Hired Guns

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kitti, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    The shuttle was landing on the rocky surface of the planet, the delicate plants waving and folding with the pressure of the wind from the shuttle's landing but otherwise eerily still on the windless planet. There wasn't enough atmosphere for the humans to breathe, nor the specific gases needed for the respiration of most other races, which meant that until they set foot in the silent laboratory, they would need to wear suits with helmets on them. The building was not far ahead, now, and the shuttle's base grazed the rocky surface gently, setting down with just a small jostle. Behind it was a companion shuttle, touching down as well, ferrying those who hadn't fit inside the first. The job was not a small one and no expense had been spared - each mercenary was outfitted with high grade weapons of their choice, as well as a protective suit.

    The first person to step foot onto the uneven ground was dressed entirely in black, his helmet completely unable to be seen into from outside. Resting a hand on the pistol as his hip, he took a step forward and his eyes locked on the sleek silver spires of the lab. To complete the mission, they would need to clear the lab and turn the transmission devices back on, not an easy task to be certain, but there was a decent payoff to be had. The job would get done, or they would die trying. Maybe some of them would die in the process, who knew? Varice smiled and waved the others forward. Pressing the button on the helmet to active the radio, linked into all the helmets, he punctuated his gesture with a couple sentences.

    "My name is Varice Semms and the big guys calling the shots put me in charge of this mess. We're going to go to to the main entrance to the hangar here. We're going to make our way through to the control center on the third floor, turn everything on and... clear out whatever's in there, I guess." Striding forward, Varice crushed one of the plants beneath his foot and a trail of violet spores issued forth, coating his shoe. Glancing down at it, he frowned and shook his foot off.

    "Careful not to get any of the on you, not sure what it'll do."

    Even with the keypad after a more steps, Varice began pressing buttons on the keypad, the code met with a tone confirming it was correct. The hangar door began to open, the top half raising while the bottom disappeared below. The room that was exposed contained two shuttles, smaller than the ones that they had arrived in, and a lone vehicle with four wheels, presumably for traversing the outside. The doors to all of them were hanging open. Perhaps there was some indication of what had happened inside the vehicles...
  2. At first, everything was simply dark with Dell's eyes closed. She was in the same shuttle as their assigned leader, Varice. There was a loud whirring and a bright light shown through her eyelids, creating a reddish orange illusion in her mind. She opened her eyes and looked at the brightness from outside through her black helmet. Varice began to step outside, and she listened as he gave instructions. Getting up lazily, she grabbed the giant cleaver's handle, and hopped outside, noticing the violet he crushed and trailed, then shaking off his foot. She twirled her weapon twice or thrice, making sure not to hit anyone or anything. She propped it over her shoulder and followed Varice's exact steps.

    Wehn the hangar door opened, she stood at his side yet behind him, examining the shuttle and vehicle, thinking of what might be the enemies' plan, if they had one. Perhaps, they were on the ceiling, waiting for someone to examine up close, or hiding behind a shuttle or under the vehicle. Hiding. If something was in there, it was definitely hiding.
    There was a shiny liquid on the floor to the left of the vehicle, a clearish slime it looked like. Now if only she knew whether the creatures in the lab had a strong enough brain to create a trap like that or not...
  3. As the second shuttle opened its doors, the armored figure of Exort stepped out of it. The giant stood still for a moment, trying to scan the area properly through his visor, not seeing anything but the other of the team, the building and some small plants.
    "Careful not to get any of that on you, not sure what it'll do" The leader warned about the plants.
    "Like I'm gonna be caring about some small plants..." He mumbled to himself, as he walked towards the opening hangar door. As he got close, he pulled his shotgun from his back, and cocked it, in case anything "fun" would happen. Yet he was almost disappointed to see a empty hangar. Well, except the vehicles.
    He stepped forwards, towards one of the shuttles and peered in through the windshield.
    "Seems empty." He said, as he pressed the radio button. "Why am I not surprised?"
  4. Issac stepped off the second shuttle shortly after Exort. Issac was very scrawny and small compared to the hulking stature of Exort. Issac didn't mind though, he prefered sneaking away and being away from the fight, he had better odds of surviving that way. He had been equipped with a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol. It's all he really needed, he wasn't too big on the firepower. He also took some older model headgear that sacrificed armor for a better field of vision. He preferred not to get hit at all and to be aware of all possible dangers.

