Read Heavy Metal Thunder Online

Authors: Kyle B. Stiff

Tags: #Fantasy

Heavy Metal Thunder (40 page)

Be sure to erase the amount of ammunition that you
used,
then
turn to section
126
.

 

360

Your need for air overcomes your greed. You kick off
and float back towards the door. You enter the small antechamber. Strangely
enough, this room is now as dark as the former. You push the button to seal off
the room and open the next door. Nothing happens. You push the button again,
harder. No air, nothing. You push on the door, but it does not budge.

If there were a panic button on the panel, now would
be the time to push it.

If you have an
Intelligence
of 3 or more, you
can use it by turning to section
44
.

If you have a
Handgun
and at least
2
Handgun bullets
and would like to fire at the door, turn to section
424
.

If you have a
Handgun
and
and
at least
2 Handgun bullets
and would like to fire at the control panel,
turn to section
170
.

If you do not have this weapon, you can beat at the
door and control panel by turning to section
349
.

 

361

You fight your way up the slope with renewed
intensity. You grab onto a piece of the pillar that you can see is loose, then
put only a fraction of your weight onto it as you crawl forward. Once past it,
you dislodge the chunk of concrete and send it skidding down the slope. One
lead dog jumps out of the way to avoid it, but accidentally brushes into the
other. The two tear into one another until the weaker falls from the support
beam: Gain
1 XP.

You continue on with the rest of the pack not far
behind.

Turn to section
510
.

 

362

You rest as the bodies of your fallen enemies drift
about.

If you have any
SD
damage, and have no
Sticky
Fix
to repair your suit, then the void bleeds you for that much
Blood
.
For instance, if you have lost 1 SD, then you must now lose 1 Blood; if you
have lost 2 SD, then you must now lose 2 Blood; if you have lost 3 SD, then
your tattered suit comes apart and your body is immediately frozen and you die
in the cold of space.

You feel a strange need. You gather up the bodies of
the aliens and look at them. You feel the urge to look upon the true face of
the enemy. But the idea of doing so... is terrifying.

If you are trained in
Xenology
,
turn to section
389
.

If you do not have this skill, you can take off
their helmets and look at them by turning to section
250
.

If you do not have this skill, you can just search
the bodies for gear by turning to section
324
.

 

363

“Sorry boys,” you say. “I’m on a mission to save the
human species, not waste time with a few dogs. Enjoy your last few seconds of
retirement. You’ve earned it.”

The faces of the laborers grow pale, drawn out, eyes
horribly wide, mouths bent like limp scar tissue. You stare at them, your hand
faltering at the door. You realize that you will have nightmares about the Hell
they must be going through and you hate them for it. You hate them for their
impotent rage, their weakness, that willingness to serve for their entire lives
and then the stupid shock they exhibit when their lords and masters don’t bow
down to their simpering idiocy.

God damn them
,
you think bitterly, raging against the horrible feeling turning in your gut.
What
they are - that’s not human
.

“THIRTY SECONDS TIL OPENING,” says the voice of the
intercom. You enter the
Narrenschiff
and seal
the door behind you. There is no window on the door, and the hull is thick. You
can guess that they have run up the gangplank and are banging on the door,
using the last few seconds of their lives to beg for mercy from one who cannot
hear their cries. You are thankful for the thick hull, but you figure the
nightmares to come will probably add the sounds in for you.

Turn to section
427
.

 

364

You steel your reserve and say, “Nay, temptress. I
say thee, nay!”

“Please!” she says. “I beg you, please!”

“I will not hear it! Your feminine wiles can only
cause trouble against my brotherhood of good and noble men. Get thee gone!”

One of the guards rises, shouts, “You faggot!
You idiot!

“You see?” you bark. “Already she has caused strife
among blood brothers! Woman,
begone
!”

With a terrible shriek most unbecoming of a lady -
but which embodies the frustrations that make up the entirety of her being -
she stalks away from your ship. She approaches a large vessel farther down the
line where a line of lawmen in riot gear stand guard. Dozens of dead men lie at
their feet. She never says a word to them, but they part for her and she disappears
within.

Hm
,
you think.
She must be a lawman or something
.

“You freaking idiot,” mutters one of the guards
behind you. “I swear.”

Turn to section
82
.

 

365

You stand your ground as the monsters emerge into
the light. Segmented tentacles whirl about, insect-like faces glare without
mercy,
steel
pincers grind against one another. You
charge into them.

If you are using a
Blade
, turn to section
201
.

If you are using a
Mace
, turn to section
210
.

If you are using a
Spear
, turn to section
496
.

 

366

“Funk dis!” you scream. As the guard shoots down at
the rising behemoths, you crank your grappling harness on and rocket upward
through the hallway. The guard does a double-take at you, but you cannot make
out his complaints over the rumbling of the deconstructors. You open the door
and pull yourself up into it, then close it behind you.

