The Elder Invasion: CHAPTER 5 - Dystopia

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The dominant power in the Cult Quarter, the Independent State of Dystopia was originally built by the ISAF mercenary force. Comprised of a number of outposts, underbases, military installations and the circular Scrap Iron City, Dystopia is a force to rival Iwaku City itself.

Following the War, many Iwaku civilians resented the reign of Prince Rory, since he was one of the same people who had led them into the cataclysmic conflict. These civilians instead took solace in the new ISAF state, under a government that guaranteed martial law and a welcome break from political ideology. As such, the population of Dystopia has grown steadily over the 18 years since the War.

Nevertheless, relations between Dystopia and Iwaku City remain friendly, and the airport at O'Hare Field ensures constant international flights between Scrap Iron City and the South Gate.

Dystopia is, first and foremost, a military state, originally built to give independence to the ISAF mercenaries. The state continues to develop weapons of war and maintains a powerful and efficiently-trained army and airforce.

[Power Hierarchy: C, S, D, R]
Re: Dystopia


(Musical ambience: Unmanned, Dismantled, Exit)

Command & Control
Operations Level, Underbase IV
Scrap Iron City, Dystopia
1148, Dystopian Standard Time...

"...casualties range between three and four hundred thousand, not including losses from the 7TH and 21ST Marine Expeditionary Units." Field Commander Eugene Banks, Chief of Staff for the Army, said as he stood before the other Chiefs of Staff, President Harrison, and Prime Minister Rosoft. "I believe we should consider Underbase 66 a total loss."

"All those people, lost..." Field Commander Donald 'Crux' Jones, Chief of Staff for the Air Force, muttered. "Mister Prime Minister, I suggest we send the 9TH SOCOM in to eliminate Colonel Archetype. Hir experiments with Prolific X have gone on long enough."

"True as that may be, Crux, we can't deny the advances in medical and genetic technology at the Colonel's hands." Prime Minister Rosoft replied, taking a sip of coffee. "Is the quarantine in place?"

"Ahh, yessir, the defense walls are being used as containment walls and are holding." Banks replied, looking at his PDA screen. "The 21ST has thinned out the ranks of the zombies within the city to acceptable levels."

"Just what are acceptable levels?" Crux asked.

"Well, they're now isolated to downtown and the residential areas. While they can't use the airfield's runways they can still recieve resupply via helicopter." Banks added, looking at the Prime Minister.

"How is Captain Johnston faring there?" President Harrison asked. Banks tapped a few commands into his PDA before answering.

"He's asking for more men. The 7TH was emaciated during the initial outbreak. He's down to two functional platoons, Two tank crews, a helo crew, and half an artillery brigade." Banks finished. Harrison and Rosoft conferred with each other, the other Chiefs of Staff waiting for their word.

"We're authorizing the deployment of Marines from Underbase 17 to shore up the 7TH's ranks." Rosoft said, adjusting his seat. "As for your concerns, Crux, we can turn sixty six into a test facility. We'll boost restrictions on that side of our nation and increase Border Guards presence there as needed."

"Do we have any other pressing matters?" President Harrison asked.

"There's the issue of security for Patriot's Day." Field Commander Anderson, the Chief of Staff for Weapons of Mass Destruction, pointed out. "Are we going to utilize SOCOM as we did last year?"

"They vere unnoticed, even by State Security." Field Commander Gunter Waldrech, Chief of Staff for the Marines, chimed in. "I don't see vhy ve canot use them as such again."

"Anyone opposed to this?" Prime Minister Rosoft asked. The commanders shook their heads. "Very well... We'll mobilize 9TH SOCOM for Patriots Day. Now, let's break for lunch and reconvene at thirteen hundred." The commanders and the nation's leaders got up from their seats, leaving Command & Control for the midday meal.


(Musical Ambience: Yellow Dawn, Steve Jablonsky, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars)

Jilachi Desert
Dystopian Border with the Desert of Steel
1215, Dystopian Standard Time...

"This looks like a good place to rest." Field Commander McCarthy said, gripping his throat mic as he crested a hill. Behind him was his M-6A3ADV Crusader Advanced. Said tank was followed by two M-12A1 Assault Crusaders, three Humm Vees, and a HEMTT 8X8 supply truck.

"I'll make the call." a Minigunner shouted from the fifty cal mount in a Humm Vee. He quickly disappeared into the boxy vehicle as the other soldiers sought shelter from the heat in the shadows cast by their vehicles. Carl walked back from atop the dune, unravelling the shemagh wrapped around his head before adjusting his ever present sunglasses. He took a seat among the other Minigunners as the tank drivers crawled out of their lonely, isolated posts.

A tank driver has the most confined post in a tank crew, being up front and alone. They're often the first ones asked to fix problems as they arise on the outside of the tank.

"Hey, bossman..." one of the Humm Vee drivers started as he sat across from Carl. "Seems like just yesterday we crossed this desert to see what happened to the hundred and ninety fourth, eh?" Carl nodded, taking a long sip from his CamelBak.

"That it does." the line officer replied. The Jilachi Desert Campaign and the subsequent Battle of the Desert of Steel put the names of the 51ST Armored Division and the 84TH Experimental Weapons Battalion on people's minds and gave them heroes to look up to. "I wonder if Jalaludin's still chieftan out here." Jalaludin was a Bedouin tribesman who took leadership of his people when his father, the original chieftan, was killed by the metal skeletons that attacked while the Steel Battalion and the Growling Wyverns were laying over in the villiage, recieving supplies and resting. The skeletons had been hunting a surviving Ranger from the 194TH Expeditionary Forces who had taken refuge with the tribesmen. He was still at Underbase 21's psych ward, emotionally scarred by the first attack in the Desert of Steel.

"He was a good leader. His people looked up to him. The Chinese call it the 'Mandate of Heaven.'" Carl replied, a Warrant Officer from the 8X8 bringing a thermos of coffee with him.

"What do Bedouin call it?" a Minigunner asked as Carl pulled a travel mug from a pouch on his flak jacket.

"Trust." he replied as the truck driver poured him some coffee.

-The Chiefs of Staff, President Harrison, and Prime Minister Rosoft discuss the viral outbreak at Underbase 66, among other things. They break for lunch to discuss other topics.
-Border patrol with the 51ST Armored Division.
Re: Dystopia


"I'm just saying, shit's gonna get real some day," muttered Gunner Marvin, half his mouth filled with the stub of a cigar.

"It's people like you who start wars," replied Jake, throwing more chips in the middle of the table. "I see your twenty and raise you... fifty engels."

"Negatory," Marvin retorted, adjusting his combat helmet as he counted out more chips. "It's guys like me who keep your wife and kids safe at night."

"My wife..." smiled Jake, scratching at his messy ginger hair, "Would kick both our asses if we ever went to war again."

"See, that's the problem right there, man - too many folks in this city getting pussy-whipped. I'm telling you, man, we've gone soft, and we're gonna pay for it real soon."

"You wanna tell McCarthy where he's going wrong? I'm sure he'll be real interested in your opinions." Jake sat back, flinging down his cards. "I fold."

"What do you think, Sarge?" said Marvin, looking to the third player at the table.

Sergeant Spears had played most of the game in silence, and they had been here a long time - since 9pm last night. It was a very long time to be silent.

But then again, Spears was a very unusual soldier.

The Sergeant's lazy eyes looked up at Marvin, an ice-cold stare through the cigar smoke. "I agree with the family-man," answered his soft, insidious voice.

"Amen!" said Jake with a smile.

Marvin looked at both of them, holding out his hands in disbelief. "Seriously? Sarge? You really think Paorou-Shitface ain't gonna come back?"

"I think that the so-called state of Insanity does not pose a viable threat to national security," replied Spears, his face like unyielding stone.

"Oh come on, Sarge! It's just like Hitler, just like Saddam. You gotta put these bitches down, or they come back to bite your ass. Don't you see the irony? He's gonna leave it 20 years, just like those Nazi fucks did."

"You got a real grasp of history, don't you?" muttered Jake as he cracked another beer.

"I mean, why the hell are we so goddam tooled up in this city if the brass ain't expecting another war? It sure as shit ain't the Shapeshifters or the city fags we're arming against? I'm telling you, man, the brass are getting ready to hit those fuckers - you mark my words."

"I think the more fitting analogy," said Spears as he raised another hundred, "Would be Osama Bin Laden."

Marvin and Jake looked at each other "We ain't following, Sarge."

"Paorou-Sama is dead. He died 18 years ago."

"That's the party line..."

"That's the truth," stated Spears, his icy stare fixing them again, "And as for the threat level of Insanity, well... we might as well declare war on the sharks in the ocean or the thorns on a rose bush."

"Then why the fuck are we building more weapons and training more greens every goddam day?"

"It's a good question, Sarge," added Jake with a nervous smile.

"For control," answered Spears simply, raising again. "We remain in a state of war to avoid a state of peace. It is far better to think Iwaku a chessboard than a melting pot, for to do otherwise would be to invite something that no politician, soldier or family man could ever want..."

"And... what's that?"

Spears downed his whisky with a smooth and sinister movement, before looking at them again. "The horror of peacetime. Questions that can't be answered. Enemies that can't be shot. The doubts and contradictions of an open road."

Marvin smirked, adjusting his helmet again as he laid down his full house. "That's real poetic, Sarge. You ever thought of joining a cult?"

Spears's mouth flickered, the slightest trace of a smile shining back as he laid down a Dead Man's Hand. Jake chuckled and Marvin sat back, spitting out his cigar as he swore.

"You see?" said Spears with quiet resolution as he watched Marvin curse, "When the game ends, the fun stops. Then comes the cursing, the regret, the second-guessing and the self-doubt." He stood up from the table, collecting his chips. "And that is why McCarthy keeps us in a state of war."

[SUMMARY: Three soldiers discuss the threat posed by the other cults, and a certain drill-sergeant offers some wisdom on Dystopian politics]
Re: Dystopia

(Musical Ambience: Elusive, Frank Klepacki, C&C Tiberian Sun: Firestorm)

Southwestern Perimeter, Containment Wall
Underbase 66
1232, Dystopian Standard Time...

The Pathfinder ran along the wall, Barret M-82A1 slung over his shoulder. His woodlands pattern fatigues stood out among the grays of the concrete.

