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  • Notrium Fanfic

    UberWaffe 11 years ago
    [OT]Totally OT but I just couldn't resist.
    "eug1404" said:
    Nice job, quite a few spelling/grammar mistakes. But I'll let the board's grammar-natzis fix them up.
    There I fixed up your spelling.grammar mistakes... oh, wait. You meant the story...[/OT]

    Yes, the new chapter is really cool. I am anxious to know what is to happen next. Any chance we will hear more about the other characters in the next chapter? (Psionic, Android, Alien, etc...)
    #
    clogmonkey 11 years ago
    WOOOOOT!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!
    MORE! MORE!! MORE!!!
    ....
    ...
    ..
    .

    yay...
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    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Sorry UberWaffe. No mention of them in this chapter. I will tell you one thing though. Out of the other three, the Psionic will play the biggest part in the captain's journey.


    Chapter 17: Arrival at the Desert- Inside what appeared to be a command room of some sort, the captain was surprised to see a spacious circular room with dozens of computer panels giving a low hum and a faint heat. The captain looked closer. Strangely the computer panels and even the input devices were different. Some were plasma screens, and others used holographic technology. A few used voice recognition but the rest used a variety of other contraptions. It was almost as if someone had taken computers from all races and time periods and jammed them into a single room. Were the marines from different backgrounds? No, some of the tech here was completely alien. Then the captain remembered the ships he had seen on the planet, and the marine squad in the marsh. "These people must be scavengers." he thought, as he tapped the buttons of a rather primitive keyboard. Perhaps Ville Corp. did not even understand the science behind their weapons, armor, and other equipment. If so, then the captain had at least one advantage. The thought of this weakness comforted him. He spoke aloud to one of the consoles:

    "Access bunker information."
    "Bunker Beta-3 is a means of defending Mining Base Beta-3. There are approximately 50 marines stationed in and around the bunker. It is also used as a research lab for captured blue aliens. The most fascinating discovery that the research team has made is that the brain of a specimen secretes a chemical that the team can use to build an antidote for the-" "Stop." The captain interrupted the console. He had no use for minor details.

    "Where can I find information on all of the Ville Corporation facilities on Notrium?" "To the console at the very bottom right." A hologram of Notrium popped up that seemed to show all of the marine bases on the planet. There was a dot with a label next to it that read: "Current Position" and another one with the red letters: "HQ" flickering above it. There were two missile shaped icons on opposite sides of the planet, obviously the planetary defenses that would endanger the United Confederacy fleet if left activated. Then he saw it. It was a slight fluctuation at first as the computer ran more cycles to compute what had just happened. The icon disappeared, replaced by a red X and a bomb symbol. A few seconds later the missile icon returned, as if nothing had ever happened. The captain typed furiously onto the keyboard, but nothing would confirm what he saw. He paused to think about what it meant. If Admiral Thorpe had succeeded and covered up all traces of anything happening, then all that was left to do was to go to the second one and disable it. But if it was just an error in the system-which was not out of the question, considering the age of some of the computers- then what could he do? Two choices presented themselves to the captain. He could either go to the second defense area and disarm it, or go to HQ and hope that it would be possible to shut them both down from there. He closed his eyes for a moment, weighing the odds and imagining the outcomes.

    It did not take long for him to decide. He would have to trust that Admiral Thorpe had succeeded. The other missile site was almost halfway around the planet. Getting there by foot would take months. Then he recalled the shuttle out on the launch pad, and the marine that was barking orders in the bunker. The captain entered the room their leader was before he was clawed apart. He searched the remains of the body and found a light metallic card. He jumped in surprise when the card melted into his hand, eventually disappearing. He shook his hand and looked around the floor but the card was truly gone. The captain ran out of the bunker and to the shuttle. He gasped as the card reformed onto his hand and lit up brighter when he brought it past the holographic screen. The top of the shuttle lifted and buttons started flashing. The captain climbed in. He gave a sigh of relief when he realized that the controls were taken straight out of a human shuttle. He started the engine and lifted it off the pad. The handling was a little choppy as one would expect from combining an alien shell with a human interior. He typed in the coordinates for the defense area and drove it up to maximum speed. The yellow shuttle shone with the moon's reflection, but then its light stretched out into a long tail as the speed increased exponentially. The captain would arrive in 30 minutes.


    The view screen displayed the barren desert beneath the shuttle. Occasionally a small moving dot could be seen speeding around. Craters from hundreds of years of crashed ships appeared as specks against the unending expanse. He was at the desert. The shuttle slowed down. Its sensors had picked up some energy signatures. The captain turned the view screen and he could make out a structure in the distance and quickly approaching missiles. He banked hard to the left just in time to dodge the speeding missiles. The missiles took a U-turn and tried again to hit their target. He lowered the shuttle's nose to gain more acceleration. Then the shuttle plummeted down and lodged itself between two rocks. The captain opened the door and leaped out of the shuttle. A series of explosions sent the captain flying face first into the sand. He got up painfully and looked behind him. He cursed and kicked at the sand. All of his rations and water had gone up in flames. Only his weapons were on him. The captain looked around him. Tiny purple robots with wheels and two long bars at the front were surrounding him. The captain pulled out his pistols. "This situation seems awfully familiar."
    #
    eug1404 11 years ago
    "UberWaffe" said:
    [OT]Totally OT but I just couldn't resist.
    "eug1404" said:
    Nice job, quite a few spelling/grammar mistakes. But I'll let the board's grammar-natzis fix them up.
    There I fixed up your spelling.grammar mistakes... oh, wait. You meant the story...[/OT]
    ROFLMAO, nice one .

    Great job on the next part of the series, hope the admiral completed his job, for the Captains sake.
    #
    Murska 11 years ago
    Where are you? I want a new chap! I want a new chap!
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Chapter 18: Mirage or Vision?- The long bars of the robots crackled as electricity coursed in between them. They rolled forward by digging their treads into the sand. The captain quickly counted how many of these machines were attacking. The total came out to be 14. He ran backwards and shot at the robots until his pistol ammo was out. Only the laser pistol seemed to be doing any damage so he hastily put away his rapid fire pistol. The glowing red beam sliced through each robot one by one until there were only two left. His foot caught on a rock and he fell backwards. One robot followed him down but the captain was able to barely shoot it in between its electric rods. The robot exploded in his face and sent battery acid flying across the suit. He sat up and wiped some of it off. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain on his back that spread throughout his body. A thousand tiny needles seemed to jab the insides of him, keeping him from moving. The pain became duller and duller until all he felt was his own heartbeat. He struggled to move against the current but his suit was totally fried. In one last attempt he turned the laser pistol to his back and fired. The crackling stopped. He knelt there for a moment wondering if he was still alive, whether his heart was still beating like before. Then he fell sideways against the burning sand. Burning? That couldn't be right...unless something was wrong with his suit. When feeling came back to his body, he realized the inside of his suit was searing the surface of his skin. He screamed in anguish. The rising sun had heated up the environment suit so much it might've been doing him more harm than good. But how did he know if the conditions would be even worse without it? He looked around and spotted an enormous tree off in the distance. Its shade would help him cool off. The captain ignored the pain and continued. He did not even know if he was crawling or walking and, in truth, he didn't care. All that mattered was the shade that would greet him if he persevered.

