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Bluejay: Prologue

by Necromancer14


Jay Galax was a soldier. He, along with the rest of unit 107 stood in a large, titanium room. In front of everyone was a screen.

This is it, thought Jay. If what the developers say is true, X-8’s military will truly be unstoppable.

On the screen, Jay could see the top secret facility, which was being shown to those of lower rank for the first time. It was a large building, with the top warping and twisting inward, forming an almost spiral shape. Jay had a feeling that inside that building, history was about to be made.

“Attention everyone! Project “Robby” is about to be activated for the first time,” came a voice from a speaker.

Project Robby was pretty much the only thing people were talking about. The only thing Jay and most people knew was that Robby was supposedly a new, devastating kind of weapon, one that would revolutionize the X-8 military, and would allow X-8 to finally crush the various threats to the galaxy cluster once and for all.

“Project Robby has been activated! Any moment now, some of the developers will exit the building with the new weapon! In the meantime, the lead developer, Marcus Gorjourj, will explain the details of the project.”

“Hello, my fine warriors!” spoke a green marutian. Marutians were green humanoids who only had one eye which was positioned on an eye stalk, sticking out from the top of the marutian’s head. “Today, I will explain what we have created. What you are about to see is an android, with intelligence comparable to that of a human. However, unlike the androids you are used to, this one is special, in not one but two ways.”

He paused and cleared his throat.

“We hired various sorcerers and wizards from various parts of the galaxy to help us in our endeavor. What we have created is the perfect combination of machine and magic. An android that not only has the capability to learn and wield magic, but also has been infused with more magical energy than our entire team of magic casters who have been helping us with the magic portion. This will not only ensure that Robby is extremely powerful, but the infusion of light magic should cause Robby to have an ethical set of morals.”

Several of the soldiers began murmuring in surprise, discussing this new occurrence. An android that can wield magic? Thought Jay. If this is true, then this is truly incredible.

“That is not all. Even without magic, Robby will be a force to be reckoned with. Our devs spent years building the most powerful CPU and frame for Robby to reside in. Because of this, Robby will also be able to move with full maneuverability and cognitive precision at the intense speed of Mach 2, and has a traveling speed of mach 90, which it will be able to reach in about 3 minutes. As for defenses, its hull is benefited with a revolutionary energy shield that can absorb up to an entire BlackShark-m80 warhead and then recharge in a mere 5 seconds. Also note, this will be on top of the magic shields that Robby can create.”

A blackShark-m80 warhead? Recharge in only 5 seconds? If this is true, then Robby is going to be nigh unkillable if it is also able to travel with full maneuverability at mach 2 and can cast defensive spells, thought Jay.

“Offensively, Robby will mostly rely on destruction spells. Although we won’t know the exact destructive capabilities due to not being able to test it properly, we can make an estimate that it will be on the level of smaller scale Colossus artillery, able to-”

Marcus’s voice was cut out suddenly and the screen went black.

“What happened?” asked someone.

Just then, alarms began to go off. “Project Robby has gone haywire, we request immediate backup from all units to shut it down. I repeat, we request immediate backup from all units to shut it down,” blared the speaker.

Jay and the other soldiers all barreled out of the room and into the hallway, towards a transportation airship. He and the other soldiers hopped in, and the ship began heading towards the lab. Jay looked ahead, and saw large, glowing black spheres blowing up like balloons on the ground and then disappearing, leaving craters in their wake. Those are massive. I’ve never seen a destruction spell so big, thought Jay, terrified. Also, why are they black colored? Isn’t that dark magic? I thought they said they used light magic.

Jay didn’t have time to ponder it anymore as the airship next to the one he was in was suddenly enveloped in a black explosion, getting incinerated. Jay looked ahead in the front windows and saw Robby for the first time. Robby had a silver colored, oval shaped body with oval appendages, seemingly unattached to the body, floating in space. Robby’s head was another oval, with two holes for eyes. The holes seemed to be filled with pitch black darkness. Around Robby, Jay could see the blue, spherical energy shield, which was shimmering.

