Tuesday, December 26, 2006

We now return to their return to Throneworld already in progress

Queen Galacta, Private Hudson, and I traveled the distance to the cave without any further contact with the beasts that were occupying Throneworld. Hudson was obviously nervous, but he did a good job of keeping his cool while taking point. The Queen remained in her catatonic state, whatever these creatures that have invaded this planet are, they seem to have a strong psychic presence and it is affecting Her ability to function.

“There’s the cave,” Hudson stopped and pointed. “You wanna just stroll right in?”

I checked the readings on my Wristcomm. “I don’t see any sign of movement in there. You got your motion tracker?”

“Sure.” Hudson pulled the tracker out and turned it on. “I’m not getting any movement either. I guess we can go in. Uh, why don’t you go first.”

“Fine,” I replied. “You stay near the Queen and watch our back.”

“You got it.”

I stepped into the cave and looked around. The rock along the sides was smooth and cool, but there wasn’t any sign of life within the tunnel itself. I strained my neck attempting to listen to anything, but all I could hear was Hudson’s breath.

“Sure is hot in here,” I noted.

“Yeah, but it’s a dry heat,” Hudson cracked.

We moved deeper into the cave. Again, I strained to listen but again all I heard was Hudson’s breath. We soon reached a point where our path split in two directions.

“Which way do we go?” Hudson asked.

“You wanna split up?” I replied.

“No way, man.”

“We must go this way,” the Queen said absently, then stepped past us towards the tunnel to the left.

“You heard the lady,” I said, then gestured to the left.

Queen Galacta lead the way down a gradual slope. It soon grew almost pitch dark, but she seemed to know where she wanted to go and had no problem getting there.

“I got something up ahead,” Hudson looked at the pinging on his motion tracker. “Multiple life signs plus something big. Can’t tell what it is yet.”

“OK,” I replied. “We’re going to have to be very careful when we check this out. Wherever She’s leading us might be chock full of unfriendlies.”

“I hear you there,” Hudson nodded.

The Queen didn’t stop though; She walked straight into a large cavern and towards a giant metallic structure.

I cursed under my breath. “Why didn’t you stop Her from waltzing into the open like that?”

“I couldn’t grab Her,” Hudson answered. “Why didn’t you grab Her?”

“I don’t see anything else out there,” I said. “It looks like—”

My comment was interrupted by crumbling sounds followed by unfriendly roars. I looked behind us and several creatures were blasting up through the ground.

“That’s not good,” I mumbled and started firing. “Hudson take these things down, I gotta go get the Queen!”

Hudson’s weapon dangled at his side and his eyes grew wide at the creatures looming over us.

“Giant bugs! Giant bugs, man! Get ‘em off me!”

I cursed again under my breath and began firing my two pistols at the attacking aliens.

Crouched in my firing position, I got a better look at my adversary. There were three and they were tough; their hide was able to absorb the blasts from Betsy and Winona, but eventually the howling creatures dropped to the ground. Burned flesh reeked underneath their smoking carapaces.

I cursed loudly at Hudson. “I need a little help here! I can’t protect the Queen and babysit you at the same time!”

“Forget it man!” he whined. “Did you see those things? They’re not gonna stop, they’re gonna keep coming and they’re gonna kill us!”

“Look!” I kicked the corpse nearest to me. “These things aren’t the Xenomorphs. These are different. We can take ‘em down, but I need you to get your head out of your fourth point of contact!”

Hudson just stared at the fallen creatures. “This ain’t happening, man... This can’t be happening, man! This isn’t happening!”

Hudson was starting to freak out so I slapped him hard across the face.

“OK,” he said. “I’m better now.”

I slapped him across the face again.

“Hey! What was that for?”

“Just to be sure.”

In the moment, I had almost forgotten about the Queen, I quickly sprinted towards Her. She was surrounded by a number of the same fallen monsters. More interestingly, however, was the giant spacecraft half buried in the side of the cave.

“What’s this?” I said, looking over the skin of the craft.

“In here,” Queen Galacta answered quietly. “In here.”

I couldn’t find a seal to open or any access anywhere. The Queen, however, held her hand gently against the hull. With a metallic scrape and a clang, a hatch slid open.

“In here,” she repeated softly. “I can feel it.”

She climbed up into the hatch, I followed and a sweating Hudson hauled himself in right behind me. The opening slid shut behind him and I quickly pointed my pistols down both sides of the hallway.

Aside from the red lights glowing along the hall, we were alone. Without hesitation, the Queen started walking towards whatever Her destination was. Hudson and I followed, keeping an eye out along the way.

“…Calling to me…” she said. “Can’t you hear it?”

Hudson shrugged his shoulders at me slightly. He couldn’t hear it either.

A bolt of energy lanced past us.

“Hold you fire,” Queen Galacta called out confidently.

“My Queen!” a voice returned.

From behind the cover of a control panel, Major Rocksun stood up. He definitely looked worse for wear.

“My Queen!” Rocksun shouted again as he sprinted up towards us. “It has been so long. I had feared that you had abandoned us. Or worse yet, you were dead!”

“I have returned to Throneworld, Major, but all is not as I left it.”

“These creatures have overrun most of the planet, your Majesty,” Rocksun replied. “They attacked us in force and the biomatter that they live on creeps over anywhere once inhabited by Your people. Many have fled the planet, many more have died. These creatures are insatiable and unstoppable!”

“This doesn’t make sense,” I said. “How could these creatures have overrun Throneworld so quickly? According to my ship’s calculations, we were only gone a short time.”

“It has been so long,” Rocksun stammered. “Years, perhaps. I led a small group in here. We’ve been in this wreckage all this time. We’ve made a few excursions out there, but it’s just too dangerous. I’ve lost too many good men already. This ship may never fly again, but fortunately the power sources still work and there is food available in the food stores.”

“You got ham and lima?” Hudson asked. “Shootin’ bugs always makes me hungry.”

Rocksun nodded and the private whooped with joy over his potential new meal.

“This just can’t be right, we weren’t gone that long.” I synced the chronometer on my Wristcomm with the Major’s own timepiece. “I can’t understand this. This is the right time -- we’re not in the future or anything. Could we be in an alternate reality?”

“I do not believe so,” the Queen replied. “I would surely feel it if we were.”

“OK so was the Major calling to you then, Your Majesty?” I asked. “Is that what you were responding to?”

“No,” the elite officer shook his head. “I do not have that ability. Besides, until now I did not know that the Queen had returned.”

“Then what was it?” Hudson asked.

“I think I know,” Rocksun answered. “Let me show you.”


Professor Xavier said...

Fourth point of contact? I don't know what that is, but it sounds nasty.

Local Henchmen 432 said...

I smell a trap or bacon.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Professor, Fourth Point of Contact.

Vegeta said...

The plot thickens

Professor Xavier said...

I was right, it is nasty. Let's hear it for instincts!

SQT said...

What happened to Rudy?

Becca the Magnificant said...

Zerg. Yes.

Jon, I don't know, about Xenomorphs, I don't know about, Queens, I don't know about Galaxies, I don't know about Rocks and Suns, I don't know about Majors, I don't know about Privates or Bugs, However...

I know that Psychics are very succeptable to these creatures. Protect that woman-person.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

a can of bug spray would be useful.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Yeah, a BIG can.

Summer Dawn O'Ciardha said...

I find that bugs seem to like Fire. But then again, bugs never bothered me. But I am sure I would hate bugs that big. That's why you have zombies.

You gamers reading would understand the word "Tanking" thats what zombies do for me.