    Underneath the tree he could feel his head start throbbing. He removed his helmet and all of the pieces of his enviro-suit. The shade helped cool down his body temperature, but he was still sweating straight through his soaked shirt and pants. This was the first time in a long time that he had completely removed his suit. When he touched his cheeks he found that a beard had grown in the place of his cleanly shaven face. He sat down with his back resting on the trunk of the tree, whose boughs were swaying in the wind. The sun had had just begun to rise, which meant it would only get hotter.
    The captain was half unconscious when his mind began to conjure up vivid images of a dark night in the desert. There was an illuminated person floating towards him. Then it was under the tree. The captain got up and felt the imprints this person had left behind. He followed it with his eyes still closed, oblivious to the sun's harsh glare. He opened his eyes, bent over, and saw a tear-shaped pool of shining liquid that swirled and shone with an inner light. He found himself bending closer and closer and closer, breathing heavily upon the surface of the liquid. He began fading away from his corporeal being and his mind was being warped. The captain could see blue waters rolling all around him. Floating clouds of mist approached him and clouded his thoughts. Just when he glimpsed deeper into his mind than he had ever seen before, he pushed himself away from the pool and lay flat on the sand, catching his breath. The strange thing was, all throughout his body there was a feeling of being bathed in cold water. He was no longer delirious from the heat nor did his skin still burn.

    The captain gathered his belongings and put on his suit. There was no time for mirages and delusions. He only had three days left before his meeting with Admiral Thorpe. The enviro-suit was still broken, but it's insulation kept him somewhat cool. The distance between him and his goal would decrease slowly, but he estimated that by noon he would get there.

    The captain noticed a few turrets around the structure as he approached its walls. The sand exploded in the captain's face. Yellow energy blasts shot from the turrets around the building's perimeter. The captain backed off and wielded his sniper rifle. He was disappointed to see that he only had a dozen or so of the specially made sniper bullets left. He zoomed in on the turrets. There were four guarding the main door with sand barricades set up around them. He aimed at the little openings for the turret gun and destroyed them all with only six bullets. He put the rifle back on his back and pulled out the laser pistol. The door was made of thick wood, no match for the cutting beam of the captain's weapon. Once he kicked it open, he saw a giant room with pillars arching to the wall to support the building, yet still being open enough for the planetary defense robots. The floor rumbled. Two robots each the size of at least twenty shuttles turned towards the captain. Missiles fell into the launcher with a ear-splitting "CLANK!". The captain instinctively jumped behind a pillar. In a ground-shaking explosion the pillar exploded leaving only a cloud of dust and debris behind.
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    eug1404 11 years ago
    Very nice, wonder how the captain is going to deal with the two planetary defense missle systems.
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    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    @ eug: Well, I took a minor item from the game and described it in a lot more detail and gave it a bigger role in the defeat of the planetary defense robots.

    [Edit] it's the item next to "monkkonen.net" at the top of this page

    Remember that these robots are HUGE. A LOT bigger than they are in the game.


    Chapter 19: A Cube Within a Sphere Within a Machine-When the dust settled, the captain could clearly see the two robots. They had treads like the smaller ones but obviously on a much larger scale. The purple plating was held together by silvery alloy joints. Mounted on top of each of these robots was a long double barrel launcher that swiveled on a pivot. Again the missiles rose from inside the robot and down the loader. The captain had no choice but to dodge behind another pillar. A series of explosions shook the entire building and the second pillar was destroyed. He was slowly being hounded by two machines of enormous firepower given nothing but a few sidearms. This was not a battle he could win by brute force, but by cunning. The captain noticed a little niche in the plating leaving a small opening in the front. It would not be large enough for him to fit but maybe... CLANK!

    He ran to the next pillar. There were only so many pillars he could hide behind, and once enough of them had fallen, the whole complex would cave in. The captain cast a furtive look at the two robots. His window of opportunity had arrived. Sprinting at the robots as fast as he could, he pulled out his laser pistol and set it on maximum intensity. Soon he was in between the robots. They aimed at him, but could not fire without destroying each other. It took their artificial intelligence a few seconds to find a second course of action, which fell perfectly into the captain's plans. Sand began flying out the other end of each robot as the treads grinded against the rocky floor. The captain ran backwards while harassing them with a few shots.

    "If this doesn't work, I'll be flattened out and my remains stuck on their treads." He mused, not as confident as he was a few seconds ago. The captain fired again and again making only slight dents in the heavy armor plating of the robots. His back hit a boulder and one of the robots had him cornered. He took in a huge breath. The front of the robot squeezed him against the rock and the treads started pulling the robot upwards to a tilt. The metal of the front slid up the captain's abdomen and against his ribs. Now his abdomen was through, so he let out all the air in his lungs to shrink the size of his chest. His ribs were being pushed up so much they were beginning to crack. The captain only felt the pain in his chest and upwards, for the lower half of his body was numb due to lack of blood. The bottom ribs finally gave way in a horrifying noise that sounded like a gunshot. The captain slid through the niche and onto the ground.