"Moreno, what's your status?" his radio chirped as he came to a halt, unslinging the large caliber weapon. Moreno flipped the dust covers off the scope and took a knee, bringing the weapon to his shoulder.

"Moreno, respond." the radio chimed in again. Moreno braced the rifle against the railing and keyed his throat mic.

"I'm in position, sir." he replied, carefully training his rifle. A squad on the ground had been ambushed by a zombie type that had been infected with the Prolific X variant better known as the 'Hate Plague.'

It didn't shamble about like the others. It didn't have a mob mentality. It could run and jump, therefore placing it on the level of living soldiers. It showed characteristics of a lone hunter, problem solving intelligence, and the ability to use weapons, particularly firearms. Moreno was waiting for the one they were hunting to cross into his path.

"We've got it running down Industrial. It should be crossing Marketplace soon." Moreno looked to a street corner. He saw the intersection then zoomed out, watching for his mark.

"Donde estas, cabron?" he muttered as he waited. It didn't take long for the zombie to enter the intersection, looking to and fro for the Marines pursuing it. It lingered, appearing to catch it's breath. Moreno's finger hovered over the trigger. "I've got him in my sights..."

"Lance Corporal, this is the Colonel. You will disable that creature for study." Colonel Archetype ordered over the radio.

"Belay that order, Moreno. Kill it..." Captain Johnston interjected from the Tactical Operations Center.

"I am the ranking officer, Captain. You will disable it, soldier."

"We are to destroy any infected that leave the cordon, Moreno. Take the shot."

"Be a good boy and disable it. Sever his spine and I'll make it worth your while." While Moreno was a young man and very much driven by his hormones he knew the difference between a good idea and suicide.

"Vaya con Dios..." he muttered, pulling the trigger. The zombie's dome erupted as the .50 BMG blew through it's skull. Two minutes later a Humm Vee pulled into the intersection, the occupants jumping down. One man poured kerosene onto the body and light it up, engulfing it in flames.

"You've been a bad boy, Lance Corporal. I'm very upset with you." Archetype said over the radio. Moreno leaned his rifle against the guard rail then proceeded to evacuate his stomach, painting a small bit of concrete pinkish brown.

"Moreno, you okay over there?" Johnston asked as the Pathfinder wiped his mouth with his sleeve.

"As... As I can be, sir..." he replied, watching the fire that was a zombie continue burning.

"RTB, Marine. We've got a few cold ones in the fridge." Johnston added as Moreno grabbed his rifle and walked back the way he came.

"Moreno..." Archetype said over the radio in a creepy, sing song voice. "You disappoint me, young man... You can still make it up to me... Just come down to the lab." Moreno quickly turned his radio off. None of the Marines who went down to the lab ever returned. Captain Johnston had voiced his concerns to Scrap Iron City but whether they would do anything about it was all up to speculation.


-Zombie wrangling in Underbase 66.
Re: Dystopia

(Musical Ambience: Moonbase 2 - Shuttle Launch, Vince DiCola, Transformers: The Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack))

Dystopian Airspace
Combat Air Patrol over Jilachi Desert
1327, Dystopian Standard Time...

Two F-22A Raptors soared through the skies, keeping within the clouds. It degraded their radar but the same was true for anyone looking for them. To help the Raptors an E-3B Sentry was posted in an orbit on the border, powerful radar scanning the skies. They were looking for a particular Contact of Interest.

"Thunderhead, this is Miner Two Seven, requesting a bead on that COI we're looking for, over..." the patrol lead asked, his wingman flying trail.

"Miner Two Seven, we have large contact at two six niner, nine miles." the operator watching the aerial radar replied, focusing the radar on the contact. The two Raptors popped up out of the cloud cover, becoming slightly more visible on the radar screen. The stealth features of the fighter cut back it's radar cross signature heavily, making it virtually invisible on radar. Optical stealth systems made it a true stealth fighter. Unfortunately the system only worked when the aircraft's weapons bays were closed. Whenever the internal weapons bays were open the fighter's stealth was comprised and open to attack.

Fortunately for the pilot the window of danger is a very small one.

"Thunderhead, Miner Two Seven. We have the contact on radar. We're going to supercruise to get visual."

"Copy that, Miner Two Seven." Thunderhead replied. The two Raptors went to afterburner, screaming onward. They found their mark, the fighters dispersing, waving their wings at the 747 they were to escort.

"Air Dystopia Flight Fife Two Niner, this is Miner Two Seven. Do you copy, over?" Two Seven asked as he and his wingman formed up behind the passenger plane. If something went wrong they would be tasked with downing the bird and leaving them for whatever unit was patrolling the Jilachi.

"Miner Two Seven, this is Captain Alvarez of Flight Fife Two Niner, we read you Lima Charlie, how me?" Both fighter pilots released a sigh of relief, flipping the missile safety cover back down on their flight sticks.

"Read you same, Captain Alvarez." Two Seven replied, taking a position ahead of the passenger bird. "Break, Thunderhead, Miner Two Seven, we're escorting Air Dystopia Flight Fife Two Niner to O'Hare Field."

"Copy that, Miner Two Seven. Be advised, Fife Two Niner is carrying precious cargo, over." Thunderhead replied.

"Ten-04. Tell the boys at O'Hare to turn the lights on for us."

"Copy that. Good luck." The fighters stuck with the passenger plane, leaving the Jilachi behind. They rendesvouzed with a tanker over the official border. The tanker pilots explained that flights into O'Hare Field were being delayed in order for a B-2 Spirit to take off from the airfield. It had landed in the early hours of the morning with mechanical problems, thirty thousand pounds worth of Mk 84 unguided bombs, and an AGM-69 SRAM with a twenty kiloton nuclear warhead. The bomber had priority over all other traffic coming and going from O'Hare Field. Pave Hawks and Sea Comanches hovered near the airfield as the bomber took off, a pair of Raptors joining it to escort it back to Underbase 17 to offload it's nuclear payload. Normal air traffic finally resumed.

"My ass is killing me..." Lieutenant Elmers complained as he watched his instruments in the passenger plane's cockpit.

"It always kills you on these flights." Captain Alvarez replied, looking out at the lead Raptor escorting them. "O'Hare ATC, this is Air Dytsopia Flight Fife Two Niner requesting clearance for landing.

"Flight Fife Two Niner, we've got Runway Three open for business."

"Copy that." Alvarez said, grabbing the handset. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking."

"At this time we'd like to ask you to bring your seat backs and tray tables into their fully upright and stowed position as we prepare for our final descent."

"It is with great pride that we welcome you back to Scrap Iron City. Thank you for your service with the Expeditionary Forces." Several Minigunners and Marines clapped as the plane began it's descent. The soldiers were in full kit, weapons hanging from chest rigs. Such was standard procedure in the event that a plane went down and any number of Rangers survived they were to hold the crash site until SAR teams could arrive.

"Can't wait to get home." one soldier commented, shifting in his seat.

"No shit. I'll be seeing my baby girl for the first time." another added.

"I tell you what, soon as we land, I'm heading for Moscow Town. I need some hard liquor in my system." Many had dreams and plans, officers and enlisted alike. However one man, sitting alone in the back, declined to participate in the premature celebration.

He wrote in a well worn book, oblivious to the turbulence and the shock as the plane touched down on the runway. He wrote on as his fellow soldiers exited the plane.

"Excuse me, sir..." one of the flight attendants said, a trash bag in hand. "We need you to leave the plane, please." The man said nothing, shoving the pen into a mag pouch and closing the book. He stood, donning a pair of Oakley sunglasses.

"Whit 'is return, the land shall burn anew. The 'orsemen o' the Apocalypse will rejoice as death prepares fer the influx o' souls, pardoned ta the underworld by the Great White Hunter." he said, smiling.

"A-ah, s-sure..." the attendant managed, watching the man as he walked down the aisle. He stopped and turned to her.

"Make peace whit yer god while yew can." he said before turning and leaving the plane. The woman felt a chill down her spine.

Julius Ryker had returned.


-Lieutenant Julius Ryker returns.
Re: Dystopia

Crossing the border into Dystopia lands, a man in what seemed like threadbare clothes strode toward the distant city. Each step was a sinuous glide moreso then a stride, his body moving gracefully even in the simple act of walking. Slung across his back, a stained leather satchel bounced lightly with each shift of his hips…the only other possession the man seemed to possess save for the clothes on his back. Pausing for a moment, calm eyes rested on a pair of nondescript rocks lying in the grass as though cast aside from a greater whole. While his eyes could not perceive the identity of the device, his ears heard the squeak of electronics…the whine of signal. And how could they not? His ears ballooned out of his head, shapely and reminiscent of a bats perhaps.

"ISAF," He spoke to the rocks almost conversationally. "My name is Drake and I represent the Forsaken Tribe and the remnants of Jack shade's forces…I come seeking Ryker, pick me up at your convenience."

Smiling with a short wave, Drake continued on his way, almost whistling from the sheer jaunty thrill of the journey. His feet tasted earth and his lips sampled the crisp air. It would not be long before someone was to pick him up…so he might as well enjoy the time he had.

He and Ryker had negotiations to discuss.

Summary: Drake enters Dystopia
Re: Dystopia

(Musical Ambience: State of Alert, Yoshito Hirano, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin)

Border Guards Service Check Station
Underbase 21...

"ISAF... My name is Drake and I represent the Forsaken Tribe and the remnants of Jack shade's forces…I come seeking Ryker, pick me up at your convenience."

"That's what we received fifteen seconds ago." an operator said to the station chief and an agent from State Security. The station chief took his PDA out and compared the map with the display on his PDA.

"That's not too far from Underbase 66..." he said, looking at the main display. "Vector in a team to pick him up." The order was sent and a flight of three MH-47G Combat Chinooks was up and turning, speeding for the next projected destination of the wererat.

"Control, this is Wombat Two Niner, we're ten minutes from the target zone, over." the flight lead reported in, the gunners in the back charging their M-134 miniguns. The helos broke off, the two wingmen circling around. They surrounded Drake, searchlights illuminating him.



-The Border Guards Service dispatces a flight of Combat Chinooks to investigate Drake and bring him in for questioning. The crews are not in the mood for games.
Re: Dystopia

In a second, it was over.

