Sminglenauts 4: Whatever Possessed You?
Desperate bands of last-chancers, Deadnauts, take on suicide missions for the slim chance of getting out alive with a payoff that will make it all worthwhile. I created some decidedly unwholesome Deadnaut versions of some Twitter friends. Lets see how far they get before they die horribly, shall we?
Civilian Research Ship Myrtian, -022.77, -001.48
Lars swept his scanner across the bulkhead around the only exit to the room.
“Earl Grey, are you getting this?”
“The deep scanner is picking up your signal. I can see one large central room, a store-room perhaps, and one smaller room either side. No movement, no life signs. Enter with caution.”
Kyle and Viv took up positions to either side of the door while Caelyn trained her field projector on the two combat specialists, balancing the shield to protect them both equally. She tweaked the control a little, noting how quickly her battery charge was dropping. The cheap equipment wasn’t going to sustain a two-person shield for long.
“On three,” intoned Kyle. “One, two…” His voice was drowned out by a deafening screech that faded into a roar of static as Lars’s suit radio shorted and flooded the frequency.
“Now?” asked Lars, stepping towards the door, which opened smoothly and quickly.
Something blurred. Too many limbs reached out, enfolded Lars, and pulled him inside. The door slammed itself shut again before anyone could move.
“Lars!” screeched Caelyn into the shocked silence.
“What’s happening?” demanded Smingleigh. “Where’s Westergren?”
“Hold, please,” announced Viv pleasantly to Smingleigh aboard the Earl Grey.
Working quickly, Emil levered off the mechanism cover and rooted around with a screwdriver. In seconds, something delicate inside shorted spectacularly. Emil swore and sucked on his fingers as the door opened once more. Viv darted inside, axe raised high, Kyle following on her heels. Caelyn and Emil followed, drawing their sidearms, spurred to faster action by the plaintive whine of Lars’ vital sign monitor signaling injury.
The room ahead was indeed a store room. Containers were smashed and strewn about the room in chaotic piles. The ship’s emergency lighting cast irregular pools of shadow everywhere. A creature, clearly kin to the Merinabrix corpse in the engine room, stood over the prone form of Lars, its six eyes glowing with the colour of molten brass. It raised two of its hatchet-like forelimbs and brought them down on his torso again and again. Lars screamed as the limbs penetrated the slight protection of his suit, then doubled in volume as light flashed and the sound of sizzling flesh could be heard.
Viv dived low, her axe cleaving through the limbs which were holding the creature upright. Before it could fall, Kyle’s scattergun spoke, knocking it upward and away form Lars. Despite the gaping holes rent in its torso and the loss of several limbs, it skittered to its remaining limbs and surged forward again. Scattergun and pistol fire blasted it back again, more of its limbs coming loose. With only one workable limb, it nevertheless continued to try to drag itself forward to attack, until Viv brought her axe down and left it immobilised. It still wasn’t dead, despite wounds that should have killed it several times over. It stared up at them with impotent hatred in its five remaining burning eyes, spitting incomprehensible alien threats in a long-dead tongue.
“Well,” said Smingleigh. “That took longer than I expected.“