Solid serve deserving of a bump.
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Aug 6, 2017gorgenmast posted a message on [www.craftia.co.uk] - World of Craftia - Towny/PvPPosted in: PC Servers
Sep 23, 2014gorgenmast posted a message on General Roleplaying Discussion and Information ThreadDON'T CALL ME GORG, THERE'S AN ENMAST IN MY NAMEPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
Feb 28, 2014gorgenmast posted a message on General Roleplaying Discussion and Information ThreadNobody's stopping you. I just can't imagine it will be wildly successful, though.Posted in: Forum Roleplaying
Feb 28, 2014Northern InvictusPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
With a white knuckled grip on the side railing, Captain Homsy craned his head into the surging currents of wind beyond the the OTHV's rails. His chest heaved and he winced as his stomach tried fruitlessly to empty itself, bringing the familiar bite of stomach acid to the back of his tongue. He cast the bad taste from his mouth in a wad of foamy saliva that instantly whipped away behind the hovercraft in the wind.
"I do not understand how you can still be so ill, Captain." Dr. Bragg said to the captain over the howling wind. "This degree of sickness is unprecedented in my experience. Granted, of course, my sample size for drawing such conclusions is rather small. You and Oleg are the only other people I've seen since the Olympus."
"I wish I knew, Doc." Homsy replied once he had pulled his head back over the rails. Of course, Homsy knew exactly what was wrong, and he knew full well that there would be no treating it. Even on Earth, treating severe radiation sickness was a delicate operation. A whole suite of medications and antibiotics accompanied by several blood transfusions would be required in most cases. But on this remote world, finding any of these things would be all but impossible. There was nothing this quack could do to save him.
"Could it be some form of alien disease?" Homsy asked, playing dumb.
"I should think not. Nothing is actually known about the Invictan microbiota, but from what was transmitted from the last transmissions Earth received from the Ararat there was no mention made of any kind of native pathogen. That is not to say that I don't believe disease-causing microorganisms have not evolved on this planet. My hypothesis simply holds that Invictan microorganisms lack the biochemical means to infect Earth life."
"You mean humans are immune to the diseases on this planet?"
"Quite possibly. On Earth, viruses and most bacteria possess extremely specific mechanisms that allow them to infect a narrow range of hosts. A single deviation or mutation within said mechanisms in nearly every case renders a given pathogen entirely incapable of infecting its typical host organism. And on this planet, with it's biochemistries that have evolved completely independently of Earth's, I would be very surprised to see a microogranism on Invictus capable of affecting any Earth life."
Homsy looked away from Dr. Bragg down to the land racing by beneath the OTHV. Some twenty meters beneath the vehicle, the rolling grasslands of the savanna had given way to much more rugged terrain. Rocky buttes and and jagged outcrops flew past. The yellowish-orange grass that dominated the savanna was confined to sandy washes on the banks of dry arroyos that separated the rocky outcrops. On the horizon before Oleg at the hovercraft's controls, the sky met Invictus on a jagged maw of painted mesas and rocky spires - the treacherous badlands at the base of the great planet-spanning mountain range.
"Where are you taking us?" Homsy asked Oleg.
"You said you wanted us to find survivor, yes?" The Russian called back from the front of the craft. "The night before, Doktor and I saw light in sky come down into northwest. Made big flash in sky like a shooting star. I think it may have been glider or pod maybe. Maybe you will find survivor there."
"You knew that there may have been other survivors in the region, and you didn't think to ride out on to see if they were alright?" The Captain asked rather accusatorily. Oleg responded with a weak shrug and returned his full attention to piloting the craft.
"Down there!" Dr. Bragg cried out, pointing down to the ground below. "There it is!" Captain Homsy clambered over to the doctor's side of the hovercraft and looked down to where Dr. Bragg was pointing. Three giant deflated parachutes draped themselves over the side of a dusty butte which ran via a network of cables and cords to a cylindrical mass of charred steel resting on its side in the sandy trough between the butte and another sheer wall of rock.
"Landing pod." Oleg recognized.
"It doesn't seem there's anyone around." Noted Dr. Bragg.
"They must have established a camp somewhere nearby. Oleg, turn around and put us down at that pod." Homsy commanded. "We're going to get out and find them."