The three Chinooks were torn apart as great sphere swept across Drake's vision. For the briefest second he saw stone and crimson glyphs, and then the world was fire and chaos as the debris of the helicopters rained down upon him.

Border Guards Service Check Station
Underbase 21...

"Holy shit..." said the operator as the line from Wombat Two Niner went dead. The man's eyes lifted, and at the back of the control room the Station Chief and Security Agent turned, following the operator's gaze to the radar screen.

"C.. contacts..."

At every edge of the radar screen, dots were appearing, closing the distance to Scrap Iron City. At the first sweep there was five, then twelve, then twenty-three.

The approach speed was calculated at just under 200mph.

"Gotta be jets," said the Station Chief, dropping his PDA. "Sound the alert."

They had less than two minutes before the first strike...

[SUMMARY: The helicopters meeting Drake are suddenly destroyed by a fast-moving sphere. Scrap Iron City then starts to pick up multiple incoming contacts.]
Re: Dystopia

(Musical Ambience: Days of Ruin, Yoshito Hirano, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin)

Command & Control
Underbase IV
Scrap Iron City...

"Raid warnings popping up from all over..."

"AWACS Oka Nieba is calling for a CASEVAC in Anirune Forest...

"Lost contact with Firebase Sparta. Requesting permission to deploy nuclear ordnance..."

"Noobs reported all over Iwaku City..."

Prime Minister Rosoft watched the screens, the satellite images showing him the chaos as it unfolded. Iwaku City was in shambles, the South Gate was demolished, and Anirune Forest was burning. He took a flask out and took a long swig of vodka.

"Launch Authorization Romeo Uniform November 7 0 7 Hotel 3 Hotel India Lima Lima 5. Strike on Firebase Sparta with a MIRV cluster." he started, the orders going to Underbase 17. The satellite image showed a single nuclear missile rising from someone's pool, going to Mach 4 almost instantly.

"Commence civilian evacuation. Enact Civil Defense Plan Tango. I am authorizing the transformation of all Underbases and the activation of Underbases 34, 49, 57, and 72."

"Attention, citizens of Scrap Iron City, this is not a dril. Commence evacuation immediately. Reservist report to your designated post." an Operator said into a microphone, the order going out over city loud speakers in every Underbase.

"Call up Underbase 66. Upon completion of civilian evac I want them to launch cruise missiles at every city loaded with Novichok and Necrostigmata. They will not get this city..."

"Sir, we've got fighter squadrons launching to intercept the bogeys. ETA, thirty seconds..." an Operator reported. One subscreen on the main screen came into view showing the fighters and the spiders as blips. The fight, if you could call it that, was over in eight minutes.

"Nichevo..." Rosoft swore as C&C shook. Topside the city had begun it's transformation, missile batteries, artillery, point defense systems, and other such weapons deploying. Armor plating rose around all the buildings as the first of the spiders landed, Noobs rushing to meet the defenders.

"Sir, we aren't up to full strength..." Crux said to Rosoft as reports of mass casualties came in.

"What units are on patrol in the Jilachi?" Rosoft asked an Operator.

"The 84TH and the 51ST are rotating out with the 19TH."

"Have them leave some Irvings* to run circles in the desert and divert them to Underbase 57 for new equipment."

"Aren't most of their weapons here?" Field Commander Banks asked. Mike took out a pipe, C&C shaking, and lit it.

"There are weapons systems there that had been mass produced for trials but never fielded." Rosoft replied, taking a few puffs. "It's a gamble but it's better than calling a nuclear strike on our own homes."

"Sir, Scrap Iron City is under attack!"


Waypoint Supply Base
Jilachi Desert...

"Underbase 57? Never heard of it..." Carl said to a Colonel as his tanks were rolled into a C-5M.

"Neither have I but I'm not about to question Underbase IV. You're being authorized to switch to the equipment there." the Colonel replied as Road Rage ran over from his Paladin III.

"Hey, where's Underbase 57?" the TC asked.

"I'll fill you in on the plane." Carl replied as he started for one of the cargo planes. Already Raptors were airborne, waiting for the trash haulers to climb up with them.

"Some shit hit the fan?" Road Rage asked.

"Scrap Iron City's under attack."

"Wow, the Iwakuans grow some balls?"

"Doubtful..." Carl replied. "The home is under attack by Noobs." Road Rage stopped.

"You're shittin' me, right? Noobs?"

"I wish I was... Whatever's at 57 had better be worth the trip out." With that Carl boarded the plane that his tank was on, the cargo doors closing. The fleet of Galaxy's rose into the sky, escorted by a large contingent of Raptors.


Mendel Laboratory
Underbase 66...

"Is there a special reason you've come here, Captain?" Colonel Archetype asked Captain Johnston as s/he preserved a corpse for display in hir Flesh Menagerie. One of the Marines that had come down as escort had puked his guts into a trash can upon seeing what the Colonel was doing.

"We got orders from Scrap Iron City to deploy Novichok and the Necrostigmata in all our cities upon completion of civilian evacuation." Johnston replied, no emotion in his voice. "They want to deny the enemy a chance to take our Underbases." Archetype said nothing as s/he stitched the corpses together into the reverse cowgirl position.

"Aren't you listening to me?" Johnston demanded, stepping foward. There was the audible click of bolts being racked, Chimeras dropping all around them.

"Be patient, Captain... The order has already been given to prepare Tomahawks with the special warheads." s/he replied, placing the mutilated female corpse into a more seductive position. A Marine dry heaved.

"A little verbal acknowledgement would help... Now call your bitches off..." Johnston said, looking at the Chimeras. He couldn't see their faces but he knew they had to look just like Archetype. They were hir clones after all. Archetype finished posing the body then motioned to the Chimeras to stand down.

"I recommend staying down here, Captain." s/he said as two of the Chimeras began to roll the new addition for the menagerie out.

"And why is that?"

"Would you rather be topside with zombified Noobs or down here with me?" There was silence for all of a minute.

"Point taken..." Johnston replied, letting out a long sigh. "Now there had better be food down here... And it had better not have been human before you cooked it."

"I'm hurt, Captain! Of course I keep normal food down here. The researchers who assisted me dined on only the finest." s/he replied. "Of course that was when they were still human." The same Marine from earlier retched again, further emptying his stomach.


-Raid warnings issued. All Underbases are transformed and civilians are evacuated. A nuclear strike is launched at Firebase Sparta. The first attackers arrive at Scrap Iron City.
-Carl and Road Rage recieve orders to report to Underbase 57 for equipment issue.
-Captain Johnston relays orders to Archetype to deploy chemical weapons upon completion of civilian evacuation.

*Irving: M-932 Sentry Drone. Small drone armed with an M-2HB fifty cal and equipped with optocam. Used to sniff out cloaked enemies and as a rearguard.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

The flamers were marching down the street, burning all in their path, buildings, vehicles, people, all went up in flame. A single rifle cracked, and one of them went down, followed by a multitude of shots, which tore apart the remainder of his foe. Quiinn rolled out of cover as something smashed apart a wall beside him. Jameson droped the Drugenov into its sling and pulled his spear of his back. Jumping back slightly he brought the spear up into the Troll's face. The creature grunted in mild surprise and pain, before grabbing Quiinn and smashing him into a wall. With a grunt Jameson unfurled his wings, and creaking, jumped back, catching the air, and flapping up to a higher story. He then pulled out his pistol and put three holes straight through the troll's head, now it fell over.

Pausing a moment to grab a gas mask off of a dead soldier, Quiinn could hear a strange wispering behind him. He turned, and jumped back as the spammer lunged at him. He brought his spear up, and the energy coursed through the noob, sending her over the edge as her body went into shock.

Minutes later, with a child in one hand, Quiinn dashed for his truck. He pushed the boy into the passenger seat, and turned on his engine. He waited a moment for the family to finish scrambing into the car, and then floored it, heading towards the safety of Moscow Town.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

A mob of Noobs traveled over the rooftops of Ward 1. They were looking for more civilians to slaughter. A Spammer dropped, her eye blown out by a large caliber round. The Noobs looked and found a lone soldier twirling a large Desert Eagle.

"Ah am Lieutenant Julius Ryker... Ah bid yew welcome..." he said with a smile, pushing his Oakleys sunglasses up the bridge of his nose. There were white earbuds from an i-Pod in his ears, the cable snaking into his BDU jacket. "An' now Ah bid yew farewell..."

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A pair of spammers charged him, whispering unintelligible gibberish. A Pimp Rat behind them found himself spattered with brain matter, the spammers falling, Ryker advancing. His Cavalry Sabers, the two M-92F .40 S&W pistols were up and blazing. The rat had no time to react, eight steel cored bullets tearing into him. Another pair of spammers joined the fray, slashing at the onetime Commandant with their knives. Ryker caught one by the arm, twisted and broke it. He brough his off hand around and ventilated the other spammer, the pistol slide locking to the rear with an empty mag. Ryker pushed the other spammer out in front of himself and drilled a round into the back of her head. He whipped around, holstering his empty 'Saber and opened up on a Flamer. The Noob put up a flame barrier and screamed insults at Ryker. Without warning the Pimp Rat's body blew through the barrier, forced through by the Lieutenant. He pushed the corpse aside and jammed his still loaded 'Saber into the Flamer's mouth, breaking the front four teeth out in the process.

"FUCK YEW!!!" he screamed as he repeatedly pulled the trigger, stopping only when the slide locked to the rear. He quickly reloaded both 'Sabers and sought out the next target, another Pimp Rat. This one tried to run.

"Yew only die tired when yew run from me!" Ryker snarled, drilling a few rounds into the noob's back. Ryker found himself sailing in an instant, landing on another roof. He popped back up in time to see a troll storming after him.

"Yes! 'At's it! Gimme some sport!" he snarled, ripping his flak jacket and tac vest off. The troll swung his club, expecting to cut down the human. Instead he found himself getting his throat ripped out by a black werewolf, Ryker's jaws tearing away at the troll's neck. The creature went down hard, Ryker snarling at the noobs that had gathered around him.

"YEW MADE AE MISTAKE COMIN' 'ERE!" he shouted, lunging at a Deviant and tearing him apart, his adrenaline high negating the noob's debilitating powers. He set his sights on another spammer as a fusilade of gunfire cut the noobs down, Ryker dropping to keep from being hit by friendly fire.

