It is currently Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:13 pm


The Sinking City

Post your short stories and novels set in the Dropzone Universe here
Forum rules This part of the forum is for background and world building. While only Hawk Wargames publications are considered 'canonical', this is a space for fiction writers, musings on background lore and ideas on new worlds, areas of the universe and jump off points for armies and campaigns.

Please be respectful of other people's work, and maintain the high level of friendly communication that has always been a hallmark of this Forum's members.

Please also note:

• All content connected to, related to or stemming from any Hawk Wargames publications, Dropzone Commander, Dropfleet Commander or any future Hawk Wargames products remains the property of Hawk Wargames. Any commercial use or gain from any writing or content created from such works is protected under copywrite laws and treaties. It may not be used for commercial gain without express permission from Hawk Wargames; any other commercial use is illegal.

• Hawk Wargames may use all of, part of or any ideas or themes created or used in these forum posts, in any way, for any use, commercial or otherwise. By posting work, writers/originators give their consent for use in any of the above situations, with no further consent needed. If used as such, Hawk Wargames will always seek to inform and gain consent of the writer/originator, however this is not required for Hawk Wargames to proceed with such use.

• Posts in no way constitute an agreement to pay for, provide, or solicit future work from the author/originator. Hawk Wargames does not in any way guarantee further communication, work (paid or unpaid), or any form of agreement for further submissions. By posting in this way, authors/originators have no claim to work for, be endorsed by or be in any way connected to Hawk Wargames, other than being a forum member.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Ghostwolf67

  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 pm
  • Location: The Sinking City, UK

The Sinking City

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 6:48 pm

Prologue

Somewhere in deep space.

The warm liquid ebbed and flowed lazily, its course directed perfectly to maximise respiration and efficiency. Nestled at the fluids core, a monster dreamed. Coloured lights, distant noises and random orientations ensured that the slumber was a restless one. All stimuli focussed constantly to poke the beasts rem state. A necessary torture. There was a question to be answered. A problem that eluded solution. Logic had failed, all that was left was the old state. A long dead practice only half remembered. His race had long since abandoned the need for sleep.

The others still failed. Even in slumber, the mental links were strong enough he could feel their frustration. It fueled his purpose. Great bulbous minds placed in high esteem sat frantically quarreling in panic and desperation. Only he, the 334th Crux, lowest amoung their number still had his mind to the task.

The question came again. Not asked but forced into his mind. A barrage of fresh images, mathematics and schema. Half conscious and disorientated his great form writhed at the intrusion. The question was replanted firmly and kept his lucid dreams on task. The swarm was dying. Engineering solutions were exhausted. The 8 Crux minds of this swarm had worked all those avenues to dead ends. Every solution either impossible or well beyond the time limit. Other swarms were too far to deliver aid. Many additional theories had been posited, everyone a further waste of resources. Subconsciously he reviewed them again. None were of merit. 123rd Crux had most recently put forward a radical plan for complete jettison of all aged grubs onto a nearby world at the first sign of dissent. Crux 123 was sure they would turn on us soon for the fluid needed to sustain them. Amoung all others their thirst was greatest. An alarmist notion, a sign of his growing insecurity. As if there was a planet with fluid enough that could sustain a war-swarms worth of grubs... A planet with fluid enough to replenish the dying swarm...
Millions of synapses awoke. There in the dark it appeared, a spark of Inspiration. Quickly it formulated, grew and changed. Numbers were calculated, distances measured and one by one all the pieces fell into place. Within the massive mind It became like a torrent. If there had been anyone there to critique, they would marvel. Finally it coalesced. The creature stirred and though it could not show it, it beamed with pride. The 334th Crux; Calculating mind of the Scourge fleet awoke fully and with a tone of self contentment spoke to his quarreling peers.

I have the answer...


Chapter 1. In Confidence
Occupied Planet Lyr Kilo.
The Sinking City

In a sudden gust the autumn wind blew harsh through the gaping window frame. Marshy air and brown leaves followed partially obscuring the snipers view of the street. She winced at the airs chill and willed her eyes not to water. The bombed out kitchen of some forgotten hotel building would not have been her first choice, but lying prone on the worksurface well away from the ledge would have to do. It was real stone too, a luxury for this planet, where mineable rock was a pipe dream. All that was here was mud and water. It had pained her to slowly drill the pilot holes into it to hold her rifle stand. This was the only spot however and 'sacrifices had to be made in times of war' she said to herself hearing the voice of her father and a dozen other resistance leaders like him.

