World of Helix

Back in May 2020 I wrote about a SciFi roleplay region called Helix, followed very shortly after by the news of it’s closure. This wasn’t however the end of my story, it was just the start of a storyline that’s run across multiple locations in SL on and off for the year and a half since then.

Now the former owners of Helix have returned with a new location called World of Helix. This isn’t a city this time though, its more an outpost town with cilivans as well as military personnel that they describe as an adult sci-fi Western.

You arrive in the woods outside the town, which is behind you with the wilderness in front of you.

After a brief glance at the nearby structures (more on that later) I headed into town to see what it has to offer. Immediately at the gates you get the tone of the place with guards posted outside.

I entered cautiously taking a glance each direction before heading left to walk a circuit of the town.

All seemed fairly regular civillian establishments, including the requisite pink neon entertainment. As I approached the place where I’ve decided my character will set up shop, I’m reminded of the military presence by way of a dark green truck next door.

Heading in that direction through a gateway there’s a few landing pads then the rest of the area contains Military personnel and installations.

Passing all this brings me almost full circle back to the entrance gate of the town. However coming from this direction I noticed something I’d missed before.

The local gun shop

Given my characters history of transporting weapons I had to have a quick peek. I was surprised there would be such a shop with the military around they might have wanted to restrict civillian weapon ownership. But what better way to control weapons than by controlling the shop?

Since I’d completed a circuit of the town it was time to have a look out into the wildnerness. Out here there’s a wide selection of buildings and terrain to be seen.

(Please bear in mind some of these are rental homes and may well be inhabitated by the time you visit, so don’t just walk in uninvited.)

Looking at the map on the website it’s quite evident I’ve only shown a fraction of this great new roleplay build, so I’d recommend any Sci-Fi fan come check it out and join in the RP if they wish. I would definitely suggest reading the story setting on the website before engaging in roleplay.

World of Helix is planned for public opening on 15th January 2021, so do drop by and take a look!

Photos were taken on 29th December 2021, so things may look slightly different by the time the 15th January 2022 comes aroud, but not much.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Day%20One/131/132/21

Website: https://www.helix-sl.com/

Discord: https://discord.gg/ht2qvtbwQ4

For my Outfit credits see my previous post : AMZ Roleplay Character Refresh

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 14th January 2022.

Roleplay: The Bad News

Following on from my previous post, Awakening bridging the RL time gap between Hellas Planitia closing and World of Helix (post coming soon!) opening to the public.

Ava awakes to a beeping sound, a priority message has been received and she’s been woken up. Groggily she taps the flashing envelope icon and reads with growing shock.

---Message Start---

From AMZ Outreach Office:

Ms Delaney

I'm sorry to have to break this news to you, but based on the beacon of your capsule and the signal of drone 116s transponder, you're no longer near Mars. It would appear that at the time of this message transmission,you are headed for the planet Ithemba. You may even have arrived by the time you receive this.

We have contacted Helix Corp and informed them of the situation. Helix Corp representatives should not hinder you, provided they have received their correspondencece, but are under no obligation to assist you. Any assistance you get from them will depend on what you can negotiate in situ.

Given this turn of events we are sending a droid-piloted shuttle instead of the requested drone. This will contain a number of drones and related equipment and supplies that will allow you to operate localised services.

--Message Ends--

Ava reads the message a second then third time and sighs “Damnit” she mutters. At that moment she’s lurched to one side, she sees the crate above move slightly but doesn’t fall,. The ship was manoeuvring, apparently descending by the feel of things. It seems they have arrived.

Roleplay: The Roundup

OOC Background: The Hellas Planitia RP location I’ve written about previously has closed and the players are moving to a new place. The new location is being created by former Owners of the Helix City Cyberpunk roleplay, so it’s kinda full circle for the crater residents. This post tells the beginning of Ava’s IC part in the relocation story.

Ava is sitting in her office below the landing pad when she hears the sound of engines of a craft approaching. She brings up the feed from the landing area cameras and sees a personnel transport ship with Helix Corp logos on. They’ve not sent anyone here for a long time, this cannot be good.

A squad of armed personnel for which the best description would be “grunts” emerge from the ship and make their way to the open gates. As they enter the town a second ship arrives, this one more like a prisoner transport that lands right outside the gates. Defiantly not a good thing. Looking around at what weapons she had to hand, tackling them all herself really wasn’t an option; she’s a courier, a weapons courier, but still just that. Thinking fast she goes to one of her shipping drones. She opens the maintenance hatch and removes its tracking transponder and attaches it to part of the landing gear of the prison transport ship, all the grunts are at the other side of the ship facing the towns entrance.

