Flora And Fauna

Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
<div class="IPBDescription">A Deadly Kharaa Jungle</div> I would like to know what you guys think. Interesting?


Stuart Greyling pressed himself against the mossy hillside and held his breath. All of his training and instinct told him that danger lurked within the woodlands around him. He listened intently with one ear against the spongy green floor and the other pointed to the forest canopy. Thick, leathery leaves brushed against each other and monstrous trees creaked deep within as they bowed slightly to the wind. Amongst the ambience, Greyling could detect an underlying threat; the distinct sound of claw against tree bark. He slowly rolled onto his back and calmly checked over his rusted, dirt-caked CX-10 LMG. The taped-together magazine contained only a few rounds but he wasn’t worried. He had learned to deal with almost any threat he encountered in those lush forests. Greyling looked down at himself. He was covered in soil and scraps of indigenous flora that intertwined with the strips of fabric he had sewn to his pants and shirt. The fabric consisted of different greens and browns, a pattern that blended in with his surroundings very well and aided him in escaping some of the larger and more threatening fauna.

He was sweating profusely. The temperature was a humid 115 degrees Fahrenheit and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Two suns glared from somewhere above the canopy but thankfully, their rays hardly ever penetrated all the way to the forest floor. Greyling grabbed a clump of cool, black soil and smeared it over his face and neck offering him relief and disguising the light color of his skin. He rolled back onto his stomach and like a snake, slithered between the vegetation and up to the base of a large tree.

His keen senses told him that the clawed threat was somewhere just beyond the thick tree trunk. There were several clawed Kharaa species that inhabited those forests but the sound of claw against bark suggested only a few species. Skulks were excellent tree climbers, however, their movements were characterized as much quicker and urgent, where as the sounds that Greyling was listening occurred less frequently. Another possible species was a ‘Chimp’, a gangly, dangerous creature with brown and green flesh and two-clawed hands. Their feet were five-fingered with opposable thumbs and razor sharp talons. The species did not exist in space but they lived in troops in those forests. Greyling did not detect any other dangerous sounds, however, and deduced that this Chimp was likely out hunting which meant it was far from the rest of the troop.

Confident that the creature was in fact a chimp, Stuart set his CX-10 against the base of the tree and carefully pulled a long, sharp knife from the sheath on his right leg. A bird flew over, announced by the fluttering and chirping sounds it made, and he used this noisy opportunity to slide around the right side of the tree. He found himself at the edge of a small clearing carpeted in moss and shaded by the thick canopy above. It wasn’t a large clearing but hunched over by a log in the center was the chimp. It had it’s back turned to Stuart and he assumed that the creature was pursuing some prey itself. Unknowingly, the chimp hunter had become the hunted.

Greyling rose to his feet and began to slowly descend on his prey, holding the knife out in front of him and silently treading over the moss carpet. As he drew nearer he could see the animal that the chimp was so intent on; a small and harmless rat-like creature that was near the bottom of the alien food chain. It was much too fast for a chimp to catch on the run, so it was being very cautious. The chimp was about five feet tall as it hunched behind the log and probably could have stood up to about six or seven, but the posture of that species was a hunched and cautious one. It was a slender animal, making it perfect for swinging in trees and using its long, clawed arms as weapons but not necessarily for running.

He was almost upon the creature when his boot snapped a twig, which seemed so loud that he expected it to echo throughout the jungle, scaring birds from their perches and causing rodents to scurry away. The sound didn’t do that, but it did startle the chimp and it did not hesitate. In a quick, gymnastic-leap, it rebounded off of the log it had been hiding behind, and flung itself up into the air, back flipping over Greyling’s head and landing behind him. Stuart ducked, assuming the beast would try to decapitate him and rolled forward as the scythe sliced through the air above him. He rolled to his feet, baring the knife as ferociously as the chimp wielded its claws. Their eyes met and they circled, making threatening lunges at one another in the clearing as animals in the nearby trees looked on.


