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Thread: A Midnight Rescue

  1. #1

    A Midnight Rescue (Ch 1)

    (OOC This writing compliments another set of posts on this forum. I'll leave the reader to discover which =) )
    I have also consolidated all my writing into this thread for convenience.

    A Midnight Rescue

    The Hissii shrieked as it fell to the ground in its death throes. “Stay together!” I yelled as I ran forward another 50 yards. The rest of the raidforce stretched out into a line, most running towards me and a few hesitant behind near the pile of bodies. “No, don’t loot! Move up!” Staying behind to check the corpses even if it took a few seconds could mean death here. The corrupted minions seemed to come out of nowhere every few minutes. We could barely keep up with the rate they were showing up. These enemies here were like nothing we have encountered in this hellhole we called Shadowlands. They resembled sentient creatures we have met in every zone, both taking sides of a war that has spanned thousands of years. But these were different. There was no talking or reasoning, as they ferociously attacked anyone and anything that wasn’t one of them. Redeemed, Unredeemed, and even the somewhat primitive but friendly Hissii, roamed the ruins of what looked like it was once a thriving metropolis were only here for one purpose: to kill any unwary traveler that happened to come here. They were tenfold stronger and more resolved than their brethren in other places, and they fought to the death…every single time. Hell even most raid forces that came through here met with devastating defeat.

    We rounded a corner looking down what looked like a street in the midst of ancient ruins, lying dead since centuries ago. I heard a growl and 3 tall shapes lounged at me. I opened up with a burst on the nearest one, its wings aglow with a ghastly blue pallor. “Blob blob blob!!!” The raid force converged on me forming a tight circle around my position guns spewing a hail of bullets and burning plasma in all directions. Roused by the sound of gunfire even more creatures ran towards us. Those getting close were met by blows of the enforcers’ mauls, splitting bones and tearing flesh with every crushing blow.

    A beep from the porta-map strapped to my wrist made me glance down for a sec as I slid a fresh clip into my Syndicate Gun. The proximity alarm was going crazy as I saw even more lifeform readings closing in. And then I saw the last thing I wanted to see. Two dots one orange and one blue separated from the main group by about 4 red dots signifying enemies. They had obviously fallen to the temptation of checking the bodies we have left behind for artifacts. Some of the gear the enemies here had were worth millions upon millions of credits brought back to Jobe or Rubi-Ka. The creatures hesitated then ran towards the stragglers. “Damn” I thought, every fallen soldier here meant our raid would get weaker. There was no going to the main force back once you had died as the creatures would follow in great numbers wiping out the entire raid regardless of how many there were. I heard muffled screams as the two who stayed behind were engulfed by the creatures. The scent of blood seemed to only attract more. Pretty soon the screams fell silent and the only noise heard from behind us was the automatic cooperator rifles expending their clips in automatic fire long after the hands squeezing the triggers were torn apart form their owners.

    “Move!” My voice has long gone hoarse from screaming these same orders over and over again. “Move up! To me!!” If anyone stayed behind for too long the creatures arriving from behind us would catch their scent and promptly jump the main group. We could handle 4 maybe even 5 at a time but more meant certain death. Moving over a small hill of what looked like a collapsed wall I heard a faint rumbling sound. “Down!” I barely managed to scream in time, as a huge block of rubble flew down the street just over our heads. In addition to all the other nastiness the gravity here was unstable too, and sometimes rocks, boulders and even parts of old buildings would tear off from the ground and begin to fly a slow circular course, ever slowly being drawn to the blinding pillar of light in the middle of the zone.

    I have heard stories of the horrors dwelling deeper towards the center of the zone, things that only the most advanced and experienced raid forces had been able to overcome. Omni, Clan and Neut fought side by side, together as the creatures here did not care of our alignment. We had to fight together to stay alive. Coming up the side of the “street” I finally saw the reason we were here. A dark shape hovered in the air about a block ahead, a blur of black claws, teeth and spikes. “Sagittarius” I shouted, “we’re almost there!” The raid force moved in slowly but steadily dispensing death in all directions. The Docs could barely keep up with the wounds these foul beings inflicted on us but somehow they managed to keep most of us alive. Attrition took its toll though and out of 50 people who originally started the raid only 20 or so remained in our ranks. There were only 2 creatures between us and our target: a giant nasty hydra right out of children’s storybooks. Yet here this nightmarish vision came to life… and we had to kill it. The last hissii looked about half dead according to my targeting readout. I looked up for a second and saw Woolgatherer’s grinning face in front of me, streaks of sweat running down from under his tall helmet. Even in the midst of a fight he was able to keep his impeccable sense of humor. “Sure is a fine mess I got us into again eh Wooly?” I jested. “Yep” he replied “Now to clean it up…” Wool wiped a smear of blood and dirt from his sparkling Izgimmer cyberdeck strapped to his forearm, pushed a few buttons, and sent a sparkling bolt of energy into the hissii.

    As the hissii began crumpling to the ground with a grunt I saw a set of bright pink wings unfurl in front of me and a red glow start to form around the hissii’s body. “PINK” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but it was too late. A fountain of red and pink sparkles erupted around the hissii as it sprung to its feet fully healed. The corrupted Xan-Len that just cast a “fountain of life” sneered at us and in one hit with its huge sword, cleaved the MA next to me in half before he could even cast his somewhat slow heal nano. The fight was not going the way it was supposed to but there wasn’t much to do at this point. “Tank team on zodiac, rest on adds!” I uttered the order. I cast a HoT on the tank in my team and sprayed a hail of bullets to cover their path to the monster. The force concentrated its fire on the towering pink figure of the Xan-Len before it could heal itself or anything else again. There was now a clear path from us to the zodiac and we all rushed in to finally take down our target.