    Walking slowly, wary of what could and couldn't be dangerous, he followed in the footsteps of the leader. Unlike his comrades he looked at everything around him, from the setting sun to the clear night sky. Up ahead he spied what he thought to be the lab. He activated the radio to be greeted with a short crackling sound and then his ally's voices.

    "Keep your heads up. There might actually be something in those empty shuttles," he said into the mic hoping not to sound too paranoid.
  5. One of the group stood out with all the painful qualities of a sore thumb. Specifically the one among them wearing a suit composed of almost all white save for a few stylish sections of black. Unlike the rest of this team he came with an EVA-esque suit already included. Due his obsession one could even debate which parts were a suit and what was part of his augmented body. Regardless, he had outright refused to don another suit with the punkish assurance that his own was superior. Earlier while they were all suiting up he instead spent time checking his weapons and equipment. Then while the rest checked their own weapons and equipment he double-checked his own.

    During the shuttle landing he would stare at each hand with all the intensity of a smitten schoolboy. Finger by finger he made the digits twitch both on their own and together. Minute movements with surgical precision. Delicate fingers with all the brutality of advanced cybernetics powering them. Superior to human fingers in every conceivable way. . . at least in his eyes. Ones that were no longer the windows into his soul. A soul that some might even doubt he possessed anymore. Instead they would brighten up with cold golden artificial light behind the jet black visor from time to time. Readouts that the eyes fed into his brain gave detailed information on every gesture in addition to the information relayed from the hands themselves.

    Right when Varice asserted his command over them moments after touching down, all HX368 gave in return was a stoic two fingered salute. Military training had nothing to do with it. All he did have was the experience from previous mercenary missions. But he had picked up on that signal as a reoccurring signal between team members during those missions. One thing he had learned for certain was to never question the guy in charge until he started mutating right before their eyes into a freakish abomination. In all honesty that seemed to happen far more often than anyone cared to acknowledge.

    Briefly his eyes scanned across the landscape just as Exort had done.

    Upon reaching the hangar, after taking extra care not to interact with native flora, his eyes scanned the area with a half-cocked readiness. Everything around them fell under the analysis of two golden lights that made themselves known behind the jet black visor. Compositions determined from a single glance. If anything could be determined through scientific means alone, HX368 had the potential to see it through. However, what a young punk could piece together with all the information overload in his head did not hold great promise.

    Only when Isaac's voice crackled inside his helmet did HX368 speak for the first time since the landing. It had a strange distortion to it that could not be accounted for as radio interference. More than anything, he sounded for all the world like the male AI of a ship that announced the self destruct sequence. Only he lacked the calm decorum of that position. Cybernetics could not remove the all too familiar tone that belonged to the mocking cockiness of youth that flourished in his voice.

    "Well if there's something in them then they aren't really empty, are they?"

    Not even waiting for a reply or even an order, HX368 approached the shuttle that his fellow mercenaries would have the easiest time shooting at if anything went wrong. A clip with an otherworldly blue glow coming from each bullet was slapped into his machine gun. What would fire when he pulled the trigger? Plasma bullets that would detonate on contact. Each b out of all the clips he had to choose from. Chosen for the fact that if nothing else it would test the durability of any potential freaks.
  6. The shuttle Markus was on was a tight fit for his build as he was snugged in his cushion seat. He would occasionally take apart his rifle and clean it before assembling it back together to waste time before he landed. He knew the layouts and the mission from front to back but there were no details on what went on down there and what hey were facing. From the looks of it Markus thought, we will be facing some serious trouble as he looked at all the small squad of unique persons. He wasn't paid to know the full details he was paid to finish the job but his mind still lingered over the death of his wife. Looking down at a photo of them two together he carried with him he began to hate himself for not being there with her or even allowing her to leave in the first place. He placed the photo back in his pocket before hearing that they were almost at the drop zone.

