Rimworld- Update

Rimworld- Into the Green continues to sell at a modest pace, and the overall reviews are good, but I’m putting a bleg out there…

As I’ve said before, and others echoed, an author needs at least 50 reviews for Amazon to start paying attention to the book and start giving it wider publicity.

Right now, I’m only at 22 reviews, so if you’ve read it, and have time, please put an HONEST review up. Thanks in advance!

And for those who’ve been wondering if McDougal will have a part in the second book in the series, here’s a tease for ya…

Missed Me

McDougal bitched to himself, Bad enough I get left behind on a colony world, but insult to injury has me on a det with the local militia. I’m getting behind on the booze making, can’t do it out here, light years away. And these guys don’t break shit, so I’m bored… As he stepped out of the hab, he habitually jumped down the three steps, and survived the needle gun shot that was supposed to take him in the chest. He was on the ground, crouching behind the barrier before his brain caught up with what had just happened, What the fuck? These turds just tried to kill my lily white ass! Sonics may stop them from physically getting in, but that don’t stop anything else from getting in…

McDougal scrambled around the corner of the hab, jumped through the door of the maintenance module, and leaned against the wall, absently brushing the dirt from the front of his shipsuit.

“Hey, anybody see who shot at me?” He asked over his wrist comp.

“What?”

“Somebody just tried to kill me, Rai! Didn’t you get that on surveillance?”

“You didn’t jump and fall?”

“Nooo, I think it was a needle gun.”

“Standby… Okay, yeah we missed that one. We were watching a disturbance down by the feeder. Might have been a decoy.”

Oh good, now they’re using decoys… I’m gonna fix that shit… Damn “So?”

“Yeah, we got video Senior. We’re putting it out, he’ll be on the arrest list in a few minutes.”

“So, what good does that do us?”

“Gonna put a warning out. You’re supposed to check surroundings before you open the hab or any other external door, you know that.”

“Yeah, yeah. I hear you.”

McDougal powered up his maintenance system, pulled up the latest armored system diagrams and started drilling down, I know these fuckers have a repulsor module. Where is it? And how big? Ah, there you are you… Damn, that thing isn’t little! Hmmm, specs…

He pulled up the sonic fence specs on another screen, started comparing ranges and dug deeper into the repulsor module, If I back that range requirement down to… Match the sonics placement. Overbuilt to hell and gone. If I reduce that by a factor of… Three? Four, no, five.

That reminded him that he was going to work on an embedded code for the wrist comp that would allow the militia and GalPat to pass through the sonic fence by setting the mid-point to zero dB at six feet on approach and run it back up when the wrist comp was six feet past. Lemme see, 3 miles and hour, that’s… 4.4 fps, I want 12 feet, so… three second off pulse, mid-point between any two legs. That’ll also take care of the requirement to go exactly between the two designated legs, controlled by security, which should reduce the threat to us. And even better, I won’t have to walk all the way around the damn module when I need to get to the RCA.

Pulling himself away from that, he got back on designing a repulsor module that was only twenty pounds and a little over a foot in diameter. In order to solve the angularity issues, he decided to mold in two feet that aligned to the flat plate angle, and orthogonal to the gravity plane, which meant it should effectively brace itself against the planet itself. In addition to the feet, he decided to color the mold a dark grey on the external face, and white on the internal face, Even a GalPat troop can’t screw this one up! Maybe I should have directions, maybe something like front toward enemy… Didn’t they do something like that back in ancient history?

He occupied himself with revising the programming for the sonics while he waited for the fabber to spit out the module he’d designed. Now, where can I test this? Sure as hell ain’t going out there to do it. Wait a minute, I’ve got a sim here…

McDougal set up the simulator to duplicate a section of sonic fence to specification in quarter scale. Inserting the programming into his wrist comp, he walked up to the beam, watched it cut off, and restart four seconds later. When he moved off center, to either side, he felt the tingle of the fence, which meant he’d gotten it right.

“Hey, Senior.”

The call interrupted McDougal and he growled as he came up from the maintenance documents, “What?”

“Senior, Master Chief Magar. Did you file an incident report on that attempt on you this morning?”

“Uh, no? Didn’t know I was supposed to.”

“Ah, that explains why I have this uncorrelated report from Chief Rai on my datacomp. I’m pushing the report form to you. Please get it back in thirty. I have to brief the Captain at sixteen on status.”

“Uh, I’m in the middle of…”

“In thirty, Senior.”

“Yes, Master Chief.” McDougal glanced at his deskcomp to see a flashing red icon in the middle of the screen, sighed, and reached for it, punching the icon as he did so.

Mumbling to himself, he wrote up what he remembered, tagged the security video camera and timeframe, re-read it twice, and submitted it. Thought security was supposed to take care of that shit…

***

“So, that’s all I’ve got Captain Fargo, one probe at Feeder Six around zero five, and the attempt on Senior Sergeant McDougal at Feeder Three at zero eight. Perp was identified, arrest warrant issued, and he was taken into custody at eleven.” A picture flashed up in the holo, “Fedorice, Maurice. Age is thirty-six. Identified as anti-tech member. Works as a baker in an organic bakery in Center City. He’s not talking.”