Gathering up her company issue weapons and a few other useful items, putting them in the Nuke-Safe survival capsule, she had been provided with all that time ago when she first came to Mars. Dragging the capsule outside to where it will be seen by the thugs, she climbs in and shuts the hatch, hoping the grunts will be greedy enough to load her capsule into the ship with any other plunder they may take.

She activates the small exterior cameras on the capsule to see what’s going on. Her view isn’t great from this position, but she can see the residents of the crater being herded by force into the transport ship. Will they load her capsule in with the prisoners as loot among other valuable tech some seem to have gone back for? One of them seems to have spotted her capsule so she closes the shutter to prevent them from seeing inside an turns off the exterior status displays. Finally she activates the stasis function, setting it to wake her silently in 72 hours.

Pre-opening post about the new Helix Corp location coming soon!

HELLas Crater RP Introductions

Since my last post the group has adopted a name for the crater from a real world crater that exists on Mars; Hellas. Naming it after the Hellas Planitia impact crater, obviously the one in SL is a fraction of a size of the RL one!

Finally I had an opportunity to begin my RP at the Martian crater. Its not a horribly long post because I didn’t have much time, but I got to meet most of the regulars ICly. (It also means you won’t be subjected to too much chat log, which isn’t always easy to read!)

Ava woke up in her acquired tent, wishing it was the motel room ceiling from the city, rather than tired canvas. Immediately she checks the munitions shipping package she was meant to deliver was where she left it.

Thankfully no-one seemed to have been in her tent while she slept, her weapons and the package were where she’d left them. Not that’d she’d have ever known about it if they had. The anti-tamper measures on the crate were designed to incapacitate anyone nearby for several hours,what they’d do to someone already asleep was a worrying thought.

Hearing voices outside she unlaced the tent flaps and emerged from her shelter.

[12:26:11] Ava emerges from her tent "Hi there"

[12:28:44] Sefran): looks up towards the heavily armed woman "yuh sup 'skintight' i dun think i seens yew round fore uh huh im tha Seffy an yuh tha stories er all true yup...unless yer cop then ummm yuh is all lies im innocent yuh"

[12:29:17] Ava notices there seems to be quite a bit more random furniture about since her last visit "Someone been raiding a skip ((dumpster)) for more chairs?

[12:30:40] Ava nods "Oh yes, I've heard of you, nice to finally meet you"

[12:30:53] Jadz shrugs under her blanket. "I don't know where all this junk is coming from. When it's mealtime though, lots of folks need a place to scarf. Wish they'd pick up after themselves..." She squint. "Do I know you?"

[12:31:48] Ava shakes her head "no, we've not met, I'm Ava"

[12:32:50] Sefran): shrugs "yuh who knows where this junk comes from but ehhh is comfy yup.....so wots yer deal there skintight wot brings ya to this lil slice a paradise...fortune fame wot uh huh"

[12:33:11] Ava: I was making a delivery to the city when everyone had to evacuate, I waiteda bit longer to try and get that done,so just arrived

[12:33:48] Jadz holds her blanket with one hand and slips out a hand to shake. Her fingers are stained with Martian dust. "Jadz."


Seffy and Jadz
[12:34:40] Ava shakes the proffered hand "Nice to meet you Jadz"

[12:35:13] Ava looks over as someone with very bright hair approaches

[12:36:04] Sefran): tilts her head looking a bit confused "Jadz?? huh always though yer name was bar bish....pffttt bar bish is more fun yuh" she nods several times convinced this is the best idea ever

[12:36:29] Ava takes a seat on one of the rickety chairs



[12:39:19] Ava: well to answer your suggested question, no I'm not a cop. I just tend to escort dangerous stuff so need to protect it and myself.

[12:40:15] Ava: although to be honest, on this job the package would be fairly efficient at that on it's own.

[12:40:49] Jadz scowls at Sefran, who she was beginning to like. "Could you please stop calling me that.... horn dog?" Looking up to Ava: "Good think you're not a cop; you probably wouldn't last long here if folks even got a whiff of you being one..... Package? What package?"

[12:42:16] Ava indicates yellow and grey box in her tent. "That thing, but I wouldn't recommend you touch it"

[12:42:44] Sefran): "yuh last cop i saw shot me....an fer no good reason yuh sure maybe i insulted his mother but seriously....." she looks over to jadz and shrugs "....but but....phine woteva yer Jlow now pfftt yuh uh huh"

[12:43:22] Jadz taps her chin with all of her fingers, like a kid guessing what's inside a Christmas gift. "I wouldn't dare!" She chuckles.