  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    is this the other project you are working on?

    kicks off to a good start. Environment was described quite well. You seem to have the innate ability to describe everything in perfect detail. And as usual, you left me with a cliffhanger ending.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    i abandoned the first project. this is something im just starting but im very excited about. i hope everyone likes it so far. i really want to develop not only the atmosphere but the characters as well. i want people to feel immersed in the alien jungle.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    edited May 2005
    The chimp barked angrily, saliva bubbling from the tiny-toothed maw that was part of a hideous face. It balked once, and then lunged savagely, but Greyling was quicker. The chimp passed Stuart as it attempted a wild slash and Stu cut deep into the fleshy exposed-flank, tearing a hole in the chimp’s flesh.

    The creature stumbled to the ground. The poison that Greyling had dipped his blade in was already working its way through the veins of the creature. Stuart quickly drove the knife into the center of the dying animal’s neck, severing the spinal chord and killing it instantly. Withdrawing the knife as he stood, Greyling took in a deep, satisfying breath. He sheathed his blade, stooped down and hauled the carcass onto his shoulders, the warm body made him even more uncomfortable in the sultry heat of the woodlands. He had to get his catch back to the camp quickly before larger animals picked up on the scent of hot, freshly spilled blood.


    Claire Pinup should have been a model and not a Marine. Any man in his right mind would love a Pinup pin-up. Claire was a tall, blonde woman with long legs and a wonderful physique. Her walk was hypnotic, entrancing men as they went about their duties. Marines ran into each other, fell off of things and fell over things as she passed by like a goddess, golden hair trailing behind her.

    She walked the perimeter of their makeshift jungle-fortress, hips swaying from left to right beneath her skin-tight cargo pants, thumbs hooked in her belt. Their base was roughly 100 yards by 100 yards, consisting of a handful of constructed shelters in the center and sentry posts around the perimeter. The shelters were fashioned from native bamboo-like wood columns and had roofs made of broad, flat leaves. The perimeter had heavy defenses against any attacks from Kharaa, even though the attacks occurred few and far between. Sentry guns, camouflaged with brown and green spray paint swiveled quietly every few feet, constantly scanning the forest for threats. Almost every tree within the camp’s borders had a guardhouse in it, full of ammunition and accessible only by ladder and each was manned all day and night.

    Claire detected a rustle in the bushes as she walked by and slowly began to reach for her .45, only to sigh with relief as Greyling emerged from beneath his chimp carcass. He flashed her a smile. “Hey, Claire.”

    She regarded him with a look of disgust. “Hello, Stuart.” She took her hand off of her pistol and as she did, she said, “You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you just now.”

    Greyling laughed as he ran out of the woods and walked along side her “How would you like to have a chimp dinner? Just you and me,” he asked playfully, knowing he’d get the same reply as always. “Clothing optional,” he added.

    Claire tried to hold back her smile.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    “Why don’t you give it up, Greyling?”

    “You would be sad if I did. I may be one of a hundred men that will approach you today, but I know that I mean the most,” Stuart assured her and with that, he carried his catch into the camp.

    “Greyling, wait!” Claire called out just before he rounded the side of a hut. He stopped and whirled around, the limp arms of the chimp dangled.


    “There’s an assembly tonight. The usual time.”



    Chuck Haggar was the highest-ranking Marine on the camp, and therefore, he ran things. He fit the role perfectly too, biting on one of the few cigars he had left. He would only light in on special occasions; otherwise it just stuck out of his mouth, bouncing up and down when he’d give orders like a maestro conducting his orchestra. He stood on the deck of the center-most hut, the highest off the ground and always used for assemblies. Before him all 134 of the Marines that remained on the camp were assembled, listening intently to his address.

    “As you all know,” he continued, reaching the point of the assembly, “we are running low on supplies again and it is time for another trip to camp Lindsay.”

