Homeward Bound

MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
edited January 2005 in Fan-Fiction Forum

On the fringes of the Ariadne Arm, an old, derelict outpost station rests on Vesta, the moon of an undesignated planet. For all intents and purposes, the station has been abandoned. 75 Marines are stationed there to maintain it until the TSA's commission ends and the station can be shut down permanently.

That day has come, and the Marines are ready to leave. Spirits are high and the Marines are celebrating as they wait for TSA dropships to take them back to their old lives.


A beam of light swept back and forth through the length of a dark hallway. The back-and-forth motion continued, passing over a flash of brown. The beam paused for a moment, then returned to the spot. The brown spot had disappeared, followed by rapid tapping and clicking echoed down the hall.

The flashlight's beam danced, whipping back and forth, up and down, scanning the hall. A sudden scream of agony and terror resounded briefly through the silent halls, before stopping abruptly. The flashlight clattered to the ground noisily and the beam rested upon a red smear on the wall. Then there was only the soft clicking and a guttural chuckle.

<u>Chapter I: Missing</u>

Metallic footsteps echoed. A Marine, still in his armor, walked through a curved, glass hallway. He held his helmet in one arm and a large cardboard box in the other. His dark brown hair was tousled - what some Marines liked to call helmet-hair - and his brown eyes were somewhat shadowed, either by exhaustion or the cigarette he was smoking.

He reached the end of the hallway. A door emblazoned with TSA symbols stood in his way. He set down the box, produced a small card and inserted it into a slot beside the door. It slid open and he walked into the station's command post.

There were dozens of Marines standing or sitting in the room, none of them suited up. There were several seats, all of which were filled. The rest of the Marines sat on crates or leaned against boxes. As the door shut behind him, all of them turned and stopped what they were doing. He stood there, letting the smoke from his cigarette waft for a moment.

He walked up to the front of the room. There was a projected screen against the wall. It was off. In front of it was a row of crates that formed a makeshift table. He set the box and his helmet down on them, then opened the top of the box. He reached in and held up a six-pack of genuine beer - not the cheap, bootleg kind that some Marines smuggled on to the station. Everyone burst into a cheer.

An older Marine, looking like he was in his mid-thirties, walked up to the one at the front of the room. The Marines were already breaking open the cans and the room was very noisy. The older Marine leaned in and asked, "Tanner, did you see Perez on your way in?"

Tanner shook his head. "I thought he was on maintenance."
The older Marine shrugged. "I'll send Jackson to go find him."

Minutes later, Jackson found himself walking down an unlit hallway. Muttering under his breath, he flicked on his flashlight and started sweeping. Eventually, he found the light switch. He palmed it. Nothing happened.

He swept his flashlight upwards, towards the ceiling. The lights were shattered and sparking. As he looked up, he felt a drop of water hit his face. He shone his flashlight upwards and saw that there was a break in the facility's pipe. He pressed the button on his radio.

"Sir, I think the lights are shattered down here. The pipe seems to be broken, as well."

There was a short pause. "You sure about that, Marine? The nanites should have repaired them by now."
Jackson nodded to nobody. "One-hundred percent, sir. No sign of Perez. Maybe he just got scared and shot out the lights. You know how he is."

Perez, one of their younger members, was known for his jumpiness. On routine patrols, he would often jump at the slightest noise. His finger never left his trigger, and he never set his gun on full safety.

Back at the command post, Tanner was sitting down by the crates. The radio was propped up before him. He said, "Yeah, maybe. I hope you brought a change of shorts for him, then."

A chuckle came back through the radio. To Tanner, it sounded somewhat odd. "You got something in your throat, Jackson?" he asked.

"Huh? What do you mean?" asked Jackson.
"You sounded like you were choking on something just now, when you laughed."
Jackson replied, "Uh, I thought that was YOU, sir."

Tanner frowned. There was only silence for a moment. Before he could say anything, Jackson said, "Ahh, it's probably just Perez messing with us. Maybe he loosened up."

