Saturday, October 13, 2018

Transpose Operator light novel launch!

I posted about this when my patreon launched, but just to remind you all since today is a very important day, the Transpose Operator light novel prologue launched!!!

This is a patreon exclusive project that is available to those pledging $5+

This is a project that has been in the making for literally years, starting out as a webcomic before becoming what it is today. Since it's a light novel that means I'll be doing interstitial illustrations and comics too. The Patreon sections will be mostly prose-only, and are considered to be polished first drafts. That means there will be errors and typos occasionally. The ultimate goal is to eventually revamp the webcomic website to accommodate this new format--however it's going to be quite some time before this happens.

If you would like to support me and read a story very dear to me that I've put a lot of work into, please head over to my patreon to check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/posts/transpose-light-22033293



Below is an excerpt to get you started, enjoy!
-content warning for violence/gore-
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I reached a forked area with four diverging paths, picked the one on my left and kept going. A short way down the hallway I saw the door labeled “secondary storage” and made my way towards it. If everyone around me wasn’t so hurried this would have looked strange. I was clad in a lab coat and uniform for the nanomachines R&D department within the capitol, during a crisis there would be no reason for me to be running around getting in the way of others, let alone going into a seldom used storage room. I opened the plain metal door quietly and quickly, closing it behind me in the same manner.

I scanned the room, and upon seeing no one inside I internally sighed in relief. I had no time to waste. I quickly walked past the crowded towering shelves that reached toward the cieling and to the designated drop off spot—a shelf facing the back wall. I crouched down and pushed a tall flat box aside, it had was hiding my true objective which was small crate directly behind it. I opened the crate with little effort as it wasn’t sealed, and began to dig through the padding, my hands finding the cool metal of the bottom of the box, and tracing it until I met one of the corners and my hands hit a rough metal device.

My heart skipped a beat, and then my stomach sank as I curled my fingers around the object and drew it out of the crate.

It looked inconspicuous, a small metal cylinder with a dull jagged edge on one end and a cap on the other. It seemed absurd that this small object could simultaneously end or save many lives--in my case, I would be using it to do both. The gravity of taking this object out of Its hiding place and what that meant finally hit me in this moment. I thought I had been prepared for it. It was like all of my muscles had tensed up from the stress of my body catching up to my brain and I held my breath for a second…

It’s already started, I can’t stop here.

I have to keep going.

I let out the captured breath I had been holding in as the tenseness of my muscles subsided.

I pocketed the small object and quickly made my way out of the storage room. Before I knew it I was running down the hallway towards the entrance. I could hear the blood rushing in my ears as my heart beat faster and I avoided the others in the hallway who passed me. I had to get out of here. I had to make it to the drop off point no matter what.

It happened in an instance--a loud explosion deafened all sound as it overtook and dominated everything within range. Accompanying that eruption of noise was smoke and a blast of debris as the foundations of the very floor I was standing on were rocked. The lights flickered and dimmed above me. I heard smaller pops within that din as the screams of those around me became engulfed and a piercing ringing overtook me until it was all I could hear.

I was suddenly thrown against the far wall and the wind was knocked out of me. The whole right side of my body then my head hit the wall and for a moment everything was white as my eyes couldn’t sense what was in front of them. My body felt both numb and heavy all over, it didn’t make sense but there was no other way to describe it. Some parts of my body felt heavier than others like something was on top of them but I couldn’t see. I felt a piercing pain in my left arm.

There were muffled voices, they sounded far away… but I think they were beside me? I couldn’t be sure until I groggily opened my eyes, I blinked quickly, trying to get the world back into focus. I squinted. It was like I was willing myself to see and hear my surroundings instead of it coming back to it naturally—I needed to force it to know what had happened. How badly was I injured? Could I still get out of the building?

Eventually the scene in front of me swam into view.

Was there always a window here?

No… not a window… but a hole…

Weaponry had blasted a hole in the hallway in front of me. From the opening in the wall smoke and debris fell haphazardly, I had been lucky to have been caught at the edge of the explosion, any further and I would have been…

As my gaze drifted to the other side of the hallway, I saw those who had been in front of me just seconds ago… The explosion had torn them apart, painting the walls around them with blood and viscera. Others were just red smears on the debris of the hallway that gave no indication that they had ever been human.

My eyes widened. My breath caught in my throat.

My hands started to shake, and that caused sharp pain to shoot through my left arm. I looked away from the dead bodies and down at my arm right below my shoulder, it was just a surface wound luckily, but it was enough to dye my white coat red, it had torn right through it, severing the fabric and flesh beneath the coat.