    Murmurs went through the crowd, some acknowledging the growing need for fresh supplies, others recalling the losses they’d sustained during the last incursion. Camp Lindsay was the official, Marine-sanctioned base that had been established by the TSA. ‘Lindsay’ was a very attractive name for a base but it was very misleading. Lindsay hadn’t lasted 3 months of operations before it became a tomb. The entire forest had come alive around it and Kharaa overwhelmed the defenses easily, slithering through the vents and charging through sentry barrages.

    “This time it will be a team assembled by Stuart Greyling. They’ll be collecting supplies and checking the beacon.” Stuart smiled and his buddies around him gave him pats on the back. Whether his position as a squad leader was the result of everyone above him dying or a true testament to his courage and ability was questionable, but the fact remained that it was an honor. “You’ll have until tomorrow morning to get your requests to them. They’ll be setting out at 0600 hours. That’s all, folks. Carry on.”


    Stuart Greyling had his own clique and they always sat together at the same fire pit. Pete was his closest friend and knew immediately he would get to ‘go down’ on Lindsay with Stuart. Pete’s favorite thing to do was go out on hunts and eat a new plant every time. He only ate small portions in case they were poisonous but he was constantly wandering around base farting or puking as a result of some new weed anyways. He documented the effects of every plant in a notebook.

    “Stu, try this, man,” Pete said, passing him a bowl of chopped up, native fruit. It was bright orange.

    “Last time you gave me something, I went to talk to Claire and I crapped my pants,” Greyling recalled, half-laughing.
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    These chapters didn't really stand out but i know they lay the basic groundwork for the characters in the story so are therefore, relevant. just waiting for somethign interesting to happen.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    There was only one jeep in the entire camp and her name was Lucy. She was a trust worthy vehicle for the most part. Getting her started was usually the most difficult task. After that, it was smooth sailing.

    Greyling scanned over the satellite image of ‘Lindsay’ for the millionth time as he sat shotgun in Lucy. The satellite photo was an old, outdated image that had been drawn on with red marker, designating crucial changes in elevation and other key terrain features. The treacherous road that they navigated was also sketched roughly. They traveled at 20 mph; the road’s winding and bumpy nature would not permit travel any faster. The barely beaten path was overhung by trees of various types, providing partial shade from the twin suns that looked down from high in the cloudless sky. It was 115 degrees.

    Lucy could cram 4 people into the back and they sat looking outwards, watching the trees and shrubs go by. They would often catch a glimpse of a chimp or a skulk looming in the foliage.

    Even though she’d tried to hide from him immediately after the assembly, Stuart had managed to find Claire and inform her that she would be going along. As they made their way to ‘Lindsay’ she poked her head over the back of his seat and inquired, “Why did you have to bring me with you?”

    Greyling looked up from the map and turned his head toward her. He was clean shaven but his face was smudged with soil and dust. “I thought that this could sort of be like a date,” he teased.

    Claire exhaled noisily, “Would you give it up already? Risking our lives together doesn’t seem very romantic.”

    “It turns me on plenty,” Greyling assured her, returning to the map.

    Lucy started making noises that were uncharacteristic of a vehicle that was functioning well. The engine began to sputter and following some confusion, it ceased altogether. “What the hell?” Pete growled, hitting the steering wheel as Lucy came to a halt. The gas tank was on ‘E’.

    “What’s the problem?” Steve whined from the back. Steve was a good soldier but he was a whiner. “Why did we stop?”

    “We’re outta gas, crybaby,” Pete replied, getting out of the jeep and circling around to the back. He got down on all fours and after shouting profanities, stood back up.

    “What’s the deal?” Greyling asked, getting out and standing next to his friend. The sun beat down on them.

    “Fuel tank is punctured. We must have run over a big rock or something. I don’t believe this. “

    “We’re almost ninety miles from the base, Pete,” Steve observed, whining again. “We can’t just walk back. It would be dark by then.”

