Euthan Palace (Chp 11 Pt 3)

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Rayo Azul
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Post by Rayo Azul » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:30 am

You´re welcome Rat. :D

Big apologies for the delays in updates. :oops:

Right now I am between house moves, city moves and then potentially a country move. Very complicated and with not much free time for writing.

As soon as I get a chance, I will get back to the stories.

Cheers

Rayo

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Post by MechRat » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:45 am

I'd say that's rather busy. :shock: It's understood that it will be a while between postings. Good luck! :thumleft:
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Post by Rayo Azul » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:41 pm

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict



Temporary Illumination flickered as the power supply struggled with the camp’s demand. Light played fitfully across Sondra’s face and that of her companion, as they hugged th shadows, avoiding the two guards on patrol around the parked vehicles.

“S**t´s going to hit the fan when they find out…”

Sondra smiled briefly at the Sargeant and pointed sharply at the second guard. The Sargeant nodded, waiting for her to speak.

“Already has. These idiots are not meant to be here. They’re up to something and I want to know what it is, before we bug out.”

“Resurrectionists,” muttered the Sargeant, “I never thought that I’d see one in person…”

“Listen,” said Sondra quietly, “it it’s not the Church, it’s these frakkers causing problems. For sure they aren’t here out of the goodness of their own hearts and I for one have about as much love for them as for those Protectorate pussies. Now, get ready.”

As the first of the patrolling soldiers passed her position, she rose, her left arm encircling the man´s neck, whilst her right drove her combat blade into flesh. She laid him down gently, passing his rifle to her companion before dragging the corpse into cover. Now their way was open and ahe took instant advantage, scurrying into the shelter of the nearest aircar. The Sargeant paused before moving to his pre-ordained position. Using the vehicle as cover, Sondra moved as close as she could to the command tent, and waited.


Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


Cameron woke, head ringing with the aftermath of surgery. His flesh felt tender, particularly at the side of his head, where tentative fingers met metal. Something was grafted to his skin, pulsing with a life of its own;its unaccustomed weight dragged at him. He carefully opened one eye, an instant avalanche of data driving him to his knees, blurring his vision. Gradually he focussed, seeing the remains of the RPB unit scattered around him.

“Welcome back,” Jan’s voice boomed, its echo reverberating inside his skull, “now we’re all but brothers.”

Cameron gathered his thoughts, forceably controlling his sensory overlaod. He was half-laid in a support chair, tubes and wires running to and from his body.

“What…?”

“We have improved you,” replied Jan, “this is a temporary measure until we get to Euthan Palace.”

Realisation struck and Cameron blacked out; his final image that of missing hands and feet and their silvered replacements.

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Post by MechRat » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:22 pm

Interesting (and creepy) development...
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Post by Rayo Azul » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:41 am

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


The darkness of the tent was broken only by a pulsing red light, which reflected off a strangely familiar shape. It appeared to throb evilly under the intermittent illumination. Sondra crept closer, it sat in the centre of the temporary accomodation. She peered closely at the weird symbols painted on the rear of the large cylinder, and shivered as she realised their import. Fear was quickly replaced by anger Two of the crude decals indicated perfectly the Resurrectionists’ intent, if not their reason why. Something even worse than the Protectorate would be visited upon her planet, and all in the name of enlightenment.

The light itself came from a small control panel, in which the weapon’s state of readiness was indicated. As yet, it was stable, waiting for its mortiferous parameters to be set. Sondra could not let that happen. She reached for her belt and removed a small tool kit. It was useless, she was no expert, and any attempt to disarm the bomb might well have the opposite effect. It had to be destroyed, but how?

*

Outside the tent, Sargeant Vaughan stood in plain view, the second guard’s helmet on his head, and the dead man’s blood-soaked jacket belted over his own. Things seemed to be passing smoothly, until a small aircar approached from the south. He recognised his erstwhile commanding officer in the passenger seat and no amount of praying could wish away the obvious; the man was coming here with his crew. Vaughan could do nothing, slip away and leave Sondra, or do something stupid. The Sargeant raised his rifle, flicked oof the safety and fired.

