Emerging: End of Days IC, Will you face the Apocalypse? Recruitment Always Open
Emerging: End of Days IC, Will you face the Apocalypse? Recruitment Always Open
Jul 11 2011, 07:31 PM
Joined: 9-March 10
From: The Citadel
Member No.: 18,267
Well you are here now, things are going to get interesting! Your mind wanders back over your journey to this place...from everything you’d heard about Stillwater you had expected some sort of utopian transhumanist haven on the edge of the squalor of Redmond. The truth is somewhat different...
...As you leave the comparative safety of Touristville and head out beyond the derelict sky scrapers, the proud remnants of the Redmond computer industry, the landscape changes. Union Hill road east towards the Cascades, driving through miles of monotonous abandoned suburban semis. It isn’t possible to imagine this area as thriving once. Burnt out shells litter the streets, the wreckage of so many lives scattered about you. Furtive figures, huddled over fires watch you as you pass, wondering if there are enough of them to strip you of anything of value.
Toxic castles leer at you, pumping fumes into the already thick soup that passes for air around here. The sinister behemoth of the Ares Arms principal weapons plant in the barrens lies ahead. A VTOL thrusts upwards, its turbines churning the smog into lurid forms in the halogen lights blazing from the factory. The Ares corporate logo is not a friendly sight here, the helmet of some ancient titan waiting to call down judgement on any who stray too close to those massive walls. You pass St. James Lake, its waters stained with effluent from the factory, unnatural vapours caressing the stunted plants along the shore.
You move briefly onto Redmond Fall City road, the broad carriageway pitted with decay. On your left is the remains of another major urban centre but only maps recall what its name was, the oldest residents here don’t tend to live long enough to gain very full memories. In front of you, still a long way in the distance are the peaks of Cougar Mountain and Tiger Mountain, pristine when compared with the filth around you.
You are forced to swerve as a vehicle that barely resembles the bus it was cobbled from hurtles out of a side road. It scatters debris as it mounts the pavement and then jolts back onto the road. You expect some of the armour plating strapped to its sides to be left behind in its harebrained race towards wherever it is going.
Somewhere over on your right is Glow City but thankfully you are heading away from it now, directly towards the mountains, the only major obstacle now is the Snoqualmie River. This close to the source in the Cascades the river is cleaner without the oils and toxins that mottle its surface further inside the barrens. The huge packs of distinctive bone white devil rats that plague the Snoqualmie are missing here, only a number of corpses remain, strung up, the skeletons showing the damage caused by rifle fire.
Gang sigils begin to appear on prominent places along the side of the road as you begin to head uphill out of the flat basin that makes up the majority of Redmond. A stylised wolf’s head grins down at you from the remaining vertical walls and twisted lampposts. The buildings around you begin to look more cared for although they are still derelict, you can see signs that they have been shored up to prevent them from collapsing. To your amazement you can see a living tree up ahead, although it is sickening in the poisoned air it is nevertheless fresh green in an otherwise concrete world.
As you rise higher still and leave some of the smog behind you see a child playing in the road, something unheard of in the centre of the barrens. There the children live like animals and don’t have the energy to play apart from the violent games of survival in the gangs. As you cross the 203, the official end of the barrens and the Seattle Metroplex you become aware of motorbikes shadowing you at a careful distance, the Wolf Pack.
The houses now were once the homes of computer execs and their ilk, at the start of the foothills of the Cascades, surrounded by what was once verdant countryside. An effort has been made against the odds and the land is green again, though a far cry from the natural beauty still to be found out of the reaches of the industrial poisons and corporate greed.
The centre of the community was once a large spar complex and the holiday homes that surround the lake. Abandoned by the corps when they would have had to travel through the barrens to reach it, it is now home to a scattering of people guarded by the Wolves and the blind eye of the Salish authorities.
The tower is a forlorn sight...a stark reaching skeleton against the dusk. The unusual greenery is already beginning to entomb it, vines softening the edges of the bombed out structure. The damage is old and the place appears on the surface to be completely abandoned but your sensor feeds detected power sources still in use inside, sizeable ones. For those of you who have been here before the decay of the tower and surrounding buildings seems to have increased with surprising rapidity...it is as if someone is deliberately trying to make it look like this place has been abandoned entirely to the forces of nature...
After your briefing in a dilapidated conference room in the entrance block you are led across the bridge to the island and the remains of the tower. Light filters in on you through a web of structural reinforcement and trailing awakened ivy. Dim phosphoresce from the pools of water suggest something else is alive down here and the astral, for those that can see it, is a weird mix of signals, an oppressive foreboding coupled with a desperate sense of hope.
A helical stair leads downwards into the bowels of the tower. It has clearly been patched after whatever destructive force tore through here. Signs of inhabitation increase as you descend underground. Soft lighting comes from integrated displays that come alive in AR. They display abstract light sculptures that wrap around you, responding to your movements, curling in sinuous forms and seeming to lead you on...
