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21447 No. 21447
No bullshit alter-egos, no fucking about. Just me trying to get back in the groove. Probably a bit of a poor start, things will heat up in 2-3 updates time, I hope.

==

The first explosions are far-off, dull thumps as solid-slug munitions turn into metallic dust against the shields. A cheer turns to screams and vomiting as the concussive, gut-slamming shock-wave of total shield failure hits every deck. A thin stream of antimatter slides through the void a second time, no shields to stop it now. It carves away great sections of engine control, weapon systems, gunnery, and finally turns the bridge into a erupting molten boil of metal and flesh. Atmosphere and heat bleeds from the Han's Fist, hurling dead and dying crew-members into empty space to suffocate and freeze.

The cold, unnamed planet below watches silently. This was supposed to be deep recon, a desperate attempt to find some kind of weakness far behind the battlefronts. But instead, this place.

It was guarded.

==

Your eyes snap open as the second slap knocks your face sideways.
"Get up!" Somebody screams in your ear, hauling you to your feet. Ears ringing, head pounding, stomach rolling and the taste of bile on your tongue, you pick yourself up off the deck. Wind tugs at your clothing and hair, whipping your head around in confusion before firm hands grab you and push you forwards.
Everything is lit dark red by the emergency lighting, but you can barely see the face of the person dragging you towards the end of the corridor. A bulkhead slams down behind you, cutting off the roaring sound of decompression, stopping the wind. You gasp down great lungfulls of air, trying to clear your vision.
"Come on, come on." The voice mutters, not letting you stop to rest. "Fucking move."
"Uhh." You shake, feeling like you're going to vomit again. Memories and comprehension are coming back to you now as you stumble through the wreck that was once Internal Operations Control. The crew are in blind panic, most of them drooling stomach acid, curled up on the deck or shaking with the aftershock of the anti-matter beam. The few with their wits about them, or enough nanomachines in their blood to compensate, are desperately trying to contact the bridge or gunnery. Even fewer have already accepted that the Han's Fist is as good as dead.

You shake your head as the woman keeps dragging you on, into a long connecting corridor.
"Where- uhh-" You struggle with the urge to vomit, your voice coming out raw. "Where are we going?"
"Deployment launchers, fast as we can." She says, not sparing you a glance.
"Wha-why?" You try to rub your eyes. You ... you were on the bridge, she bundled you out before the shields imploded.
"They will have hit the shuttles and the escape pods already." She says, voice clear and crisp above the din of biological and mechanical pain all around you.
"Escape?" You mutter. "We can't, we're fucked."
"Shut up and move." She says. You obey, too weak and confused to do anything else. You blink and try to focus past the overpowering nausea. She's plain, tall, no uniform, just a jumpsuit with a cog symbol on the back.
"Who are-" You start.

A series of thumps, followed by screaming pulverising metal, interrupts you, makes you wince and cower. That was close, more solid munitions.
"Shit." The woman mutters, pausing. You frown for a moment, thoughts too fuzzy to think.
"Why don't they frag the fucking engines already, what are they doing?" You ask. This time, the woman does look at you, eyes thin and focused.
"Those were boarding torpedoes, not missiles. Makains always go for a boarding action if they can." She says. A cold feeling settles in the pit of your stomach.
"Shit." You echo her. You don't want that, you don't want to die like that.
"New plan. First armoury block we can find." She says.
"I hear that." You say, feeling more of your senses returning. "Who are you anyway?"
"Renko, civilian contractor, stellar cartography and cybernetics." She reels off. "No time now, come on."

==

There's an armoury block on the corner of the next corridor intersection.

"Security is still working. You are an officer, right? You can open it?" Renko asks you. You wipe the perspiration from your forehead as you peer at the gene-reader on the door. It's getting hot in here, fast, which means either life support got damaged and you're feeling the heat from the engines, or the engines got damaged and you've got less time left than you think.
"Think I can." You place your palm against the reader and the door opens with a click. Inside are racks of weaponry, ammunition, light body armour for on-board security and in sealed bays at the back of the room are five suits of full combat plate.
Renko grabs a pump-action shotgun and slumps against the wall to load it with shells.
"Cover the door." She says, eyes not leaving the doorway. You hesitate for a second before picking up a rifle and checking it's loaded.
"So." You say, training your gun on the door just in case. "You saved my ass on the bridge because you need an officer's clearance if you want to escape, right?"
"Exactly." Renko says without pause, slipping a small pistol into a pocket of her jumpsuit. Her fingers are short and stubby, you notice, but quick. She rummages through the room for a moment longer, pocketing spare nanomachine supply hypodermics, self-administering adrenaline packs and other things that escape your notice.

"Huh." You glance at her as she joins you at the door once more.
"Do you have a problem with my motivation?" She asks. "I'm not dying on this ship if I can help it, officer's clearance or no."
You shake your head. "Neither am I, fuck that. We getting out of here? You got a plan?"
"It's ... about 900 meters between here and the Deployment Launchers. We can make it if we're fast and quiet. The Makains will be too occupied with the first flesh they can find."
You shudder as she speaks, thankful for the weight of the rifle in your grip.
"We're going planetside? To that ... "
"It's a wasteland." Renko admits. "But there is no choice."
"It could teeming with them! They were guarding this fucking rock, Gods know what's down there!" You grit your teeth, feeling cornered panic start to creep over your heart.
"It won't be." Renko says, calmly working the action of the shotgun.
"Why are you so sure?" You ask.
"One ship." She says.
"What?"
"They only had one ship guarding the planet." She says quietly, eyeing the door. "That's not for protecting the planet, that's for making sure nothing leaves it."

Renko glances back at you. "Ready?" She asks.

[ ] Yes. Go.
[ ] Not yet, strap on some light body armour.
[ ] You can remember the training, you need all the protection you can get. Risk putting on the combat armour.

>> No. 21448
...

Another?
>> No. 21449
We already have enough Renko, and yours is one of the more boring ones. Replace her with someone else entirely and it'd be nicer.
>> No. 21450
[ ] Not yet, strap on some light body armour.
>> No. 21451
>>21449
Fallout Gensokyo, Aria of Deception, and Landlord of Mayohiga are all that come to mind for Renko. Plenty, yes, but not what I'd call oversaturation.

[X] Yes. Go.

Hoping this will be a fairly short one. Getting back in the groove is lovely, but the last thing anyone needs is more unfinished stories by HY.
>> No. 21452
[X] Not yet, strap on some light body armour.
>> No. 21453
File 124892497537.png - (873.41KB , 1280x800 , 26d69d692f0fe8db2e77cd4900c49b3b.png ) [iqdb]
21453
[x] Yes. Go.

