Welcome to Blue Planet

Archipelago Intro Contest:

Entry by Daniel R Sterling Hill

"Grey with the Fray"
by Daniel R Sterling Hill
       Upon making your way out of the crowded spaceport and on to the
biocrete walkway, you are abruptly thrown backwards by an air blast from 
the turbo fans of a swift, roaring vehicle. While lying on the ground, you 
catch a red jumpbike slow, reverse and hyper-rev wildly back towards your 
uncomplimentary position. A thin, wiry man hurdles out of the sleek levitating 
hopper and rushes toward you with his hand extented. "Oh, hey I'm really sorry 
bout that!" he exclaimes excitedly. "It's alright, I needed a better view of the 
Serpen Sun," you growl sarcastically while accepting his offering of help. 
"Well, me names' Manger and today's zip ride is a free scrip ride on me!" he 
shouts, standing with arms outstretched, flashing a dirty brown and yellow smile 
complete with chromium alloy capped teeth. Before you can even rebound a negative 
word, the darkly tanned man quickly tosses your luggage into the back port of 
the wavering bike. A crowd of tall aquaforms suddenly pass in front of you, blocking 
your field of view. After which, revealing the man already hunched into the driver's 
rear seat of the jumper. "C'mon, c'mon!! Get in. Let's fly!!" he yells. You stand 
there in anger, clutching your soon to be bruising shoulder, glaring at this gangly 
man. Long blonde hair drapes to one side of his head, while the other side is
smoothly shaven and decorated in wild, aquatic tribal tattoos. "C'mon, I ain't 
gonna dope ya!" he yells again, moving his sun-refracting goggles down across his 
psoriasis flecked face. Thinking that a free taxi ride is well deserving of your
pains, you carefully climb into the front passenger seat of the hovering bioplastic 
jumpbike. You feel the power plant vibrate and grown loudly, as the nimble craft 
suddenly hyper-motivates forward out of the Nathaniel Memorial Spaceport.
       A whining, actuated shield moves above your head, closes and locks.
Sun-bleached spires and rich green palms motion blur out of your peripheral sides. 
Haven's blue ocean expanse begins to widen ahead. "Yeah, me full names' Manger 
Madsin, but me friends call me Mange. What's yer call?" the crackling voice from 
behind glurts. "My names' of little relevance to you right now," you reply calmly. 
"Ok, sure," he pauses. "Everbody's got der own posture, I can understand that. So 
a, where ya wanna go? Brighton? Colonial park? Oceanside?" he asks, while adjusting 
his vidcam and ticking unseen switches. "Just keep flying and I'll tell you when 
and where," answering him in an irritated tone. You feel for the multi-magnum 
concealed on your side, just in case the questions get to intrusive. "Hey, Mange 
gets yer wave," he  replies jestfully. "You juss wanna skim and scan. That's real 
salty. I like yer attitude! Well, juss sit back, relax and grey with da fray, 
cause yer zipp'in with da best archipelago tourioso on dis big-o-ball a blue!"
       The turbine fans rock forward as the biobike banks and climbs to a
moderate altitude above Haven's east harbor. The shifting view reveals a large 
jutting mountain island with terraced buildings and tall glistening spires. Ships 
of all makes and sizes dot the fringes of the city obstinately buoyed by the glowing 
blue waters of Poseidon's pristine ocean. Glancing below and to the left, you 
notice a large structure supported by huge water floats. "What's that?" you 
querrily shout above the engine roar. "Oh, that is da Haven Coliseum. If ya like 
hydroshot or cetacean races, that's da place ta rest yer fins. I remember dis one 
match when..." "What about that one over there?" interrupting Mange in mid-sentence.
"That's de-uh...shroomy! Well that's what I call it. But it's really da church of 
Whalesong Theogony. It was completely bio-engineered with coral. A true testament 
of poseido-tech. Really tripy stuff." The altitude of the jumpbike begins to 
decrease. Rolling shadows of the craft sharpen on the water below. The coral 
church and ocean view give way to sprawling structures of unusual and marveling 
design. Each building striking a stalwart pose of defiance against the alien 
landscape. Mange continues to blab, "I'm a gonna take ya through part of Old town 
and through da Heights. Maybe even introduce ya to some of me friends."  From Mange, 
you now begin to question his overly friendly attitude. Almost to the point of 
wondering if the whole spaceport scene was, perhaps, preplanned.
       The black vidscreen in front you suddenly shimmers into electric life.
An attractive, red-haired female with pouty green lips appears on the screen. 
"Hey Mange. I'm tracking your GP coordinates and there's a jump...The message 
is quickly cut short by a loud cyclic noise and flashing red console lights. Mange
throttles back just as another jumpbike sweeps into the forward view; centimeters 
from a mid-air collision. "Stay in yer own layer ya damn jack-head!" Mange shouts 
angrily. The intrusive bike hovers down and then out of sight. "Hey Mange! You still 
alive?" the voice from the vidscreen returns. "Yah yah, we're still swimm'in. Thanks 
for da warning doll," Mange answers, as he guides the vehicle closer to street level. 
The image of the woman fades.
       Mange switches off the collision lights, as you begin to enter Old
town. "That wuz Keelah. She's a transhuman with da best body sculpted biomod ya ever 
seen. A real stingray of perfection." You hear him pause and breathe outwardly in lost 
aversion. "Hey, are ya interested in any enhancers?" he asks candidly. You remain silent. 
Knowing now, that this whole episode is a scam. "Hey, whatever ya want. Endorphins? Pharium? 
Hydroshot passes? Image sound? Ya name it and Mange can get it. Ya got da scrip...we got 
ya trip!" he sings while laughing out loud. You then interrupt his laughter saying, "Alright
Mange cut the crap! Who the hell sent you to find me?" The afterward pause is only broken 
by the electric  revival of the front vidscreen. Mange's face appears in view, flashing
his silver capped teeth. He smiles thinly and says, "Welcome to the Archipelago. Yer 
gonna luv it here."