Stepping up to the new world
This week has seen plenty of new activity. We have released two more stretch goals from the Spool Tower Kickstarter. Began listing more models from our back catalogue and exploring more channels of communication. Things are coming together nicely behind the scenes here at Digital Taxidermy and we are setting up to deal with our newfound fame and demand.
Digital Taxidermy updates
We have a twitch!
We thought it would be good to start showing you all more of what goes on behind the scenes here. To that end if you ever wonder what we are up too, subscribe to our twitch channel. We will be broadcasting test prints for new models, previews, and customer prints. If it is popular maybe we will look at doing more tutorial content or live streams with us and maybe singing!
Check it all out here: https://www.twitch.tv/digital_taxidermy
This week has seen the completion and release of the elevator and the planetary defence laser for our spool tower range. Also we have managed to start biting into our backlog of unreleased models. Two new bunkers have been released as STL’s. The Regelbau 638 medical bunker is a large concrete hospital with an operating theatre, ward rooms and toilets. Then there is the R671 Gun embrasure which was a common emplacement in the Atlantik wall. By request the gun from the M272 Coastal battery is now available to be printed separately.
The elevator is a multi-part model kit that forms an adjustable moving elevator. Featuring snap together joints and a adjustable landing hight this industrial looking elevator is a great compliment to any tall building.
We will have more coming to finish of the Kickstarter Delivery in the next couple of weeks, and will keep you up to date with things as they happen.
So without further ado we will take a step into ‘A Jolly Fine Dystopia’ and catch up with todays protagonists as they take a new step into the world of corpse processing.
Stepping up with the Corpse Grinder
++WARNING, THIS STORY CONTAINS ADULT THEMES AND LANGUAGE++
Torgil gulped in huge droughts of air as he fumbled with the lock. Finally getting it open, he swung the portal wide and jumped in before slamming it shut and bolting it behind him. Heaving, he pressed his back to it and slid down nearly collapsing out of energy.
“Home!” He shouted with a grin and very nearly his last breath. “I have it.”
Hestur’s head poked out of the engine cavity of a Paisley Efficient he’d been working on and lifted his welding visor up.
“In good condition?”
“Sure as water ain’t free! It’s a solid conversion coil!” Torgil unwrapped his satchel revealing the hardware that was obviously removed without regard to the vehicle it came from. Clipped wires and leads dangled uselessly.
“Perfect! Bring it over,” Hestur barely containing his gadget joy, “gonna soup up this Efficient something fierce with that!”
Torgil gathered his breath and satchel and slowly padded over to the vehicle.
“Run into anything worse than the rat mobs?” Hestur said greedily grabbing for the coil.
“Oh you know..”
An explosion just outside shook the porthole. Rain of metal debris slapped the outside and a cloud of dust rushed through the creases where the replacement hatch failed to maintain an air tight seal. Torgil and Hestur looked at each other.
“There’s always one.”
“As if the mobs weren’t bad enough. Little monsters’ll chase ya to the ends of the habs.”
A second explosion rocked the porthole again. A sheet of rusted steel on a nail with the words ‘Shit Box Garage’ scrawled on it rattled and fell to the floor with a clang.
“Unless there’s two,” Torgil grinned out of an instinctual defensive shrug. “Good thing you staggered those mines.” Hestur nodded grimly.
Torgil and Hestur were scavengers. Scavvies in the local parlance. Usually existing on the fringes of society, scavvies found work where they could or they sought their chits in more nefarious ways. These fellas weren’t interested in the violence of the gangs and all their shooting each other up in the streets.
Neither were they interested in taking up day jobs to earn just enough bossy boss chits to survive and get to work the next day. What they were good at was the iniquitous acquisition and low-tech retrofitting of gear. Torgil found the gear and Hestur slapped it together in interesting new ways. Sometimes Hestur would tinker up something useful for their own uses like the shotgun shell claymore mines that recently dispatched Torgil’s tailing vermin friends. Usually though, they’d sell whatever hardware they could revive. It wasn’t glamorous, by any means. If they kept their heads down and avoided the corps, bots and gangs it got them through the days. It wasn’t working or dying for anyone else so this way of life worked for them.
Torgil woke with a start as a spanner danced on the concrete floor.
