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Pyroshark

Pyroshark

2/21/2007 10:33:07 PM
OK, well for those of you who are fans of Colonel Corbec's "The Flood" series, I've written a spin-off of sorts on said story. If you're completely clueless as to what I'm talking about, you can take a gander at Corbec's stories, past and present, in the following links: [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=8299484&a mp;postRepeater1-p=1]The Flood 2[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=8397250]The Flood 3[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=8788571&viewreplies=true]The Flood 4: Parallel Worlds[/url] [url=http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=10005920]The Flood: Liberty Lost[/url] (Note that there is no actualy "The Flood 1" story) Alternatively, you could join [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/107250/Group/GroupHome.aspx]The Colonel Corbec Club[/url] and read all of these stories without interruption. **[i]Please note that I've already written the vast bulk of this story, and that any posts made here will have a minimal, if at all any, reflection on the story's progression. Apologies to any who wanted to be in it.[/i]** Please enjoy the story, and thanks for taking the time to read it. -Pyroshark- [u][b]Chapter 1[/u][/b] Meech poked the muzzle of his shotgun around the shattered doorframe, stole a glance into the room beyond, and signalled [I]all clear[/I] back to his squadmates. As one, the three Floodian soldiers stormed the room, rapidly clearing the immediate vicinity. The room was devoid of all hostiles, but there in the corner sat the gleaming casing of their objective, glistening in the torchlight like the carapace of some giant exotic insect. The Sensory Node. Meech nodded to his squadmates and made a few rapid-fire hand signals. The trio simultaneously set about their orders: Texas Ben began to rig a loop of EMP charges to the walls, JAVA took up position need the door they had just entered, and Meech himself moved to the Sensory Node. The Grizzled Ancients had installed dozens of these things throughout Flondon when they had invaded Floodland, and the offered their creators a highly-detailed three-dimensional live holographic representation of the entire city and its environs, including pinpoint markers of its scant few remaining inhabitants. Except those with access to EMP emitters, like Meech and his team. With a few deft keystrokes, Meech cracked the Node’s core functions, and opened a service hatch in the metal casing. The small opening was only a few inches across, but it was sufficient for Meech to insert the barrel of his shotgun. He pulled the trigger, the gun bucked with a loud [I]-blam!-[/I], and smoke poured from the hatch. He glanced at Texas Ben, who nodded, primed and attached the final charge to the wall, and snatched the detonator. JAVA cleared the hallway they had entered from, then fell back with them to the stairwell leading to the roof – already, the characteristic rattle that preceded the Stalkers could be heard from the entrance. Meech hesitated long enough to slap a miniature spy-cam to the wall, then fled up the stairs with his team. The roof was seven floors up, and none of them help the belief that they could make it there without encountering the Stalkers. Meech plucked a PDA from his breast pocket, and a grainy display from the spy-cam filled the screen. As he watched, the red-eyed Stalkers stormed into the room arms formed into miniguns and rocket launchers and all manner of armaments. They appeared fuzzy on screen, as the air around them literally swarmed with Nanites. Good. “Ben! Hit it!” Meech bellowed up the stairs. Texas Ben started, fumbled with the detonator, and just barely managed to catch it when a Stalker suddenly descended on him. Ben screamed in rage and fear, which rapidly deteriorated into a wet gurgle as the Stalker began to gouge out his torso mercilessly with chainsaw-blade hands. The detonator slipped from his limp hands, skidded over the floor, finally coming to a stop teetering over the landing. Without thought for himself, Meech flung himself at the detonator, and slapped the button as it toppled over the edge. What happened next could only really be described in sufficient detail in slow motion. The detonator, as it plummeted, emitted a high-intensity radio signal. This signal was then intercepted by a receptor, which was attached to the chain of armed EMP charges. The tiny computer inside the receptor interpreted the signal, and triggered the electrical surge, which catalysed the chain reaction that led to a massive EMP blast. The whole process happened in an instant, yet this was still sufficient time for the Stalker to drill through Texas Ben’s abdomen. The Nanite-born behemoth disintegrated into dust, and its victim fell limply to the ground. Meech scrambled over to his teammate and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Hang in there, Ben,” he said faintly, “You’re gonna be fine. We’ll get out of this.” “Meech?” Ben opened his eyes a crack, and talked in a barely audible whisper, “Did we do it?” he coughed, and blood sprayed from his mouth. “Yeah Ben, we did it. Come on, don’t you die on me! “Then… we won…” Ben closed his eyes again and a death rattle emerged from his lips. Meech felt tears in his eyes, yet he refused to weep. Instead he got to his feet, stared solemnly at his friend, and bowed his head. “Yeah, Ben,” he said in a bitter tone, “We won.” “I want that Node back online [I]NOW[/I], dammit!” Lehto #138 barked at Chen #137, who sat at Ops. “The Node isn’t responding, sir.” Chen replied, his voice tinged with irritation. “There may be a problem with…” he gasped, and the colour drained from his face. “What?” Lehto thundered, “What is it?” “All… all units in the vicinity of the Node have dropped out of contact, sir.” Chen replied shakily, “Stalker units have been… destroyed.” “Impossible!” Lehto roared, “Nothing has the ability to destroy so many Stalkers. Except…” he cut himself off, glowering. “There is something, sir.” Chen responded, “One of our Stalker units, 171-Epsilon, encountered this shortly before termination.” Chen’s fingers danced over the keyboard, and a video playback began to roll on the main screen. The Stalker was bounding down a flight of stairs in a dingy stairwell with inhuman speed. It rounded a corner, and Chen paused the playback. Frozen on screen were three men: one sporting a six-shooter and a Stetson; one extremely hairy individual clad in nothing but a flowery bikini and a gasmask; and one, in the back, garbed in urban combat camouflage. “Floodians!” Lehto hissed, “I thought we’d eradicated their pathetic race after their failed assault on the Hive?” “Evidently not, sir” Chen stated, “Will I send more units in pursuit?” Lehto mused for a second, then replied, “No. They might have more EMP charges. Prep the cloning banks.” “Yes, sir!” Chen tapped rapidly on the keyboard. Lehto turned, marched out of the Command-And-Control centre, and muttered under his breath: “We’ll fight fire with fire.”

