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When Radioactive Mutants Go Bad


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#1 Carlisle Dave

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 12:35 PM

The Complete Tales Proudly Presents...

A Tale of the Frontier


When Radioactive Mutants Go Bad


Empire Outpost CRM-115

The men approached the burning remains of the outpost, carrying their captain between them. He wasn't doing well: he'd lost a lot of blood and was slipping in and out of conciousness. Briefly they put him down pausing for a rest. Their eyes were straining now in the bright light of the fire, which painted soot with it's flickering brush on the outpost. Charred, melted metal sprawled before them, the remains of mining equipment scattered between them and the entrance. The fire, despite it's scale had yet to consume the entire base, thanks mainly to thick fire doors and an extensive network of argon systems designed to smother the flames and starve them of the base's precious oxygen. Without saying a word, the men picked up Quatermass and began again towards the outpost, where they thought they'd be safe, where they thought they'd be able to find help for their captain.

---

High above, wreathed in flames a pair of eyes watched them approach. With considerable effort, having seen enough, they rolled themselves away from the edge of the roof and fell down a handily placed vent, falling slowly thanks to the low gravity and the hot air generated by the fire. Blinks McGee (as he was known) knew he had to quickly report, through a complicated system of blinks, what he had found. The enemy were approaching and they needed to be ready.

#2 Innokenti

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 04:08 PM

Lieutenant Lucio Cristofori was considering options. Options which, despite involving getting the Captain all healed up and better, revolved mainly around the preservation of Lt. Crisotofori. It didn't look like their stay on this God-forsaken-forsaken chunk of rock was going to get any better and the chances of it getting worse, in his estimation, rose by the second.

The massive outpost complex was massive. From the individual figure point of view. Compared to the Empire's planet-cities, or even compared to his family's estate, it was tiny. This collision of relative scales might have botherd Lucio if he hadn't been staring at every nook, corner and crany an expecting the worst things to appear in them. They had not so far as the squad made their way into the lower levels of the outpost coated in huge concrete slabs, many displaying burns and missing large chunks.

"Anyone have a guess at where some sort of sick-bay might be?" he asked. One of the privates pointed into the air, a corporal pointed down a street. "Okay, anyone KNOW where a sick-bay might be?"

Miles held his hand up.

"Yes?"

"As the Marchuvian Crow-hawk flies, sir, or-?"

"MILES!"

"Uh, down there, turn left, one of the building on the right, sir. Or near-enough, they're all very samey these places, ain't they?" Miles quickly answered.

"They all certainly look the same if you haven't been to many," a soldier piped up.

"Well let's carry ourselves with all speed there then."
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#3 Jentastic!

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:26 PM

Dr Angelina Factorial hummed to herself and twirled her bright blonde hair around her little finger as she leaned back in the pilot's chair of her tiny spaceship. She'd been travelling for a couple of days now, as she often did, with no particular planet in mind. It didn't matter to her. When you were one of the most gifted doctors in the Empire, and rather pretty to boot, you were sure to be welcomed anywhere that took your fancy; and doctors of any kind were in somewhat short supply in this part of the Empire. She glanced at her monitor. CRM-115. Perhaps she'd give that planet a miss; it was a bit too deserted for her liking.

Bored, Angelina began to spin in her chair. On her sixth spin she stopped abruptly, facing the controls. A flashing red light had come on, and red lights on spaceships generally meant nothing good. This particular red light meant something particularly bad. If she didn't land soon, she wouldn't be able to make it to the next planet.

"Damn!"

Angelina stood up in alarm and promptly fell over. That was it, she was banning chair-spinning on her spaceship. She clambered back into the chair and grabbed the steering controls. CRM-115 it was going to have to be.
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#4 Masked Dave

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:08 PM

Trevor McLongfellow hung from the roof of another corridor; his long, flexible body wrapped around a heating pipe to allow him to look down with his many stomach-eyes (which cried digestive fluid), the heat from the pipe was scalding and blistering his already disfigured body, but luckily he suffered from Space Mutant Leprosy and couldn't feel it.

He silently watched (he didn't really have another option, his mouth was basically a long straw and he had no vocal cords to speak of (or with)) as a lone man with his belt wrapped around his head, holding his trousers up with one hand and clutching a pistol in the other walked shakily towards the sick bay. He wouldn't be much of a threat or challenge, but Trevor had been given strict instructions not to engage, only to watch out. So he slithered back along the pipe to give his report.

Walking below Terrik found that the adrenaline he'd been running on was now wearing thin, the journey from the wreckage of the hanger had been one of the most agonising of his life and in these final steps he chanted only one thing, "Morphine. Morphine. Morphine."
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#5 Hentzau

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 06:10 PM

Dreams.

"...on entry approach, all hands brace..."

Deep space. A ruddy brown planetoid, illuminated by the faint embers of a dying star.

"...angle's too steep. Adjust pitch by three degrees..."

A momentary but brilliant flash, lighting up the nightside.

"-said up. Up, you idiot! Not down!..."

A ship; at the tip of a spear of flame as it pierces the planetoid's atmosphere.

"-blown the stabilisers! See if you can get-"

The acrid stench of burning electrics, and a sudden, stifling heat.

"...damage control offline, we need to compensate..."

A woman. She looks terminally angry.

"-coming in hot! And no, that wasn’t a pun! Everybody hang on!"

----

It was at that moment that the other Sanderson woke up.

