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ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise'

ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise'

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Blackwinter-witch

Oct-17-2017 7:23 PM

ALIEN: MANTICORE's direct-sequel ALIEN: MANTICORE  'Paradise' is well underway, and now sits at just over 12 thousand words at 4 chapters.

1: Same ship and crew, but some upgrades and new toys.

2; It's set about a year and some after ALIEN: MANTICORE.

3; Ship-to-ship combat is very much a thing in this story, and more than just some quick, one-sided skirmish.
Also, it's not done according to the 'Star Trek' school of ship-vs-ship combat.

4; There's someone out there a LOT scarier and much more mysterious than Weyland-Yutani.

5; Artificial Intelligence features heavily in this story, but probably in ways most folks don't quite expect.

I will be posting Excerpts, but keep in mind that the excerpts are from the RAW 1st draft.

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

22 Responses to ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise'

joylitt

Oct-17-2017 7:40 PM

It sounds exciting. Specially "Artificial Intelligence featured in ways most folks don't quite expect."

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-17-2017 8:46 PM

joylitt

Thanks for saying!! :)

It's coming along and I've been giving a lot of thought to 'The A.I. Question', while also digging through decades of science fiction relating to it, and examining the ways it's been handled in the past.
I've found a direction in which to take things that I don't think most people readily think about when they hear the words 'artificial intelligence'.

Now I just have to be careful that the machines don't steal the show. :D

It is going to be quite 'action-y' and exciting as the situation is much larger in scope that ALIEN: MANTICORE with more significant threats than Neomorphs and Xenomorphs.
It as well as includes a large science detachment of non-combat types the main characters have to deal with, but that science team also allows much more exploration work and answer-finding to be presented to the audience...at the cost of a few science team members lives... ;)

 

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

dk

Oct-17-2017 9:38 PM

From all the AI discussions here over the last year, it seems an entire book could be just about that. Doing an unexpected approach with it coupled with someone (not something) out there scarier and more mysterious than WY sounds like a possible clue.

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-17-2017 9:54 PM

dk

I was tempted to just go entirely AI, but I wanted very much to follow up where ALIEN: MANTICORE left off, and then realized that such a large theatre as 'paradise' would be perfect for what I wanted to do. :)

The approach here is in-line with the Concept of the franchise's overall Name: 'ALIEN' in that this does go in a direction that is 'alien' to conventional Human thought, outlook and experience.

The new enemy, they are NOT someone you want to tangle with lightly, if at all, but they are also part of the overall AI investment of the story. ;)
Also, I would state that the Engineers will find them as frightening as we find the Engineers. :D

There's always a bigger, or meaner, fish...

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

I Raptus

Oct-17-2017 11:12 PM

Actually the above gif just about sums up my day exactly......

 

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-17-2017 11:47 PM

IRaptus

LOL, also TY!!

I like the new avatar!

I have an Excerpt almost picked out, and yeah, it's R A W 1st draft, but should give folks some idea of where things are going regarding at least one of the many story elements...as well as my disapproval of Trope-style ship-vs-ship combat. ;)

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-17-2017 11:51 PM

ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise'