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    Colonel Corbec
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    4/19/2007 7:48:28 AM Permalink
    Me and Muffin Man had a big argument. I got blacklisted for somethign different, so he was flaming himself, and now he's been blacklisted so he's flaming himself. Either way, there's still no story...
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    Tartan 118

    Tartan 118

    4/18/2007 9:38:01 PM Permalink
    WTF?! It seems as though Corbec is flaming himself. Anyone else confused? (and yes, I can tell one of them is not Corbec, I am not a [i]complete[/i] fool) [Edited on 04.18.2007 1:38 PM PDT]
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    4/18/2007 9:18:01 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Pyroshark I return from a rather lengthy absence due to work overload and family bereavement to find this cluttering up my thread. Can we try and cut down the flames a bit, guys? On topic, I'd like to apologise for my long period of previously unexplained absence but real life pretty-much isolated me from everything Internet-related. Now that I'm back, I'm going to take a break this week and continue with 'Darkly next week, when my Easter break ends. Sorry if I inconvenienced anyone. -Pyroshark-[/quote] Ahm, Pyroshark? It's Wenesday. Your usual release date... And there isn't any of the story up...
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    Valkyrie Dawn
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    Pyroshark

    Pyroshark

    4/8/2007 7:08:51 PM Permalink
    I return from a rather lengthy absence due to work overload and family bereavement to find this cluttering up my thread. Can we try and cut down the flames a bit, guys? On topic, I'd like to apologise for my long period of previously unexplained absence but real life pretty-much isolated me from everything Internet-related. Now that I'm back, I'm going to take a break this week and continue with 'Darkly next week, when my Easter break ends. Sorry if I inconvenienced anyone. -Pyroshark-
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    Colonel Corbec
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    muffin man one