#6 Innokenti

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:05 AM

The journey to the Infirmary took several unexpected turns. Mostly because part of the street was blocked by a fallen hydraulics tower and Lucio had to improvise and turn down an alley. Though to call it an alley would be to glorify the sliver of space between two huge industrial... things. Come to think of it, the Lieutenant wasn't really sure exactly what happened down here, he'd never been to the equivalent of this place on Fourteen.

Quatermass, unconscious, was lucky, since he didn't have to feel being squeezed through the 'alley'. He was dreaming of mice - because dreaming of mice was just about the most normal thing his brain could come up with in the circumstances, though what it didn't realise was that mice were the ideal specimens for becoming evil green mutated mice in your dreams. The Captain moaned and let out a scream. Which was very contraversial, given he was unconscious, but a good characterisation was not going to get spoiled by the matter of medical technicalities.

The second unexpected turn was the presence of two slightly glowing individuals, some sort of animal things to be precise, before the squad. They were quickly christened Angelo Angelwings and Bobby Bubblegum with the assistence of Akkenon. The priestly individual had spent most of the time in contemplation and had let everyone quitely get on with things. The prices reason for this had not yet become apparent and Lucio was beginning to get decidedly uncomfortable in the man's presence. He loomed even when not standing near you.

"What do you think they want?" asked a private.

"I think, I think they want to talk about the Betsy," Miles suggested. At that mention Corporal Fidder, the unfortunate individual who had been ordered to exectute the beloved Betsy, tried to hide behind everyone else.

"Uh, we come in peace?" Fourcade suggested stepping forward. He was quickly pulled back by Lucio.

"Somehow I don't think they understand," Lucio said and carefully stepped to the side, to the side again and began to edge around the Angelo and Bobby. They kept their eyes firmly fixed on him. "Uh, squad, monkey see, monkey do!"

And so, the most ancient Imperial command uttered, the squad broke into the necessary routine of doing exactly what their officer was. Which was hard for the men carrying Quatermass' stretcher.
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#7 Jentastic!

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:21 PM

The landing was not going smoothly. Multiple systems were failing and the ship was shuddering and spinning. Angelina had no idea where she was going to land, which didn't matter, as she seemed to have no control over it. She closed her eyes and clung to her chair until with several large crashes the ship eventually stopped and Angelina was flung out of the chair. There was noise from outside, and Angelina sat up, rubbing her arm which was, miraculously, the only thing which ached. The ship, however, was going to need a heck of a patch-up job.

Sunlight poured in through the door as Angelina yanked it open and stepped, as daintily as possible, out of the spaceship. The first thing she saw was a group of men - soldiers - staring at her, open-mouthed. The second thing she saw, as she glanced down, were four glowing feet, clad with striped socks, sticking out from underneath her spaceship. As she jumped back in alarm, the glow faded.

A loud, spontaneous cheer drew Angelina's attention back to the men in front of her. She hesitated, unsure of what exactly was going on.

"Well, hey there, y'all. Dr Angelina Factorial at your service."

Two men gaped and dropped a stretcher. As he crashed to the floor, Angelina finally noticed the injured man and ran to his side, carrying her ever present med kit.
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#8 Jen

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:47 PM

Things had really gone from bad to worse to some kind of state that didn't have a word invented for it yet. Incrediawfulest, Georgie thought, that would do.

The bad thing had been returning to her ship to find Boxer showing some mechanic she'd never met the innermost workings of the ship - including some of the specialist options. She let the kid stay because Boxer seemed to think he'd help and at least this way she could be sure he wouldn't tell any of the Osprey's secrets.

The worse thing had been the discovery of a stoway reporter in one of the specialist options. Jake had been all for spacing the guy but Georgie had never been too fond of killing people just for the hell of it. That's why she hired Jake.

The incrediawfulest thing had been the sudden failure of all the engines all at once whilst they were entering atmo.

If she'd had a moment in the chaos perhaps Georgie would have considered that unusual. Perhaps even suspected some kind of sabotage. But when your beloved ship seems to be falling apart around you and you've got two engineers trying to stop the freefall whilst your merc has to resort to knocking out the panicking reporter - well, at that point wondering why it's happened is the last thing on your mind.

The Osprey hit with a burst of white noise that Georgie hadn't seen for many a year. Despite her best efforts she cracked her head on the initial impact and could feel the blood trickling down her temple as she held on for dear life. The Osprey slid and ground along the surface of CRM-115 and Georgie knew, just before she passed out, that it would take a lot more than fancy Imperial money to save the old girl now.

Jake

The lights went out as the ship ground to a halt. Jake waited for a moment before moving, wary of any sort of aftershocks and hoping to hell that Boxer's last report that the internal drive wouldn't explode any time soon was correct.

The ship was silent and it was eerie. Jake dragged himself out of the seat he'd strapped himself into and leaned over to check on the reporter. The guy seemed alright, though there was a nasty bump on his head, and Jake grumbled to himself. He hauled the limp form of the other man out of the chair and slung him over his shoulders before making his way along to engineering.

He rapped on the door - a large part of him hoping that Boxer had survived. He wasn't sure he could handle this much alone.

"Boxer?" Jake asked at the sound of movement from inside the room. There was a hush of air as the door slid open and Jake nearly gagged, despite all his training, on the scent of burnt flesh.

"Uh, yeah?" Boxer's legs were poking out from one side of the engine. The smell was coming from the other guy - his hands and arms burnt all over but still alive by the rise and fall of his chest.

"We gotta get off of this ship," Jake said, shifting the weight of the unconcious body he was carrying.

"But if I just -" Boxer said but Jake spoke over the top of him.