    He struggled to compose himself from the excruciating pain that wracked his entire body. Above him he could hear the roaring of the engine, and the mechanical whirring of the gears. He climbed the ladder before him as quickly as he could with his broken ribs and the interior's dark lighting. It appeared to be leading to the center of the machine. Hydraulic pumps caused the insides to shake. The stench of smoke combined with the heat almost overwhelmed the captain. At long last, he opened a panel and fell into a spherical chamber. What he saw was the strangest thing he had experienced so far on Notrium. In the middle of the chamber, floated a metallic box that shone as bright as the sun itself. It defied gravity, staying in one place while slowly spinning. The captain approached it. He was surprised to feel an invisible force pushing him away from the cube that grew stronger as he got closer. Then, it threw the captain back against the wall and held him there for a few seconds before letting go. This was the heart that held the machine together. If he could destroy it somehow, then the robot would not be able to support its own weight. The captain inserted a clip into his rapid fire pistol and shot a continuous stream of bullets at the floating cube, only to have the bullets frozen in mid-air, and slowly orbit the cube as planets orbit the sun. He wielded his laser pistol, kept it on maximum, and shot straight at the cube. The red laser beam almost reached its target, but then it curved sideways and formed a bright red ring around the cube. The captain shot again but it only added another ring. He noticed something odd though. The second ring was tighter around the cube than the first one by just a tiny bit. If the cube had to support more things then it would be weak enough to destroy. The captain aimed his laser pistol at the walls and started slicing them neatly into squares. Now the cube was the only thing holding them up, and the room dimmed slightly. The captain walked as close as he could to the cube and raised his weapon.

    He fired, and the laser slowly sliced through the cube causing it to fall to the bottom. Gravity once again gained hold on the robot. The parts and pieces that were once held by the gravity cube creaked in protest of having to bear their own weight. The captain exited the central chamber and headed for the niche again. All around him the robot was falling apart. He dived for the opening right before a pipe landed on the spot where he was. He didn't slow down even with the pain from his ribs growing again. Behind him, the missiles exploded from all the heat, creating a chain reaction with the other robot's missiles as well. The stone structure collapsed, crushing the robots and the captain into the ground.
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    Idiota 11 years ago
    My saving hermit to te rescue! What an awesome chapter! Keep it up!
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    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    The title... is interesting isn't it?


    Chapter 20: Ville- Consciousness slowly returned to him, but he had no way to be sure. He felt nothing, saw nothing, heard nothing. It was as if he was being enshrouded in darkness. The only thing that told him he was awake was the pain in his mind. Little by little, he could see light again. The feeling of numbness wore off all around his body, and he could barely hear the hum of electronics all around him. There were bars around him restraining movement. The pain he felt in his mind now came from the wounds of his body. He... the captain, reached out for the memories of where he was, and about the events that happened to bring him here. The captain had disabled both of the planetary robots in the desert, only to be crushed by the building's destruction. Now where was he? A new feeling wormed its way into his thoughts: fear. Something wasn't right. His wounds were mostly healed; he could feel the effects of anesthetic on his mind. The bars that held him to the bed were placed there to imprison him. The captain bent his head as much as he could to see the room in which he was in. There were X-ray screens and tables full of medical instruments everywhere. A person walked over to him, and the bars retracted. He was lifted off the bed and dragged out of the room and down a long corridor. They threw him down onto the cold metal floor. He looked up.

    At the center of the room sat a figure covered in darkness who studied the captain with his head cocked to the side. He spoke with a deep voice that echoed off the walls of the room.
    "So you are the captain of the Var' Equinallin? I must admit, you have put up quite a fight on Notrium, but, in the end, nobody escapes from my grasp." He tossed his head back and jabbed his finger at the captain. "Nobody." The captain couldn't find any words to say in return. Seeing him remain silent, the masked figure continued. "You know, I once thought of making you one of my commanders because of your skill with weapons and survival, but now I see that you are far more valuable. You have walked the surface of Notrium for how many days now? Over three "Earth" months. But the effects of the planet have only begun to manifest itself now." Now the captain's puzzlement gave him the incentive to finally speak, "What are you talking about? Who are you? What is this place?" All of these questions came tumbling out of his mouth. The person replied,
    "To answer your first question, I must tell you a little about Notrium. This planet has existed for countless millennia protected by an ancient, for lack of a better word, curse. I suspect that this is just one of the many defenses Notrium's original inhabitants created. Any sentient being that sets foot on Notrium and breathes its air will quickly morph into a more primal state. For some species, this primal state resembles a predator animal, while others become carnivorous plants." The captain pondered these words for a moment. "What about those robots? Those bore the mark of Ville Corp."

    "The robots were built by me to augment Notrium's defenses against other ships. My corporation's marines cannot remain in the harsher climates of some of Notrium's areas so the robots must be used instead. I believe the equatorial desert defense facility was where we found you, and the one which was destroyed." He said these last words with a barely contained bitterness. And to answer your second and third questions: My name is Ville, and you are a guest on my flagship in orbit above Notrium. But like I said, you have somehow negated the effects of Notrium's "curse", so while your suit is being dismantled and examined, we must dissect your brain and your internal organs to see what allows you to fight off the chemicals in the Notrium's air." Two armed guards appeared again and grabbed the captain. He flailed around but could not free himself from their grasp. "Ugh, it's useless." he muttered as the guards stuck a needle in his arm. The lights swirled around him and he entered a deep slumber.

    When he awakened for the second time, he saw that he was back in the medical room. This time there were saws and hooks dangling above him. A marine approached him. The marine grabbed the surgical utensils and prepared to jab a laser knife into the captain's chest. "Damn, what a way to go." he thought to himself as he saw the knife fall. However, when he expected to feel a searing blade in his flesh, instead he felt sparks fly out of the restraints holding him. The metal bars split apart and the marine tapped the captain on the shoulder. "Come on, we have to get out of here. Your dissection wasn't scheduled until an hour from now. Shake off your drowsiness. We're gonna head for the portside shuttle bay." The captain got up and followed his unexpected rescuer. Alarm sirens started blaring from all directions. They turned a corner and the marine sliced through the lock on the door. Once they were inside, the captain saw two yellow shuttles like the one he found at the marine bunker. They entered the newer looking one and primed the engines for launch. Seconds later, marines burst into the bay and fired their bullets at the shuttle's engines. The shuttle lifted off the ground and flew out into space, with the afterburners roasting all the marines inside the bay. The captain noticed they were on a direct course for Notrium. The marine that just saved him set it on autopilot and looked at the captain. "I expect you're a little confused, captain. Don't worry, I'll set everything straight once we're on the surface." The captain nodded, but secretly gripped a pistol he had found behind the shuttle's seat. He didn't trust the pilot at all, even if he owed his life to him.
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    muffinman 11 years ago
    HOW DARE YOU MAKE VILLE A VILLIAN!!!! Btw, I got the whole story on my site so far, with the table of contents.
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    ZeXLR8er 11 years ago
    lol this is fantastic.
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    ville 11 years ago
    It's getting exciting! Can't wait for the next one...
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    UberWaffe 11 years ago
    Ooh. I wish that all the chapters were here already. The waiting for the next one is always the worst. But reading the story more than makes up for that.
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    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Chapter 21: What Happens Now- The latch popped open with a hiss. The captain was grateful to stretch out his legs on the ground. The shuttle was definitely not made for two. Around him were tall trees whose green hue blended in with the sky, giving the captain a feeling of being extremely small. He turned and aimed the pistol at the marine who had exited without a word and began performing repairs on the shuttle. He did not see the captain and patted the shuttle. "This thing will be our ticket out of here if things get rough."
    The captain took a few steps backwards. "So why don't you take that helmet off and let me see who you are? I can't recognize your voice through the visor." The marine looked at the captain and then at the gun. He appeared rather irritated but shook his head a few moments later, in the same way an older brother scoffs at a younger sibling's words. "Didn't any of Ville's words sink in? If I take my helmet off I run the risk of getting mutated into one of those damned aliens. Heck I could sprout into another one of those trees right before your eyes." The captain self-consciously looked down at his clothing, and realized that he didn't have his environment suit on. "What about me then?"
    The marine replied, "Yeah, well... there's nothing much we can do about that. I don't have an extra breathing mask for you and besides, Ville said you had some kind of immunity to Notrium's air. I guess that explains why you aren't like the others." The captain said, "The others. Were all of Notrium's trees and plants once sentient beings? That means the Var' Equinallin... my crew...The medic, android, and Sterns..." The marine studied the captain's troubled expression and told the captain to follow him. They walked on the forest paths until they reached a small bunker, filled with overgrown vegetation and moss.

