Read Heavy Metal Thunder Online

Authors: Kyle B. Stiff

Tags: #Fantasy

Heavy Metal Thunder (41 page)

“Sir, I’m wondering about the psychopath over
there,” you say, nodding to the youth with the bloody sweater.

“Ah, yes. He is a... a
human
fanatic
,
as they are called.
A good soldier.
Rather
exuberant
, however.”

“Exuberant?” you say, not because you want him to
elaborate, but because you do not know what the word means.

The aide chuckles, says, “Yes, quite. It’s a
well-known fact that his
kind spend
more time in
lock-down than on active duty!
A rowdy bunch, all around.
Have to watch your tone around them, if you catch my meaning.”

“So
there’s
a lot of these
fanatics? What exactly are they about?”

“They are a pro-human movement woken up by the
presence of the Invader. What they are about is the destruction of all alien
forces occupying our solar system... or so they say. Sometimes I think what
they’re really about is a lot of shouting and fighting with the rest of the
crew. Some call them a religion, others a philosophy. Still others call them a
cult
.
They hold views of genetic intolerance, racist ideals concerning human
supremacy, a blatant deification of native human culture. Sometimes, ah...
sometimes I wonder if, perhaps, we simply shouldn’t try talking to the
Invaders. If there is one alien race other than our own, then there must be
many.
Which means, son, that we are neighbors in a great
galactic community.
Does that not mean that we should try to get along?”

You are instantly enraged. “They invaded our solar
system, destroyed our colonies, and took our homeworld from us,” you say,
straining against the impulse to murder your superior. “No human city has been
left standing. What is there to talk about?
Sir
.”

“It’s just one option,” the aide says, shaking his
head testily. “One of many that could be explored, or at the very least,
discussed.
Now, good day.”

Once the aide leaves, your blood cools down. You
think about talking to the fanatic, but he seems incredibly busy at his
console. You decide to hurry to the supply depot to check out your gear, since
there’s no telling when you’ll need it.

Turn to section
410
.

 

371

“ATTENTION!” says the voice on the intercom.
“DOCKING BAY DOORS WILL BE OPENING IN 90 SECONDS!”

“Minute and a half!” you shout. “That’s it! Let’s
get ready to move out!” The laborers, utterly exhausted, drop the boxes they
did not load and rest against them, panting and sweating. The guards lazily
sheathe their guns and stroll up the gangplank leading into the ship. Just then
you realize that the guards may be completely worthless. In fact, with their
guns, they may actually be a hindrance to your safe passage.

You curse silently, thinking,
Only
a minute to go, and no way to get rid of those two without a fight. No choice
but to let them eat up the supplies and just deal with whatever problems they
cause later on down the road
.

Make a note that
Cletus the Mercenary
and
Buford
the Mercenary
are with you.

Then you turn toward the three laborers. A wicked
idea blooms in your heart.

If you want to refuse to let the laborers into the
ship so they won’t eat up your limited supplies, turn to section
29
.

If you want to let them on board as payment for
their hard work, turn to section
388
.

 

372

Combat!
The will to kill, the struggle to survive, the bloody battle
from which only the gore-drenched few can emerge victorious.
The Black
Lance Legion
have
worked hard to burn away the
civilized nature of modernity and hone your primal killer’s edge. There are two
forms of combat they have taught you. What you do with this terrible knowledge
is up to you.

Ground Combat (or 1 G Combat)
- The normal hand-to-hand mode of fighting that man has excelled in since he
climbed down from the trees.
Includes everything from
grappling to striking to parrying to strangling.

Zero G Combat
- The Space Age combat that the Jetpack Infantry specializes in. The Black
Lance Legion grunts engage the enemy in intense aerial combat among the stars,
grappling for supremacy on wings of fire. A good Jetpack Infantryman has to
maneuver with grace and bash with skill.

You begin your personal war with
1 point
in
each of these modes of combat. During the course of your training, you have
earned
1 more point
that you may distribute as you see fit.

Turn to section
334
.

 

373

You bend low to the ground and shine your helm light
on one of the glistening blue channels. You follow it, study the way it
branches into smaller channels, how it connects to larger ones. The only thing
you can make of them is that they are veins and arteries that transport some
kind of blood throughout the creature’s body.

You follow the larger branches of the blue arteries
until you come to a small plot of frozen white flowers. Within the little
garden shines a blue disc, like a ring perhaps three feet in diameter, laid out
on the ground. The blue veins connect to this shining thing. If the blue channels
are indeed veins, then the thing within the garden must be the heart of the
beast.

The need to kill this pet of the Invaders hums
within you. But you do not trust these strange flowers that grow in the cold of
space.

If you want to wade through the flowers to get to
the heart, turn to section
461
.

If you want to fly overhead and get a head-on view
of the heart, turn to section
507
.

 

374

“Don’t even think about it!” screams the smiling revolutionary.

“I’m... I’m not!” the other shrieks. He holds his
gun firmly, raises it toward you.

“Now, hold on a sec!” you shout.