[12:44:15] Sefran): everyone gets a nickname ;p  ))

[12:44:50] Lunatantric comes down to the small encampment streching having her puple outfit on today...  Her movements slow and graceful as she looks around seeing the small crowd....voice soft and seductive.  "SO what aer you all up to today..."

[12:45:08] Ava points to the stasis capsule next to the tent "Well they gave me that too, to get inside if the package was opened..while I was still on the planet. So give me a chance to get in if you're gonna try!"

[12:47:32] Ava raises a hand slightly in greeting to the woman with the bright hair "Hi, I'm Ava, just making introductions"

[12:48:24] Jadz stands to greet Luna and shuffles over to her. "Just waking up and gossiping with Sef. And meeting some new arrivals." She points inside Ava's tent. "Can I shake it?"

[12:48:34] Sefran): "ya know there skintight tellin me i cant open tha box is like puttin a big shiny red button in front me an tellin me NOT ta push it....im totally gonna push that button yup jus ask Jlow here she tell ya yup.....sup purple hows yew taday"

[12:51:33] Ava: Well, yes I know saying "Don't touch" is like an invitation to some. But in this case..if you want to keep breathing..

[12:52:49] Sefran): nodsnods "jus nother grrl keepin a tight lid on her 'box' yuh been there skintight uh huh i feel yew yup"

[12:53:50] Ava: At the depot we call that model the Paranoia box. If the wrong handprint tries to open it, you get a lethal electric shock.

[12:53:53] Lunatantric smiles pulling Jadz close and gives her a soft kiss on the cheek and looks over at the other two and to ava in particular.  "I am Lunatntric..one of the muses here....a pleasure to meet you."  Voice is soft, secuctive yet carries a deep edge to it...not evil but very dangerous.
 
Luna joins us
[12:54:37] Ava looks at Jadz "you want to share my tent? We only just met"

[12:55:26] Lunatantric: Well if she is oging to your tent i come with her.

[12:55:53] Sefran): laughs to herself "preach sista i knows all bout tha paranoid 'box' yuh gotta wrap it fer yew tap it yup"

[12:56:01] Jadz leaning against Luna. "I meant shake your package. But yes, I agree - I wouldn't let Sef here anywhere near your 'box'."

[12:57:08] Ava smirks "maybe another time, Jadz"

[12:57:28] Jadz suddenly embarrassed. "Easy folks, the sun is just coming up. Who wants breakfast..." She goes behind the counter. "Ava, mind asking who the package was for?"

[12:58:01] Ava: Well you're free to go touch it, just let us all get out the range of the cloud of intoxicating gas first.

12:58:04] Jadz turns on the propane stove and cracks some eggs.

[12:59:57] ViçṮФЯiâ: hi

[13:00:14] Lunatantric laughs a bit seeing how easily jadz is embaressed and looks to Ava and walks over to her leaning down and whispers to her slowly...before moving to help jadz.  "Well my time is a bit messedup...its lunch for me.."

[13:00:30] Sefran): "wait?.....we still talkin bout tha box now cuz this really startin ta sound like my nights stent wiff tha weird boi (cypher) yuh toxic gas and shackin 'packages' uh huh.....an yew should gemme a chance ta shake yer 'box' Jlow might be good fer ya yup"

[13:00:46] Ava shrugs "for all I know it could be someone in the camp. I don't have a name, or know what they look like." taps her eye augment "this thing knows what they look like, so when it spots them, I'll know"

[13:02:08] Jadz lifts her blanket up and over her head and hides her face after Sef's suggestions. She scrambles eggs blindly.

[13:02:18] Ava: But given the lengths the recipent went to for most secure package, which ain't cheap, I doubt I'll find the recipent around here.

[13:02:23] ViçṮФЯiâ: look from onr to the other talk trying to put it all together .. " what box of gas ? .. did some thing happen

[13:04:33] Sefran): points towards the yellow box in the tent behind her "yuh Vicvic thats a no touchy box er somethin we gotta stay away from it or we all die or something dunno.......REALLLLYYYYY wanna open it though ughhhh"

[13:04:39] Ava: Oh hey there Vic, the gas is one of the anti-tamper features on a package I was meant to deliver

[13:05:01] Lunatantric: you know jazzy..your sooo cute when you blush like that.

[13:06:45] Miss Balan Sichao (Terra Goulet) yawns and stretches, "Good morning crater crew."

[13:06:59] Jadz stomach drops. "I can't help it!" She scratches the bottom of the teflon pan with her spatula vigorously, scrambling the eggs.