*

Sondra heard the sound of the discharging weapon and knew her time was up. She had only one option. The small explosive charge she carried would have to do. Bombs like these, she had been told, could be destroyed, or at least put out of action without setting off a cataclysmic reaction. There was no other choice. In a matter of moments, she set the timer, stuck the charge near to the control panel and hurried out to join Vaughan.

“Time to go,” she gasped, “there’s a bomb in there and I’ve left a little friend with it.”

“Bad?” asked the Sargeant between shots.

“You have no idea,” she muttered, drawing her own weapon, “now, move!”

They used the cover of the vehicles to try and reach safety, but their pathetic attempts were easily foiled as harsh lights sprang into life all around them.

“You’re surrounded!”

The Colonel’s voice rang out via electronic aid, imperious in its unflinching certainty.

“Not for long,” Sondra shouted back, as she emptied her weapon towards the source of the sound, “the present I left in the tent is no party cracker!”

“What have you done?”

There was fear now, the condescending tone peculiarly absent.

“If that goes up…”

Darkness was shattered as the tent disappeared in a ball of fire. Stones rained down upon them, as they took shelter where they could. Then silence, broken only by the Colonel’s laughter.

“You’ve failed…”

In the tent, the weapon’s casing, bent and torn by the blast, gave way, a thin crack spidering its lower half. There was the hiss of escaping gas, becoming louder, and a grey-green mist hung for a moment over the cylinder, before slowly dispersing.

*

They only had a few rounds left, failure staring them plainly in the face.

“Time for a brave gest…” her voice trailed off as the Sargeant crumpled to the floor, hands clutching spasmodically at his throat. Blisters appeared on his face and exposed skin, as he thrashed uncontrollably. He coughed, blood and vomit spearing out amidst a strangled cry of pain.

“Oh frak!” mouthed Sondra, as she too felt the first touch of the now airborne virus, her throat constricting sharply, her vision blurring, “What have I done?”

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Post by Rayo Azul » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:15 am

Chapter Eight

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


Viral bombs were designed with deadly intent; the one intended for Gestatin was no exception. The Resurrectionists had meant for it to be exploded, once the Protectorate forces felt close to victory. Its horrendous cargo created to decimate the unsuspecting soldiery. None of the erstwhile martyrs really expected to be caught within its virulent touch, yet none of their well-laid plans had included Sondra Laing.

Thankfully, her intervention limited its initial effects; a concentrated mist hugging the ground and rolling over the small group of soldiers. Resurrectionist scientists had not studied what such a heavy dose would do to the human body and would have no doubt marvelled at the action of their creation. Its gentle kiss meant contagion. Specifically designed for skin absorption and rapid effect, it devastated the camp, leaving none standing. Death did not come swiftly; bodies were wracked with bone-breaking spasms, skin tore and bled, lungs filled with liquid and vomit stained the earth. Not all died though, and it was this unexpected event which was to generate the most deadly disease of all.

*

Sondra groaned. Her body protesting as she attempted to move. Smells assaulted her; blood, vomit, and worse. She realised that this miasma of odours hung over her too, and she retched. Nothing came out, her spasming stomach muscles doubling her over in pain. Struggling finally to her feet, she cried out in shock. Her hands were covered in blood, tattered skin hanging from burst blisters. Reaching up she felt her face, then her head, her tentative exploration delivering a terrible prize. The hands which hung before her face were now matted with the remains of her hair. Ahead of her, she saw an aircar, illuminated by one of the Resurrectionist’s searchlights, and she dragged herself towards the rear-view mirror. Screams rang out endlessly, as Sondra saw what she had become.

That which had once been called a face, was pitted and marred. Her beautiful skin, ravaged by the virus, covered only partial swathes of face, the rest glistening with the blood of open wounds. Part of her mouth had rotted away, leaving bare teeth and gums. There was no hair; her bald scalp now criss-crossed with scarred tissue. She stepped back, falling over the body of one of the Resurrectionists, screaming in pain as she crashed to the earth.

The sound of a motor drew her attention, and she lay still, watching the disembarking troops whose body suits and masks clearly told of their allegiance. It was as she caught the flash of a face behind one mask that her rage began to build, strength burning through her as her anger grew. Tortured muscles twisted and writhed as something new overcame her, hunger. She needed food and her transformed body demanded instant gratification. All thoughts of propriety fled, as Sondra’s new, virus-driven instincts took over. Her body craved fresh meat, and here was a ready meal, just waiting for her.