Oleg aknoweldged the Captain's instructions with a nod and made a banked turn through the air. The walls of the canyon rose up around them as the OTHV descended down into the sandy arroyo. Oleg feathered a joystick on the console of the vehicle as they lowered down toward the derelict landing pod, bringing the craft to a gentle hover over the sand and sending a thin cloud of airborne dust scattering about from under the vehicle. From beneath their feet came the mechanic whine of the hydraulic landing legs being unstowed, followed by a soft bump as the four mechanical legs locked themselves into place. With that, Oleg flipped a knob on the console which brought the thrusters underneath the craft to a sudden, jarring stop. The craft fell a little less than a meter before the legs dug into the gritty soil and brought the craft to rattling halt. Captain Homsy heaved from the drop.
"Oleg!" An annoyed doctor whined. "For the fifth time already, do mind the drop!"
"If you don't like how I drive, why not you try?" Asked Oleg with a taunting grin as he heft the railgun back into his arms. Dr. Bragg quickly dropped the issue and followed Captain Homsy in stepping of the OTHV into the canyon.
Sand and gravel crunched underfoot as the trio hiked over the derelict landing pod. A thick layer of char and soot from the heat of atmospheric entry coated the length of the pod, yet it seemed to have landed with it's structural integrity in check. The parachutes which now flapped limply in the wind against the canyon wall had apparently deployed successfully. Those within the landing pod should have survived; Homsy was convinced that the survivors were nearby.
"This is Captain Homsy of the UNIS Olympus! I've come to extract any survivors and administer medical care to those who might be wounded!" Only echoes and the wind whistling through the canyon offered any response.
"Oh my!" Dr. Bragg exclaimed, drawing the attention of both Oleg and Captain Homsy. "There are tracks in the sand!" Homsy and Oleg regrouped around Dr. Bragg and squatted down over the stretch of sand in question. Dr. Bragg produced his giant scalpel from an inside pocket within his labcoat, drawing a nervous glance from Homsy as he pointed into the sand and drew over the outline of an individual footprint.
"How curious..." Bragg mused as he examined the print. "It seems these were made by some sort of digitigrade biped."
"Meaning what exactly?"
"An organism walking upon two limbs was here. Stride length of nearly a meter. " Dr. Bragg rambled.
"There are more over there." Oleg noted, pointing to the left near the dry creekbed.
"We don't have time for any of this." Captain Homsy groaned as he stood back up and continued toward the pod. Bragg and Oleg remained behind as Homsy made his way to the pod's entry hatch. As he walked alongside the giant landing craft, he banged his fist against the metal to get the attention of anyone inside. As he neared the open hatch, Homsy noticed more of the same footprints Dr. Bragg had found earlier. All of which seemed to converge upon the open hatch.
The pod's entry hatch was completely open, and little pieces of debris lay half-buried in the sand nearby. On the metal frame of the hatch, dusty prints marred the charred metal. Some alien must have rooted around inside the abandoned landing pod, Homsy decided. Not wanting to stumble upon a nesting alien, the captain beat his balled fist upon the hull of the pod again.
"Anyone in there?!" He called into the craft - no response. Deciding whatever creature that had investigated the derelict pod had since left, Homsy crawled into the porthole and tumbled into the lopsided pod.
Flickering fluorescent light fixtures provided intermittent illumination within the pod. Immediately, Homsy could see the inside had been thoroughly trashed by whatever animal had rooted about inside of it. Ribbons of torn seat upholstery and wires hung downward. Immediately Homsy was grateful that whatever it was that he and this alien had not crossed paths.
Homsy attempted to set his palm down against the wall, but immediately retracted it when he felt a cold stickyness where his hand had touched. Upon inspecting his palm, Homsy was horrified to find it coated in dark, coagulated blood. His eyes shot to where he had placed his hand and discovered a fine spray of blood drying against the wall of the spacecraft. Homsy's heart raced as his eyes shot around the interior of the pod. In the flickering light, he could see several chairs had been positively drenched blood, leaving dark swathes of sticky moisture on the ripped upholstery. In the rear of the pod, centipede-like scavengers nibbled upon congealed blood and gore. Something truly horrible had happened within the confines of this landing pod. In a panicked scramble, Captain Homsy crawled back to the hatch and tumbled gracelessly down into the gritty sand and then vomited nothing yet again.
"But take note of these tracks here." Dr. Bragg said to Oleg, oblivious to the horror Homsy had witnessed within the pod. "It seems this animal possesses two tails. How very peculiar!" Oleg squatted down with the railgun cradled within his arms and inspected the tracks more closely.
"These did not come from tail." Oleg decided grimly. "I have seen tracks like this before in Krygyz Mountains."
"How can that be? This organism is clearly distinct from any present on Earth."