Jackson walked a bit further. Something caught his eye. He turned his head and saw a small glint. He felt his way along the wall to the glint. It was at the corner of a turn. He walked around and saw that it was the edge of a flashlight's beam. He ducked down to pick it up. Shining his flashlight on it, he saw a red smear at the base. He frowned.

"Sir, I think I found his flashlight. It's - it's weird. Why would he drop it?"

No reply came from Tanner. Jackson looked around, shining his flashlight on the corners of the walls. He began to break into a nervous sweat. "Are you there, sir?"


  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    <u>Chapter II: Shadows</u>

    There was a high-pitched scream and Jackson jumped. He turned and cast his flashlight down the hall in time to see a brown blur flying towards him. He felt a sharp impact that spun him around and knocked him into the wall. He raised his flashlight and saw the brown thing crouching at the other end of the hallway, around the corner. Without thinking, he raised his machine gun and opened fire.

    He missed every shot. It leaped again. He spun in a circle, walking backwards and firing everywhere. His gun hit the last bullet with an empty "click" and he cried out. He threw his gun in a futile gesture. The thing chuckled again, then uttered another scream before leaping.

    It flew into his chest, knocking him to the ground. He coughed as the wind was knocked out of him. His flashlight clattered to the ground, resting so that it shone towards him. He could see the thing clearly now. It sat on his legs, pinning him down. It looked like a ferocious, brown demon dog. One of those skulk things that they told you about in training.

    He began to whimper without realizing it as it looked down at his legs. In an instant, it bent its body down and tore out a chunk of his leg with a powerful bite. He screamed in pain and squeezed his eyes shut, struggling to reach his pistol.

    As the skulk reared up to finish him off, there was a sharp whizzing, then a series of sharp impacts. He opened his eyes to see the skulk lying beside his legs in a pool of green blood. He tasted blood in his mouth and realized that he had bitten his tongue hard enough to bleed.

    Jackson craned his neck to the right to see a silhouette standing before him, pistol raised. He felt the blood pumping out of his leg and realized that the skulk might have bitten through an artery. He lost consciousness as his life flowed out of his wound.
  • BulletHeadBulletHead Join Date: 2004-07-22 Member: 30049Members
    Tense <!--emo&:)--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/smile-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    The atmosphere was very spooky. The action was also great. You desribed the environment pretty well too. Keep up the good work.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    edited January 2005
    EDIT: Crap, I forgot to put Chapter III before IV. Here it is.

    <u>Chapter III: Ruins</u>

    Tanner released his empty clip and stooped down to pick up Jackson's prone form. Jackson was only slightly lighter than Tanner, so he had trouble lifting him. Instead, he hoisted Jackson over his shoulder and held his pistol in his right hand. He squeezed Jackson's flashlight under his armpit, giving him light.

    With some effort, Tanner managed to carry Jackson's body back through the maintenance halls unscathed. He holstered his pistol and slid his card into the door again. As the door opened, his hands went slack and he dropped his pistol.

    The room was a considerable mess. Tables and chairs were scattered everywhere. Marines - both dead and alive - were strewn about, their bodies twisted and mutilated, often lying in pools of blood. One Marine was actually pinned against a wall, stuck in a small indentation that must have been created by a powerful blow. The only thing still standing was the small area at the front of the room. The pile of crates had been tipped slightly to form what appeared to be a makeshift barrier. Tanner spotted his radio still sitting on top of a crate.

    Tanner walked up to the front of the room, ducking to pick up a light machine gun on his way. He stepped in something soft and looked down. The bottom of his boot was coated in red and he realized that he had stepped in a large pool of blood. Without their armor, the Marines must have been swiftly defeated.

    He gently set Jackson down against the crate wall. He reached over and ripped off a strip of cloth from the shirt of a nearby Marine. <i>He won't be needing it anymore</i>. He quickly fashioned a bandage around Jackson's wound and tied it tight to slow the bleeding.

    As he finished, the radio crackled. He stopped and looked up. It crackled again, and a voice came through. "Hel...there? Is any...rvivors here. We have a co...post. Marines are scattered."

    Tanner reached over and grabbed the radio. He pressed the send button and said, "Hello? This is Corporal Tanner. I'm at the original command post. Repeat. I am at the original command post."