The old hotel began to sway. It was subtle at first. The angle changes were nothing more than a few degrees here and there. Though with every gust of the harsh autumn wind it felt like it moved more noticeably. Soon the many birds that nested within the rotting structure would begin to vacate it and then she'd know it wasnt safe anymore. Eventually the waterlooged supports and wet mud foundations would no longer hold. The two century old building would come down like a felled tree. Crashing down into the mud and earth where so many other skyline buildings had fallen. The swamp took the city back every day.

Keth dropped her far reaching gaze back to to the warehouse. The half collapsed structure gave her a complete view of the interior of every floor. Once a manufactury its internals had been stripped long ago by the resistance. Aside from the odd rusting metal part it was devoid of anything that stood out. Her radio constantly buzzing with resistance chatter, told another story however. If you weren't looking for it the scene before her looked perfectly still. For kicks she played the numbers again. She searched for Ada.

She found him lying prone behind some rubble overlooking the ambush point. He'd covered himself in a rotten wooden palette and the remains of what looked like century old carpet. Already caked in mud and grime from simply living in this rathole he was almost invisible. His team were close by though of the accompanying 4 fighters she only knew 1 by name. Buried as they were in filth she could still pick out Fait. The woman was a mountain and hard to hide. She lay behind a low ruined wall, her figure made even more imposing by the three bandoliers draped on her massive shoulders. Her LMG was propped and ready inside a rusted metal drum.
The fireteam successfully exposed, Keths eye moved now to the alleyways. Like everywhere in the Sinking city they were flooded. By her estimation waist deep with green foetid water. Though she only saw 2 or 3 bubbles on the surface she knew that Bragger's divers were there. She'd been regailed many a times about the proficiency of his amphibous assaults. He wasnt called Bragger for nothing. About 7 men all told, submerged, holding weights with breathing gear. they would be there as long as they could. Where ever there was a deep water hole also waited some jetskifs with HMG's for fast mobile firepower.

The Barge was impossible to hide. A clunky, noisy vehicle that abhorred stealth and drank coolant too fast. It was floating inside the garage area. All that separated it from the ambush site was a partially constructed wall. While everyone hated working with the firemagnet, Keth knew the hovercraft was the only real firepower the resistance could bring to bare here. The large bore cannon could turn the tide if things got ugly.

[Enjoying the show?] came coded across her private line. She didnt need to look through her scope to know Ada was smiling. She pip'd back a curse. Ada always tried to wind her up before a fight. Usually it was a welcome distraction. Right now she didnt feel like it. This wasnt a going to be a normal fight. The Scourge patrols had been steadily getting closer to Motorpool and Battery. The most crucial points for the resistance in this area. Normally the small resistance teams were given free reign to choose their battles. This one was a fight of necessity. As an after thought she told Ada to be careful. Before he could respond the radio chatter began to come through thick and fast. The other loners had spotted the patrol. A squad of blinkers and mudfoots. They were moving through the corridor. It wouldnt be long now. With a long slow breath she pulled back the slider on her rifle and loaded a round into the chamber.



Occupied Planet Lyr Kilo.
The Sinking City

The tester gave a ping that was obnoxiously loud. Birral was thankful he was the only one who could hear it. In his hud a large graph display appeared and several warning signs flashed confirming what he already knew. The water was filthy. Parasites and heavy metals were in such high concentration that to get it in a papercut would probably prove debilitating. A notice appeared telling him that his filter was adequate to make the water potable. He looked at the foetid green sludge and grimaced at the thought of even drinking a derrivative. Using his uplink he queried the Janus' AI. The response was immediate as always. "Current water reserves are at 9% please seek a resupply area or refill from the environment using the filter system" Came the polite female voice. 9% wasnt enough to get him back.

He found a patch of the ooze that looked more fluid than the rest and reluctnatly dropped the hose in. With a simple mental command to the pump he could feel the water start to flow. Seconds later the pipe felt noticably hot as the heaters inside its length went to work killing the pathogens. Ordinarily he wouldnt need external water, nanites in his blood would clean and recycle the fluids in his system but so many days in the field had left most of the nanites denatured. He needed fresh water again. With the process going there was nothing for Birral to do but wait. On reflex he pulled up his armour status and did a seal recheck. His seals all flashed green. Visibly reliveved the scout walked back to the Janus and sat down on its metal foot.