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Post by MechRat » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:54 am

Ooooh, goody! Made-to-order zombies with a mind... :twisted:
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Post by Rayo Azul » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:39 am

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


Cameron was used to his new body now; at least he had not attempted suicide for the last twenty-four hours, and the Technicians took that as a good sign. Jan had quickly become bored and left, the draw of prisoners to torment was certainly more interesting than the whimpering Cameron.

James was, at last, let out of the confinements of the temporary operating theatre and stomped his way to the Main Hanger. He needed space, although the trailing guards still did not relinquish their watchful duty. It was laughable. With his augmentations, James could destroy them easily. All of his limbs had been replaced with newer and more powerful models, his body encased in armour and his head added to. He carried a helmet under one arm which had been modified to enclose this hasty addition, his purpose less than clear.

Arriving at the cavernous hanger, which still held battle-damaged craft and whose walls were scarred with Jan’s hasty entrance, Cameron made his decision. He settled the helmet over his head, the hiss of the seal comforting him. Data flashed before his eyes as he concentrated; his new link allowing him access to the ship’s main data banks, which gave him exactly what he wanted. Unthinkingly he moved, brushing aside his escort and reaching the shiny exoskeleton which stood half-hidden behind two shuttles.

Alarms began to sound, but James ignored them, settling back into the structure and allowing the clamps to engage. They had given him more than they knew and James was not inclined to turn the favour down. He stood, his new musculature easily handling the extra weight. Synaptic connections allowed him to power up his new ride, the jets flaring as they came on line. Cameron grinned, for the first time in a long while, facing out towards the main exit as he commanded full power.

*

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


Sondra was impatient. Her hunger demanding instant gratification, yet what little control she maintained over her mind, kept her in check. Not yet. They would escape.

*

Captain Theo Sharmer was worried. Detectors had screamed when the virus had been released, activating this operation. He had no doubt that the Colonel was dead, yet he had been trained in containment and clean-up. The Scientists needed information and the twisted corpses could give them that. His team followed, unrolling the body bags ready for specimen collection. Although the detectors had long since gone silent, not one of them was eager to de-suit, nor risk the touch of contact.
He beckoned one of his men forward, having found what was left of the Colonel. The taste of barely suppressed vomit added to his discomfort, but he did his job, checking the dead for the less ravaged, the more useful.

It was as he poked one corpse with the barrel of his rifle, that the nightmare took an even more macabre twist. Something grabbed his ankle, hard teeth ripping and tearing at cloth and then flesh. Sharmer screamed as he fell back, his finger tightening on the trigger of his rifle.

*

As the Captain went down, Sondra smiled; she was not alone. Two more corpses stirred, clawed and bloody hands reaching for the soldiers. As the first volley blew one of her fellow survivors apart, she struck, her teeth biting through cloth and hungrily reaching the inviting flesh beneath.

Not all them rose, but it was enough. Their unexpected attack, manic hunger and powerful muscles dragged the soldiers down. Mere bullets did not stop them. They felt the hunger, pain was inconsequential in comparison. Soon, the only sound was that of grunting and slobbering, as Sondra and her new family dined.


Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


Troops hurried to stop James, plasma rifles live. It was laughable. He killed the jets, his feet picking up the beat without problem. Although the support frames weapons systems were not loaded; missiles, plasma and rail-gun showed empty, that was not all that they had cannibalized from RPB-762 and his brothers. Twin segmented arms snaked forward, curling over the rapidly moving James’ shoulders. At their tips, one carried a whirring saw blade and the other a sharpened point. Who needed missiles?

Blades whipping from side to side, James sliced, diced and skewered as he moved purposefully towards the exit. From his vantage point nearby, Jan watched, and laughed. He would let his protégé have some fun, kill some people. After all, he could bring him back whenever he wanted.