[13:07:21] Ava turns in her chair to the sound of another voice "Hi

[13:07:22] Lunatantric looks over to B as she walks out and smiles.  "Hey there B...how are you doing today."  turns back and hugs Jadz..

[13:07:57] ViçṮФЯiâ: hay

 

The AMZ Delivery Lady

So after some thought and discussions around suggestions made by others, I’ve made a change to my Mars RP character.

My previous story was around a bounty hunter hiding out on Mars after the Hunter became the Hunted. However this really was a poor recycling job of a previous character. Also it is apparently a very common unimaginative character role choice in this particular community.

One of the members suggested why not something much more mundane, maybe I was simply delivering a package when the city was evacuated. Which made me think of a certain global retail and tech giant.

I decided I could have some fun with this, so after some thought I came up with “AMZ Armory”.  The weapons shipment branch of the “All Mars Zone” the go-to company for anything on Mars.

My characters delivery order:

Picture of a mock shipping order sheet. Image from Gyazo

Obviously since SecondLife is a 3D environment, so couldn’t not create the props for the RP.

Customised scifi escape pod. Image from Gyazo
The “AMZ Nuke-Safe” a customised version of an escape pod I bought.

 

Prop image of custom shipping crate. Image from Gyazo
The AMZ “ULTRA-Safe” shipping crate (customised from this kit.)

Next-up will be my first IC (In-Character) RP in this scenario, coming soon!

Helix Evacuees Camp

A few of the more active members of the Helix community got together and set up their own RP location.

Fortunately my single RP at Helix had made enough of an impression I was invited to join them.

The rough story, (which is still a work in progress), is that there was a disaster of some kind and the city was evacuated. The RP is in a crater where one of the groups of evacuees ended up, here’s a few pics of the small but intruiging place:

For some reason I never really feel part of an RP group til my character has somewhere to sleep. Some space was cleared for me to put up a tent:

My new home on Mars. Quite a step down from the cheap but comfy hotel room in Helix.

I shall see where the story goes next, I really have no idea, but often they are the best kind of stories!

Helix City…Region closes just as my story began

So in my last post I wrote about my first RP as a citizen of Helix City. The very next day I received the following in a Group Notice :

Group Notice From: |Helix| Roleplay, Forsaken Later

Helix Family – Thank you all for your overwhelming support but due to RL, the owners and staff have made the hard decision to close Helix. 
This was a heavy choice and we do not take it lightly.  Everyone has helped shape Helix into a great community and we want to again thank you and hopefully we will see you all again in the stars!

-Helix Administration

Well that’s that. Quite disappointed to say the least. But in the current financial climate when many people are struggling to make ends meet, it’s understandable. Obviously this leaves a rather large number of players in search of a new SciFi/Cyberpunk RP location. I suggested Hangars Liquide, and there were other suggestions, so we shall see where we all end up.

Helix City – RP Begins

I paid another visit to Helix City, following up on my previous Helix City introductory review post.

I looked around at their various rentals they offered. If I was going to be visiting, I really needed at least somewhere safe to retreat to if the streets got too dangerous.

I opted for the cheapest option, which was a room in a hotel. I figured it was also quite realistic approach. Finding some temporary accommodation when new in town, makes more sense than renting a big apartment if you’re not sure how long you’re staying.

My new room in Helix City, standard hotel room layout with sci-fi tweaks.

I then went for a bit of a wander to see what was in the immediate vicinity. I found a small back alley place where some of the locals were hanging out.

I introduced myself and reacquainted myself with the woman I met on a hover bike on my first visit. They invited me to sit and have a drink with them. So I joined them and we chatted.

The locals. My new..friends?

I was asked the obvious questions of what brought me there. I hadn’t thought too much about my story at Helix yet so I recycled one. I adapted the ‘bounty hunter’ approach from my RP at Liddell Correctional Facility to fit the scene. I said I had been pursuing a bounty and had the tables turned on me, I was now the one being pursued. Hiding out in the crime – ridden Martian city made sense.

I padded this out when asked how I’d come to be a bounty hunter, I said it was a matter of dishonourable discharge from service, although I did not clarify *which* service and politely declined to expand on the “why?” because I had just met them all.

Overall a good beginning to a promising RP story.

Helix City

Helix City is a Cyberpunk role play region with a bit of a difference. It’s not on a futuristic Earth, Earth is dying, it’s on Mars.

At first glance it appears to have taken inspiration from the likes of Blade Runner. However on reading the information/rules notecard at the arrival area, they insist most adamantly it’s not the case:

This is not Blade Runner, nor is it The Fifth Element, nor The Expanse. This is Helix, and the story is yours to write.

