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Author Topic: Who Goes There?  (Read 35893 times)

marauder648

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #30 on: 13 March 2018, 03:23:04 »
Wow! That story gave me shivers!

Why can I also imagine the 'Captain' speaking like Kubo's Aunties and sounding like them too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy2hkVnXYcg
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #31 on: 13 March 2018, 06:05:31 »
I think I know who the captain is... am I right? :D
If you're thinking Honor Harrington, then yes, she was the basis for the captain's description.

Why can I also imagine the 'Captain' speaking like Kubo's Aunties and sounding like them too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy2hkVnXYcg
That's actually rather close to what I had in mind when I wrote the dialogue.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Kidd

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #32 on: 13 March 2018, 09:22:53 »
If you're thinking Honor Harrington, then yes, she was the basis for the captain's description.
Haha yes!

Great job sir. Looking forward to more.

marauder648

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #33 on: 13 March 2018, 09:53:21 »
Now I'm wondering if the Time Machine esque 'calling dropships' that hypnotized the people are actually part of the Charlotte Cameron's story. 
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #34 on: 13 March 2018, 10:09:08 »
Now I'm wondering if the Time Machine esque 'calling dropships' that hypnotized the people are actually part of the Charlotte Cameron's story.
That certainly wasn't my intention, but if it works for you...
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Taron Storm

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #35 on: 14 March 2018, 15:34:02 »
Unfortunately, I as ever am a slave to the whims of my muse.

It's essentially the "haunted shipwreck" story I teased before, but after Roland, I felt that two consecutive ghost stories would be going against the theme of no two stories having the same theme. So in a moment of inspiration, I decided to change it to body horror with cyber-zombies!

Inspiration came from an episode of Andromeda called The Mathematics Of Tears, the movies Ghost Ship, Saturn 3 and Event Horizon, and a certain amount of Pirates of the Caribbean (Part of the Ship, Part of the Crew!) all thrown together to see what came out the other side.

I think it worked quite well, all things said and done.
Also has some elements of 'Virus' with Jamie Lee curtis. Well done.

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #36 on: 14 March 2018, 15:57:34 »
Also has some elements of 'Virus' with Jamie Lee curtis. Well done.
I don't think I've seen that one.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Siden Pryde

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #37 on: 14 March 2018, 20:46:54 »
Nice.  Ship-lady is all sorts of creepy and scary.  O0

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #38 on: 14 March 2018, 20:54:28 »
Nice.  Ship-lady is all sorts of creepy and scary.  O0
Part of me thinks that I should have gone further with her and the rest of the 'crew'; really cranked it up to eleven. But unfortunately I've never been a big fan of horror of the non-phycological kind, prefering movies like Shutter Island and Perfect Blue over Saw or Night Of The Living Dead. I guess that's why the first story was more of a mystery then anything else.

I have no idea where to go next with these.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


marauder648

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #39 on: 15 March 2018, 10:00:19 »
Perhaps an extension of the madly advanced testbeds a 'ghost' Mech, a prototype Exterminator esque Mech with VDNI that somehow kept going after the death of its pilot. Well Ghost, or Predator :P
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Kidd

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #40 on: 15 March 2018, 11:13:43 »
I have no idea where to go next with these.
Just carry on. Copypasta/horror tropes with a Battletech twist.

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #41 on: 28 April 2019, 17:28:45 »
Lucky No.7

MechWarriors are, by nature, fairly superstitious.

Many have their own little routines that they go through during start up. Or they have a lucky charm that they always hand from the corner of their main viewscreen. Or they've had the same cooling vest since basic training that they refuse to get rid of because it brings them luck. But they can be equally superstitious when it comes to things they consider bad-luck, such as a particular type of BattleMech, or having an odd number of rounds loaded into their autocannon.

Or a 'Mech that's killed almost a dozen pilots.

Enter the THG-10E Thug Assault Mech with the call-sigh Shamrock-7, due to the only identification markings it had being a four-leaf clover and the number seven. Or as she's better known among the Draconis March Militia, Unlucky No.7. No one seemed quite sure exactly how Shamrock-7 had ended up on Raman, the most widely accepted theory being she it had been left behind by the Snakes when they pulled out in 2818, probably in the hope of killing a few extra Davion pilots.

Oh, yeah; Shamrock-7 is a killer.

Far back as records go, every pilot assigned to Shamrock-7 has died, and in pretty much every conceivable way; faulty environmental controls suffocating the pilot before the Techs could break open the cockpit after the release catches stuck, electrocuted by by malfunctioning neurohelmet that passed every safety test before and after the accident, poisoning by coolant vapours seeping into the cockpit, and my personal favourite; ejector-seat rockets firing with cockpit escape hatch securely closed.

They needed to hose the cockpit out after that one.

Long story short, by the time 3039 rolled around, no one wanted to go anywhere near Shamrock-7, let alone pilot her. They wouldn't even scrap her for parts, because when they tried, pilots refused to go near their 'Mech's out of fear that the curse had been carried over. So she was placed in storage in an otherwise unused bunker at the back of an isolate fire-base out in the sticks where nobody senior enough to kick up a fuss had to worry about her. But she was still officially listed on our TO&E, so some poor sod had to run basic maintenance on her, and that job fell to me; Assistant-Technician 3rd class and professional screw-up, Cassidy Sinéad Murphy. I think that the Quartermaster found it funny, giving a woman with the most Irish sounding name in history, yet looked like she'd stepped right out of a DCMS recruitment poster, the job of looking after an old Drac 'Mech with a name like Shamrock-7.

So I was tasked with keeping her in perfect running condition, which is kind of hard to do when you're so far down the pecking order when it comes to parts and equipment that it's often easier to 'borrow' what you need than it is to wait for your requisitions to go through. And as no one in their right mind want to be in the same building as Shamrock-7, I had to do pretty much everything myself, so I spent more than the usual amount of time around the harbinger of death. And in situations like that, well, boredom sets in after a few hours tinkering with a fire-control system you know is never going to be used, and like a lot of Tech's, especially AsTech's, I started out wanting to be a MechWarrior, until I flunked out of training for punching a superior ******.

Not my fault he had a very punchable face and the personality to match.