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


As she gorged, the virus worked, reknitting bone, regrowing flesh and revitalising body. The beast within Sondra did not notice, as body mass was reduced to its constituent parts. Blood and gore streaked her face, mouth and hands, but this time it was self-inflicted. When she rose from her kill, replete, no-one would have believed that she had been diseased, death a-walk. Sondra Laing stood, wiped her red-brown hands on the remnants of her clothing and strode away. Behind her, others stood and followed.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:22 pm

Chapter Nine

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


It was light. The early morning sun touched the ridgeline of the small rock outcrop. A road wound carelessly between grey-brown walls. Birds sang, insects buzzed, and the war seemed far away. Troops on patrol moved through the area; tired, discontented and bored. They had recently arrived to bolster defences destroyed by the Protectorate attack and had seen little action. This would change.

High above, greedy eyes devoured the soldiers. It mattered not that their badges were mirrored by those still clinging to tattered cloth. Five beasts waited, whilst a sixth moved into position. The attack would be swift, deadly. No quarter would be given. Hunters did not pity their prey, not when stomachs rumbled anxiously and mouths drooled in anticipation.

*

Sondra held pride of place; she had retained the most, her humanity still hiding beneath more atavistic urges. The others had given in to the virus, which even now demanded sustenance. They had killed and fed the evening before, their bodies now glistening with health; replenished skin and bone had shed the ravages of disease.

A cry sent them into motion, racing towards the milling soldiers. Instinct took over and Sondra pushed aside any misgivings. Her body was not yet complete, she needed fuel and the gunfire brought a promise of ready energy.

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


“How much of the micro-wafer did you recover?” Jan’s voice boomed painfully in the Technician’s ear.

“All of it, as you requested.”

“And how much did you use?”

“All of it…”

“What?”

The roar of Jan’s voice made the Technician take an involuntary step backwards.

“We used every last piece of the micro-wafer cerebrum. It seemed the right thing to do.”

The Technician greeted Jan’s laughter with surprise.

“That…is…priceless…” Jan’s chuckles reverberated round the Control Room.

“May I ask why?”

“No,” casually Jan back-handed the man, his metallic fist crushing the Technician’s skull and sending him crashing against the bulk-head.

“It’s funny,” he continued, ignoring the rest of the Technicians’ frightened cries, “I had my humanity suppressed and you have done the same to a machine. Poor Cameron has no idea what awaits him.”

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Post by Rayo Azul » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:00 pm

The whining saw-blade sheared through the last soldier’s torso and Cameron stopped to admire his handiwork. A charnel house welcomed him. Body parts and partially dismembered corpses littered the hanger. He had been more than efficient. There had been a necessary delay. He now needed to move on and his plans had not changed; he wanted out and nothing now stood in his way.

*

Jan tried to connect with Cameron’s unwelcome guest. RPB-762 still existed and with new programming forced to obey. Cameron’s will would be useless under the machine’s external control. It was most entertaining.

*

Electrical signals flashed across the micro-wafer circuits, activating synapses and powering up the original programming. New commands began to download, pushing and prying their way in. Augmented musculature locked and Jan’s voice giggled insanely from the ship’s speaker system.

“And where do you think you’re going?”

James tried desperately to move but was frozen in place, raging impotently.

*

The micro-wafer brain was a second-generation Protectorate invention. Scientists had deliberately limited its capabilities; no critical mass of self-awareness had been created, leaving the incumbent nothing more than a machine. What the scientists had feared, and Jan’s bumbling Technician had achieved, was the act of exceeding this critical mass. A simple connection to a human brain had been the catalyst. Processing power increased exponentially and RPB-762 gained a parasitic identity; it was Cameron and he it, their was no distinction.

*

Pain exploded in Cameron’s skull, driving him to the floor. Metallic legs folded as he fought to hold back the agony. The giggling had stopped, cursing taking its place, but Cameron had no time for either. His pain had been replaced by wonder. A small voice echoed in his mind…

“…Master?”


Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


Blood dripped from her jaws, spattering Sondra’s already disgusting clothing. With each bite energy coursed through her veins, suffusing her entire being. Muscles swelled, taking on new definition; a creature took shape. Nails hardened into claws, teeth became needle-like, her jaw altering to encompass the over-bite. Thick hair sprouted, cascading down from her crown and reaching her shoulders. She looked up, eyes blazing and saw her new self mirrored in the others.

Feeding became easy; jaws tore chunks of flesh free, crushing bone with ease. Nails shredded armour, releasing the meat beneath. The pack occasionally stopped, one of Sondra’s companions spitting and snarling at another. Disputes seemed common, as they strove to each find their place. Sondra did not care; she was the leader and all knew it.