After a few seconds he got that sinking feeling. A mixture of doubt, frustration and above all else loneliness. It was common in his line of soldiery but this was more than just a feeling, he really was alone. When he was working, and he did love the work, Birral never felt more at one with the sphere and himself. But it had been 6 months without contact, 6 months of fruitless searching and dodging minder sweeps and prowler ambushes. The diagnositc programs monitoring his health were noticing the early signs of isolation sickness. A malignacy from the severed connection with the sphere network. He was beginning to see it too. Anxiey over cleanliness, obsession over minutia and minor hallucinations had become more and more prevalent. It only maifested in the downtime and when he slept but soon he knew it would start to affect his work. Probably even get him killed. Nanite treatments and synthetic contact had helped to slow the effect but as advanced as the sphere were, they couldnt cure the human condition. 3 days ago he had recieved a coded burst message to pull out. Even before the prompt he felt it was time to leave. The rendevous was 70 miles outside of the city limits. Just some uninteresting saltmarsh flats where he had been dropped previous. It was the only place that scourge sweeps overlooked. He was truly relieved to be outbound. Before that however he needed supplies.

The dreary warehouse he found himself in was more like a damp cave. Stalactites clung to the ceiling where rain had found its way through cracks in the roof. Fungi grew in the dampest places; And mould everywhere else. With the resistance and scourge taking everywhere dry this was the only place that could shield him during the day. It was the only building with a loading dock big enough to house his Janus scout walker that hadnt already fallen down. Downside was that the flood waters werent very palatable.

A sudden sucking sound drew his attention. For a split second he wondered if he was imagining it but then he was on his feet and pulling the hose out of the muck. The noise was loud, far too loud. It would attract attention. The hose resisted him pulling it and he used his suit servos to give him some added power. When it rose to the surface he nearly had a heart attack. Visor icons went mad with red target locks. Insincitvly Birral's hand was on his carbine.

The razorworm floated lifelessly on the surface. Tripartite mouth slightly agape. Its eyes were a dead milky white. From the decay the 3 metre long reptile had to have been dead for a few weeks. Had it been alive Birral had no doubt he would have been killed. The armour pinged warnings as his heartbeat pounded in his ears. He stopped the pump motor and the pipe detatched from the corpse. Waterlogged, the grim sight descended beneathe the murk again. From a distance the hose was pulled in. He'd fought living razrworms before. Even dead he didnt want to be this close. He replaced the hose and jumped into the Janus cockpit seconds later. Partly out of fear and partly to find out if his cover was blown. The Janus had picked up resistance chatter nearby. He couldnt risk them coming to investigate. Patiently he waited while comms scaned for resistance and scourge channels. His blood ran cold when two strong signals were found nearby. The Janus' complex AI set about decoding them. As he listened in to both signals he could see what was about happen outside. Two traps had been set and it was just a matter of who took the bait first. Before he could even think of a way out of his predicament, outside the gunfire started.



Occupied Planet Lyr Kilo.
High Orbit

The magnifier rotated and focussed like a giant eye, glassy and unblinking. The predator scanned the land below it. Wispy clouds and dust did not deter its hunting gaze. Soon it found its quarry. The meat was smart. Their camouflage was adequate. But hiding could only slow a predator of his calibre down. Not stop him.

And today Crux 1416 was a predator and he was quite pleased about it. His achievements though small in the grand scheme of things gave him great satisfaction. It was owed mainly to the meat on the planet below. Their efforts to survive eradication had forced him to evolve and grow quickly. Many scenarios previously had predicted victory, poison gas, razorworm infestation, indiscriminant bombardment but all had little impact. The meat were intelligent, mobile and well hidden. They had even killed his predecessor Crux 991 while on planet, a mistake 1416 would not be repeating. On his command the Scourge battleship turned on its axis to give the sensors a better view. Combined with telemetry from 3 other orbiting ships he had a full view of his forces. The data was so complete it was almost as if he really was there.

Since the death of Crux 991 aboard his Desolator, 1416 had pursued the meats destruction with vigour. Such boldness could not be tolerated. A caretaker of a conquered world his daily tasks were mostly mundane, managing the many factories and livestock grown for the deep space swarms. A Crux would never advance far with such basic functions to test it. The constant attrition with the resistant meat was much more rewarding. The meat he was in contest with currently most of all. He would almost be remorseful when it was over.