So yeah, I started running a few extra tests, making sure that, should hell actually freeze over, Shamrock-7 was ready to rock-and-roll. I took a strange kind of pride in getting her combat ready, even if I knew for a fact that nobody was readying to paperwork I submitted. I also started spending some of my off-duty time around the simulators, grabbing as much time as I could. The system was old, prone to flake out on you and the command couch smelt of old feet, but after a year, I managed to get myself simulator-rated on a Thug.

I know, I know; there's a whole world of difference between a simulator and the real thing, but it wasn't like they were going to let me pilot an actual BattleMech, especially given that Shamrock-7 was the only Thug on the entire planet. But I was able to get my file updated to include the fact that I was technically rated to at least move Shamrock-7 around the fire-base if asked. Not that I ever actually expected to do anything like that. Hell, the only time I'd ever brought her up to full power was by remote while I hid outside with the big, thick blast door closed.

But, you know, the universe had other ideas.

You're unlikely to find Raman in any books about the War of '39; we were never officially invaded, more of a raid in force to keep our Militia from redeploying elsewhere. But even a combined arms battalion of second-rate DCMS troops were more than enough to rip our main force a new one when they managed to catch them with their pants down. Caught us all with our pants down, truth be told. Even our quiet little half-forgotten fire-base got strafed by a couple of aerospace fighters that took out the radio hut and the CO before anyone realised what was going on. Two more runs took out what minimal fixed defences we had and the main generator, leaving us with nothing but what we could squeeze out of the backup and the local civilian grid. The XO managed to get his head on straight and organise what was left of our forces into a defensive line anchored on his battered old Rifleman, managing to scare off the fighters by filling the air with bulk of his autocannon ammo.

Then word came down over the general channel that we'd kicked the hornets nest, and a full lance of BattleMechs with armour support had been seen headed our way. It's kind of amazing just how quickly news like that focuses the mind. We'd all grown up on stories, handed down generation to generation, about what life had been like under Combine rule, and none of us were keen to experience it for themselves. Especially not a pretty young AsTech who'd probably remind them a little too much of the girl they left behind. No, I was fully in the 'save the last bullet for yourself' camp, but I also knew something that the Snakes didn't; that Shamrock-7 was ready to go, presuming someone had the guts to climb into the cockpit.

Well, better to go down swinging, right?

There's an old adage among Tech's that, in confusion, there is profit, and there's plenty of confusion in a fire-base that's expecting to be attacked by a superior force in the near future. As such nobody paid much attention to another helping hand collecting a couple of crates of SRM's from the ammo dump and vanish into the gathering dark. I held my breath while starting up the ammo loader, each click and bump taking at least a year off of my life. And all the while I was waiting to hear the sound of weapons fire from outside. Yes, the bunker had nice, thick walls. And yes, it was pretty obvious from the outside that it was the equivalent of a junk drawer, even with the 'abandon all hope, all ye who enter here' graffiti on the doors. But that was no guarantee that the raiders weren't going to huff and puff and blow my house down.

I'd finally finished loading the SRM's and topping up the coolant when the alarms started to sound, followed by the muffled whoosh of LRM fire. What was more worrying was the screech of the return fire, which sounded a lot louder and seem to be directed right at me. I know it wasn't, but that's how it felt at the time. The entire bunker shook, dust and I don't want to think what else raining down from the ceiling as I stripped off my coveralls and squeezed into the old, often repaired cooling vest I'd managed to snag and grabbed the neurohelmet that hadn't been used in decades. Climbing the ladder to the cockpit, I could help but feel the entire building shake as I herd the crump-crump-crump of exploding munitions just outside the door. The Thug lurched suddenly, straining against the maintenance restraints, and I felt sure that Shamrock-7 was about to claim another victim. But it rocked back, the violence of the movement almost sending me crashing to the ground.

Cursing under my breath, I scurried up the last few meters of the ladder until I reached the cockpit and hit the quick release. It opened with a hiss, indicating that the over-pressure system was operating, and I quickly clambered inside. Just in time, as it happened, as something exploded outside with enough force to shake the very foundations of the bunker, and the hatch snapped shut right behind me; half a second slower, and I would have lost a foot to Unlucky No.7. Falling head-first into the command couch, I cursed like a spacer on ground-side as I re-arranged myself and then started to connect my cooling vest and neurohelmet. Sure, I'd spent time in a simulator, and the basics are the same, but nothing quite replicates the feel of an actual BattleMech coming to life below you; it's something you feel through the seat of your pants, a deep rumble, throbbing that envelops you.

SYSTEMS ONLINE.” the 'Mech's synthesised electronic voice echoed through the cockpit, “COMMAND CODE AUTHENTICATION REQUIRED.

“Authorization code 'shut up and do what I tell you!'.” I snapped back, glad for once that they'd let me pick my own command authorization code.

COMMAND CODE ACCEPTED.” The computer responded, the various screens and instrument panels flicking to life around me, “ALL SYSTEMS NOW AT YOUR DISPOSAL.

I snapped the eight point safety hardness into place and took a firm grip on the twin controls sticks, the Thug jerking upright as my own sense of balance, transmitted by the thousands of sensors built into the neurohelmet and the numerous pads attached to my body took over. A lot of people have this crazy idea that a MechWarrior becomes one with their machine, but I've always found it to be  more like wearing a really big coat...that just happens to be covered in armour and weapons.

The flip of a switch disconnected all the umbilical that connected Shamrock-7 to the maintenance bay, and a second started the ancient, worn bunker doors opening. They shuddered, the screech of metal scraping against metal reaching me in the cockpit even over the sounds of battle outside. They ground to a halt less than a quarter of the way open, the ancient electric motor dying with a cloud of smoke and a shower of sparks. I unleashed a string of curses that would have one my ancestors proud; there was no way that something as big and bulky as a Thug was getting through that doorway, and that meant that I'd have to get...creative.