    muffin man one

    3/18/2007 4:01:34 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Colonel Corbec [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] muffin man one At least my idea was interactive and pretty much was a book by the flood, for the flood.[/quote] I wrote a book for The Flood, using The Flood. While yours was interactive, mine actually made sense. While yours was cobbled together, mine had hours and hours of hard work put into it. [/quote] Too bad you didn't work on the title...
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/18/2007 3:57:13 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] muffin man one At least my idea was interactive and pretty much was a book by the flood, for the flood.[/quote] I wrote a book for The Flood, using The Flood. While yours was interactive, mine actually made sense. While yours was cobbled together, mine had hours and hours of hard work put into it.
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    muffin man one

    muffin man one

    3/18/2007 3:52:38 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Colonel Corbec [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] muffin man one Well I guess you're just too unoriginal to come up with your own title. No you had to use mine in order to gain interest because you seen how much response my thread had gotten. [/quote] Just because I used the same name doesn't mean anything. And by the way, I use stuff that's actually worth reading to draw in attention, not names. Names are your department.[/quote] Well, I used the community to draw attention as well not names. The book was created solely by the flood community hence the name 'The Flood'. Then after I was finished what did I see appear on the forum the next day? YOU With the exact same name! At least my idea was interactive and pretty much was a book by the flood, for the flood. [Edited on 3/18/2007]
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/18/2007 3:39:42 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] muffin man one Well I guess you're just too unoriginal to come up with your own title. No you had to use mine in order to gain interest because you seen how much response my thread had gotten. [/quote] Just because I used the same name doesn't mean anything. And by the way, I use stuff that's actually worth reading to draw in attention, not names. Names are your department. [Edited on 3/18/2007]
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    muffin man one

    muffin man one

    3/18/2007 3:36:47 PM Permalink
    Well I guess you're just too unoriginal to come up with your own title. No you had to use mine in order to gain interest because you seen how much response my thread had gotten.
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/18/2007 3:30:45 PM Permalink
    Just in case you haven't noticed, the two things (excepting the title,) HAVE NO SIMILARITIES [u]AT ALL![/u] Use your eyes for once, or you are illiterate as well as annoying? [Edited on 3/18/2007]
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    muffin man one

    muffin man one

    3/18/2007 3:27:38 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Colonel Corbec I know all about that, but in case you didn't notice, me and Pyro effectively took over that entire story and tunred it into our own. The Flood is my franchise.[/quote] That'd be like Bungie ending the development on halo games and some other company taking over saying 'hey we made this franchise what it was and we had the idea all along! Before us halo didn't exist.' you sicken me.
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/18/2007 3:25:35 PM Permalink
    I know all about that, but in case you didn't notice, me and Pyro effectively took over that entire story and tunred it into our own. The Flood is my franchise.
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    muffin man one