    Inside, the marine sealed the door and turned on the lights. He clicked the locks off and air spewed out of the suit, obscuring the person's face. When it stopped, the captain's heart stopped with it. He stumbled backwards as if he had seen a ghost. His rescuer had been none other than First Mate Jack Sterns, the same man whom he had left to die at the escape pod now returned. His eyes still had the same coldness, a darkness to it, but it was counterbalanced by a smile of genuine happiness. "Captain, it’s good to see you again." The captain let out a big breath and uttered, "Sterns... I'm sorry I abandoned you. I had no other choice. I couldn't save both you and myself." Sterns shook his head. "I understand, and I forgive you, even if there's nothing to forgive. As you can see, I've been doing well for myself here." He pointed around at the battery generators, packs of rations, and the crates full of folded turrets. The captain sat down and asked simply, "Well, what's the story?" Sterns wrinkled his brow as he tried to recall the events that had happened after he regained consciousness after the escape pod crash.

    "I woke up in one of the marine bunkers grouped up with other humans. All of them were dead, but I wasn't. I think my coma made it seem as if I was already dead so the marines tossed me and the other bodies into what appeared to be a garbage pile of
    some sort. When one of the marines came for us, I killed him and put on his suit. Without his uniform I could clearly see cybernetic implants in the marine. He was a male human but half his head had been replaced by a metal shell and his chest was patched up with all sorts of implants. It was like nothing I ever saw. I trashed the bodies and the evidence. Anyway, I found out the identity I took was actually one of the Ville Corp leader's personal bodyguards. So I was one of the few allowed in his personal quarters on the flagship. There, I learned that the Ville Corp marines had computer implants that controlled their every movement. In some instances, he even had their entire brain restructured. It was like a ship full of guinea pigs, each with different implants and tech mixed in." Sterns sighed. "They weren't even human anymore. I knew that I would have to destroy this corporation or else who knows what he might do with an army of marines. Before I could get close enough to Ville himself to kill him, I heard news that a very important survivor had been captured. I knew that it had to be you." The captain remained silent throughout the narrative, listening attentively to Sterns. He let the entire story sit in his mind for a while, before shunting it away and returning to his thoughts about the present.

    "What about Admiral Thorpe? I don't know if you know but he and his ship crash-landed on Notrium and we disabled the two planetary defense facilities. I told him I would meet him at a certain spot... two days ago." When he heard this, Sterns frowned and told the captain, "The Admiral was captured and executed right after he was caught in the act. I heard that the marines shot him in the back after he shut down the robots. I'm sorry to tell you that." The captain's mood was being torn in two directions now. One part felt happy to see his first mate alive again, and another saddened by the loss of Admiral Thorpe. He ignored these feelings; they only served to distract him. "So what now? For the past few months I've been striving for a single purpose: to get off Notrium safely. But I've got a hunch that this about more than just survival now." At this point the door opened and a dozen marines marched in from a nearby dropship that landed just then. The captain raised his weapon but Sterns held him back. The marines gave Sterns a crisp salute in unison. Sterns returned the gesture. "This is what happens now. I reprogrammed some of the marines on Ville's computer to follow me and start a base of operations at this abandoned bunker. It was real easy actually. I just used a program stored in his databanks called 'Mod' or something like that to switch a few parameters around. These guys will be helping us destroy Ville Corp's flagship once and for all. My business with Ville isn't finished yet." He handed the captain a Ville Corp Assault Rifle from one of the boxes and said to him. "We could really use an extra gun to help us out." The captain replied with a hesitant "all right". He looked around at the orderly marines arming themselves. Sterns entered the dropship that would get them into space. The captain had an odd feeling about all of it. Something wasn't quite right, but he didn't know why.
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    ville 11 years ago
    The bastard was a modder after all!
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    Murska 11 years ago
    Why nothing posted here after ten days?
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    Chickenguy 11 years ago
    WOW!!!
    This story is great!
    it IS defiantely one of the best fan fics of any game I have ever read!
    ( and I spend a lot of time on the internet)
    and BTW, this is my third post ever at this forum.
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    Fusion 11 years ago
    Ville you mother of all bastards


    I think that the N Curse sounds cool I wonder if you get to see a mutated crew member (Preferbly one halftreeguy and one guy growing brown claws)
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    Murska 11 years ago
    Well? Where are you, Hermit?
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    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Ugh. Sorry guys but the current chapter has undergone 3 different versions and countless overhauls. I can't seem to get one I'm satisfied with.

    Here we go. I still feel a little iffy about it but I can't be doubting myself forever.