"Lieutenant, we've been lookin' for you!" the soldier shouted, grabbing Ryker's flak jacket and tac vest. Ryker returned to his human form, blood staining the corners of his mouth and forearms.

"Jest when it was gittin' fun." he said to the soldier, returning the salute. "Name an' rank?"

"Top Sergeant Topper. Most people just call me 'Topp.'" Topp replied. "Listen, we got word Sixty Six is gonna launch T-Hawks with chemical agents at all our major cities. They're havin' us evac ta Underbase 34 fer a reequip."

"Whit do yew mean us? Whit unit are yew with?"

"Eight Commandos, sir. The Hangin' Patriots." Topp replied. "Your unit." Ryker smiled as they descended the fire escape to the street below.

"Mah unit indeed..."


Evacuation Point Delta
Outskirts of Moscow Town...

Soldiers had set up a blockade leading out of the gate, the city transformation complete on the outer walls. Scrap Iron City's defensive walls were in place and, as far as could be told, containing the Noobs.

Then again satellite overheads showed them to be more concentrated in down town, trying to take down Patriot's Hall. While the engineers had never thought giant spiders with lasers would ever attack they had taken into consideration a mass nuclear strike consisting of four waves of variable yield nuclear devices. So far the tower was holding strong.

"Come on, keep it moving people. Families try and stay together!" a Scrap Iron City police officer shouted as he pulled crowd control. He was clad in full body armor and had an SPZ-15 semi-automatic shotgun hanging from a chest rig. There were soldiers mixed in with the civilians, all heading for airliners that were turning and burning on the portable tarmac engineers had rolled out. The airliners had been scrambled from other Underbases, fueled and ready. People had been told to take only what they could carry in an overnight bag. Very few put up resistance.

"What's the status of the evacuation?" a Sergeant shouted at the officer.

"According to last count, seventy six percent." the officer replied.

"We're makin' good time." Two airliners were up and away, two Raptors a piece joining the airliners. One soldier was helping an elderly man to an airliner when he noticed someone breaking away from the rest. The soldier called over to another Minigunner, handing the senior over then running after the man. The Minigunner thought his mind was playing tricks on him because the individual he was running after had wings.

"Hey you! Get back in the line!" he shouted. "Civvies are headin' for one of the Eastern Underbases!" The man turned and faced the soldier.

"Could someone there fix my wings?" Quinn asked, the soldier perplexed.

"Just get on the plane..."

-Ryker kicks ass and takes names. He is met by his new platoon and told of the order to evacuate.
-Civilian evacuation. A soldier tells Quinn to get on the plane and leave.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

(Musical Ambience: Ghost Town, Naoshi Mizuta, Parasite Eve II OST)

Second Los Alamos, Underbase 57...

"Doesn't look like anyone's down there." the Galaxy pilot said to Carl as they circled Underbase 57. It was an extreme contrast to the other Underbases, better resembling a desert town than a Dystopian city.

"We can't stay up forever..." Carl muttered. "Tell the Raptors to touch down and secure us an LZ at the airfield."

"Sir is that wise?" the copilot asked, looking over his shoulder at the Field Commander.

"Would you rather we fly low to the deck, ramp down, and drop a tank, possibly tearing axles and tracks free and fouling the flight deck?" Carl replied.

"Point taken, sir." the pilot replied, grabbing his handset. "Foxbat tree fower, Foxbat six fife, I need you guys to land and secure an LZ for us. Orders come from Field Commander McCarthy."

"Tree fower copies."

"Six fife copies." The two F-22s touched down and came to a halt by the hangars. The pilots jumped down, TC-19 carbines in hand. One of the pilots climbed back up into his bird.

"Sir, area secured."

"Alright, take us down." Carl said to the pilot. The cargo planes began their descent, clearing the flight line and taxiing to a stop. They had barely stopped when the cargo ramps were lowered and the tanks rolled out.

"Jesus, this place is a ghost town." a Minigunner said after giving 57 a once over. A Laser Minigunner ran over from one of the other cargo birds.

"There's no one in the hangars nor the control tower. Captain Road Rage is getting paranoid." the soldier said, weapon hanging from its sling. Carl and Road Rage were walking up, Minigunners establishing a defensive perimeter.

"No response over the radios. Something is very wrong here." Carl said, Road Rage sniffing the air.

"Company comin'." he said, bringing his shotgun to bear. Carl drew his pistol and racked the slide as an SUVwith sherrif's department markings turned onto the tarmac. Bullpups and laser rifles were aimed at the vehicle as it drove up. A gray haired officer in a khaki uniform stepped down.

(Musical Ambience: Douglas Blues, Naoshi Mizuta, Parasite Eve II OST)

"You boys the 51ST an' the 84TH?" he asked, spitting something out onto the tarmac. Soldiers stood down, safing their weapons.

"We are." Carl replied. "Field Commander Carl McCarthy, Sherrif?"

"Stillwater, sir. I'm the Command Master Sergeant o' the 1193RD Army Reserves here." Stillwater replied, saluting. Carl and Road Rage returned the salute.

"So where is everyone?" Road Rage asked.

"Ever'body went down ta the Underbase. The others had ta git the systems up an' runnin' fer yer arrival." Stillwater replied. "Bring yer tanks down so we kin git ya'll outfitted." The sherrif/CMS turned and got back into his SUV, the lights turning.

"You heard the man, MOUNT UP!" Carl shouted. Soldiers ran back to their tanks and Humm Vees, forming up in a convoy. They followed Stillwater to the Underbase entrance, rolling into the massive geofront beneath the town.

"Jesus, take a look at that..." a Humm Vee gunner said as they passed an assembly line with unfamiliar looking tanks.

"Dios mio... What kind of tanks are those?" Sergeant Jesus Del Toro replied, craning his neck to see. The convoy finally rolled to a stop, Stillwater stepping out of his truck. Carl and Road Rage approached him, three more soldiers walking up.

"Field Commander, Captain, this is mah wife, Brigadier Ellen Stillwater. She's the base commander." Stillwater said, Ellen saluting. She held her hand out to them.

"It's an honor to meet the heroes of the Jilachi."

"That was just another desert campaign, ma'am. If anything you should be talking to those guys over there." Carl replied, motioning to the other enlisted and officers with him. "Now correct me if I'm wrong but aren't those XM-32 Wraith tanks?" Road Rage looked at the tanks on the assembly line.

"Wraiths? Carl, ya'll gotta fill me in. Ah do dislike bein' outta the loop."

"After our op in the Jilachi I pushed for a replacement to the aging Crusader. ArmsTek had a platform in development, complete with a working prototype." Carl started, walking up to the assembly line.

"The Wraith had fifteen percent higher frontal armor, faster road speed, and already had accomodation for a missile launcher and accompanying weapons control systems."

"So why didn't they adopt it if it was so great?" a Minigunner asked.

"It cost too much." Carl replied. "The ability to tangle with helicopter gunships and increased crew survivability wasn't worth the cost. Instead we got a Service Life Extension for the Crusader." Carl sighed, leaning against a partially completed tank.

"We got 'em ta use in the OPFOR role bu' they never tol' us when ta send 'em ta the Patton Trainin' Facility, so we kept 'em in storage as per ArmsTek's orders." Ellen piped in. "We're s'posed ta take the 51ST's Crusaders an' replace 'em with the Wraith."

"Any other units getting them?" Carl asked. Ellen shook her head.

"'Fraid not. Just the 51ST." she replied.

"I get it. They want me to prove it's worth in actual combat. If it fails then all they've lost are a few good tank crews." he mused. "Anything else I'm replacing?"

"As a matter of fact..." Ellen started, taking out a PDA. "We're takin' your Humm Vees, Bradleys, Paladins, Avenger Humm Vees, Raptors, Aurora's, and Comanche gunships."

"They're emaciating my division?!"

"No. They're supplementing it." Ellen replied, handing the PDA over. Carl looked it over.

"These systems were all on the drawing board eight years ago." he said, looking up.

"They've been authorized fer deployment. Apparently someone up in the Chain o' Command thinks ya kin use 'em." Ellen said, a warning klaxon going off as a load lift rose. On it was a massive, double barreled tank. Carl looked at the PDA.

"M-27 Mammoth Tank. Christ, that thing's twice the size of a Palain II." he remarked.

"The whole fleet of 'em belongs to you, Field Commander McCarthy. I just need you to sign of onna paperwork." Carl grinned and fished a pen out of a mag pouch.

"I dunno... I think Road Rage should be the one signing off on experimental equipment." Road Rage snorted in reply, smoke coming out of his nostrils.

"Oh don't worry none. The Cap'n's gittin' a whole buncha equipment too." Ellen grimaced. "Cap'n, whaddya know 'bout Focusin' Crystals?"

"Focusin' Crystals? Ah didn' think they were s'posed ta be fielded fer another coupla years." Road Rage replied, very surprised.

"You'd be s'prised what gits authorized inna time'a war. You'd be s'prised."



Humm Vees rolled up, soldiers scattering all over. The members of the 51ST and the 84TH had been directed to take over airfield operations as all hands of the 1193RD were working down in the Underbase. They scrambled to open hangars and man the tower, four Raptors swarming with soldiers as they started to refuel them. The fighter jets were topped off then sent on their way to escort however many passener planes were en route.


-Elements of the 51ST Armored Division and the 84TH Experimental Weapons Battalion arrive at Underbase 57. They learn they are to recieve new equipment to replace the weapons systems in their present posession.
-Underbase 57 is ready to recieve refugees.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

An Elder lazer had carved a flaming gouge through the streets of Downtown. Four residential blocks, a multistorey and a line of coffee-houses had been cleaved in two, and at the edge of the blast a clocktower had lost half its foundations and toppled. It had fallen over onto a Crusader tank, and now formed a sloping bridge under which three survivors were resting.

Gunner Marvin cursed as he tried to light his cigar, banging and shaking a zippo lighter. He paid zero attention to the hulking Spiders that prowled the distant streets.

Opposite him, a lanky engineer sat wedged in the narrow space by the tower's overturned foundations. Jake ruffled dust from his sandy, unkempt hair, before looking glumly at the floor.

"My wife is gonna be pissed."

"What's the fucking point..." grumbled Marvin as he banged the zippo, "...of being a tank gunner..." BANG! "...if every..." BANG! "...fucking..." BANG! "...enemy attacks when I'm not..." BANG! "" BANG! "... A FUCKING TANK?!"

