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Old 2013-10-27, 08:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Orisoll
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Shell-Shock (TR)


I don't care what the brass says, this is not a glorious struggle to maintain order. Nor is it a grand crusade for peace. What we do here on Auraxis can hardly even be called war, it bares more resemblance to mass murder than anything else, and whatever the motive, whatever the cause, we are all in the wrong.

Not that there's anything I can do about that, I'm just a medic, drafted from the Explorer IV's medical bay and thrust into this conflict with all the care and precision of a Decimator rocket to be used as either cannon fodder for the rebels, or a tool to get useful soldiers back into the fight. That said, I fight for the Republic, I fight for unity and peace, no matter how far-fetched those goals seem.


I held my assault rifle close to my chest, letting the minute warmth of recently fired rounds sink into my shivering body. It wasn't cold that caused this, it was the moisture. So goddamn wet and muddy. Nothing was quite like fighting on Hossin, there were foot snags everywhere, the ground seemed to be hungry for footwear of all kinds, and all the muck and grime made my job very hard to do.

"Speaking of my job... that guy's getting a little too far out of cov-"

CRAACK

"AUGH! My arm!" came the terrible shriek of pain from the poor sod that ventured out from behind the stump he was using as cover.

"Kerner! We've got a man down over!" called one of the two men next to him.

The wounded soldier's cries of pain ripped through the misty air, prompting me to vault over my cover and run full tilt towards his position, exposing myself to enemy snipers.

ZZHHIP ZZHHIP ZZZHIP

The coilgun rounds slammed into the ground all around my frantically pumping legs as I streaked to the side, narrowly avoiding a Bolt Driver round, and dove chest-first into the muck behind the thick tree stump the wounded man had been dragged behind.

"My arm! It- it's gone! AHHGH! Medic!"

"It's okay, I'm here. You'll be fine, just stay still." I issued some calming words as I scrambled to my knees, drawing my medical applicator and beginning to apply a steady stream of Nanites to the gushing red stump that was once an arm, taking out a rejuvenation syringe with my free hand.

The Nanobots didn't work quite fast enough, as the kid in front of me began to grow pale and clammy, and drew shallow, frantic breaths. He's going into shock.

"Damn it kid! Stay with me!" I shouted, shaking the scrub back into semi-consciousness.

Finally, after at least minute of steady healing, the obliterated arm began to reform itself, extending new flesh to cover exposed bone and muscle tissue, then creating more bone and more tissue to replace what had been lost.

Once the initial healing and reconstruction had finished, I held the new arm steady and drew up the rejuvenation syringe, preparing to reactivate the arm's nervous link.

"Don't worry, you won't feel this at all." I stated flatly upon noticing the young soldier's grimace, then plunged the needle deep into the pale flesh and watched as the skin regained it's color and the pores began to open up one by one.

"Pretty neat huh?" I said with a smile, withdrawing the syringe from the now fully-functioning arm.

"I... wow. I didn't know we had stuff like that." said the soldier, staring wide-eyed at his new arm as he flexed the fingers and bent the elbow experimentally.

I gave the kid a pat on the shoulder, then took up a position beside him to keep out of the line of fire.

Whatever the greater good may be, whoever is in the right, I only know that my job is one of honor and sacrifice. A duty to be fulfilled, a loyalty stronger than death."

"Thanks." the young soldier said quietly, fixing me with an appreciative glance.

"It's my job." I said dismissively, looking over into the dark goggles that covered his eyes, then added a little more softly, "I do what I can."

After a minute's worth of relative silence, I risked a glance out of cover to see if the enemy was still there... only to see a New Conglomerate grunt rounding the corner of our tree stump, weapon raised cautiously.

"Oh shi-" I began, before the impact of a forward-thrust rifle butt snapped my head back and shook my vision violently. A few shots reverberated through the air as the soldier I had just saved, along with all accompanying him, were mowed down in a flurry of blood, mud, and yellow tracer rounds.

"No...." I rasped, scrambling to my elbows only to find myself staring directly down the barrel of an EM1 Light Machine Gun.

"Sometimes I even impress myself." the blue clad soldier said cockily, then fired his weapon.



I felt my head jerk backwards once more, this time feeling much lighter. Then, vision gone and body immobile, I drifted into the blessed blackness of death.