A quick look at the range-finder told me that the doors were inside the minimum range of the twin PPC's, and I didn't feel like disabling the safeties if I could possible avoid it. SRM's have no minimum range, but I wasn't about to risk setting off an explosion in a confined space that could be housing who knows what, which left the 'Mech's two massive 'hands' as my only real option. Taking a tentative step forward, I felt Shamrock-7 move under me, and let me tell you, that's another thing that the simulators never get right. Eighty tons of metal and myomer lurched forwards like a drunk as I struggled to regain control. The 'Mech fell forward, its left shoulder hitting the door with a crash that must have been heard half way around the world. The door itself held for about half a second, then there was an ear piercing screech as the ancient bolts started to give way, threatening to send Shamrock-7, and yours truly, sprawling onto the parade ground outside.

I think Chapter One of the MechWarriors handbook starts “never find your face-first on an active battleground.”

Gripping the controls for all they were worth, I managed to steady the Thug, getting its feet back under me even as the door gave way and crashed to the ground. Days later, the clean-up crews would find I took out a squad of Snake infantry, but I apparently can't claim them on my kill-card, as it was classed as an 'Act of God' as opposed to an intentional act on my part. It had the unfortunate side effect of announcing my presence on the field of battle, drawing the attention of a pair of Panthers that had been playing whack-a-mole with our own infantry, and they responded by firing blind into the bunker. Still slightly unsteady on my feet, I almost landed on my arse as two PPC bolts and half a dozen SRM's hit Shamrock-7's chest just below the low-slung cockpit. Armour flaked off in dinner plate sized pieces, and the heat levels in the cockpit spiked, but none of the alarms sounded, indicating that the Thug had taken the hit without suffering any lasting, and more importantly, critical, damage.

The outline of one of the Panthers appeared in my HUD, and I instinctively dropped the cross-hairs over it. The targeting radical pulsed yellow for a moment, then turned green, indicating a good lock even as the far lighter Mech started to back up. I don't remember pulling the triggers, but Shamrock-7 spat forth man-made lightning from its arms, the glare nothing short of blinding in the confines of the old bunker. One missed wide, but the second connected with the Panther's left arm, neatly severing it at the elbow, the sudden loss of the lower limb making the smaller Mech stagger, dropping it right back into my cross-hairs.

The tone of a missile lock sang in my ear, and eight SRM's leapt forth from my Mech's shoulders without my fingers moving a milometer.

Explosions peppered the Panther from waist to head, obviously catching the pilot by surprise as the scout fell backwards, crashing into the next bunker down. The wall cracked but held, the second Panther moving to cover their lance-mate as it struggled to right itself, huge rents in their armour testament to the damage Shamrock-7 had done. The capacitor lights flashed green, indicating that both of my PPC's had re-charged, and I quickly shifted the targeting radical to the new target. And again the weapons fired without any input from my part even as Shamrock-7 started to lurch forward again, stepping out of the bunker into the chaos outside.

The second Panther was far less fortunate than the first; both PPC bolts converged on its head, which simply ceased to exist as the twin lances of man-made lightning washed over it like the wrath of the Good Lord Himself. The Snake 'Mech stood stock still for a moment, smoke and sparks emanating from the glowing stump that had been its neck, then it fell like a puppet with the strings cut, landing in a undignified heap on the ground. Seeing their friend killed before them, the first Panther raised their right arm, bringing their own PPC in line with my cockpit.

I froze. I'm not shamed to admit that; I froze up like the half-trained idiot that I was, just waiting for the world to turn white before I found myself before St Peter and the Pearly Gates.

Shamrock-7, however, didn't freeze.

Stepping forward, the Thug swung its huge left arm round, knocking the Panther's arm out of the way even as it fire, the PPC discharging harmlessly into the night sky. Then the Thug's right arm came round, the battle fist clenched as it smashed into the far lighter machines head one, twice, three times. Mettle smashed into metal, the hideous sound of armour and structural members giving way until the cockpit gave way and the Thug's hand came back.

To this day, I choose to believe that the red stains I saw covering Shamrock-7's fist were hydraulic fluid.

It's safe to say that the Drac's weren't expecting the face an Assault 'Mech at out little fire base, and my sudden appearance on the battlefield, along with the speed and savagery with which Shamrock-7 had eliminated half of their BattleMech support had their armour and infantry in disarray.

TARGETS ELIMINATED, CASSIDY MURPHY.” the voice of Shamrock-7's computer announced with what could only be described as a smug tone, “PLEASE DESIGNATE NEXT TARGET.

I froze again, but this time for a far different reason.

Anyone who's spent much time around advanced equipment, especially anything dating back to the Star League, knows how people just love to add voice synthesizers to everything. Often it's little more than an advanced operating system programmed to react to pre-set voice commands, much like the voice-print authentication used for BattleMech security. But this...this felt like something far more advanced.

I AWAIT ORDERS, CASSIDY MURPHY.Shamrock-7 sounded almost impatient.

“The Dracs!” I found myself shouting, “Target any DCMS units!”

ORDERS RECEIVED AND UNDERSTOOD.” I flinched as the computer all but chuckled, “ENGAGING THE...DRACS.

I don't care what anyone says; I had little to nothing to do with what followed. Shamrock-7 stalked the Fire Base, unleashing death and destruction upon the raiders, whicle I could do little but watch from the confines of the cockpit. I've been told that the Thug moved like a veteran MechWarrior was at the controls, but after a while my hands fell from the joysticks, the 'Mech more than happy to fght on its own. I tried to remember everything I could about the 'Mech's computer and the pilot interface system; nothing had seemed at all out of the ordinary, with even the operating system being SLDF issue.

Then it hit me; the Thug was a Terran Hegemony design, and they'd put a lot of time and money into AI research, the M-5 'Caspar' drone WarShips being perhaps the most infamous example. But there had always been stories about plans to build entire armies of drone BattleMech's that could fight without human intervention. And given how nobody seemed to know just where Shamrock-7 had come from... I didn't want to finish that thought.

I was brought rudely back to reality as a flight of LRM's slammed into Shamrock-7's left arm, shattering armour plates that were then pulverised by a burst of autocannon fire. The Thug stopped and turned to face it's attacker; a Dragon heavy BattleMech and most likely the Snake commander. I felt my ride crouch low even as the weapons locked on, and I braced myself for what was to follow.