    Chapter 22: Boarding of the Ville Corp Flagship-
    Thud! A dull thump sent the dropship's computer on a series of operations. It had been programmed to put its passengers into a deep freeze to fool any life sign scanners. As Ville's flagship clamped onto the dropship with two magnetic rods, the captain, Sterns, and the marines were being gradually thawed out. A team of Ville Corp marines in space suits floated over to the derelict ship. One of them took a carving laser and sliced a hole into the back, right under the main engines. He took a peek in. A blinding flash was the last thing he saw before a bullet blew silently through his neck and spherical drops of blood splattered on the dropship's hull. The seven other Ville Corp marines let their jets guide them back to the flagship. They weren't about to fight in the empty vacuum of space. The captain was in quick pursuit and gunned all of the marines down before they could even reach the airlock. Alive that is, for what remained of their bodies landed on the sealed door with a wet smack. Sterns and his marines exited the dropship rather sluggishly, still feeling the effects of being frozen alive. The captain quickly plucked a bloody I.D. card off of the abdomen of a dead marine. A short swipe through the airlock door mechanism and it opened. The captain signaled for the rest of his team to follow him into the airlock. He then closed the outer door, and pressurized the room. Metal locks slid back and the inner airlock door retracted. There was no one there. The marines advanced and cleared the room. Still nothing. Sterns gave hand signals for two marines to stand guard while the captain and the rest would sit down with him to discuss their plan. "I know this ship as well as Ville himself." he whispered proudly, "There are three shield generators placed in this vicinity. There is a hall that leads from the shield generators and storage rooms to the bridge and crew quarters. That hall is going to be our choke point. Eight of our twelve marines led by me will set up a barricade there to prevent any reinforcements to arrive from the main parts of the ship while the captain will take five marines to disable the shield generators. Once they're disabled the main force field leading to the bridge will be gone, giving us a straight shot at Ville."
    The captain smiled shrewdly, "Looks like you've got this all figured out."
    Sterns snorted and replied, "Oh yeah. I've been looking forward to this for a loong time."

    He gathered his squad and got ready to leave. The captain organized his five marines and carefully exited the room. He started walking down the corridor but Sterns tapped him on his shoulder and pointed in the other direction, "That way."
    "Oh, right."

    He had never seen such a well trained squad unit in his military career. The marines moved without fear, performing their separate duties in an efficient manner. The generators' guards weren't prepared for an organized assault. Once all the shield generators were either shot to pieces by their weapons or blown up with explosives, the captain returned to the main hall to find Sterns and his marines on the retreat while under heavy fire. Enemy marines swarmed out of the doors and willingly let themselves be shot, if only to buy a nearby marine just enough time to make a shot. The captain dodged to the side. They couldn't survive this bombardment forever.

    The Ville Corp marines charged down the hall and finally broke through the sandbags that Sterns had laid down. A purple armored marine aimed directly at Sterns with his shotgun. Bang! Sterns was knocked backwards and the captain thought he was hit. But it wasn't just Sterns; the entire ship had just been hit by something from the outside. Sterns took the initiative and seized the shotgun. He turned it on its original owner and fired two rounds, sending the tattered body flying back to the end of the hall. The impact from the outside was repeated again but this time it was ten times more powerful, sending some marines straight through the ceiling and walls. The ship's lights shattered. The captain couldn't tell friend from foe, and neither could the Ville Corp marines. There was only one thing he could do: run. Past the sandbags, piles of bodies, and dazed marines with his only goal being the end of that hallway. Behind him there were confused gunshots and screams of pain. He hoped that Sterns was still alive, though the chances of that were slim. Ahead he saw some light. Was it from the bridge? Yes. That light looked familiar and he realized this was the same passage that he was dragged through during his capture on the flagship. Sweat dripped into his eyes, obscuring his vision.

    There he was. The bridge viewscreens were on, showing the planet Notrium, and asteroids floating dangerously close. Ville had his back turned to the captain. His wavy hair fell onto his shoulders. Strangely enough he was wearing the old-fashioned "jeans" and "t-shirt" of a long forgotten era. Without even looking at the captain, who was breathing quite loudly, he spoke in his deep voice, "Isn't it cruel how fate toys with us in such a way, to constantly remind us that our struggle against mortality is utterly futile. Yet we still try, even if our efforts are for nothing. For eons mankind has arrogantly tampered with the very fabric of the universe, changing things that ought not to be changed. To have fought a losing battle so long and have been so blinded, being able to see the truth at last is painful." The captain walked a few steps closer and said, "Turn around Ville." Ville ignored him. "But it is necessary. My only hope is that he will see the truth as well. I have fought with machines and power, but I know not what he have fought with, or even if he is still alive. Captain, I have tried to save the race of humans but I know that it is useless, and I know that your attempts will also be in vain, but still I wish you luck, for you will need it." The captain grabbed Ville's shoulder and turned him around. What he saw triggered a feeling of disgust mixed with awe. Ville's face was part mechanical, part rotting flesh. His neck was nothing but a group of wires and metal parts. His eyes had the red glow of infrared sensors. The captain could make out that he was a young man before normal growth had stopped, replaced by cellular degeneration. Ville looked over the captain's shoulder and whispered, "My time has come." before his head exploded in a shower of sparks and dry bits of flesh. The captain whirled around with his assault rifle ready. Sterns held a smoking rifle in his hands, smiling shrewdly.
    "Very good job. Now that Ville is dead his marines will no longer be under his control. They will be under my control. I have waited forever for this day to come. Now I have taken the opportunity to rise." Marines marched into the room and surrounded the captain. All of them had their guns pointed at him. The captain aimed his at Sterns.

    Sterns spat some blood out of his mouth and said, "When we were on the Var' Equinallin, I wondered if I would stay '2nd in command' all my life. I doubted myself more than ever. Now, I see a glorious future ahead of me: Jack Sterns, leader of the marines, lord of Notrium, conqueror of the galaxy. His usually dark eyes burned with the glow of raw ambition. The captain inched slowly backwards, not taking his eyes off Sterns. "So all this time you were just playing along until the right moment to seize my ship?" Sterns nodded. "But a mutiny isn't good enough is it Jack? Your ambition would pull you up to the top no matter what the cost. Well let me tell you something: If that is what truly drives you, then you will someday meet a bloody end, perhaps sooner than you think." The captain reached back and hit a switch on the bridge computer. The remaining lights dimmed, then completely shut off, and the low purring of the ship's engine faded out. Sterns shouted out an order to fire, and white hot flashes followed. The captain couldn't see anything but he could hear bodies hit the ground and bullets hissing through the room. The entire flagship shuddered in defiance of Notrium's gravity, but it slowly fell closer and closer to the planet. Without power it was nothing but a giant hulk of metal drifting in space. The captain had snuck slowly out of the bridge and into the corridor, but if a marine happened to stumble on him or hear him, he would be dead. It was still a mystery to him how he was still alive even, given that twenty marines had fully automatic rifles all aimed at him. The ship's artificial gravity field collapsed, and the life support would soon follow. Again the captain's life was at the mercy of Notrium.
    #
    Fusion 11 years ago
    O_o Ville's a cyborg?
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    I suppose you can call him that.
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Chapter 23: "Then You Will Someday Meet a Bloody End"-
    This was one of those rare moments when the captain knew that death was imminent. It did not frighten him. He had learned long ago that one life was a small loss compared to everything else in the universe. No, it wasn't death that he feared. It was the ending of so many unfinished plans; so many things he had been expected to do for the others. His life wasn't his own, so he had no right to lose it. Time seemed to have no presence on that doomed ship. Add on the fact that there was no gravity; it would be a lonely and unearthly way to die. The air was getting thinner and the temperature was dropping rapidly, but along with that he began to feel the pull of Notrium's gravity and the turbulence of atmospheric entry.