I focused on ripping the rest of the fabric, and tying it around my arm in an improvised bandage.
It was better than nothing.

Focusing on my arm had caused my hands to stop shaking. I moved some debris that had fallen on my legs, luckily it hadn’t injured them it had just trapped me. I could not believe how narrowly I not only escaped death, but lasting injury. If I had been any faster… if I had been even a few inches further into the hall than I was right now… my body would have told a completely different story. The debris was heavy and it took a lot of strain and ignoring the pain shooting through my left arm until I was able to remove it all. My arms felt weak from all the effort. Considering the alternative, I was more than happy to have to deal with my limbs feeling like jelly and being able to feel the pain from the superficial injury my arm had suffered. I could have easily ended up as red stain in the white of the hallway like those who had been in font of me. As I weakly stood up, the dust and smoke had begun to clear, giving me a view out upon the city and hitting home just how damaging the scale of this attack was at this moment.

Sprawled out into the distance was the capitol of the Regency Federation. This place had been my home for years, but it was a home only in the sense that I had lived here for many years of my life exclusively. The research building I was in was right in the heart of the city and surround but other building just as tall or taller than this one. We were in the science district, an area that focused on developing new technologies or refining existing ones. Smoke and explosions wracked the previously serene landscape of the towering city buildings, it poured in-between them and into the dome covered sky. The sound of gunfire and artillery shells in the distance resounded again, but louder this time as there was no longer a wall in the way to muffle the noise. I could hear yelling and screaming accompanying the instruments of death and destruction and was left to imagine what was happening to those whose voices I was hearing. From my current position I couldn’t see the street level below me so I wasn’t able to ascertain if the immediate fighting had made it this far. Additionally there was no way to tell who the tide of this fight was in favor of… but it had seemed like the others had made it far into the city already. However the action looked like it was concentrated towards the city gates. I hadn’t thought they’d be using heavy artillery like this that could hit from so far away, but it must have been a rogue shell… either that or the city defense system had malfunctioned after Isaiah and his team had put their plan into motion to disarm it. If that was the case then the city’s defenses might be turning against itself… that wasn’t part of the plan.

Although I found it oddly fitting, based on the true nature of this place.

Death and war had always been the business of the capitol. The people here made all the decisions from their quiet meeting rooms, and somewhere in the world far away from here, people died. This place is where it all started and yet this was the first-time actual violence had graced the insides of these walls. I swallowed hard and told myself…

You did this.

You wanted this.

You have to keep going.

Yes, I had to keep going, I couldn’t stop and feel sorry for how things had come to this point. I took a deep breath.

“Keep going, Karin.” I said aloud to myself. It was quiet but my voice didn’t waver. I clenched my fists and turned my gaze away from the gaping hole in the wall. The hallway had gotten damaged but it wasn’t destroyed. I could still cross it, but I would have to be careful. There was a little over a foot of floor left at the thickest part, as long as I kept against the wall and kept my balance I could make it across. I had to make it across.

I pressed my back flat against the wall and began to slowly shuffle sideways, making slow methodical progress across the damaged hallway floor. Instead of looking at the two story drop below me, I focused on my feet, where I had to put them next, if the floor was still stable as I moved to the next section—focusing on my movements instead of the fact that my footing could crumble at a moments notice. Even with my focus being drawn away from a drop that could easily kill me, my palms were sweaty, and my nerves cried out that what I was doing was going to result in me becoming a red stain on the concrete below me. I was scared, but I kept going. Edging slowly, eventually I made it to the other side without incident, but my heart was going a mile a minute even though I was safe, for now. I scaled some debris that blocked my path and I was met with the sight I had seen after the blast.

These people had been my co-workers. Luckily I didn’t recognize any of them by their faces, or any other identifiers that were on what was left of their bodies… but I recognized their uniforms. Had these people also been forced into the same indentured servitude that I had? Had they been ripped from their homes and forced to be a cog in the system like me? It was at least a 50/50 chance… but regardless, none of them had asked for this. Being caught up in death and destruction in the place that was supposed to be the safest city in the world. Defying the capitol wasn’t something that an individual was capable of, I knew that. If these people had ever held ideas of rebellion or freedom in their hearts, I had no way of knowing. Maybe there had been a way to save them or avoid this… but I couldn’t think about that now that it was happening and they were already gone.