    Lou and Milo, the other two marines that Greyling had chosen for the squad, sat quietly, scanning the tree line with their rusty HMGs. Lou’s was covered in notches. Each one he’d carved signified an Onos kill. They were both huge men that Greyling knew he could count on to go down fighting.

    “This place looks really familiar,” Greyling started to say, scanning the tree line and noting the placement of certain foliage. “I think we need to get moving.”

    Lou and Milo looked at one another and together they cranked the bolts on their HMG’s, broad smiles going across their faces. Claire jumped out of Lucy and drew her Colt .45 pulling back the hammer with her thumb. Everyone began to search the perimeter of the stranded vehicle with their eyes.

    “Have you been around here before?” whispered Pete, drying his face of sweat with the front of his olive drab tank top.

    “Yeah…” Greyling said with a hint of worry in his voice. “It’s crawling with Kharaa.”
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    edited June 2005
    Birds had been chirping and squawking when Lucy rolled to a stop but they grew increasingly quiet as the 6 member team stood in the road. Greyling’s extensive hunting experience told him that something big was nearby, causing birds to become still watchers from above, like stone gargoyles. The tree line on either side of the road suddenly felt much closer.

    “We have to get to Lindsay,” Greyling whispered and the others began to notice the silence too.

    Together they moved in the direction of their destination, carefully and cautiously. Lou and Milo trained their large machineguns on the foliage, ready to engage anything that might emerge from between the trunks.

    “What do you think it is?” Claire inquired trotting up next to Stuart. “You think it’s walking right along side of us?”

    “Maybe all of the animals are quiet becuase they're stunned by your beauty,” Stuart replied, grinning as he always did when he spoke with her. Her blonde hair flowed in a hot, dry draft. She looked at him sternly and he quickly wiped the smile off of his face and mustered a serious reply, “Probably an Onos. Maybe more than one.”

    “More than one?” Steve echoed. Sweat was glistening on his boyish face.

    “It could be a mother and her cubs.”

    Stuart saw something gangly and quick run out into the road fifty yards ahead of them and he brought everyone to a sudden halt. The bipedal creature’s flesh glistened in the sun as it stood and stared back at them, wide-eyed and curious. For a moment nobody spoke and nobody moved. What they were seeing wasn't registering. Saying it as soon as it dawned on him, Pete said aloud “It’s… a human.”

    As if right on que, something enormous crashed through the trees only a short distance behind the team and Greyling watched as the figure dashed back into the forest. Lou and Milo brought their HMG’s around to face the menace and saw before them a female Onos, glaring down at them from a towering height of almost 20 feet. The female of the species was almost twice the size of the male, a giant mass of green and red flesh on top of four tree-trunk legs. Nostrils flaring, it stamped and shook a huge head that had two gleaming mastodon tusks protruding from the side of the mouth.

    “Spread out!” Greyling screamed over the roar of the beast and the crack of trees giving way to it.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    The squad parted except for Steve, who for a moment stood completely still, paralyzed with fear. Greyling leaped into the tree line with Claire while Milo and Lou moved into the opposite tree line, holding back from firing, fearing they would hit Steve. The gargantuan creature saw him standing in the middle of the road and swung the mastodon tusks like enormous scythes. Steve evaded the attack, stumbling backwards, dust rose all around from the missed swing.

    “Steve, run!” Greyling shouted. Lou and Milo ushered him into the trees as the onos recovered from its attack. It stood in between both groups and hesitated, looking first at Steve and then at Greyling and Claire.

    Stuart turned to Claire and spun her around, shoving her away from the road and towards the forest. They began to run and as the onos began to pursue, they sprinted.

    “It’s coming for us!” Claire yelled. Trees bowed to the juggernaut as it hit the tree line. Animals scattered. The planet shuddered beneath them.