    muffin man one

    3/18/2007 3:23:08 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Colonel Corbec No you didn't. I did. [/quote] O RLY? [quote]The flood. The sequel to the prequel. It was a dark stormy night... On a distant planet. PiggyFool was alone---and cortana slapped Fluffy verbally by outposting him. Then PiggyFool came with the "stuff".and then Bazooka Master came too cuz he wanted to be popular. DarkSou7 was hungry and ate everyone... but it was not enough to stop the... evil RichDAS. and his partner with the drugs for sale, PiggyFool. {Who broke out of whats-his-face's stomach} Bazooka Master had to get out of Darkzoul7's stomach so he fired his bazooka making his stomach explode sending everyone flying in different directions. after the heroic efforts of bazooka master we all ran as far away as possible only to find that.... tater salad showed up and threw ninja stars at..... The fair maiden Java. Bazooka quickly grabbed some ranch dressing and a fork and ran up to eat TatarSalad..... who tasted like (gasp!) tater salad! java the beautiful maiden showed up but! doctor woot threw ninja stars at her. muffin man pushed java out of the way only to be hit by the ninja stars. java stands over muffin man as he bleeds vigorously and says.... -blam!--blam!--blam!--blam!--blam!--blam!-!!! then Bazooka got sick from all the Tater Salad and... vomited acid on cortana.... cortana screamed "aggghhh you jerk" bazooka tried to say he was sorry but.... Cortana called over MC and told him to shoot bazooka and he did. Bazooka cried*PiggyFool disappears into the shadows, never to be seen or heard from again**Bazooka responds and finds PiggyFool hiding in his closet* PiggyFool, shouts “get the -blam!- outta my closet!” . Piggyfool chuckled and said Fine; I'll have my date with your mom tomorrow.. bazooka fires bazooka at PiggyFool* piggyfool Dodges bazooka; then sneaks into Bazooka Master's house and exits with mom* muffin man rescues bazooka's mom and makes piggyfool apologise.... but piggyfool was lying, and muffin man began to... do the numa numa dance until... PiggyFool came to restore order. but couldn’t because everyone was goin’ insane then a the monkey with no pants and tea did the matrix until i shot him in his tea coverd mouth Then Chain Blade carried away the monkey corpse and returned with a... guy from r vs b which was...... a strange man named Caboose,who performed a.. backflip with a.... alien called fluffy who shot doughnut. halomaniac killed fluffy and... church t bagged fluffy and halomaniac rescued zombie from the arms of a flood carrier then i saved halomaniac from a flood juggernought and we where the bests friends ever. but zombie his arm was vaporized because a grunt shooted with a plasma pistol but i eat the grunts head and it still says stuff Then chain blade came up behind the grunt and snapped its neck when he heard something breathing heavily behind him.. and it was tartarus. tartarus was killed by halomaniac but maniac was wounded and he was healed by his girlfriend and she did some other stuff too. Colonel Corbec videotaped the "healing" of maniac, and commented that he didn't need a girl beacuase he's so cool. He then went to Piggy's appointment with a busy mother But then he got pwned by slayer 56857 Chain Blade took Tartarus' hammar and started to cause dismay and mayhem.. and herslayer123(the spirit of maniac) pwned slayer and halomaniac was wounded again and was 'healed' again by his girlfriend or so it seemed until slayer was revived by a Toni caparini and together they pwned halomaniac. Then, Colonel Corbec came back looking like Number 47 and garrotted slayer 56857 in a fury of revenge. "NOONE KILLS THE CAMERAMAN, BYATCH!" he yelled. Unexpectedly, a massive army of angry muffins attack the flood and horribly mutate them into their own army. A man in the distance yelled "Attack the flood my evil minions!". As the flood were being overwhelmed by the masses of muffins, more of the flood were running away. The horrid transformations made the muffin mutated flood even more scary and horrifying. (if you eat an angry muffin, you turn into one!) and back at halomaniac... he was wounded again and was healed again. you could hear the healing from a mile away. But slayer came back as a zombie and 8 halomaniacs brain! Then, having just finished strangling Slayer wassisname, Colonel Corbec aimed his portable airstrike cannon at the angry muffin monsters. "EAT IT" he yelled, he pulled the trigger and the unexpected force of the explosion destryoed the entire forum. "Wow" he said. The girlfriend from halomaniac took the brain back and healed halomaniac. And hereslayer pwnd slayer and hereslayer123 repaired the forums slayer was dead but toni capiriani was still alive and pwned halo maniac again halomaniac was healed and hereslayer killed capiriani. And then exploded, because the girlfriend healed him too much but she healed him again...this time explosion proof. WASTED! it said for toni who was at the nearest hospital he went back and pwned Halomaniac and hereslayer. Girl friend from maniac healed maniac and hereslayer ( hereslayer was healed on the normal way) and we blowed all the hospitals up and killed toni. Then Toni came back as a zombie! and we killed and burned toni...halomaniac was healed again. Just then tommy vercitii drove in from vice city and blew everyone up with his rocket launcher. Luckily we managed to escape to installation 06....and maniac found a perfect place to be healed. And then someone threw spaghetti in his face and then he exploded! and maniac was healed again...now it was exploding-proof and his girlfriend was pregnant. then his brain popped out. and he was healed again....and 9 months later the baby was born, then a flying monkey ate him. and hereslayer pwnd the monkey and built a shelter and took maniac out of the stomach he was healed again and the baby was very healthy And then the baby exploded. The baby was healed (normal way) and everyone including the shelter was exploding-proof. And then a boulder too heavy to move fell on top of it, crushing them all. but the girlfriend escaped and healed maniac in the good way and the rest in a normal way EVERYTHING WAS EXPLODING –PROOF But then they all spontaneusly combusted. and they where healed again this time everything-proof. So an animal ate them and chewed them and then pooped them out and they were still alive!. only maniac was injured...because he was getting healed and he was healed again this time everything proof. Then the world exploded. but they are still alive there was no air to breathe in outerspace we quickly build some oxygen masks and we flew to the sombrero galaxy, But they couldn't understand anyone because they spoke spanish and then they starved and DIED.. Then Cj and his homies did a drive by on them all so they all were pwned. nope..they still have liqiud food and established an alliance with the aliens and suddenly of al..they met will wright!! HERESLAYER pwnd cj and his homies and maniac was healed again. But wright was dead, so it didn't matter. will wright was healed by a alien monk and we played a demo of spore!! Then the demo exploded. Beyond repair. BEYOND REPAIR! Just then wu zi mu came with his assistiants and pwned everyone. Then all of a sudden Midship walks in. He spots all of the carnage going on around him and thinks to himself: "Just another day at The Flood". hereslayer pwns the invaders and slayer's buddie and will wright made another demo with the team. And maniac gets healed again. Then Midship got shot in the head in a drive-by because he brought a knife. wu zi mu was torn apart and we healed midship in the norrmal way and the team was bigger!! And then Midship spontaneously combusted. Slayer then starts to cry in agony “You killed wu zi he was blind you monster” then the willosaurus appeared(the tripod creature from spore) and maniac kept it as a pet, Then it spontaneusly combusted. And we healed it in the normal way and it was everything-proof Then it fell in a lake, but it couldn't swim, so it was trapped there for all eternity.. we rescued the animal and the animal killed dudler and his stupid posts (the guy who keeps killing everyone:) Muffin man returns with java from their honeymoon in a distant galaxy only to find that everything is in chaos so we headed back to the galaxy we came from and lived happily ever after THE END [/quote]
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    Colonel Corbec
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    muffin man one
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/18/2007 2:40:00 PM Permalink
    DAMN YOU!! I'M GOING TO MADRID TOMORROW AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T SUPPLIED THE WEEKLY UPDATE! RAAAAGH! *Uses key to scrape Pyroshark's car.* RAAGH! Next time I'll start throwing petrol bombs! You have been warned!
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    Pyroshark