__________________________________________________ ______________________________________




I plan on adding a few new characters to the mix in coming updates, just to give the other factions a perspective. It will remain hooked to Kerner's endeavors though, for the sake of consistency.

Anyhow, what do you think of the introduction? It's the first story I've written in a while, so I may be a smidge rusty
.

Last edited by Orisoll; 2014-03-22 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 2013-10-28, 10:04 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Sonny
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Re: Shell-Shock (TR)


Hi Orisoll,
Don't worry, that intro was absolutely great. The way it is written makes me feel like I'm in the middle of grimy, muddy Hossin, in the thick of the action. Also, I like how you make it seem like a 'real' war, with all its gore and horribleness, a much more realistic different perspective than what the game gives us .

Keep it up! Look forward to reading more,

Sonny
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Old 2013-10-29, 07:26 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Shell-Shock (TR)


What happens next is very hard to adequately describe, but suffice to say it involves the brief, yet surreal feeling of mental displacement in which the mind is completely separate from the body, mingling with all the other minds currently in the Matrix. It is now that I remember things I've never done, care for people I've never met, and have a deep connection to all around me, even those who I call the enemy. I am one with all the fighting men and women of Auraxis for only a brief moment before being pulled into the new body awaiting me, leaving any treasonous thoughts behind.


A familiar humming sound began to churn inside the deepest recesses of my head, slowly spreading outwards with the speed of a thick gas till the hum itself took the shape of a body. My body.


Seconds later my feet hit the spawn tube surface with a faint clunk, the sound loud to my hyper-sensitive post resurrection ears, and painful to my newly fabricated nerve endings. The sensitivity was a nuisance, but it wore off quickly as I staggered heavily out of the spawn tube, sitting down on one of the small beds near the center of the room to collect my thoughts. Despite nearly twenty-five deaths since my deployment, I still was not used to the feeling of resurrection. I always seem to feel slightly smaller in stature when I come out of that tube, like a small part of myself is lost in the rebirthing process.


Maybe someday there will be nothing left... maybe someday James Kerner will be no more than an intelligent amalgamation of Nanites. A life lost not to death, but to rebirth.


Interrupting my train of thought, a single body began to form out of the loose Nanite vapor within the nearest spawn tube. There was the sound of feet connecting with metal, and the one who's arm I had regrown came stumbling out of the tube.


"No! Get away! I don't wanna die!" he shouted in a voice slurred by panic, dropping to his knees and beginning to stain his goggles with tears. After a short moment of shaking and muttering he murmured between sobs, "I just wanna go back... back home, I wanna go home. Let me go... just... let me out you bastards!"


The crazed private began yelling curses at the ceiling, fists curled and trembling, tears pooling behind his goggles.


"You'll be fine." I reassured him in a flat tone, "I felt the same way after my first death."


The young soldier, an engineer upon closer inspection, ceased his wailing and fixed me with an expression that indicated his surprise at seeing another man in his personal Hell.


"What?" he asked, seeming slightly dazed.


"Just relax, take deep breaths. You don't want to stress your body too much so soon after refabrication."


"You..." the engineer began, lifting his goggles from his eyes to see past the tears, "You're that medic... the one who saved me." his tone was quiet and hoarse from screaming, but he seemed to be over the initial shock.


"Yeah, that's me." I confirmed, scooching over a bit and bidding him to take a seat.


"Thanks." he sighed, traipsing over the cold metal floor and taking a seat next to me on the bed.


"First time dying?" I inquired, realizing I had assumed it was his first time earlier without getting confirmation.


"Yeah." came the sullen response through a clenched jaw. "I swear I kill the bastard who got me. Even if it takes the rest of my conscription, I will kill him!" the engineer was shaking again, though not out of fear this time.


"You'll get a chance to soon enough." I began with a sly smile, "The brass is planning an offensive against the NC Warpgate while they're occupied with the Vanu on Searhus... word from the top. Eavesdropped it myself." I half-joked, grinning at the recollection of the night I had snuck out of my bunk and listened in on a classified war meeting. That was when I was still a fresh recruit, unaware of the things the Commissars did to people for crimes like that. I knew better now, but was thankful for the information. The assault was scheduled for next week, and I needed time to prepare.


"What do you mean 'offensive against their Warpgate'?" the engineer asked, glancing sideways at me before turning back upon realizing he couldn't read my expression through the composite mask.