“Shit, sorry.” Hestur had both feet on the bumper of the Efficient. He was suspended by a chain that lead to a pulley system being used to lower the engine head into the gutless vehicle.
“S’alright. Been up all night?” Torgil sat up rubbing his eyes and started fishing around in a stow box next to him.
“Yeah I promised a prospective buyer that I’d have this baby together for a look-see this afternoon.” Hestur certainly looked like he’d been at it for a week at least. Appearing exhausted was part of his haphazard look. His charming demeanor always gleamed through, so it was hard to tell.
“She doesn’t look like she’s together.” Torgil came away from the stow box with a FoodChow ingot and half a shake he’d saved from yesterday’s run to the Shake ‘N’ Shake.
“She’s together alright, her bits just haven’t met yet!” Hestur steadied one foot on the floor and then the other. He switched grips from one chain to another. Slowly, he lowered the Engine click by click into the compartment until he was satisfied with all the angles. “There! See?”
“I see you’ve got the engine near where it should be,” he grinned past a mouthful of FoodChow and swirled the now liquid shake in it’s cup.
“I told ya that wouldn’t keep in the stow box. You know melted shake was extra terrible for you, says so on the side.” He secured the chain hoist and inspected the side of Torgil’s cup. “There! Says ‘do not drink if melted, may cause blindness, sterility, hyper extreme paranoia, and a galactic case of the the trots!’.”
“You added that last bit,” Torgil inspected the warning himself, “besides, ‘hyper extreme paranoia’ is like.. my super power! Keeps me alive on all those runs to the Slag Heap you send me on.” He popped the last of the ingot into his mouth and washed it back with melted shake.
“Just make sure you get outside before the galactic trots get ya!” Hestur said climbing into a roller and skittering under the Paisley chassis fumbling for the spanner he’d dropped earlier on the way in. “Besides, you know I’ll have this baby together in no time. Especially if you help run the leads!” He called from the depths of the machine.
Torgil smirked, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and tossing his breakfast trash into the Reuse Receptacle that never seemed to ever get full. He idly wondered what happened in there but he was happy enough that he didn’t have to deal with it even though he sometimes heard it gurgling at night.
“Better I help get this together before you miss another customer by over promising and under delivering!”
“Ha-ha” came a mocking laugh from under the vehicle. Hestur was an excellent mechanic and even outstanding tinkerer but was absolute shit at giving proper estimates when it came to time or cost.
With Torgil’s help, they had the Paisley up and purring scant minutes before Hestur’s prospective buyer was supposed to arrive.
“Who are you gonna sell it to? A gang? Hando? Giblet? A bargain hunting fleshie?” Torgil adjusted his coveralls to try to appear less disheveled than he knew he was.
“None of that, I found a fatter fish,” Hestur beamed with pride. He’d been planning something special, Torgil could tell schemes were afoot. “Fella from the tracks is looking for a new pace car that’s got some fire under the hood.”
“Well that blower and conversion coil will definitely produce fire..” He couldn’t help giving Hestur flack.
“Shhh. He’s here.” A Sports Skyster pulled up and effortlessly settled into curbside docking clamps. A dapper gentlemen in a suit, bowler hat climbed out. A grumpy looking chaperone with a little too much gear under his jacked followed.
“Excuse me, this is Shit Box Garage, is it not? Is one of you fine chaps Hipster?”
“Hestur,” he corrected wiping his greasy hands on a shop towel. “I take it I have the pleasure of meeting Augustus Florn.. and company?”
Hestur walked over and shook the gentlemen’s hand. Torgil walked back to his Eazier Recliner and settled in pretending to be occupied with a gadget that looked more like a pipe fitting than tech. Augustus’ muscle eyed him warily but went back to surveying the area when it became clear Torgil was disinterested in the commerce happening out front.
“Hyper extreme paranoia, score one for Torgil.” He mumbled to himself and then dipped his hand between the cushions of the recliner and came up with a tiny remote that clicked. Twin bolt throwing auto turrets at the edges of the garage door quietly blinked to life. They had learned the hard way not to take any encounters for granted. Torgil got comfortable assured that they’d have the upper hand if things went pear. What was a pear even? Had anyone ever seen one? He made a mental note to go looking for evidence of pear and why it was so awful.