    Pyroshark

    3/14/2007 9:23:41 PM Permalink
    Apologies, fellow Floodians, but I was unable to get an opportunity today to write up Chapter 4. I've typed up about a quarter of it so far (maybe more), but I have to go soon, so I regret to inform you all that this week's 'Darkly update will have to be delayed until tomorrow night. For the scant few that read this, believe me in that I'm really sorry about this; but, with all the events of Pi Day going on I've had no free time today at all. So, again, sorry everyone. Check back tomorrow for some Floodian goodness. Schedule will resume next week as normal. -Pyroshark-
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    Colonel Corbec
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    Diaboy

    Diaboy

    3/7/2007 9:57:29 PM Permalink
    These are classic! I have to compliment you again. And if I am not mentioned at somepoint I will come down on your head so hard and so fast that you'll wake up in New Zealand and wonder what the hell happened. ...Just kidding.
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    Pyroshark

    Pyroshark

    3/7/2007 9:42:59 PM Permalink
    Cheers Corbec. Come to think of it, I've got some perfectly good Sig space over at www.GamesInAction.com going to waste - I think I'll add a link there. [i]To GiA![/i] *plays the Batman theme* ...Wait, what? -Pyroshark-
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    Colonel Corbec

    Colonel Corbec

    3/7/2007 9:27:09 PM Permalink
    All very good, very good indeed, but I reckon I'm the only one reading this excellent missive. Advertise this wherever you can, it deserves more readers.
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    bomberx25

    bomberx25

    3/7/2007 9:20:05 PM Permalink
    http://www.bored.com/getannoyed/newsgroups.htm eh this is a great story so this will make it BETTER
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    Pyroshark