His forces were poised. The trap was set. The meat was to take a patrol on a purposefully predictable route. A necessary sacrifice. The meat had many tactics worth assimilating. Their ability to remain undetected until the exact moment to strike was most admirable. He had encorporated it into his most recent strategy. He was set to watch with great interest.

Warning claxxons sounded. Deep space sensors began reading a massive inbound force. With his swarm dispersed to watch the gound battle 1416 began to send urgent signals to coalesce. His electronic eyes and ears turned from the ground and focussed outward at the huge spatial anomaly that was forming. The plasma weapons on his battleships and destroyers began to power up from a long dormant state. The Crux leader began to form solid links with the other ship commanders. He assimilated quickly the nature of ship to ship combat from their minds.

Before his guns were charged, a war-swarm came out of jump. A battle fleet hundreds of ships strong. An invasion force bound for somewhere else but there was no mention of them making a stop here. 1416's radiation alarms began to sound. As he watched perplexed by the arrival, another mind assailed his. "Planetary caretaker, I am Crux 334 this world is now under my control and you are seconded to my forces. You will comply."

On the world far below the battle began unnoticed.
Offline
User avatar

Ravager

  • Posts: 268
  • Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:16 am
  • Location: New Zealand

Re: The Sinking City

PostWed Nov 25, 2015 12:19 am

Well, done. I really like the narrative you've established here, and how you portray the Scourge.
Offline
User avatar

SwordOfJustice

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 2582
  • Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:40 am

Re: The Sinking City

PostThu Nov 26, 2015 5:39 am

W-O-W!

This is brilliant. I hope this becomes officially part of the game. And I really want to keep reading.
We have evolved beyond mere flesh and bone. We are the Post Human Republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBC9LIUpKeo
Offline

Ghostwolf67

  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 pm
  • Location: The Sinking City, UK

Re: The Sinking City

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 12:21 am

The Sinking City
Ground Zero

The ambush had gone to hell. From the adjacent buildings and streets the enemy poured out, sloshing through the waist high water, firing constantly at the outer walls and windows of the workshop. Ada and Bragger had fought at first but now there was no choice but to pull their forces back. There were so many. The scourge may have had the infantry for a protracted battle but the resistance wasnt so fortunate.

Through her scope Keth watched the scourge solider catch her sniper round with his chest. He twisted several times before sinking down beneath the murk. Though the scourge may have had the numbers, they didnt have the high ground. Behind the now dead scourge infantryman two more ran the street stamping over his corpse. In a well drilled motion she re-loaded and fired. The second shot punched through the first and knocked the follower off his feet amdist a spray of dark red ooze. The furthest one wasnt dead but the impact would certainly buy Ada and his team the time they needed to fall back.

The resistance were routed and pulling back to the rear. The lone snipers and heavy machine gun skifs were laying down as much cover as possible. But moving back in covering patterns was taking its time. Enemy fire was heavy and hounding their every step. Arcs of white plasma streaked in deadly volleys scorching everything they touched. The white hot energy was painful to look at and left streaked white lines in Keths vision. She fired again from her perch onto the street far below. Another scourger fell in a twisted heap as it attempted to enter the building and catch the retreating resistance.

Amidst the battle, from the alley across from the workshop a large bulbous form emerged. Floating on grav engines several feet from the floor the large slug-like apc surged forward. Gunfire peppered its thick hull as it began to pick up pace. Unarmed but heavily armoured, the scourge invader troop transport simply smashed headlong into the concrete barricades at the front of the workshop. The ramshackle defences crumbled as the apc crashed down on top of them. Keth lined up a shot around the rear exit door of the transport ready to gun down any who exited. Before any scourge could disembark a thrown satchel charge flew through the air and landed within one of the many vents on the transport. The detonated charge gutted the invader blowing both doors off and surely pulping anyone inside. The burning wreck made a smoke plume towering high, blocking all firing lines and left the scourge a window to cross the street unmolested. The damage was done, the scourge had broken through and brought the fight to within the workshop building.

Brilliant white light temporarily blinded the sniper. She blinked on reflex and saw the angry white spots in her vision. A few seconds later she could hear the scream of the plasma weapon. It still chilled her to the bone even after fighting all these years. The area Keth had been defending had evapourated into nothing taking the apc, rubble blockade and the dead or wounded scourge with it. Through the now massive breach point warriors surged through. The footsoldiers of the scourge moving en masse firing from the hip in a wave of devastation. Any resistance rearguard were cut down as they fled, transformed into smoking ruins at the hands of the alien oppressors.