He took off his combat helmet, studded with playing cards, and used it to smash the zippo lighter to pieces.

Jake peered from his hiding place, watching an Elder curl into sphere form and bounce skywards before crashing down in another sector of the city. "Spiders... my kids hate spiders..."

Marvin shoved his helmet back on. "Yeah, pretty sophisticated motherfuckers. Must be another inside job."

"Oh please, not again..." muttered Jake, burying his head in his hands.

"I'm telling you, man!" protested Marvin as he continued a very old argument. "It's just like 9/11. High Command must'a made these things at Underbase 57. Now they're sending 'em to get all up in our grill. Probably gonna blame it on the Shifters or some shit. After all, they shifting ain't they? It all fits."

"Yeah," Jake replied sarcastically, "I guess they didn't count on you figuring it all out. Must be the tin-foil lining in that helmet of yours."

"See, that's the problem with you engineers. You accept everything at face..."

There was a dry snap. The two soldiers looked to the other side of the crater, where Sergeant Spears had just finished cleaning a salvaged sniper rifle. The drill-sergeant had lost his shirt when the bar went up in flames, so he sat now with a dirt-smeared torso, marked with scars and religious tattoos.

"Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honour's at the stake."

Another line from Shakespeare. Jake and Marvin had got used to such things by now.


Readying the rifle, Spears's piercing and half-closed eyes regarded each of them. "First priority: we find weapons for you two."

Marvin clenched his cigar between his teeth and smiled. "Just find me something with an engine, Sarge, and I'll get us to O'Hare faster than you can say 'Alas, poor Hamlet."

"We're not going to O'Hare," Spears replied.

Jake scratched nervously at his ginger curls. "We're not?"

Spears draped a bandolier of rounds across his chest, sheathed a knife, tied a bandanna. Everything he did was short and sharp, like the perfect moves of a well-worn drill. "The defence walls are up, but I count five of those things inside the city. We three are going to reduce that number to four."

Jake and Marvin looked at each other in disbelief.

"All Jew respect, Sarge," said Marvin, "But I don't think a sniper rifle's gonna trouble them spiders much."

Spears took a swig of water from his canteen and tossed it aside, adding to the pile of equipment that he had shed. He had stripped himself down to the bare essentials, like a guerilla fighter.

"No weapon wins a war, as no component casts a spell. All is ritual and process, the proper motions by which to channel the energy of what is and what shall be. Today, gentlemen, we make ourselves a testament - an example to our comrades. Today we show that will alone is enough to break the backs of these enemy."

Shoulder-slinging the rifle, Spears got up and ducked out from the crater, stalking into the ruined streets of Downtown.

A few seconds passed, then Jake got up and glanced at his friend. "I knew you'd get me killed one day."

"Hey, what I do?" protested Marvin, pocketting his cigar as he followed the other two towards uncertain death.

[SUMMARY: Three soldiers stranded in downtown decide to take on one of the Spiders.]
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

Chuikov Disciplinary Barracks
Underbase 21...

"Inmates, fall out!" a burly Master Gunnery Sergeant shouted, all locks in the prison releasing. The inmates, clad in ACUs with the word 'INMATE' stitched down their pant legs, left their cells, raid sirens blaring outside. They had been incarcerated for various infractions ranging from possession of controlled substances, illegal use of government equipment, improper distribution of weapons systems, and other similar charges.

"Inmates, group up according to your former squads. The Nation needs you." another Marine shouted. In times of need inmates at the Chuikov Disciplinary Barracks can be reactivated as soldiers and sent back to their original units, albeit under surveillance of State Security and wearing a radio band on their person. Marine Gunnery Sergeants called out units and handed papers to inmates as they came.

"Who here came from 8TH Commandos?" a sergeant shouts out. Six men step forward. "Boy are you in luck."

"Why's that..." the talles of them grumbles.

"Your new CO came in today. He's probably en route to Underbase 57, but I figure you should know who it is here."

"Would you cut the shit and start talking..." the token female in the group chimed in.

"You will be at the mercy of Lieutenant Julius Ryker." the Marine replied with a sinister grin. "Hope your life insurance and wills are up to date."


(Musical Ambience: Red Sky, Frank Klepacki, C&C Tiberian Sun)

Command & Control
Underbase IV, Scrap Iron City...

Field Commander Crux stood at the far end of C&C, a putter in hand. At the other side was a paper cup set on its side. The Chairman of the Air Force wound up and struck the ball, watching it as it rolled across the PRC deck. It struck the bottom of the cup, upending it.

"Pay up, Waldrech..." the fighter pilot said, holding his hand out. Waldrech took his walled out and handed over an I$20 bill*.

"You made it because no one vas valking through this time." the Chairman of the Marine Corps replied. Since the beginning of the attack, Underbase IV had been sealed off from the outside, only communications signals coming and going from the central hub of the Independent State Armed Forces' communications network. Radiomen walked about, TC-19 carbines hanging from slings, carrying out the task of keeping the nation appraised of the situation at hand. The Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had found themselves at the mercy of boredom, despite all the excitement that was going on around them.

"Excuse me, sirs?" an Operator called out from his post. Crux leaned on his putter and looked at the man.

"Any good news?"

"Yessir. The remnants of the 446TH and 9TH SOCOM are now three hours out from Underbase 57. We've also reactivated the inmates at the Disciplinary Barracks. They'll be shipping out within the hour."

"I don't like the thought of putting a gun in an inmate's hands but what choice do we have?" Field Commander Banks piped in.

"And the evacuation?"

"One hundred percent, sir." Crux took a seat, leaning the putter against the table.

"Great. The minute Mike goes to the loo we have need for him to authorize the use of chemical weapons."

"I'm here, dammit, I'm here..." Prime Minister Rosoft said, rushing into the room. There were bandages on his face. "Seriously, this is the last time I decide to shave in the midst of an attack... Now what's the SITREP?" The Operator brought Rosoft to speed then held a clipboard out to him. The Prime Minister took the clipboard and began signing the paperwork for another deployment of WMDs.

"Should I be concerned that the Prime Minister is signing off on this just as casually as if he was signing a check?" Banks asked.

"The cities are empty and our people are away from the combat zone. The only casualties we'll have to count are the invaders up topside." Mike replied, handing the clipboard back.

"Once everything is in order then we'll strike back. We haven't even shown our aces." Banks rolled his eyes.

"This from the guy who loses to me every poker night..."

"Quiet... It's just an analogy..."


Chimera Barracks
Underbase 66...

"You ever wondered what those Chimeras look like?" Gunnery Sergeant Alvarez asked, winding up and tossing a dart at the board. On the bullseye was a picture of Rory.

"No seas baboso." Martinez shouted from a recliner. "They're the Colonel's clones. They look lik hir!"

"Do they really?"

"No seas tonto! If you're thinking what I think you're thinking then you are gonna wind up muerto! Mas que esos arriba!"

"I'm not sayin' I wanna! I was just curious." Everyone stared at Alvarez.

"Cochino! Que traes?" Moreno shouted at the Gunny. The room became a flurry of bickering as Captain Johnston entered. He grabbed the trash can and banged a baton against it.

"We got orders! The Colonel recieved the go for chemical weapons deployment."

"Que bien. So why do we need to know?" Moreno asked.

"Because we're going to cover the Minutemant Tomahawk Launchers." The room became full of shouting again, more than half of which Johnston couldn't understand. He banged the trash can again. "The Load Lift where they're launching from is close enough from Downtown that there will be zombies rolling in as soon as the warning klaxons go off. The Chimeras will be busy launching and reloading Tomahawks so we'll be the ones suppressing the shamblers. The usual bets apply. Anyone gets a hunter they get taken off Double Watch duty. An questions?" The room was silent.

"Good... Now get your CBR gear and your weapons. Soon as I report in to the Colonel we roll out." The Marines sketched half assed salutes to Johnston then started to gear up.

"Hey, Moreno. Gonna get a couple more notches in your gun?" Sanchez shouted to the sniper.

"All I care about right now is getting up there, doin' the job, an' gettin' back inside. The quicker we get this shit done the quicker I can go back to sleep..." Moreno replied. He took out a pill bottle and popped a pair of Diazepam pills to steady his nerves.

A minute later a leprechaun asked him for change.

Fucking side effects...


-Inmates at the Disciplinary Barracks are reactivated. Six will be under Julius Ryker's tender watch.
-Prime Minister Rosoft authorizes deployment of chemicals weapons in the major Dystopian cities.
-The Marines at '66 get orders.

*I$: The Independent Dollar is Dystopia's currency.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

Downtown... Early Afternoon...

"Fuck, I'm gonna pass out here man."

"Keep going. We're almost there."

"How the fuck you get so fit, grease-monkey?"

"Two kids, remember?"

"We're the only dumbasses still out here, ain't we?"

"They must have heard you coming, Marv."

"Always missing the fucking evacs! Some motherfucker up there hates me."

"Maybe it's another conspiracy."

"I'm shooting the camera crew. I swear to God, if it's a reality show, I'm shooting the camera crew."

"Sssh! Quiet!"

Jake and Marvin flattened themselves against a shop front, freezing as the leg of an Elder Spider swung overhead. The sound of grinding stone was like thunder, and the ground shook as the leg slammed down into the street. The two soldiers sprinted across the road, using the cover of the Elder's shadow as its body blotted out the sun.

"Fuck!" The impact of a second leg in the next street caused a nearby bar to topple, neon signs and ladderwells crashing into the street. Marvin stumbled into a crater, dropping the M25 bazooka he was carrying and getting his helmet wedged over his eyes. Jake collided with a him a second later and dropped the bazooka's tripod on Marvin's toes. "AAGH! FUCK!"

Jake crawled to the edge of the crater, pulling hair out of his eyes as he tracked the Elder. It was crossing one of the downtown squares, its jewelled eye scanning the skyline.

"This is the spot."

"Motherfucker! Piece of shit, bitch.. fuck!"

"It's time, Marvin. Come on!"

"Bastard! Fuck shit!"

"Come on!"

Turning back into the crater, Jake grabbed the tripod and started mounting it in the rubble-strewn ground. Beside him Marvin finally pulled the helmet off his head and with another bout of snarling reclaimed the M25. Pushing Jake aside, he mounted the bazooka and snapped in the magazine.