    The zodiac put up quite a fight taking chunks of flesh out of our main enforcer tank and it looked like it was going to tear him limb from limb. At times it seemed that only the glow from our Docs healing nonstop kept the tank in one piece. Finally after several minutes of every single raid member pumping all they had into the zodiac the creature collapsed to the ground, its long spiked tail nearly putting a gash into my face as it fell. “Victory” I smiled. Then I looked past the steaming corpse of the zodiac and saw something that made by heart skip a beat. A less experienced MP has forgotten to tell his pet demon to stay put, or maybe the MPs concentration lapsed for a second and the demon had decided to explore on his own while the master was not directly in control, but either way it had stumbled perilously close to a large cluster of enemies. “Pets, control your pets!” I yelled but it was too late. The demon was gleefully trotting back to us with a wall of creatures in tow. Three hissii, closely followed by two Xan-Cuir or “Spiders” as we called them, and what looked like another three or four mobs which I couldn’t make out clearly. I did see the tips of pink wings swaying behind them and surveying our force barely 15 strong now I knew it was the end. “Run!” I screamed, “Regroup in garden!” Our task was accomplished as is and even if we died now we would return to the garden tree of life that kept our code much like the insurance scanners of Rubi-Ka. I briefly paused to pick up what looked like a small cylindrical stone from a gash in the body. It must have been some sort of organ on the zodiac but the vessels and nerves leading to it looked remarkably like an interface used by NCU modules. I then cast a runbuff and ran like I never ran before.

    We were less than a hundred yards from the garden entry statue when another wave of corrupted xan hit us. I stood my ground covering the entrance of those who were able to make it into the garden with a steady spray of bullets from my trusty gun. That was when smelled it. A faint smell of burning leather with an acrid overtone like freshly singed feathers. An unmistakable sign of an approaching fiery chimera. But this was all wrong… THERE WERE NO FIERY CHIMERAS HERE!!! They were left behind in Inferno, the hellish fiery zone we had to cross to reach “The End.” I turned around and sure enough the chimera was right there, eyes glinting, ready to pounce. I raised my gun but it was too late. Even my perks that would let me evade most attacks for a short while wouldn’t get me out of this one. All I could do is grab the front paws of the chimera as it lounged for my throat. My palms burned even through the temp isolating padding of the best armor I had. I felt the claws on the chimera’s hind legs tear into my sides, through my shadowweb, through my faithful and into my body. As the searing pain of a thousand needles hit me I began to loose grip on the chimera’s front paws. Everything around me began to go dark from the pain. The chimera hissed and bit into my shoulder, right below the neck, its burning fangs cauterizing blood and flesh on contact. “Reclaim” I thought, preparing to see the white light, and the familiar sight of the tree of life. But the white light never came. In fact everything went black, and I heard a peculiar beeping sound to my right. Then I heard a cold emotionless computer generated voice utter two words: “Urgent Transmission” “Urgent Transmission.”

    I blinked and sat up. The air was humid and my sheets were soaked in sweat. My palms still burned. In my right hand I was grasping the handle of my SMG so tight that the skin has turned white and began to burn. The safety was mercifully on and my finger perilously close to the trigger. “Gotta stop sleeping with the gun under my pillow” I thought. Here in Jobe it would be safe enough to keep it in a drawer by the bed. Through the cracks in the curtain covering the windows surrounding the bed I could see the warm glowing lights of the transport ramp from Plaza to Market. Other than the openings in the curtains the only source of light in the room was the blinking red light of the inter-com.

    “Lights 2” I said and the lamp behind my bed came aglow with yellow incandescent light flooding the head of the bed. I hit a button on the inter-com and the small screen came to life: Priority alpha transmission. Through the haze on the screen I recognized Ashcroft’s face. I gave my usual curt nod, still reeling from my overwhelmed senses. “Sup?” Ash’s voice was interrupted with static; letting me know it was a hacked closed frequency transmission from somewhere clan did not have clearly established transmission capabilities. “It’s Ivy” Ash said “She’s in deep deep…well you know.” My heart sank. “What has she got herself into this time?” I wondered. “What’s that?....Newland City? I’ll be there in 2 minutes, have a brief ready for me. Remm out.”

    I quickly threw a few things into a backpack, put on my faithful armor and taking a deep breath snapped my head back and raised my arms casting a familiar nano. And nothing happened. “Damn” I thought. “Gotta remember where I am.” I ran into the other room where glowing on the wall was a grid terminal. It wouldn’t take me where I was going though. I concentrated and a hacking receptacle materialized in my hand. I placed it over the transmission encoders and my body fractured into a million pieces as I faded into the fixer grid, on the way to Newland City and Ivy.

    Last edited by Remmance; Aug 4th, 2004 at 15:44:30.
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  2. #2
    Part 2

    The warehouse was easy to find in an older section of Newland City. “These guys are getting sloppy” I thought. In the midst of abandoned and condemned buildings, a guarded warehouse stood out like a bronto outside the south gate of Tir. The guards were “concealed” of course, but anyone with a trained eye could tell they were there. I was lying on the rooftop of a two story building eying the surroundings through night vision binoculars. Methodically tensing the muscles in my body one by one to prevent them from cramping, I was learning the pattern of the guards’ patrol routes from early evening. As soon as it got dark, I had made my way onto the roof of an abandoned house opposite the warehouse and all through the night I watched them go about their patrols.

    There were seven guards in all, four stationary, strategically placed in key positions with what looked like X-3s and Caterwaul sniper rifles. The other three patrolled at seemingly random intervals, but those too had a pattern. It took me several hours to see what it was, but there most definitely was a pattern. Whoever set up these guards knew what they were doing, and had at least an officers ranking with the Omni-Tek military forces. “Of course a smarter man would see the big picture” I mused. One guarded warehouse in the midst of an abandoned quarter was too funny. Although who would stray here anyway, unless they themselves had some shady dealings. Having had my share of “shady dealings” in the past it was easy enough to find a local fixer who could be persuaded with a generous sum of creds to give me the latest rumors form the local underground. Someone had set up shop in a warehouse in an abandoned section of the Old Quarter and although they dressed like mercenaries and gave the general impression of being smugglers, their equipment and talk gave away that they were military. It was the place I came here to find.