Before Jay could do anything, Robby began moving so fast that Jay immediately lost track of where it was.

“Abandon ship!” came a voice, and Jay jumped out of the airship just as it exploded.

More ships began arriving, and Jay saw homing missiles getting launched. Jay pulled out his plasma rifle and began shooting in the general direction that Robby was.

“All ground troops and anyone in the area, retreat! We are going to hit sector 63 with Colossus artillery.”

Jay activated his jetpack and began flying away from sector 63 towards sector 61, the closest sector. Shortly after he reached it, he saw the medium-scale antimatter Colossus bomb dropping from the Colossus ship up in space. It then hit the ground and expanded, obliterating all of sector 63 in a perfectly round explosion. Did it work? Wondered Jay.

“Colossus artillery did not work! I repeat, Colossus artillery did not work! Robby managed to avoid the explosion, and is somehow already at our location, repeatedly attacking our energy shields! We are trying to bring it down with homing weapons, but-”

The voice in Jay’s comms stopped abruptly, and Jay saw an orange speck appear in the sky and then disappear as the Colossus ship exploded. We’re all doomed, thought Jay.


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Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:49 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi Necromancer! Lim stopping by with a review.

First Impressions

Yikes, Robby sounds like a creepy-looking robot. I started out thinking the name was a little funny, but as the story went on I could begin to sense the danger there. I’m guessing that Jay Galax is the main character since the novel is called Bluejay? Not sure I can form an opinion about him at the moment, since this chapter was mainly focused on the incident with Robby. The setting of the story sounds interesting, combining magic with technology and extra-terrestrials too, it seems.

Plot

Something I like about how you handled the plot is the foreshadowing that Project Robby might not be such a great idea after all.

A blackShark-m80 warhead? Recharge in only 5 seconds? If this is true, then Robby is going to be nigh unkillable if it is also able to travel with full maneuverability at mach 2 and can cast defensive spells, thought Jay.

^ When I read this bit, I was immediately thinking “oh no, what if Robby goes rogue or gets hacked?” and it was very ominous. The other detail about Robby’s morality being determined by light magic also sounded super sketchy to me. I was like “if morality was that simple, would there be any conflict in this setting at all?”. So when the alarms started to go off in the story I felt like it totally made sense.
It’s a bit iffy how a military was so incautious with such a powerful weapon, but I can imagine people in charge who are reckless like that, so it’s believable enough that I can follow the story.

Introduction

Something that I think could be improved about the introduction is making Jay’s relationship to X-8 a bit clearer. I didn’t particularly feel I could situate Jay within the first 4 paragraphs or so. At first, I thought X-8 was an enemy force or something, since Jay’s tone in thinking “X-8’s military will truly be unstoppable” is ambiguous. Is he happy about it? Proud? Or unhappy? The line in the 5th paragraph makes it a bit clearer that he’s part of the X-8 military:
one that would revolutionize the X-8 military, and would allow X-8 to finally crush the various threats to the galaxy cluster once and for all.

But I think it would be nice to have that be more obvious earlier on in the intro.
In general as well, I think it would be nice to have more of a sense of Jay’s opinions on things.
An android that can wield magic? Thought Jay. If this is true, then this is truly incredible.

Lines like this come across as a bit uninformative or flat to me, because there’s no description that could hint at his attitude or feelings, such as say, tone, physical sensations, facial expression, etc. Hope that makes sense and let me know if it doesn’t!

Descriptions

Some parts of the descriptions I liked were the ones of Robby and Robby’s powers. They’re clear and simple, which makes it easy to imagine. The description of Jay seeing Robby “for the first time” also has the effect of making Robby look strange and scary to me, especially with all the ovals, which are usually cute and harmless shapes, now floating around in an odd way and being capable of mass destruction. Robby having “pitch black darkness” for eyes is also spooky.
As a side note, I also liked the short and sweet description of the Marutians – I could clearly imagine them and they also seem pretty fun somehow. “eye stalk” reminds me a bit of a snail c:

Overall

I think the chapter’s ending is a pretty memorable one that would lead well into the continuation of the story. I’m left wondering how Jay will survive and get out of this, and what his next action will be now that Robby has probably destroyed that military facility. I’m also curious how Robby ended up being able to use dark magic. I suspect tampering <.<

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask for more feedback!
-Lim






Thanks for the review! Also i get what you mean with the first few paragraphs, i probably should have made things clearer about what X-8 is exactly.