"I don't know if you can fix her - maybe you're the only person who could - but right now this is not the place to be. Someone's got to have noticed that crash," Jake stomped forwards and slid Boxer out from under the engine with his foot. The board rolled back and Boxer looked up at him, tearful, and not for the first time in his life Jake wondered about engineers and their engines.

"Yeah, o-okay," Boxer said, staggering up and then leaning down to pull the other guy up.

"Now - we find the Captain - and that Sanderson guy - and we get out, okay?" Jake said as he lead the way from the room.

"Yeah. Okay," Jake could tell Boxer was taking one last look at the engineroom.

"Now, Boxer," Jake barked and was satisfied to hear Boxer's quickening footsteps behind him as he marched off through the ship.
---------------------------------------------------------
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#9 Innokenti

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:14 PM

Lt. Cristofori stared in amazement at the nonchalance Doctor Angelina Factorial displayed, she also displayed far more than nonchalance but most of that was covered by clothes. If he had just walked out of a burning hulk of a ship, as indeed he had done hours previous, he would be slightly more bothered about making sure he was in one piece and not about to encounter anything that would kill him. Rather than rushing forward at complete strangers, granted they were Imperial soldiers and there was little to be afraid of unless you were the enemy, and worrying about one of their wounded.

"Thank you... Doctor, that's really very kind of you," Lucio said as Factorial started fussing over the unconscious Quatermass, and then walked over to where Angelo and Bobby lay.

Or what remained of them. The socks were a nice touch and thankfully they had stopped moving now. He gave them a little prod and was satisfied that they were dead and buried under several hundre tonnes of metal.

"What do you make of them Geedey," he asked the other Lieutenant who had walked over to the crashed wreck.

"Could be natives. Don't think anyone really ever knew what's on this rock. Could be that they attacked and took everyone out - you hear about Ganglion Five, the natives there suddenly came over all upset and wiped out the outpost and the entire Desert Army that was there for dinner," Geedey said and kicked the socks to satisfy himself.

"Would have been more warning, wouldn't you think? Besides, have you ever seen natives with socks that we hadn't given 'em?" Lucio asked and then turned back to the squad, "Anyone aware of a shipment of stripe, or otherwise, socks to Fifteen? No? Didn't think so."

"Foul play then? Radioactive mu-" Geedey began.

"Don't Geedey, I can't stand the sci-fi crap," Cristofori cut him short. He had barely finished when a loud sound eruped from nearby. It was very loud, scarily loud of course.

"What the hell was that?" Fourcade asked. Everyone was silent, even Doctor Factorial stopped for a few seconds and held some sort of surgical equipment and what looked suspiciously like spleen might, Fourcade though, in her hand.

"Oh, that was me, Lieutenant," one of the soldiers said, "Ain't had a thing to eat for a while."

Everyone stared at the man for a while.

Then the noise, like a herd of mastadon encountering the rare Zeebley Elephant of Carthago Prime, came again. This time clearly not coming from the soldier.

"Oh, guess it wasn't me then Lieutenant."

Everyone turned to the source of the sound.
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#10 TSP

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:27 PM

Miles was sweating. He'd been desperately trying to attract the attention of a superior officer for several minutes. Being the lowest ranked officer currently in the party, this shouldn't have been a difficult task, but everyone seemed preoccupied by their own petty problems, such as the captain's injuries, the two strange beings and the spaceship that had crashed right in front of them. His opportunity presented itself when everybody fell quiet to stare down one of the allies, in the direction of a strange and disturbing noise.

He poked Cristofori on the shoulder. "Excuse me, sir? We're in breach of regulations."

"Yes yes, what it is?" Cristofori snapped.

"Regulation #161769271 clearly states that in the case where the commanding officer is incapacitated, we need to file a report to detail our current situation. Failure to do so ..."

"I don't know if you've noticed but we have other problems to deal with."

"I'm volunteering, sir. I'm just a desk jockey, there's not much use for me here."

"Desk jockey?"

"Early 22nd century term for someone who works solely at their desk, sir. Originated as slang for musicians who sat at their desk organs all day. I'm very fond off 22nd century Earth history actually, before I went down for embezzlement I was assembling the parts to build a working hovercar, and I'm captain of CRM-114's American Cricketball team."

"Yes, yes. So you want to go off wandering this destroyed outpost for a working radio, with who-knows-what on the loose and strange noises emanating from the surrounding area?" Cristofori paused. "Sounds fine to me," he agreed, watching Miles wander off before turning back to stare in the direction of the noise with the others.

"It sounds like something I heard back on New Bronx," one of the assembled men commented.

"No that ... that is definitely the sound of a giant lion," Fourcade announced.

"Don't be idiots," Cristofori chastised them. "It's probably just some black smoke that's got into the outpost's speaker system. Or maybe a stray cat."

At that moment Miles ran back towards the party. "Oh my ... it's louder over there. There's something out there ... and I think it's playing Velcro Flea, number one hit for the band Zxxxzy Top in the twenty-two-hundreds."

#11 Barky

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:57 AM

"Ugh! Why does the Empire need me to spy on these soulless capitalist bastards?" Muttered Frank Harrison, spy for the Empire. "I'd much rather work for them than these religious nutjobs." Franks small ship, Empire Issued   Spying and Reconnaissance Ship, or The Raven for short, couldn't hold much fuel due to it's small size.

The closest habitable planet Frank could find is CRM-115. "Fifteens the closest planet? Not that cesspit..." Frank thought to himself, but he needed fuel and pretty damn fast.

