Read Heavy Metal Thunder Online

Authors: Kyle B. Stiff

Tags: #Fantasy

Heavy Metal Thunder (37 page)

If you would like to put your mask back on, hold
your breath, and explore the room you just came from, turn to section
76
.

If you would rather explore this hallway, turn to
section
285
.

 

336

The guard swings his fists into you again and again
while you roll about under him, covering yourself as best you can. Your
forearms and shoulders burn and swell and you cannot seem to wriggle free. You
feel like either you are going to black out or your heart is going to explode.
But you do not cry out.

You must now compute a number to see if you are
being beaten to death, or just close to it. Add your
Ground Combat (1 G Combat)
to your
Strength
and your
Will
stat.

During your pounding you lose
9 Blood
- but
you can subtract the number calculated above from this amount. If your Blood
has dropped to zero or less, then the guard has pounded your body into a gooey
mess sloshing around inside your suit. If you have survived his onslaught, then
continue on.

The guard, unsure that his blows are having any
impact through your suit, pauses, raises a fist high into the air, and brings
it crashing down into your helmet. While your head is jarred, he yelps and
holds his hand near his face. Even if the man was strong enough to punch
through bulletproof glass - he’s never tackled Black Lance Legion gear before.

You lift up suddenly, grab his broken hand, and
twist it savagely. The guard howls and rolls to the floor. You leap up,
then
yank his hand into the air even as you bring your boot
down into his face. His face pales and his eyes grow slack as he is stunned,
then you roll to the floor, twisting his hand all the while, and lock your
knees at his elbow and your boots around his neck. He takes up moaning,
then
coughs as he kicks about. You pull harder, mangling his
hand and crushing his throat. He grows still and, after a few minutes pass, you
release the dead man from your grasp.

You gain
2 XP
for killing the guard. You
search his body and find the following items:

STELLAR Hand-Held Radio (bulk 1)

Lounge Card Key (bulk 0)

Turn to section
565
.

 

337

You tap
Uther’s
shoulder,
then
nod. He nods back and you creep toward the narrow
hallway that leads off to the side. The hum of distant machinery covers the
sound of your jetpack clanging back and forth. Another hall leads off to your left.
You peer around quickly and see nothing. Gun held ready, you move into it.
Another hall branches off to your left and you are sure that it must be the
very hallway that connects to your allies’ hallway; if there is an ambush
ready, it will be there. You crouch at the intersection, take a deep breath,
then
swing around.

Uther was right - four Invader guards in bulky armor
and black masks, horns held low as they crouch with their guns, are waiting for
anyone who would come near. One of them sees you and barks harshly. You raise
your gun and fire.

You gain
1 XP
for the use of your skill.

You must now compute a number that will determine
the outcome of your gun battle. This number is your
Dexterity
. If you
are trained in
Weapon Proficiency: Ranged
, and it is with the weapon you
are using, add 3 to this number. If you are using a
Shotgun
, add 1. For
every
3 Handgun bullets
you fire, add 1. For every
2 Rifle bullets
you fire, add 1. For every
Shotgun
shell you fire, add 1.

If your number is 8 or less, turn to section
184
.

If your number is 9 or more, turn to section
432
.

 

338

You float in a field of stars, the sound of your
breathing punctuated with scrambled voices, barking commands, cries of panic.
Points of light flying, clashing,
exploding.
There is
a sword in your hand, a strange and wide black blade that vibrates, alive. It
is a weapon that generates its own electromagnetic field and was designed to
hack through the invisible shields of the ships of the Invader. You feel you
have no idea how to use the thing.

Dreaming, must be dreaming, must be
-

Two fighters in black suits slam into one another,
too fast for you to do anything. One spins wildly, a long, glowing spear
jutting from his chest. The other disappears. Terrified, you see your sword
floating away from you, dropped in panic.

You fumble awkwardly with your jets. Have to get
that sword... Your jets kick uselessly, first taking you away from the sword,
then perpendicular to it, then away again,
then
it
disappears in dark space.

You curse. The jetpack is too difficult to use.
How
they expect us to fly around on these stupid things with no points of
reference, just out here in space, and not get killed, it’s so stupid I just
want to go home
-

A soldier, a human Infantryman, floats before you.
The sight of his charged mace fills you with such dread that you know this is a
dream of remembrance and that he is the man who tried to kill you. You try to
move but you are too slow and the man slams into you, carrying you both farther
from the battle than you have already drifted. You grab his neckpiece and push
against him lamely. Then his face is before yours, dim and dark, but hateful,
gloating,
psychotic
. The dream slows down and his face
hovers before you. The lines harden, become clear - and you see the face in
perfect detail. Gaunt cheekbones, grey eyes, reddish-blond hair cropped short,
thin nose, freckles. His red lips are pulled back showing grossly crooked teeth,
an expression of pure menace.

The face of my killer
.

The dream speeds up. You pull against his neckpiece
with your right hand until his dog tag comes loose in your grasp. A
split-second later he raises his mace into the air, swings it before you, brings
it crashing to the side of your helm -

You wake suddenly. You are in the
Narrenschiff
, lying in a corner. Sleeping bodies lie
huddled nearby in the gloom and half-lights of the ship’s control panel. Your
right hand twitches. You are holding something. You look and find that you
clutching the dog tag marked

PVT.
CHRISTIAN, JOHN

BLACK
LANCE LEGION INFANTRY

SER#
3902247236

Your inventory lies
loose
all around you, but you find that nothing is missing. In sleep, your hand must
have searched out the hateful item like a hound sniffing out its prey.