A wave of heat struck my with near physical force as Shamrock-7 unleashed a full Alpha-Strike against the Dragon, filling the air with smoke and lightning. Everything hit the Dragon; the PPC's gouging huge rents in its centre and left torso while the SRM's peppered it's right arm and left leg. The lighter 'Mech staggered under the onslaught, but its pilot maintained control, keeping it on its feet and unleashing another blast of autocannon fire that stitched a series of impact craters from my left hip to right shoulder, only narrowly missing the cockpit. This was followed by an emerald lance from its left arm mounted medium laser that did little more than scorch the paint on Shamrock-7's left forearm.

AT LAST, A TRUE WARRIOR.” the Mech's computer hissed excitedly, “I WILL ENJOY THIS.

Stepping to the right, Shamrock-7 unleashed another flight of SRM's, the PPC's still charging, forcing the Dragon to pause to take the hit before turning to track with its most powerful weapons. A second volley of LRM's missed wide, but the Combine pilot walked their autocannon fire into my left hip, stripping away most of the protection there. Shamrock-7 replied with a one-two barrage from its PPC's, stripping away the armour protecting the other 'Mech's left shoulder and eating into the internals. Myomer strands melted and snapped, the arm hanging lip at the Dragon's side as its artificial muscles were severed, only the internal structure keeping it attached. Shamrock-7 kept moving to the right, forcing the Dragon to keep turning in order to bring its remaining weapons to bear on the larger 'Mech.

I hadn't had time to fully load the missile bins, and Shamrock-7 fired the last of them into the Dragon, finally ripping its battered left arm free, followed by yet another one-two punch from the PPC's. The cockpit was an inferno by that point, but I could just about make out the first glow from within the chest of the Dragon that indicated that the remaining LRM ammo had started to cook-off. They exploded like the devils own firecrackers, flames billowing out of the open missile ports and through rents blasted in the armour. The heavy 'Mech almost seemed to dance as the fire reached the ammo bin for the autocannon and it likewise detonated, sending the right arm spiralling off into the night. At least one of the explosions must have damaged the shielding for the reactor, as the Dragon suddenly went into emergency shut-down, the pilot hitting the chicken-switch and blasting off into the night sky, riding a pillar of smoke and flame that served as his rides funeral pyre.

YESSSS!Shamrock-7 growled, “VICTORY IS MINE!” the Mech seemed to shudder, and I suddenly found the controls responding again, “I THANK YOU, CASSIDY MURPHY: I ENJOYED THIS.

“You're...you're welcome?” I stuttered, relived to once again be the master of my own destiny even as I listened to the shouts of triumph announcing the retreat of the remaining Combine forces from the Fire Base. I quickly started the shut-down sequence, locking Shamrock-7 in place as I struggled to come up with a way of explaining what had happened.

I went with the truth, what with it being the easiest to remember, but no one seemed willing to believe me. Instead I found myself transferred to the capital, promoted to full MechWarrior, permanently assigned to Shamrock-7, as I was apparently the only one willing to pilot it. And it's kept quiet ever since that night, acting like a good little BattleMech and not hurting anyone. But every time I have to strap myself in, I can't help but feel that it's just waiting to be set free again the next time someone attacks Raman.

The End?
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Siden Pryde

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #42 on: 28 April 2019, 22:21:48 »
Nice.  Was not sure where the "killer mech" bit was going at first, but I like the direction this tale went.  Guess Shamrock-7 just needed the right touch.

snakespinner

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #43 on: 29 April 2019, 00:48:36 »
Shamrock-7 just needed the Murphy touch. :D
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Kidd

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #44 on: 29 April 2019, 01:00:53 »
Ah, the good ol' sentient war machine short. Nice!

But I want to be more creeped out. Would you kindly, JAB...?

DOC_Agren

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #45 on: 03 May 2019, 21:03:19 »
 :thumbsup:wasn't what I expected...
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

cklammer

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #46 on: 05 May 2019, 12:21:00 »
Very nice.  8)

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #47 on: 06 May 2019, 19:07:08 »
Two new stories in the works: one based upon a classic 80's sci-fi movie, another on something that reportedly happened out in Afghanistan.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #48 on: 07 May 2019, 19:46:12 »
This instalment is based upon an incident that reportedly happened in Afghanistan around ten years ago

Free Fire

Sometimes, when you're out in the field, you see things that, well, the Brass doesn't like you talking about.

I'm not talking about stumbling onto some experimental prototype or covert operation, but rather something they don't want to admit happened because there's nothing in the regulations to explain it. Times like that, you're encouraging to get creative with your after-action reports, find something that fits the events but is a bit more palatable to HighCom. Not that every soldier has experienced something odd, just that you hear stories.

Stories like this one.

My battalion had been shifted to the Periphery boarder to work back up to fighting strength after the end of the Fourth Succession War. We'd given as good as we got against the Combine, but needed time to integrate the replacements into our existing unit structure before we were ready to go back on the line. So they had us out there on the edge of the Greater Darkness, passing on our experience to the local militia units. Now I know that a lot of regulars like to rag on 'weekend warriors', but those men and women are ready to fight to protect their homes the same as the rest of us, so I tend to be willing to cut them a little slack if they're not exactly up to Nagelring standards.

This one operation came up on, well, I don't want to say anything that might help identify anyone else who was there, so let's just say 'a planet on the Periphery boarder, far enough away from the League that we didn't have to worry about them paying us a surprise visit' and leave it at that. Bandits were using a series of deep valley's in a mountain range to strike out at isolated communities, grabbing food, parts and anything else they thought they could sell on the black market. We didn't have anywhere near enough troops to garrison every town, village and hamlet in the area without stripping the rest of the planet clean, and the bandits seemed well enough connected to know which towns were more trouble than they were worth.

So instead the Kommandant comes up with what was actually a pretty decent idea: a lance of Regulars and two of local Militia were to go out into the valley's orbital recon had indicated the bandits used to move from their hidden camps deep in the mountains and catch them before they reached open country. We were given rather open ended orders, allowing us to deploy as we saw fit, so I split my lance into two sections: I took one of the veteran enlisted pilots with me and six of the militia pilots, while my Sergeant and the FNG took the remaining two locals to act as our fire-support. They had the Sergeants Orion, the Rookies Crusader and a pair of militia Dervishs, meaning that they could put down a decent missile barrage to cover us if needed. That unfortunately left my two detachment with just my Rifleman, a Shadow Hawk and a Griffin for a big punch, the rest of the unit consisting of nothing bigger than a Valkyrie, being mostly Stingers and Wasps. We had a single Locust, which I deployed half a click ahead of us, covered in all the camouflage netting we could scrape together, its pot had orders to keep her head down and not fire unless fired upon first.