Frank steered The Raven onto the Moon, and burned though the atmosphere. He had to do one of those epic landings you see in any scifi, except this one wasn't epic at all. All Frank could see was one barren landscape, one ship, and a blonde woman. "Well that's strange, people choose to come here, perhaps they could help me." Frank ran over.

#12 Kramer

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 12:24 PM

Shadows moved through shadows, black upon black. There stood Maine Cathorax in icy silence. The light seemed to dissipate as it hit his cloak, as if all in his presence must succumb to darkness; the laughter of a child became the grim fear of a soul condemned, the hopelessness of a convict. It was as if he was some alchemist who had perfected the art of converting light into darkness, happiness into sorrow. His eyes tracked the movements of those who passed, dead yet alert, passionless yet focussed. It was the sort of stony gaze that could burn holes into concrete, the look of a killer.

He continued to stand without appearing to wait. Then, without warning, he appeared to drop something onto the floor. A piece of paper? Some tiny device? There was no way to be certain what it was through the thick darkness. He was soon gone again, vanished into the shadows, a ghost among men.

#13 Hentzau

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:59 PM

Sanderson woke up.

The first thing he saw was the ceiling of his cabin aboard the Osprey. However, he was not in a bed. Definitely not in a bed. In his experience, beds tended not to be hard and spiky - well, with the possible exception of the famous pinbeds used by the Ascetic Balloon Monks of Reticulus Two, but that system was over a hundred light years away. Anyway, he'd checked the bed when he came aboard the ship, and as far as he could ascertain it was completely free of any spiky objects like the ones currently digging into the nape of his neck and the small of his back.

Blinking and shaking his head in an attempt to clear his bleariness, Sanderson grabbed a bulkhead for support and hauled himself to his feet. The cabin was a mess. Several conduits in the ceiling had blown with enough force to completely shatter the ceiling panelling concealing them; they were emitting an acrid stench that made Sanderson gag. The cabin's accoutrements were scattered everywhere, so Sanderson snatched up his blaster and checked around in an attempt to locate his clothes. Thus suitably attired, he finally deigned to venture outside to try and find out what the hell had happened.

The rest of the ship was in just as bad a shape as his cabin, with bundles of exposed wiring emitting a pretty electrical lightshow that would delight both young and old - but not Sanderson, who knew that to get near one of the cables when it discharged would mean instant death. As he carefully made his way through the ship he tried to remember what had happened, but the last thing he could recall was being in the command cabin just before the ship began its atmospheric entry procedure. This was decidedly odd. While Sanderson was a fairly heavy sleeper it was highly unlikely that even he could have slept through his spaceship crashing into a planet at several hundred kilometres an hour. He might have been knocked out, but he couldn't find any bumps or cuts on his head that would account for such a lengthy concussion. Very odd.

However, Sanderson's ruminations on the exact reason why he was currently making his way through a wrecked spaceship on a muddy dirtball that was - galactically speaking - in the middle of nowhere were abruptly interrupted when he came across the Osprey's captain, Georgie Alexander. Currently she too was looking extremely unconscious, except (as Sanderson noted with some envy) she had a pretty nasty gash across her forehead that was fairly likely to have caused it.

Well. He couldn't exactly leave her here; after all he'd probably need her if he had any hope of controlling the surviving members of the crew and eventually getting off this rock in one piece, and that was to say nothing of his own conscience. Sighing under his breath, he stooped over and hauled the captain's body on to his shoulders. And thus with one hand steadying the unsconsious captain and the other cradling his blaster, Sanderson set forth to face whatever CRM-115 had to throw at him.

#14 Innokenti

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:20 PM

"Doc," Lucio said as he approached Factorial, "Can we move the Captain, I'm not keen on sticking around here and waiting for... whatever it is, to come and meet us."

"-tor. Doctor. 'Doc' sounds a little unclean. You are?" she replied almost nonchalantly, there was a lot of... stuff going on with the Captain. Lucio couldn't tell exactly what was going on, but it looked medical, and proper. Not that it really mattered at this point.

"Lieutenant Cristofori, and an answer if you would Doctor," Lucio said with a very pointed hint of annoyance.

"Give it a go, he's got a hairline fracture on his..." the medico-babble washed right over Cristofori as Factorial layed out what seemed to be the contents of Meegwee's Medical Dictionary, "... so unless you have a spare litre of blood on you we need to get to a sick bay anyway."

"That's where we're heading," the Lieutenant turned to the squad and shouted a couple of names to carry the stretcher. With the Captain on it.

"Also where the noise is from," Miles commented.

"We'll skirt it."

"Right."

They tried to carry on towards where they believed the sick-bay might be and thankfully no more Zxxxzy's Velcro Flea-style noises disturbed them. The general state of the ground level of the facility could be termed a liberal mess, Cristofori thought, considering how tidy it all was - the only mess resulting from whatever it was that damaged the facility. The odd fallen structure, loose cables, flashing lights... things still remained functional to a degree.

"Ever been down somewhere like here?" Doctor Factorial asked Cristofori.

"No. Don't intend to remain longer than I can. I may take these moments to inquire as to your presence on CRM-115," Cristofori said not looking at the Doctor, instead keeping a sharp look-out for anything that might cause death, maiming or a case of sniffles.

"Well, I don't think it's easy to explain-" she began.

"Are you here to subvert the Empire?"

"No."

"To incite religious discontent?" Cristofori could feel Akkenon's approving gaze on his back. It was discomfiting in the extreme.

"Certainly not." Factorial could too.