HERE WE GO AGAIN
>> No. 21454
Inb4 this gets dropped.
>> No. 21455
[x] Yes. Go.

At least go finish Involuntary Pedophilic Fantasies later.
>> No. 21456
There's a good number of Renko stories already going on /others/... and I'd much rather see HY finish something he's started.

But as for my vote

[X] Not yet, strap on some light body armour.

Better than nothing
>> No. 21458
>>21455

I want him to finish ADP
>> No. 21459
[X] Yes. Go.

I love you, HY, really I do, but for fuck's sake... there are other beloved stories that deserve your attention. I hope this is short and sweet.
>> No. 21461
Renko is a civilian contractor who knows her way around things. She's a planner, a quick thinker, her jumpsuit suggests engineering skill, and she's apparently competent with guns.

You're useful because you can provide the ID authorization for the deployment launchers. Ensure that she knows you'll stay useful afterward. If you have special training that allows you to wear heavier armor, then by all means put it to good use.

>"They only had one ship guarding the planet." She says quietly, eyeing the door. "That's not for protecting the planet, that's for making sure nothing leaves it."

[x] "You think the planet is a slave camp?"
[x] You can remember the training, you need all the protection you can get. Risk putting on the combat armour.

She can provide cover fire, and we can do the advancing. We have no time for hiding behind storage containers.
>> No. 21470
[x] You can remember the training, you need all the protection you can get. Risk putting on the combat armour.

900 meters is a lot in a situation like this. Would be best not to die along the way, y'know.

>Just me trying to get back in the groove.
If this has even the slightest chance of improving the odds of you continuing PoG some day, then by all means, go ahead. Would prefer you getting back in the mood for such things yourself, rather than feeling forced.
>> No. 21471
[O] You can remember the training, you need all the protection you can get. Risk putting on the combat armour.
>> No. 21472
[x] Not yet, strap on some light body armour.


Vaguely reminded of KOTOR. Well, if you want to write a new one, I'll be here to vote.
>> No. 21473
>No bullshit alter-egos, no fucking about. Just me trying to get back in the groove.

Very well. Let us make this a short one so that you can get your writing in order.

[x] Yes. Go.
>> No. 21474
[x] "You think the planet is a slave camp?"
[x] You can remember the training, you need all the protection you can get. Risk putting on the combat armour.
>> No. 21477
>"You think the planet is a slave camp?"

Would explain targeting of escape pods and shuttles, as well as the boarding action when the ship is clearly lost. They're certainly not looking to capture the ship itself considering the amount of damage they've done to it.
>> No. 21478
ARMOUR IS FOR PUSSIES MODE ACTIVATED

Seriously, haha. Also great response. Writing now. Expect longer but fewer updates here I guess, we'll see what happens.
>> No. 21479
"Ready as I'll ever be." You grit your teeth, double-checking the rifle's safety is off. Renko nods, eyes narrowed.
"Keep low and stay quiet." She says. "Don't open fire unless we have to. They're probably not this deep into the ship yet." Sweat is running down her brow now, sticking her jumpsuit to her arms and legs, beading in her hair.
"Sure." You nod, feeling the adrenaline pumping again. She's confident for a civilian. If she's in cybernetics she must have more nanomachines in her than blood cells, but that doesn't account for the cold proof of experience.
"Okay. Follow me." She says, easing the door open and stepping back out into the corridor. It's a pity you can't take any of the armour with you, but it's too bulky and noisy. If the engines are overheating then you need to move as fast as possible.

As you move through the corridors, Renko takes the lead, pausing for a fraction of a second at each intersection. A few scattered crew members lie on the floor, still gibbering with aftershock. How come they didn't all recover as fast as you? There's no way they'll be able to mount any kind of defence now, the only option is escape.
"Shhh." Renko holds up a finger for quiet and stops in the middle of a corridor. The emergency lighting bathing you both a deep red.
"What is it?" You ask.
"Wait. No Sound." She says, crouching and making herself as small as possible, pressing herself against the wall. You follow suit, trying to still your breathing and ignore the oppressive heat. Has she heard-
The sound reaches your ears at last, a rapid click-click-click, swish-swish-swish. A stifled scream turns into a bubbling, wet sound A few moments later something huge and dark passes the end of the corridor intersection. Something plated with metal, scythe-arms hanging like meat-hooks, tiny cruel little face buried by muscle and fronted with massive mandibles. Your eyes go wide, but you manage to hold your breath as it passes.
Eventually, Renko stands back up and you follow her once more. She glances over her shoulder at you.
"You've never seen them up close before, have you?" She asks. You shake your head, trying to focus on the corridor ahead. Breathe, don't grip the rifle too tightly, eyes open, focus.
"That was just one of their ... machines." She says. "The actual Makains are unlikely to bother with one ship."
You nod, but her words don't make you feel any better.

==

The bulkheads to deployment are sealed.
"Shit shit shit." Renko curses under her breath, crouching with you in front of the control panel. You're too exposed here, at a central control station. There's even a balcony running the length of the room. A pool of vomit stains the floor before the bulkheads, but there's nobody here.
"Clearance isn't enough." You mutter, taking your hand off the gene-reader. "Some kind of automatic shut-down, there's not even power to the doors." You glance over your shoulder with mounting fear. There's no way out.
Renko rummages in her pockets and pulls out one of the portable nanomachine hypodermics she took from the armoury block.
"What are you going to do?" You hiss at her.
"The ship locked it down when the Makains came on-board." She says. "Probably standing orders to protect military secrets. I'm going to try talking to the core from here." She cracks the hypodermic open and calmly slides the needle into her neck, closing her eyes as a few billion more machines rush into her bloodstream.
"Cover me." She says, before raising the shotgun and blowing the gene-reader off the wall at point blank. The shot echoes down the corridors, making you flinch.
"What the fuck are you doing?!" You hiss through your teeth.
"I said cover me." She replies, thrusting her hand into the hole she's made. Her fingers fish around for a fibre-optic cable, eyes glassing over when she does. You turn around, watching the entrances and the balcony.
There's muted noises echoing from the rest of the ship now. Screams and crying and tearing metal and gunshots and the breaking of bones. Your luck won't hold out much longer.

"Han." Renko mumbles, eyes wide and unfocused. "Bitch won't open the door."
"What?" You whisper back, sure that you can hear something moving now.
"The guidance AI. Refusing everything. I'll have to ... yes! I have one here." Renko says, replying to somebody who isn't you.
"Renko." You say. "I can hear something coming." You tense up, watching the right hand corridor stretching off into muggy red darkness. Click-click-click.
"One more second." Renko says.