We pulled off a couple of successful ambushs like this, only taking light damage from a few bandit 'Mechs that looked like they'd been pulled from the local junk yard when we were told to move to a different valley, as the bandits were getting wise.

And that's when it all started to come undone.

Couple of the local pilots came to me, unofficially, and said it was a bad idea to move to that particular valley: it had a bad reputation amongst the local population, who avoided it unless absolutely necessary. People had gone missing there, never to be seen again, and sometimes even the search parties got lost and needed rescue. There were also reports of equipment malfunctioning, giving conflicting readings or just shutting down and refusing to work full-stop. All in all, the locals considered it a bad place, somewhere best avoided. Some even went as far as to say it was cursed, that evil spirits roamed there.

Now I'm not one to take such talk at face value, but there was something about the way the two of them sounded, the look of genuine fear in their eyes, that made me do a little digging.

At first the locals didn't want to talk, claiming it was all just campfire stories, but they all seemed on edge, so I kept asking. Eventually a local sherif invited me for a drink one night and told me that a lot of the stories were true, and that nobody was willing to venture into the valley, especially at night, if they could possibly avoid it. And again, I wasn't going to accept talk of evil spirits, but you sometimes encounter areas where the local weather or geology can conspire to mess with your equipment. And even with new parts, there was the possibility that even our front-line BattleMechs might be susceptible to whatever was causing trouble in the valley.

So I contacted the Kommandant and requested that we move the option to somewhere else, siting reports of equipment malfunction in the valley. But he shot down the idea, so in we went.

The militia were a little skittish, but sitting in the command couch of a BattleMech tends to steady the nerves somewhat. And following the standard plan, the Locust found a hiding place further down the valley while my unit dug in behind a low ridge line, the fire-support lance setting up on a flat area up one side of the valley. Everyone was in position, their 'Mech's hunkered down and on standby to minimise the chance of the bandits spotting us before it was too late. Which meant that we were reliant on passive sensors, which can be twitchy at the best of times, and soon started to give conflicting reports, so we shut them down and switched to night-vision only.

There's not really much to do when you're just waiting for someone who may or may not appear out in the middle of nowhere, especially in the middle of the night. You can't sleep, because you need to be ready to go in an instant, and you can't read a book or listen to music in case you miss something. All you can do is keep checking your 'Mechs systems while keeping one eye on the HUD. There's a lot of truth to the old saying that life in the army is 99% boredom and 1% abject terror, and it can start to play tricks on you after a moment.

Unsurprisingly, it was my fellow regular who first sounded the alarm over the hardwire connecting our 'Mech's, and I set my main screen to cycle through the various passive sensors. Magscan found nothing, nore did seismic or neutrino, but night-vision clearly showed eight objects moving up the far end of the valley in single file. They were too far out to make out any details, but they were certainly big enough to be BattleMechs.

I switched to the channel linking me to the pilot out in the Locust, asking if she'd been able to make out any details, maybe let us know what we were facing. But she insisted that she couldn't see anything, and I didn't want her to risk giving her position away by moving. So instead I powered up my Rifleman and went active with her Garret D2j, still one of the best sensor suites ever produced. It meant taking a risk, because there's just no way to hide that much EM output going down-range, but the 'bandits' didn't seem to notice at all. Which meant that they were either asleep at the controls, or unconcerned that someone was trying to get a targeting lock on them.

But nothing appeared on my screen.

I contacted my Sergeant, and he confirmed that they had the unknowns on visual but nothing else. This was starting to concern me, because you hear all kinds of stories about people digging up caches of lost Star League tech, so there's always the risk of coming up against someone with some unexpected edge. But that would have required that every single one of them had lost-tech ECM, and that kind of find would be worth more than they could possibly hope to get by raiding farm towns.

I was still trying to work out what was going on when the emerald flash of a medium laser slashed through the night from somewhere on my left: one of the militia pilots had panicked and fired by accident.

With the elements of surprising lost, I ordered weapons free, dropping my crosshairs over the leading target and opening up with both autocannons. Soon everyone was letting rip with everything they had, lighting up the night with a barrage of lasers, missiles and autocannons. The Griffin to my right fired its PPC, spending a bolt of man-made lightning down range as the support lance unleashed more than eighty missiles at once. The air was filled with the crack and fizz of weapons fire, everyone doing their best to hit the flickering forms on their screens. I could see tracers bouncing off rocks that were then pulverised by missiles or PPC blasts, trees and bushes exploding or bursting into flames as lasers speared them. It was hell, pure and simple, but not so much as a mouse-fart came back the other way.

After what felt like an hour, but my mission clock said was only a couple of minutes, I gave the order to advance towards the 'enemy', and my double lance began leapfrogging forward in pairs, one 'Mech covering the other in turn. The support lance followed suit, working their way along the side of the valley, laying down a sporadic barrage of missiles and laser fire. We reached the point where the Locust had been hidden, and it added its limited firepower to our own.

Still nothing in return, even as the flickering images on the night-vision started to move away.

Then I realised something: our weapons fire seemed to be passing through them without meeting even the slightest resistance. And they weren't walking, but rather floating maybe half a meter above the ground. I cycled through all my active and passive sensors again, even resorting to using the standard issue MK.1 eyeballs the Good Lord saw fit to issue me with, but only the night-vision showed anything. I gave the order to hold fire, and the night grew strangely quite, with only the popping of hot metal and the faint roar of the countless fires we had started. Certainly not what should have been the rumbling of almost a company of BattleMechs moving off at the quick-march.

I called for a quick roll-call, and once everyone reported in, I asked if anyone had taken any hits. The radio was deathly quite, everyone waiting for someone else to speak up.