    Its go time, he thought preparing himself mentally as he stood up and crawled into his issued suit. He checked every bit of equipment before giving the thumbs up that he was ready to go. Adrenaline pulsed through his body as the shuttle door came flying open exposing the alien surface. He had not been in combat for some time. He waited his turn as he watched the others move out the shuttle in front of him. He took a deep breath and stepped out of the shuttle, the mission began.

    With his rifle in hand with a twelve round clip of plasma rounds loaded he began surveying the area. He was surprised to hear his commander to give his two sentence speech. He was still a bit jumpy but it would wash off as his old training would creep back into himself. He walked past the plants Varice mentioned and could not piece together what they were.

    He continued on ahead to see the hanger door open and beyond two vehicle lie in wait. The doors were swung open, maybe people were trying to get somewhere fast he thought. He moved forward to the vehicle on the left slowly and carefully as possible with his rifle raised. He peaked into the passenger side and saw dry blood on the seat and floor. He turned on his radio to spread the news.

    "Doesn't look good here boys, blood in this one."

  7. Shifting his weight from one foot to the other, Varice did not at first respond to the murmurs of the group regarding the shuttles. Instead, he waited less than patiently for all those who hadn't lost the nerve in the shuttle to walk through the doors. He didn't know their names yet, didn't know if he cared to know their names, for that matter. As the last of them entered, still a fair number in the ranks, he returned to the controls and punched in buttons, closing the doors. They were now locked in the building, for all intents and purposes, with whatever was in here. He patted the assault rifle on his back for consolation. Everything would be fine as long as they all knew how to wield those weapons they were waving around.

    Stepping toward the shuttles, Varice raised his hand for silence, his dark eyes flickering between the open doors of the shuttles. They were like empty husks from what he could tell, looking abandoned and expecting someone to return still and lovingly pull the door closed behind them. Judging from the scene, that was probably not going to happen. Waving them forward , Varice lowered his hand to the gun at his hip now.

    "Take a step back from those vehicles. If you're going to search them, do it right. No need to be fools about it and get your asses in trouble before we've even started. All right, two of you check that shuttle there for clues about what happened here. Guns at the ready, just in case. You never know with these things. Someone else come with me and check this other shuttle for clues. When you can, see if the control chip is still functioning, in case we need to use these later on. The last of you, keep an eye on the room and inspect the last vehicle. I'd hate for something to sneak up on us. Your primary focus is watching the door."

    Varice eyed the mercenaries around him and he picked out the scared sounding scrawny member of the team who had echoed Varice's own suspicions. "You. What's your name? You've a head on your shoulders."

    "Ah, it's Isaac, thanks. My name's Isaac, I mean."

    "All right, Isaac. You come with me to search this shuttle."

    Approaching the doors of the shuttle he'd indicated, Isaac drew his gun from its holster at his hip. He swallowed, and peered into the open doors, gun first. The shuttle did seem, for all intents and purposes, to be as empty as it had looked at first. A bit of dried blood on the controls, however, told a slightly more grim story. Sliding into the back of the transport shuttle, Isaac's attention went first to the communication device in the back, a small screen with a touchpad beneath.

    "Check to see if the control chip is moving, see if the shuttle can still be piloted. You'll find below the controls at front."
  8. View attachment 16386
    Jaylin had landed the commanders shuttle easy enough, though the 'passengers' she carried had never said a word to her. They hadn't said a word to each other either, so she didn't take it personally. The head honcho was the first to set foot onto the alien terrain, followed shortly by the rest of the paid help she had help transport. Jaylin stayed back, setting the shuttle into dormancy and preparing herself to join the rest. She had been separated from the passengers by a thick metal door, so she assumed they probably thought they were being directed to the planet by AI.

    "My name is Varice Semms and the big guys calling the shots put me in charge of this mess. We're going to go to to the main entrance to the hangar here. We're going to make our way through to the control center on the third floor, turn everything on and... clear out whatever's in there, I guess."

