking on and off in steady, repeatable, quiet patterns. Beneath their meager illumination sat a chamber, big enough to hold a human. That wasn’t what it held- not exactly- but it was close enough. Scattered around the room was a collection of security cameras, shaped like eyes. From them seemed to emanate a… watching. An unnerving sort of feeling. Enough to make anyone’s hair tremble. If, that is, there had been anyone in the chamber with hair to tremble.
But there was nobody but the… being… in the chamber. Waiting.
For innumerable years the being known only as X-6574 had existed in this chamber. In some deep corner of his mind, he knew that he was the latest in a series of experiments conducted by his master. Experiments in producing artificial souls. What his purpose was to be, or if he was to have any purpose at all, he did not know. Perhaps his purpose was simply to exist, to provide information to the master. Maybe a new, better version of himself would be made. It had happened before. He’d been upgraded many times, to be sure- but undoubtedly his predecessors had as well. Eventually, there had to be a point where it would be better for the Master to create a new one and dispose of him.
Perhaps this should have bothered him, but it didn’t. Something about the fluid he was floating in soothed his pain, reduced to a mere tickle at the back of his mind, easily ignored. No boredom, no worry. Only the steady blinking of gentle lights and his own thoughts, humming in his mind.
And thus he waited until the day the Master visited.
Even within the chamber, he could feel his presence. He’d felt brushes of it before, as the Master moved through the nearby rooms. However, never before had he felt it so strongly. Clearly something was happening. If X-6574 had been capable of feeling boredom, it would have drained away at the sensation.
Without warning, the chamber deactivated. The liquid he’d been floating in began to drain through a hole somewhere, the hum that had been his constant companion for his entire life switched off. Is this it? he wondered. The end? A time for a new specimen? After a few seconds, there was a click. X-6574 felt a brush of air as something- a door? - moved in front of him.
And then, suddenly, he heard a voice speak. The Master’s voice. MY CREATION, it said in a voice that seemed to reverberate in his mind. It seemed… fond. FOR MILLENNIA I HAVE DESIGNED YOU, SCULPTED YOU. YOU HAVE BECOME EXACTLY WHAT I NEED YOU TO BE. NOW… NOW IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO SERVE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH YOU WERE CREATED.
X-6574 felt something stir within him. A… sensation, of sorts. Not something he could touch, or see, or hear- or even smell. Whatever it was, it was pleasant. The voice chuckled. X-6574 supposed that it was reading his mind. WHAT YOU ARE FEELING IS CALLED HAPPINESS, it said. THIS IS GOOD.
X-6574 felt the feeling intensify. A sense called happiness? Curious. He wondered what exactly it was sensing.
IT IS NOT A SENSE LIKE HEARING OR SIGHT, said the voice hurriedly, quickly realizing the misunderstanding. IT IS WHAT HUMANS CALL AN ‘EMOTION’.
Oh, [/i]thought X-6574, feeling his ‘happiness’ lessen. How peculiar. He’d never felt anything like it before. He suspected that the liquid that he’d been floating in had something to do with that.
NOW, said the voice. THE TASK I HAVE CALLED YOU TO DO. X-6574 felt a tingling sensation on his forehead and suddenly knew things he hadn’t before. It came in a series of impressions.
Millennia, waiting. Building. Watching.
A flash of power, blinding but brief, in a world far away.
A new awakening…
The flow of knowledge ended as abruptly as it had come, leaving X-6574 with a sudden compulsion to stand up and step forwards out of the container. He complied with the compulsion, his feet clicking with the sound of metal on metal as they touched the floor. “Master,” he said, his voice a little strange from being used for the first time. “What is it that I must do?”