    There was no response. He repeated it a few more times, but there was still no response. He put the radio in his pocket and looked back at the unconscious Jackson. He knew that he would be no good if he had to carry Jackson. On the other hand, whatever killed the Marines - <i>Could it be the Kharaa? Infection? Here?</i> - could return.

    He set down his pistol by Jackson's hand and walked off in search of survivors.

    <u>Chapter IV: Tram</u>

    The older Marine, Chuck Montreux, ran towards an open doorway, its door knocked off the hinges. He panted with exertion as he ran, but knew that he could not stop running if he wanted to survive. He could hear the rapid, clicking footsteps of the skulks behind him, drawing closer. He gritted his teeth and gave himself a burst of speed.

    Chuck dove through the door and attempted to make a fluid roll. His legs gave out mid-way, however, and he only managed to roll on his side and slide on the floor for half a foot. It was enough, as he could see a pair of skulks approaching - no, charging - towards the doorway. He unslung his light machine gun and pointed it at them. They hesitated for a moment, slowing down for half a step.

    There was no pithy phrase, no smug expression on his face as he opened fire. He only knew life and death in that moment and jerked on the trigger, holding it down until the skulks were only shredded flesh and his gun clicked empty.

    Sighing, he looked around himself. He was in the station's tram tunnel, which connected the station proper to the waste facilities. The tunnel was wider than it was tall, but not by much. The lights overhead filled the tunnel with a harsh glare. Chuck had come to a stop by the train, which appeared to be empty. He pulled himself up and stepped into the train.

    As a senior officer, Chuck knew the station like the back of his hand. A trip through the waste facilities would not be pleasant, but there was a lift that would take him from the waste facilities to the second floor of the station. From there, it was only a short distance to a stairwell that would take him to the top of the station, where there was a landing pad to take him off of the miserable rock.

    He palmed the controls, activating the train. The machine rumbled to life and began moving, taking him slowly towards freedom.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    <u>Chapter V: ICAL BA</u>

    Private Amy Campas limped away from the carnage of the old command post, bleeding and exhausted. She held her pistol loosely at her side as she leaned against the wall to catch her breath. She looked around. She was at a fork. There was a sign on the wall reading, "Medical Bay" with an arrow pointing to the right and "Armory" with an arrow pointing straight straight. She looked down at her hip, which had stopped bleeding but still hurt considerably, and took the right path.

    She was slowly losing her energy through her wounds, which were minor but numerous. Once, she stumbled and barely stopped herself from falling by grabbing at the wall. She caught her hand on a broken window, leaving a smear of blood on the wall. Swearing to herself, she looked at the window. The glass that still remained read, "ICAL BA". Her luck had just improved.

    Amy walked into the medical bay, which was more like a large doctor's office than an entire bay. She used the butt of her pistol to smash open several cabinets, grabbing some equipment in the process. She found a bandage with which she wrapped her cut hand. She looked around the room for anything else she could use. Something at the back of the room caught her eye.

    It was a large, rectangular panel. It was plain white, with a simple, black handle. It looked like a refrigerator, except for the small panel on the wall next to the handle. It was lined with four rows of buttons, presumably for entering a code to open the door.

    Amy looked up at the wall above the door. In large, blue letters, it read, "COLD STORAGE - TSA-GRADE NANO-MEDICAL PACKS".

    She tried entering several codes into the panel. Each time, the door would not open. She swore in frustration and slammed the heel of her palm on the panel. To her surprise, there was a rapid beeping, followed by a soft hiss. She looked up.

    The panel's digital screen read, "CODE: 1-2-3 VALID". The door's lock had been released. Amy pulled it open and was met with a blast of cold air and mist. Inside the cold storage compartment were several shelves, each lined with a row of med packs.

    First, she took one and applied it to herself, allowing the nanites to course through her armor and heal her various wounds. Then, she rummaged around the cabinets and found several small boxes. Each one looked like it could hold two medpacks. She filled three of them.