"The Mujahedin would take sympathizers at night, drag them out of village. Just like this. This was no animal, doktor. Whatever did this knew what it did - taking survivors from pod into the rocks."
"They're dead!" Captain Homsy called out once he had recovered, jogging limply over to Oleg and Dr. Bragg.
"My God." Exclaimed Dr. Bragg. "This kind of hunting and retrieval technique thusfar has been exclusive to ancient hominid species on Earth! These organisms are quite possibly sapient! Do either of you realize what this means?!"
"We are not alone..." Oleg mumbled, leveling his giant railgun.
"Precisely!" Dr. Bragg estatically declared.
"No! Up there!" The Russian raised the railgun barrel up the canyon wall. A trickle of disturbed pebbles could be heard clinking against the sloping rock faces on the way down. Without further hesitation, Oleg pulled the trigger and sent a railgun shell screaming up at the lip of the canyon at several times the speed of sound with a thunderous bang. The lip of the canyon exploded into several tons of pulverized rock that tumbled down the canyon in an avalanche of clattering rock. Between the intermittent popping of echoing sonic booms, raucous alien screeches could be heard from beyond the lip of the canyon. Whatever hid beyond the precipice of the canyon had been hurt by the shrapnel or, at the very least, frightened by the explosion.
"Oh dear..." Dr. Bragg uttered worriedly. "This is not how I had hoped First Contact would transpire. Not at all."
"Get to the OTHV! Now!" Homsy commanded, shoving the despondent scientist forward to the waiting hovercraft. Oleg fell back behind them soon afterward with his railgun pointed at the source of a cacophonous chorus of vengeful battle whoops.
Feb 26, 2014Northern InvictusPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
"Captain?" Dr. Bragg asked, tugging softly on Homsy's shoulder. "Captain Homsy, do say something if you can hear me."
The captain opened his eyes to see the labcoat-sporting scientist looking down upon him. Above the doctor's face, the ceiling of a pristine white tent held upright by fiberglass struts could be seen. He had been placed in some kind of field hospital tent - but he could not remember for the life of him where he was or how he had come to be here.
"Is this the rally point?" Homsy asked groggily as he massaged the mucus from his eyes.
"Oh, well... no I'm afraid. We're rather distant from the designated landing site. Perhaps 4.5 thousand kilometers to the northeast by my estimation. But nevermind any of that. I'm simply glad I was able to rectify your condition!"
"Four thousands kilometers?!" Homsy spat, bolting up off his padded mat upon the dusty stone floor. He couldn't believe he had been thrown so far away from the rendezvous point. "Wait. What do you mean 'my condition'?"
"Well, Captain." Dr. Bragg cleared his throat. "You became unconscious during the ride. Your blood sugar was dreadfully low. I imagine you hadn't eaten since the Olympus. So I took the liberty of administering an injection of glucose to the bloodstream. " The doctor retrieved an emptied syringe from the breast pocket of his stained lab coat, twirled it about his fingers, and set it down on a collapsible desk at the velcro door of the medical tent.
"You 'took the liberty' of giving me an injection of blood sugar?" Homsy asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Why of course!" Bragg called back to the recovering captain as he plucked a number of surgical instruments from a slender case upon the desk.
"As much as I appreciate your efforts. I understand that you can't simply give people injections of that sort of thing. I'm hardly an expert in the medical field, but I realize that if you had made some sort of mistake..."
"Tsk, tsk." Dr. Bragg shook his head as he took his handful of tools and made his way across the tent. "Captain Homsy, I think that you will soon come to discover that seldom do I ever make mistakes."
Homsy's eyes followed the doctor as he made his way behind him to the rear of the tent. As he turned his head over his shoulders to watch Dr. Bragg, Captain Homsy noticed for the first time the alien corpse laying on the ground just behind him. It was slightly smaller in size than a cow, but most closely resembled some sort of dinosaur in appearance. A mane of rigid spines ran down the back from its head. A four-eyed face twisted into a final twinge of agony as it looked upside-down at the captain; its insides splayed open and exposed to the tent ceiling. Homsy flinched with instinctive horror and launched himself off of the bedding mat and across the tent. "What in the hell is that?!" He practically screamed.
