Read Heavy Metal Thunder Online

Authors: Kyle B. Stiff

Tags: #Fantasy

Heavy Metal Thunder (3 page)

Suddenly, the lights flicker, then the hall is cast
into darkness. You float free from the ground. The hum of distant machinery is
silenced. The deconstructors must have destroyed the back-up generator. You
curse and turn your helm light back on. You kick away from the worthless cart
and continue gathering oxygen tanks, kicking off from walls and pushing the
things in front of you.

If you have
Sixth Sense
, turn to section

If you do not have this Skill, turn to section



You blast wildly, sending bullets ricocheting about
the hall. The terrible eyes - they refuse to stand still! They emerge into the
you see a whirl of segmented tentacles, insect-like
faces without mercy, pincers grinding like mad. You back away, waving your gun
and slapping about with your free hand. It seems the monsters are on either
side of you in an instant. You have no choice but to fight them to the death.

Be sure to erase the number of bullets that you
spent in the “battle”.

If you have a hand-to-hand weapon, draw it and turn
to section

If not, face them with your bare hands by turning to



The four men lounge about while you rest. The guard
and the laborer argue over the matter of a candy bar. The manager and the
doctor whisper about something; the doctor shakes his head, laughs,
walks away from the sullen manager. You can hear the
grinding of the larger deconstructors in the station. You grow tired of the
inactivity and haul yourself up.

“We need a ship to get out of here,” you say.

“Well, we know that, but there aren’t any,” says the
manager, annoyed. “I’ve already checked at the central comp station.”

“Is there some way we can rig up a ship?” you say.

The manager makes a sound with his lips, shakes his

“Take me to the comp station,” you say. “I want to
see for myself.”

“It’s right in here,” the manager says wearily.

As he leads you to the room, he studies your suit.
“That... thing,” he says, motioning to your heavy jetpack. “You can... fly
around in that?”

“Mm hm. Short range.”

“And that suit... it’s space-worthy?”

“Mm. Short range,” you say, staring at him for a


You enter the darkened room that holds the main
computer terminal for the station. You sit at the terminal and navigate through
the menus. The manager kicks around a few minutes behind you,
says, “What are you doing?”

“I mean to get out of here,” you say. “I need to get
back to my command.”


I’m not going to
resign myself to death. And if I can find a ship then you can come with me, if
you want, or die with a bunch of people you don’t even like.”

The manager grunts,
leaves. You feel relieved, and concentrate on the foreign computer system. You
find information regarding the STELLAR Corporation. It seems that this was an
asteroid mining colony made of several stations that harvested ice and metals
before shipping them off to other stations. Their earth operations have been
shut down for years due to the Invasion. You are now in the Asteroid Belt
between Mars and the giant gas planets.

If you have the
skill, turn to

If you do not have this skill, but have the
manual, you can use it
to figure out the system by turning to section

If not, turn to section



Two fanatics fly ahead of you, their lances
extended, while the rest of you fly in a tight formation behind. The others
extend their smaller weapons outward and to the side, so you do the same. You
have some dim notion that you have been told how to do this many times, but you
are positive that this is the first time you have actually done so.

You never see the shield, but suddenly your jetpack
bucks and you feel an intense heat building in your suit. Your weapon nearly
flies out of your hands. Someone mutters, “Steady, steady, don’t let go...”

You know that at any moment the ship can blast all
of you with its massive laser cannons; worse than that, if you fly too close to
your comrades, you could collide and knock everyone out of formation and the
shield would most likely incinerate you.

You glance to the side as the bombers streak by
silently, unloading their payloads of missiles at the Invader ship. Far from
you, the shield lights up as missiles slam into its surface, some exploding on
impact, some bouncing away harmlessly, others grinding through like buzz-saws -
these last are, apparently, fitted with the same sort of field-generating
charges as your own weapon.

You see dozens of red flashes as the Invader ship fires
at the missiles. The sight is disorienting; your teeth rattle in your skull; it
feels as if your suit is cooking you alive.

Unless you have the
Jetpack Skill
, you cannot
seem to stay close enough to your comrades and so, due to the intense heat and pressure
of the shield, you lose
3 Blood
. However, you may subtract your
rating from this amount if you happen to be wearing any

Finally you burst free from the energy shield,
rocketing toward the ship as your suit quickly cools down. One fanatic whoops
blasts ahead of you. Someone says, “We’re
gonna have to hack in
-” just as one missile
breaches the shield and slams into the Invader ship. There is a flash, a rush
of white mist, then a gaping hole highlighted by molten slag.

“We go in through there,” says Commander Uther.
“That’ll make our job easier.”

“Maybe it already hit the shield generator,” says

“Probably won’t be so lucky,” says Sybel, the
strange dream interpreter.

As the bombers streak away in a tight curve, you and
your comrades fly toward the hole in the black hull of the Invader ship.

Turn to section



You dig your hands into the ground,
push off, floating silently through the darkness near
the sniper’s rocky hideout. Moments later you see the dim shadow of the sniper
as he peeks around the corner, rifle in hand. He is very close to you, but you
are not sure if he sees you or not.