"Right, well, just help us out and you might get off here," Cristofori finished and moved away from the Doctor. They had reached what might be called a plaza. Except it really shouldn't because there was absolutely nothing of note.

"Well sir, that's it, sick-bay," Miles said, "Not that we have the authority to enter..."

Lucio glared at him.

"Oh, sir, I think the noise came from there," Miles said and pointed. Cristofori looked. He was scared to within a micrometre of death.
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#15 Carlisle Dave

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:46 PM

Cristofori was scared to within a micrometer of death. However, in this case death potentially came in the form of a festering seven centimetres. As the soldiers looked around, trying to discover what had made the noise that Miles had heard, the Toxic Mega Colon struck. Many mutated organs would have used stealth, cunning and surprise - not this mutated organ. The Toxic Mega Colon couldn't even spell subtlety, mainly due to the fact that it didn't have a particularly good education or a dictionary to hand, but also because it wasn't a word in its vocabulary. In fact, it only had one word in its vocabulary which it chose to use as it rushed at the soldiers.

"RAAAAAAAHHH!" it screamed, from the former junction with the small intestine that now formed its mouth. It had little arms and legs sprouting from it, each tipped with razor sharp fingers and toes, perfect for slicing people up good. There was a scream and then a wet thump as a faceless Army goon hit the ground in a pool of blood. The men started firing randomly in all directions. This lasted for about two seconds before they dove for cover from the hail of bullets that were flying randomly around the room.

"What was that thing?" cried Miles as he and Cristofori crouched down low.
"Looked like some kind of evil sausage!" replied Crisofori.
"Dear God!" exclaimed Miles as one of the worst nightmares of his life had appeared to have come true - all that remained now was for some annoyed gammon to chop off his legs.

Meanwhile, the Toxic Mega Colon prepared for another attack, having drunk the blood of the fallen soldier.

#16 Masked Dave

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 11:19 PM

Through a small hatch in the roof of the sick bay flopped the long, cylindrical form of Trevor McLongfellow, curling up he positioned himself so at least one of his stomach-eyes was in a position to view the child's roller skates and their occupant rolled into view.

"Report!" his snarled floating lips barked.

Through his long, straw-like snout Trevor whistled a song that told of danger, of sorrow, of imminent battle and death.

"Very pretty, now will you please give me your fucking report!" the faceless, bodiless, skinless, boneless leader of the gang of mutants demanded in a voice that scholars of 21st century culture would recognise as belonging to Ray Winstone.

Trevor gave a panicked whistle, his body convulsing around wildly, eyes spraying digestive fluid as he tried to spot someone who could help.

"Erm, Mr. Faceless, Sir... he just did. Trevor can't talk."

Faceless, as that was the name given to the head-on-wheels span his eyes around the other side of his brain.

"I beg your pardon Ratarse?"

A round grey and hairy ball rolled into Trevor's view, and he visibly relaxed, his snout resting on the curls of his thick body. The ball split down the middle and spoke to their leader.

"Trevor Sir, he can't speak, just whistle."

"You're bloody kidding! I fought 'e was just shy. Well fuck me. Who the fuck's idea of a joke was it not to tell me that before I put 'im on bloody watch duty!"

"Yeah, we thought that was a bit odd."

"A bit odd? A BIT FUCKING ODD?!" he wheeled around manically for a while, huffing and frustrated. Suddenly he turned back to face the others. "Right then chaps, not much we can do about that. No crying over split milk, must keep a stiff upper lip and all that what, what. Wouldn't want Jerry slipping past while we were napping now would we."

If you couldn't tell, his voice and personality had now considerably changed.

"Right then lads, ladys and assorted others. Our little Colon friend should be giving those military lot what for, so if there's nobody who can understand Mr. Longfellow here directly we've got time to see if we can't work out what he's trying to tell us some other way."
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#17 Schtroumpf

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:44 AM

Corporal Baxter Tacey was worried.

He was still technically under arrest, and as such Cristofori had refused to give him a weapon when he had been pulled out of the brig and placed back in the squad.  Tacey was currently standing in the middle of the group, holding a pipe he had found on the ground.  He was used to blowing things up, and such was not too confident that he could beat off what appeared to be a violent colon with a bit of plumming.

"Sir!" Tacey asked after the first attack. "I could really use a weapon, SIR!"

Cristofori turned round.  He hated Tacey, the man was an enemy to every ideal that he based his life on.  Cristofori would like nothing better than to turn the gun he was holding and execute Tacey right here.  But he knew he couldn't, he had no desire to go to the brig himself.  He knew that Tacey was due for the firing squad, that was the only sentence that the court martial would pass.  But he didn't trust him.  He knew Tacey.  He knew that now he was out of the brig he would do anything not to go back.

But if something was to happen to Tacey while they were out here.....  If a hostile killed him in action, then that would be as good as pulling the trigger himself.

"Tacey!  You have point."

"Sir?!  I need a weapon!"

Cristofori looked at pipe that Tacey was holding.  "You have one soldier."  

He grabed Tacey and thrust him in front of the squad.  No mean feat, as Tacey wasn't a small man.  Tacey swore and turned to face Cristofori, his grip on the pipe tightened as he slowly raised it.  He stopped mid raise as the Toxic Mega Colon let out another growl from the shadows.

Tacey spun round, pipe raised in front of him, awaiting the mutants attack.

Cristofori smiled to himself.