"Leutnant," my Sergeant asked somewhat hesitately, "what the hell did we just shoot at?"

That was the same question the Kommandant asked when we reported in a little after dawn, having not once found a single trace of the 'bandits' we had opened up on. I did my best to put into wards everything I'd seen, but he just looked at me like I'd grown a second head or something. Even after the others backed up my story and the techs had gone over our battleroms, there just wasn't anything concrete to put in our report.

The Kommandant ended up calling the entire incident a 'nighttime live-fire exercise', praising the militia for how well they had executed the battle plan. Then he ordered us to set up an ambush in a different valley almost a hundred kilometers away, and told us never to mention what we had seen in any official reports or documents.

It's been almost ten years now, and I still don't know what we saw that night... and I'm not sure I really want to. But it certainly wasn't some group of bandits with lost-tech ECM gear, that's for sure.

The End
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Kidd

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #49 on: 07 May 2019, 22:11:03 »
Verrrrry nice!

snakespinner

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #50 on: 08 May 2019, 02:18:23 »
Interesting, they must have been smoking the good stuff. :beer:
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Dragon Cat

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #51 on: 08 May 2019, 05:50:59 »
Great story
The below link leads to a wiki page created by Wrangler.  It has links to the various pages of my AU.

https://battletechfanon.fandom.com/wiki/Alternate_Timeline_with_Thanks

shadowdancer

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #52 on: 08 May 2019, 16:39:52 »
Great story. Have had something like that happen to me. The unexplainable is out there.
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JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #53 on: 08 May 2019, 16:55:39 »
Great story. Have had something like that happen to me. The unexplainable is out there.
It's basically an adaptation of a YouTube video I watched:
https://youtu.be/Y7RcOIxNCXk
Took me about two days to convert it over to BattleTech, most of which was trying to come up with equivalent locations, units and jargon.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Elmoth

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #54 on: 22 May 2019, 07:46:52 »
Great thread! Thanks for sharing it. I enjoyed those stories. For me the top 3 are special cargo, who goes there? and Lucky 7, but all were great.

Cheers,
Xavi

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #55 on: 30 June 2019, 21:24:31 »
The Kraken Wakes

I'm a structural engineer by trade, not a writer, so I hope you can forgive me if the account that follows is somewhat rough around the edges.

As in said, I'm a structural engineer, specialising in habits designed to survive in, shall we say, 'adverse environments'? Which is shorthand for anywhere a human can't survive unassisted, for one reason or another. And it's an interesting job, or at least I've always thought so: there's no end to the challenges that can face a project when someone sets their mind upon setting up shop somewhere humans were never supposed to go. And while the Star League may have had the wherewithal to terraform most places considered worth living, there are still a few that would have been beyond even their almost magical abilities.

Case in point was LV-416, or Typhonus, as it had been so dramatically named. And I can't say I blame whoever did name it: it is an evil looking world, an ice giant such a dark shade of black that looking at it felt like looking into a singularity. There were occasional streaks of crimson red, indicating storms so massive that they could have swollowed most habitable worlds whole. Arcs of lightning, long enough to cross continents and with powerful enough to vaporise cities in an instant play across the upper cloud bands. It has three near Terran sized moons, Orthrus, Cerberus and Hydra, but is was so deep within their primaries radiation belt that they're little more than lumps of radioactive rock, constantly erupting and melting due to gravitational stress on their cores.

Typhonus is as close to hell as you're likely to find in this galaxy and still be counted among the living.

What is it with survay crews anyway? Did every single one of them take a class in ancient mythology or something? Lord knows how many explored systems in the Inner Sphere, let alone beyond, and every single one of them seems to have at least one world, moon of rock named after some god or demon orbiting it.

Wait... where was I?

Oh, Typhonus, right.

So, thing is, despite the way it may look to the naked eye, a big-arse planet like that has all kinds of interesting things going on: chemical reactions under extreme heat and pressure can result in all sorts of useful end products. I remember one planet, somewhere out near the Draconis Rift, where they used to send down specially built shuttles to scoop up crystals from the upper atmosphere that could be used in weapons grade lasers. Lot of money in something like that, and the Star League was more than willing to speculate to accumulate, and that was what brought us to Typhonus in the first place.

You see, under enough pressure, gas can start to act like a liquid, even to the point where an object of the right shape can, for want of a better word, float on it. And Typhonus has gas and pressure to spare, meaning that there was a layer not too far down where it was almost like a liquid...not like a sea or anything...it's kind of hard to explain without getting too technical. Let's just say that the Star League was advanced enough that they could build a gas-mining rig that could sit quite happily in the atmosphere of a world like Typhonus, and we'd been hired to see if there was anything worth salvaging. There was no way we could recover the entire rig: we had no idea how they'd gotten it into position in the first place, but there was an untold treasure in LostTech to be found inside, provided we could get to it safely. Which is why I was brought in to make sure that they didn't accidentally cut into something they shouldn't and send the entire things down into the depths, salvage crew and all.

Now a planet like Typhonus has its own jump-points, so we were able to get in at least a little closer, even if the JumpShip was too far out to actually help with the recovery operation. So we went in with three DropShips: an old Mule called the Sacagawea that acted as a sort of mother-ship for the other two, a pair of heavily modified Condors named Lewis and Clark. I was assigned to the Lewis, along with the bulk of the support team, while the primary task of fixing the location of the rig and ensuring it was safe to land on with given to the Clark.

And you can't just dive into the atmosphere of something that big like normal: that's an easy way to get your ship and crew crushed. No, big planet like Typhonus, you need to take it nice and slow, just slide on gently down that gravity well all smooth like. I'm sure any pilot worth their damn could probably tell you just how hard it actually is, but I'm not a pilot, but I am the one telling this story.

So the Clark goes in first, and softly-softly like, with the Lewis sitting up in high orbit, trying to keep track of her through all the radiation and atmospheric interference. We knew the approximate location of the rig from the initial survey, but things as small as a city block tend to get tossed around in the atmosphere of an ice giant. So the crew of the Clark had to take these wide, sweeping passes over the area, looking for any sign on the prize. Two days we sat up there, arses clenched tight enough to crack walnuts, watching her through the clouds as best we could, before they finally gave word that they'd picked up the rig on long-range scanners.