It turns the corner. Beady eyes set too far back in the skull, a long body like a lizard, but puffed up with spines and artificial armour plating. The mouth yawns wide at the site of you, full of twitching movement. It's carrying a gun, some kind of gun, like a brass instrument, all tubes and pipes and flared projections.

You raise the rifle and pull the trigger. A three-round burst just bounces off the thing's armour plating and it lowers its head, bounding towards you like a bull charging. It doesn't roar or shout or scream, the only sound that of it's hooves pounding the deck.
"Renko!" You shout, flicking the rifle to full auto. "Open the fucking doors!"
"Done." She says, completely calm before she retracts her hand, the bulkheads powering up and sliding open as you pull the trigger again. Bullets spray the wall as you correct your panicked aim and unload half the clip into the beast's head. The bullets plough through muscle and bone, but it keeps coming, the smell of it hitting you like a bucket of dead fish and rotting feet. Black blood sprays the floor from the wounds, but the brain must be elsewhere.

Renko grabs you by both arms and hurls you through the doorway, following you inside.
"Get in something!" She screams, panicking now as the beast skids to a halt outside the door. You barely have a second to take in the Deployment bays, leaping to your feet as Renko runs past you.
"Which one?!" You ask, running after her as the sound of hoof-beats starts up behind you again.
"I don't know." She says, eyes wide at towering rows of re-entry pods all around. "You're the fucking officer, you know what they are!"

The Deployment Launchers stretch off for about two hundred meters, everything in separate bays, ready to be shunted into open space and down into atmospheric entry at a moments notice. You don't have time to go any further, that thing is right on your heels. The huge sealed bays surrounding you are fronted with dull grey heat-proof plating, but the ident markings on the front of the re-entry pods show exactly what's in each bay. Not much to pick from, the first thing that comes to hand is enough.

You skid to a halt, making your decision.

[ ] CH-5-14: Light Recon Walker "Nekomata"
[ ] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"
[ ] T-UR-20: Defence Platform "Genjii"
>> No. 21481
[X] T-UR-20: Defence Platform "Genjii"
>> No. 21482
[x] CH-5-14: Light Recon Walker "Nekomata"
>> No. 21483
[x] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"
>> No. 21484
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

"I have only one thing to say to you filthy Makai scum: It's Spring."
>> No. 21486
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

"I have only one thing to say to you filthy Makai scum: It's Spring."

Include this above.
>> No. 21488
[x] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

The only choice
>> No. 21489
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21489
[x] LI-12: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

whoops
>> No. 21490
>>21489
Whoops!

LI-12 indeed. Also, I will write tomorrow. Feel free to argue over this some more if you like. This choice is kind of important in determining what you can do next, like a general capability choice. You can't "fuck it up", but it's interesting to see what you think of it.
>> No. 21493
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

We either get running, a hybrid, or turtling. I was tempted to go for the turtle, but I think hybrid will suit our maneuverability and defense needs better than either.
>> No. 21494
Out of curiosity... We're getting a giant robot but we passed up on getting power armor? ...what is up with that, gentle/m/en?
>> No. 21495
[X] LI-12: Modular Combat Frame "Spring" (That and I wonder if the line "It's Spring, Motherfuckers!" will be uttered)

I'm curious is there a UN-0W-3N: Mass Destruction Mech "Flandre"?
>> No. 21496
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

Looking forward to next update. Do your best, HY!
>> No. 21497
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"

Hopefully, the sombrero/pointy hat rocket pod is already mounted.

>>21494

Mechs are always cooler, where available. Always.
>> No. 21498
>>21494

Have you ever played a mech game?

People who use Powered Armor don't pilot mechs. People who use Powered Armor are canon fodder who get stomped by mechs.
>> No. 21500
[X] LI-11: Modular Combat Frame "Spring"
>> No. 21502
It's Spring.

Writing now-ish, but this update will probably be posted later tonight due to real life getting in the way.
>> No. 21503
"That one!" You grab Renko's arm, stopping her and swinging your rifle around, pointing at the re-entry pod for what appears to be an LI-12 model combat frame. You've used one before, back in walker pilot training.

Between each pod is a sealed pressure door for pilot or maintenance access to the machine inside. Renko shakes you off, glancing at the gene-reader next to the door.
"Get it open." She says, calmly raising the shotgun as the beast charges towards you, hooves leaving steaming dents in the metal deck. You slam your palm into the gene-reader, shoulder blades twitching as you feel the thing getting closer with each second. Sweat makes your palm slick, the heat in here is still rising.
"Come on, come on!" You grunt though your teeth as the reader hums.
'Good morning Officer.' The gentle voice of the ship's computer purrs from the reader-plate, making you jump. If the AI has retained enough processing power to keep sentience up and running, why isn't it slaving what's left of the ship's weapons?

'No deployment is scheduled for today, Sir.' It continues. Its next words are drowned out by the concussive blast of Renko's shotgun. You whirl around, watching as the beast pauses, stunned by the impact of the sold slug, confused by the hole in its armour.
"It won't let me in!" You panic, shouting.
"Tch." Renko grits her teeth, working the action of the shotgun and blowing away another chunk of the beast's armour plating. This time it hunkers down, weathering the blast. Renko can only hold it off for so long until it learns you can't really hurt it without more firepower.

"The AI's gone mad." Renko shouts. "They're probably cutting out its memory right now." She fires one last time and then quickly turns to to gene-reader panel, pressing a fingertip against it.
"Han, I know you can hear and see us." She says out loud. "Open this door or I will have you and your backups summarily erased for disobeying a direct Imperial Executive order."

There is a pause, during which the beast picks itself up, shaking like a dog and yawning wide. Its legs tense, as if about to pounce. You swing your rifle around, ready to make a last stand.

'By whose authority?' The AI asks, laugher in its voice.
"Mine." Renko says. "Imperial ident number Ren-40-U."
'Right away Ma'am.' The computer blurts out, no longer amused. The door hisses open.
"Get in!" Renko screams. The beast pounces, scythe-limbs raised, hooves poised to break your skull with the impact.
You dive through the hatch, hugging the rifle to your chest. The beast slams into the deck outside, making the metal crack and buckle. Renko is already hauling herself up the ladder, towards the cockpit of the LI-12. The machine itself is buried in layers of fuelling pipes, re-entry cushioning and ablative plating, concealing its shape.
"Come on!" Renko shouts. You sling the rifle across your back and scurry up the ladder quick as you can. The beast is only just small enough to squeeze through the hatch behind you, trailing black blood across the floor. It's bleeding heavily, but that doesn't seem to slow it down. Makai build their constructs tough.