    The nearby windows were filled with the image of flaring heat and flame. The rumbling grew more intense, and the captain held on as best he could. Judging from the slant of the ship he guessed that it was coming in at a very steep angle. He got up with some difficulty and stumbled his way to the back of the ship. The rumbling got louder and louder until the sound made him want to cover up his ears, if only his hands weren't so busy clinging on for dear life.

    The first thundering explosion slowed down the ship and sent him skidding down the hall. He stuck out his legs against the walls to slow him down, but ended up doing a very painful split. Everything on the ship just floated in the air for a moment. The bouncing of the ship created an artificial weightlessness. Then another impact sent the floor coming up to smack the captain square in the chest. He flew up like a rag doll, slammed his back against the ceiling at the same time the ship came to a grinding halt. But the captain was still going at the ship's original speed. He was thrown forward out one of the shattered windows and after what seemed like an eternity, he landed on the ground.

    The captain dug his way out of the soft dirt he was buried under. It felt like that somebody had individually broken every one of his bones. The broken ribs from his fight with the planetary defense robots were broken again, along with some new ones. When his head finally reached fresh air he realized he couldn't see a thing. He stumbled forward blindly for a few minutes. A tingling feeling began to move its way up his feet, and then his legs. This surprised him at first, so he tried to move, but was held back not by something physical, but by a roadblock in his mind. No matter how hard he urged himself to move, his mind kept his body rooted to the spot. His bones cracked as they were being set straight. What used to be a tingling feeling turned into a feeling of euphoria. At the very end of the process, when the feeling spread to his head, and to his mind, he realized that much of his mental anguish was gone as well. He never felt better in his life. The mind blocks were gone.

    The captain fell onto his knees, both exhausted and energized at the same time. He opened his eyes. The glowing being dimmed gradually until the captain could make out its outline. Two large eyes were jutting out from the top of this creature's head. An arm extended from either side of the tapering body, both thin and wiry. The entire body floated two feet off the ground. It all looked somehow familiar. Before the recollection came to him, his exhaustion finally won out. As if the creature sensed his fatigue, it created a soothing light to put him quickly to sleep.

    The captain woke with his head throbbing painfully. He was seated on a leaf bed that reminded him of his first nights on Notrium. Then it struck him that this was exactly like his first nights on Notrium. The crash, the loss of consciousness, and the- what happened after that he did not remember. He jumped to his feet and instinctively reached for a weapon. There were none. All that he could see was thick bushes and tropical trees. There were ominous growls, echoing in the distance.

    He walked out of the stone grotto the leaf bed was placed in. The first thing that caught his eye was the glowing translucent creature that hovered with its back facing the captain. He remembered now. "You look different from the medic I knew months ago, but somehow I know you are him."

    The creature turned and his inner light dimmed. "Sorry, I was meditating. It is good to see you are awake. I was able to heal most of the major injuries but only your body could mend the rest." The captain recognized this voice as well.
    "But you look so much more... I don't know how to describe it. What happened to you?" The medic's eyes bent slightly to examine himself. It was true. His transparent body now had a white hue instead of a pink one. An inner white glow coming from inside him gave his appearance a pure and ethereal look.
    "Yes. Much has happened ever since I landed here in an escape pod. I will tell you later, but now we have to keep moving. Since you are awake, we can travel much faster now. This area is dangerous, even for me." The captain merely had to conjure up a thought of agreement, and the medic understood.

    "By the way, what should I call you? I have a feeling that you aren't the same person I met during the Var' Equinallin's maiden voyage. I never even knew your name." The medic thought for a moment then answered the captain. "Neither do I. Remember when I told you about my nightmares? There was a terrible emptiness that I felt, a... void. Then every time I couldn't remember anything after that. There were just screams and flashes of green. I know this planet holds the key to my past, and when I finally rediscover it, I'll be sure to tell you my name. For now, just call me by what any of my race was called: Psionic."

    "Quiet." urged the Psionic. There was a rustling from across the bridge. The bridge itself was nothing more than a log with lava oozing past. The volcano spewed out more lava, turning the log into ash. Suddenly a silhouette appeared from the trees. The person panted heavily, and looked panicked. It was Sterns. He looked at the river of lava in dismay, and stamped the ground in frustration. A series of sounds nearly sent him into a nervous breakdown, and he picked up a rock and started brandishing it at the trees. A lob of acidulous liquid sped through the air and splashed on his eyes, and he screamed so loudly that he almost drowned out the sounds of frenzied growling.

    Almost.
    Small aliens poured out of the trees, grinding their teeth together in anticipation. Their skin was dark green, and they ran forward on two legs instead of four. Sterns screamed even louder as one of them latched its teeth on his leg. He slammed the rock down on the alien's head until blood flowed down its jaws and seeped into the ground. The other aliens picked up on the smell and it enticed them even more. As they were all going to attack, a shrill screech pierced the air. They stopped in their tracks. Even the dazed alien with the bashed-in skull withdrew. Sterns was now on the ground clutching his leg, and was still blinded. Out of the shadows walked another green alien. This one was still small compared to the larger aliens of Notrium, but amongst its brood, it dwarfed them all. The captain gasped. He had met this alien before. It dashed forward and locked its jaws onto Sterns' throat in one blindingly fast move. Sterns was screaming again but stopped when his own blood began to choke him.