    She tried to lift them, but realized that carrying even three boxes was too unwieldy. She would need assistance. She looked around the room and spotted a gurney. "Bingo," she said softly to herself.

    She filled the rest of the boxes and stacked as many as she could on the bottom rack of the gurney. She piled the rest on top and secured them with straps. As she wheeled the gurney out of the room, she spotted a map on the wall. It showed her position at the medical bay, which was near the southwestern end of the station. The emergency elevator shaft, which could take her to the top of the station, was at the northern end of the station. To get there, she would have to cross the mess hall, recreation room and the coolant monitoring section.

    Amy cocked her pistol and rolled the gurney out, its wheels creaking in the dead silence that filled the station.
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    i like it. your chapter 5 was a nice break from all the action. whether u intended it or not, i felt you captured that spooky atmosphere. i kept expecting a skulk to come out.

    for chapter 4, very fast paced, tense and great.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    Oh, and in case you missed it, I forgot to add Chapter 3 before, so I edited it in before Chapter 4.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    edited January 2005
    EDIT: Any C&C appreciated.

    <u>Chapter VI: Outbreak</u>

    Tanner pushed open the door and swiveled around the corner, his gun raised. The hall was empty down to an intersection up ahead, which had some bacterium growth on the walls. He jogged down to check it out.

    It was a thin growth, spreading from the corners. A long, wispy tendril had grown down to a sign on the wall that pointed to the medical bay and the armory. He briefly considered going to the medical bay, but decided against it, as he was uninjured. He continued straight down the hall towards the armory.

    As he heard only his own footsteps, he began to grow both nervous and calm. There was no sign of an alien around him, except for occasional growths of bacterium, but it was too quiet. He fingered the trigger of his gun nervously.

    He reached a t-fork at the end of the hall. Another helpful sign was placed on the wall, complete with a small map of the station. Unfortunately, the map had been overgrown with bacterium. <i>It's fast to grow</i>. The bacterium on the walls had been steadily increasing as he went, as well. He wiped some off of the sign to read the lettering. There was an arrow pointing to the left for coolant monitoring and one to the right for the armory. He started to go right, but stopped.

    Contemplating for a moment, Tanner drew his knife and gouged out an arrow in the wall, pointing to the right. Then, he continued towards the armory.

    As he neared the armory, he noticed vent grilles on the walls. They lined the top so that the grille touched the ceiling. He frowned. Skulks were notorious for climbing through vents.

    He walked farther and saw a vent pipe sticking down from the ceiling. It only stuck down for half a foot, then turned forward so that it ran parallel to the ceiling. The pipe split in several places in order to provide ventilation to multiple rooms from one source.

    Up ahead, he saw that part of the vent pipe was split. It ran normally along the ceiling, then looked as if it was bent downwards slightly. He walked closer and saw that it was indeed split; the length of pipe past the bend was perfectly straight. He looked down at the floor and saw a vent grille lying on the ground. There was no skulk, however.

    He approached the hole cautiously. He looked up towards the hole in the pipe and saw a green smear on the top. He frowned and raised his flashlight to get a closer look.

    Suddenly, he heard a sharp impact, then a clanging noise. He whipped around, dropping his flashlight. There had been another pipe grille before that he had missed. It was lying on the ground with a skulk on top of it. The skulk bared its teeth and growled, then almost seemed to squint as it turned its head at the flashlight's beam, which shone directly in its face.

    That was the only moment Tanner needed. He raised his machine gun and opened fire, spraying the skulk with a hail of bullets that splattered green blood and knocked it backwards. Its body left a green smear as it skidded to a stop - right at the snouts of a pack of four more skulks.

    One of the skulks, slightly larger than the rest - and Tanner was sure that its teeth seemed to gleam with a sharper light - stepped forward. It placed its foreclaw on the dead skulk's body and made an odd, clicking noise. Then, it growled, and an alarm went off in Tanner's head.

    Tanner heard a few vents being chewed open behind him, followed by heavy clanging. He did not need to turn around to know that at least two skulks jumped out of those vents, their claws clicking on the floor.