You run down a hallway. Soon, the lights flicker, then
the hall is cast into darkness. You float upward. The deconstructors have
destroyed the backup generator and, with it, all hope of getting fuel from the
dock lines. You float onward, following the light on your helmet.

Soon, all the hallways look similar.
Dark, full of nothingness.
You float for hours. For a while
you are overcome by grief - then, a sense of nothingness. Perhaps a day
stretches by as you wander. You see the body of the manager, frozen and purple,
and you scream in terror. He clutches a long rifle in his dead hands. Then you
hear the rumbling of more deconstructors. The end is coming. The hall shakes,
terrifying, like a nightmare. You cannot stand it, cannot stand it,
overwhelming. Before you can stop yourself you crack the rifle free from the
frozen hands and point it toward your face.
Reassuring.
You squeeze the trigger and feel a terrific explosion as your skull is
shattered, rushes into the vacuum, then freezes in death.

You have died in the darkness of the void, another
victim of the ghost station.

THE END.

 

367

You realize that the lights and the sound are
calibrated to disorient the human nervous system. Though you would like to
further explore the room, you know that you will not be able to hold out for
very long against this
psy
-weapon. You back out of
the chamber and shut the door behind you. (You gain
1 XP
for holding out
as long as you did.)

Turn to section
430
.

 

368

The guard slams his fist into your torso, driving
the air from you. 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. If you are
trained in
Weapon Proficiency: Blade
, add 3 to the number.

During your pounding you lose
5 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.

You deftly reach down to your utility belt, free the
knife from its sheath, and jam it into his gut. The guard slams several more
punches into your torso,
then
looks down in confusion.
When he sees the knife in him, he yelps and falls off of you, crawling away.
You stumble after him. As he rises onto his hands and knees, grunting like a
hog, you straddle his back, lay the knife along his throat, and yank it toward
yourself. Blood gushes onto the floor like wine from a barrel and the guard
crashes to the floor, splashing the stuff everywhere.

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
.

 

369

You aim your gun down at the shining heart of the
beast. “Be seeing you,” you say,
then
fire. There is a
brilliant flash,
then
thick shards of freezing water
burst out into the void. You stumble backward, blinded by the sparkling mist,
then blast your jets and fly away from the area.

The effect on the massive beast is violent.
Everywhere you see clusters of tentacles shrivel and curl up. Large mounds unfold,
strange blind heads with gaping mouths snap and bite before they, too, succumb
to death. An unhealthy brown hue spreads across the flesh of the beast for
several minutes. Finally, cracks spread, then chunks of frozen skin shatter,
tubes like wet noodles spring out, and all manner of liquids and gases spray
out.

Your helm computer leaps to life, beeping as it
identifies the elements as they spray and freeze in the vacuum: Oxygen, water,
hydrogen.

“Hell’s Bells!” you shriek.
“Air,
liquid water, fuel!”
The beast was a living farm for the Invaders, a
growing supply depot, and you’ve just tapped its veins. You fly outward to your
net and quickly haul it back to the dying beast, desperate to refill your
supplies before they are lost to the vacuum. The spraying tubes dance around
wildly, slick in your hands.

In a few minutes your empty oxygen tanks, fuel
containers, and water jugs are full. Then the tubes sputter, cough,
run
dry. The skin of the beast hardens underfoot and it
dies.

You gain
3 XP
for ruining a supply depot of
the Invaders. Be sure to erase the bullet you used. But best of all, you are
now better equipped for your desperate mission against the stalking Invader
ship set on destroying your comrades.

Turn to section
420
.

 

370

The deck is almost comfortably warm, but its walls
are painted in cool tones. The first thing you see is a large video monitor
surrounded by smaller ones, all of which display the black of space with blue
map overlays. Sometimes the monitors flash to different sections of the ship,
like the engine room and its nuclear reactor, the precious shield generator
room, and the various docking bays. Next you see the silent, efficient crew
sitting at their computer monitors. Captain Numitor sits on a raised platform
where he surveys the monitors, one arm propped up on his great chair in a very
noble fashion, like a king of old. Except for a few guards with yellow badges,
all of the crewmen wear the blue patch of ship personnel. The Captain wears a
grey badge on his black uniform.

“Slow us down,” says Captain Numitor. “Again, half
our current speed.”

“Yes sir,” says one crewman, and his fingers fly as
he contacts the engine room. You are impressed with the division of labor, the
acknowledgment of hierarchy, and wonder if perhaps you will ever be captain of
such a ship.

“Grinder missiles?” says Captain Numitor.

“READY TO GO, SIR!” shouts another crewman, and you
are surprised at his aggressive tone. He swivels in his chair and you note that
his face is contorted by some kind of mania, and his sweater is smeared with
what can only be dried blood.

Just then the Captain’s aide approaches you. He is
an elderly man and, seemingly recognizing you, nods. You salute and he raises a
hand, an “at ease” gesture. “First time on deck?” he asks.

“Sir, yes sir.”

He nods in a friendly manner,
then
says, “Any questions?”

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