"This?" Doctor Bragg asked rhetorically as he gestured at the half-dissected alien with a scythelike scalpel comparable in size to a machete. "Why this is the holotype specimen of Xenotherium cnidocalamensis! It represents a very interesting class of fauna I've observed whilst in the field. Notice the quills radiating from the dorsal reg-"
"No, no." Homsy groaned as his fear gave way to irritation. As he looked over the dead creature, he took note of a puddle of purplish alien blood congealing onto the tarp as a mass of jellylike ichor from a wound that looked suspiciously like a railgun exit wound on its shoulder. Homsy understood now what the doctor and Oleg had been doing when they had discovered him. "I mean why is that in here?"
"And leave it outside for opportunists to scavenge upon?" Doctor Bragg asked incredulously as he set to work liberating the creature's skin, cleaving fiberous layers of connective matter with feathering strokes of the the monstrous scapel. "Are you quite sure you're feeling completely well, Captain?"
"I'm sorry!" Captain Homsy declared insincerely. "I just find it a little strange that you're occupying yourself with this science project when there are half a million people scattered around a deserted planet crawling with dangerous wildlife. Don't you think that your talents might be put to better use anywhere else? Exactly what kind of doctor do you think you are?" Doctor Bragg's head poked back out of the chest cavity of the alien specimen with an annoyed grimace. The Captain's words had clearly hit a nerve.
"I will have you know, Captain Homsy, that I hold a Philosophical Doctorate from Oxford University in the discipline of Zoological Sciences!" The Doctor bristled. "I should think I am more than capable of judging where my talents are needed, thank you!"
"Philosophical Doctorate?" Homsy repeated. "You're not actually a doctor at all then."
"STOP SAYING THAT!" Dr. Bragg screamed, stabbing the hooked blade of his curved scalpel deep into the dissected alien's leg in blind rage. Homsy backed away cautiously as he allowed the scientist a moment to regain his composure. "It perturbs me so to be compared to some lowly physician, to say nothing of considered less than one of those unthinking drones."
The flaps of the tent 'door' swooshed open, allowing both Oleg and the midday heat of the savanna into the tent.
"I heard shout. Is everything alright?"
"We're fine, Oleg. Thank you." Homsy spoke up. "But if you would, I need you to start that hovercraft again."
"What for?" Asked Oleg with a raised eyebrow.
"I want to put this infirmary to better use. We're going to search for other survivors and have our doctor here see to it that they are in perfect condition." Homsy shot a look back at Dr. Bragg. "So I'd find a good stopping point on your dissection right about now because you're coming with us."
"Ridiculous!" Bragg declared. "I will do no such thing!"
"Let's not forget," Said Homsy as he gagged briefly. "I am still the captain of this mission." With that, Captain Homsy stepped outside into the radiant light of 75 Sotelo. Oleg looked expectantly to Dr. Bragg.
"Come along now, doktor."
"Do not tell me you're going to do as he says!"
"Why would I not? He is kapitan." And so, Oleg left the Doctor alone in his tent. "Come along, now!" The hulking Russian commanded again from outside the tent. With a frustrated huff, Dr. Bragg stormed out of the tent after Oleg and Homsy with a small medical kit and the giant scalpel in hand.
Feb 23, 2014Posted in: Forum RoleplayingQuote from HugTheZombies
I'm not sure the UN would go to such lengths. They're mentioned as being oppressive but I don't think they're on the level of North Korea. And I don't think they'd go so far for a single person who doesn't even seem that important to the project overall. And I don't think they'd risk him trying to get some vengeance by sabotaging the ship or something.
I don't know, the story just seems really off and unlikely. And you don't really give us a reason for why he's so valuable to the UN.
Agreed. The UN has so much on its plate I can't imagine it has the time to micromanage and mess with individuals to this extent. Even so, such brutality seems out of line. The UN's being oppressive because it has its hands full running the world and has to rule with an iron fist - not because its fun - fun to do bad things.
The simplest fix to your application would be to replace the United Nations with the mob/cartels/loan sharks/etc. This sort of brutality seems more in line with criminals of that grain anyway. Otherwise, it's good by me.
Name: Alice, designation Administration and Mediation Assistance Android Mark 6.3(AMAA Mk 6.3)-1643
Occupation: A lifelike android designed to provide administrative and diplomatic assistance on military, corporate, and federal assignments. “She” can be addressed either by her casual name, Alice, or with her official designation of AMAA-1643 or AMAA Mk6.3-1643. Although she specializes in diplomacy, management, and administration, Alice is also skilled in numerous other professions such as applied and theoretical sciences, tactics, and applied sciences, she is not as skilled in such professions as those who specialize in such fields. She is trained in basic forms of combat, though only to such an extent that she can defend herself in minor situations.