...the room, more of a chamber really, contains a series of comfortable looking beds arranged around medical monitoring hubs descending from the ceiling. Attendant drones are already helping people to make themselves comfortable and prepare for their immersion in the UV reality. It would seem it is time for you to do the same...
A reassuring voice speaks into your mind
~Please remain calm. The nanite trode link is being established...connection in three, two, ooooooooneee...~
...A white flash...and you are standing on the shore of the lake...at first the differences are unclear and you are amazed at the clarity of the simulation...then the smell of smoke and ash catch in the back of your throat and you become aware of the sky above the tree line...It is dark and threatening with scudding clouds and ripples of sheet lightening. The tree tops are thrashing in the gusting winds and the lake is crazed with waves moving in conflicting directions.
Then your eye is drawn to a weird structure further along the lake shore...it is some sort of pylon but the air around it is distorted and it is uncomfortable to look at for long. Three figures stand at its base, seemingly communing with it. Its purpose is unclear but further on you can see a second pylon and in the trees behind you another...you hazard a guess that they surround the Stillwater area...
“Welcome Clerics...that is what you are here, we find the name reminds you of your purpose, to defend the flock... I see you are admiring the Choir? It is their sacrifice that keeps us safe for now. Magic to dull the senses and turn things away, a technological mesh network to defeat other sorts of searchers...all to let the Sleepers have the chance to dream.”
Turning you see that the figure speaking to you is a wizened old black woman hunched over her staff that is carved with arcane and technological iconography
“Come, you have a task to perform...” and beyond her you hear the rumble of engines over the rising wind. A column of mechanised infantry vehicles turns out of the tree line and approaches were you stand. Hanging onto the flanks of the lead vehicle are two heavily armoured Supertroopers with an impressive arsenal strapped to their limbs. A Yellowjacket buzzes overhead, its weapon loadout looking suspiciously like a Firelance laser.
They clearly weren’t kidding when they said this simulation would let you play with the big guns...that even looks like a mobile howitzer towards the back of the column...and it is getting harder to think of this as a simulation when your mind is frantically telling you that this is real!
This post has been edited by Aria: Jul 15 2011, 12:07 PM
Oct 8 2011, 08:31 AM
Joined: 14-June 10
From: San Diego, CA
Member No.: 18,704
[En route to convoy]
<<[Captain West]: Listen to me, you fekking pompous ass! If your superior officer gives you a fekking order then you obey it, damn it!>>
Tell him he's a fool... Tell him that if the rest of your team was meant to survive, they would have found a way to defeat The Darkness without you... Anima's voice gently kissed the forefront of his mind. How he would love to indulge her---indulge himself---by telling West where he could stick his concerns. However, the captain kept talking.
<<[Captain West]: Thirteen men dead, two mechas lost, that is fekking unacceptable! Do you hear me??? Answer me, damn it!>>
Anima gives a throaty, sensuous laugh at the sound of West's fury.
<<[Captain West]: You're damn lucky I'm not there in person to bust your ass myself! I'm giving you one last chance to show that you can handle yourself on the field. There's a convoy moving to hit an Aztech facility. Fortunately, they don't need you, but they could use your support. I'm sending the coordinates to you now. Meet with them ASAP. I'm also sending them a report on your most recent actions so they know exactly who they are dealing with. I'm sending you a copy as well so you can read it and maybe do some soul-searching or just realize how big of an asshole you really are. West out.>>
A moment later, West sends him the coordinates of the convoy, as well as copies him on the dossier of Trismegistus that the convoy is receiving.
Only about a klick away. That's fortunate at least.
And not far from The Darkness as well...
If only I could go there---
No. Anima's voice assumes a commanding tone. You are not ready to face what lies there, not yet.
Trismegistus hesitates before answering. He is not sure if this is another test, or if Anima is being sincere.
This is not another test. You were worthy for that last test to seek out the source, and you have grown stronger...much stronger than you were when I first felt your presence. However...there is something strange...something unnaturally wicked about it. I am not sure if it is a true source of power or merely a shadowy deception.
Very well, I will listen to you. This time. He can feel Anima smile at his "submission." She had been responsible for slowly coaxing out his contrary nature, honing it, sharpening it into a source of fearlessness. Others could rarely understand her advice, and instead believed her to be dangerous. However, he could see her for what she truly is: someone who cares. She would not let him die without purpose.
A trio of comm bursts hit your commlinks.
<<[Capt. West]: This is Captain West. We recently lost a team, and I'm transferring the lone survivor to your convoy. He's a mage specced for combat and support, so he should come in handy. However, he's also a fekking little prick and partially responsible for the loss of his team. I'm sending you a report on him. He should be rendezvousing with you soon.>>
<<Report---Robert Curwen, Code Name "Trismegistus">>
[ Spoiler ]
<<[Trismegistus]: Trismegistus here. You can use Tris for short. I have been assigned to your convoy and should rendezvous with you shortly. I read West's report and it is...accurate. I will...try...to remember that I am part of a team. See you soon.>>
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 29th November 2014 - 12:00 AM|
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