"Exactly what it sounds like. We're going to take their Warpgate by force, effectively driving them off this continent."


"Damn... when's this going down?"


"I know it's sometime next week, not sure which day though."


The engineer and I sat in silence for some time while he considered the prospect of being forced into a massive battle having just minutes before been on the brink of madness from only one death.


"What's your name kid?" I asked after what I thought was enough time to mentally prepare for dying a couple dozen times.


"Nolan Reefer. PFC, if you couldn't tell by these things." he patted his shoulder pad where the rank insignia was located. "Yours?"


"James Kerner, Corporal." I said, lifting the composite shoulder covering to show my rank insignia.


"Nice to meet you... uh, what do I call a Corporal? Sir?"


"No, that's just for sergeants and above. You can just call me James... or 'medic', either one works...."


"Alright Medic." he said jokingly.


"...though James is preferable." I finished with a slight chuckle, then added in a more serious tone, "I gotta get a patrol path marked out, the enemy might be headed for this base next, and it looks like we're the only ones who spawned here. You can come with if you want."




"What exactly does this entail?" asked the engineer after we had exited the spawn building.


"Pretty much just walking around the perimeter of the facility, making sure no rebels show up."


"Sounds easy enough." he said, looking off into the middle distance as if already looking for the distinct blue and yellow armor of the New Conglomerate.


"Don't bother looking for anyone, they'd most likely send infiltrators. You're ears will be much better at locating them." I explained, taking a left to reach what I thought looked like a good place to establish a perimeter.


Nolan seemed to tense up at this. His eyes, still exposed with his goggles put up on his helmet, portrayed a great sense of worry.


"What's wrong?" I asked noting that he was now slowing down a bit.


"It's just that... infiltrators aren't really my thing, if you know what I mean." he said slowly, eyes darting back and forth to scan the undergrowth. "That and I did hear something a while back, sort of a harsh fizzling sound... is that what they sound like?"


"Where did it come from?" I asked hastily, slinging my Cycler TRV assault rifle off my back and positioning my finger to the side of the trigger.


"Over there." he indicated a small rocky outcropping amongst a patch of thorny vines, "About a minute ago as we were leaving the building."


"Cover me, I'm gonna go check it out." I ordered, starting off towards the outcropping at a slow trudge, my feet sinking into the water-saturated sludge below me with each step. I was nervous, but took comfort in the sound of an anti-infantry MANA turret fabricating into existence behind me. At least he knows how to cover someone properly.


I froze in my tracks at a sound projecting from the cluster of tall rocks Nolan had pointed to. A very faint staticy sound from behind the rocks amidst the thorns sent chills rocketing down my spine at it's implications. A helmet-mounted comms system was transmitting.


I shouldered my weapon and listened, hearing a hushed whisper seep out through the massed undergrowth.


"Looks like there's only two of 'em. They're starting to patrol the perimeter... yeah. One medic and one engineer... of course I will... yup. Got it. Delta 7 out."


The distinctive sound of an NC cloak engaging rippled through the air, hitting my ears and causing my eyes to widen. There were a few damp scuffling sounds, and a slender shimmer emerged atop the rocks.


"Holy shit! Look out!" came yell from behind me, ignoring the alarming rate my heart was beating at, I drew a bead on the faint outline and squeezed the trigger.


The weapon in my arms jolted back, filling the air with a piercing RA-KA-KA-KA-KA-KA-KA and numerous sounds of sharp, fleshy impacts.


Letting go of the trigger, I watched with a mixture of satisfaction, relief, and guilt as a blood-stained figure fizzled into existence atop the rocks, promptly slumping forwards and toppling into the thorny vines below. I lowered my weapon and shot a glance back at Nolan. He was crouched behind his turret, gripping his TRAC-5 carbine tightly to his chest.


"Clear!" I called back to the engineer, watching as he relaxed and let out a shaky sigh of relief. "Get back to the spawn room and notify you're squad leader, I'll keep an eye out here!"


"Got it." he called back, happily leaving his turret in favor of the high-density IFF spawn shields.


I turned my attention back to where the NC infiltrators body had fallen, listening for the sound of it disintegrating into a Nanite cloud. I began to grow worried when no such sound came. They're still alive.


I moved forward, forcing my way through the huge vines and thick mud to get to the rocky outcropping the infiltrator had fallen from. A twitching patch of blue, grey, and blood red appeared through the undergrowth as I approached the mosey rocks.


"Get... get away from me...." choked the thin figure as I drew closer.


I pushed away a large vine and took in the scene. The infiltrator lay crumpled at the base of the rocks, kicking weakly in the small puddle of crimson blood that had begun to form from the thirty-some bullet wounds peppering the stealth bodysuit. Covering the infiltrators face was a shemagh wrapping with bulky goggles obscuring the eyes, preventing me from seeing what was surely an expression of pure agony.


I drew my Repeater from my utility belt and knelt down next to the suffering figure. I pressed the barrel to the head of the infiltrator -whom I had idly noticed to be female-, and placed my finger over the trigger. A breath caught in the rebels throat as she attempted to sputter out some final words.

"Th... thank you... Terran scum." the phrase was barely a whisper, followed by a raspy cough and a spurt of blood staining the cloth face covering around where her mouth would be. "Do it... please.... it hurts."




This time the girl's plea was too much for me, I closed my eyes and -shamefully reluctantly- squeezed the trigger.

Last edited by Orisoll; 2013-11-03 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 2013-12-28, 01:07 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Shell-Shock (TR)


The following week. . .

The attack on the NC Warpgate was being staged all around me, several dozen Prowler tanks lined up into a tight formation in the forefront, some thirty-eight AMS-Equipped Sunderer transports took up position behind them, and a general rabble of Harasser buggies, Flash ATVs, and Lighting tanks brought up the rear. Not an impressive force on it's own, but that was only the vehicle core. Next to them were nearly eighty Galaxy troop transports all struggling for space in the cramped Warpgate.

The sounds of engines and shouted orders were deafening, all but drowning out the Republic anthem playing over some loud speakers located somewhere among the amassed army.

"You have any idea where when we're starting!?" A familiar engineer to my right screamed over the thunderous roar of engines and orders. Chance had it that he'd been assigned to my squad for this campaign.

It struck me as odd that he wouldn't know when we were to start, seems like our assigned squad leader had given us the briefing only a few hours prior. But I could hardly blame the kid, things tend to get foggy when you know something terrible awaits you. Makes me wonder how the Conglomerate soldiers are coping with the knowledge that the entire fury of the Terran Republic is soon to be upon them. The poor rebels, I understand their pain. Everyone on Auraxis understands each other, we all fight the same war.

The sound of our squad leader shouting something in our general direction snapped me back to the present. I turned to Nolan and responded to his inquiry.

"Right now!" I shouted back, noticing the rest of the infantry core beginning to load into their Galaxies. "C'mon! Our Gal is right up there!"

With that our platoon began to load up. The wide ramp of our squad's transport dropped into the thick slime below, allowing us to run up the slope and strap into the Auraxium-hard seats that lined the walls and seemingly were built for anything but humans. Typical Nanite Systems design, function over form, or in this case comfort.

I stamped the grime off my boots on the already mud-smeared flooring, took an open seat near the closed off cockpit, strapped myself in, then awaited take off. The ramp rose back up into position with a metallic groan as old motors and hinges struggled to to their task. Everything was dark save for the slight light that shown into the musky passenger bay through a few cracks around the ramp.

"Hey man, got any last minute advice?" Nolan quavered from the seat next to me, tapping his feet in a vain attempt to calm his fraying nerves. I caught myself doing the same.

Considering the question for a second, I responded, "Think of things that are important to you. . . home, family, loyalty, whatever. Use that to strengthen yourself, use it as a motivator for your actions. It's about all you can do. It about all any of us can do." I repeated it in my head for myself.

He paused for a moment, then drew a breath as if to speak, but instead just bit his lip and settled back into his seat and remained quiet.

After a minute or so of dead silence among all the soldiers, save for the occasional cough or shifting of weight, the pilot's voice scratched over the intercom stating that we had thirty seconds until take off.

A couple of troops exchanged glances, a couple fidgeted nervously, and some, like myself and Nolen, simply sat with our heads quietly bowed waiting for Hell to meet us head on.



__________________________________________________ ______________________________

Sorry for the delay, I kinda stopped playing Planetside for a while and had trouble finding inspiration.
Nevertheless I'm back at it now. Feel free to tell me what you think and whatnot.

And merry Christmas!

Last edited by Orisoll; 2013-12-28 at 01:09 AM.
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