The year is 2XXX and the Earth is in various states of shambles and disrepair due to the last series of natural and unnatural catastrophes that rocked the four corners of the globe on the heels of a worldwide nuclear war. Due to the unstable aboveground conditions, the majority of civilization has moved underground into the underbellies of the various major metropolitan areas called ‘Undercities’.
As the years have gone by, horror stories and old wives tales have started cropping up that tell of strange misshapen creatures that have started roaming the Earth’s surface in place of the humans who had either died or made their exit years before. There are whispers, too, of a Second Apocalypse and it is only a matter of time before the rumors reach the ears of the man named Cypher.
Condemned to wander the Mortal Earth as a Cursed Immortal for all eternity, Cypher is a notorious rogue mercenary, bounty hunter, and unofficial odd jobs man who takes on any and all jobs that nobody else can or will. Enigmatic and mysterious and easily one of the best supplies runners and message couriers for the different Undercities, he is a recognizable face to nearly all but known by absolutely none.
Initially hired by the Mayor of Underwall to investigate the rumors and clear the immediate aboveground of the monsters, Cypher makes a startling discovery that leads him on a journey to find the source of it all and what he eventually uncovers is a truth more abominable than the monsters themselves.
Story and Art Samples
After riding for about three hours straight, I was taking a breather under the shade of a partially petrified tree growing next to an abandoned truck stop when this STENCH – fuck, but I’ll never forget that smell – assailed my nostrils with enough intensity to make me roll my head over and retch. In doing so, I found myself in the perfect position to witness something that made me recoil in pure disgust.
Peering out of the darkness of the abandoned gas station was a creature – a creature whose height was about my mid-thigh and whose body was almost bent over double in a sideways horseshoe fashion and whose spindly and knobby leg-like appendages made up the majority of the body. Its ears – at least I think they were ears – were pointed yet flappy and too big for its head and its nose was nearly non-existent if the two slitted holes in the middle of its face were any indication and its eyes –
It took immense effort for me to tear my gaze away from the shiny orbs of pitch black that glowed with an internal crimson fire and though I was ultimately victorious, I realized too late that the creature commanded the ability to hypnotize and on the heels of that realization, all hell broke loose.
Streaming out of the gas station’s doorway they came in droves – creatures whose descriptions defied words because no two creatures looked alike save for the uniformly grotesque and macabre feel of their appearance. After firing a series of scattershots into the approaching swarm, I was on my feet and running faster than I had ever run before in my life.
Predictably, the creatures gave chase, but much to my disgust and utter astonishment, the distance between us was never far and they managed to keep pace with me as if they were my very shadows.
Being that the writing for this project started out as a combination of script-writing and if-then scenarios, Beyond Redemption has a distinctly RPG feel to it with a heavy dose of choose-your-own-adventure flavoring.
Ultimately, I would love to one day work on this project as an interactive storybook (or even a fullblown video game, but that’s like trying to win multiple lotteries all at once!) with multiple plotlines and multiple possible endings.
Beyond Redemption was first conceptualized back in 2007 but work didn’t begin until 2009 and 2011 saw the completion of what I call the ‘major plotline and action-reaction nodes’ and a good majority of of the main character development which, yes, includes RPG-style character sheets. 😉
Currently, because of other priorities, this project is on temporary hold though I do still add updates to it when inspiration strikes.