    He raised his gun and pulled the trigger, only to be met by an empty "click". It was then that he realized that the gun he had taken had already been fired by the dead Marine and that he had neglected to grab some more ammo. He sighed and lowered his gun. The lead skulk chuckled at him, almost insultingly. Tanner certainly felt that way, as strange as it was to be offended by alien laughter. The skulks edged closer, taking their sweet time as Tanner was surrounded.
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Nice story man! very nice story! You are quick to post new chapters too, and I see little mistakes inside.

    Keep it up.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    Well, before I started it, I had already written three chapters. I usually just write the rest through the day if I can't find a good server or if I have nothing else to do.
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    When is the next one coming out???

    Cliffhanger ending! ARGH! TOO TENSE!

    but really, i wonder hwo tanner gonna survive this one. <!--emo&::asrifle::--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/asrifle.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='asrifle.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&::skulk::--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/skulk.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='skulk.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BulletHeadBulletHead Join Date: 2004-07-22 Member: 30049Members
    Tanner: *Draws knife* "COMMANDER I NEED A CRACK PACK STAT!"

    Commander: *pwsuh pwsh pwsh*


    That's how <!--emo&:D--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/biggrin-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    edited February 2005
    I won't tell you right off the bat, but here's how he does it:

    By the way, in case it wasn't too clear in the story, any current Marine commander can't locate all the scattered Marines, as the Bacterium is still taking hold of the nano-network.

    <u>Chapter VII: Parasite</u>

    Tanner looked around for an escape. There was nothing at hand. He looked up at the vent pipe that was hanging from the ceiling. The ceiling wasn't that high; it was only a few feet over his head. However, there was no way he could jump that high in his armor, and there was no way he could move fast enough to escape the skulks. He looked around nervously as the skulks edged in, chuckling as they watched him. There was no way, unless...

    Quickly, Tanner turned around to face the skulks behind him. He had expected two, but instead found three more. He snapped off a shot at the wall behind them and shouted. It worked; the three skulks turned around in time for him to turn back towards the four in front, which had been alarmed by his sudden action and were preparing to attack.

    He raised his pistol and shot at the support wires that attached the pipe to the ceiling. In their weakened state, the wires holding up the twisted pipe gave way, dropping the split end straight down on top of the skulks. It crushed them with a satisfying crunch, splattering blood on the walls. As the pipe clanged to the floor, the other three skulks turned and snarled.

    Not wasting any time, Tanner ran forward and jumped over the fallen pipe. He turned around in midair and steadied his hand. He fired twice, shooting down the support wires on the other end of the pipe. The pipe wavered, but didn't fall. The skulks started moving and he emptied the rest of his clip at the wires.

    Finally, all but one of the wires snapped. The pipe swung down at an angle, still barely connected by one wire. The whole weight of the pipe swept down and knocked aside one skulk, crushing another. The third skulk was already running at Tanner and had avoided the pipe.

    He cried out and hurled his pistol at the skulk. It turned its head and batted it away with one claw, then chuckled. He was really starting to hate that. In fact, he began to grow angry. He could feel his blood begin to boil as the skulk approached him, almost mockingly, as its former kin had.

    Just as it jumped at him, he reached for his knife. He was too slow, however, and the skulk tackled him to the floor. It reared its head to tear out his throat, but he punched it in the bottom of its jaw. It flailed its claws, stunned, giving him enough time to draw his knife and stab it into the skulk's gut. It screamed weakly and collapsed off of his body. Tanner felt a smug satisfaction, one that came hand-in-hand with his growing rage and hate against the Kharaa.

    He wiped his brow in relief and got to his feet, wiping off the skulk's blood. He looked around to get his bearings and saw that the armory was just at the end of the hall. As he sheathed his knife and started walking towards it, he heard a soft hiss, followed by a sharp pain in his shoulder. He cried out in surprise and turned to see the skulk that had been knocked aside by the pipe, still alive. It gave him one last chuckle and crawled up into one of the wall vents.

    Tanner suddenly winced as he felt another sharp pain in his shoulder. He clapped his hand on it and could feel a sharp point, which quickly disappeared. He could feel burrowing in his shoulder, which made his skin crawl. After a moment, it stopped, but he knew well what had happened. He had been parasited.