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#18 TSP

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 06:14 PM

Miles screamed like a girl : he was ill prepared for the current situation. Not that you can ever be prepared for an attack by a giant irradiated mutant colon, but it would have been nice to be equipped with a sidearm and have received some kind of basic combat training. Miles watched as the mutant, whose description would be too much for some forums to handle, advanced on the lone corporal. "Aim for the head," were the useless instructions offered by Cristofori, who hadn't fully grasped the nature of the attacker.

Adding to Miles' distress was the sheer number of breaches of regulation the incident was sparking. Blasters had been inappropriately withdrawn from holsters, several men had abandoned their posts within the group, Cristofori was issuing orders he had no authority to and the use of Corporal Baxter Tacey in the situation breached several of his human rights. If Tacey filed a lawsuit when this was all over, Miles was damned if he was going to be the one to deal with the paperwork. Worse still, Miles was considering the fact that the Toxic Mega Colon was actually a new form of sentient life, in which case not only had first contact guidelines been seriously breached but several members of the party were attempting genocide. The numbers of the regulation breaches swirled in Miles' head, causing him to freeze up almost completely.

Further odd noises emitting from the colon snapped Miles back to reality. He'd already been eaten once on this mission and he sure as hell wasn't going to let it happen again. He leapt into action as Tacey began to swing the pipe futilely at the advancing monstrosity. Launching into the air, Miles slammed into Tacey's body and knocked him to the ground. He immediately grabbed the pipe Tacey had been using as a weapon. "Do you know what this is?" he yelled, gesturing at the floored Tacey with the pipe. "This is an irreplacable part of a type-IV oxygen supply system. It's probably the most valuable thing on this planet apart from those fuel canisters on Doctor Factorial's ship. These things are backordered six months and I'm not going to let you damage this one trying to take down a slightly larger than average body organ. You'll thank me later when our oxygen runs out and we need this for repairs," Miles yelled as he made a run for it with the part, leaving the Toxic Mega Colon to bear down on a fallen and now completely unarmed Baxter Tacey.

#19 Innokenti

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:50 PM

Lucio was baffled. Genuinely baffled. The scene that unfolded before him could easily have baffled the... spleen, or whatever the damn thing was.

"Damn big colon that," Dr. Factorial muttered and showed a distinctly unpleasant amount of interest. Colon says the Doc? Colon it is. Damn big colon it was. It could have been baffled by the fact that one of its attackers had disarmed another of its attackers.

If it had a brain of course, Cristofori was coming to realise it was not.

"Open more fire directed at that damn thing and Petty Bloody Officer Miles - GET OUT OF THE WAY!" he screamed and fired off one or two shots with his pistol. Other members of the squad followed up on this and instead of trying to avoid friendly fire, were happily flouting regulations, seeing as it was ordered by an officer.

Miles turned around and mid-sentence dodged a shot by diving to the floor into something approximating position 47 of the Ulaxian Sextionary. A curious volume banned by all Ulaxian planets but a bestseller everywhere else in the Empire.

---

Toxic Mega Colon snipped at Tacey. Snipped was the closest approximation he could gather to his action - his head was but a common weed in the Colon's garden. Fortunately he was a weed that could duck, move, dash and so on, but couldn't really bit back - the green-glowing organ was advancing on him and ignoring the punishment that was coming its way from the rest of the squad. This fact hardly heartened Tacey, especially when he had to do a sort of primitive dance on the floor as well as shrug the damn Petty Officer away.

"Cease fire you idiots, it is having no effect!" Tacey screamed. There was some shouting and then a command from Cristofori. The colon gurgled and removed most of his left sleeve, thankfully he had drawn a shirt a few sizes too big for him and his hand remained unaffected. And the length was better.

"Well do something about it Corporal!" cried the Lieutenant, "You're the expert."

Tacey considered shouting something about him being an explosives expert and without any explosives he was about as useful as a normal-sized colon. Probably even less.

---

"That's a big boulder men, you will pick it up and throw it at the thing's head!" Cristofori finally suggested as Tacey and the colon danced closer to the cover they were behind.

"It still doesn't have a head Cristofori," Geedy suggested.

"Thorw it at the thing. Something! Now!"

The soldiers quickly organised themselves and, briefly finding time to fight over who gets the easy end and who gets the jagged, pointy, stick-in-your-groin end, lifted the boulder and got ready to propell it.

"Now Doc, where do we aim for, where is the colon's weak place?" Cristofori feverishly demanded from Factorial.

"While I'm an M.D., do you think I spend even a little of my time poking colon's and seeing if they scream?"

Cristofori looked at her hopefully.

"Why yes I do Lieutenant. Just above it's right arm!"

"Squad will aim! Squad... FIRE!"
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#20 Kramer

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:45 PM

As the colony faced impending doom, unnoticed and unphased, Maine Carthorax emerged from the shadows. He studied the scene of carnage ahead of him like some feudal king surveying a battlefield. His eyes scanned the horizon with a calmness usually unfamiliar to those witnessing potential genocide from a giant sausage. He scarcely regarded the creature at all, he was looking at the people it was fighting and the ships and buildings they travelled between. He put his hand to his chin and paused.

Without warning, a man in uniform – a low ranking officer of the Imperial Legion – dashed out of a door to Maine’s left. He didn’t regard Maine and endeavoured to run past him to the battle before them. Maine stuck out his cane and tripped the officer who fell on his face, cutting his cheek on the planet’s rocky surface.

“What are doing?! You crazy…”, yelled the officer.

“Quiet lamb. You have served your purpose”, whispered Maine. The officer’s throat had been slit by the time he had finished his sentence. With calculated force, Maine snapped the man’s head back whilst pressing his knee into his back. A surge of crimson spewed onto the floor and seemed to collect in pools, steaming and bubbling. Maine dragged the officer’s body into the shadows.