“Get in!” Renko calls down to you, hauling herself up and over the lip of the open cockpit. You pull yourself up with all your strength as the beast digs its claws into the wall and starts to climb. Your clothes are sticking to every part of your body, sweat fills your hair and gets into your eyes, makes your grip slippery. There's probably not much time left now, the engines are close to going critical. You finally reach the edge of the cockpit, fumbling inside for a hand-hold, grabbing the edge of a seat. Renko pulls you in by the back of your uniform, letting you slump over the seat. The inside of the cockpit is dark, waiting for pilot neural input to bring it to life.
“How do we close the door!?” Renko shouts, raising her shotgun over your head and pointing it at the open cockpit hatch. The crunching noise of the climbing beast is growing closer.
“We need ... uh-” You gulp, pulling your feet away from the edge. “To get the Frame active, I need to get plugged in.”
“How long will that take?” Renko asks, voice going cold and calm again.
“Two, maybe three minutes.” You say. “Shit, shit.” You twist in the seat, clambering past Renko. Auxiliary control, weapons management. You need the pilot seat, but you can barely remember the layout from training.
“Hurry up!” Renko shouts.

There. Pilot seat. Neural input is in the back, manual cables. A cold fear comes over you, despite the urgency right now. You haven't done this in a long time, and you don't know this machine. You slump down in the seat, silently apologising to the former pilot, probably among the dead or dying crew now. Raising your hand to find the sockets in the back of your neck and fumbling behind you for the connection cables takes too long in the dark.
“Shit!” Renko shouts, firing her shotgun through the hatch. The noise reverberates inside the cockpit, making your ears ring.

Your fingers are slick with sweat, the cable poised and ready to plug into the back of your neck.

The beast hooks one scythe-limb through the hatch, gouging the metal, ignoring the impact of the shotgun shell.

[ ] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.
[ ] No, there's no time. Help Renko with the beast.
>> No. 21504
[X] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.

Ren can only hold it off so long, and a second rifle won't help much. Best do what we can, and let her take care of what she can.
>> No. 21506
[X] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.
>> No. 21507
[X] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.
>> No. 21508
>>21504

Indeed. Let`s get the hell out of here.

[X] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.
>> No. 21509
[X] Plug yourself in. Fire it up.
>> No. 21510
Okay! Guess there's not too much to discuss on this choice. I'll get down to writing.
>> No. 21511
The cable connects with a soft click.

The feeling is like nails down a blackboard, screeching in the back of your head as your own neural activity supplies the electrical jump-start for the machine. Your eyes involuntarily clench shut as you feel the atomic power of the fusion plant coming online, a tiny sun pulsing against the back of your eyeballs, matching you heartbeat. Servos and pistons feel like muscles and tendons, tensing and flexing as the machine wakes up all around you. Data-readout spills across your mind's eye, reactor temperature, weapon load-out and ammunition, structural integrity, radar, thermographics, biologicals. The LI-12 speaks to you in a flood of information, the sleepy dream-speak of a waking lover, almost too overwhelming.

Another shotgun blast distracts you, followed by a grunt of frustration from Renko. Your eyes snap open as the cockpit lights up, dozens of manual and auxiliary controls highlighted in deep red under the blue glow that fills the space. The view-screen ahead of you shows nothing but blank white.
"Shut the fucking hatch!" Renko screams in your ear. The beast has two limbs inside now. As you turn to look, it hauls itself up, braced against the lip of the cockpit.

For a horrible moment the LI-12 doesn't respond. Query and return, where is its pilot? The machine takes precious milliseconds to re-configure the neural uplink for your brain, shunting and squirming itself into the right shape for you. A gasp escapes your lips at the feeling, neural feedback washing over you and making you limp.

The Spring shouts its name into you with burst of data, wrapping itself around your mind.

The beast tries to hurl itself into the cockpit at the same moment the machine finally yields. It takes but a thought to slam the hatch shut, severing both of the beast's scythe-limbs and finally drawing a long, horrible pig-like squeal of pain from the creature. It falls to the deck outside, severed limbs leaking black blood across the cockpit floor.
Renko slumps back into the auxiliary control seat, sighing in relief. The oppressive heat is already starting to ease off, the inside of the Spring fully pressurised and sealed now the hatch is closed. The sweat covering you starts to feel uncomfortably cold against your skin, clammy underneath your clothes.

"Is it working?" Renko asks. You just nod in response, the flood of information is ongoing as the Spring chirps mechanical response and query at your mind.
"We need to leave, now." Renko says.
"Alright ... alright." You mutter, trying to focus and relax into control of the machine. Its internal architecture is still unfamiliar, new and exciting and more than you can take in at once. You close your eyes and place your head back against the seat.
"Strap yourself in." You say to Renko. She fumbles with the seat's harness as you release the re-entry pod's docking clamps. The Spring settles in for the long ride down with a note of barely-contained excitement, weapons cycling on empty.
"You ready now?" You ask Renko.
"Ready." She says, her slow breathing the only sound in the cockpit now.

The world shakes with an almighty push, and then there is nothing but the tranquility of open space. You wait one, two, three seconds. If the Han's engines go critical now, you're still well within the blast radius. The moments slide like tar as you listen to the Spring ticking over, safe inside the re-entry pod.

"Main screen, turn on." You mutter, opening your eyes. The view-screen shows your target, the surface of the planet. A huge cold blue ball hanging in the inky blackness.
"Have we reached minimum safe distance?" Renko suddenly asks, voice completely calm again. You shrug, there's nothing more you can do.
"Tch." She tuts, but her gaze is focused on the planet below. "Can you aim us?"
"What?" You ask, frowning.
"Can you change the trajectory of the pod?" She asks.
"Oh." You fumble with the Spring for a moment. "Yeah, but there's not much leeway. A little, but only once we hit atmosphere."
"Can you enhance the resolution on the planet?" Renko continues.
You flick the viewpoint closer. Renko leans forwards, frowning hard at the vague shape of the continents below.
"Closer." She says. You zoom in further, starting to wonder why she seems so comfortable giving orders. A niggling little doubt starts to form in the back of your mind.
"There." She points. "That's inhabited. Or was." You peer at the place she's pointing, but all you can see is a muddy brown and grey, surrounded by white and blue. Must be a lot of snow and ice down there.
"What is it?" You ask.
"Could be the remains of a city." She says, frowning again. "Or there. That mountain is too large to be natural. Too isolated and too large. Definitely constructed."
"Hmm." You grunt. "What the hell is that?"
"Where?" Renko asks. You point at a huge mess of black and blocky shapes at the top of the mountain, and a sly smile creeps across her face. It's the first time you've seen her smile and you don't like it.
"That's an Imperial ship." She says. "Not crashed, purposefully downed. Looks half-buried, must have been there for decades."
"Why?"
She shrugs. "No idea."
"Where shall we land?" You ask. Renko glances over at you, eyebrows raised.