Behind the masses moved a larger menace. On four powerful legs the mudfoot prowler hefted itself out of the water and into the ruined building. An armoured scourge machine that stood twice as wide as a man. Its 5 eyes glowed menacingly, the weapon on its belly still smouldered from the shot that brought the wall down. As it waddled forward thick brown mud leaked from its insectoid leg joints. Keth loaded another in the chamber and lined up her shot for one of its many glowing eyelets. She put a round down onto the encroaching machine but watched helplessly as the it ricocheted off the re-enforced port.

The mechanical insect climbed the inner rubble of the building shaking off more small arms as it went. Behind it the blinkers gathered, gaining more ground. Without warning the mudfoot began spraying plasma in long thick arcs of burning white. Within seconds the place was turned into an inferno. A resistance jetskif was immolated and the ammunition torched off in a shower of shrapnel. In desperation Keth put another sniper round at the vulgar machine hoping for a miracle. The mudfoot stumbled clearly feeling the hit. Eerily it turned its gaze toward her building. Even from so far away she knew it was looking for her.

The tank round smashed the mudfoot to pieces where it stood. A concussive explosion followed that knocked the surrounding scourge soldiers down in a wave. While they reeled another resistance tank round landed amongst them blowing them to pieces. The Barge hovercraft swung in at break neck speed to the rear of the warehouse firing as it went. The front cannon fired two more shots through the building and the warehouse front collapsed crushing the encroaching scourge soldiers and blocking the entrance. With the sudden lull in the fighting the valiant crew of the Barge began to take on survivors.

Desperate fire streaked the enemy while remaining resistance fighters sloshed through the waist high water toward salvation. Keth and the other lone snipers covered them as best they could. Soon the outer hull was covered with freedom fighters clinging on for dear life. With one last deafening cannon shot the hovercraft lurched into life and pulled away from the battle. The majority of the resistance were taken to safety with it. Any remaining ground teams had scattered in all directions most of them diving beneath the murk and swimming clear of the battle. Keth hoped Ada was one of them. With targets sparse the blinkers had begun to focus fire on the mechanic workshop. Their alien plasma weapons cut through concrete and metal like it was paper. The building fell, mercifully burying most of the bodies the resistance had to leave behind.

The battle was winding down and Keth knew it was fast approaching time to pull out. Through a break in the chaos she caught a glimpse of two scourge warriors dragging something between them. She knew it was a body even before she saw the limp and lifeless legs splayed behind. The scourge only ever took one thing from a battle. The resistance sniper took a long deep breath. She gauged the wind by the smoke plumes. Taking her time to lead the target properly she picked a window two paces ahead. As the target appeared she shot the resistance fighter through the chest without hesitation or remorse. She knew anyone would do the same for her.

Keth slid her rifle from the tripod and began to break it down. In the back of her mind she was keeping a close tab on the droning sound that was quickly getting more pressing. 60 seconds. she thought. The scope slid back and folded down into the stock. She clipped the middle catch and the rifle that was almost as tall as she was, split in half neatly. The droning sound was everywhere and now the air had begun to vibrate. 40 seconds. Rifle stowed in its pack she slung it on her back in a fluid motion she'd done a million times before. She pulled her ratchet gun from its holster like a pistol and set about removing the bolted down tripod. The noise was shaking the hotel room. 20 seconds. The first bolt came free with ease but the second was stubborn. The ratchet gun whined in protest. Out of the gaping window she saw a scourge fighter, a Corsair, scream past deafeningly. 10 seconds. She couldnt leave the tripod, the chances of getting another like it were slim. Finally it wrenched free. There was a sudden thump on the building from above. Dust shook free from the cieling. Times up Keth, move damn you move! Straps pulled tight Keth broke into a sprint straight down the corridor adjacent. There was the sound of large boots stomping on the floors above. Doors being broken in. Sounds of something inhuman searching for her. At the end of the corridor the maintenance shaft was open. The rapelling line she'd fixed earlier lay waiting. The sniper was to the street before the dropship bourne scourge had even made it to her floor.
Last edited by Ghostwolf67 on Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Offline
User avatar

SwordOfJustice

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 2582
  • Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:40 am

Re: The Sinking City

PostWed Dec 02, 2015 12:08 pm

A fantastic read!
We have evolved beyond mere flesh and bone. We are the Post Human Republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBC9LIUpKeo
Offline

Ghostwolf67

  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 pm
  • Location: The Sinking City, UK

Re: The Sinking City

PostSun Dec 13, 2015 10:44 pm

Cheers for the kind words everyone.