Bio: Alice was created for the purpose of administration on the Olympus’s mission, in the event of a break in the chain of command. Her construction finished in the year 2172, immediately followed by her programming and special training for the (hopefully) oncoming of the mission to Invictus. Although her construction was based on the AMAA Mk. 6.0 class of androids, her design itself was drastically different in that she was designed to be self-powered for extended periods of time, using built-in piezoelectric generators and photovoltaic collectors. Despite this, though, she cannot overexert herself without requiring recharge time. Her appearance was designed specifically to make people feel comfortable around her while maintaining an aura of respect. Additionally, she was given the unusual feature of her being programmed to be able to utilize multiple personalities and mental profiles to better adapt to diplomacy or mediation with various people, though she almost always maintains the same experience and barely wears anything but her standard UN jumpsuit.
Partly due to the fact that she was designed to behave in a friendly manner, Alice is somewhat notorious for being overtly flirtatious and sometimes even sexual towards and around her inferiors and amongst civilians, despite her normally tomboyish manner of acting. She still is not incredibly forceful, and will easily back off when asked except in the event that doing so would override her primary assignment – to ensure that order remains on Invictus. She will almost constantly be trying to help others and sometimes appears to become almost excessively involved in the affairs of others, which see will always see out to the very end. She has not yet been activated since being placed on the Olympus, although most any military officer should be able to activate her relatively easily.
Since the breakup of the Olympus, she remains one of the most advanced pieces of technology that survived the breakup of the colony ship, and it is yet unknown what the true extent of the damage she received truly is.
::Parcel Inspected - AMAA Mk6.3-1643::
::Baggage and Equipment Management::
<< Receipt of this SMS indicates that Parcel 3201-A8Y313: [AMAA Mk6.3-1643] satisfies all requirements for preflight inspections conducted by United Nations Interstellar Spacecraft: Olympus Baggage and Equipment Management. This parcel will be transferred to the vessel on the soonest resupply flight [Monday, September 24 - Cape Canaveral]. No further action is required on recipient's part. >>
Feb 21, 2014Hayyyy boys.Posted in: Forum Roleplaying
I signed up for a paypal account today and I'm offering to make concept art, maps, and any other RP artwork for a reasonable price. Just pm me and we can iron out what you want done. Shit's free for Precipricks, doe.
Feb 20, 2014Savanna, Northern InvictusPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
Captain Homsy shuffled across the alien grassland in a desperate bid to reach the safety of the outcrop several hundred meters away as the ground trembled beneath him. All around him, the extraterrestrials watering themselves at the surrounding rivulets had scattered into the hills before the nearing behemoth, indicating to Homsy that whatever it was that approached these lowlands was incredibly dangerous. But after extended time in non-stasis zero-G and the agonizing nausea pulsing through his insides, Homsy found the distance between himself and the safety of the stones was a formidable gulf to traverse.
Some 50 meters from the inviting nooks and crevices of the outcropping, the captain lost his balance and planted himself into the spongy growth with a pained "oomph". His empty stomach coiled and he gagged ineffectually, yielding only a wad of bitter phlegm. Immediately, the captain sprawled out his arms and tried to lift himself off the ground. The muscles in his arm quivered and ached, but failed to pull his body off of the ground.
As Homsy fell, he felt the shaking of the soil coursing within him. He noticed that this rumbling did not come in short bursts of shaking, but rather as a continuous trembling of the ground like an earthquake - countless footfalls crashing down and shaking the world around him. It was not one creature that approached, but thousands of them.
Like a flood, they surged over the hills and down into the valleys to the west, fell down into the valleys and bottomlands, and then rose up again over the nearest row of hills. A churning mass of alien bodies charged down the hills in blind fear. A cacophony of alien shrieks and squawks barraged Homsy's eardrums as the stampede barreled ever closer. Knowing full well that he would not make it to the safety of the outcrop, Captain Homsy laid himself flatly onto the ground and covered his neck with his hands.
The rumbling of the ground reached a thunderous climax as the stampede reached him. The beasts galloped across the land on three spindly legs. A flat, shieldlike crest that served as their head bore single glassy eyespot at the front. With only one eye it was little wonder the tripeds were so clumsy; as they ran, they frequently butted and rammed into the sides of their herdmates on accident. If the stampede was running as blindly as it seemed, Homsy would certainly be trampled.