"You're the officer. You decide." She says, naked challenge in her voice.

[ ] Near the remains of the city.
[ ] Near the foot of the mountain.
[ ] Near the downed Imperial ship.
[ ] On the open plains of snow.
[ ] Near a more forested area.
>> No. 21512
[x] Near the downed Imperial ship.

Might as well see if there's anything left worth looting in there.
>> No. 21513
[X] Near the downed Imperial ship.
Right, let's get anything we can. Also ship should offer pretty good protection from climate, even if it is dangerous in itself.
>> No. 21514
[X] Near the downed Imperial ship.

Hopefully an opportunity to pick up some protective gear.
>> No. 21517
>"Or there. That mountain is too large to be natural. Too isolated and too large. Definitely constructed."

hmmmmm
[x] Near the foot of the mountain.
>> No. 21518
[X] Near the downed Imperial ship.

The whole damn place is hostile and unknown, but at least we have some knowledge of Imperial ship design to help us navigate the wreck. Plus, there could be any number of useful, salvageable components lying around inside. Might even be able to tear up and rework parts of the ship to serve as a temporary base of operations.
>> No. 21519
>weapons cycling on empty.

Yeah, we're gonna need to get something to defend ourselves with.

[X] Near the downed Imperial ship.
>> No. 21522
Calling this vote so I can start writing and patch together an update tomorrow morning/early afternoon.

You picked a really interesting choice here!
>> No. 21523
[X] Near the downed Imperial ship.
>> No. 21526
You narrow your eyes at Renko, even as you relay your decision to the Spring.
"We'll put down by the hulk of that ship." You say. "Might be able to grab supplies from inside, if there's anything left. Hopefully some ammunition too."
Renko nods her approval, sitting back in her chair again.
"You're not really a civilian contractor. Are you?" You say, emboldened by your neural uplink with the Spring. Renko doesn't respond.

"Back there, you just threatened an AI with summary erasure and you had the authority to back it up." You continue. "You're way too damn comfortable giving orders, you know your way around a warship like a pro. You probably went more than ten times over the legal blood-nano limit when you used that hypodermic, but you're still standing."
"Mm." Renko grunts.
"Who the hell are you?" You ask. Renko's silence matches the silence of the void outside. Miles flick by in moments as you hurtle towards the planet's atmosphere.
"You're right. I'm not a civilian contractor. I lied." She says. "Do you have a problem with that?"
"I don't think I do. Hell, you got us this far." You sigh. "But who are you?"
"Imperial ident number Ren-40-U." She rattles off, just like before. "I am normally against revealing Imperial Executive Office presence, but this is very much a need to know situation." She allows herself a thin smile.
"You're ... a spook, right?" You ask. "A fucking spy?"
Renko winces. "Spy is such an anarchic word. Too suggestive of cloak and dagger nonsense. I prefer 'operative'."
You sigh, leaning back in your chair. Another question rises to your lips, but atmospheric re-entry hits the pod like a tidal wave.

Forcing yourself to keep your eyes open, you focus on the rapidly changing viewscreen. Hurling into the atmosphere turns the world beneath you red with friction heat-wash, staining the huge plains of snow crimson. The pod shakes and shudders, the Spring tensing and humming with anticipation of its onrushing freedom. The thumping pulse of the reactor is a comforting accompaniment to your heart beat. Renko closes her eyes, looking so calm she could well be fast asleep.

There is barely a moment of manoeuvring time when the pod breaks atmosphere at last. Scant seconds for retro-rockets to fire, superheated air cushioning the pod as it hurtles towards the ground. You struggle to keep your eyes open, the G-force dampening nearly giving out, but you manage to keep your gaze on the viewscreen for long enough to see that you targeted the pod right. You'll touch down just along the top of the mountain, within a few hundred feet of the wrecked Imperial ship.

The viewscreen goes blank as the Spring relaxes for impact, the neural uplink dying off to only the most basic level. You still your mind as best you can.
>> No. 21527
==

The pod leaves a furrow in the snow nearly three hundred feet long. Chunks of rock and dirt fly up in its wake. Without any targeting assistance from the now useless Han's Fist, this is a near-blind drop. Inside, you clench your fists tight, waiting for a moment the pod drops off a precipice or slams into a cliff. But the moment doesn't come, the viewscreen flickering back to life.

“That's a lot of snow.” Renko says. She's right, and the sight takes your breath away. The pod has come to rest at the end of a small plateau that makes up the summit of the mountain. Before you, stretching from the foot of the mountain to the horizon, there is a endless plain of snow and ice. In the distance you can see the ruins or leftovers of what was once a city, the one you spotted from orbit, dirty greys and browns covered in a blanket of white. A few patches of hardy trees and other vegetation hold out against the snow here and there, but not many.
“This place is a dead planet, isn't it?” You ask. “Who would live here?”
“It's old, but not dead.” Renko says.
“How would you know?” You ask. “Is this place, this planet, why you were on board the Han's Fist?”
“Perhaps.” Renko says, ignoring your gaze. It's clear she doesn't want to say any more. You grit your teeth and focus on the Spring waking up again. It cycles weapons and tenses servos, itching to crack the pod open and stretch its legs.
“Wait.” You mutter to yourself. “Let's have enviromentals first.”
“Oh, it'll be habitable.” Renko says as the pod's external sensors feed data to you via the Spring. Breathable air, maybe a small difference in oxygen saturation this high up. Cold, but survivable in rough-weather gear. You frown at the data, not liking what you see.
“What's wrong?” Renko asks.
“Mechanical particulates in the air. Nanomachine dust. And higher than average background radiation. Seen this kind of pattern before.” You say, feeling a cold lump in your belly.
“Meaning what?” She asks, sounding interested now.
“Meaning there was a nuclear war here, fifty, maybe sixty years ago.” You nod at the viewscreen. “Look at that fucking city. I mean look at it. Whoever lived here built like us and fought wars like us.”
“Mm.” Renko just grunts. “What about the downed ship?”
“There's no transponder, no power. It's long dead.” You say. “Let's get out and take a look at it.”

The Spring brings the reactor up to operational power, and you open the pod with a concussive thump. Refuelling pipes and ammunition lines disconnect automatically. Re-entry cushioning falls away as the Spring pushes the front plate off the pod. Your sense of balance swims and twists for a second as the machine stands up, taking a huge stride out of the pod and onto the open snow. You haven't piloted a Combat Frame in nearly three years, but it comes back to you quickly. The sleek, white surfaces of the Spring blend in with the snow, the weapon systems on the arms and shoulders twitching and cycling as they calibrate and target for practice. The reactor hums steadily in the abdomen, the weight keeping the centre of gravity down.
“How are we doing?” Renko asks.
“She's alright.” You say. “No damage in the landing. Mobility is fine, legs are in perfect condition. Atmospheric shielding and pressure is fine. Sensor array is getting a shitload of interference from the downed ship and the snow. We're almost unarmed though.”
“What?” Renko asks, suddenly surprised.
“Shoulder guns are unloaded, so we've got no anti-missile, no point-defence. The vulcan cannon on the left arm has a quarter of a conversion block, but nothing else.” You feel a lump growing in your throat. “The railgun on the right arm has only a single round. Solid, armour-piercing type. Must have been loaded during a live-fire training exercise. Laser matrix on the left fist needs realigning, but the right fist has a retractable shunt-blade that'll work fine.” You frown at the read outs, confused by the last item. “Never seen this before. Autonomic Airburst Defensive Announcement, three charges loaded, runs off the reactor. Huh.”
“Never heard of it before.” Renko says, looking uncomfortable now. “Is that all we have?”
“We might be able to salvage something from the ship” You say, swinging the Spring around to face the wreck. The remains of the long-dead vessel tower above you, practically a buried city itself. A huge grey flank rises over a hundred feet tall. The ship stretches out along the plateau, obviously intentionally landed here decades ago. You can just make out a word, building-sized letters made of peeling red paint, obscured by ice and snow.

“The Moriya.” You read the name out loud.

Renko nods. “I've heard of it. Lost with all hands years before either of us were born.”
The ship is damaged in various places, great rents running up the metal from years of sitting here on this mountain. A ship like that was never meant to enter atmosphere, it can't hold its own weight up. One of the openings is at ground level, wide and flat and almost like an open doorway, a gate.

[ ] Approach the ship, head inside.
[ ] Made a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.
>> No. 21528
[ ] Made a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.

Who goes into an obviously booby-trapped ruin, anyhow?
>> No. 21529
>>21528

Adventurers? Us?
>> No. 21530
[x] Made a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.

Rolling a Spot check is always a good idea when in unexplored areas.
>> No. 21531
[X] Made a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.
>> No. 21535
[x] Make a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.
>> No. 21536
[x] Made a circle of the vessel first, scout your surroundings.
>> No. 21540
No contest here, will start putting together the next update.
>> No. 21549
“I don't like the look of that opening. Looks like a doorway.” You say, tensing and flexing the servo bundles in the Spring's legs. “Let's take a look around first.”

The first step feels like trying to shake out your leg after it's gone to sleep, clumsy and dull. The second step feels like walking through warm treacle, far too aware of how slowly you're moving the Spring. But the machine encourages you, urging you on and tugging at your mind with excited impatience. The Spring pushes you onwards, and you tread faster across the snow-covered plateau, slowly panning your vision left and right, taking in your surroundings.

“Nice and easy.” You mutter to yourself, watching the viewscreen and listening to the buzz of sensor data fed into your brain. The hulk of the Moriya rises up to your right, towering in the air, while about a hundred meters to your left the plateau drops away to a sheer cliff-face. Snow crunches beneath the splayed feet of the Spring, but there's nothing but bare rock under that. The sky is obscured by a endless sheet of grey clouds, threatening more snow at any moment.
“Renko.” You start. She doesn't look away from the viewscreen and you realise that the visuals are her only window on the outside of the walker. She doesn't have access to all the data the neural uplink is piping to you.
“You said this mountain was too massive to be natural, right?” You ask. “What did you mean by that?”
“Hm.” Renko grunts. “It's isolated and too large to have formed alone in this plain without other significant geological markers. Look down,” she nods at the viewscreen. “There's no foothills.”
“So, somebody built it?” You ask.
“Good question.” Renko says, then falls silent. You carry on forwards, slogging along the length of the Moriya, but keeping your distance.

You frown.
“What is it?” Renko asks.
“Sensors are getting a lot of random interference from the ship, but there's something putting out a lot of heat in there, near the aft.” You say. “No nuclear signature though, which means the reactor must be off-line.”
Renko grunts. “It's been down here for decades, the reactor will be long dead.”
“No biologicals though.” You say. “But the ship's structure could be masking that.”

You reach the end of the Moriya, huge engine structure jutting out from the rear of the ship, each building-sized aperture covered in snow and icicles. One of the thrusters has broken off years ago, forming a cone-like hill of snow just behind the ship. The hole left by the damage is more than large enough to climb through.
“Another way inside, I guess. If you like frozen engine coolant.” You point the opening out to Renko.
“Still no life-signs?” She asks. You shake your head, there's nothing up here. Not even small animals or passing birds. The feeling of crushing isolation starts to take hold. What if this really is a completely dead world, every ecosystem collapsed after massive nuclear war?
“Climb up and take a look.” Renko says, narrowing her eyes. The Spring nimbly mounts the fallen thruster at your command, and you pan the viewscreen up. The hole just vanishes off inside the structure, dark and silent.
“What do you think?” Renko asks. “You're the pilot here.”
“I think-” You frown in sudden confusion. That can't be right. Either your own tension and paranoia are looping back into the Spring, or the sensor array is more screwed up than you thought.
“Just a sec.” You mutter, rebooting the sensor array and focusing it first on the ship ahead of you, then on the fallen thruster section beneath the Spring's feet.

“Shit.” Your eyes go wide and a weight forms in your stomach as you kill the reactor power levels down to minimum, turning off as many systems as possible. The Spring feels your sudden fear, making itself small and quiet inside, tense and watching for any changes.
“What?” Renko glances up as the cockpit lights go dark and the viewscreen flickers off. “What is it!?”
“Shhh.” You put a finger to your lips, worried about even making noise. You're down to nothing but sensor data now, biological read-outs and external micro-cameras feeding into your brain-stem. Renko, on the other hand, is blind inside here.
“Biologicals show something large beneath the thruster we're standing on.” You whisper as quietly as you can. “The snow around the edges has been disturbed.”
Renko's eyes widen. She knows what you mean, that there's something large enough to lift up the entire fallen thruster section, and you're right on top of it.
“There's a heartbeat.” You say. “Increasing. We made too much fucking noise climbing onto here.” You close your eyes and concentrate on the data. “Still increasing. Shit.” You grit your teeth, holding back the panic.
“We need to get inside the ship, now.” Renko hisses between her teeth. “Now!”