Sinking City
Nearby Ground Zero.

A small silver mirror moved out of the darkness. It panned left, then right, then retracted back. Seconds later the metal grate in the far wall footing moved and fell away with a splash. From the tunnel behind it a rifle bag was placed softly down into the wet. Its owner followed head first. The female struggled queitly as she tried to squeeze through the narrow gap. Though her frame was small the gap was narrower. Eventually she wriggled through. Targeting optics lit the person up in Birrals visor birght as day. Her clothes and tatoos made it clear she was resistance. Oblivious to the audience the fighter got to her feet and brushed the moss from her mud stained fatigues. He watched as she replaced the grate carefully and then slung the rifle bag onto her back. Birral dialled the scope in close on the back of her head. He measured range and ambient conditions as best he could, he didnt want to miss the shot and start a fire fight. Too much attention. Better to be clean about it. His mission parameters were very specific.

For what seemed like an eternity Birral had sat in his cockpit and listenend to the battle outside. Gunfire and explosions. Plasma disharge and engine screams. Sometimes it was distant and other times almost right on top of him. Through a myriad of passive sensors he felt the fights ebb and flow. All that time he waited for the enemy to stumble onto him. To blunder into his hiding spot and for his part of the fighting to begin. His mind had constantly hovered on the trigger of the Janus chaingun.

After an hour, the exchanges of fire grew distant and then ceased. After that came the distinctive buzz of scourge engines flying low over the rooftops. He monitorerd their EM signals as they scanned for resistance stragglers to harvest. His Janus' jamming singals kept him safe within the structure. Waiting till the battle was long cold he had checked his water reserves to find them still too low to make it to the rendevous. He didnt know if it would ever be safe to stop again. Reluctantly he'd disembarked for one last attemp at siphoning. The PHR scout hadn't wanted anymore suprises. Yet here she was.

She began to cautiously walk into the open floor of the warehouse. Though it was dark her human eyes would still probably see him any second. When she turned his finger hovered on the trigger.

It Isnt possible.

He tried to rationalise what he was seeing. But with every step she took forward he could see the blue tattoos that adorned the left side of her face more clearly. Even half obscured by her raven hair and decades of mud there wasnt any mistaking it. He didnt know who, or how, or why but Birral knew he couldnt do it. The recon lowered his weapon. It was then she saw him.

"Oh gratt!" the girl exclaimed reaching for her pistol and diving down into a shallow bank of mud. She pulled her weapon fast and held it at him threateningly, a wild look on her face. He didnt flinch. She looked him up and down. Clearly the PHR soldier was not what she was expecting to see, it seemed now it was her turn to look confused.

[Engage hostile?] His familiar asked via link. Hidden in the gloom the Janus had her in its sights. Through their connection Birral could see it had her dead to rights. One command and chaingun would cut her down. Mentally, he ordered the Janus to wait.

In a symbol understood by every free human in the galaxy, Birral slowly put his hands up.

"Drop it. Drop the weapon." She said her voice stern. He noticed her hands were shaking slightly. That coupled with the recoil of the weapon, her firing stance, the poor lighting and the distance between the two Birral didnt feel very intimidated. He could do the math on her chances. Still he did as he was asked and dropped the carbine into the mud. The AI hit him with a barrage of query messages about his actions.

[Just wait. This is important]. he responded. As a side subroutine he captured the best image he could of her face and ran it through the Janus visual library.

"Get on your knees." She said pointing the pistol to the floor for help in case he didnt follow. Birral looked down at the swirling pool of filth at his feet, "No thank you, I'll stand," he replied. The resistance fighter looked surprised at hearing him speak. He understood the resistance didnt take prisoners who talked back often.

Obviously an unsatisfactory answer, she cocked the handgun "I will shoot you," she said putting a harsher inflection in her voice and becoming straighter to look more imposing. He could see her properly now. The contours of her face revealed youth that mud and fading camo paint hid well. Her short frame was offset against the enormous rifle bag slung across her back, showing off her surprising strength. The fatigues were old and worn, clearly taken from someone long dead. They fit her poorly and were tied to her figure in several places to stop them being so loose. Strapped to her in every place concievable were pouches of ammo and supplies. Every inch was either soaking wet or caked in mud. In this collapsing hovel it was the perfect camouflage.