    Nevertheless, he had to continue to the armory if he wanted any chance of survival. He walked up to the armory's door and punched in the officer's code. The door slid open and he walked in.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    edited February 2005
    <u>Chapter VIII: Poison Cloud</u>

    The tram tunnel was wider and longer than Chuck had expected. He had never actually used the train, so he could only guess as to how long it was. The train was moving slowly, probably due to the infection.

    It passed through the tram entrance that Chuck had dove into after fleeing the skulks. Soon, it reached the lip of a giant chasm, which was part of the moon itself. There, the tram tunnel opened up into into the outside. Fortunately for Chuck, the TSA had chosen a somewhat hospitable moon. The air was dry and dusty, but breatheable.

    The moon's surface was craggy, lined with valleys and gorges. There was little vegetation on the surface; it was mostly just dark, black soil and rocks. Chuck heard a hum and felt the train pick up speed. <i>About time</i>. Suddenly, he felt an itchiness in his throat. <i>Damn Vestan air</i>. He frowned as his throat began to burn. He coughed a few times, spraying blood. His skin began to tingle as well and, to his horror, he realized that a lerk had sprayed its spores at him. He must have made an easy target on the slow-moving train.

    Covering his mouth, he looked outside the train for the lerk. Unfortunately for him, the lerk could be anywhere, from the walls of the station to the sides of the chasm. He heard a distant hiss and saw a green mist float towards him. He ducked in time to watch it fly right through the train, passing through one window into the next.

    Chuck peeked through the window to see a distant speck moving rapidly. The speck gradually became a lerk. It swooped down towards the train, gliding left and right to steady itself. As it neared the window, Chuck stood up and drew his light machine gun. He emptied a full clip into the lerk, which didn't have time to glide out of the way and bore the full brunt of all fifty bullets. Chuck could see bits of flesh fly off, as well as sprays of blood. Several bullets tore through the lerk's wings, causing it to careen out of control and smash into the train's side with a crunch.

    The train picked up a bit more speed and the lerk's body slid off of the train as it moved. Swiftly, the train pulled into another tram tunnel. Chuck saw a large, holographic sign that read, "Waste Facilities". As the train neared the end of the tunnel, it gradually slowed down to a stop. The door slid open and Chuck stepped out, not bothering to activate the train and send it back to the main station.

    He released his empty clip and inserted a fresh one, then walked towards a pair of sliding glass doors. They slid open and even rang a bell for him as he walked through. Above the doors, a dark shape hopped off of a ledge and chuckled as it slipped through the doors, which smoothly shut behind it, sealing themselves with a soft hiss.
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Ah, the classic spore from a Lerk. <!--emo&::lerk::--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/lerk.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='lerk.gif' /><!--endemo-->

    1 thing to clarify though, maybe Flayra or a mod should answer this. Exactly how does the spore of a Lerk works? I remember the old manual had their own version of how spore works, and even had a background story for it. Unfortunately, I can't find the old manual anymore.

    You see, Manta's story states that when marines breath in the spore, they cough blood and so on, so it is poisonous. My story stated that the spore is highly acidic, and literally melts a marine and his armor down to nothing, you just have to stand in a cloud of it for long enough.

    1 thing I am highly concerned about is how accurate my story is to the original NS game and old manual.
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    my impression of spore is that it is also acidic. It burns the skin and armour off. Inhaling it owuld also obviously do damage too. But remember, this is fan-fic. We can twist the facts about a little bit.

    BTW, nice job manta. I really never thought he would get out that way.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    edited February 2005
    Well, it was melting him - <i>His skin began to tingle as well</i> - but he wasn't standing in it long enough for it to completely break down his skin or harm him severely. On the other hand, he was breathing it, and the insides of a human body are unprotected by any armor, so his lungs would be damaged, which is why he coughs up blood. Basically, it's acid, but he breathed it in, which would probably hurt.