“Drop ’
em
!” shouts the
lawman.

“Shut up!” shouts the smiling revolutionary. “Shut
up! Shut up! Now!
Now!
Now!

The tension builds - then explodes.

Turn to section
380
.

 

375

You blast at the enemy as he raises his long rifle
and attempts to do the same.

You must now compute a number that will determine
the outcome of your gun battle. This number is your
Dexterity
added to
your
Zero G Combat
stat. If you have the
Jetpack
Skill
,
add 4 to this number. 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 to this number no matter how many shells you fire. 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.

The long rifle fires in a flash of light. You lose
18
Blood
, but you may subtract the number you calculated from this amount. If
you lose at least 1 Blood then you also lose
1 SD.

(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 the Invader’s body jerks back
and forth as it is run through with gunfire, then oxygen and red ice spews from
the demolished suit. You
brake
hard, then crash into a
bed of ash beside your fallen enemy.

You gain
2 XP
for killing the Invader sniper.
Be sure to erase the amount of ammunition that you used.

Turn to section
362
.

 

376

You hear a man shouting in panic, then wild gunfire.
You come upon a ruined deconstructor, tentacles limp,
smoke
rising from its blasted shell. You skirt around it,
then
crouch close to a wide intersection near the sounds of battle.

Just as you are deciding what to do, two
green-armored men with rifles run into the intersection, one firing in front,
the other behind. The one in front is skinny, and his eyes and mouth are
stretched out in absolute terror. He shrieks wildly as he fires his gun at the
unseen attacker. The other man is bigger than the first, with wiry hair, and a
steady stream of cool comments seem to come from him, though you cannot hear
over the gunfire. You hear a shriek and a crash as the man wastes one of the
deconstructors.

There is another sharp explosion as the skinny man
dusts off one of the monsters. He suddenly whirls on you, lips quivering as he
hollers insanely. You raise your hands as he levels his rifle at you. It
clicks, empty, and before you can say anything he runs at you, screaming,
“Raider!”

You must dispatch this panicky fool before he kills
you. And you’ll have to do it fast, while his buddy is preoccupied with the
last of the deconstructors.

If you have a
Handgun
and at least
1
bullet
, you can try to smoke his ass by turning to section
266
.

If you have a
Knife
, carve him up by turning to
section
333
.

If you have a
Mace
, hit a home run on his
skull by turning to section
437
.

If you have a
Spear
, run him through by
turning to section
209
.

If you have none of these weapons, take him out
bare-handed at section
49
.

 

377

The armory has been almost completely trashed, and
secretaries and minor lawmen lie dead on the ground. Several morale-boosting
posters have been shot up. Worst of all - you see no less than eight
revolutionaries at the far end of the room, laughing and screeching as they arm
themselves. Several of them turn to you and eye you warily, though none of them
confront you.

You can see that most of the gun racks are being
ransacked by the revolutionaries. However,
a smaller gun rack
stands nearby, all alone and aching to be pilfered.

If you wish to announce to all and
sundry, “Alright boys, party’s over.
I’m taking you down,”
then turn to section
279
.

If you wish to keep your head down and walk over to
the smaller gun rack, turn to section
577
.

 

378

Immediately the laborers leap up and tackle Cletus.
Bawling like a wounded animal, Cletus disappears under a landslide of stomping
feet. The men show him no mercy; all their lives they have been pushed around
by similar mindless brutes whose only authority comes from the end of a gun.

Buford charges and slams into you. You crash into a
stack of boxes and your head slams painfully against the floor, jarring you. He
lashes out with a series of wild punches. You hear a terrific ringing sound and
Buford crashes into the ground. You peel your eyes open and see one of the
laborers staggering under the weight of a heavy oxygen tank. The young man
brings the thing down on Buford’s head again, nearly knocking his eyes loose
from their sockets. Buford swings his fist out and catches the smaller man in
the gut, dropping him painfully, but you are on top of Buford before he can
fully recover. A red haze dims your vision and you are aware only of the
exertion in your limbs.

You must now compute a number that will determine
the outcome of this fight. This number is your
Strength
stat added to
your
1 G Combat
stat
. If you are skilled in
Weapon
Proficiency: Hand-to-Hand
, and it is with the weapon you are using, add 2
to this number. If you are using a
Blade
, add 1 to this number. If you
are using a
Mace
, add 2.

During the fight you lose
10 Blood
, though
you may subtract the number above from this amount. You may also subtract your
Defense
rating, if you have any.

If you die, then you may
Regenerate
by
turning to section
312
, or, if you want to go
further back, section
179
.

When you recover, you see a pulpy, bloody mess
beneath you; the thing that was once Buford moans, his throat nearly crushed,
then the broken bits of his teeth trickle into the back of his throat and
suffocate him.

You glance over at the laborers. They are panting
and leaning against one another. Cletus is dead on the ground, a bag of
shattered bones and ruined organs. One of the laborers nods to you, and you nod
back. Another smiles slightly, then hides his mouth behind his hand guiltily.

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