“I’m sorry…” I said quietly as I stepped around their bodies. The fact that this hadn’t made me sick to my stomach or pass out was almost sad. I thought on it briefly… I guess I had gotten used to the sight of dead bodies long ago. That certainly wasn’t normal for someone who worked in this research department far from the front lines. All I could do was apologize and move on. What a callous person I am.

There were less people to run past on this side of the hallway and I made it to the stairwell easily. As I descended I heard a scream of terror and then a brief gurgling noise. There was a quieter muffled voice but I couldn’t make it out from this distance.

Danger.

I stopped in my tracks midway down the stairwell and crouched down behind the solid railing that hid me from view entirely. The lights above me flickered briefly, most likely a result from the explosion earlier, it bathed the area in an unsettling half-darkness as one of the lights popped and went out. From my position I could peek over and see the hallway entrance I had been heading towards. I needed to get out of the building and that hallway would lead me to the entrance. But there was something out there that was giving me pause. The noise I had heard earlier made it clear there was something wrong, more wrong than what I could reasonably expect from this situation. At this distance from the city gates there should have just been artillery fire, and even ground forces would be using guns instead of close quarters combat weapons. But I hadn’t heard gunfire. I hadn’t heard artillery. I hadn’t even heard any energy weapons. What was it?

The brief silence was broken by screams and running. I could make out some words.

“Wh-why are they-!?”

“Use the kill code!”

“Why aren’t they stopping!? I thought these were security-!”

Security? The only security stationed in this building was android security units. This didn’t make sense to me based on my current information. Security systems should have been disabled, that meant the androids too as they were connected to that same system.

And then I saw someone—a man in a lab coat similar to mine, he ran past the doorway and tripped, he turned back and looked terrified at whatever had been chasing him. The man scrambled to his feet but he wasn’t fast enough to even stand up completely. He screamed as a security android leap upon him, pinning to the ground and straddling his chest. It had been effective at immobilizing him by using its knees to pin the man’s arms to the ground so he couldn’t move them while the main weight of the thing kept the man’s chest pinned with his back flat on the stone floor. The man’s legs flailed powerlessly as he screamed and struggled to free himself.

“S-stop! Why!? What is-“

It had all happened in a split second before I could even register it fully. The man had fallen, been pinned, cried out, and then the android had gripped his head with both hands on either side of his face. It wrenched it’s arms up slightly, then down into the ground with enough force to crack the polished stone of the floor. A spurt of blood erupted from the back of the man’s head, and the sickening thump that had accompanied the horrifying sight was like nothing I had ever heard. The man was no longer making noise or struggling, but the android on top of him didn’t seem to register that—or more likely it just didn’t care, it continued its grim task by wrenching the man’s head up once again only a few inches this time, then wrenched it down with such force that it drove his head through the floor, and it’s arms went with it, burying them both in about a foot of dismantled stone floor. More blood accompanied the savagery, coating the surroundings crimson. The android itself was now dripping blood from the man it had just obliterated and it streamed down in red rivets. I had hoped the man had died quickly and hadn’t been alive for the second attack… it was the only thing I could consciously think of as my mind had gone blank for the split second that this all took place. The force had seemed to cause the androids arms to become stuck in the floor along with the remains of the man’s head, but judging by what I knew about the strength of security androids, I doubted it would stay trapped for long.

What the hell was happening!? Why was this android suddenly going berserk!?

I quickly took stock of its appearance, hoping there would be some kind of clue or reason that I could deduce. It was a male security android dressed in the same uniform as every other security android. The white porcelain skin that every android had was now stained with the blood of his victim, but otherwise it looked normal. It’s head had been turned away just enough that I couldn’t see its eyes before, but now as it struggled to free itself from the floor, it moved erratically, it’s head turning to the side and revealing it’s face. Normally androids all had flat blank expressions, they needed to feel different enough from humans that they didn’t have an uncanny valley effect, but needed to look similar enough to make people comfortable. They were meant to fade into the background of society, integrated as everyday tools. They weren’t meant to show complex emotions as that would be too unnerving, they were supposed to be polite and efficient. Yet the expression I now saw spread across the face of the security android was the stuff of nightmares: its teeth were bared, its mouth was open to the extent that it split the white skin casing in order to contort its mouth in a silent scream that it’s casing was unable to facilitate. The tear exposed circuitry and the black ichor substance that kept them all running leaked from it as something internally had obviously burst with the force that it was using to open a mouth not capable of the task. One of its ears was just gone and exposed the bright glow of circuitry underneath. And its eyes… the eyes which should have been a flat unremarkable color were now glowing in an unnatural red light. Those eyes that were supposed to look emotionless were now open wide, and the red glow seemed to stand out even more with the whites of its eyes fully exposed. Black Ichor oozed out of one of the eyes as the bottom lid had been torn. It began to make strained grunting noises as it moved, like it was a trapped beast, a guttural scream tore through its throat as it finally wrenched it’s arms out of the floor, cloth and casing shredding in the process, exposing more raw circuitry and spilling more of that black ichor from the internal damage it had suffered. It slowly stood up in a staggering jerky motion. It was then that I noticed it’s back rising and falling as if it were trying to breath with lungs that didn’t exist. It hunched over as one of its arms spasmed slightly and it’s head twitched as it faced a different direction.