    This was my tenth hour on the rooftop and it was nearing the hours just before dawn. Looking at my timer it was just before 4am local time. This was the time when the guards would be least alert and my window to act without causing a general alarm. Besides in another 40 minutes it would start to get light and my Cyborg Death Squad armor black which blended in nicely in the night on the filthy rooftops would make me painfully visible even to the untrained observer. The time to act was now.

    I slid down the side of the building, blood pounding in my temples after so many hours of holding still. Two of the guards were on the opposite side of the building and quickly slid into one of the sniper nests taking the man in there unawares, my knifepoint in his throat before he could utter a cry for help. Seconds later I was aiming at the second sniper on the closer side of the warehouse with the X-3 onto which I had screwed on a silencer as not to alert the other guards. A well placed shot to the head and the soldier in the second sniper post went limp. The easy part was over. I dove out of the safety of the sniper’s nest, running hunched over close to the ground, my non-reflective armor pitch black under the starlight. When I came up on the first patroller, he was lighting a cigarette. Crushing the man’s throat with my elbow from behind in a hold I slit his throat and buried my knife to the hilt in his chest. It was messy but quiet. I was glad I had not given up on my close combat practice even with all the new gear available from the shadowlands.

    The guards lighter fell out of his limp hand and started towards the ground. I reached out to catch it but it wasn’t meant to be. The silvery rectangle fell onto the gravel with a happy “cling.” That was enough. As I dove to the ground I saw the second patroller running in my direction, probably not aware of my exact location but knowing that something was wrong, his spastic assault rifle was at the ready. I was not waiting to see if he could spot me. I opened up with a burst from my SMG and followed up with special perk shots I have learned channeling energy of the other dimension through my bullets into the enemy’s body. A Jarring burst stopped the man in his tracks before he could TMS and I quickly followed up with solid and neutronium slugs, making the guards charred body fall to the ground with a dull thud.

    Being stealthy no longer served a purpose as I heard footsteps of more guards running around the warehouse attracted by the gunfire. I sent off another burst at a guard coming around the corner and threw myself into a window not wanting to risk meeting at any guard who were surely posted inside by the door. As I landed on the floor I heard the characteristic buzzer of the triggered alarm. The building erupted into mayhem. I ran out into the hall hoping to find what I was looking for before someone caught on to the fact that I did not belong here. I ran out of the hall onto a walkway overseeing an open expanse of boxes piled high and stacks of guns in their racks. All throughout there were confused workers running to safety and the guards dismayed and unsure what to do. The guards inside wore black OT Armed forces armor leaving no doubts of what this was: an OT supply depot. The black armor of the guards was not at all that dissimilar from my own black armor and the helmet covered enough of my face so that running past workers I was not immediately seen as an intruder.

    In the corner of the storage hall I saw a door which looked like it was high security. It had an alarm on it, and a complicated coded lock. “Complicated Lock” I laughed, as I held my fingers over the key slot. The “pick-a-finger” device which I wore on my right hand became an extension of me as I felt my way into the lock. Closing my eyes I let the nanobots paint a virtual picture of what complicated electronic machinery that was inside. “Child’s play” I scoffed as the lock flew open in a matter of seconds. “Access Granted” The lock flashed a green light as the door slid open. I rolled into the hallway of what looked like a detention hallway, with gated cells extending off in either side of the hall. There were three guards in the hall two standing in the middle of the hallway caught unprepared, the third still sitting behind a control panel. This was not the time for subtlety. I cast “Frenzy of Shells” one of my most powerful nanos, feeling the nanobots rushing through my muscles in a storm. Then the program took over. I rolled from spot to spot only pausing enough to shoot here, there and burst whenever the chance came up knowing that stopping for a second would mean death. Bullets ricocheted of walls and the floor. Twice the clip on my gun went empty from the sheer amount of firing. This was not a carefully planned aim and kill fight. The winner would be he who pumped out the most ammo into his opponent first.

    I came to a stop, my pulse racing. The three guards lay dead on the ground their smoking bodies riddled with bullets. I had some wounds as well. A bullet hole in my arm was starting to soak through my armor, and apparently my side was grazed too. Still riding the rush of the fight, the pain was only now starting to make itself known. I focused and cast a HoT. It would not be the instant relief from injury that Docs heals could do, but it would keep me going. As the healing nanobots pulsed through my vessels I felt the pain lessen and the wounds tightening. I had to move fast; in a couple hours I would be in a world of hurt and need to see a real Doctor.

    “Damn omni always making arrangements to take prisoners, even when there are none” I thought. The cells were all empty and dark save for a lighted one at the end of the hall. I rushed to it not sure what I would find. Cautiously, SMG at the ready I approached the cell. A flickering light bulb revealed the sole occupant – Ivyna. “IVY!” I rushed to the door. There was shouting and the sound of people running in the distance. As I waved my hand over the lock and it flew open at my whim I stepped into the cell and Ivy was in my arms. Ivyna was a sad sight, her usually neatly styled beautiful auburn hair was matted and disheveled, her clothes were torn, and her makeup had run over her face in streaks. She has been crying, and I could see the streaks of the tears on her cheeks still. She was clutching a blood soaked towel between her legs, a few drops running down her smooth tanned thighs. I took off my cape. Disconnected from the rest of the armor it was no longer camouflaged black, but reverted to its pale golden yellow. I gently wrapped it around Ivy’s shaking shoulders. There were footsteps at the guard station at the entrance to the detention hall. I glanced around the cell one last time. Shouts and footsteps grew closer. “We have to go NOW. Take my hand.” I took Ivy’s hand, closed my eyes and we disappeared into the grid.