"You sure you can hit this thing?"


"I'll take that as a yes."

Getting the tripod into place, Marvin took up the gunner position, sighting on the slow-hulking form of the Elder. To the right of the square, a figure could be seen free-running across the rooftops, sprinting underneath the nose of the creature.

"There's Spears," Jake cried, "Let's do this!"

"Shut up!"

"Marvin! Shoot!"


Squeezing the trigger, Marvin sent the bazooka shell screeching down the street, across the square and into the forward-left leg of the Elder. There was a gust of smoke as a tiny chunk of stone was blown out.

The creature began to turn, bringing its lazer eye back towards the street.

"Bitch!" Marvin fired again, sending the second shell into the same leg and excavating another hole. "Ass-munching cock-jockey!" The third shell followed quickly, slamming into the same area.


"It's coming for us!"


Sweating profusely, Jake slapped the next magazine in. The street was cracking and tremblng as the spider turned towards them.

"That's it! Show me your sweet-spot bitch!" Marvin fired again, another trio of rounds streaking down the street and impacting the damaged leg. As the smoke cleared, the forward-left limb of the Elder was riddled with craters. It started compensating, transferring its weight onto the opposite leg at the rear-right...

...the same leg that Spears was running for.

With a diehard lunge, the drill sergeant vaulted from the rooftop, colliding with the leg, sliding down it, tumbling, then latching on with the rockhammer he had salvaged. As the leg bent to brace the Elder's weight, Spears got a foothold on the arch of the knee.

"Crazy motherfucker!"

"Marvin, let's go!"

"Where'd he find a rockha..."



The two soldiers scrambled out of the crater as the Spider's lazer fired, the massive beam of fire carving through the street and melting the shop fronts. They fled down the nearest alleyway with walls and rooftops exploding around them as the lazer swung in pursuit.

"Run run run!!"

"Oh fuck!!" Jake shouted. At the end of the alleway, a downed chinook was blocking the way. Jake hurled himself against it, trying to climb the wreckage, but falling back down. Marvin dropped beside him, gasping for breath.

The lazer ploughed down the alleyway after them, melting the walls. The two men pressed their backs to the chinook, screaming in chorus.


There was a crack like thunder and the lazer suddenly jerked upwards, melting the opposite roof and shooting off into the sky.

Back in the square, Sergeant Spears crashed down onto a balcony, rolling head over heels as fire blossomed behind him. He landed in a heap with rock and smoke raining around him.

The demolition charges had done their job.

Spears pulled himself up and watched the Elder toppling backwards, all its weight on the demolished leg. Its body slumped into a minimart, setting off secondary explosions and twisting some of its other legs. The ground shook as it struck down, but even as it fell it was starting to transform. The remaining undmagaed legs were extending and forcing the body to flip over, bringing up the pod-like crystal of its underbelly.

It was going into Summoning Form.

Spears unslung his sniper rifle and chambered a round. Glancing quickly to his left, he saw Jake and Marvin stumbling from the steaming alleyway. He signalled them to move in, before grabbing the balcony railing and vaulting over, landing on a dumpster below and rolling into the square.

[SUMMARY: Spears, Marvin and Jake bring down one of the Elders in the evacuated zone. But as the Spider starts to shift into summoning form, their fight is far from over.]
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

Dystopian Evacuating walking Mass

"This isn't fair." Vincent grumbled for the fifth time as he and the lanky white-haired woman walked along with the mass of people. Five minutes went without a response, and he looked over to make sure the woman was even there still…

…She was gone.

"Dammit, Julez, where did you-

"No luck."

Vincent spun around to find the woman behind him, eyes downcast; She was practically broken-hearted. He sighed as she stowed a picture back in her jacket, then looked up at him, trying to smile, but it didn't reach her eyes.

"Well… At least one person here HAD to have seen him, right? I mean… just because…." Julez trailed off, lost in her head, The older kitsune sighed and drew her close as they walked away from Dystopia. "Figures we get here right when everyone has to leave…." Vincent sighed, and Julez suddenly brought her red eyes up to his, frustration and anger dwelled within them. They watched the people around them, Some shying away from Julez due to the heavy-blade on her back. Others came closer, due to Vincent. Julez watched as a young woman seemed to be pointedly staring at Vincent in a lewd way, Vincent took notice of this and ogled right back. Julez shook her head as Vincent turned back towards her.


"This is HARDLY the time to-

"I NEED it! Plus, I don't think she minds…"

Julez looked away for a moment, then back up at the blonde kitsune, noting the impish grin on his face. She chewed on her lip and then nodded slightly; Vincent bounded off. Well… she didn't have to worry about them catching up at least…. Vincent wouldn't let too much time pass. She went back to surveying the people around her, heart in her throat. She stopped for a moment, trying to clear her head again, her eyes darkening as her mood grew more somber. The crowd moved slowly but they were going somewhere, at least. She was trapped in her thoughts again, and in a snap, she had memories of a smile, a kiss, a touch, a caress; a person she could never willingly forget. She was jolted out of her reverie when she was clapped on the back, an enthusiastic Vincent was back; he was looking at her, knowing in a second what she had been thinking about. She didn't feel like talking about it, so, instead, her eyes drilled into his, an insult already formed in her head.

"That was quick, Vincent, you sure you please the ladies as well as you claim?" Julez spat venomously. The comment did the trick, the smirk off of Vincent's face, he now had her by the back of the shirt, she dangled a little bit over an inch off the ground, looking up into his eyes.

"Shut it. You see that?"

Vincent looked pointedly over his shoulder, the woman he had dragged away was now even more interested in him, but looked a little tired; Julez didn't even want to know how much energy Vincent took from her, but he seemed proud of his work.

"Yeah, yeah, she's pleased." Julez grumbled as he put her down and continued on, she followed after. She thought of how she had left when Rory's ship crashed. She hadn't wanted to burden him any further. She wanted to be able to help, and now she was able to. Vincent slowed down and let her catch up again, they walked together in a small moment of silence.

"Vincent…. " The red eyes came up again, meeting the blue of her uncle.

"Hmmm?" He tilted his head to the side, she sighed then whimpered, her gave her a look, she gave him a look back.

"Vincent…. I want to be back there…" There was pain in her voice, and Vincent knew why, wasn't hard, it was over half of what she thought about now and days.

"Julez… For right now, let's follow the crowd…. I'm sure you'll find Deimon eventually…." The blonde murmured softly, Julez looked away for a moment and then back at the city they were leaving.

"I haven't seen him in a long time, Vince….. I don't even know if he's alive, or even the same person…. He could have changed-

"Hush…. Focus on following the crowd" Vincent hated to hear his niece talk in this manner, talk as if her entire heart was being ripped out from the uncertainty. The second he met this Deimon, he was going to punch him for the simple fact that since Julez met him, she was crippled as a fighter, he had taken away all of her will to do battle. All she wanted was him. And that scared Vincent in the case that she might be chasing the phantom of the Deimon she knew, which might not exist anymore, and the fact that she worried about this every five seconds, worried her uncle. She was clearly out of it, even with training. Even with the near perfection of her skills, she couldn't refine or fix one problem: the fact that she missed Deimon.

"Julez, stop moping and at least practice if you can't do as I ask."

Vincent pushed slightly and Julez mindlessly pulled out a small slab of metal, turning it over in her hands, inspecting it then bit her lip. Vincent walked beside her, reminding her which metals to use, how to augment, where to focus the most. Her eyes, thought, were still unfocused on the task at hand. This was an elementary task. And due to her preoccupied mind, she was completely unable to figure out how to do it. They finally came to the gates and Julez saw the planes, Vincent practically saw her heart break, for the hundredth time.

"Where in the hell are we even going, Vincent?!" Julez spat, Vincent smiled slightly in return, knowing that she wouldn't like the answer, at all.

"We're evacuating, remember?" Julez snarled lightly under her breath, her ears and tails showing, suddenly found a jacket thrown over her.

"Stop trying to attract attention. Let's just go."

Julez grumbled at Vincent with evident hatred, Vincent sighed.

"Let's try this again…. Try metal sight." Vincent prodded lightly, but still, it was enough to make Julez groan, but she did as told. She wrapped an arm around Vincent to make sure she was steady, then closed her eyes and tried to focus. At first, all she could see was the block in her other hand, then, slowly things shaped up, she could see metals in necklaces and jewelry in the two women closest to her, she could identify the outline and shape of the plane, she could see a pair of wings on a foggy frame…. Might be metal…. Too far away to really tell, and even…. Wait….

Julez opened her eyes, then blinked. "Vincent, What in the HELL did you put in my drink last night?"

Vincent muttered "nothing" while looking in the same direction. "Fuckin' odd…. They're in awful shape though…." Julez nodded slightly and they continued to walk.

"Julez.... you do realize what's going on for this city, right?"

Julez sighed and shook her head.

(Sumary: Julez and Vincent come to the city too late, in the middle of the evac. They walk with the mass to the planes, catching sight of Quinn. Julez is trying to find Deimon.)
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

"Sir, you have to see this!" an Operator called from his console, Field Commander Banks going to his side. "Predator UAV recorded the whole ordeal." Banks watched Spears, Marvin, and Jake take down the spider with a satchel charge and a man portable ATGM.

"Commandant, we've got stragglers topside." Banks shouted to Prime Minister Rosoft, using the title given to the Prime Minister in times of war. Mike went over and watched the replay.

"Who are these men?" he asked. The operator zoomed in on their faces, used recognition software, then brought up their digital records.

"Sergeant Spears had been a candidate for SOCOM but he failed to meet all the parameters, Gunner Marvin is from the 51ST Armored Division on leave for the holiday weekend, and this guy, Jake, is an engineer from the 51ST, family man and a hypocondriac."

"Is there any way to contact them from here? A ringing pay phone, street signs, whatever?" Banks asked, the UAV showing the spider transforming again.

"Just the CBR attack sirens." Banks looked to Rosoft.

"Do it." the Prime Minister replied. He looked at the main screen. Several subscreens showed activity all over the nation. Mike focused on one screen showing numerous Self Propelled Howitzers at the gunnery range at Underbase 57. The Steel Battalion and other units were calibrating their new equipment.

"Sergeant, replay that video for me." Mike ordered, looking back at the operator's screen. He watched it three more times.