    Pyroshark

    3/7/2007 8:54:26 PM Permalink
    Hey everyone, sorry for the slight delay, but I've finally got Chapter 3 up and ready to post. I'll admit, it's nothing grand; mostly just explaining and advancing the plot. Trust me, the action starts in Chapter 4. Anyway, hope y'all enjoy anyway! [b]Chapter 3[/b] “You wanted to see me, sir?” Chen inquired nervously as he stepped into the Cloning Facility; Lehto hadn’t sounded too happy over the intercom. “Ah yes, Chen, just in time. Our operatives have just been briefed on their mission. I need you to provide them with all the Intel available. That Sentinel’s reached it destination, correct?” “Yes sir. Approximately ten minutes ago the Sentinel’s vector halted at grid…” Chen checked his clipboard, “Ah yes, grid one-oh-four by twenty-seven. Money Marine Mountain. The Sentinel’s displays aren’t showing up anything useful; as it’s attached to the underside of the craft, its cameras can only see the ground. However, its radar scanners did detect something…” Chen crossed over to the holographic projector display, unclipped a portable data storage device from his clipboard and inserted it into an input panel. On the surface of the table, a ghostly image of several armed men and stationary turrets appeared; two anti-personnel chainguns, and two SAM batteries. Several seemingly solid masses appeared to act as barricades, but as the radar image presented everything in a hazy green monotone it couldn’t be definite. “Interesting,” Lehto mused, “why is it that our Sensory Nodes didn’t detect this installation?” “There are several reasons, sir,” Chen explained, “One: we have very few Nodes positioned out so far, as this area is deemed low-priority. Two: the nuclear detonation at this site five years ago is still producing a lot of ambient radiation, scrambling any thermal or electromagnetic scans. Also, large amounts of dust particles in the air from the mountain’s subsequent collapse block any radar scans we execute. The only reason the Sentinel is able to contact us at all is because it’s transmitting a far-beam infrared signal. “And finally, any Stalker units that have entered the region in the past on reconnaissance missions have met unexpected termination. It was presumed that the cause was the ambient EMP charge in the atmosphere; however, when faced with this new evidence, it is likely that outlying Floodian patrols are responsible.” Lehto nodded, “So, what do you advise to our operatives, Chen?” Chen directed his reply to the clones themselves, wincing slightly as their steely gaze fell on him, “I recommend equipping our operatives with plate-mesh body armour – the mesh will give adequate protection without hindering mobility. Furthermore, the operatives should don urban camouflage – this will provide concealment in the rocky terrain outside the base as well as inside. I would also advise that the operatives outfit themselves with a rifle and light machine-gun each, as well as the standard issue sidearm and munitions.” Lehto nodded again and turned to his soldiers, “Any questions?” The regular male raised his hand and spoke, “What are our infiltration and extraction options?” Chen winced; he should’ve covered that in his briefing, and Lehto, judging by the cruel smirk on his face, was well aware of it. Trying to conceal his embarrassment, Chen turned once again to the holographic display, “Our Sentinel’s transport was kind enough to provide a flyover of the mountain before it touched down, and the Sentinel itself was able to provide record this,” the hologram flickered to a fully-coloured, intricately detailed representation of the levelled Money Marine Mountain, “The hangar entry is concealed on the north-eastern face of the mountain. However, as this route is heavily guarded, it is inadvisable to infiltrate here. However,” Chen zoomed in on a small portion of the mountainside, “This fissure is also present. Seismic scans are inconclusive, but small numbers of guards indicate that this may be a ‘back door’ as such. This is your recommended point of entry. Extraction options are extensive, but this will change after the completion of your objective: if you avoid detection, try to escape through the fissure. If the alarm is raised, get to the hangar and blast your way out by any means possible. If neither option is available, improvise.” The female clone spoke up, “What is our target?” Her voice was icy cold, sharp and clean, as if she could kill with words alone. “That will be revealed to you once you infiltrate the base,” Lehto responded before Chen could