Unfortunately, she'd drifted into a the outermost edge of a storm, so they had to move quickly to try and pull her clear. And even with the massively oversized engines on the Clark, that's no small task. They had me running all kinds of numbers, trying to work out the best places to set down so that the strain of her main engines didn't rip the rig in two. So you can bet I double, triple and quadruple checked my work, because I didn't want to be responsible for the mission going FUBAR before it had really started.

Well, thank the good lord that my maths was right, and the Clark was able to move the rig away from the storm. With that little headache taken care of, the Lewis came in on the far side of the rig, keeping it from becoming unbalanced. Given the size and mass of the rig, it's not like a few extra thousand tons of DropShip was going to do that, but why take the risk?

Now, you can't use a standard environment suit somewhere like Typhonus: between the heat, the pressure and the radiation, well, you might as well go out bare arse naked. No, you need top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art hostile environment gear, the sort of thing that costs more than a suit of battle armour. It's like walking around inside a miniature BattleMech, and about as agile, but it's not a time to worry about setting a fashion trend. No, you strap yourself into that big, ugly, bright orange son-of-a-bitch and prey they didn't skimp on the pre-mission maintenance.

Those suits, well, they're not the most comfortable thing to wear at the best of times, and struggling across the deck of a constantly moving gas-mining rig in the upper atmosphere of an ice giant isn't the best of times. The radios are effectively useless; nowhere near strong enough to punch through all the interference, so you're stuck on receive only. And that means that all you can hear is the clang of your feat on the deck, the hum of the life-support system and the rasping of your own breath. Even with the servos, you still have to really put your back into it, so you're drenched in sweat in no time. And you can't see shit in a soup-like atmosphere, so you're reliant on your HUD, which is crowded with all sorts of gages and readouts at the best of times. Best you can do is follow the yellow arrow that points you towards a beacon some poor sod had to go plant. And thankfully, that poor sod had been on the Clark.

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a pressure-hull in my entire life.

Those environment suits only have so much life support, and it's almost impossible to do anything too precise in one, so the first job was to patch and repressurise at least part of the rig so we could get a better look at what we had to work with. Two of the crew had dragged a micro-fusion power cell across from one of the ships, and that was enough to power most of our equipment, so we quickly set about finding the rents and tears in the habitation block. Thankfully, the designers had built it to act as an emergency refuge in the event of an emergency, so it was even more heavily built than the other pressurised sections of the rig, and it wasn't long before we were able to get it sealed off. With that done, it was mainly a case of tracking down and patching micro-leaks and keeping an eye out for any signs of stress: nobody wanted to be outside of their suit if the hull was to suddenly rupture. That was my job, and I double then triple checked everything before giving the order to repressurise.

The hull moaned and groaned like a dockside whore, but it held, a testament to the quality of the workmanship that went into building it in the first place.

With a breathable atmosphere, we could lose the environmental suits and work a lot quicker, even if it took us two whole days to make sure everything was decontaminated. We managed to set up a makeshift living area, so we could take our brakes without having to go all the way back to one of the DropShips, a couple of the crew even deciding to sleep there. I wasn't completely sold on the idea, but I did like concept of not having to make the treck back to the Lewis just to grab some bunk-time. Everyone was still keenly aware just where we were and all that could go wrong, but after a while the human mind tends to adapt pretty well.

If only we'd know what was going to happen...

I was inspecting one of the lower levels, trying to restore at least partial power to the rest of the rig, when Parker, a crewmember assigned to work with me because you don't want to be alone when shit goes sideways, started freaking out, saying she'd seen something moving outside a nearby porthole. I assured her that is was probably just ice crystals playing with her mind, or at most, some part of the rig that had come loose in the long centuries since it had been abandoned and now dangling, but she didn't seem too convinced. So I made my way over to the porthole and pressed the visor of my environment suit up against it, craning my neck to try and get a better look, but I couldn't see anything but the swirling clouds.

Next day I was asked to go with Brett, the other structural engineer, to look at the what had been the landing control tower. Or rather, what was left of it. According to the schematics we'd found, it should have been a five story high tube with a bubble of 10cm thick transparent aluminium on the top, but it had broken off about half way, leaving a stump of twisted, jagged metal behind. Now I've seen damn near every kind of damage metal can suffer, from corrosion to battle damage to metal-eating bacteria, so I know metal that's been twisted and torn when I see it.

Few more days went by, most of which were spent replacing or repairing external lights. Which was odd, because most looked like they'd been deliberately smashed, while the main electrical board... we'll, somebody had taken a literal fire-axe to it, the broken-off head of which was still embedded within it. I was tasked with helping to repair it, even though it wasn't my field of expertise, so I was inside, away from the windows when the lights came back on, but apparently it was quite the sight to see.

Next week was pretty standard for a salvage operation: sorting out what's was worth saving and could be safely and easily removed. Computers, especially the processors, are always a good choice, given how small and light they are, and even broken or damaged ones tend to be worth a fair bit. After that it's any data storage devices, with even the smallest scrap of recoverable data often worth the cost of a DropShip. Places like N.A.I.S. just buy it all in bulk, no questions asked, so it's always at or near the top of any grab-list. Then you get, well, anything you can sell to LostTech collectors.

But that's when we discovered why the rig had been abandoned in the first place.

It started with the lights, out in the clouds. At first we thought it was just lightning, but the colours were wrong: too red/orange for lightning, even in an atmosphere like Typhonus. Then people started claiming to have seen something outside, just like Parker had. The boss accused them of drinking on the job, not something you wanted under the circumstances, but they were all sober as a judge on Sunday. Then Dallas, one of the crew chiefs, went missing while working outside. Brett and Ash, who'd been working with him, insisted that they only turned their backs for a moment, then there was a tug on the safety line, and when they looked back, he was gone.

We were all experienced salvage workers, hardly green to the dangers of the job: you don't last long in that line of work without gaining a somewhat fatalistic outlook on like, an acceptance that, when your number is up, it's up. We'd all had close calls, and known people who caught the bought the farm. But something about how Dallas was just gone set everyone on edge, and in a high-stress environment, that's not something you want happening. So Kane, the boss, decided to pull back to the Sacagawea for some down-time and a rethink, give everyone a little time to decompress. So we started to pack up everything we'd already gathered together, stealing it up in containers that could protect it from the atmosphere as we carried it back to the DropShips.