    The captain didn't want to see the rest. The whole scene nauseated him. Nobody deserved that fate, except, maybe Sterns. "Come on." He spoke in his mind. "Let's move on."
    While they were leaving they could still hear the victory howls of Sterns' killers.
    #
    ZeXLR8er 11 years ago
    Wow, this is sounding more and more like a professional story every minute. Keep it up!!
    #
    Fusion 11 years ago
    Ahh so there IS kama in the universe


    I agree with xer
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Chapter 24: Secrets of the Hive-
    The jungle area teemed with life. The scorched air, dark underbrush, and ambient noise would make any living being feel extremely claustrophobic. As he walked on, sometimes the captain would see a pair of glimmering eyes staring at him, only to disappear into the shadows of the trees. The Psionic, too, was unusually on edge. Occasionally they would stop after hearing a suspicious sound, but nothing happened.

    They descended into a depression in the ground which was overcast by the clouds' and trees' shadows. That's when they were attacked. In the complete dark, their stalkers took the opportunity to make an easy kill. The captain felt claws swipe inches from his face. He spared a second to see how the Psionic was faring. What he saw amazed him. The Psionic's light revealed nothing at all. Invisible scratches appeared on the Psionic's delicate skin but their origin was nowhere to be seen. The captain felt himself be grabbed by the invisible attacker and thrown back. There was a purple flash. A monstrous roar shook the trees with its volume, and the captain felt a dead weight fall on him in a heap. Blood oozed all over his shirt.

    He strained his neck to see the Psionic. The Psionic was simply floating there, casually sending purple orbs of energy out in all directions. Some hit the invisible attackers and exploded into dozens more energy orbs. Then, with the strength of his mind alone, he lifted what the captain guessed were the remaining enemies, and froze them into blocks of solid ice. The dead body lying on top of the captain disappeared, but its blood remained behind. He got up.

    The clouds parted to let some of the sunlight through again. The captain wiped some of the blood off of his face and noticed it was purple. He turned his finger slightly and the blood gradually became light blue. Finally it faded into nothing. He looked at the Psionic, who was still holding the blocks of ice motionless above the ground. The captain asked in bewilderment,
    "What were those things? I couldn't see them at all." The Psionic relaxed his composure and the lowered the ice blocks to the ground. He lifted one of the blocks of ice and brought it in front of the captain. Frozen in its final position, was the mold of a reaper body. For a moment he thought he could see two yellow eyes glaring at him, watching him from a faraway place.

    "Reapers. The ghosts of the Hive. These are beasts that have survived on Notrium for eons, slowly letting their souls be absorbed by this cursed planet, until they barely exist in a corporeal form. See this one?" he brought another block in front of the captain. “It was probably a bumbling explorer searching for riches on the planet of Notrium." Another block moved to the front. "This one was probably a crewman of a fallen warship, stranded here from an ancient battle in the space above Notrium. They were all once like you, merely survivors in an alien place. After they die, their bodies lose their last hold onto our world. They simply vanish."

    With this, the Psionic shattered the ice blocks with a single thought, and left the captain there to stare at him in amazement.

    "Wait up!" The captain yelled out. The Psionic stopped and turned to face him. The captain caught his breath, "How the hell did you do that? You don't get those powers overnight." The Psionic replied as if it were nothing,
    "Oh you mean the freezing? That's from combining my knowledge of the basic blast and the water tok-" He stopped, noticing the confused look on the captain's face. "Like I said: Much has happened since the last time we met. And again, like I said, I will explain them to you later but right now just isn't the time."
    The captain was about to retort with a sarcastic, "Oh of course." but kept his mouth shut. Friend or no, the Psionic could kill him in the blink of an eye. He remembered suddenly about the Psionic's telepathic capabilities, so he tried his best to banish these thoughts from his mind.

    As if they witnessed the death of the reapers, the rest of the aliens they encountered ran off as soon as they were seen. Little by little the light from the sky faded, and so did the captain's energy. He was hungry, tired, and frustrated. Hours of stomping through a death-trap had a tendency to do that to even the most seasoned hiker. The Psionic whispered in his mind. "This is the way to the central nest of the blue aliens. We would be better off taking a detour."

    The captain followed without objection. It was true though, for he noticed many blue aliens peeping out of the jungle to see who was intruding in their turf. A few of the smaller ones left, but the fully matured blue aliens reared their narrow heads and shouted their battle cries. Almost simultaneously with these cries, countless more blue aliens ran out to claim their prey. The Psionic floated in front of the captain and told him, "I'll handle this. Just run when I tell you to." He lifted his arms to gather his energy. His outline blurred, and then doubled. The captain blinked again to make sure his eyes were working right. He saw his own outline be doubled over and over until he was surrounded by exact replicas of himself, each one looking around in puzzlement just like him. The Psionic shouted, "Run!”

    All of the decoys scattered in every direction. The captain wasn't sure which Psionic to follow. At first the decoys were able to distract the aliens but then their numbers dwindled until only three were left. The captain kept on running away from the group of aliens that decided that he was the real one. Never before in his life had he ran so desperately, swinging his legs with every muscle, every tendon straining to their limits.

    But his lungs couldn't keep up. Blood pumped into his head furiously but he still felt light headed. His legs and arms just gave up. He curled up into a shivering ball. For the first time in his life he felt what it was like to know fear. Not the fear that he knew of being alone, nor was it the shallow fear that he felt towards the marines, crash onto Notrium, and its subsequent dangers. He thought that he didn't fear death but he was wrong. He was afraid. At this moment what he wanted most was to survive, no matter what the odds were. He would survive, and if he couldn't, at least he could take as many of those alien bastards down with him.

    A pressure came from inside him, and it came out as an odd sort of croak. It grew louder, more ferocious, until his mouth was wide open, a sound of primal fury blasting out of his throat. He saw the aliens who were chasing him, he smelled them, heard them, and felt their heartbeats vibrating off of the trees. He felt alive. Then, by instinct, his claws flew up to slash the throat of the nearest alien. Blood sprayed into his eyes, only making him want more. Another alien fell before him, and then another. With each small death he felt angrier. There was a presence past those trees, he could sense it. It drew him like a magnet, but he didn't care. All the voice inside his head told him was to kill, kill, kill.

    And so he followed this attraction, leaving behind a trail of disemboweled bodies. His sense of smell was driving him mad. The smell of life came from beyond those trees, and he would go there to end it. There was its origin. The queen of the blue aliens, sitting in her nest. Literally hundreds of tiny baby aliens poured out of the nest to protect their matriarch. They were all clawed apart easily. The mighty queen ran off of the nest to face the intruder. He leapt onto her back and created two gashes down the length of her body. She hissed while trying to swat him with her tail. The blood splashed up to him, and he buried his head into her back to devour her from the inside out. She screamed for help from her broodlings, but none of them answered. All she could do was to wait for the end to come. Slowly, her cries grew softer, until they were barely a whisper.