    I brought Ivy back to her Jobe apartment and sat her on the bed while I went into the bathroom running a warm bath for her to wash away the blood and dirt. When I came back out she was still sitting on the edge of the bed, stunned from everything that had happened. I came into the room and sat next to her on the edge of the bed. “How did you find me?” she asked quietly, looking down. “Aeliea alerted us when you didn’t come back last night. It wasn’t hard to find out where the hideout was, and they really should update their security measures.” I half grinned and held up my hacking tool. “So everyone knows, then.” Ivy said dully. “Only a few, Ivy. You talk in your sleep, you know, among other things.”

    Of course the rumors of Ivy moaning the name of some supposed omni in her sleep have made their rounds in the ranks of recruits serving their tour in Penumbra and made their way to me. I smiled unwittingly for a moment then regained control and made my face turn serious. “I can’t believe the risk you took, walking into an Omni Headquarters? What the hell were you thinking?” I sighed. “Go take your bath now, you’ll feel better. I will let Phoenixius know that you are ok.” I gave Ivy a squeeze on the shoulder and walked out quietly closing the door behind me. Waving my hand over the lock it secured just as easy as I opened it when I brought her back to the appartment.

    I noticed Ivy when she was serving in my squad on routine assignment in Penumbra, she was fresh to the war, but battle ready, always exuding a sense of confidence and a sexy glow. The rest of the squad always seemed to perk up when she was around. The grunts would go out of their way to make her life a bit easier when possible and while as commander I couldn’t do anything I always made sure to keep an eye out to make sure she would not get injured or fall too far behind in training exercises.

    Looking at her I felt something I had not felt since my at the time fiancée has been sent off world, leaving me alone on this piece of rock - a sort of longing. “No” I thought. “That chapter of my life is closed and gone.” I probably wouldn’t even see her again, unless I was dragged out by the recruits for R&R; something that didn’t happen often. I had responsibilities after all. More recruits would be arriving in Penumbra soon, missions in Inferno and more raids to plan in that god forsaken place that had so often invaded my nightmares.
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  3. #3
    (bumps ya up with me!)

  4. #4
    wow how long it take ya to write all that down?
    "If your strong you live, if your weak you die."

  5. #5
    I believe from start to finish it took about 5 hrs to write including editing and corrections after the initial draft was written.
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  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Worth every minute. The stories are great, keep it up.

    Feels like I'm starting to get to you know you and your companions.

  7. #7

    The Party (Ch 2)

    The evening was young but the party was already in full swing. At least I assumed it was, as I could hear the noise from the next street over. Darkness was starting to set over the stone paved streets of Jobe, the bright stars overhead reflecting in the polished surfaces of the windows below. I rounded a corner and the noise intensified twofold. Laughter, playful shouts and loud music filled the street. No doubt I was getting close. I took a deep breath filling my lungs with cool, moist night air. There was no odor of burning that pervaded all of inferno, nor did the lungs burn like when inhaling the icy air in Penumbra. The air processing units here kept the air at just the right temperature - slightly cooled and perfectly balanced humidity. Although there were few trees here the breeze always carried the fragrance of blooming acacias.

    For a moment I relaxed. My eyes scanning the surroundings, looking for danger as always found none. My trusty Syndicate Gun was the only protection I had now, securely strapped in a holster on my right lower back. In Jobe I felt a vague uneasiness without my armor on, which was a vast improvement from anywhere else on Rubi-Ka. Even going to the parties at Reet's Retreat in Stret, with all their high tech security droids and guards I felt naked with no armor on. "Maybe when I retire I'll move here for good" I thought.

    Looking up ahead I narrowed in on the source of the noise. A balcony crowded with people. Colored light was flowing from the door leading inside, pounding with the rhythm of the music and changing colors with the beat. I recognized the silhouettes of Jamitt and Pneumen apparently exchanging something. Pneumen was up to his old ES dealing tricks for sure. Enhanced Senses - a "mild psychedelic stimulant" was legal in Jobe, though and even elsewhere almost no-one enforced it's ban, after all there were worse things around. "I saw that!" I yelled from underneath the balcony. Judging from the startled look on Penumen's face he knew he had been busted. "Sorry Sir! Just having a little fun..." apparently he didn't realize I was kidding. "Carry on, I have no issues here" I replied. "And stop calling me Sir, we're all civilians here. So lemme get a piece of the pie!" Pneumen tossed a small item from the balcony. I caught it in my hand and looked at it. A small pill. "How things have changed I thought." Wool's head appeared out of the balcony door. "Remmy? Is that you?" he shouted. "Get your ass in here, we got too much to drink!" Wool's voice sounded like he had already had his share and then some. "Be right up!" I yelled back.

    When I was a young fixer scraping to make out a living in the slums of West Athen, ES came in cumbersome stims. I remembered mixing up the rough ingredients and feeding them into the processor openings of pre-made stim casings, a process which left my hands perpetually raw and tingling. "Ahh the things we had to do to stay alive back then." Repeated exposure to low level ES caused most fixers to develop nanobots that could metabolize ES with ease and on demand too. I remembered reading a JAME paper on the phenomenon; it related that the "metamorphosised nanobots" were an offspring of the nanobots fixers used for hacking hence completely under their control. That was why fixers could always pass the tests for ES, by the time guards would try to sample them for it the ES was long gone.

    I walked through the main door and made my way up a cramped winding staircase. The pounding rhythm intensified as I made my way to the small landing on the second floor. There were 2 doors but there was no question about which one I had to take. One of them was virtually throbbing with the beat. As I opened the door a blast of music and hot air hit me. I smelled a blend of cigar smoke, beer, perfume and a bit of sweat. I edged my way into the apartment. Wool has certainly outdone himself this time. There was barely room to turn. People were packed in like sardines all through the corridor and leading to the kitchen and the main hall. Squeezing through the crowd in the hallway, I saw familiar and new faces. Some I had seen in Penumbra and Adonis, others at tower raids, still more I had no idea who they were and yet they knew me from somewhere as they offered a curt nod or a smile.