Fargo growled, “What is it with these fuckers and needle guns?” Shaking his head, he asked more civilly, “Any idea why he was all the way out in Dove City? Also, any change in the frequency of attempts, Master Chief?”

Master Chief Magar shrugged, “They’re about the same, across the board. This is only the second attempt on one of the troops, and both of those have occurred at Feeder Three. I think that’s because that site is the most spread out. Remember, we couldn’t nestle the hab and maintenance modules right at the Feeder because of the terrain. That’s why we put McDougal and the big module out there. It’s also the only one were the shuttle can actually land inside the perimeter.”

“Recommendations?”

“Double up security. Put an additional 360 system up there, put two more people on watch. I know that is gonna impact their quality, but we were planning on rotating teams around anyway, just to keep them fresh and alert.”

“Do we move the big module and McDougal?”

Master Chief grinned, “I wouldn’t. He’s out of everybody’s hair out there. And frankly, he’s pretty clueless when he goes to town. His situational awareness sucks. Besides if we move him, it’d have to be someplace else big enough to take the shuttle.”

Fargo leaned back and groaned, “You do have a point. Tip of the spear, he’s not. Okay, tomorrow we’ll do a few bounces with response teams. I want to make sure we do one at Feeder Three, fangs showing. Maybe that will slow them down a bit.”

The holo dinged three times, indicating an override, and a harried GalPat Lieutenant popped up, “Captain Fargo?”

“Go ahead.”

“Sir, that man arrested for the attempted murder at Feeder Three just suicided. Some kind of pill. We’ve notified the locals.”

Fargo slumped, “Suicided? Really? How did he manage… Oh, never mind. Duly noted, thank you.”

Fargo and the master chief exchanged looks, “This isn’t good. They’re escalating.”

Fargo nodded, “That’s what I was thinking. Put an alert out to everybody.”

***

McDougal popped the first module out of the fabber, checked the metals levels and added another fifty pounds of plasteel pellets, making a note to order spare metals and plasteel pellets. He idly wondered if he could snag some run time on the big fabber GalPat had in Center City, but decided to wait until he had two units to see if his idea actually worked.

He glanced up and was surprised to see it was seventeen already, and he got up slowly, stretched and set the prototype repulsor on the bench. Deciding he was done for the day, he quickly calculated the capacity of the fabber, added two more bars of metal, and programmed for two more modules, figuring it would take most of the night for them to run. He hit start, then checked the perimeter that he could see before opening the door, quickly closing it, and scampering into the hab module.

He headed to the autochef, fed in his order and turned to the little dining table, “Hey, Rai. Anything on that guy from this morning?”

Rai grimaced, “Dammit Mac, don’t you ever check your datacomp? They caught him, questioned him, and he suicided. It was on the alert broadcast an hour ago.”

“Oh. Uh, I… I was busy.”

“Well, thanks to you, we’re going to be doubling up. The captain is bringing another three-sixty head and monitoring station up here tomorrow. That means we’re going to have four on watch at a time. Which means we’re basically on port and report. You’re not qualified to stand watch are you?”

McDougal replied, “No, I’m only certified for maintenance. But I am duty maintenance for the entire det, not just you guys. And I’m the only maintainer out here.”

Rai grumbled but subsided, when McDougal pointed that out, “Okay, okay. We’re going to be rotated in a week anyway, so maybe we’ll rotate home before we have to come back up here.”

McDougal gave him a hands up gesture, “Sorry. It’s not like I did it on purpose.”

The autochef dinged, then spit out McDougal’s dinner. He grabbed it, flopped down at the other table, and ate as quickly as he could. He dumped the plate into the autochef’s return slot, and made for his coffin. Sliding in, he racked the deskcomp, checked the system alerts were all clear, and racked out.

***

McDougal made it to the maintenance module without getting shot at, which was, in his mind, a good thing. Two more units sat on the out tray of the fabber, and he sat them on the bench beside the original one. Running a check on the fabber, he grimaced, Dammit, out of metal. And I’m down to three barrels of plasteel. Maybe I can get some on the shuttle today, if I talk nice to supply… Flipping through the forms on his deskcomp, he found the supply request and plugged in enough metal bars and plasteel barrels to do at least six more units.

Once that was done, he rooted around in the parts bin, finally found the right cable and connected the mini-repulsor to the maintenance system. He gingerly applied power, and sighed with relief when the unit powered up without arcing or sparking.

Flipping back to the systems diagrams, he cobbled together a BIT test for the module, made sure it was facing away from him, and hit start. Thirty seconds later, it completed, and from all appearances met spec as he had modified it.

He duplicated the testing on the other two units, and only had to replace one molycirc that had a temp fluctuation issue that worried him. That one passed on retest, and he dug around for more cable. Finding one two hundred foot length, he called security on his wrist comp.

“Rai, Senior here. I need to run a quick test on a piece of hardware outside the module. Is the area clear where I can set up two units two hundred feet apart?”

“Standby.”