The legs of a gangly triped approached the captain at an alarming speed. The beast did not seem to be aware of the human mere meters ahead of it. Homsy closed his eyes and braced for the alien's feet to fall upon his back fully expecting the alien to run him over. As his eyes shut, a sharp crack of thunder resonated across the land. In front of Homsy's face, the savanna growth covering the soil exploded in a geyser of loosed soil and showered him in cool, moist dirt. He re-opened his eyes and where alien ground cover had been moments before, he saw a gaping, steaming crater that could comfortably fit a pumpkin. Even over the shrieking tripeds, the cracking report still echoed off the land as residual supersonic pops rumbling in the air. There was no mistaking such a sound; Captain Homsy had been fired upon with a railgun.
As they approached the steaming hole in the soil, the alien stampede parted and circled around, leaving Captain Homsy miraculously unscathed. All around him, a solid wall of alien muscle coursed around him as the tripeds pushed upon one another to avoid the crater. The beasts, with their assumed poor eyesight, must have thought the crater a threat and so steered clear of it. Captain Homsy, upon reaching this conclusion, struggled back to his feet and swung his arms out around him in an attempt to ward off the tripeds. Another thunderous railgun report split the air, followed immediately after by another. There was no doubt - someone was shooting at the herd with a railgun. Another survivor had to be nearby.
The stampede had thinned out at last, leaving only the slower tripeds trailing behind the bulk of the herd and a savanna pocked with countless footprints and torn sod. Looking into the sky above the hills, Homsy saw what the stampede was trying to escape. A single Over-Terrain Hover Vehicle arced over the hills on a trail of blue exhaust emanating from its ventral and aft thrusters as it chasing behind the herd. The OTHV raced across the sky, until it made a sudden, sharp turn to the east of Homsy. The craft turned about toward the captain while descending jerkily down to the plains. It sped across the land and pulled up beside Homsy before coming to a sudden, jarring stop before the dumbstruck captain. The OTHV hovered for a bit before the engines cut out abruptly and the vehicle dropped unceremoniously down onto its landing legs.
"Do mind the drop!" The lone passenger commanded with a comically-Cockneyed accent. A spindly, pale man dressed in a white lab coat splattered with a palette of colorful stains hopped over the side railing of the aircraft's platform and landed with a soft thud on the alien ground cover. A wavy mop of unkempt brown hair bounced upon his head as his feet hit the ground.
"Why good afternoon, sir! I am quite glad to see another friendly face out here! I must say, I am rather impressed that you were not squashed underfoot by that herd of Scutocephalus uncinensis!"
"I'm afraid I don't follow." A confused Captain Homsy admitted. "What was that, now?"
"Scutocephalus? Why, that's the genus name!" The man in the lab coat declared emphatically, raising a pointed finger to the sky. "I have taken it upon myself to begin assigning proper taxanomical nomenclature to the organisms of Invictus."
"I'm sorry... I still don't understand."
"That make two of us." A gravelly Russian accent interjected. Homsy and the scientist turned to the OTHV, where a hulking bear of a man stepped off of the hovercraft's platform. Slung against his shoulder was an enormous firearm pointed safely into the air - the railgun Homsy had nearly been shot by. His grey blue eyes sat underneath an overhanging caveman brow and looked him over from toe to head.
"Erick Homsy?" The gunman asked, noticing the "HOMSY" printed under his vacsuit's mission patch. "I thought you stay behind."
"Captain Homsy?" The scientist perked up. "Good heavens!" The wiry man in the labcoat tore at the captain's right arm and shook his gloved hand vigorously. "Captain Homsy! How could I have not recognized you? It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance! I am Doctor Geoffrey Bragg."
"And who is your partner?" Asked Homsy.
"Oh... right." Dr. Bragg muttered, turning to the Russian with the railgun. "That is... Oh, drat. His name escapes me at the moment..."
"Oleg. Oleg Gorbunov." The caveman of a Slav finished for the Doctor. "But tell me, kapitan. How you survive when ship explode in sky."
"I don't know myself." Homsy admitted. "I was inside the Olympus one second. The next, I..." Without warning, Homsy doubled over and dry heaved again. The captain fell to his knees as he allowed the bile to drain out of his mouth.
"Good heavens!" Dr. Bragg exclaimed. "He appears to be regurgitating..."
"Very observant!" Captain Homsy snarled before his throat filled with bile again.
"Very ill. We need take him back to camp." Oleg declared, grabbing the captain around the chest and carrying him over to the OTHV.
"Camp? Oh, right! A novel plan, indeed." Dr. Bragg agreed, following behind Oleg onto the platform of the hovercraft. "Take us back to the camp and I'll attend to what ails our dear Captain! Let's be off!"