Private John Christian
,
you think.
The man who tried to kill me.
Tried, and failed
. You lie back down to sleep some more.
But if that
bastard John Christian hadn’t tried to kill me, then none of this would have happened.
I’d be back on my ship with the rest of my brothers
...

You realize, then, that you also never would have
found out about the Invader ship that is tracking your brothers, that is
possibly even trying to find the holdout of the entire human resistance. Still,
your resentment of your would-be killer overpowers your “gratefulness” to him
for putting you on this journey, on this dangerous road where survival is a
terrible battle against literal death and many lives depend on your own.
Tried
to kill me
, you think blackly,
and failed
.

I hope you’re still alive, Private
Christian. Cause when I find you, I’m gonna show you how killing is done
.

If
Philip the Medic
is with you, turn to
section
93
.

If he is not, turn to section
113
.

 

339

You kick off silently from the face of the cliff and
float gently toward the sniper’s back. As soon as you fall on him he jerks
sideways, smacking you in the helm with his elbow. You beat him about the helm
and neckpiece while he flails wildly, desperate to survive your assault.

You must now compute a number that determines the
outcome of your stealthy attack. This number is your
Strength
stat added
to your
Zero G Combat
stat. If you are using a
Blade
, add 2 to this
number. If you are using a
Spear
, add 1. If you are trained in
Weapon
Proficiency: Hand-to-Hand
, and it is with the weapon you are using, add 3
to this number. If you are not using a
hand-to-hand weapon
, subtract 3
from this number.

As the Invader pounds your suit and flesh with
elbows and knees, you lose
10 Blood
, though you may subtract the number
you calculated from this amount. (You may also subtract your
Defense
rating, if you are wearing any armor.)

(If you have died, then you may
Regenerate
by
turning to section
312
, or, if you want to go
further back, section
179
.
)

If you survive, then you shatter your foe’s helm
visor. He knocks you away into a brittle stone and you watch as plumes of oxygen
and red ice pour forth as he kicks about, sending up a cloud of dust. Soon, he
twitches weakly,
then
floats limp and calm.

You gain
2 XP
for killing the Invader.

You rise into a crouch,
then
feel eyes on your back. The other Invader is staring at you, black face
unreadable,
horns
gleaming in the light of distant
stars. His jet arcs to life and he flies toward you at incredible speed.

If you want to fire at him with a gun, turn to
section
39
.

If you want to draw a hand-to-hand weapon and face
him (or even take him on unarmed), turn to section
413
.

 

340

You survey the oxygen tanks, trying to figure out if
you have gathered enough of them. Suddenly a light flashes - you whirl about
and see a silhouette floating down the hall. His flashlight bounces wildly. The
form is squat - it is the manager. You can just make out the glint of steel as
a long rifle is leveled at you.

“Wait!” you scream,
then
the rifle barks. There is a terrific explosion all around you, a wall or floor
or ceiling slams into you and you slide along it, ears ringing, flesh smashed,
lungs crushed. You crash into another wall and stop. Agonizing minutes pass
before you can rise. You kick off back down the smoky hall, resting as you float
slowly.

Miraculously, most of the oxygen tanks are still
intact, though scattered; only one or two of them exploded from the stalker’s
bullet. You slowly kick about, gathering the others back into some consolidated
area, casting your eyes about like a scared animal.

Overall, you lose
4 Blood
in the blast.

You make a vow to kill that prick manager before you
turn to section
100
.

 

341

You gain
2 XP
for ridding the world of two
cretins. Be sure to mark
Buford
and
Cletus
off your list of
companions.

You may take Buford’s
Lady Luck (Rifle, bulk 3)
or Cletus’s
Hark From the Grave (Rifle, bulk 3)
and their meager
collection of
5 Rifle bullets (bulk 1)
if you wish.

You treat your wounds as best you can. If you are
skilled in
First
Aid
, you heal
1 Blood.
If
Philip
the
Medic
is with you, you heal an additional
1 Blood.

If your
Will
is 4 or more, turn to section
186
.

If it is not that high, turn to section
289
.

 

342

The laborer relaxes. The girl quickly pulls away and
darts to the far end of the room.

You gain
1 XP
for masterminding the release
of the girl.

“Fine,” says the laborer, staring back at you. “But
I reject your world.”

Suddenly he puts the gun to his own head. “Wait!”
you shout. “Don’t do it!
I can use that bullet!
” But it’s too late - the
man fires, blowing his brains out like a rainbow that comes in only one color.
His body falls in a twitching heap. You may take his
Bloody Chrome-Plated
9mm (Handgun, bulk 2)
and
4 Handgun Bullets (bulk 1)
if you wish.

Turn to section
450
.

 

343

As the tentacle mercilessly drags you closer to its
writhing brethren down below, you steel-up your reserve and ready your jetpack for
the ride of its life.

You must now compute a number that will determine
the outcome of your maneuver. This number is your
Dexterity
stat plus
your
Will
stat. If you have the
Jetpack
Skill
, add 4 to
this number.

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