[ ] Stay in silent running mode, back up off the fallen thruster as quickly and quietly as possible.
[ ] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.
>> No. 21550
[x] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.
>> No. 21553
[ ] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.
>> No. 21557
[x] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.

It knows we`re here.
>> No. 21558
[X] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.
>> No. 21563
The whole scenario makes me think of Lost Planet.

Is this intentional?

sage for random musing.
>> No. 21565
[x] Go to full power again, make a running leap for the opening into the aft of the Moriya.

Quickly, before it arises from hibernation.
>> No. 21571
>>21563
I've read a lot of science fiction, but this isn't based on anything in particular.

Sorry for no update today! Been busy/stressed. Will start on it now, maybe get down tonight, maybe tomorrow morning.
>> No. 21581
Renko's right. Go, now!

The reactor dilates to full, the sudden rush of nuclear fusion slamming against the inside of your head, making your heart race and sweat bead on your forehead. Renko clutches the arms of her seat as the Spring picks up its feet from a standing start. Each huge splayed footstep makes the metal beneath ring like a giant gong. Thermographics and biologicals race across your mind's eye as the thing nesting under the fallen thruster section wakes up.

The ground shifts. The gap to the inside of the Moriya is still too far away to reach.
“Gods above.” Renko grits her teeth as the ground keeps shifting. The cone-like hill of the thruster starts to rise, tipping over towards one side, throwing up a drift of snow as it moves.

You urge the Spring forwards. Faster! The safety on the reactor is like trying to run with a splint, so you open it for a full quarter-second, the extra power making your head pound and your hands shake uncontrollably. Leaning forward in your seat, staring at the hole ahead, trajectory calculations run through your mind over and over. The Spring can't keep stable for much longer, moments at best, the thruster is almost too steep now.

Something whips out from under the raised thruster section, too fast for the sensor array to pick up properly. You can't spare a thought for it yet, there's no time.
“Argh!” You grunt with sympathetic effort, your leg muscles spasm involuntarily as the Spring hurls itself towards the gap in the back of the Moriya. For one gut-wrenching moment you're in free-fall, and then the Spring slams through the hole, rolling on its side, dislodging ice and snow and rusty metal. A torrent of debris falls around you, bouncing off the hull and making you wince. Outside, the thruster section crashes back to the ground, making everything shake with the impact.
Your breath comes out in ragged gasps, you really shouldn't have opened the safety on the reactor like that. And some idiot never installed any compensators for the neural feedback in this machine. Your feet hurt from being slammed into the floor at the moment of impact, your own body trying to mimic the Spring without software interpretation to lessen the force.

“Are we in once piece?” Renko asks. You glance at her, realising that the Spring is lying on its back now.
“I think so, one sec.” You pick yourself up off the decking, shoving a fallen fuel-pipe out of the way. The inside of the Moriya is dark, corroded and frozen over, but the space is large enough to stand up in. Other than a little scratched paint, there's no damage to the Spring. You turn to look back through the hole.
Something huge and sinewy moves silently in the snow. You can only catch a glimpse of it through the hole, grey and white, but interspersed with the glint of metal.
“What the hell is that?” You say, voice not rising above a whisper, the silence inside the Moriya already feeling oppressive.

Renko is smiling. A cold smile of smug satisfaction, staring at the vague thing hulking outside.

“The fuck are you so happy about?” You ask, shocked. Renko's smile vanishes, replaced by detached curiosity.
“Simply marvelling at what forms life can take.” She says. You frown at her, unconvinced.
“So, are we going to search for supplies?” She continues.
“Yeah ... I guess. Not like we can go back out there yet.” You say. “I don't fancy our chances against that thing, whatever it is.” The motion visible through the hole slips to one side, vanishing around the curve of the ship.
“Indeed.” Renko nods. “It would be prudent to wait, at the very least.”
“Mm.” You grunt, swinging back around to face the inside of the ship once more. You're in what looks like an old service passageway, just tall enough to walk down if you keep the Spring in a low crouch. You switch the viewscreen to thermal, the only way to see anything in the dark interior of the Moriya.
“Reading no biologicals.” You say out loud for Renko's benefit. “Other than the thing outside. Heat source down and to starboard, not sure what that is though. Too much to be fire, too small to be fusion or fission, no nuclear spoor. Less ... less nuclear contamination in here than outside.”
“So the ship was landed after the nuclear war.” Renko says. You shrug.
“Any idea about the layout of this place?” You ask, taking a few cautious steps forward. The metal is long settled, it doesn't creak or strain beneath the feet of the Spring.
“The Moriya was lost with all hands in Imperial year 1567.” Renko says. “It was a battleship, but I know nothing more.”
“Battleship ... mm.” You say. “Deployment of any kind should be either in the middle or near the bow. Magazine and armouries above deployment.”
“Or at the rear of the engine block.” Renko says.
“What?” You ask. “Never seen that before.”
“I've been on more ships than you.” She says. You sigh, cycling through sensor equipment. That mysterious heat source is bothering you.

“Though,” Renko continues. “This ship was put down here for a reason. There's no way to know how much it has been modified since then. We should assume we know nothing about the layout.”
“Mm.” You grunt, making sure what few weapon systems you have are armed.

[ ] Investigate the mysterious heat source.
[ ] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[ ] Head to where Renko suggested the magazine and armouries might be.
[ ] Try to find the bridge, you're curious what happened to this ship. There will be logs, a black box, some data you can download from the ship's long-dead AI.
>> No. 21584
[ ] Head to where Renko suggested the magazine and armouries might be.

I'd hope these aren't mutually exclusive and we're just picking the order of getting things done.
>> No. 21585
I have a serious urge to endorse putting a bullet in Renko's skull the first chance we get, just to avoid the inevitable screwing over she appears likely to cause later.

Oh well.

[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.

Bearing in mind, of course, that she already admitted she only wanted us alive to get her off the ship. And given her 'secret spy crap' I doubt she'll want us alive any longer than we're directly useful to her survival.
>> No. 21586
[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.
>> No. 21587
[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.
>> No. 21588
[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.
>> No. 21589
[X] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[X] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.
>> No. 21591
[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.
>> No. 21592
[x] Head to where you think the magazine and armouries will be.
[x] Find some way to get yourself a weapon Renko doesn't know you have. Just in case.