***EXCERPT*****

The start of hostilities began with a single shot.
The unidentified and unidentifiable vessel lined itself up, Manticore’s sensors registered an electromagnetic surge as well as a peak-pulse of extremely high-level UV radiation, just as the diagnostics and combat systems registered a penetrating hit amidships.
Manticore shivered slightly from the laser strike and it’s Captain wasn’t caught napping.
“Helm, bring us arround. Tactical, staggered fire from all batteries.” He ordered, his voice tensed but not stressed as he worked at his own console, noting that the extremely powerful laser strike had not fully penetrated the armor below the shields.
Katherine followed the orders with a smirk of satisfaction as she triggered Manticore’s dorsal MAccelerator cannon batteries as the ship swung smartly to port, it’s nose dipping slightly to expose the enemy vessel to the greatest number of weapons possible. The staggered-firing of the MAccelerator cannons meant a continuous barrage that was intended to overwhelm the target’s point-defense systems and shields. Each of the turrets fired one after the other, each of the two cannons in each turret firing a sixteen-inch round with a multi-purpose warhead within.
Added to this were torpedos as soon as the forward tubes came to bear on the enemy vessel and Katherine heard the Captain’s order to fire them.
All six forward tubes spat death in the form of sleek, thick-bodied missile-type weapons meant for use against large and relatively slow-maneuvering targets. The tubes spat them them out using a cold-plasma pulse whereupon each torpedo’s powerful engine activated and they accelerated sharply away towards the enemy vessel like hounds after a hare.
The enemy vessel was managing to cope surprisingly well versus the onslaught dealt out by Manticore, it’s point-defense guns firing constantly, taking down incoming cannon rounds and torpedos quite ably. However, the sheer bulk of what was dealt out by Manticore’s cannons and torpedo tubes seriously taxed the smaller vessel’s defenses and some of the fire got through.
A cannon round slammed into the enemy vessel in it’s stern-third portside, sparking bright yellow-white followed near-instantaneously by a flash of bright blue-white against the eggshell-white hull as the enemy vessel’s shields activated against it, then again versus another cannon round’s impact amidships portside that destroyed a point-defense gun in an explosion of shrapnel and smoke.
The enemy vessel broke off, turning away and accelerating heavily, launching a burst-pack of countermeasures which began spewing flares and chaff as well as short-life/high-energy electronic noise generators which almost totally swamped out Manticore’s sensor arrays, making the exercise of any further shooting at the vessel a waste of ammunition.
Still, Sin was not one to let go that easily, and opened up on the swiftly retreating ship with the energy-based close-in-engagement weapons.
He knew the odds were solidly against landing any meaningful strikes, but also knew it would discourage the enemy vessel’s Captain and crew from engaging them again and considered sending the Wyvern drones after it, but decided to keep them up his sleeve for a possible later engagement.

***END EXCERPT*****

 

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

BigDave

Oct-18-2017 8:21 AM

Well done... i really must put aside some time to read your works.

Very interesting and well written

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-18-2017 12:57 PM

BigDave

Thank-you!! :D
Glad you enjoyed it, even though it's 1st Draft!!

This is the 'appetizer' skirmish between the ships, the start and a long ways from the finish of battle. ;)

When you're ready, they'll be waiting for you, that's the great thing about books, they're at the audience's command. :)

I see an Obituary Date, and can tell it was an animal, and I extend heartfelt sympathies and condolences to you on your loss from myself and my family. ((HUG)) <3

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

Tiwaz

Oct-19-2017 7:34 AM

Looks nice so far. Reminds me of the Arrow-class ship (USCMC Recon Ship) the Excursionists have, in The Rage War. Personally i would've gone with a turreted torpedo/missile system but that's just a question of taste. :) Not meant as critique.

Keep it up. 

For some reason i'm thinking of Tau attack drones. Those little fellas can use standard infantry weaponry.

Bildergebnis für tau drone

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-19-2017 4:16 PM

Tiwaz

Thanks for reading that little 'appetizer'! TY also for the compliment and encouragement! :)

I never read The Rage War trilogy, and actually the enemy vessel was inspired mainly by the stealth ship Anubis from the tv series The Expanse.

However, the differences between the inspiration-source and the beast I've unleashed vs Manticore are quite extreme. ;)

Is there somewhere I can look up some info on the Arrow-class you mention? I'd like to ensure there's significant Differences between the ship I've positted and the one you mention so folks don't think I'm playing copy-cat. :)

I understand about turreted-torpedos and I do agree, to a point. The way my brain works however is that missiles can be turreted--and usually are--but torpedos cannot be.

Yes I know that sounds silly. :D

As will be defined in-story, missiles are lighter weapons, faster and meant for engaging anything from Fighters to Corvettes/Cutters.
Anything bigger you use torpedos against as larger vessels don't have the maneuverability to evade them (usually) and torpedos are ship-busters every bit as much as they are today.
And as torpedos aren't used as much as weapons like MAccelerator cannons, it's something of a waste to occupy a turret with a torpedo launcher.
Also, I admit, I like the WW2 'feel' of fixed-mount tubes and that a ship must maneuver to bring them to bear on a target.

Hmm, I like the Tau drones, nice, clean, straightforward design, TY for showing them to me!
As for drones...heh, here's what inspired the Wyvern-class Battle drones that Manticore is carrying. I saw this scene in the movie and the brain just immediately jumped to work.

 

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

Tiwaz

Oct-19-2017 5:36 PM

BWW, i don't think you have to worry bout copycatting (issatevenaword?). From what i gather the Arrows are smaller and don't carry torpedoes.