Her enhanced senses caught an unidentified smell and she growled. Instantly the gorging of her pack mates ceased and they watched her attentively. When she ran, they followed, covering the ground in leaps and bounds. She angled them away from the feasting, leading them back into the shelter of the rocks. Quick barks drove them to silence and crouched down, they waited, new muscles quivering in anticipation.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:50 pm

Chapter Ten

His Word
Outer Planetary System
Gestatin


The Protectorate vessel His Word winked into real space. They had deliberately jumped into the very limits of Gestatin’s system. Jersey City had been their first stop and what they had found there had confirmed their worst fears and driven them here.

His Word was packed with detection equipment and armament. There was a minimal human crew; those sufficient or at least necessary for deployment of Doctor Alberto’s new toys. Euthan Palace had sent its best, unwilling to sit idly by. No mistakes would be tolerated. These RP units were modified, added to and improved. Not only were there examples of Jan’s successors, but also something new. At the outermost limits of detection, four shapes split from the main ship and slowly increased power.

*

“Will it work?”

Inspector Jordan held little faith in machines. He had read of Jan’s awakening and leant towards the Resurrectionists’ viewpoint; machines were dangerous. Where he differed from the hard-line fanatics was that he believed all such weapons should be under Protectorate control, his control.

“Of course,” sneered Doctor Alberto, “there will be no mistakes this time.”

“That is so comforting,” replied Jordan, as he watched the screens showing the status of each of the RP units, “it would be most unfortunate if anything were to go wrong.”

Doctor Alberto was unsure how to take the Inspector’s comments, so he concentrated on what he knew.

“Our drones have also been deployed, they will be sending back data shortly.”

“I thought I told you that they were a risk too far?”

The Doctor winced; he had forgotten that little detail.

“It was decided that we needed confirmation…”

“Decided?” interrupted the Inspector, “You go too far, my good Doctor. Remember the consequences of failure…”

Further discussion was cut short as the drones entered Gestatin’s atmosphere. They had been programmed to deliberately avoid the orbiting vessels, their objective to piece together how fared the Protectorate forces on the ground.

All waited. No identification beacons responded to the drones’ signals. The main city was in ruins and Doctor Alberto took manual control, sending his spies in ever-widening circles. He found the aftermath of the explosion; local carrion birds squabbled over decaying corpses. On he drove his charges, finding the more recent kills. Behind him stood the Inspector, watching, puzzled by the obvious signs of feeding.

“There are no large predators on Gestatin…”

It was a statement. Doctor Alberto merely grunted in agreement. He took one probe to ground level.

“See there?” He was excited, the scientist in him taking over, “They were torn apart, eaten, they…”

He stopped abruptly as the video feed shook. A clawed hand held his probe, all attempts to free it thwarted. Teeth closed over his camera, shredding metal. All went black.

“What was that?” asked the Inspector sharply.

“I have absolutely no idea,” returned the Doctor, “but a most interesting development.”

Jordan stared at the strange scientist in disbelief. Such curiosity was fine in a laboratory, but he had the feeling that none of them were going to like the answer, when it came.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:46 pm

sorry for the delay, another two chapters will be up shortly.

Cheers

Rayo

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Post by Rayo Azul » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:34 pm

...a little bit delayed...more to come...

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


“Who are you?”

James spoke out loud, not sure whether he was imagining things. He would not be surprised to find the existence of multiple personalities in his head; insanity was clearly an option.

“I am you...and you are me...” the voice continued.

“You called me Master...”

"That is all I have ever had. What else is there?”

Cameron discounted another of Jan’s games, intermittent cursing continuing in the background was a give-away. No, this was something new.

“Where are you?”

“I am part of you...we are connected.”

James shivered, now it was clear; the RPB’s brain was alive? Yes, definitely crazy.

“Okay,” he began, “let’s assume I’m not losing it for a moment, and that I believe you. How have you gathered life? You were only a machine.”

“I know,” the voice was child-like, scared, “I was RPB-762. I have that data. The rest of this is new to me. A-a-a-rgh!” Shared pain screamed through James’ body.

“What the frak!”

“We are under attack...” the thin voice strengthened, tinged now with anger, “...and I DON’T LIKE IT!
*

“Ooh,” chuckled Jan, “baby wants to play...”