When he finally resurfaced, Maine was wearing the officer’s uniform. His moustache seemed oddly incongruous in its new context although it didn’t seem to bother him. He ran onwards towards the battle, or rather, towards the Imperial Legion’s fixture. In the delirium of battle, Cristofori and his men did not seem to notice that they had an impostor in their ranks. Maine even received orders to cover another officer. Whatever his plan was, it seemed to be working – for the moment.

#21 Inflammable Jim

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:54 PM

"This is not why I joined up" muttered a soldier as he attempted to sweep the colossal enraged colon out of the way with a ripped-out cupboard door. Private Glade reflected that though this was exactly the reason he had joined the people with guns (or 'military'), to say so would probably be damaging to morale. Conventional wargames were, on the whole, dull affairs. Space travel and mass drivers and what have you meant the average cause of death for a soldier was fired some four hundred kilometres away, sometimes around an asteroid or small moon. They'd done away with the human aspect of war, they were even proud that conflicts that would in the old days have resulted in the deaths of millions could be resolved thousands of miles away by remote control without much death at all.

A volley of debris pattered off the colon's hardened, swollen skin. It looked up to see a hefty boulder flying its way and barely dodged out of the way, catching a blow in the rectum which knocked it back a few paces. This gave Glade an idea and he rushed off. The Colon reared horribly and charged anew into the soldiers.

"I don't suppose we could just run in there and grab what we need to patch up the Captain, doctor?" enquired Cristofori hopefully.

"I won't know for sure until we can see what's survived the blasting and fires and mutants and such, but it's certainly possible"

"Oh", Cristofori scanned the melee, "What the hell have you got there, private?"

"Medbay, sir, means waiting area means hatstand!" replied a breathless Glade, brandishing a large, branched chrome monstrosity. Some of the folks around here had very heavy hats to acclimatise to the low gravity.

"Well that makes sense. Uh, what's it for?"

"Well we don't seem to be able to hurt it much, so we could try trapping it. Enough of us charge it with this like a battering ram, we can steer it where we like!"

"That is the silliest idea I've ever heard. However, we're currently fighting an enraged digestive tract, so what the hell. TACEY, GEEDEY, HIGGINS", he called out over the battle, "You lot and Glade try rushing that....thing with this...other thing."
You know...we lost the first battle of the Chesapeake because of a mysterious...treacherous...Ankylosaurus

#22 Lu-Tze

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 12:09 PM

Luther awakened from a deep sleep, dreaming about places long ago and people long forgotten. As he propelled himself through his morning routine, slippers onto feet, PGTeamatic 2.0 set to "brew"... the usual protestations from his weak old bones were replaced by much louder protestations from much of the equipment in the room. The squiggly drawing thing had drawn lots of squiggles, a light was flashing on the Radioisotope Scope, and most of all the Kytometric was reading "øÞÕ". Luther had never seen the Kytometric go all the way to "øÞÕ" before, so something interesting was bound to be happening. Glancing out across the barren landscape he could see a pillar of blue smoke, and the Colony was blazing light everywhere rather than doing it's usual job of squatting on the landscape hoarding it all for itself.

A quick browse through the telemetric logs confirmed it... at least a couple of ships had arrived unscheduled and, if the landings were anything to judge by, unintentionally. Ships meant ship parts, and more than that broken ships meant salvage. Luther hobbled out of the little concrete bunker he called home and up into the cab of the goliath purple workhorse he called Matilda. With a belch of black smoke, Matilda hovered uncertainly off into the distance.

In the lab, the machines carried on beavering away. Particularly the unnoticed BioRythmicResonator, which was having great fun classifying a large group of things as all different varieties of "Unknown". Then the PGTeamatic went "bing" to no-one in particular.
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#23 TSP

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:03 PM

Tacey held up a length of chain he'd managed to find. "Right! Higgins, you hit it with that medicine trolley at the same time Glade rams it with the hat stand. Lieutenant Geedey, try to make yourself useful with ... those outdated magazines."

"That isn't a medicine trolley, it's for the tea," Higgins objected. "Besides, I can fight that thing with my incredible physical strength. I don't do two hundred push-ups a day to have to resort to using a tea trolley to fight off a bloated, outgrown colon!"

"I don't care what you use, try backing it up against that pylon over there! Once we've got it chained up all we have to do is find some explosive canisters and blow it up." Tacey had a glint in his eye. Angelina Factorial surveyed the scene, giving the plan a thirty percent chance of success.

In the chaos of the incident, everybody had forgotten about Quatermass, whose stretcher had been abandoned on the ground by the medbay. Miles crouched down next to him. "What are your orders, sir?" Quatermass groaned inaudibly. "He's dying!" Miles yelled, but the rest of the group were still more concerned with the toxic mega colon, which had managed to snap the hat rack like a twig and was currently advancing on Higgins, while Geedey was trying to beat it with a copy of We Weekly. Further agitated by the impending death of his commanding officer and the intricate nature of the subsequent funeral arrangements, Miles began to rock back and forth, clutching his head with his hands.

"He'll be fine you idiot," Factorial chastised him. "Y'all need to pay more attention, though. That thing keeps going for Tacey and Higgins despite the presence of easier targets in the form of your incapacitated captain and that idiotic supply technician." Factorial looked directly at Cristofori, who was in a state of confusion. Factorial sighed, deciding that she was dealing with the military and would have join up all the dots herself. "They're both wearing red."