    Jaylin smiled to herself as she twisted both of her titanium bracelets, illuminating the bands with a dark blue and purple mixture of light. She swiveled her chair to where there was a storage closet, to the right of where she sat. The door opened with a slight tug, exposing Jaylin's prized possession. The fruit of all her labor over the entirety of her career as a bio engineer. A similar purplish light sought out the matching bracelet, a identifying buzz letting Jaylin know she was ready for the equipment stage.
    She held out her long slender arms, watching as the suit reached out to her, latching to her body and working it's way up. It attached to the markers she had created out of her own body- small tracking beacons within her skin that triggered the transformation.

    "Keep your heads up. There might actually be something in those empty shuttles" Another voice came over the radio. No doubt it was another one of the sell swords- though Jaylin was unsure of his name.

    "Great... their already inside..." Jaylin complained to herself Her suit had reached her neck, covering the rest of her body completely. From the back of the neck, a small connector wire suddenly lodged itself into a personal port that she had inserted into her own spine- with the help of the AI assistance at her lab. The shock of the connection never got any less painful, though as the suit connected to her body, she began to feel more at ease. She reached out to the shelf of the small storage closet, grabbing her helmet and slipping it over her head. All systems were a go.

    It took her only a couple moments to get her body into the hangar, nodding to Varice as she entered. Everyone had begun to search the hangar and the vehicles inside it, but Varice didn't seem satisfied.

    "Take a step back from those vehicles. If you're going to search them, do it right. No need to be fools about it and get your asses in trouble before we've even started. All right, two of you check that shuttle there for clues about what happened here. Guns at the ready, just in case. You never know with these things. Someone else come with me and check this other shuttle for clues. When you can, see if the control chip is still functioning, in case we need to use these later on. The last of you, keep an eye on the room and inspect the last vehicle. I'd hate for something to sneak up on us. Your primary focus is watching the door." he started giving out instructions, before turning his back and taking on of the group's men with him.
    Jaylin nodded at the instruction and stood her ground in the middle of the hangar, watching the others to see who paired up.
  9. "Alright, sir." Issac went into the shuttle and checked the back of it first for fear of something jumping at him. He hated jump scares, especiay now since they could potentially kill you. Flashing the flashlight into the back he saw that it was empty. He shouldn't get used to it, he felt that sometime in this mission he'd be running into a whole lot worse than just dark corridors and shuttles. Then again he could be wrong.

    Now, that he assured himself the the shuttle was safe he went to work on the controls. Lifting up the panel under the controls he examined the circuitry. He wasn't very experienced in this, but any idiot could see that the shuttle controls are fried. Completely and utterly beyond repair. It looks like someone took a laser and just started shooting at specifically this panel. No matter the case the thing was still fried and not salvageable.

    "Sir, the controls are fried. I can't even salvage anything from it, it's completely destroyed. Do you need any help searching or should I join the others watching the door?" Issac hoped for the latter. He could do so much more on sentry, not too say he's not good at searching. Actually, quite the contrary. Issac really noticed small details and used what people seemingly found useless.
  10. Exort decided to stay out in the hangar than to cram himself into the shuttles. He could fit in them, yes, but he'd have to bend over quite a bit. He walked around slowly, looking for anything out of place, and also sending the occasional glance at the others. He could never quite get used to their sizes. So small and breakable, yet one of those were his current commander. In his head it was so wrong.

    While he was thinking, he almost stepped into a small puddle of blood. "Blood and claw marks over here... boss." The last word was one he hoped he didn't have to use too often. He focused on the blood again. A small puddle with deep marks around it. Someone, or something, had gotten cut pretty badly over here. Though there was no sign of the body, nor anything indicating it had been moved. Exort stared at it for a few moments, wondering what had happened.
  11. Dell headed towards the land vehicle, studying the broken glass and blood marks. She looked in the back of it; Empty, the seats had long, claw-like tears in them, along with some slime she had seen on the floor earlier. She yanked on the door handle, it didn't open. She then jammed the tip of her hatchet blade between the handle and actual door and used it like a lever to force it to open. On the dash was a small, black box. A voice recorder, how nice. She picked it up and studied it, moving the red curls out of her vision and clicking the side button with a play symbol. Suddenly, louder than she expected, was a woman's voice.