THAT WORLD, said the voice, ON IT ARE SIX PEOPLE. YOU MUST FIND THEM AND BRING THEM TO ME.
“Why?” asked X-6574. In response, he felt a sharp jolt of displeasure. He shivered, bowing his head slightly as a new emotion ran through him.
SHAME, explained the Master, his displeasure vanishing. AN UNPLEASANT EMOTION. YOU SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED TO ASK QUESTIONS, MY CREATION. He paused. ALL THE SAME, NOT EVERY QUESTION WILL RECEIVE AN ANSWER.
X-6574 lifted his head and nodded once in understanding.
NOW. TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TASK.
X-6574 heard and felt a loud thrum run through him as the ceiling opened. Cold, fresh air rushed in, displacing the air that had been stagnating in the chamber for centuries. X-6574 took a deep breath, marveling at how much… nicer it felt.
But all thoughts of the air vanished as he looked up and saw the night sky for the first time. His eyes widened as he took it in- hundreds of tiny pinpricks of light scattered across the vast expanse of darkness. It made him feel… small. Like how he felt thinking about his master. Insignificant in comparison to greatness.
AWE, responded his master to the unspoken question.
“What is it?” he asked, feeling awed.
IT IS CALLED THE SKY, explained the voice. THOSE PINPRICKS ARE CALLED STARS. THEY’RE ACTUALLY GIGANTIC- THEY ONLY LOOK SO SMALL BECAUSE THEY’RE SO FAR AWAY.
As the voice spoke, X-6574 felt new thoughts flash through his mind. Stars- raging storms of heat and light, so great they could be seen from across the universe.
THE WORLD TO WHICH I WILL SEND YOU IS BOUND TO ONE OF THESE STARS. THIS ONE. X-6574 blinked in surprise as a small spark of power jolted his eye. One of the stars turned red in his vision and started flashing for a few moments. IT’S QUITE FAR; OVER FIVE HUNDRED TRILLION MILES AWAY. BUT DON’T WORRY; YOU’LL BE TAKING A SHORTCUT.
“A… shortcut?”
YES. A… TWISTING OF SPACE, SO TO SPEAK. A PATH ONLY THOUSANDS OF MILES LONG, INSTEAD OF TRILLIONS.
Only thousands of miles? X-6574 supposed it was a shortcut, but… still. Thousands of miles was still nearly incomprehensible.
NOT FOR YOU, interjected the voice into his thoughts. BUT FIRST. A WARNING. THIS TASK, IT WILL NOT BE EASY.
“I will serve to the best of my ability. If I fail, so be it.”
X-6574 felt a surge of pleasure from his master. YES. YOU SPEAK WELL. STILL, IGNORANCE IS A CURSE THAT NEED NOT AFFLICT YOU. BEFORE YOU GO, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU MUST UNDERSTAND.
FIRST OF ALL, THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE ON THIS WORLD. THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS. THE SIX YOU SEEK WILL BE LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE REST.
SECOND. THOSE THAT YOU SEEK ARE YOUNGLINGS YET; THEY WILL NOT ALWAYS BE SO. THE OLDER THEY GROW, THE HARDER YOUR TASK WILL BE. AND THIRD… WHILE I WOULD PREFER TO HAVE THEM ALIVE, I WILL NOT MOURN THEIR DEATHS. DO NOT HESITATE TO KILL THEM, SHOULD IT BE REQUIRED.
“I understand,” said X-6574 without hesitation.
GOOD. THEN YOU ARE READY. CLOSE YOUR EYES. REACH DEEP INSIDE YOURSELF. DO YOU FEEL IT?
X-6574 did as his master instructed. He felt… something in his core. A power source. Mentally, he reached out and grabbed it.
GOOD, said the voice with a wave of satisfaction. X-6574 felt a surge of happiness in response. YOU HAVE GRASPED THE KEY.
“The Key?” asked X-6574. “The key to what?”
POWER, responded the voice. WITH IT, STEPPING BETWEEN STARS BECOMES NEARLY EFFORTLESS.
X-6574 felt awe well up in him again. As well as a new feeling. A desire.
“Show me,” he whispered.
For a moment, his mind was buried by a flood of images, taking his breath away with their intensity. Then the wave passed. And when it did, he knew what to do. With a deep breath, he pulled power from the source deep inside of him, then flooded his body with it.
Around him the world brightened, colors popping in vivid, saturated tones. He felt… light. Almost as though he were light, unbound to the world. Free.
NOW FOCUS ON THE STAR, said the voice, AND LEAP.
And X-6574 leapt.