Feb 17, 2014Catalan Coast, SpainPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
The thwocking din of the helicopter's blades faded into nothingness as the aircraft's flashing strobes climbed away into the starry distance, leaving Alfonso Sotelo alone in the countryside. For the first time since he had been elected as Spain's Prime Minister, he was truly alone. No advisers, no chauffeurs, no foreign dignitaries, Cazador bodyguards or sharpshooters watching from behind the eaves of buildings. As the dust from the helicopter settled down around the solitary Prime Minister, crickets and frogs in the hills around him regained the courage to continue their vernal song. In the soft moonlight, Sotelo spotted a patch of springtime crocuses glowing blue in the soft lunar light. The Prime Minister squatted down to the bed of purple flowers and plucked four the larger blossoms. With a handful of flowers in hand, Sotelo made for a sheep-carved rut through the grass.
Gravel and dirt crunched beneath the soles of polished leather shoes as he followed the winding game trail around the hills. As he went down the path, Sotelo considered briefly how his advisers and staff would react to knowing that he had slipped from the Erntemond in the night without so much as a single guard to accompany him. The advisers would certainly not be enthused with their Prime Minister's reckless venture, but they would keep their criticisms to themselves if they were wise. Their opinions be damned - Sotelo would not let the opportunity to return here slip past him again. It had been far too long since he had visited her.
At the peak of a scrubby knoll, Sotelo oriented himself with the moonlit countryside. To the east, the city lights of Estartit twinkled along the coast. It had been nearly five years since Sotelo had been here, and the darkness did little to help his recollection. Even so, Sotelo recognized a stand of bare-limbed poplars to the north. And atop a hill near the leafless copse glowed a single warm light in the window of a modest chapel. It was there that Sotelo would find her.
As Sotelo approached the chapel, he saw no sign of the priest charged with this rural temple. Lonely candles flickered with orange light in the embedded within the stucco walls. Sotelo breathed a sigh of relief as he climbed the hill up toward the chapel. At last, they could be alone together.
He slipped past the front steps of the church and walked alongside the perimeter of the chapel walls to the rear of the edifice. Behind the church, through an arch within a vine-tangled wall, was a yard strewn with three-dozen modest headstones. With solemn steps, Alfonso Sotelo stepped beyond the threshold into the cemetery. Sotelo made his way to a grave near a knotty juniper tree at the far end of the graveyard. He stood solemnly at the foot of the headstone and read the epitaph over several times. "ESTELA HINOJOSA-SOTELO" it read. The Prime Minister fell to his knees at the stone.
"Mi querida..." Alfonso whispered. "He te extrañado muchisimo."
"How I have missed you." He repeated. The wind blowing through the needles of the spindly evergreen beside the grave was his only response.
"I have accomplished incredible things since I have last seen you." Alfonso continued. "I wish you could see what I have done for this country. I have given this nation its spine back. The world now trembles at the very mention of the Second Republic. Everything that I have fought to see reach fruition is now at hand..." He winced as a painful knot formed in his throat. Tears leaked out from behind his eyelids and dribbled down his nose in moistened streams.
"But..." Alfonso sobbed. "I still feel so empty."
His back heaved as his heavy sobs worked their way out of Alfonso Sotelo's lungs.
"When you passed. I thought to direct myself at my work. I thought it to be the only thing that could fill this void you left within me... But nothing fulfills me anymore, querida." Sotelo admitted. "I want for nothing now."
"I want you again, querida." Alfonso sobbed. "I want you back. Nothing else."
Alfonso deposited the crocuses at the base of his wife's grave stone; his tears upon the soil that covered her body.
Feb 16, 2014The Coast, Northern InvictusPosted in: Forum Roleplaying
For an hour, Captain Homsy lay limply on the shore of sea from whence he had emerged. The rolling waves smashed themselves into sheets of foam against his back and tugged him back and forth. Frothy water poured in and washed the spittles of bile and ichor from the corner of his mouth, yet served only to exacerbate the throbbing pain that pulsed between his temples. The headache coupled with the intense nausea burning within his insides made it impossible to do anything but lay down and allow his empty stomach to try fruitlessly to expel its contents. For the second time today Homsy thought he was dying.
At first, he thought his body was rejecting the Invictan air. Perhaps the astronomers back on Earth had failed to take something into account when judging the habitability of this world. It crossed his mind that it may have been some alien germ in the atmosphere was slowly and painfully killing him. After all, his symptoms arose immediately after he removed his vacsuit helmet. It seemed reasonable to conclude that it was the very air of this planet that tormented him so.
And then Homsy remembered the radcounter on his arm.
He dragged his left arm in front of his face to see what the radiation meter had clocked before he had fallen from the Olympus. The silvery instrument, however, was nowhere to be found. It had to have been lost in the fall. He could no longer see the exact count of rads that he had been exposed to disarming the eight thermnonuclear devices, but he knew the quantity of radiation he had been exposed to was substantial to understate. Three hundred rads by the captain's most conservative estimate. In the space of five minutes, he had been subjected to more radiation than a person could safely experience in several months. There was no doubt, Homsy was feeling the effects of severe radiation sickness.
Even with his entire body quivering from the radiation, Captain Homsy knew he had to move in spite of the pain. He already had a brush with the alien fauna and he had seen first hand that some were predatory in nature. To think that larger, more dangerous creatures didn't live on land was foolish. He would not lay in helpless wait for one such beast to devour him; Homsy pushed his arms down into the surf and shoved his aching body upright. Dripping with water, he struggled up from his knees and planted his feet shakily into the silty beach. With a wide, dizzy stride, he took his first step on Invictan land.
The first steps off of the beach were the slowest and most painful. Hisstomach protested each step with the threat of dry heaving, but the captain's perseverance and determination quieted his writhing insides. As he began moving about, the pains of the radiation sickness eased. The going was miserable, but it was no longer agonizing. With the edge of his discomfort diminished, Homsy found the strength to pay attention to his surroundings once again. On the rocks and flotsam washed up on shore, slimy orange and red membranes grew and draped feathery protrusions down to the sand, which burrowed down into the mucky silt in search of mud-dwelling animals. Millipede look-alikes wriggled out of the mud and dragged little crawling things down to their doom as Homsy made his way from shore. As he watched the tiny critters scurrying about beneath his feet, a rumbling bellow from behind him stole his gaze away to the sea. The booming calls came from a pod of giant beasts wading in the deep water beyond the waves; their long necks rumbled as they made their throaty cries. The serpentine aliens reached down into the sea with their long necks and resurfaced with the giant seaweeds hanging limply from their maws. The huge alien that had terrified Homsy so under the water appeared to be a relatively docile grazing animal. One less monster to fear.
As Homsy marched inland, the mucky white silt transitioned to a spongy material that grew in thick mats on the soil. The soft material covered the rolling plains beyond in an orangish-yellow carpet that stretched over the rolling hills and to the horizon with marbled swirls of red, pink, and sometimes rich purple. Rising up from the carpet were tall thin stems that bore spore-producing bodies. This, Homsy surmised, must have been what passed for grass on the planet Invictus. Across the painted grassland, gurgling streams crisscrossed through the bottoms and meandered to the coast. In the distance, herds of alien beasts could be seen gathering at the riverbanks and drinking from the crisp waters that ran within them. Being wary of the large, potentially aggressive creatures, Homsy steered clear of any animal he could see. Even so, the calls of a hundred alien species carried on the winds from every direction; he was surrounded by potentially dangerous organisms. Worse still, he was alone, unarmed, without cover, and gravely ill. If a hungry alien were to spot him now, he would be utterly doomed.
Some 400 meters to the northwest was a large rock outcropping jutting out of the weathered top of a hill and scraggly treelike flora branched out from within deep rocky fissures in the rock faces. Under one of those overhangs, Homsy decided, he could hide from the creatures roaming the plains and spend. Even so, a half kilometer was a long way to walk with pangs of nausea accompanying every step. Homsy wanted nothing more than to flop down onto the ground and massage his throbbing insides. But with his survival at stake, he pressed on.
As he went, a clattering sound underneath his feet drew his attention to the ground. Stray rocks and pebbles atop islands of exposed stone poking through the grasslike growth were vibrating softly. Soon after, Homsy could feel a rumbling rising up through hias feet building in intensity with each passing moment. He also saw that some of the aliens in the distance had sensed a disturbance and were acting erratically. A pack of quadrupeds to the east had taken off as had several other individual beasts and packs. Something was most definitely wrong, and it seemed every native thing on the planet knew it.
The ground beneath Homsy's feet now shook violently and an audible rumble came from beyond the hills to the west. Something truly massive and dangerous was moving his way. He breathed deeply and pushed his aching legs as fast as they could possibly move for the refuge of the outcrop.
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