Whatever this thing was… it was no longer an android… it had obviously become something else entirely. I quickly ducked down behind the railing partition. Luckily I was shielded from view, but as it was a security android, it would have the ability to see me if any of its searching systems besides optical verification were working. According to how things should have gone, the security system should have been disabled… I could no longer trust that was the case, I had to assume those… androids… could find me if they looked in this direction.

What should I do?

Its blocking the exit.

I had precious few seconds to make a decision. I could go back upstairs and find another stairway, or I could try and make it to a lower floor and hope that the tunnel systems were still accessible—but then I’d have to go past that entryway and risk being seen and torn apart just like that poor man had been only seconds ago.

Another bestial yet mechanical shriek tore through my thoughts and as I braced myself to run. However it was followed by footsteps running away from me as it followed a human woman’s terrified scream further into the lobby. I chanced a look over the railing again and saw that the figure was no longer standing there. I saw another corrupted android similar to the first streak past and follow towards the lobby entrance.

There was more than one of them.

This wasn’t isolated to a single android.


It was possible that only this building had been affected by whatever was happening, but based on the artillery shell that had blown a hole in this building, I doubted that. The shell had come from a different building mounted gun on a neighboring building based on the trajectory needed to hit that part of the building. Also if the attempt to disabled the entire security system for the city had gone wrong and caused this, it was likely that this was happening everywhere.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
And there you go! This is just a very small excerpt mind you, so if you wanna find out the rest then head on over to my patreon and become a supporter!

https://www.patreon.com/posts/transpose-light-22033293

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Cells At Work

I marathoned almost the entire show and it's super cute, funny, and surprisingly informational. I highly recommend Cells At Work.










Thursday, August 23, 2018

Detroit Become Human fanzine artwork!

I'm working on several zine submissions for the This is Our Story, Detroit Become Human fanzine. I'm doing an illustration, and merch like keychains and buttons. Here's some of the in-process work for it!


For the illustration i came up with 2 different ideas. I also wanted to utilize the language of flowers with this too, so they're included in both ideas.

I ended up going with the 2nd one, it's not finished yet but i'll post the finalized version when it's done! I might eventually do the 1st one too as I really like the concept. the 1st one was about the dichotomy of player choice and how you can shape Connor as a cold machine or an emotional individual depending on your choices. the 2nd one is about the emotional journey of becoming self aware and Connor embracing his individualism and life separate from Cyberlife.



For the keychains I also had 2 different ideas, a chibi version and a more realistic version. These are going to be rubber keychains as well and it's the first time I've done merchandise in rubber.

While I like the realistic ones, the chibi ones were the obvious choice.

I actually finished these, so here they are in their final state:
working on these was really similar to working on enamel pins. I'm both excited and nervous to see how these turn out in the final. I had to work with a limited color palette so while I would have liked to use more colors, everyone is limited. It made me think about the coloring process differently too.



I'm also doing a set of buttons, one of Marcus and one of Carl, so they'll be a matching set. I'll post those when they're done too.



anyway, I hope you like this little preview. The zine website is here:


and they'll be posting news on how to acquire the zine once it's done. I'll be posting stuff online about it as well so you don't miss out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

4 new prints up on my etsy!

I have updated my etsy store with 4 new prints!





All of these mini-print postcards are availiable now! They're $5 each and are in a limited quantity spread between my online shop and cons.

you can visit my etsy shop HERE!


Monday, July 23, 2018

Dragon Age Inquisition print preview

Here's a preview of the Dragon Age Inquisition Varric print i'll be posting to my etsy soon!


I'll do another post once he's available as i'm planning to update my shop with multiple new prints soon!
In the meantime you can visit my store here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/RoxboxStudio