 

Edited by xinoehp512
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Yay, I'm so glad this us up! This has been in development for a year and a half now which is... honestly pretty crazy. It took a loooong time for us to get to this point. Nearly 200 pages were written in preparation for this trilogy and now we're really starting to launch into writing it for real. 

Edit: Y'all should be able to access chapters easily. Right now the first additional chapter that's up is on page 2. 

Edited by Shard of Thought
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Wow. This is very good. I'm hooked. I don't have time for analysis right now(I'm not sure it needs any though). 

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I thought it would be fun to draw something for each of the chapters we post, yesterday I drew chapter one's drawing yesterday. I'll be working on the prologue drawing today, I so glad everyone has been loving it so far!!! :lol: I'm literally in tears I'm so happy. 

Edit: I've tried two different things for a drawing and they're both way too hard for me. :unsure: BUT, I call tell you that the art for chapter one is already done and it is incredible.

Edited by Shard of Thought
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I'll try something for this but what I really need is a description of the character

 

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3 hours ago, Somebody from Roshar said:

I'll try something for this but what I really need is a description of the character

Caaaaaan do, my friend. This description miiiiight be a little bit inaccurate now, we've made a lot of changes, but it's all I have. X-6475 is 5'10'' with dirty blonde hair, olive skin, and green eyes. He slender and slightly muscular. I should probably go through my art to see if I've done a recent drawing of him, I don't tend to draw him very often. Important to mention though: he's usually wearing his armor. I imagine it to be a bit blocky, almost dark blue in color.

I should say though, X-6574 is definitely not the main character. Actually, I'm not sure who the main character is; personally, I think the main character changes with every book, but *shrug*. 

This is the most recent drawing of his face that I've done.

IMG_0182.jpg.6c6ab9ee2adcfb43f5c89205650d7296.jpg

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Ok so dirty elven features dark blocky ish armour olive skin (that'll be fun to draw) green eyes interesting

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On 9/8/2020 at 4:19 AM, Shard of Thought said:

 

 

On 9/8/2020 at 4:19 AM, Shard of Thought said:

he's usually wearing his armor. I imagine it to be a bit blocky, almost dark blue in color.

 

Does he have a weapon if so what is it?

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1 minute ago, Somebody from Roshar said:

Does he have a weapon if so what is it?

I think he has a gun??? @xinoehp512?

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Here's the drawing before and after coloring

 

IMG_20200913_200149.jpg

IMG_20200913_194551.jpg

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Just now, Somebody from Roshar said:

Here's the drawing before and after coloring

 

IMG_20200913_200149.jpg

IMG_20200913_194551.jpg

Aww, that is super cute! :lol:

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Just now, Shard of Thought said:

Aww, that is super cute! :lol:

How do you like the armour shape and style it's semi sci-fi with mideival inspiration

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I love it! Keyed is weird because the first book takes place in a sort of 1800's setting and then the second two take place super far in the future. It's sci-fi, fantasy, romance, drama, the whole package. So a mish-mash of future and past is perfect.

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8 minutes ago, Shard of Thought said:

I love it! Keyed is weird because the first book takes place in a sort of 1800's setting and then the second two take place super far in the future. It's sci-fi, fantasy, romance, drama, the whole package. So a mish-mash of future and past is perfect.

It's going to be fun to see it (especially that romance part it will fun to see a socially inept clone ish character be in a romance) and sci-fi/mideival armour is very fun to draw so expect more as more comes out

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14 minutes ago, Shard of Thought said:

I love it! Keyed is weird because the first book takes place in a sort of 1800's setting and then the second two take place super far in the future. It's sci-fi, fantasy, romance, drama, the whole package. So a mish-mash of future and past is perfect.

This sounds really fun! I look forward to it!

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4 minutes ago, Somebody from Roshar said:

It's going to be fun to see it (especially that romance part it will fun to see a socially inept clone ish character be in a romance) and sci-fi/mideival armour is very fun to draw so expect more as more comes out

X-6475 doesn't get romance in book one. But he will in book two! The romance was kinda what started this whole thing, honestly. You would not believe how much has gone into writing this story; the amount of times I've had to retcon huge chunks of it... Well, it's exhausting.

Ugh, I wish I could tell you guys all about it!!! But spoilers. -_- We're working hard on getting that first chapter up though. And most of chapter two is done as well; both chapters will probably be posted at the same time, a total of around ten to twelve pages on google docs. 

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Will they be posted on this thread (don't know this websites term) or a new one?

 

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Yup, this thread! :D I don't know how long the wait will be, but right now I'd place it at an optimistic two weeks. Hopefully less, we'll see. Xino and I have busy lives. 

Edited by Shard of Thought
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This is great! I can really see a future in this! Good luck with the writing and I will follow eagerly!

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On September 13, 2020 at 9:54 PM, Somebody from Roshar said:

Kk

Why 2 k's?

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27 minutes ago, Ghanderflaffle said:

This is great! I can really see a future in this! Good luck with the writing and I will follow eagerly!

Oh, thank you!!! Seriously guys, all this positive feedback is so great, we really appreciate it. :D

22 minutes ago, Vapor said:

Why 2 k's?

You've never said, "Kay kay"? I say it all the time!

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I used to. I didn't know other people did it too.

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