I don't want to be a wiseass but real navy ships had (at least some) and maybe still have "turreted" torpedoes. However, since modern torpedoes, like missiles, are guided weapons they don't have to be launched "on target" anymore. In so far no need for turrets. It now depends on what kind of "cigars" your little doom machine sports. ;) And in space torps are missiles, over sized maybe but still. Akin of Tomahawk cruise missiles. So enough smartassed, before i get growled at. ;) 

As for the Tau drones they're from Warhammer 40k. They're not very big and meant for ground combat.

Ähnliches Foto

The pic is just for reference. The Tau (left) is roughly the size of a normal human.

And finally what movie is that sequence from?

 

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-19-2017 9:29 PM

Tiwaz

Ah, good, and TY for easing my concerns. 'copycatting' may not be an 'official' word, but is still useful. :)

No worries, I only growl at spelling and grammar nazis. :D

Torpedos:
I know about the 'swivel' launchers from some WW2 vessels, and yeah modern torpedos are actually quite intelligent so it's really only a matter of just throwing them outside and letting them do the work. :D

Also, yeah, I agree that torps and mssiles are pretty much the same weapons in space, hence why I made the distinction I did with regards to Target size, as otherwise there's just NO genuine reason to call any missile a 'torpedo'.
I admit, it is something of an artificial distinction, but part of writing is about 'feel', so therein lay the real reason why torpedoes are still called 'torpedoes'. :D

That all said, this is still all 1st draft so I have plenty of time and room to change things if I find a better way to frame and phrase things. ;) I'm still digging through a LOT of military-weapon related information for ideas and terminology and all that good stuff, so there's a pretty good chance I'll find something better than 'torpedoes' to go with.

TAU DRONES:
I kinda thought so as you mentioned they can use man/personal level weapons, like, as an example, a Bolt Gun or such equivalent-sized weapon.

THE PIC:
It's a scene from TERMINATOR: Salvation, where the A-10's are engaging the Harvester Transporter after it's taken Kyle reese aboard.

 

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-30-2017 3:29 AM

Work is continuing with ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise' and it's coming along pretty well.

I will mention that YES the story I did regarding Walter IS canonical to this story and DOES connect directly to it.

Short-Story 'The Resolution Of Walter'

Even while writing ALIEN: MANTICORE 'Paradise' I am planning and roughing-out the story-frame for the third book in the series, and Walter does figure prominently in the third volume.

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

sentientdark

Aug-23-2019 9:02 PM

sorry been off planet for a while . . . . .bug hunting . . . .just wanted to know any news on the new manticore paradise . . . . . .wheres the next chapter my second mandibles are clicking with anticipation.

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-15-2019 11:50 PM

Been busy with assorted things myself since I was here last.

The planned sequel is still in-the-works, but getting it 'right' is the real trick with it, because it has to have the proper 'Feel' for it to be properly part of the ALIEN universe.

Capturing the 'Feel' was pretty easy--relatively speaking--with ALIEN: Manticore as they were on LV-223 and LV-426, so those locales did the heavy-lifting.

'Paradise' well, there's a huge city to deal with, ground combat, space combat and assorted other 'Interesting Problems' that come up in the course of events, so this time around, the 'Feel' is taking a more elusive temperament towards my efforts.

But, I will get it, little by little, I will get it.

I will also post another Excerpt in the very near future. :D

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

I Raptus

Oct-15-2019 11:57 PM

Hey there Blackwinter-witch! Nice to see you back.

Excited to hear you are working on a sequel. Manticore was deadset fantastic.  

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-16-2019 12:12 AM

Thank-you I Raptus !!!! :D

Yeah I tend to have an 'eccentric orbit', kinda like a planet orbiting a star that have an extreme outer-range time...but I always come back around. ;)

ALIEN, it's never far from my thoughts, my 'Home' universe and I am working on something 'Experimental' that folks may or may not like but it's something MANY of us have been WANTING to see since we first toured the Los Angeles of 2019. ;)

That's all I am saying for now, as well as that the initial testing has gone SO smoothly I spent a week worried I was doing something wrong--but simply, the two Realities were MEANT to align. :D

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-16-2019 8:46 PM

As promised here's an excerpt, from Chapter 06.

I remind you to please keep in mind this is RAW ORE type 1st Draft, and a LONG ways--and several editing passes--from being Finished and polished up nice and neat.