If you want to attack him with a gun, turn to

If you want to blast forward and take him head-on,
with or without a hand-to-hand weapon, turn to section



“Get that crap away from me!” you scream as you knock
his hands away from you. The doctor looks at you in shock - then his lips pull
back in a sneer, his eyebrows curl with malice, and he lunges at you.

You grab his wrists and hold him back as he tries to
jam the syringe into your torso. Sweat rolls down his face in torrents and his
lips contort like a madman’s. The doctor is not well and he is trying to kill

Turn to section



You kick off and fly towards the guard. Just as he
swings his pipe into the side of your helm, you swing your fist and knock the
flashlight from his hand. As it spirals on some crazy axis, you and the guard
grapple for supremacy as you float in the darkness. His enraged face hovers in
your vision, hissing and growling, and you both move with terrible slowness, as
in a nightmare.

You must now compute a number that will determine
the result of your battle. Add your
stat to your

As the guard fumbles about with his beefy hands, he
manages to crush
8 Blood
from your body, but you may subtract the above
number from this amount of lost Blood. If your Blood score drops to zero or
less, then the guard somehow yanks your helmet off and, stuck in his unmerciful
bear hug, he bites into your face and jerks the skin clean off your skull with
a twist of his neck.

If you survive his grappling, then you manage to
pull free from his grasp. As he waves his huge arms about, you realize that he
is less experienced at zero gravity movement than you are. You kick off from a
wall, cartwheel, grab his leg, and flip him about. Your movement is stilled as
he spins out of control. Soon he throws up into the air. You maneuver about,
taking your time to position your jetpack before him. He grabs onto you - then
you fire your rockets.

As you jet away from him, you hear him holler in
agony in the second he has before his throat and chest melt into barbecue soup.
You pop open your helm just a bit - smells like Mom is in the kitchen!

You gain
2 XP
for killing the guard. Turn to



“Fine,” you say. “Let’s blast those machines.”

“Good man!” says the manager. “Fine spirit, son!”

You see the guard and the
put on plastic face masks and attach
them to heavy air tanks that they strap
to one another’s backs. You see another air tank on the ground. You feel around
on your back and, without thinking, pull a concealed lever that releases your
damaged air tank, which clatters to the ground noisily. The manager yelps. “It
was broken,” you say. “Help me get that other one on.” He fools about behind
you for a while, complaining that the air tank is too big. Annoyed, you reach
back, force the thing into place, then connect the tube that leads to your
neckpiece. Now, at least, you have working oxygen - but you will need more.

“Where’d you get this?” you ask, busying yourself
with your gear as if the details were inconsequential.

“The dock command station,” says the guard. “We’ll
need this stuff if there’s vacuum coming in with those machines.”

Oxygen right where the fuel lines are
you think.

The guard passes you a rope and an automatic
grappling line. He and the laborer have identical units fixed to their belts.
You must take the
AGL Rope (bulk 1)
with you. If you do not have enough
room in your inventory, you must drop something until you have enough space to
carry it.

The guard and manager check their twin hand-held
radio units. Finally the guard wraps a belt of grenades around his chest,
nods to you and the old laborer. The three of you jog
through the halls on an interception course between the deconstructors and the
backup power system.

Turn to section



“I don’t want that crap in me,” you say. “Thanks

“Ah, well,” says the doctor. “But you know... it
will make you feel better.”

“I already feel right as can be,” you say. “So

“Very well,” says the doctor. He turns away - then
whirls around and lunges at you. You grab his wrists and hold him back as he
tries to jam the syringe into your torso.

“What the hell are you doing, man?!” you scream.

Sweat rolls down his face in torrents and his lips
contort like a madman’s. The needle is shaking in front of you.
Either you and
the doctor have a different definition of
vitamins - or he is trying to kill you.

Turn to section



Your jets flare to life and you coil in a crazy arc
within the grip of the beast. The mouth snaps all around, the tentacles grip,
lose their hold,
grip again. You grit your teeth,
strain against your bonds - then, somehow, break free. The jaws snap,
hang open in frustration as you fly away.

You gain
1 XP
for surviving.

As you fly away from the head, you see scattered
around the bulk of the massive beast even more heads, more seas of tentacles.
They are alarmed at your fight against their brother, but cannot reach you. You
laugh wickedly, hungry to hurt this pet of the Invader. Wise to the monster’s
tricks, you look for weak points that you can investigate.

If you want to look at the hole you see in the
distance, turn to section

If you want to follow one of the blue channels that
throughout the beast’s skin, turn to section



You slam your weapon onto one of the drills. It
knocks your hand away, jolting it and numbing your shoulder. Cursing, you raise
yourself before the drills can grind you up. Then you brace yourself again,
slam your weapon into a drill over and over again, pain coursing up your arm.
You raise yourself again, panting, spinning, then bash the thing some more as
it rises to finish you.

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