    Stuart and Claire tore through the foliage, weaving between trees and hurtling over roots. Thorns tore at them as they sprinted down a path beaten by native wildlife. Greyling looked back at Claire who was wild eyed and terrified and he flashed her a smile. “Run you idiot!” she scolded. Greyling had run from onos before and he had always managed to escape. It usually involved a lot of weaving and zigzagging but onos weren’t really built to run. Unfortunately, this chase became more complicated.

    Both of them could see the bushes ahead begin to shuffle and sway. Something was ahead of them. Greyling veered to the left, crashing through a bush and stumbling into an area with sparse vegetation and scattered trees. Right behind them three toddler onos barreled out of the foliage in a rain of flying sticks and leaves. Greyling shot a glance over his shoulder. There was one male and two female. The buck had a small, bony bump where his horn was beginning to form. He thought to himself that they may have been kind of cute if they weren’t trying to kill him.

    “I’ve got an idea!” Claire gasped, trying to keep up with Stuart. “Let’s try to circle back to Lou and Milo!”

    A massive tree came into view and as soon as they reached it, Greyling slipped behind it and yanked Claire with him. They stood tense, trying to quietly gasp for air. All four beasts passed them. The majestic giants were a sight to behold, enormous, intelligent and strong. They watched for a moment as the puzzled family slowed to a halt and began searching for their quarry. The children began to play with each other, snorting and growling, circling around their mother’s legs. Each was roughly the size of the jeep and probably three times as heavy.

    “Let’s go,” Claire pleaded quietly. She looked up at him a little. He was a few inches taller than her. She had brilliant blue eyes.

  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    Greyling and Claire re-emerged from the tree line a half-hour later, glistening with sweat, covered in dirt and leaves. Lou, Milo, Pete and Steve were waiting by Lucy. She wasn’t repaired.

    “They’re back!” Lou announced, “Milo, you owe me a ration.”

    “Crap.” Milo answered, smiling at Claire and Greyling.

    “Betting against us?” Greyling asked with a smile of surprise.

    “I thought it was a sure thing,” he answered.

    “Everyone saw that naked guy in the road right before the onos came, right?”

    Heads nodded.

    “Yeah what the hell was that?” asked Steve.

    “It was a ****,” Claire informed him, “never seen one?”

    He rolled his eyes and with only a brief moment of hesitation, shot back: “I’ve seen yours.”

    “There’s other survivors on this planet!” Greyling exclaimed, “What the heck is the matter with you guys? This is big news!”

    “Do you think he was from Lindsay?” asked Pete. He was reclined in the back of Lucy, feet in the air, hands folded behind his head.

    “I have no idea,” Stuart replied, “but if he was military, why was he naked?” Nobody answered. “Well the nude man doesn’t change that we still need supplies for the base.”

    “That guy was hung,” Pete observed. They laughed.


    Camp was quiet. Chuck Haggar chewed on his cigar, leaning back in his office chair. He was inside the center-most, largest hut. It was often reffered to as the command station. The door opened and Tommy Pherson stumbled in, clipboard in hand.

    “Sir, we’ve lost contact with the northern outpost!” he said breathlessly. Chuck could tell that the kid had worked himself up and ran across camp to deliver the news.

    “Pherson, what have I told you about getting excited about everything? N-Post’s radio has been on the fritz.” He hauled himself out of his chair and put his arm around Tommy, walking him outside the door and into the hot sunlight. It was midday and the suns were high in the sky. A soft breeze drifted through but couldn’t begin to relieve the 110-degree heat. “You’re always so wound up. You keep doing that and you’ll dig yourself an early grave.”

    Tommy turned to reply in time to see the lerk swoop down from above and with a snap of it jaws, rip Haggar’s head off. Tommy fell to the floor as did Chuck’s headless body and all around him the sound of automatic weapons began to erupt. Before Tommy passed out he could see an onos crash through the northern perimeter, drawing heavy fire as Kharaa swarmed in.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    From his vantage point, a tree house about 30 feet above the ground, John Pont watched the Kharaa hit the line of sentry guns and then continue into the base without any hesitation. He quickly gathered ammo and stacked it next to the gun that was affixed to the railing. It was an old m-60, rusty and unreliable, but it was operable.