They do have their own lore (read it here) and want to keep to it that way, which I think is great. The ethos of “the story is yours to write” sums up role play in SL for me. So robots, cyborgs, appropriately dressed humanoids all welcome. However they’re quite clear about other Canon appearances, so don’t turn up in a Starfleet or similar uniform. I think it boils down to them wanting you to make an effort to make your own story, not copy a movie or series you liked.

Helix arrival point

I had already put together an outfit that I’d assembled from purchases at Fantasy Faire and recently from the Cyberpunk event. After finishing reading the rules, I added a combat utility belt and a leg holder gun!

Tooled up after reading the rules

Police intervention is rare, but swift and relentless. Muggings, brawls, and prostitution are some people’s forms of employment. Carry a weapon and keep your cash stashed.

So once I was ready, it was time to explore. Straight through the entrance portal takes you into a car park and taxi ranks like you would find coming out of an airport or transit hub, but we are not on Earth, this is Mars.

The city skyline from relative safety of the carpark

The general atmosphere is dark and foreboding punctuated by neon lights. You do get the feeling you’re in the set for one of the movies they claim not to be like, but I guess dark sci-fi can only have so many variations, it’s the storyline behind it that’s different.

Ava stepped out of the carpark onto the street and sees signs for various establishments, some in English others not.

She turns off the main street immediately, that’s a place you’ll be seen and that can be dangerous for a new arrival. She walked through an open courtyard area promptly not wanting to be in the open too long until familiar with the area.

Open courtyard that’s far too light for comfort

She hears a sound behind her and steps quickly into the shadows out of the neon glare and finds herself hidden by a tree of all things. Briefly wondering how it could survive without much sunlight while she waits to see if her would-be pursuer passes by.

Steps into the shadows to watch for her possible stalker

A young blonde woman walks past heading the way Ava has been going. Judging by her appearance she wouldn’t be stalking anyone, more likely to be stalked. She wore just shorts and a light top, definitely not the attire of a sane person around here.

My harmless pursuer

Ava proceeded on her way towards what appeared to be a bar or club by the name of “Kink”. Possibly disreputable but probably a good place to get information if there were any patrons at this hour. Unfortunately the place was empty except a bored looking pole dancer.

The club was empty except for a lone pole dancer

As she pondered where she might head to next, the blonde approached Ava looking somewhat lost.

The lost woman approached

Ava took a seat at the bar, keeping an eye on the room in the reflection in the glass behind the bar. She asks the stranger if she’s alright, since she doesn’t look it.

There then followed a discussion between them that reveals the girl is a stereotypical “daddy’s little rich girl” who’s had her allowance cut off. She’d thought she might go for a jog while the ship she arrived on was refueling. That explained the attire but not the lack of sense that made her think it was a good idea. However she was now wandering the streets because the ships captain had left without her. We RPed for a little while before she had to go, possibly the beginnings of a good storyline here.

Ava left the woman in the bar with a suggestion that maybe she take up pole dancing to raise cash. Heading warily through the streets she sees evidence of various Earth cultures and some she isn’t sure about.

A Dune reference perhaps..

She steps into the alcove of one and sees writing on the door suggesting the place is definitely not open for business. Whatever Spice might be.

Clearly they don’t want visitors

Further exploration has Ava a little turned around, while she tries to retrace her steps, she doesn’t notice a hover bike approach.

The bike lands in front of Ava

Ava steps off the gangway she had been crossing back onto solid ground. While the rider doesn’t at first glance mean her harm Ava remains wary.

The female rider asks if she is new in town and needs somewhere to stay, mentioning she knew of a half-way house. Ava thinks of the blonde she left at the bar and answers “I’m fine for now myself. However I met someone earlier that could definitely use that kind of help.” She continues as she puts a little distance between them, “I’ll go find them again and send them your way, or maybe bring them so they make it safely.”

I definitely like Helix City and will be back to RP when time allows. I must admit while I was exploring the region, having just read the summary of their lore, the advertisements in one of the films on their not list was on a loop in my head. “The off-world colonies, a chance to begin again.”

However once I read the extended lore on their website while writing this, its a film that isn’t on their list that came to mind. A film in which it was ancient aliens that built the tech to make the Martian environment breathable, not Earth corporations. I like the Helix version of the scenario better though.

But I digress, I’ll be back there again to followup on those RP leads and I’d recommend people check the place out too. Just remember to grab the rules notecard and read it before entering.

Helix City arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Helix/37/235/41

Website: https://helixsl.wixsite.com/home/

Outfit credits added HERE