reply, “However, one particular objective will be mandatory: find the location of the base directly below the mountain’s peak. Plant a tactical nuclear device, and detonate when you have exfiltrated. Bring the goddamn mountain down around their ears,” he grinned, “Again.” The incendiary male chipped in, “What is our priority of survival?” “Alpha”, Lehto replied, “We cannot left the Flood know of our ‘selective procedures’. All other objectives have beta-priority. I don’t want a single bullet-wound on any of you, understood?” “Yes sir!” the three barked in unison. Lehto stared each of them in the eye, fiercely proud of his creations. Eventually he nodded and gave them their first order, the one they looked forward to. “Good. Now move out.” Meech jumped from the Bee Boy helicopter almost as soon as it touched down in the main hangar, and walked off before anyone could question him about his mission; he had a job to do, and he had to do it alone. JAVA had his own way of dealing with grief: drinking so heavily that he forgot his worries, and ending up in places he wasn’t supposed to be in. Like other peoples’ beds. Meech, though, was never one for alcohol, and as far as he was concerned JAVA was a rookie anyway. Wordlessly, Meech strode the Wall of Commemoration. The Wall was about the only surface in the Floodian base not reinforced with salvaged titanium plates or steel girders. The bare, smooth slate was completely flat but for the numerous etchings on its face: silent epitaphs to those who had given their lives for Floodland. At the top, in a large gothic script, were the words that started the legacy: [b]FOR QUEEN CORTANA5, BENEVOLENT YET BRIEF LEADER OF FLOODLAND, WHO DIED AT THE HANDS OF THE NINJAS. MAY HER SACRIFICE BE REMEMBERED, AND HER CHILDREN COMMEMORATED HERE FOREVERMORE.[/b] Further down the face of the stone, however, the inscriptions became less flowery and hastier. Several were unfinished; more had spelling mistakes; all were in a thin, blocky script achieved with a chisel. Meech glanced over many of them trying to delay what he inevitably had to do: “Embo1, who had girl problems and never knew what was going on.” – “DDRmaster. Hawt. Dead.” – “Lordcrotchpants, who was torchured and deaded by t3h Neenjaz.” And off to the side, where Meech had never seen it before, was a fairly recent inscription: “For Emperor Corbec and Empress Sabar, who disappeared in the midst of the Grizzled Ancients’ invasion. May they find peace.” Meech snorted mirthlessly: Corbec and Sabar were cowards, who had abandoned their people to their fate at the first sign of danger, yet the majority of Floodians simply believed they were off plotting some grand offensive against the Grizzled Ancients. Bitter and sombre, Meech took up the hammer and chisel, and set about conserving his friend’s memory. It was hard, tedious work, but Meech was used to discomfort and worked on. After an hour, he sat back and surveyed his handiwork. In detailed script that rivalled that of Queen Cortana5 herself, the epitaph read: [b]FOR TEXAS BEN, WHO DIED BY STALKER WHILST FIGHTING THE GRIZZLED ANCIENTS. HE DIED A HERO, DEADRLY LOVED FLOODIAN AND FRIEND. MAY HE AVENGED.[/b] Meech looked back up at the wall, and the names of those who had died in the Grizzled Ancient Seige, in the Undergroundican War, and in the Ninja Offensive. So much death, so much pain. And for what? For honour? For glory? For wealth? Meech shook his head and fought back a wave of helplessness. For decades the Flood has been under attack by some military body or another. They had done nothing wrong, nor had they any resources of particular value. They just seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, time and time again. Only this time, they were done. After half a decade of pain, misery and grief, Meech could take it no longer. He wept. For how long he sat there, hunched over and grieving, he was never sure, but eventually he was brought back to sharp reality by the scuff of a boot behind him. Without looking up, Meech knew who it was. “Meech?” JAVA asked uncertainly, “He wants to see you.” For a moment Meech considered telling JAVA that he didn’t want to talk to Him, that he just wanted to be left alone with his misery and damn the consequences, but he knew that that would achieve nothing. So, he stood up, wiped his face with his sleeve, and turned to JAVA. “Lead on.” He said, trying to sound indifferent. As JAVA turned and walked off with Meech in tow, only one thought went through Meech’s head. [I]This better be important.[/I]
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