*********BEGIN EXCERPT***

C H A P T E R
06

 

The memorial for Lenden the following day was conducted outside, a short ways from the base camp, in an area that had been thoroughly and repeatedly checked for anything even remotely dangerous. Declan had put his skills to work in crafting a headstone from a slab of stone retrieved by a drone.
Lenden’s body was cremated using thermite packs, thoroughly eliminating any chance of any possible contagion lingering in his remains, and when complete the ashes were interred in the drone-excavated grave which was filled in by five volunteers.
Smythe caught up with Selinaehra and Declan inside Panzer as clouds rolled in, promising torrential rains. Declan poured him a stiff drink, handed it to him which was gratefully accepted with a polite nod of thanks.
“I’ve checked everyone over, with no surprises. More than a few people were quite worried about secondary contagion and contamination so I have a dozen of the utility drones performing level-three decontam sweeps and clean-up. I don’t blame them, and a precautionary clean-up certainly cannot hurt.” He commented after taking a healthy tilt of the whisky poured for him.
Declan stared into the depths of his own whisky, then asked the question on his mind.
“How the hell did that happen? I checked his suit, there were no breaches at all, nothing.” He said.
“I suspect he opened his suit, for some reason. Possibly, and most likely, he removed his helmet for some perfectly mundane reason, for example to scratch his nose. That would be all it took. The spore-mites from those little pods could have been trapped in the seal, they’d have been shielded versus even level-five-plus decontamination, and when he was inside, removing his suit it’d have it’s opportunity. I’m guessing, of course, based strictly off time-indexing which we have from the Covenant’s lander’s mission recorder about their own encounters with such things. But, with the scanty evidence at-hand, that seems the most likely chain of events.” Smythe said with a sigh, sounding tired.
Selinaehra sat, listening and thinking. Poured a fresh round for her crewmates and herself before speaking.
“I think we’re just seeing the start of some much larger and more serious problems. That other crew out there in the city, there’s no telling what they might stir up and they don’t have the knowledge we do. They’re blundering around in the dark, and if they haven’t yet, they’ll be encountering who-knows-what and that could come back on us.” She took a long swallow of whisky before she brought up a chilling point.
“That city out there, it was a living city not so long ago. Now, here’s the problem: ‘What happens when the Engineers come and find this city having been killed’?” She said, pointing in the general direction of the city and getting the full attention of her crewmates who looked sharply at her in alarm.
“Damn, yeah. This is a problem. Whatever happened here, unless the Engineers did it to themselves…shit…” Declan said, trailing off as the enormity settled on him.
Smythe swirled his whisky in his metal cup, thinking in alarming ways.
“I’ll remind you both that if is was a hostile action, possibly on the part of Shaw, the Engineers brought it on themselves. They did fully intend to wipe Earth clean of all animal-based life two millenia ago, and the very first thing that Engineer on LV-223 did upon awakening was attempt to carry out that mission without question nor hesitation. We also have a small but formidable stockpile of modified weapons aboard which we can use as a checkmate versus any Engineers who might seek a reprisal strike, unless they want a few dozen more of their cities on other worlds decimated with their own weapon.” He said, slowly, deliberately, coldly.
“You’re thinking we can bluff them?” Declan asked, wondering what was going on inside the mind of the ship’s doctor.
Smythe met Declan’s eyes for a moment, and Declan pulled back slightly from what he saw in their depths.
“No. We would not be ‘bluffing’.” He said, simply, directly.
Declan looked at the older man with a new level of respect. Despite the fussy-seeming demeanour, the always-impeccable grooming and manner of dress there was something cold, dark, steel-hard and sharp inside Smythe.
Something that Declan thought that the Engineers wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of if they had any sense at all.

**********END EXCERPT****

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

dk

Oct-16-2019 9:31 PM

It has been a long time since seeing Manticore. I don't recall all the names, but I like the over all style. What is remembered most is the way the writing makes me feel like I am there- the descriptive and gritty way of describing sights, smells and matter of fact ways characters speak and think.

Thanks for the peek and welcome back Blackwinter-witch !

Blackwinter-witch

Oct-16-2019 10:52 PM

dk  Thank-you very much for what you said!! I really appreciate the sentiment and the info--it's always nice to know what people Like, as it helps me insofar as to make sure things stay on-track. :D

I'm glad you enjoyed the little peek into the Sequel, and that's the great thing about books--you can always go back re-read or just skim through to refresh one's memory. :)

*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*

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