Sminglenauts 5: It’s Cold Outside
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?
Store-Room A, Civilian Research Ship Myrtian, -022.77, -001.48
The team looked down at the mangled and charred remains of Lars.
“I can clone him back at the ship and upload a saved mindstate if you bring back a sample of his tissue when you complete the mission,” said Smingleigh.
“Tissue sample? Like a drop of blood? A few grammes of flesh?” asked Kyle.
“A bit more than that.”
“How much more?”
“About a finger’s worth. Actually, a finger would work.”
“That’s sick,” declared Kyle, shivering as a draught tickled the back of his neck.
“Oh, and you should all take a finger each, so if something happens to you, we won’t lose our tissue sample.”
“This job gets better and better,” griped Caelyn.
Viv retrieved four fingers from the corpse and distributed them.
“I’m not carrying this!” declared Emil, holding the finger at arm’s length, like it was diseased.
“Suit yourself. We won’t bring a sample of you back for cloning if anything happens to you,” said Viv.
Emil stared at Viv’s hair as he capitulated and tucked the unpleasant object into a pocket, wondering what his subconscious was picking up on that his conscious mind wasn’t. Then he realised Viv’s hair was stirring in the light breeze that had sprung up over the last minute or so. A breeze on a space ship. A sealed space ship.
“Guys…” started Emil, as suddenly all four Deadnauts’ pressure alarms went off. The breeze picked up as the air escaping from the compartment through the decaying ship’s punctured pressure hull started to blow it out.
“This way!” shouted Kyle, picking a door at random and forcing it open. Viv dived through the door wedged open by Kyle’s body, then the others followed. Kyle entered last, allowing the door to slam shut behind him.
Another of those things with glowing eyes was on top of Viv, drawing back its weapon-limbs to strike. It brought them down once as Emil fired wildly in its general direction with his sidearm, before Caelyn threw her field over Viv, and the thing lost its grip on the greasy slickness of the suddenly-shielded woman. Viv struck upwards with her axe as Kyle brought his scattergun around, but Viv had already bisected it. Both sides of the creature thrashed angrily and uselessly as she stood and methodically dismembered it.
Viv swayed slightly and slumped by the wall for a moment. Her fingers found her equipment belt and she pulled the tab marked “GRIT”. Chemicals surged through her bloodstream, dilating blood vessels, stimulating adrenaline production. Her whole world collapsed into a tiny white dot, then sprang back into razor sharp, shining focus.
Everyone backed away from Viv as her body tensed under the chemical rush.
“Viv… Are you okay?” asked Caelyn.
“Never. Better.” replied Viv, giving what was presumably intended to be a reassuring smile, but which actually came across as a terrifying bared-teeth snarl.
“Deep scan shows that room doesn’t have any other exits,” said Smingleigh. “You’re going to have to go back into Storeroom A and try one of the other doors.”
“The room we’ve just come from?” said Caelyn.
“The one in hard vacuum?” asked Emil.
“That’s the one. If you prefer, you can stay in that little room, but that doesn’t seem like a productive way to spend the rest of your life.“