Further thought was interrupted as alarms began blaring. Four objects had been detected, coming directly for his ship a full power.

“Hello,” he muttered, “now what do we have here?”

Although the ship’s system could not identify his unknown assailants, Jan recognised their distinctive signatures.

“Time to go, I think,” and he surged towards the hanger, all thought of Cameron’s torture forgotten.

*

“We’ve been detected!” Doctor Alberto said, scurrying from one screen to another.

“I can see that,” replied Jordan, “now what are you going to do about it?”

“Just watch,” said the Doctor, activating he RP units fully.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:54 pm

“We have a problem...”

James was still recovering from the intense pain, and only listened half-heartedly.

“The ship is under attack,” insisted his new partner.

“From whom?”

“I do not know...but they are of Protectorate design. My estimations would suggest RP units.”

“Like you?”

“No,” replied RPB-762, “not like us. They are something that I do not recognise.”

Jan crashed past them, activating his jets as he ran. “Coming?” he quipped as he disappeared through the exit.

Cameron tried to follow, but crashed head-long to the floor. None of his limb would respond; it was if they fought against him.

“Frak!” he cursed, and tried again.

“That will not work,” replied 762, “allow me...”

Now he began to move in a disjointed fashion, puppet-like.

“Stop that!” James shouted, slapping one hand against his helmet, “I’m in charge here.”

He felt 762 recede, allowing him access to his notor functions. Cameron began to pick up speed. Without weapons, he was a sitting duck, and he had a real bad feeling about this.

*

“Target the outer ship,” ordered Jordan, “it will be a good test.”

Doctor Alberto grinned, sending his commands. They saw first one, then another shape flash away from the second vessel, angling down towards the planet.

“Ignore them,” snapped the Inspector, “we know where they are when we want them. Now get on with it!”

The Doctor gritted his teeth; he was not used to being treated this way. Well, soon enough, the correct order would be established. Fingers flying, he programmed his commands, setting the RP units into full attack mode. One last stroke of his fingers and he sat back, the show was about to begin

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Post by BeoWolf » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:25 am

Nice, so Cameron has a buddy in his head...mmmmm
Stay true to the dream of the Kerensky's, now and always.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:17 pm

BeoWolf wrote:Nice, so Cameron has a buddy in his head...mmmmm
Yes he does 8)

Going thrugh the next two chapters with a red pen right now for editting. Once finished they will be posted :D

Cheers

Rayo

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Post by Rayo Azul » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:18 pm

Rayo Azul wrote:
BeoWolf wrote:Nice, so Cameron has a buddy in his head...mmmmm
Yes he does 8)

Going thrugh the next two chapters with a red pen right now for editting. Once finished they will be posted :D

Cheers

Rayo
See what I mean?

Going thrOugh the next two chapters with a red pen right now for ediTing.

:oops:

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Post by Rayo Azul » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:25 pm

Chapter Eleven

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


Sondra scraped her claws along the remains of the probe’s body. It was curious, not of local design, which suggested that they were about to have visitors. With only five followers, she would have little chance of survival and therefore propagation was the only tool.

It would be difficult to control the other five; they wanted, no needed, to kill. What she had planned was something quite different. She bared her teeth in a strange approximation of a grin; if there was enough prey, they could not kill them all, could they?

*

The fifteen man patrol was searching. They had lost contact with their comrades earlier in the day and all semblance of boredom had well and truly disappeared. Other forces were scouring contiguous segments and kept in constant contact. Rumour had it, that the Protectorate had launched another attack and this idea held sway until they found the bodies.

The afternoon heat had already begun to bloat what was left. Rotting flesh, blood and worse stained the earth, with more than a little fresh vomit being added to the stench. Chewed limbs, cracked bone and strange tracks covered the ground. Weapons ready, the patrol fanned out; no-one was taking any chances. Still, they missed the important tell-tales and rifles did not react until Sondra and her beasts were amongst them. He had decided that no restraint was the best policy. They could kill, she would infect.

Auto-rifles chattered wildly as the pack struck; more bullets slamming into soil than beast. Those that did find their target were ignored; fresh meat would soon cure all wounds.