    "Help up, before we are lost." It stopped in silence and it played again, so she pressed the stop button. She crawled out of the vehicle and walked to Varice. She turned on her headset radio.
    "Varice wanna look at this?" She tossed it to him and turned on her heels. She walked towards a rover in the corner of the room. This, too, had some kind of slime on it. Her hand fell down to touch it. It was still warm, recent.
    Wrinkling her forehead, she stood up and looked at the whole room, tracing it from the vehicle, since that is where is seemed to start. It went west first, through the blood pool Exort was staring into. After it came for the rover, and stopped there.
    Dell looked around for more, and in fact, it was on the wall, winding up onto the ceiling. Surprisingly it didn't drip. The trail lead off behind the shuttle that Varice and Isaac were inspecting. From what she saw, that was where it had ended.
  12. When the commander gave the order for silence, Markus made note of it and turned his attention back to his view of the shuttle. He inched back away from the vehicle. This wasn't good his gut instinct called out for him and his gut was right most of the time. When he heard the rest of the orders that were sent he slowly made his way closer to the door since no one else volunteered. He watched the door tot he best of his ability. The commander was right that they needed to keep a watch on their ass in case of an attack. Then the idea popped into Markus's mind that maybe Varice knew more than what he was leading us on. He shock away the thought and continued to survey his point of interest when he heard a familiar woman's voice from the black box a squad member had picked up. He was sure it was his wife as he became excited and wanted to run over to hear it again. He turned and stopped in his track. No, he thought. I have to stay here on guard. He turned back around to focus on the task at hand but his thoughts were still with him.

    He was told that she had died of an accident but it was shaping that it was much more than a mere running with scissors plot. What was going on up here? What was she into that she couldn't tell me? He began questioning their relationship and was off guard to notice a shadowy figure run past the shuttles they came on. He gripped his rifle hard and squinted his eyes to get a better look but the figure was gone. Must be my imagination he thought but was still unsure of the situation so he reached over and turned on his headset and spoke.

    "Commander. I think I have movement near our shuttles.." He was not sure what to say next. It could have been his mind playing tricks on him. He was offered medication after the news of his wife passing from his doctor to keep him calm and relaxed but did not tell his employers about it because he knew they wouldn't allow him on this mission if they knew. "Whatever it may be sir..it was fast." He raised his weapon and took aim out at the space between his squads position and the two shuttles ready for anything.
  13. After some gentle prodding from the commander he had moved away from the shuttle. The guy in charge was more than right about not getting into trouble early on. No pay for those who got themselves killed in stupid ways. Money was the only real reason to even take up this line of work anyway. Unless someone was a psychopath or a guy with a deathwish or someone with ulterior motives. Perhaps even all three if the stars aligned to create such a piece of work.

    Shuttle controls fried ehy? Not like we need to fly out on that thing anyway. Long as OUR shuttle is fine that's all I care about.

    That was when the slime Dell examined caught his eye.

    Soft mechanical whirring sounded from behind the jet black visor as he examined the slime trail. Part of him felt curious enough to investigate it for himself. Crouching down next to it, his hand hovered just a few inches above the mysterious goo. If the substance was not too acidic there was a chance for him to gather a sample of it. Chemical analysis could help give them an idea of what was running loose. More importantly, an edge in battle should there be any clues as to how they might kill it.

    I don't have any sample containers right now. It would be helpful if I could analyze chemicals just by touching them though. After this mission I should look into having two of my fingers modified.

    Rising up onto both feet with his gun at the ready, HX368 rotated in a steady 360 turn to make sure that nothing was near him. Once he noticed the group had started to investigate a particular part of the hangar he started to back away from the slime. Right along with every step he took, the barrel of his gun changed direction. The sounds of his boots showed a lack of commitment to any one position. Movements that were equal parts wild and swift never ceased until catching up with the others. But rather than face the same directtion as his fellow mercs, he had his back to them.

    "Man aren't you glad that we're a bunch of heavily armed mercenaries out here and not some poor sap of an engineer or something?"