The scream of landers, stick incendiary flames lick the sky, flesh charred to the bone. Foliage alive with mortal screams, the barking of small arms.
Breath in. Muscles tense and sinew stretches. Heart pounding a war drum beat. Ice cold sweat, stinging eyes, blood and bile. Breath in. Chest swells, vision swims, shrieking agony, can't take much more. Breath in. Can't exhale, lungs start to tear, vision becomes a black tunnel with only torment at the other end
'I love you Brad...'
Awake. Room stinks. Corpse? Shit? Probably both. Reach out for the bottle. Stinging rotgut, does the job. Been here a while. Waiting, waiting waiting. The feeble aircon unit screams to keep this shitty flop house room cold. All its doing is spreading The stink around. Need to stay sharp, ready. The enemy is out in the dark getting stronger. Longer I stay here I get weaker. All I dream of now is the bush. Waiting waiting waiting.
Slowly and clumsily practice unarmed combat, uneasy stances, wild strikes thrown spastic at unseen enemy. Hands bleeding from shattered glass. Slumped on the floor. Racked, wretched, hacking sobs.
Barely said a word since the News
"I'm sorry mate, there was nothin' we could do"
I hear them now, waiting for me. Eyes steely cold, hearts pumping promethium, ready. Savage. They do not fear the dark. They are the dark.
I'm weak. Soft. Too much high living, fancy clothes, nice, civilised and safe. I need to be strong. Look into the face of fear, moral terror. I need to look at horror and make it my friend. My lover. My heart. If I do not then I die like a wretch in the sand.
Sleep comes easy. Heart slow and cold. Drifting hazy images. Blood and death and terror. Screams cut short in the jungle night. I do not fear the dark.
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- Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:21 pm
Enough was enough. He’d been gone too long, and Hark was concerned. He’d paced back and forth outside of the door to Ghost’s office for about five minutes before he went to knock.
“Come in.” said the toneless voice from the other side before he’d knocked. “You took your time.”
“Y’all knew I was outside and didn’t say nothing?” Hark smirked.
“I wasn’t sure what the protocol was for interrupting a friend mid anxious pacing.” Ghost observed plainly. “What is it?” he said looking through his paperwork.
“He’s grieving. He’s a soldier. If he hasn’t gotten over it by now he’s defective and we should consider giving him space.”
“I can’t leave one of my brothers out there, and you know he’d come looking for you.”
Ghost looked at Hark, and thought for a while, remembering a conversation that he and the Arborian had had a while ago. The promise that Brad had made with him. “Fine. But I’ve already asked the Arborians. You know what they get like about secrets about their ‘mates’.”
Hark just smiled, and the pair headed to the cargo bay.
Arkangel. Level E-1313, right next to the reactor coolant. “Of course he is”, Hark thought as they took the lander over to the station. Not only was it the most “tropical” zone of Arkangel, it was also full of some of the worst people. If Brad was there, it was only for one reason. He looked over at Ghost, who was idly loading a pistol and looking out of the down at the floor, and shook his head. Getting the information had been a little more than difficult, given that even trying to bribe the closest few of Brad’s boys with tinnies had gotten them nowhere. It wasn’t until Ghost had slid his sickeningly sharp whale-bone knife under the kneecap of one of them that enough tears were shed to get a rough location. Hark assumed that the trail of bodies would be enough.
He wasn’t wrong, one moonshine rot-gut brewery had been bowled over in a midnight raid claiming that some half naked, braid-haired and tribal demon had murdered half the Scabs covering the place and made off with half the stock. That lead them to a gibbering wreck of a man who was the sole survivor of what remained of a ‘gang’, if you could call it that anymore, who intoned that there was a flophouse nearby which the locals were now giving a wide berth lest they anger the Kahakhan.
“By the Emperor, at least he picked a frak-hole to mess around in. What do we tell the Captain?”
“Nothing.” Ghost said as he side stepped a puddle of ichor on the ground. “This place is not even worth the time on her chrono. We’re dealing with it.”
“Right…” Hark sighed. “This the place?”
Jenny’s was an abysmal looking “flop-house” that made other flop-houses look like luxury suites. The place had mostly boarded up windows, was right next to an exhaust port for a coolant pipe, and stood at a jaunty angle compared to everything else. It was a dump. It stank of every fluid imaginable and worse.
“Are you kidding me?” Ghost observed, a little too robotically.
“I don’t think he was going for the luxury treatment, mate.” Hark mumbled, “Come on.”
They opened the door slowly, Ghost had his pistol ready for any “Just In case” moments. They found him.
Hark gagged and covered his mouth. Ghost vomited outside.
Brad was facedown on the ‘bed’ underneath a slowly rotating ceiling fan, covered head to toe in dried, caked on blood and nothing good, a bottle of empty rot-gut in hand and arborian-red, or at least they were, issue underwear. The neon-grim glow sank into the room through the shuttered blinds, and was accentuated by the long droning sound of some warped musical record playing through an audio-toner.
“This is some fresh-hell” Hark observed through his tightened throat.
“You should vomit. It will assist you in dealing with this.” Ghost said as he marched into the room and to the bathroom. “Wake him up.”
Hark didn’t need to be told twice, he vomited as soon as Ghost said that he should. He did need to be told twice to approach Brad. Ghost on the other hand found some difficulty achieving running water in the shower block. He returned wielding a bucket, full to the brim with a yellow tinged liquid.
He threw it over the prone figure, who woke with a start.
Character: Ghost NC1161625
"Strive to challenge yourself. Challenge your mind, your faith and your drive. Only then can you achieve what I am born to achieve."
- Tryskellan Dynasty Scout
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