"As I could have shot you." Birral replied calmly. "But I believe we are not enemies." His keen augmented eyes zoomed in on her facial details. He could see beyond a doubt now the tattoo was perfectly identical.

[Warning conversing with non-PHR personell is in breach of mission parameters and may result in disciplinary action] His familiar chided. He ignored it. It would be worth it if the facial comparison results were positive. The resistance fighter didnt seem to share his sentiment.

"Not enemies? You're from space right?" He nodded and she scowled bitterly. "Then you are my enemy, nothing good comes from space anymore. First the scourge, then the UCM. Why you should you be any different?" He raised an eyebrow at that. Intel had put the resistance on this world as having made UCM contact several years ago. Command believed they were allies. The look on her face said otherwise.

"I am fortunate enough to count myself among neither faction," He said keen to keep the discourse going as long as he could. The facial recognition was almost complete.

"Yeah I know who you are Tin man. You're the abandonists, from Vega. Children sing nursery rhymes of your legendary cowardice." The cyber-soldier sighed. It always came back to that.

"A long time ago, are we to argue ancient history?"

"Ancient? How convenient for you people to call it ancient. For us, the war you fled hasnt ended yet. It hasnt ever ended." The girl said cuttingly, hurt displayed on her face.

"It doesnt matter who you are anyway, you're going to be coming with me," she said steadying herself in a crouched position gun still drawn on him. The fighter began to advance slowly. Realising the time was fast approaching for action Birral was relieved to hear the ping of the search completing. The results displayed were unexpected. No matches found.

Birral was slightly disappointed. He'd assumed too quickly. Perhaps the girl had just chosen that pattern from some random affinity. Such things were rare but not unheard of. It dawned on him that he'd been foolishly hoping for it to be something. Perhaps then it would mean the 6 months he'd spent here would have had some significance; rather than just a waste of time. Unfortunately it was not to be.

[Engage Hostile] the familiar asked again keenly. He looked at the resistance fighter before him as she once again asked for him to get on his knees. The chaingun would be loud and brutal.

[There is no need for that.] he told his familiar. With his advanced cybernetics he could retrieve his carbine from the floor and fire it by the time she could discharge one maybe two shots. Her chances of landing those shots successfully was fifty-fifty. The chances they would penetrate PHR recon armour were slim. Targetting telemetry from the Janus would make his fire far more accurate and she was wearing sodden cloth for protection.

Even in the wake of all that data, Birral hesitated. The tattoo was still plastered there on her face. A piece of the puzzle unsolved. His victory almost assured the recon simply tried his luck. "What does your tattoo mean?" He asked brazenly.

The question stopped her in her tracks. He expected angry outbursts and to be told to go to hell. Proof that this was nothing. Instead she stammered. "It... I... Its none of your business. Now shut up and get on your knees" She looked shaken, all confidence temporarily knocked out of her. Analysis of he eye movement and voice inflection suggested she was confused. Beneath his helmet Birral smiled. She didnt know what it meant.

"Forgive me, I just wondered if you wanted to know." He asked forgetting in an instant his plan to dispatch the resistance girl. Her mouth opened slightly but no words came out.

In the silence between them Birral became aware of a faint sound from somewhere above. Like something bursting. It was joined by others. Its meaning was lost on him but warning symbols spammed the interior of his vision seconds later. Piercing white light began to streak through the gaps in the ceiling. Its angle high but swiftly deteriorating. The lightshow shook the resistance fighter from her daze "Bombardment..." she whispered moments before the first Scourge plasma rounds impacted and threatened to bring the building down onto their heads.
Offline

Thunderboy

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 812
  • Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:04 pm
  • Location: Netherlands, Nijmegen

Re: The Sinking City

PostTue Dec 15, 2015 10:39 am

Very good. I like the diffrent points of view very much.

Cheers, Thunder
For Humanity!
26th at Autum Invasion 2016
Offline
User avatar

SwordOfJustice

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 2582
  • Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:40 am

Re: The Sinking City

PostFri Dec 25, 2015 6:06 am

This is seriously good writing. I hope Simon reads this and shows the rest of the Hawk team.