    I made my way into the kitchen where the air was thick with cigar smoke. Lurt, Jujubee and Meatbone were playing cards at the dining table and looking at the pile of bets on the table the game was getting interesting. "Hey guys" I offered. The three returned greetings without taking their eyes off their cards and each other. This was indeed a heated game. On a side table stood a strange contraption apparently designed for consuming massive quantities of beer at the same time. This was one of Dongs creations for sure. Bulgariaa and a young opifex woman whom I didn't recognize were getting ready to use it. The master engineer stood by eyeing his creation proudly. "You gotta try this" Dong beseeched. "I'm getting a little too old for this sort of thing..." I jested " liver isn't what it used to be. But maybe later guys." "That's two strikes tonight!" Dong said looking almost sad. "Ivy didn't want to try it either." I stooped over imitating an old man and hobbled over to the fridge. Dong and Bulgariaa doubled over laughing all grievances forgotten. Ivy was somewhere around here too then. I havent seen her since the incident with the Omni in Newland.

    I looked into the fridge. Beer, beer and more beer. On a side shelf of the fridge stood a sole unlabeled bottle with clear fluid. I popped the cork and sniffed the contents, the scent of strong alcohol burning my nostrils. "Wooly must be hoarding the real good stuff for himself" I thought. I grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and poured it about half full of the clear liquid. I put the glass on the counter and opened a beer putting the beer bottle next to the glass. Searching through my pockets I found the pill I got earlier from Pneumen. Carefully opening the shell of the pill I emptied the rainbow powder inside into the glass. The powder settled on the surface and rainbow streaks began to make their way towards the bottom of the glass. "Juju, lighter" I asked. Jujubee pulled out his mini blowtorch, momentarily pausing to apply it to his half burning cigar, sending clouds of bluish smoke towards the light on the ceiling, and threw it to me. I caught the lighter and applied the flame momentarily to the surface of the drink. A blue flame erupted over the surface rippling with colors. Letting it burn for several seconds I watched the rainbow swirls fade to purple, then blue and finally ominous black. The ES nanobots sent into overdrive by the excessive heat fizzled in a frenzy and the drink started to foam. I blew out the flame and took a deep breath. Then exhaling hard and forcing all the air out of my lungs I swallowed the black liquid in two large gulps, immediately grabbed the beer washing down the burning cocktail before vapors could back up into my throat. My throat was already burning nonetheless, but the vapors didn't rise up to my lungs which would be a bad thing indeed.

    Almost immediately I sensed a wave of warmth spreading through me from the inside, slowly trickling out to my arms and legs. I felt my muscles relax almost involuntarily under the spell of the ES. My keen opifex hearing became still more sensitive and I became more in tune with every little noise emanating from my surroundings. I could hear the crackle of Juju's cigar as he took a puff, the footsteps of people in the hall next to the kitchen, and the pounding of the music from the hall next door. There was something else too. This sound was much less obvious in the midst of the cacophony of other noises and I realized that I was hearing something from several rooms over. It sounded like moaning, but the voice appeared to be that of Wooly's mom. I haven't seen her yet, but I guessed she was enjoying the party too. I did not feel a pressing need to investigate. The milf that Wool's mother was she could check care of herself. I stifled a laugh. Hope poor Wooly doesn't walk in on her with whichever of his friends she's with, or someone will get fried. Wool has toasted me with Izgimmer's Ultimatum before at combat practice and it was not pleasant.

    I looked out the window at the city, all dark now. The only lights visible were a few lit windows and the plasma jet engines of cargo planes rising and falling in the distance. The warmth has risen to my face now and I could feel my thoughts starting to fade and concentrate on the sensations of my body. My eyes drifted shut as I leaned against the frame of the window. My body more and more relaxed I let the wall support me as I drifted in and out of sweet oblivion.

    ....A warm Saturday morning in West Athen... first rays of sunlight starting to flow into the sole window of the cramped's so comfortable...familiar...I feel her sleep warmed body against mine and scoot closer...smelling her sweet hair....kissing her soft neck..."Is it time to wake up?" she whispers, arching her back against me....I don't answer instead taking her ear in my mouth, gently biting her earlobe.....she moans as she pushes against me I reach down and run my fingertips up her smooth thigh....I don't want to be anywhere but happy I could die now.....

    "Remm? Remm!!" I snaped back to reality, my hand slipping on the windowsill. Diza's face slowly drifted into focus in front of me. "You've been standing here like a zombie for a half hour you know that? Aren't you going to come dance with us?" She took my hand and dragged me towards the music and the pulsing lights. I shook my head trying to dispel the haze of nanobots swirling through my memories.
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  8. #8
    In the main hall people were crowded around a makeshift dance floor with a light projector mounted on the ceiling above the center filling the room with brilliant sparkling patterns of color. The lights changed shape and color with the music, the process designed to easily mesmerize and trance even the most unappreciative observer. I smelled beer and turned around to have Wooly almost knock me off my feet. "You made it!" Wooly was definitely drunk already. He was soaked in beer and smelled it too. That didn't stop him from wrapping his arms around me in a massive beer splattering bear hug. "Have you been swimming in your beer again Wooly?" I asked. "And your mom!" he replied.

    I drifted to the corner of the dance floor where some familiar faces were moving with the music and let myself go lucid with ES once again. This time there were no coherent thoughts, only shapes, colors and music. I let my body follow the rhythm of the beat and pretty soon I was well into the music, dancing away, surrounded by grinding bodies. As the strobe lights came on I saw everything around the room in slow motion: Wooly, chugging another drink on the corner of the dance floor, Githypoo and Jamitt going at it on the couch by the wall, hands on each other and several guys watching the girl on girl action with big stupefied grins. Through half open eyes I saw Wooly looking at something I couldn't see behind the wall of dancing people. Then his eyes started to wander around the room as if searching for something. The expression on his face was that of concern. My ES induced haze rolled back as my body reeled to get back in control. My mind cleared almost instantly but I was still feeling the warmth running through my body which would last for a few more minutes while nanobots scowered the rest of my system deactivating ES and flushing it out. I locked gaze with Wooly and it was one of those "What-the-&%$#" looks he gave when trouble was afoot. He then motioned to something with his eyes which I couldn't see. The high fading fast I pushed my way through the crowd to the middle of the dance floor.

    In a small circle of free space in the center of the dance floor, right beneath the light emitter stood Ivy. She was wearing a fiery red dress that hugged her voluptuous body skin tight and apparently not much else under it, as I could see every curve and every crease on her. The top of her dress screamed for attention where strips of cloth barely held her full breasts in check, as she quivered rhythmically to the music. Her eyes were nearly closed; sweat dripping from her forehead, flowing down to her lips as she undulated with the beat. Ivy licked her lips sensuously; they too were full and pulsing with arousal. Her hands roamed over her body moving from her tight abs, to her perky from arousal breasts and down to her thighs. I knew exactly what was happening. This was someone on their first dose of ES. More scrupulous "distributors" would tell their clients that the first time ES was best taken in bed with a lover, or in a small group of friends who would watch out for you, not at a buisy party.

    The people standing around Ivy had stopped dancing and stood around watching her in half amusement half disbelief. This had to stop. But my body was still feeling warm and relaxed, the remnants of ES slow to dissipate and I could not take my gaze off her. It was as if I was paralyzed by eremite venom, free to feel everything in exquisite detail yet unable to move. Ivy's hands began to slide a dangerous slope from her curvy thighs to where her dress abruptly creased between her legs. Close and closer....I shook off the trance and felt a shudder through my body as the last of ES left my bloodstream. Trying to be as discreet as possible (as if that were possible now) I came behind Ivy and gently took her by the waist, to pull her off to the side, away from the dance floor. Ivy's warm hands closed over mine and moved them squarely to her breasts, pushing her hands down on mine. I could not help but feel her hard nipples through the sheer fabric. Ivy squeezed her hands down forcing me to feel her hot silky flesh and pushed her slim behind backwards grinding on me. I felt my body respond to hers and it was too much. “No you don’t Ivy, not like this,” I growled in her ear desperately trying to suppress my own arousal. The time for subtlety was over. I picked her up over my shoulder and carried her off the dance floor. She was in no shape to be left out by herself I decided, so without much hesitation I carried her squirming, wiggling shape down the stairs and out the door, on the way to her own apartment which was thankfully close to Wool's.

    “You can put me down Remmy, I won’t bite your ass…woops,” Ivy said as we were crossing the street one block away from our destination. I put her back down on her feet. Hopefully by now the effects of the ES would start to fade and Ivy would regain at least a semblance of self control. “What the hell were you doing in there, feeling yourself up in front of everyone? I can’t keep coming to the rescue every time Ivy decides to be a bad girl.” I scolded as we came to her apartment's door. “Maybe you shouldn’t Remmy…maybe you should be bad WITH me.” Ivy wrapped her arms around my neck and gave me a look that made me seriously question my resolve to leave her at the apartment. Her perfume was sweet and seductive at the same time and her body was warm against mine in the cool night air. For a moment I thought of two bodies entwined in pleasure between smooth silk sheets, hands linked and lips on lips in the throes of passion. I wasn't sure if I was angry at Ivy for getting tanked on ES and coming on to me or myself for wanting her. “You’re high aren’t you?” I swore, and then made a familiar gesture at the lock. The door opened and Ivy was pulling me inside. She didn't seem to care. I forced her hands from my neck and guided her past the doorway. “You’re not coming in?” she asked and made a pouting face. I answered truthfully: “No, Ivy. When I have you, you’re going to know exactly what you’re doing and who you’re with. I’ll see you at 0600.” I could still feel her gaze undressing me. Then I slammed the door and vanished into the chilly Jobe night.
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  9. #9

    Bloodtrails in the Snow (Ch 3)

    I wiped the snow from my goggles again. It didn’t help; I could barely see a hundred paces in front of me and the storm was only starting. The dark shapes of trees on the hill ahead swayed in the hollering wind. There could be a battalion of omni waiting in ambush behind the next hill and I wouldn’t know till I stumbled over them. In this storm though, we were all at the same disadvantage. No-one could see or hear anything beyond a few hundred feet. Icy wind tore at my face, every snowflake cutting like shrapnel. My body shivered with each gust of freezing wind. From this cold, the shadowweb I wore did not offer much protection.

    Going numb from the cold I could barely feel my legs. Maybe it was the blood loss too. My HoTs were only of marginal use now, stopping the pain and keeping me going but not enough to stop the bleeding. “I must have taken a round in an artery” I thought, eyeing the trail of blood in the snow behind me. It was rapidly getting covered by the falling snow. I wasn’t worried about omni soldiers seeing it as it would be invisible in minutes. The stalkers would smell the blood through the snow and pick up my trail though. Even those nasty tiger like creatures would be hiding in their lairs right now though. I listened for any indication I was being followed by anything, man or beast. I could hear no tell-tale crumpling of snow behind me, boots nor paws. In the pitch black of night the only sound heard was the screaming wind. I knew that to stop walking now would be suicide. With this sort of storm anything left in the open would not survive the night.

    I figured I had about an hour and a half left before my body gave out. By then the storm would intensify and it would be impossible to move anyway. I leaned against a thick tree trunk of what looked like an oak and tried to catch my breath. The firefight earlier had left our squad scattered. After we were ambushed by Gunsaber’s company at out campsite, rather than get pinned down and taken out by enemy fire, we decided to split into groups of one or two and fight skirmish style. Now I wondered how many were already dead, waiting back at the garden and who was left trying to live out the night. My intercom crackled in my ear. I scanned the frequencies but all I heard was static. Maybe the storm was blocking transmissions, the COMS was broken or perhaps I was the last one left alive out here. If I fell asleep now I would surely awake later in the warmth of the garden. But then our last day’s worth of travel would be lost, and the time on our mission was running out fast.

    If I could only make it to the Redeemed Temple I would give that bastard librarian the coveted page of the Yomi Grimoire we had fought for so hard in Adonis catacombs. Then we would finally get an audience with Cama – the leader of the Redeemed in Penumbra. I had to push on. I forced myself to abandon the support of the tree trunk and keep walking. The snowfall was getting heavier by the minute and now I trudged through snow almost knee deep. Even the Adonis catacombs seemed more hospitable now. They were dimly lit, and the air there was thick with moisture, perpetually smelling of mildew and worse. At least underground it wasn’t so cold. Only a few days ago we had broken camp deep in those caverns beneath the Adonis Redeemed Temple on our hunt for the Yomi page. My mind kept wandering back to that night.

    I was the second to keep watch. Faint rustling noises could be heard in the distance; the horrors that dwelled down here never slept. But for now the glowing fire would keep most of them at bay and I had a fresh clip in my gun if any decided to test our patience. The intersection of hallways at a stairwell where we had set up camp looked like it was remote and seldom traveled. Hopefully our presence would go undetected at least for a few hours while the squad rested enough to be able to move on. After weeks in the dank catacombs everyone’s mood was gloomy and I noticed even myself getting edgier by the day. The whole squad was anxious to be able to finally see daylight once more. For now we had to wait.

    I heard a faint rustling and looked to its source. Ivy looked restless in her sleeping bag. Over the faint glow of the embers left in the campfire I could see her tossing and turning. She was dreaming again. Whatever the content of her dreams, it couldn’t have been too bad as her face melted in a smile. I could only imagine what she was dreaming of, but soon she tensed and softly moaned. Then she mouthed a name. My name. Perhaps that wasn’t what she had said or perhaps I wanted it to be my name, either way, this wasn’t the right time to explore what was going on between us. I saw Warzell who was also sleeping near the fire stir, in response to the noise. I walked over to Ivy and softly shook her shoulder. “Wake up” I whispered. Ivy woke up with a start almost falling off the stair on which she nested her sleeping bag. I caught her fall and she sat back down, still part asleep. “What’s wrong?” she asked. I tried to keep a smile off my face, instead assuming an air of irritation. “You were dreaming” I said, without going into details. Maybe she hadn’t even remembered her dreams. “I’m sorry. I’ll keep the rest of the watch” Ivy replied looking almost embarrassed as she shook herself off. I looked at my watch and while I still had another quarter hour left on my watch my tiredness got the better of me. I quietly nodded to Ivy, activated the safety on my SMG and crawled back into my sleeping bag on the other side of the fire. I glanced up and saw Ivy walking the perimeter slowly, her cooperator rifle at the ready. Before my head hit the musty fabric I was fast asleep.
    Last edited by Remmance; Aug 4th, 2004 at 19:50:07.
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  10. #10
    The snow gave way and I fell down almost breaking my leg in the process. I had realized that I tranced out, walking mechanically through the blizzard, my mind not processing what was happening around me. My leg had fallen into a hole in the snow on the side of the hill. I dug at the icy crust covering the area where my foot had sunk and uncovered an opening. This looked like a small cave the stalkers had used for lairs. I tossed a flare into the opening and slowly edged in, gun at the ready. This cave seemed to be abandoned and the inhabitant was nowhere in sight. I could conceal myself here to last out the night, I just needed something to block the exit. I didn’t want to go back out in the wind but if I did not the snow would make its way into the cave. A few large branches put over the opening would quickly cover with snow and ice over making an impromptu door. I stumbled back into the freezing night headed for the nearest tree. At the base I found what I was looking for: several branches torn down by the winds of storms past. I picked up what I could and started back to the cave.

    Before I could crawl back into the opening I heard a faint yell. While seemingly weak in the roar of the wind the yell had to come from close by, probably the other side of the hill, or I wouldn’t have heard it at all. I braced myself against the cold and started making my way around the hill, SMG shaking in my frozen hands. As I rounded the hills I saw a shade jump out of my path and it gave me a start. It was only a silvertail, a peaceful deer like creature that wouldn’t attack unless provoked. I stopped and listened. “Hello, Can you hear me?” the voice sounded even closer now and it was unmistakably Ivy’s. “Ivy? Keep calling!” I shouted out into the blackness as I made my way towards the yells. I finally got close enough to see Ivy huddled under a small outcropping of rock on the side of the hill. She was wrapped in my cloak, pale and shivering in the wind. She was wounded too judging from the pained expression on her face. “Nice cloak. Where are you hurt?” I asked, as I gathered my last bits of energy to put a heal over time on her. “My leg is bad, I ran out of stims” she replied. I took a few stims off my belt and handed them to her. “We have to keep moving. We’ll die here Can you walk now?” I was rushing to get moving knowing with every passing minute our chances of making it back to the cave were fading. Ivy stood up and nodded. She took off my cloak and handed it to me. “I meant to give it back,” she said. This was hardly the time. “Keep it for now, let’s move. There’s a cave around the side of this ledge.” I said pulling Ivy with me along the ledge to the other side of the hill.

    We barely hauled ourselves into the cave and I placed the branches gathered earlier over the opening. Almost immediately a thick sheet of snow and ice began growing over them, sealing the entrance. The flare I threw into the cave was almost done burning and I scraped together some dry branches, twigs and moss from the cave floor to start a fire. It wasn’t much but at least it would keep the cave from getting any colder. We both sat there for a little while shivering. The HoTs were working better now that we were out of the icy wind. In a few minutes I felt my wounds begin to seal up, but I was still totally exhausted from the fight and the storm. Even with the fire going it was still ice cold in the cave and our breath came out in puffs of steam. If we just sat there we would freeze by morning, fire or not. I stood up. “Take off your tank.” I said to Ivy. “Why?” she asked. “Because we have to share body heat if we’re going to get through this. Stand up.” I pried Ivy’s gun out of her hands and pulled her tank off over her head. We laid down near the fire and I wrapped my cloak Ivy had brought tightly around us. Our hands were between our bodies and slowly began thawing. Gradually both of us stopped shaking; the cloak was keeping the heat of our bodies trapped inside. Ivy was starting to feel warm. We lay there side by side facing each other. I realized how close together we were. I could feel every movement of her body and she could feel mine. I looked down and she was looking at me. Our eyes locked and Ivy began to get some color in her face. “It’s a little late for blushing don’t you think?” I smiled. Ivy laughed and I gathered her in my arms hugging her tight. We fell asleep warm, healed and protected.