Hestur let out a gregarious laugh and clapped the gentlemen on the back while vigorously shaking his hand. The bodyguard stiffened but did nothing. A quick exchange of chits, paperwork, and keys and the Augustus fellow was back on his way, his chaperone following him down the alley in the Efficient. Torgil stretched and disabled the auto turrets with another click. He walked over to Hestur who had immediately busied himself on a shop console.
“So how’d we do?” He asked.
“Terribly!” Hestur smiled over his shoulder.
“Then why are we happy about it? And why did I risk my skin and nickers getting that coil?”
“I needed to guarantee old Augustus there would be motivated to buy today and those modifications are exactly what he needs for the track.”
“Yeah but you could have sold a kitted out Paisley Efficient to nearly anyone. Why him?”
“Because he has a long line of chit credits burning a hole in his pockets and wasn’t interested in shopping around so I could set my price. And because I already spent the take!”
“What did we spend it on??”
“That.” Hestur grinned proudly and pointed up over the horizon where four hover drones wheeled through the hazy air toward them. A very large suspended crate swung between them.
The crate landed with a loud thud. Secure lines popped as explosive bolts released the crate. Four tiny motors whined as support cables zipped up and stowed themselves in drone underbellies. The drones pulled away in formation and parked themselves on the roof of their tower. Torgil was dumbstruck. When the hell did those go in? He eyed Hestur suspiciously. He had no idea what he was up to or how long he’d been saving chits for such a huge purchase.
“Ok, what’s in the crate and why is it in our parking lot?”
Hestur chuckled to himself as he slapped the activation stud at the crate control box and watched Torgil’s expression as crate panels fell open.
“A Corpse Grinder?!” Torgil’s jaw dropped so wide it looked like he’d never closed his mouth in his life. “These are so expensive to own and upkeep! It’s going to cost us money just sitting here! And where the hell did you plan on getting the bodies to run it? Oh! While we’re on the subject, what did you plan on doing with the output? It’s not like these aren’t already in production feeding half the city.”
“All planned for and taken care of!” Hestur knew it took Torgil some time to warm up to major changes. He couldn’t blame him really. They’d been just scraping by for so long, protecting their way of life became second nature.
Torgil dead-panned him. Something clicked in his hand and the auto turrets whirred to life.
“Haha take it easy, Tor!” He said bellowing with laughter.
“Fine,” The click came again and the turrets receded, “spill it, what’ve you been cookin’!”
“So that’s the deal.” Hestur finished inspecting, oiling, and priming the inner workings of the corpse grinder and shut the access panel. “We gave Augustus the hot rod modded Efficient at a screaming price for exclusive rights on their body output on race days.” He wiped his hands on a rag and tucked it into his pocket. “Both track AND crowd casualties!” He beamed. “On top of that, I’ve got lines in to a couple gangs and one Megacorp who Shall Remain Nameless. Testing the waters to see if we can undercut the
competition and guarantee a constant flow of ..er, product.” He ran a hand down the body of the Corpse Grinder. “This baby’s gonna keep the lights on, belly’s full, and defenses loaded while we’re free to tinker with what we want and when!”
“Oi. Ok, great. What about the Grinder’s output.” Torgil spent the entire time marching back and forth in the garage doorway activating and deactivating the auto turrets to punctuate his questions with his clicker.
“That’s the beaut of it, Tor!” The smile widened, we’re going to spin our profits into retrofitting the Shit Box garage’s upper floors for storage and distribution of our output.” The smile widened. “We’re going to feed the Scavvies city wide!”
At that very moment, something fell from one of the derelict upper levels of their tower. Clanging and bouncing it’s way down to land at Torgil’s feet.
“Shit! Claymore!” He shouted and threw himself backwards to get as far away as possible. The auto turrets whirred to life and pelted the mine with bolts. It detonated harmlessly as the debris payload had been destroyed.
Hestur walked up to the wreckage gingerly picking up the largest pieces of the mine he’d built. “So that’s why the third one didn’t pop yesterday.”
“King rat?” Torgil suggested as he stood dusting himself off.
“King rat.” Hestur nodded. “They’re getting craftier. Cunning little bastards.”
By Kyle Hand
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. credit "nerk987" they made the hand in the image
(C) 2020 Kyle Hand, Digital Taxidermy – Storytime Collective
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