    He ate her corpse up, relishing every bite of it. Another creature appeared by the nest. A bright light appeared in his eyes. Then he could see it in his mind. "Noo! What are you doing? Get out of my head!"
    #
    muffinman 11 years ago
    Just one question, what happened at the end, I couldn't really tell.
    #
    burgerking 11 years ago
    Is this the end or is there more to come... if it is not the end that is one hell of a cliffhanger! great work hermit, keep it up. speaking of the hermit, what happened to him? will he return?
    Edit: I just copied the entire story into word and ran a word count. It is 33 pages long and has 22,164 words including chapter titles. That is a truely massive story congrats
    #
    ville 11 years ago
    Hermit, if you'll make the story into a html page, I could host it here.
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    No! Of course that's not the end. Yes the ending to the chapter is a cliffhanger but its there to give the sense of tension/confusion in the story at that point.

    And yes, I will either upload the entire story in html form on some site or I could email it to you etc. But when it's done!
    #
    Fusion 11 years ago
    So much for notriac immunity

    What will happen next? will he realise what he did?
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Notriac? Nice word creativity there.

    Wait 'til the next chapter.
    #
    Fusion 11 years ago
    Hurry up! I cant hold it in!


    Great, Great story. If I could do a mini movie of it then I would, But seeing as I cant I wont.
    #
    HarmlessHermit 11 years ago
    Chapter 25: Heart of the Mind-
    Time stopped in its tracks. The captain was running down a long hallway. He wasn't sure where he was going, or what was causing him to run, but he just kept going. Screams echoed from behind, and whispers from the front. Something was chasing him. He could feel that something running as well, only faster. He was out of breath.

    A crystal barrier blocked his path. On it, his reflection was gazing back at him. The captain kicked it as hard as he could. It shattered easily. As the shards flew by, he felt a stale breeze blow from ahead. There was another barrier. This one was much thicker, but he managed to break it apart too. The air was growing warmer, and it felt pleasant against his skin. He wanted to find the end of the hallway. Something warm and comfortable was there. It motivated him to continue destroying any obstacle in his way, to get to the end of the hallway.

    Then it started to burn. The heat was no longer pleasant; it seemed to sear every inch of skin on his body. He wanted to turn around, but found he couldn't. There was one final barrier in his way-- a door with red light pouring out the edges. He opened it with a slight push. A burning core that pulsated violently rotated in the center of the chamber he found himself in. This was the source of the whispers. At first he heard words being uttered quietly: "Regret... Sorrow... Duty" The voices grew gradually louder. "Pain... Emptiness... Loneliness." In a crescendo of sound and intensity, the voices started shouting, "Anger...Fury... Rage... Revenge..." He clutched his ears, not wanting to hear more, but the voices weren't from outside, they were from within. The red blob stretched itself to become larger. It extended an amoeba-like arm towards the captain. The arm curled itself around his neck. "...Death" He was lifted off the ground and his body absorbed into the blob, until only his head wasn't submerged. While he let himself become assimilated, that last word echoed in his mind. He saw nothing now. Only the absence of everything he once knew. There was only a void.

    A piercing beam of light fell upon the captain. As if it were a poison, the red blob instantly recoiled, letting the captain drop unconscious to the floor. Something lifted the captain and ran out the hallway, with the red tentacles of the orb in close pursuit. Occasionally a beam of light would cause it to slow, but it continued steadily onwards. The tentacles formed a solid wall around the captain and the light source. In an explosion of energy, white rays of light were shot outwards, withering the tentacles away. The captain woke up.

    He was on an enormous nest of eggs, with blood all over him. A giant alien corpse was beside him, along with the bodies of hundreds of alien offspring. He sat up. There was the Psionic, focusing deeply on the captain. His eyes slowly opened, showing a look of weariness. "I don't remember what happened." the captain said. The Psionic closed his eyes again. "I was afraid that this would happen, which is why I wanted to get us out of the Hive as quickly as possible."
    "I don't know what your talking about." said the captain.
    "Then I will show you."
    The Psionic placed one hand on the captain's forehead.
    "These are the memories buried in your mind."
    The captain relived the whole experience again. When he was finished, he nearly fell back from surprise.
    "How did that happen? One moment I was running from the aliens, and the next I was killing them."
    The Psionic replied, "Remember what Ville told you? You already know of this. Any survivor on Notrium will eventually turn into a different life-form, but it's not as simple as that."
    "He also said I have immunity to this."
    "Immunity? There are ways to slow it with technology and barriers erected around the mind, but there is no immunity. Not even for me."
    "Why does it happen now? I've been fine before, why all of a sudden now?" The captain asked.
    "Because when you felt such an animal instinct as fear, it shattered all the defenses your mind has put up to shield you from yourself. Notrium takes the base instincts that exist in every life-form and then magnifies it, until the life-form is consumed by them. Eventually there is nothing left but the animal within. Like the reaper, you would become a ghost of what you are now, nothing but a phantom to haunt this planet for eternity." He lowered his eyes. "But, as my race knew all too well, the animals aren't the only victims of Notrium's influence."

    The captain ran over to the Psionic and asked desperately, "Well, did you stop it? Did you stop that thing inside my head?"

    The Psionic shook his head. "I only delayed the inevitable. You saw the heart of your mind, the thing that drives your very being. Only by replacing what you saw will you save yourself." He then looked the captain straight on. "Revenge must not be what motivates you, nor should death." The captain's eyes widened.
    "How-?" He stopped mid-sentence and let out a long breath he had been holding.
    The Psionic floated away and said, "I may yet know of a way to save you. And in the process of doing so, accomplish my purpose on Notrium as well."

    The captain followed, his mind preoccupied. How could he find a new motivation when all along he had been planning his revenge? His goal from the start had been to hear the death cries of Sol's destroyers. If the Psionic was right, this urge would eventually consume him. He shivered at the thought of becoming one of those reapers they had killed.
    He looked down at the eggs in the nest. What about them? They weren't once survivors on Notrium, but yet... wouldn't the progeny of nothing still be nothing? He had no way to test this hypothesis, but the thought still gnawed at his conscience. He had killed many of these aliens. Whether they were transformed or not, in his eyes it was still murder. He was a murderer.

    The two left the site of the massacre promptly to continue their hike through the jungle.
    "Luckily for us, I think we're not too far away from our next destination." said the Psionic with optimism. The captain wasn't so hopeful...
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