I eagerly wait for the next section.
We have evolved beyond mere flesh and bone. We are the Post Human Republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBC9LIUpKeo
Offline

Ghostwolf67

  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 pm
  • Location: The Sinking City, UK

Re: The Sinking City

PostSun Jan 03, 2016 1:12 am

The data came through slowly, as if given with some reluctance. Once analysis of it began, Crux 1416 could understand why. It was most displeasing. Many warrior grubs had been lost. As the data stream came from the surface 1416 took time to process its findings. The data seeped in slowly amid a miasma of other mundane communications. He pulled what raw information he was interested in.

The ratio of kills was most unfavourable. The resilient meat's ability to leverage a concealed heavy weapons platform was clearly responsible. Without his presence in the battle, the champion on the ground had been slow to react and deploy heavy countermeasures. A mistake he would not have made. It was also reported further sweeps of the area had revealed nothing. The meat had been allowed to escape unmolested. The champion would be excised for this failure. 1416 was sure the enemy would still be hiding in the area and was sure sweeps could yet yeild positive results. All previous data supported this. Even a handful more enemies slain or harvested could shift the ratio more in his favour.

Reluctantly he paused his computation. The bulbous scourge mind was all too aware of the approaching ship that now pulled beside his own, dwarfing it in size. His connection to the surface forces was all that remained to him now. The others had already siezed control of his fleet and were even now re-organising resources and taking his duties from him. The reasons for this left very few favourable outcomes. However he could not refuse the war swarm anything. To further their cause was why he existed.

Ships now aligned 1416 felt the power of the other minds reach out. All at once he was surrounded by 6 indomitable Crux of the war swarm. Minds born and driven to conquer star systems. All his betters. He felt them close around him, like predators cirlcing a kill. Without comment or explaination they began to slice into him. Their probing minds assailed his taking whatever knowledge they saw fit. Rank, duties, achievements, failures. Lower in status 1416 could not deny them access. His mass writhed in its shell as his mind was picked apart. Most stripped the information from him in its entirety. His entire lifespan merely taken and stored for them to review and analyse at whim. One was different. This mind scoured quickly, looking for only its particular wants.

Abruptly all intrusion ceased. 1416 slowly gathered his scattered consciousness. Then 334 was there. "Planetary caretaker," the leader of the swarm adressed him directly. His was a mind a thousand times his superior, who had overseen the harvest of entrie races across the galaxy. But even though the mind was powerful and carried huge weight, 1416 could sense the unease and pain from 334 and the other minds assembled. "PreCrux, command me, how may I further your swarm." 1416 grovelled.

"The swarm is injured." came 334's laboured reply. Without need to question, the explaination was forced into 1416 by the others like a sledgehammer. The weight of data forced upon him was too much and there were periods where he couldnt function. When the torrent ceased and he could process what he had been given the lowly scourge mind reeled at the knowledge. With what basic anaylsis he could muster 1416 could see the grim reality. "PreCrux even with all the fluid my forces can synthesize..." "We are aware." The other minds declared in unison. "The swarm requires an engineering solution that I have provided." 334 beamed. "Planetary caretaker you will go to the planetoid below. You will follow my exact instructions." 1416 did not understand. "I have many Champions below who can oversee..."

"No. This is not warfare or harvest. The compelxities are beyond mere grubs. A Crux must be present. We are damaged. You will go." With that the 334th Crux gave the subordinate his plan. "You will follow my orders. You will secure these structures. You will succeed or my last act will see you ripped from whatever meat you possess and excised into space." In that 1416 could see little ambiguity.

"Our forces are poised." 123rd Crux said as the fleet manouvered closer to orbit. Distant white glowing showed the closest ship's plamsa weapons were charging. "You have your targets, select an area you wish to make your planetfall and we will sanitise it." Fresh in his mind It didnt take 1416 long to choose the target area. At least thirty ships all trained their guns at his given co-ordinates. He watched curiously as the first waves of plasma fire broke atmosphere and rained down into the Sinking City. He was hopeful it would shift the ratio.
Offline
User avatar

SwordOfJustice

Hawk Talon

  • Posts: 2582
  • Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:40 am

Re: The Sinking City

PostSun Jan 03, 2016 1:51 am

You could write a book, mate. One hell of a good read.
We have evolved beyond mere flesh and bone. We are the Post Human Republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBC9LIUpKeo
Next

Return to Fan Writing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest