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Author Topic: Deer's Landng  (Read 138 times)

Dustoori

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Deer's Landng
« on: November 07, 2018, 04:01:13 PM »

   Smoke and fire fill the air as the bugs come rushing out of the tunnels. The screams of people I had come to call friends and companions ring in my ears. My hands, numbed by the seemingly constant recoil, worked on auto-pilot, reloading magazine after magazine into my overheating assault rifle, the engravings glowing red with repeated firing. Auto-turrets gun down abomination after abomination, from overhead, mortar shells blow gaping holes in their ranks only for them to be filled with even more than before. This is it. Today is the day I die.

   I should probably back up slightly, context is everything as my old man used to say. I wonder what happened to him and Ma, I hope they did OK with me gone. Probably been dead a long time now.

   I was a surgeon, and a damn fine one, even if do say so myself. Started life on a quiet little backwater planet, finished school with good grades and got a scholarship to the finest university in the system. Head-hunted straight out of school by a huge medi-corp I worked for a few years at a very prestigious hospital.

   Then there is the discontinuity, one day treating the richest clientèle, eating at the finest restaurants, living the high life amid the gleaming spires; the next coming round cold and naked in the middle of a forest, on Randy only knows what hellish rock. There's a fun thought; I'm going to die on this planet and I don't even know it's name.

   Those first few days were hard, foraging for berries, sleeping on the ground, not even a table to eat at. I almost gave up hope. But thankfully, I found an abandoned building and was able to perform some rudimentary repairs, which I'm pretty sure saved my life. I got a small garden going and friendly a megasloth wandered by and decided to stay. I've never had much experience with animals but at least it was some company.

   Life was never easy but it was simple. I've always been good with my hands and stitching up squirrel skins is the same as stitching up people, even if you don't have a laser scalpel. I was fed, I was warm and I didn't have to think about the constant backbiting and politicking that goes on back in the real world.  After the craziness of life in the core this was something dangerously close to good. Then she arrived.

   She was a pirate or a raider or whatever they call them on this world. People who live by taking what little others have. She was everything I hate about this life personified. But by the gods was she hot. As she strode through the undergrowth towards me it was as if Cassandra herself had come out of the aether to walk among us. I was lost in a dream of admiration when I realised she was swinging a club at my head.

   The next few moments are a bit blurred in my memory but the next thing I knew I was standing over her bleeding form. Her breathing was laboured and she had several hafts of my arrows protruding from her chest and legs. I knew I should finish her off or leave her for the wolves but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, I was a doctor after all.

   I dragged her back to my shelter and patched her up as best I could. As it happened, I'd taken a semester of ethnobotany during my studies so I was able to identify a few medicinal plants to help out.

   Over the next few days as she slowly healed, we started talking, her name was Kai. She wouldn't say much about her past but it became clear from the things she said and the references she made that she wasn't from around here either. She said she was glad to be away from the pirates but that they would probably come looking for her. I'd assumed she'd be on her way once she could walk again but to my surprise she asked if she could stay, the first and last time she ever asked my permission for anything. Deciding an extra pair of hands would be good and some non-megasloth company was in order, I said yes. Looking back, that was the moment it all started to go wrong.

   Talking of the megasloth, Kai was great with her, it was as though they understood each other. Very soon, Momba, as we called her was helping around the shack, carrying logs, fetching kills and I had a suspicion if any of Kai's former compatriots came by, Momba's huge claws could come it very handy.

   Kai could also talk to plants it seemed. She could identify the best soils and very soon we didn't have a garden anymore, we had a farm. We built a barn and had more food stored than we could possibly eat. Kai tamed some more of the local wildlife, a male counterpart for Momba and some weird, huge, blue, shaggy things she said were called muffalo. Strange looking things, their milk was good though. And over time, as I'm sure would happen to any 2 people in such a situation we started sleeping together.

   Life was good but there was an edge. I'm a surgeon not a psychiatrist but I'm pretty sure Kai was a psychopath. I was constantly on eggshells around her. She was exciting but not always in a good way. She is stood next to me right now, minigun casings flying as she vainly fights back the horde. Magnificent to the end. But from the first day I met her 6 years ago, to today, when we are going to die side by side, there has never been a moment when when I was sure she wouldn't slit my throat just for the fun of it.

   Dug was different, Dug was calm centre of the universe.

   We found Dug lying battered and bruised in the wreckage of an escape pod. We nursed him back to health and without anyone saying anything, now we were three. Dug had been a miner, he knew where to find all sorts of interesting things in the rock. I was him who suggested we dig in to a nearby mountain for protection and to help preserve our food. With hindsight the second mistake.

   It wasn't a mistake at first, at first it was a gods send. More people joined us, more raiders attacked, crazed animals hammered on our doors but with the might of a mountain to protect us we stood firm. In what seemed like no time we had a thriving little community going. Traders from nearby settlements stopped by and we sent caravans in return. There was time for art and leisure and love. Oddly, no children though, the few of us with any scientific knowledge suspected some form of radiation or chemical poisoning was preventing conception or pregnancy, none of us ever knew for sure though.

   It wasn't all plain sailing, there were losses along the way. One of the first inklings we had that our mountain hold wasn't as safe as we'd hoped was when Meretrix was eaten. Meretrix was the most intelligent person I'd ever met, and I've met some very intelligent people. In a different life she could have changed the world. She was also one of the most incompetent. Have you ever met anyone who is so ridiculously clever it's terrifying but you wouldn't trust them to sit on the toilet the right way unattended? That was Meretrix. We owed here so much, her designs are the only reason most of us are alive today, sorry were alive until today. I'm pretty sure most of us are dead and it won't be long until I join them. Still the only reason we made it this far was Meretrix.

   She had a lab down in the bowels of the mountain where she spent most of her time. Kai took some dinner down for her as one of us usually would, Meretrix often forgot to eat. All Kai found were a few scraps of Meretrix's clothing and a spider the size of a muffalo. Kai, being Kai, took care of it without even blinking. We sealed off the lab and life carried on. That was almost year ago, we've had several infestations since then but now we see they were just probing, saving up for this, this onslaught, this annihilation.

   And there we have it, they say your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before you die and I guess that just happened to me. I'll keep shooting until the end but it can't be long now. I hope someone escaped, I hope someone can tell others about what we did at Deer's Landing, about our triumphs, our losses, about the people who found a place to call their own. Maybe someday another lost soul might stumble upon this place and pick up where left off or maybe the bugs will be left in peace to rule their mountain kingdom.
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kclace

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Re: Deer's Landng
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 08:05:10 PM »

I don't know why, but I love stories of colonies blowing up. My favorite story was "No Refuge" about a sole survivor who escaped from a colony that was about to be wiped out.

Do you have any screen shots of your fallen colony?
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Dustoori

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Re: Deer's Landng
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 08:48:40 AM »

I was gutted when this one died. I'd become quite attached to Deer, Kai and the crew. This base was one of my first mountain ones though so not very good against infestations.
I don't think I have any screenshots, I'll double check when I get home.
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