    John opened the mouth of his machinegun and fed it a belt of large-caliber ammunition. Below him other Marines were fighting tooth and nail. Around all of the huts bodies of Kharaa stacked up as the soldiers managed to fend them off. John slapped the gun shut and cranked the bolt angrily. An onos galloped directly below him and he swiveled his weapon, drawing a bead along the spine of the beast, and opened fire. The onos let out a cry of surprise as the automatic above it spit bullets into its backbone. The monster tried to turn and face its opponent but instead, succumbed to its injuries, slumping down to the ground. The ground shuddered beneath the beast as it collapsed.

    A hut near the center of the camp, affectionately named ‘The Hilton’ by the soldiers who stayed in it, held strong against the swarms of skulks and fades that were leaping through camp. “I’m dry!” screamed marine Roger Stalek, flinging open his m-60. He could see a fade coming toward his window, taking advantage of the ceased fire. “I need ammo!”

    Roger whirled around to see if anyone was grabbing him another crate. A gangly man with wide eyes was stumbling over to him through other ammo boxes and sliding on expended brass. “Heads up!” the limber man warned, tossing the box across the room. Roger caught it and turned back to his window.

    A claw sliced through the air and without a moment’s hesitation Roger ducked beneath the fade’s scythe-like talon. He drew his sidearm, thrust it into the face of the snarling creature and emptied a clip into its head. The fade fell backwards and out of view. Roger reloaded his machinegun and resumed firing.

    John continued to fire from his tree-fort, his m-60 roaring and glowing with heat. Occasionally it would jam and he would crank out the round and resume shooting. Kharaa bodies littered the camp. John became vaguely aware of movement behind him and drew his knife, whirling around in time to see three chimps swing onto his platform. One of them lunged at John, who expertly threw it over the edge and devoted his attention to the remaining two.

    Their faces weren’t even remotely human as were chimps from Earth. The only reason they called them chimps were because of their long arms and legs. John made a sudden stab for the nearest chimp, cutting through nothing but air. The other aggressor leaped over him, landing behind him. John quickly changed his stance and stood sideways between them, whipping out his pistol to point at one, waving his sharp blade at the other. They stood still like that only for a moment. John blew the head off of one, and the other moved in, letting out a wild whoop as it did.

    John tried to bring his pistol around but the creature swung its enormous, reaching paw and clawed it away from him, raking the skin right off of his fingers. John ignored the pain and managed to thrust the knife into the neck of the monkey, and when he withdrew the blade, blood spurted out like the water from a hose. It tried to staunch the bleeding, stumbling back and clutching at the puncture with its hands and John kicked it over the edge. It fell beneath the feet of advancing comrades.
  • monk3ymonk3y Join Date: 2003-10-30 Member: 22139Members
    ehh.. wait a second.. where does this take place ? m-60?!?!? waht!?!? NS is suppose to take place somewhere around 2300-2500 !!!

    anyways, its very well written and incredibly descriptive!! keep it up!!
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Extremely well done. You captured the atmosphere of the jungle quite nicely. Most of the equipment in the story was quite old and that added a nice touch to the jungle atmosphere.

    Nice action as well. However, i am quite confused about some aspects of the story. For instance, you stated that there are baby onoses and that the onoses had different genders. In the game, there is no baby onos. They just evolve from another life-form. I was also under the impression that Kharaa had no gender.

    Some parts of the story were slightly witty/humourous. I liked that. Keep up the good work.
  • Foxtrot_UniformFoxtrot_Uniform Join Date: 2003-06-12 Member: 17328Members
    if you recall, the theme of my previous story was that the kharaa were created for corporate sabotage. now they evolve out of control... perhaps. also, remember Danny's character? remember the naked man stuart greyling and his men see down the road before the onos comes?
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Cool! I didn't know your stories were connected. i thought this was something different.
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