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Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:55 pm
TheGreatBanana says...



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Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:22 am
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VengefulReaper wrote a review...



Hey, Necromancer. Just here to leave a quick review for you.

First Impressions

I really like this prologue. The world you've immersed me into sounds really interesting. It's not too often you have a sci-fi novel that outright includes and acknowledges magic let alone integrate it with the sci-fi aspect of the novel. It's quite refreshing as opposed to the very grounded, hard sci-fi that I generally read.

Opening paragraphs

Jay Galax was a soldier. He, along with the rest of unit 107 stood in a large, titanium room. In front of everyone was a screen.

This is it, thought Jay. If what the developers say is true, X-8’s military will truly be unstoppable.

The opening is strong and you introduce your Jay within a few sentences which is great. I think you can make you opening line a little better if you switched these two paragraphs around. It just makes your first line a little more eye-catching.

On the screen, Jay could see the top secret facility, which was being shown to those of lower rank for the first time. It was a large building, with the top warping and twisting inward, forming an almost spiral shape. Jay had a feeling that inside that building, history was about to be made.

“Attention everyone! Project “Robby” is about to be activated for the first time,” came a voice from a speaker.

Project Robby was pretty much the only thing people were talking about. The only thing Jay and most people knew was that Robby was supposedly a new, devastating kind of weapon. one that would revolutionize the X-8 military, and would allow X-8 to finally crush the various threats to the galaxy cluster once and for all.

I like the build-up here. It really hypes project Robby up to be a game changer for X-8. The emboldened parts are just some grammar corrections. I think you can split the last sentence up. It gets really wordy and difficult to follow with all the commas.

World building

The world building you've done here is a lot to take in from just a prologue. I do love the military vibe to it all and the mix with magic like here:
infusion of light magic should cause Robby to have an ethical set of morals.

So light magic is good and dark is evil? You mention later that the spheres were dark. Is this what made Project Robby go haywire? I do like that it comes back around at the end but I'm a bit unclear on whether light magic causes good morals or do good morals build up light magic.

I was a bit skeptical with all the stats given in one chunky paragraph but that changed when I realized you were using it to explain Project Robby doing some really crazy stuff after going haywire.

Speaking of which... I like the last segment of X-8 desperately trying to shut down Robby and resorting to retreating. I do wish we got some visual indications of Jay panicking or at least people around him doing so. For example:

More ships began arriving, and Jay saw homing missiles getting launched. Jay pulled out his plasma rifle and began shooting in the general direction that Robby was.

“All ground troops and anyone in the area, retreat! We are going to hit sector 63 with Colossus artillery.”

Jay activated his jetpack and began flying away from sector 63 towards sector 61, the closest sector. Shortly after he reached it, he saw the medium-scale antimatter Colossus bomb dropping from the Colossus ship up in space

In my mind, Jay doesn't seem bothered by the fact that he's being chased by an unstoppable android. When he fires in the general direction, do his eyes erratically move to try and track Robby's movements? Is he sweating or cursing under his breath? Maybe he can feel his heart racing and pounding in his chest.

The same thing for when he escapes with his jetpack. Is he relieved? Maybe his breathing slows down after he's gotten to safety? Or he falls to the floor in exhaustion? Just something visual that we can relate to and link to a certain emotion he was feeling at that moment.

Any-who.. That's all I've got so far. Looking forward to reading more soon. Feel free to tag me when you've posted another chapter. I've been looking for sci-fi novel to follow on this site and yours looks like it will be quite the ride.

Keep well and keep writing!
The reaper sends his regards.






Thanks for the review! You gave some excellent advice.




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