"Paveways. I want all our ground attack craft to be outfitted with Paveway IIIs." he finally said, looking at Crux.

"Sir, two squadrons were wiped out when they tried taking those things on head on." the pilot replied.

"So we use stealth. I want you to come up with a strike package and send it to the squadrons massing at '57. Tell the ground crews to distribute all Paveways to the Black Jets."

"You want them to just target the spiders?" Crux asked. Mike pointed at the laser eye of one spider.

"Blind and maim them."


(Musical Ambience: N.E.S.T., Steve Jablonsky (with instrumental by Linkin Park), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)

Second Los Alamos
Weapons Range
Underbase 57...

M-122 Sledgehammer howitzers barked out, the Gun Monkies getting used to the new weapons platforms and calibrating the operating systems. Carl walked down the line of howitzers, unfazed by spent powder casings as they were ejected from the guns during recoil.

"Captain Andros, what do you think?" he shouted at his rangemaster, the soldier's eyes glued to a pair of binoculars.

"These things are damn accurate. Even more so than our M-270s." Andros replied, handing Carl the big eyes. Carl looked downrange as another salvo landed on a convoy of target tanks.

"I'm going to be honest with you, Andros. I always loved cannon arty. There's just something to be said about the big boom of that one five five going off that you lose with the MLRS." Carl replied, handing the binos back over. A helo was rapidly approaching the range.

"Well now, new birds." Andros said, looking through the binos. An AH-6 Little Bird streaked overhead towards the target convoy. It raked the target tanks with rocket pods and miniguns, some of the gun crews cheering as the helo wheeled away.

"Too bad we're not getting 'em." Carl mused. He had been ordered to turn over his Sea Comanches however the supply corps had reimbursed him with the CV-141 Star Lifter. The massive aircraft was like a cross between the V-22 and a C-5 Galaxy. This gave it the capacity of a cargo plane and the extreme mobility of a helicopter. Carl had supervised the onloading of a Mammoth Tank into one for a brief test. The helo successfully airlifted the monster tank from the airfield to the tank range with no problems reported by the pilots.

"The Little Birds are going to the 446TH, I believe." Ardos said as the guns sounded out again.

"I know they'll love 'em." Another set of rotors approached the range. Carl and Ardos looked and saw a bizarre, black helicopter gunship approaching.

"The hell is that?" Ardos asked as the aircraft closed the distance. The gun pods on the wings fired, a pair of crimson beams slicing through target tanks like a knife through butter.

"Jesus fuck..." Carl mused as the Laser Comanche carved up a few more targets. Some gun crews booed at the gunship as it began its egress.

"Did you see that, boss? Tell me you saw that!"

"I did. Looks like Road Rage is getting his own share of new toys." Carl replied as a fresh wave of target tanks rolled into the range. Ardos keyed his radio.

"Sledgehammers, hold fire. Pickaxes, you're up!" Carl looked down range and saw a group of half tracks rolling towards the targets. He took his PDA out and scrolled through the list of equipment he was getting.

"M-89 Pickaxe Tank Destroyer." he mused. "Five Inch seventy caliber rifle and a CROWS M-2HB." The Pickaxes opened fire on the tanks, gun turrets blowing into the air.

"They said they use a special Kinetic Energy Penetrator instead of sabots. Need I mention those drone Crusaders have composite armor installed." Ardos informed Carl.

"I know they're going to us but I can't help but hate them because they kill tanks." he replied, the Pickaxes destroying another group of drone tanks. Ardos held the radio handset to his ear then keyed it.

"Pickaxes, fall back. Got some rain coming." Carl looked through the binos and watched the tank destroyers rolling back.

"So now the Air Force has to have fun?"

"They told me the Rock Eaters were reunited with their old friends at Underbase 34." Ardos replied. The screech of a high speed aircraft drew louder, gun crews climbing out of the Sledgehammers to watch. Ardos keyed his handset again.

"Knight, show us some fireworks!" he shouted.

"Ten-04, bringing the rain." Brigadier Knight, the Rock Eaters' flight lead, replied. A B-1B Lancer flew low to the deck, bomb bay opening. Gun crews cheered as the supersonic bomber dropped it's entire payload of Rockeye Self Forging Fragmentation Bombs on the target tanks. The bomber rose into the sky as the bomblets tore target tanks apart. A chunk of something landed behind Carl. The tanker merely looked at it then took the handset from Ardos.

"Nice job, Knight. We've got a chunk of armor plating here at the radio nest if you want it."

"Naw, keep it. They were your targets to begin with. We're just icing on the cake." Knight replied. Carl laughed and thanked Knight for his generosity.

"What else is rolling in?" he asked. Ardos pointed in the direction of the airfield. Carl saw what looked like Raptors and Falcons screaming in. He got a better look at them as they passed overhead then consulted his PDA.

"F-23A Black Widow II. Supercruise capable ground attack craft, high endurance, large payload, stealth capable." he mused as a pair of Black Widows ganged up on a tank and destroyed it with AGM-65 Mavericks. He turned his sights on the other jets. "F-16XL Bomber. Large payload, multirole capable, easy to maintain." An XL dropped a line of Mk 84 unguided bombs, knocking out three tanks.

"They're pulling out all the stops, aren't they." Ardos asked.

"No shit... I have to keep reminding myself we're going to war."

"Same here, bossman. Same here." The guns barked out once more as the jets left, giving the howitzers their range back.


-Spears, Marvin, and Jake's performance is shown to Mike. The Prime Minister authorizes the actuation of the city CBR alarm to warn them of the impending chemical strike.
-Weapons calibration and testing for the impending battle.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

Quiinn winced as he pushed his wings down, curling them up around his body. With every inch they creaked, and shot a spasm of pain up through his back. With a slight push the gears suddenly went and the wings closed in on themselves, sending enough pain to drop Quiinn to his knees. As he hunched there trying to catch his breath the multitude of people frantic to get to the safety of the aircraft jostled and trampled him. After several minutes of this the pain stopped, and Quiinn opened his eyes, and saw a women with catlike ears standing over him.

(Sorry for the short post... finals week. Also, i kinda guessed that Julez would be in her Hybrid form.)
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5

Residential Ward, 1 mile from Downtown
Underbase 66...

Nothing moved in the once bustling suburb of Underbase 66. Cars were still parked in their driveways, swings moved in the wind, and doors of some houses were open, the stench of death and fire freely moving into the houses. The eerie stillness was punctuated by the lack of natural noise.

No birds.

No insects.

No dogs.

The silence was cut by warning klaxons, four lights turning at an intersection. The pavement split, sliding open as the load lift rose slowly. The Marines and the Chimeras were aboard, accompanied by three M-19A1 Minuteman missile launch platforms and two HEMTT supply trucks. On the flatbeds were Tomahawk missile canisters.

"Spread out! Establish your fields of fire!" Captain Johnston shouted to his Marines as they ran to put distance between themselves and the Minutemen. They broke into cars and pulled them into the streets, overturning them and creating barricades. "Come on, ten minutes until the shamblers arrive!" The Chimera Battalion captain, Wombat, had estimated that it would take the whole of the zombie horde at least ten minutes to make their way from downtown to the load lift.

They had to hear the klaxons.


And they did. The shamblers slowly started their advance toward the launch site as the first salvo of Necrostigmata loaded Tomahawks rose into the sky. At the launch site the Chimeras worked frantically to erect launch canisters onto the launch arms, connecting deluge cables and LCU cables to the canisters. One ran over to the makeshift barricade. On her helmet was engraved the letter 'W.'

"Captain Johnston, we just got word from the lab. They're on the way." Wombat shouted at the Marine captain.

"You hear that boys? We've got company, inbound!"

"BLOCK PARTY!!!" Vasquez shouted, charging his M-240G.

"Moreno, what do you see?" Johnston shouted to the sniper. climbed into an SUV and shoved his fifty cal bullpup out the window.

"Shamblers comin' up!" he shouted back.

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"VENGASE TODOS! VENGASE A MORIR!!!" Ortiz snarled, looking down the EoTech holographic weapons sight of his machine gun.

"Moreno, let them know we're here." Johnston said calmly as a couple of Chimeras joined them, P-90s at the ready. Moreno adjusted his scope, taking aim at a zombie that used to be a Minigunner. It still carried it's AGR-16A4 Bullpup, right hand deathgripped onto the pistol grip of the assault rifle. Moreno crossed himself then centered the reticle of his Leupold scope. The remaining windows of the SUV shattered as the fifty cal barked out. Moreno saw a line of zombies fall, their heads caved in by the full metal jacket.

The zombies replied by bringing their own weapons to bear, firing wildly as they staggered forward. Bullets pinged off the barricade the Marines had erected, Moreno's Bullpup fifty cal barking out again. His was the only weapon that could reach out and touch the shamblers for the time being. That changed as the zombies closed to eight hundred meters. The M-240 machine guns came to life, steel cored M-59 ball and M-62 tracers reaching out and piercing the zombies, chewing their ranks apart.

The Minutemen released another salvo of chemical missiles, another warning klaxon ringing out.

"Maldito sea! Where are they comin' from?!" Ortega snarled out as he rolled behind one of the overturned cars to reload his machine gun. A bullet pinged off one of the cars and buried itself into one of the Marines, the soldier dropping like a sack of bricks and screaming. One of the Chimeras let her weapon hang from its sling and went over to the Marine, pulling her medkit from her side.

"Hold still, hold still! I can fix this!" she shouted, tearing the Marine's MOPP suit in order to isolate the wound. The Marine was bleeding from his neck. Johnston stood over them, firing a few rounds from his TC-19 before crouching over.

"Anything I can do?" he shouted over the gunfire.

"Hold him down. It's buried in his neck and if I can't stop the bleeding then he's going to die up here." the Chimera shouted back.

"Got it." Johnston replied, holding the Marine down. "Do what you have to, uhh..."

"Peregrine, sir. For the record all of us are named after animals." Peregrine replied as she administered morphine before she started digging the bullet out of the Marine.

"Sir, they're closing!" Moreno shouted to Johnston as another Marine went down. Peregrine finished patching her first patient up before sending one of the other Chimeras to drag him away from the line of fire as two more Chimeras fell out of the launch teams to assist on the gun line. Johnston keyed his throat mic.

