Monday, August 15, 2011

Troubleshooters shoot trouble

Many years ago, don't they all start that way, my brother created a pen and paper, role-playing, game system called "Troubleshooters".  The whole premise of the game was that the characters were part of an elite police force called "The Troubleshooters".  Their job was to take car of things that the normal police force couldn't handle.  Essentially, they were an uber-swat team with license to kill and blow things up.  The game was set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where the majority of the planet was a barren wasteland due to the loss of the Ozone Layer.  Most of humanity has moved underground and those left above become horribly mutated by the resultant radiation.  The population is ruled over by greed Mega-corporations, etc.  Not an original idea in science fiction, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a story in there some place.

As you can see, I don't hesitate to "steal" ideas from my older brother.  To be honest, although he created the initial game, his idea was more about setting up a functional game system rather than building a complete world.  Also, I did help with some of the design, so I don't consider it "stealing" so much as "fleshing out" a world that had yet to be completely developed.  Besides, one of my earlier story ideas involved this world.
I wrote a couple paragraphs when I was a teenager, but never got beyond that.  There were many reasons why I never went beyond those few paragraphs, but the reasons aren't as important as the fact that I never finished.

One of these days, I plan on writing in this milieu.  I even have a few ideas.  I do plan on making a few changes (sorry James!), but they will be mostly cosmetic.  For example, an underground environment will never have anything so mundane as weather.  It will be a perfect 72 degrees and always sunny (at least artificially).  Weather is always a good way of setting the mood of a scene, so a setting would be more difficult without it.  It could be done, of course, but I'm not sure I want to deal with a perfectly comfortable environment.  Any change in "weather", in an underground setting, would constitute a serious emergency that could threaten the entire "city".  I still want to retain an underground setting, at least for part of it, but I also want something topside.  This could create an interesting dynamic between the "undergrounders" and the "top worlders".

Another issue with being wholly underground is spaceflight.  Although there wasn't anything as fancy as "hyperspace", there was the occasional trip into orbit.  Especially to a space station.  Seriously, if you were the CEO of a corporation would you rather live in a whole in the ground or in a palatial space station?  I know where I would live.  So, that would necessitate having some kind of space port, or ports, which would have to be outside.

More later.

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