That's why I was fortunate enough to be in my environment suit when it happened.

Metal can make some funny sounds when it's under stress: some are as benign as an old house creaking in the middle of the night, but an experienced ear knows to listen out for the telltale sounds of something about to go monumentally, catastrophically wrong. Unfortunately, I only just had the time to scream out a warning before the pressure hull ruptured, bulkhead crumpling like an empty beer-can. Had the rig been in perfect, or even serviceable condition, emergency hatches would have slammed shut, but we'd had to cut through most of them, so there wasn't really anything between the rupture point and the poor bastards who weren't in their environment suits. Which was, unfortunately, about half the work crew.

They died, and not quickly or painlessly. I won't go into details, but it wasn't good, and I still sometimes see their faces in my dreams, on the nights I wake in a cold sweat.

They were dead, but those of us still alive had to get back to the DropShips in one piece. Fortunately, within the habitation block, our radios could actually work, so the order was given to bug-out, and we started to make our way towards the now pointless airlock. Entire place was shaking and rattling like it was fit to come apart at the seems, so you can bet we hauled arse as fast as we could, even in an environment suit. There was this one bit, where there was a gantry over what had been a water tank at some point, and, well, let's just say that Ash and Kane didn't make it further than that. Everyone was starting to panic by that point, and with Kane gone, there wasn't a clear chain of command, and it all went to hell in a hand-basket, with people fighting to get through hatchways.

I felt something grab my arm, and I looked round to see Parker, gesturing as best she could towards a side-door. The two of us had become reasonably close, all things considered, and she seemed to be holding it together a little better than most of the others, so I decided to trust her. The corridor she led me down was narrow, almost too tight in places, but it allowed us to bypass some of the chock-points, and the fights to get through them. I never found out who got to the airlock first, or who they had to climb over to do so, but both the inner and outer hatches had been jammed open, allowing us to get outside quickly.

Parker was busy attaching a safety line between our suits, so I was the first to see it.

Bioluminescence is a crazy thing: it can make something from your worst nightmare seem like the most beautiful thing you can imagine. I don't know what it was, or if there was more than one, but it seemed almost as big as the rig and made of tentacles the size of a BattleMech and pulsating lights the same colour as the running lights on the rig. At least three of those tentacles had been wrapped around the habitation block, which had been been the most brightly illuminated part of the rig, and were busy tearing it apart. Others were gripping various parts of the rig, pushing and pulling at it.

There was a bright flash as the Clark switched on all its external lights, including the massive floodlights built into its wings. They were no doubt hoping to guide survivors to safety, but it got the attention of whatever it was that was destroying thep rig. Parker went ridged with shock as a brightly flashing tentacle, so thick we could have stood on each others shoulders and still not been ble to see over the top, snaked passed us so close it felt like we could have reached out and touched it. It was pulsing bright, vibrant colours, and it whipped round like a rattlesnake, almost flipping the Clark before enveloping the DropShip. The pilot must have panicked, because even through the soup of an atmosphere, I could see the main engine flair, but the creature had it, and started to squeeze.

I looked away, almost dragging Parker behind me: I didn't need to see what was going to happen. I'd seen enough death that day.

The Lewis had been landed a hundred metres away from the habitation block, but under the circumstances, it felt like a hundred kilometres. Every step I took, I could feel the deck bucking and twisting beneath my feet. I stumbled more than once, but thankfully Parker was always there to help. Every step, I expected to be squashed like an ant by one of those tentacles as they swayed around about us, filling the sky with strange, otherworldly patterns of light and shadow. We had no idea of knowing if the Lewis was still there, or if it had taken off, or suffered the same fate as the Clark. But we had no other choice but to keep going.

Eventually, the reassuring bulk of the Lewis came into sight: all of her external lights, save one marking her port airlock, had been switched off, and we staggered towards it. Maybe I should have looked around, seen if any of the others were following behind us, but I was running on pure adrenaline and primal terror at that point. So instead I summoned up what reserves of strength I had left and pulled myself through the hatch. Soon as I had a grip on the first handhold, I turned and grabbed Parker, pulling her in behind me ever as the untire universe seemed to start spinning around me.

It wasn't until later that I was told that the rig had finally given up and started to come apart entirely, sending the Lewis tumbling over the side. All I knew was that Parker was dangling, her legs out of the airlock as the hatch started to close. Even the thick metal of her environment suit wouldn't have protected her from being crushed, but I had seen too much death already that day. I don't know how I did it, because even the servos in the suit shouldn't have been able to, but somehow I lifted Parker up until her feet were just inside the airlock. And not a moment too soon, as it snapped shit beneath her.

Next thing we knew, we were being flung against the bulkhead s the main drive kicked in, the ships spinning around until her nose was pointed star-side, then that massive kick in the pants as the pilot pushed though the gate, engaging maximum power, sending us rocketing away from the rig like a bat out of hell.

It was a while before anyone decided to check on us: they had more questions than answers, and if it wasn't for the mission recorders built into our suits, I don't think they would have believed a word we said. As it was, we were the only two survivors from the habitation block, and with the Clark gone... well, the mission was a damn near total failure. We joined back up with the Sacagawea then boosted for the jump-point and the waiting JumpShip, the rest of the crew looking at us like we were cursed or something.

Been almost ten years since that day, and while I'm still a structural engineer, I keep my feet firmly on solid ground these days.

The End
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


shadowdancer

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #56 on: 01 July 2019, 00:02:46 »
Great story. Thanks.
Wishing the Worse on your Enemies
Contact the 13th Armored Calvary
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Kidd

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #57 on: 01 July 2019, 01:12:03 »
"Hello, beastie!"

snakespinner

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #58 on: 01 July 2019, 01:28:43 »
Welcome to my nightmare. :thumbsup:
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

mikecj

  • Captain
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  • Posts: 2003
  • Veteran of Galahad 3028
Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #59 on: 01 July 2019, 22:24:56 »
Well written!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.