"Colonel, I hope to God you've got some sort of trump card up your sleeve because we're here holding a Dead Man's Hand!" he shouted into his radio.


Command & Control
Underbase 66...

"Don't worry, sweetie. I've got reinforcements on the way." Archetype replied, watching the satellite screens of the gun battle as it unfolded topside. S/he reached over and tapped on one of the consoles, several submenus appearing. "Well, what have we here..." A subscreen appeared on the main screen showing a flight of CH-47D Chinooks and MH-47G 'Guns-a-go-gos' at least ten miles away. Archetype smiled and keyed the radio.

"Captain, what would you say if I told you I could get you air support?"

"I would say 'I love you' and I'd fuck your brains out. However since I don't have a death wish I have to ask, how?" Johnston replied, bringing a smile to the geneticist's face.

"There's a flight of Chinooks ten miles away. I see a KC-10 breaking away from them right now meaning they should have enough fuel to perform the task we wish of them." s/he replied to Johnston. Archetype could see Peregrine running here and there, tending to the mounting wounded and dying, more Chimeras rushing to assist the Marines as the fallen were dragged off.

"Get them over here. We're getting our asses kicked." Johnston shouted in reply.

"Will do, Captain." Archetype replied with a smile. S/he changed the frequency on the radio and hailed the helos.

"This is CW01 Wulf, who is this?" the flight lead demanded.

"This is Colonel Archetype requesting your gunships. I've got a team of Marines covering Minuteman missile launchers and they're on the verge of being overrun by zombies." Archetype started. "I need to know if you can provide air support for these men." Archetype listened to Wulf bicker with his wingmen over the nature of the operation and the cargo of the other helos.

"Colonel, tell those Marines to mark their positionsfor us. We're bringing rocket pods to the party." Wulf replied. Archetype looked at the main screen and watched the Combat Chinooks breaking away from the tandem rotor birds they were escorting.

"I copy that, Wulf. Thank you." s/he said to the helo pilot. Changing frequency again Archetype hailed Johnston's Marines. "Captain, I hope you have something more comfortable than fatigues because I just got you that air support."

"Thanks. I'm down to half strength now, even with your Chimeras helping. If you've got any more troops to commit please send them up here!" Johnston shouted back. Archetype tapped a few more commands into hir console. An impish grin crossed hir face.

"I'm sending you another squad of Chimeras and some Ego-Rangers. It's not much but once the next batch of Ego-Rangers is ready I'll send them up too."

"You wouldn't happen to have any tanks down there, would you?"

"Sorry, all out..." Archetype replied. S/he opened more subscreens on hir console. Several Chimeras were grabbing P-90s and heading for access tunnels while Ego-Rangers were being thawed out and loaded up for the operation at hand. Archetype picked up the direct line for Scrap Iron City.

"This is Colonel Archetype here at '66. The plagues are on their way."


-Johnstons Marines engage zombies as the Chimeras launch chemical Tomahawks at specific targets. Archetype gets them air support and commits hir personal troops to the battle.

Chemical missiles inbound for Underbase 21, Underbase 17, and Scrap Iron City.
Re: Dystopia - CHAPTER 5


The Spammer's throat was impaled, shattering like a bloody grapefruit as Spears rammed his combat knife home and brought her to the ground. Leaving the blade buried, he snatched the pistol from her waist-holster, unloading a clip and shattering the kneecap of the Pimprat behind her. The second Invader dropped and Spears lunged up, pistol-whipping a Flamer then reversing to elbow strike the Hijacker leading the warband.

"This is a bad idea!" Marvin shouted as he and Jake ran up the street towards the combat.

They could see Sergeant Spears in the midst of a Noob-squad, and behind him the Elder was fully on its back, Summoning Crystal pulsing at it produced dimensional rifts. The creature's remaining legs were deploying amber pods, each one shattering to form new squads of Invaders.

"Get the fucking gun!" Jake spluttered, pointing to where Spears had dropped his sniper rifle. Meanwhile, the engineer stooped down and started trying to pull the sergeant's knife from the first victim.

"Oh fuck!" Marvin shouted as he saw a Troll lumbering towards his friend. Jake hadn't noticed and was too busy with the knife. Cursing, Marvin picked up the rifle and struggled to chamber a round. The ground shook as the Troll raised its club. "Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!!"

The rifle went off and the Troll's eye-socket exploded. It kept on running under its own momentum before crashing down next to Jake, who simply pulled the knife free and grinned. "Got it!"

"You motherfu..." Before Marvin could finish his insult, a jet of flame scorched the top of his helmet. He dropped to one knee, firing another clumsy shot with equal miraculous success. A Flamer fell from a nearby car, clutching his stomach and screaming abuse.

"I'm coming Sarge!" Jake cried as he wielded the bloody knife and tried to get towards the Sergeant. He was promptly flattened as a Hijacker fell on top of him, floored by a high kick from Spears.

"Take out the crystal!" Spears barked as he put another Spammer in an arm-lock and flung her through the rear-window of a car. Turning, he ducked a Pimprat link, driving his boot into the man's shinbone and shattering it sideways. Even before the Pimprat dropped, Spears had closed his biceps around his head and twisted, snapping the neck.

A knife plunged into his shoulder from behind.

"Yaaagh!!" He pushed back up, headbutting the Spammer behind him and shattering his nose. Spears staggered, reaching for the knife, getting hold of it at last and flinging it into the throat of another Troll. As it crashed down he screamed in the face of a Hijacker and caused him to retreat.

"Mary had a little lamb..." Marvin whimpered as he staggered along the road with his sniper rifle, taking clumsy shots at the swarming noobs. "It's fleece was white as FUCK..." He blew the head off another Troll as it swung a severed rotorblade at him. "And everywhere, that bitch went... the lamb was... fucking... I don't know... FUCK!"

He'd heard that Snipers recited things to keep them calm when taking shots. Right now it smelled like bullshit to him.

"Aaaagh!!" A splitting pain blossomed in his head as a high-pitch wail filled his ears. His vision blurring, he caught sight of the Deviant running towards him, a painted body glimmering in the sun. The road cracked and the metal around him warped as the Deviant moved. Marvin dropped to one knee, fumbling to chamber another round.

The Deviant kept coming. "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkkkkkk!!!!"


Marvin gripped the rifle by the barrel and swung it at full force, clobbering the Noob and knocking him out cold. "SHUT UP!!!" he yelled at the uunconscious Deviant.

Meanwhile, Jake had finally pushed himself out from under the Troll. He stood, swaying, gripping the knife as he got his bearings. "Right... I'm coming Sar..."

He looked up in horror as one of the legs of the Elder reared above him. Like a scorpion's tail it lashed down and the engineer had to leap clear as the concrete was impaled.

"Oh shit!" The lanky soldier started running, the Elder leg sweeping aside cars and skewering shop fronts as it pursued him. "Marvin! Shoot the crystal!"

"Keep still, man! It's vision's based on movem...!"


"Oh, right..." the Gunner turned his sniper rifle around and took aim at the distant amber light at the heart of the Elder. "There once was an ugly duckli... OOPH!" Marvin was tackled through a shop window by a Hijacker.

Neither Jake nor Marvin heard the sigh that came from Spears. Figuring he was on his own, the drill sergeant rolled between the Elder's legs and got closer to the crystal. He came up again, using his knees and forearms to block the swings of a knife-wielding Spammer. He jabbed, left and right, keeping his guard up and pummelling the Noob into submission. Then his leg lashed out, hooking around the neck of a Deviant and stifling its scream. With a twist he brought it to the ground, before rolling forward again.

"Hey! Fat-Fuck!" he yelled at a nearby Troll, getting its attention. "Come burn some calories!"

With a roar the Troll charged towards him, swinging its club. Spears counter-charged, scooping up a chain from a dead Pimprat, which he used to lash the monster's leg. It stumbled and Spears circle, vaulting up onto its back. With two swift movements he got the magical chain around the Troll's throat and pulled tight. It roared in fury, staggering around with Spears on its back.

The sergeant kept a tight hold, steering the Troll as it swung its club.


The swing took out a chunk of the Summoning Crystal. Spears yanked the chain again.


Another part of the crystal was demolished. There was a static charge and then a sparking sound as the interdimensional energies shorted and stuttered. The amber light seemed to fade and the legs of the Elder froze, powering down.

Spears brought the Troll to its knees, watching as the Pimprat chain drained the colour from its skin and made its eyes glaze over. It slumped forward and with a last thump the street was brought to silence.

"Nice one, Sarge," Jake said as he ducked under one of the frozen legs, supporting Marvin, who was dripping broken glass.

Spears didn't seem to relax in the slightest. Securing pistols for the three of them, he then went closer to inspect the crystal. "It's repairing itself... like tree sap." He dabbed his finger into the shattered orb, where amber liquid was flowing and re-crystallizing.

"Bio-mechanical," Jake muttered, shaking dust from his scruffy hair.

"Bullshit!" Marvin countered. "The fucker's made out of stone."

"Magical construct, I supp..." Spears broke off as the CBR sirens started, sounding through the empty streets like the tolls of doom.

"Oh, you gotta be shitting me!" Marvin cried.

"What?" Jake asked, "What does that mean?"

Spears's expression did not change. "CBR... they're gonna strike the cities."

"WHAT?! But... But what about the people?"

"What should we three ask of kings?" the sergeant muttered, like an epitaph. He picked up the Pimprat chain, examining it even as his fate was sealed.

"It ain't fair." Marvin slumped against the crystal, sniper rifle on his lap. "It just ain't fair, man."

"LOOK OUT!!" Jake shouted suddenly. Spears turned to see an Spider leg shudder back into life and stab towards him. Jake threw himself in the way, while Spears lashed out instinctively with the Pimprat chain. There was a magical charge and then the leg struck, lifting Spears and Jake off the ground and slamming them into Marvin and against the crystal.

Amber light erupted like a birthing star, eclipsing the street for a few seconds.

And when it faded, Spears, Jake, Marvin and the Elder were nowhere to be seen...

[SUMMARY: Spears, Jake and Marvin fight off a small band of Noobs and take out the Elder in its summoning form. But in its final death throes, the Spider crushes the three soldiers against its Summoning Crystal. An adverse reaction is caused by a Pimprat chain that Spears is holding, and as a result the three men and the Spider vanish from this dimension.]
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