    Oh, and I only called it "Poison Cloud" because of an old joke with certain people. A lerk sprays us and we yell, "Poison cloud!"
  • Ice9Ice9 Join Date: 2004-06-09 Member: 29208Members
    I demand more story this instant <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/mad-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->

    You're doing very nice work, but a small typo at the end of the last chapter there - active should be activate I think (he actived the train back?).
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    Yes, that's what I meant to put. Must edit.

    Oh, and I have already done, on average, more than one chapter per day. <!--emo&;)--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/wink-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    one chapter a day? i salute u. i take one week to wirte my chapters.
  • Ice9Ice9 Join Date: 2004-06-09 Member: 29208Members
    I also salute you - I still haven't finished my Fan-Fict, and that started a year ago <!--emo&:(--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/sad-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->

    Hehe this is one of the best I've ever read, keep up teh good work <!--emo&:D--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/biggrin-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    No new chapters for a while, working on drawing out the map of the station (already got a good part done) and scanning it so you can visualize where they're going.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    <u>Chapter IX: Too Quiet</u>

    Amy turned into the station's main hallway, which connected all of the station's western facilities. She continued forward past the fork that took her into the medical bay. As she reached the end of the hall, where there was a t-fork, she saw the remains of a small battle. There were a few pulverized skulk corpses on the floor. There were a few more that had been riddled with bullets and were already being "recycled" by the bacterium's outbreak.

    She noticed that a couple vent pipes had been knocked loose from the ceiling. They were splattered in green blood. She shuddered and turned left, heading to the recreation room.

    Oddly, the recreation room appeared to be relatively untouched. A few chairs had been scattered, but there was no blood, no bacterium and no bullet holes. The pool table was unmoved; the balls were all still in place. It was all out of place, considering what had just happened.

    Amy frowned and checked the map of the station on her HUD. The rec room was directly connected to the mess hall, which was essentially at the center of the western facilities. Anyone - or anything - passing through would have to go through the room. She considered this and it slowly dawned on her that she'd been had.

    Quickly, she spun around, reaching for her knife as she aimed her pistol with one hand. As she drew her knife out of its sheath with a soft "shhing", she noticed a soft blur on the edge where the wall met the ceiling. It shifted, throwing off the blur for just a moment. Amy caught a glimpse of a long tooth and a pointed snout. That was enough. She fired five rounds at the blur, which emerged as a skulk when it fell to the ground, dead.

    She heard a high-pitched cry behind her and spun around to see another skulk, just emerging from its cloak. She fell backwards to dodge the skulk and shot it through the mouth as it leapt at her. The body continued through the air and smacked against the wall, leaving a smear of green blood as it slid downwards.

    Amy quickly reloaded her pistol and scanned the room for more skulks by flipping the light switch to "high". She spotted the outline of a blur in the corner of the room, by the pool table, and shot at it three times. Two bullets went in, splattering bits of brown flesh, but the last shot hit the wall, leaving a small hole. She looked around, alarmed, but could not spot the skulk. <i>Damn, it must have cloaked again</i>.

    Suddenly, she heard a clacking and saw a few of the pool balls move out of place. Immediately, she fired at the table, finishing off the skulk with three more quick shots.

    Amy counted her remaining bullets. Four more. She reached for more clips, but found none. At the same time, she heard rapid clicking from behind the open doorway to the mess hall and realized that she had nothing but four shots and her knife, which was always a last resort. Acting on training and desperation, she called out, "I'm out! I need some ammo!"
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    another cliffhanger!!!! just like tanner!!!!! u are gd at creating suspense.

    wonder if amy and tanner wld meet. and when can we expect a map?
  • Catalyst1Catalyst1 Join Date: 2005-02-08 Member: 40398Members
    Damn this is suspenseful. <!--emo&::asrifle::--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/asrifle.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='asrifle.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&::asrifle::--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/asrifle.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='asrifle.gif' /><!--endemo-->

    I demand more or the Kharra will suffer <!--emo&:D--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/biggrin-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    i'll be keeping up with this one. great job.
  • Rush_Of_PeonsRush_Of_Peons Join Date: 2003-02-19 Member: 13728Members
    edited February 2005
    <!--QuoteBegin-Fire Eel+Feb 2 2005, 10:31 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> (Fire Eel @ Feb 2 2005, 10:31 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> 1 thing to clarify though, maybe Flayra or a mod should answer this. Exactly how does the spore of a Lerk works? I remember the old manual had their own version of how spore works, and even had a background story for it. Unfortunately, I can't find the old manual anymore.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><div class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Heres the description from the old manual mate.