    I woke up from a deep, death like sleep for a moment struggling to remember where I was and what was happening. Ivy was still pressed tight against me and I could feel her warm body tense through the body armor. My own body had become aroused from her touch and I knew she felt it. Ivy wrapped her leg around my side and pressed closer to me. I could feel her breath on my lips, and then her lips pressed to mine, warm and moist, healed overnight by the remainder of the HoT. I tensed for a second, opened my eyes and locked gaze with Ivy. Her features were soft and inviting like the morning sun shining through the now open cave entrance. I didn’t hold back this time. I let myself go and kissed her like I wanted to all those times. Slow at first we explored each other's mouths, her soft tongue pressed against mine, probing back and forth. Soon the kiss became deeper more passionate, as Ivy bit my lower lip and pulled. A sigh escaped my lips as a delicious, arousing tension spread through my body. We rolled and soon I was on top of her, pushing down and grinding through her armor, still locked in a kiss. As Ivy ran her hands through my hair my hands explored her curves, savoring every facet of her tense body.

    As my hands found the buckles of her combat suit I caught a shadow with the corner of my eye that wasn’t there earlier. I froze instantly, staring down a massive Taigan Stalker at the entrance, about to pounce. Ivy’s glance connected with mine and my eyes pointed over to her gun. She had understood and her hand began to slowly reach for the rifle. As the Stalker struck I rolled one way and Ivy the other. Ivy fired a round at the tiger and it howled in pain retreating from the cave. We were safe for now. “Awake yet?” Ivy asked with a smile. “Good morning” I returned. The moment was gone and we had to get moving. “We have to go look for the others” I said and began collecting the gear strewn about the floor of our unsightly accommodations. The COMS in my ear came alive with a welcome transmission. The tidings of the night before were not nearly as bad as they seemed. The vast majority of our squad survived, managing to drive the omni assault back and they were now waiting for us at the Redeemed Temple.


    My whole body felt like it was on fire. I no longer knew what injuries I had sustained, my nanobots no longer able to heal me. The fight was over though. In the middle of the chamber, amidst spent ammo casings, blood and broken weapons lay the steaming corpse of Vanya. Her heart, beating in my hand, still spewed venomous blood that burned anything it came in contact with. Where it dripped on armor, flesh or even the stone plates of the floor smoldering smoke rose as if the strongest of acid had been there in lieu of blood. Only Mindjack’s healpet floating over my head pouring its soothing heals over me prevented me from collapsing. The team was victorious.

    Hours later I kicked the Ecclesiast’s chamber door in the Redeemed temple open. “I need to see Cama and I need to see her NOW!” I demanded. Before the Ecclesiast had a chance to reply I added “I have something for her” as I dumped the convulsing heart of Vanya onto the Ecclesiasts desk. A cloud of smoke rose from the burning desk where the heart spattered blood. “Alright, alright! Get to the summoning chamber quickly!” the Ecclesiast relented. I picked up the heart, my hand numb from the burning at this point, and ran over to the summoning chamber. In the middle of an elaborate pattern, circumscribed with glyphs of power, stood Cama. “You have returned” she said. “Yes” I replied “…and I have fulfilled our bargain!” I said as I handed Cama the beating heart. Cama’s eyes darkened as she held the heart of her nemesis in her translucent hand. Poisonous blood spilled out from the heart as she crushed it in her hand and a terrible scream shook the chamber. The puddle of blood by Cama’s feet widened and soon the entire room seemed covered with blood. Even the walls themselves seemed to bleed. Chilled to the core by the scream I inadvertently closed my eyes for a second. When I opened them the blood was gone. The walls and surfaces of the room had returned to their pristine white. The only sign of blood was a small blob pulsating between Cama’s hands where Vanya’s heart was a second ago. The blood seemed to shrink and vanish into nothingness. In its place a familiar shape of a shining pattern came into being. Cama handed me the pattern silently. I stumbled out of the door of the Redeemed Temple into the view of my waiting team. With both hands I raised the pattern of The Great Ice Golem overhead, sparkling in the sun, to a mighty cheer from our squad. We were almost finished with our mission. The only remaining step would be to incarnate and kill the Ice Golem, collecting its molars in exchange for which Ergo, guardian of the Shadows would grant more of us passage to the burning hell we called Inferno.


    A week later I was on leave again. The time between missions always dragged slowly. I opened my Jobe apartment door and walked in. Dust particles were visible dancing in the air, in the rays of light falling through the windows. I dumped my equipment bag on the floor. Walking over to the bathroom I turned on the shower and peeled off my armor. The water was almost too hot to the touch and I stepped in. Weeks of grime, blood and sweat flowed down into the tub. I closed my eyes and let the water hit my face. As my body relaxed under the streams of hot pulsing water I leaned on my arms to support myself. I could still feel Ivy’s lips on mine….
    Last edited by Remmance; Aug 4th, 2004 at 15:59:50.
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  11. #11

  12. #12
    Wouldnt you be extremely pissed if IE or whatever you use closed itself down as you were pressing submit? :P bump

  13. #13
    yes indeed but fortunately long pieces are written in word which autosaves every now and agian so even if it crashes its rare to loose more than a paragraph.
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  14. #14
    kewl story *thumbs up*

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