Was our neighbourhood roasted planet a certain one known as Earth?
>> No. 21596
Sorry again for the lack of update today. Stressful things are happening and I have to go somewhere to deal with some things. I will be back by Tuesday, and will get on an update as soon as I return.
>> No. 21641
If you're going to work on an update, then take the chance and update your other stories.

Seriously.
>> No. 21642
>>21641
>Just me trying to get back in the groove.

I'd rather have him back in the groove for whenever he gets back to PoG and his other stuff.

This is good too.
>> No. 21643
Yeah, I should just stop waiting for HY to update ADP.. you still remember that story, right?
>> No. 21644
I just got back to /others/ after a long, long break, and the first thing I see is this.

I'm not even going to read this. I'll just get attached to it, then DESPAIR when it is inevitably left to die by a flighty writefag.
>> No. 21647
>>21644
HY is the new Kira.
>> No. 21651
It's not going to die, dammit. I just got back from 4 days without even pen to write with, let alone a computer.

Update coming, next few hours or so.
>> No. 21685
>>21651

hooray!
>> No. 21692
>>21642
>I'd rather have him back in the groove for whenever he gets back to PoG and his other stuff.

He did the same thing before; this story won't ever see it's end. HY, if you want to get back in the groove, why don't you do it while updating the older stories instead of creating a new one?
>>21651
>It's not going to die, dammit

That's right, none of your story has died. They've only been put on hold forever.

Sorry HY, you're on my top writers list, but you're degrading yourself, and it saddens me more than waiting 7 minutes for updates.
>> No. 21704
I wouldn't be surprised if HY suddenly says fuck it i am going to Mexiko!
>> No. 21709
Even if he is a bit slow, at least he's sticking to one story this time.
>> No. 21713
>>21704
Go back to Shrinemaiden or Poosh.
>> No. 21719
>>21692
>Sorry HY, you're on my top writers list, but you're degrading yourself, and it saddens me more than waiting 7 minutes for updates.

I know, and I would like to apologise. I have been, for nearly a year now, dealing with some of the heaviest shit of my life. It'll be over soon, finally, and I'll be able to actually concentrate and focus again. I said at the top of this thread that MECH was just a warm-up, just keeping myself ticking over for a couple of weeks until I am free.

Expect IPF to return next week. I believe I will work on that first.
>> No. 21722
>>21713
/jp/ actually, i don't go to those shit sites.
>>21719
Stop trying so hard, if you have problems to sort out, then do that instead of trying to do something impossible. The Site here will still be left, probably, after you return in a few months or so.
>> No. 22317
This will update now and again, maybe even once a day sometimes, just because I have a hankering to write some science-fiction.

This update is just the one I had left over from when the site when down.

==

The Spring treads heavily down the passageway, ducking to keep the top of the chassis from scraping the ceiling. There's no way you can take it into crew quarters, or along the usual passages to the bridge, but if you stick to the wide open service passageways, holds and bays, you should be able to traverse the ship without too much difficulty.
Sensor data washes through your mind as you venture deeper into the bowels of the long-dead ship, thermals on the viewscreen useless in the uniform cold, the unexplained heat source shining like a tempting beacon. You do your best to put it from your mind, making your way down and forward, heading for where you think the armouries should be.

“I can't see anything on that screen. Does this machine have any external lights?” Renko speaks up, but her voice is hushed by the darkness outside the Spring.
“No.” You say, gritting your teeth with frustration at her. Her spy bullshit is getting more and more threatening, and distracting you from the task of interface with the Spring. Her gaze is focused on the viewscreen, but you keep watching her to see if she looks at you, if she looks at the manual instrument panels. Your shoulder blades itch and you keep your body alert, just in case.

Near the opening to the outside, the passage was full of debris, wreckage from the sheered off engine block, but further inside it's nearly untouched. Buckled and warped from the decades-long settling of the ship's structure, but otherwise clean and undamaged. Down and forward, closer and closer to where the armoury should be located.

==

The Spring whines with auto-targeting pickups, less than a hundred meters from what looks like blast door large enough to climb through.
“What's that?” Renko asks, obvious edge of panic in her voice. She's blind here, the screen showing her nothing. “What's happening?”
“We're being painted with an infra-red warning shot. Something ... something's out there.” You say very quietly, stopping the Spring dead and breathing deeply, trying to restrain the machine with your own calm. The unloaded shoulder-guns click and buck uselessly, tracking unseen foes across the front of the blast door.
Something?” Renko asks, swallowing hard. You tune her out, concentrating on the sensor data. No heat, no biologicals, no motion. You bring the comms array online, spitting out feelers of radio, then following the targeting beam all the way to its source. But there's nothing but a junction box, relaying its information elsewhere.
“Automated.” You mutter. “Maybe some kind of perimeter defence." You blink involuntarily as you switch vision-modes on the viewscreen, bouncing sonar and radar off the inside of the passage.
“I don't like this.” You say out loud to Renko. “The Spring isn't built for tunnel-fighting work. If there's mines or an automated gun emplacement up ahead then we're fucked, there's no room to move, no way to retreat except back along the corridor.”
“The Moriya may still be inhabited.” Renko says. Not bothering with a reply, you send out a quick comms-pulse. Machine code, worded Imperial and morse.
“Nothing.” You mutter. “No reply on anything."

You close the enhanced sensor readouts, leaving yourself with nothing but a view of the passage ahead, lit with the sickly grey-green of artificial night-vision. That bulkhead isn't very thick, but there is definitely something watching you.

[ ] Back up, go around, find another route.
[ ] Inch forward. Perhaps you can make it to the door.
[ ] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.
>> No. 22318
[ ] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.
>> No. 22319
[ ] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.
>> No. 22320
[ℤℯ] Back up, go around, find another route.
>> No. 22322
[ ] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.
>> No. 22323
[ ] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.

Rule of Cool and all that.
>> No. 22325
[x] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.
If its automated it would fill us up with holes even if we inched away.
>> No. 22330
[x] Sprint, break the door from its mountings and use it as a makeshift shield from whatever is tracking you.

It probably ran out of bullets ages ago, but sure.

Also, Spy Renko is sexy.
>> No. 22361
File 125411166684.jpg - (22.29KB , 346x259 , LeonardMcCoy.jpg ) [iqdb]
22361
>> No. 22362
>>22361
Would you stop that? Its getting annoying.
>> No. 22380
>>22362
It's the new plotton. That didn't last that long either.
>> No. 22381
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22381
>>22380
>> No. 22395
>>22380

Or cupcakes. Lack of cupcakes makes McCoy sad.
>> No. 24597
I liked this.