    <b>Three Hives: Sporecloud

    This insidious attack appears to come from nowhere, filling a volume of around 12 cubit feet with a corrosive cloud of spores. These spores appear to rot any foreign organic matter – thankfully, marine structures and turrets are unaffected.

    Our best theory is that the Lerk fills its lung guns and fires a burst of transparent, utterly silent, bullet-shaped bubbles that impact the target area and react violently with the air. Lerks can fill a large area with these attacks, often while remaining hidden on some shadowed perch, or dodging wildly through the air. None but the heaviest armored marines can afford to stand within a sporecloud for more than a few seconds.</b>

    Of course we all know it as its lovely to spot bubbly form, but its basically the same thing. I could ramble on about spikes etc...but thats done to death. You need any more excerpts from the old manual just pm me. Great story Manta, keep up the good work <!--emo&:D--><img src='http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/html/emoticons/biggrin-fix.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • TommyVercettiTommyVercetti Join Date: 2003-02-10 Member: 13390Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    Very good work. Unlike other stories, you just start it off with action, not much backstory. I love it. Can't wait for the next chapter, either.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    Well, I like to set the pace early. Also, I assume most people can figure that the Frontiersmen have already trained and know each other. I characterize them through the action. It's just my style, I guess.
  • MantaManta Join Date: 2005-01-12 Member: 35056Members
    <u>Chapter X: Stock</u>

    As Tanner walked into the armory, the lights automatically blinked on, to his relief. The first thing they were taught in training was that darkness is a Frontiersman's worst enemy. Skulks could hide anywhere if it was dark enough and Marines often panicked in the dark.

    He looked around the walls. The vent grilles were still attached, fortunately. He began rummaging around in boxes scattered around the room for guns. They were empty, as he expected. He was glad for that - whoever had come here before him probably had enough ammo to survive for a while. He tried to open a couple lockers, but they were digitally locked.

    After several unsuccessful attempts at guessing the code, he simply drew his knife and jammed it in the keypad. Sparks erupted from it and he heard a click from inside the locker. Jamming his knife into the door's crack, he jimmied it open and pulled the door.

    He cried out and jumped backwards as a body fell out. It was a Marine, still in his armour. He had a long cut on his forehead and a few cuts on his hands. He was still clutching his pistol. Tanner knelt down and put his hand to the Marine's neck. To his surprise, there was still a pulse, but it was very weak.

    There was a sudden noise behind him and he spun around. Everything was still in place. Still, he opened the next locker in the same fashion. There were two shotguns inside, along with a few boxes of shells. He took one off the rack and loaded it up.

    He looked down at the unconscious Marine, then stooped down and took his gun. Tanner slung the light machine gun across his chest and scoured the room for some ammo. He kicked open a crate and found several fresh mags. He slipped them into his belt and looked around for something to put the Marine's body on.

    As he turned back to the lockers, he heard a clanging behind him and turned around again, shooting at an open vent behind him with his shotgun. He saw a large splatter of green blood and a grunt. A skulk's body fell out of the vent, landing with a soft squish.

    Tanner knew that he had little time to lose. More skulks would be on the way. He kicked open a few crates before he found what he wanted - a pack of mines. He quickly set them against every vent opening in the room. There were only two. He set the otehr two at the foot of the door.

    He hoped that the mines would be sufficient to keep the Marine safe until he returned. He pumped his shotgun and stepped out of the armory. As he walked westwards towards the rec room, he heard a female voice cry out, "I need some ammo!"

    Tanner ran forward, holding his shotgun in one hand and unslinging his machine gun in the other. The rec room's door was hanging open. He could see the Marine inside, holding her knife to the air, looking left and right frantically. His helmet's visor identified her as Private Amy Campas.
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