Mac drummed his fingers nervously, until finally Rai came back, “Yeah, quiet as a mouse out there today. Not even the usual protesters by the gate.”

“Okay, thanks. I’ll be out for about fifteen.” He picked up one unit, connected it to the cable, and carried it out toward the end of the compound until he ran out of cable. Hustling back, he connected the second unit to the other end, made sure the cable was taut, and plugged a second cable into that unit. Running it back in the module, he plugged it into the maintenance station. He started to power up the minis, but stopped, went to the door and looked out, confirming the white side faced him. Satisfied, he powered the units up, ran the BIT again, then hit activate for thirty seconds. There was a little instability for about ten seconds, but everything looked like it smoothed out.

He stuck his head back out the door, and was surprised to find the unit closest to the door buried about three inches in the ground. Huh, wonder what… Oh wait, if it braces, it might try to balance the forces across all the modules. Trotting out to the other module, it was sitting on rock, but there was a little indentation, so maybe his idea was right.

He powered the modules back up, stepped out of the door, and picked up some gravel that was everywhere. Flipping it at the imaginary line between the two units, he was gratified to see it cross that line and fall to the ground. Stepping back inside, he fiddled with the programming, truncating the outside halves of the modules, and only running full power between the two. He walked back out, picked up some more gravel and flipped it, with the same result. Walking well around where he thought the edge of the field was, he got on the gray side, picked up more gravel and flipped it at the line. It seemed to stop in mid-air and bounce to the ground. Picking up a bigger rock, he threw it at the line, it did the same thing.

His wrist comp beeped, and he glanced down at it, SHUTTLE INBOUND. ETA 6 MIN. “Shit, gotta shut this down,” McDougal grumbled to himself. He ran quickly back to the module, checked that the power feeds were still good, and powered the system down to standby.

***

Fargo looked over the Feeder Three site, mentally cataloging the issues, as he walked toward the perimeter. He saw a cable running to a strange gray and white object partially buried with another cable running from it to what looked like another one some distance away. Turning, he followed the cable with his eyes, surprised to see it terminating at the maintenance module. What the hell? What is this… He walked over to the module, opened the door and found McDougal deep in a maintenance screen, “Mac?”

McDougal looked up, then popped to attention, “Sorry, sir. Didn’t hear you come in.”

“What’s the gray and white ball that’s half buried out there?”

“Um, er… Something I’m trying out, sir.”

Fargo made a come on motion with his hand, “And?”

“Well, we had an attack out here, and… Well, I, uh… I kinda built a little repulsor module test bed.”

“A what?”

McDougal got, “Lemme show you, sir.” He stuck his head out the door, confirmed there wasn’t anyone near the two units, and powered them back up to full power. He walked out, Fargo following, picked up some gravel, and said, “See, from this side, it’s non-functional, er… It doesn’t stop anything.” He flipped the gravel over the line, and it fell to the ground on the other side. Walking around the module, he picked up more gravel and threw it at the line, where it bounced and hit the ground, “This side, it stops things from coming in.”

Looking around, he found a bigger rock, maybe 10-15 pounds, and heaved it at the line. It bounced too, landing about 3 feet from the line. Fargo cocked his head, “You did this Mac?”

“Yes, sir. I, um… I downsized a repulsor module from the armor, and…”

McDougal went down the nearrat hole into schematics, leaving Fargo shaking his head, until he interrupted, “Mac, I think this has some potential…”

“You do, sir?”

At least for here, Mac. How many of these things would you need to cover the perimeter?”

“Uh, standby one…” Turning to his datacomp, he quickly ran a set of calculations, “Um… Twenty-one. I can piggy back sonics modules…”

Fargo held up his hand, “No, we’ve already got those in place. I’ll hit GalPat for, what nineteen more modules? Can you send the data to their fabber?”

McDougal nodded quickly, “Yes, sir. Got it right here.” He typed something into the datacomp and continued, “It’s on cue for their fabber now. Just waiting for command approval.”

My coffee fund is getting low, so buy books! That way I stay awake and write… 🙂


Comments

Rimworld- Update — 9 Comments

  1. A true NCO! Goes out and fixes a problem no one else knew could be solved. His gift (and his curse) is hyper-focusing on a problem to the exclusion of all else, time included.

    I can see another award in Sgt McDougal’s future (assuming he survives the assignment)…

    Keep writing, man!

  2. I finished Into the Green and made my comment. Now I am waiting on your next two books, Greyman and the next Rimworld. Turn two, commence the written word.

  3. Umm, OK. I was going to wait and buy it for my son’s Christmas present, but I suppose he will need a book to read at the beach…let me shake the couch cushions to see if there is any change lurking around. My ex always stressed to me how important coffee was…

  4. Review done!

    Why does everyone call guns that fire “needles” needle guns. No matter what the ammunition or the means of propelling the ammo, wouldn’t we always just call them “guns”? Early in a book you could say, “The needle he fired from his gun hit the armor and shattered.” This would let the reader know what guns are like in your universe with having to always say, needle gun. Then, if it’s anything other than a needle gun you can have the “person” say to himself, “Wow, a 20th century cartridge gun.”

    Just an observation, FWIW

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