Sondra waited until a terrified soldier scurried her way. Clawed hands cupped his skull, bending him backwards. Fangs slid free from their gum sheaths and she wasted no time, piercing his neck and pumping poison into willing flesh. This venom was pure virus; deadly in its effectiveness.
She dropped his twitching body, leaping past one of her fellows, tearing him aside, cracking armour and biting, before once more continuing on her mission. Two more. It was a start. Looking up, she saw another. Eyes glinting, she attacked.

*

The virus was changing; improving itself and its carriers. It had become selective in transmission; food was food procreation was another thing. There was only a simple sentience in its make-up: carriers provided mental and physical capacity. In Sondra, it had found a soul-mate. Her rage and need for vengeance gave the virus a base of operations; it did not want her higher functions activated. Physical need was all that mattered.

Rayo Azul
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Post by Rayo Azul » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:33 pm

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Outer Planetary Limits


Jan’s abandoned followers did their best, but they were no match for Alberto’s creations. These RP units were les humanoid in shape; functional attack units designed to operate both in and out of atmosphere. Rail-guns barked; projectiles smashing their way through defences and ripping through the outer ship’s hull. It had arrived from Jersey City almost derelict and Alberto’s babies were about to complete the job.

Specialist missiles flew from one RP unit; their outer casings opened half-way to their target. Secondary motors kicked in, boosting their payload. On impact, a thin net of micro-fine wire deployed, forming a sparkling spider’s web, through which a high voltage charge raced. A directed EM pulse resulted, crippling large sections of the stricken vessel’s controls. Now, already weakened, defensive systems failed; gun turrets falling idle, anti-missile mounts silent and communications died, their chatter abruptly cut off.

In his Control Room, Doctor Alberto smiled as he watched his machines’ frightful armament spin into action.

*

Cameron did not follow Jan’s flight path. The mad man-machine was not his first choice of companion and he needed time to assimilate all of his options. Once through atmosphere, he arrowed away from any signs of habitation, looking for and finding isolation in a small mountain range just outside the city.

Jan had no such compunction. He needed ammunition and followers. The first large, and still standing, city was his objective. Speed was required, either to find a means of escape or cannon fodder willing to die for him.

Gestatin
Third Ecclisiarch Protectorate
Zone of Conflict


Sondra hunkered down; infected bodies dragged close and lined up carefully around her. The sound of feeding into her silent observation, but she ignored it. Viral infestation was well under way and it was key that the first imprint was that of her leadership. Food, in the guise of a pair of corpses, was nearby; given freely it would help the process. She snarled protectively if any ventured too close, and waited.

After a short time, she noted the first signs of reawakening and casually tore an arm from the nearest body. As feral eyes stared into hers, Sondra tossed her bloody offering forward. Good. It was working.

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Post by Rayo Azul » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:01 pm

Cameron was confused. He had followed the sounds of battle and now watched the beasts feed. They could be nothing else; animals whose urges were clear. Yet, one sat apart, crooning softly to its reanimated charges.

“What are we doing?”
“Waiting,” replied Cameron, “and hiding, just in case.”

“Are you frightened?”

“Always,” replied Cameron, as he watched the gruesome conductor play her new audience, “and especially now.”

Bright light sparkled high above, and his conjoined senses recognised the death of a ship high above the planet. For the light show to have been visible from here, the destructive process must have been intense. It did not bode well.

*

Inspector Jordan laughed joyfully. At times he forgot how much he enjoyed his vocation, and then there were days like these. Doctor Alberto’s creations had performed well; their attack had been efficient and deadly. The Protectorate’s faith now totally repaid in violent action.

“No time for reverie,” Doctor Alberto’s voice rasped through the fanatical Inspector’s glee, “we should end this, now.”

“Of course,” said Jordan, “what next?”

“Our true goal can now be fulfilled,” the Doctor said, his finger following the flight path written across the data screen, this city could hide the rogue unit, but not its electrical signature. My suggestion is that we deal with the RPB’s separately. If subtlety is impossible, then we use overkill.”

One eyebrow rose questioningly in Jordan’s austere features.

“We remove the city and the threat in one.”

Jordan’s face creased into a satisfied smile, “Do it,” he said, his eyes flicking back to the destruction before him. Could the day get any better?

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Post by Rayo Azul » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:02 pm

You guys want more...let me know