Cristofori realised that if they could attach something red to the pylon they could trick the colon into moving into a position where they were able to trap it. "Someone hand me something red," he barked. Higgins quickly ripped off his shirt and threw it to Cristofori. "You could have just taken it off, soldier," he remarked as he set off for the pylon.

The objection fell on deaf ears, however, as Higgins was absorbed in flexing his muscles and showing off his body. He looked like he was just about to try to engage the mutant in an arm wrestle when it lost interest in him and turned around, running towards the red shirt, Cristofori and the pylon.

#24 Schtroumpf

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:27 PM

Tacey was twirling the length of chain above his head when Cristofori sprinted past him holding what appeared to be Higgins' shirt.  He didn't really care why he was doing that as it seemed to have stopped the colon attacking him.  This was a good thing.

"Geedey!"  Tacey shouted, before throwing him the chain, "Use this!"

He then turned and sprinted down an alley close to the squad,  promptly arriving in front of a building that appeared relatively intact.  This was because it was made of 6 foot thick reinforced concrete.  The building was built so, as it housed the outposts explosives.  Tacey tried the door;  It was, as you would expect, locked.  He swore under his breath and sprinted back to the squad.

Cristofori and the Colon were doing a pretty good impression of a Toreo, however Tacey paid them little attention.  He was focused on getting Quartermass' keycard.

Miles stared in utter disbelief when he saw what Tacey was doing.  He reached down and grabbed Tacey's arm as he pulled the keycard out of Quartermass' pocket.

"You are in breach of regulation TDR4532, unless of course that is you have document YHG34 in triplicate signed by both yourself, Captian Quartermass and an impartial third party?"  He told Tacey, "No?  Didn't think so."

Tacey stood up, Miles' hand still on his arm.  "Look Kennington, either I use this keycard to get into the explosives dump and kill that thing, or I shove a fuse up your arse and we see if you explode."

Miles removed his hand from Tacey's arm.  "That's what I thought."

Tacey turned and sprinted back towards the explosives dump.  He slammed against the door and swiped the card down the reader.  Nothing happened.  He swore under his breath again.  The card reader was electronic, and electricity was something that 115 didn't seem to have much of at the moment.  He let out a scream and gave the door a fustrated kick.  This, combined with his earlier shoulder barge, caused the door to fall out of its frame.  The entire front of the building then followed the door onto the ground.  Tacey shrugged, clearly the building hadn't stood up to the attack as well as he had thought.
He scrambled over the fallen masonary and grabbed a C4 pack and a few grenades before turning and running back to the battle.

Tacey flew round the corner, pulled a pin out of one of the grenades and lobbed it towards the Colon and Cristofori.

"FIRE IN THE HOLE!"

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#25 Jen

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:28 PM

Boxer

Tony was out cold - something that seemed to make Jake annoyingly happy. In fact Jake seemed to be in his element with the two unconcious men and a missing captain. Boxer busied himself making the other two men as comfortable as he could before looking about.

Jake had headed off near as soon as they left the ship - going on about recon and the like, wondering what had happened to the Imperial ship they'd spotted just before entering atmo - leaving Boxer to care for the injured. He was torn between looking after them and going back into the ship to din the Captain. He didn't understand why Jake didn't go straight back in like he said he would - but the gleam in the mercenary's eyes when he looked towards the base probably had something to do with it.

There was sound from somewhere near the ship and Boxer turned quickly. It was only Sanderson, the man who'd chartered the Osprey, and he was carrying the Captain.

"She's out cold," Sanderson said as he settled the woman on the ground. She had a nasty gash on her forehead and for a moment Boxer felt something in him clench at the idea of his Captain being severly wounded.

"Jake's gone looking for people," Boxer said as Sanderson looked around cautiously, "At least that's probably what he's doing"

"We should probably get away from the ship," Sanderson said, still looking a little edgy, "People aren't likely to be pleased that we've crashed here"

"Who went and made you Captain?" it was Jake's gruff voice. He stepped out from the shadows under the crumple port drive engine (Boxer found it hard to look at the Osprey like this, his hands were itching to start fixing her) with a big shotgun hanging over his shoulder. Boxer wondered where he'd found it.

Jake

The weight of the shotgun on his shoulder was a familiar one. Jake tried not to think about the body he'd pulled it off - it wasn't exactly the kind of body he wanted to look at too often. The Space Cop was staring at him like he'd just rained on his parade. Jake liked that idea.

His eyes swept over the scene noting that the Captain was now lying alongside the two passengers and suffered a momentary sadness that Sanderson hadn't been injured as well.

"I have authority here," Sanderson said coldly and Jake smiled slowly.

"The only person who's got authority here is the Captain," Jake waved at her prone form, "And seeing as she ain't doing much talking right now I think we'll stay put"

It wasn't really a good idea to stick here, Jake knew it and Sanderson knew it, but Jake was damned if he was going to let some uptight Space Cop take over from his rightful Captain. It was this bizarre loyalty that convinced Georgie to bail him out when he got in trouble.

Anything Sanderson may have said in reply was lost when a massive detonation sounded from the direction of the base. Boxer covered his ears with his hands and Sanderson ducked instinctively (interesting, Jake noted) whilst Jake stood his ground. So he was the one who noticed the Captain stir.

"Forge," she said woozily after the echoes died away, "Who's making noise fit to raise the dead and what the hell happened to my ship?"

Nothing ever changed when it came to the Captain. Nothing.
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I lost some time once...it's always in the last place you look for it. Violent Becoming Downtown, Olympus Town