Read Heavy Metal Thunder Online

Authors: Kyle B. Stiff

Tags: #Fantasy

Heavy Metal Thunder (8 page)

You lose
3 Blood
in the fight. If your Blood has
dropped to zero or less, then you find it impossible to rise because you are
too busy being dead… the newest victim of the ghost station.

If you have survived the terrible fight, turn to
section
298
.

 

61

You hide the bomb on the floor inside the entrance
and, with an evil giggle, leave the room and continue down the hall to the dock
command station.

The red emergency lights glare with portents of doom
as you pass through the hall, wary of the manager. The hallway ends at a
curving branch. Many doors are labeled for entrances to the docks; strange, to
think that a vacuum lies just beyond those walls. You follow signs along one
wall until you come to a door marked, “DOCK COMM STATION - AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL
ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT.”

The dock command station is dark, but still has
gravity and air. You notch your helm into place and click the light on. Unlike
the gentle tan of the hallway, the command station is steel-grey. The room is
huge, full of control panels, chairs, papers, equipment everywhere. A window
covers the entire front section. You look out and see the vast expanse of a
ruined dock. Blasted hulls float, charred and weightless. You even see a clump
of red ice which may have once been a man. A large steel net rotates slowly
just outside the window; you can use that later to haul your supplies through
space.

Far down the station you see two service vehicles
and protruding fuel lines. You jog to the area, see steel canisters. You haul
them to the fuel lines,
then
jam a line into one. The
pump is labeled, “LIQUID HYDROGEN - CAUTION!” While you cannot remember if the
Black Lance Legion used anything different for their machines, nothing really
tells you otherwise. You turn the pump on and the canister jerks a little while
the pump hums with life. You breathe a sigh of relief,
then
jam more steel canisters onto separate pumps.

You take a quick glance at the equipment littering
the room. Nothing seems useful - then you notice a bulky hand-held computer
with a wide screen labeled, “STELLAR NAVIGATION UNIT”. Upon closer examination,
it seems the device is full of star charts, maps of the Asteroid Belt, and even
notes the locations of other STELLAR stations. The nearest station, another
asteroid mining complex, while still incredibly far away, seems that it might
even be along the same route taken by your Legion ship - and the hunting
Invader ship. Of course, the estimate is approximate; minor deviations in
flight paths in space can end up at vastly different points. Still, the machine
provides some hope, for the next station is a place that you could journey to
and at least get some kind of ship. Perhaps your memory will return by then and
you will know where your own ship is headed.

If you are skilled in the use of
Computers
,
you can download the navigation data directly into your helm computer.
Otherwise, you must take the
Navigation Computer (bulk 3)
with you. If
you do not have enough room in your inventory, you must discard enough items to
leave room for the necessary computer.

The transport vehicles seem to be empty of fuel. In
another corner you find a huge array of steel O2 tanks and an electronic
handcart. While the fuel pumps hum, you haul oxygen tanks onto the hand cart,
then
push them into the hall near an entrance to the docks.
You lift one off and carefully set it down - then, realizing your need for
speed, kick the whole cart over and dump them all noisily into the hallway. You
continue the process over and over.

After you have filled the hallway with oxygen tanks,
you push the cart all the way back to the lounge. Over and over you stack up
heavy jars full of water and boxes of food, then carry the lot all the way to
the dock hallway and leave them there. So taxing is the work that you lose
2
Blood
, and you are also temporarily drained of
1 Strength
point. If
your Strength has already been drained to zero even before now, then you must
lose another point of Blood instead of having a Strength score of less than
zero.

Suddenly, an explosion rocks the hall. You panic for
a moment, thinking the hull has been breached and that you will lose your
supplies. Nothing happens. You jog down the hallway,
then
see smoke drifting out from the main comp station. You peer inside. The place
is a mess, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment in shambles.
Then you see a smear on the wall, something like hair plastered into ketchup. A
severed finger juts out of the doorway. You enter and slip on something
banana-peel style and crash to the floor. You look about. Either someone has
chosen to dump a cartload of barbecued sausage links for a discount meat sale,
or you have indeed caught the manager in your trap. Since there are no for-sale
signs around, you’re betting on the latter. You laugh with relief,
then
continue on with your work.

Perhaps an hour passes before you think you might
have enough supplies. Then, without warning, the lights flicker and go black.
Even the red alarms continue on for only a few seconds, before they, too, are
cut off. The whir of the air conditioning system clicks
off,
and you rise off the floor slowly. You can hear rumbling, grinding, far away.
The backup generators have been destroyed and more deconstructors are tearing
their way through the station. The end is near. You kick off a wall and check
the fuel canisters. You disconnect one, glad to see that it is full, then
attach a line from your jetpack and refuel yourself. You seal the canisters,
then kick them into the hallway and gather them near the rest of your supplies.

Near exhaustion, your heart races with the hope of
escaping this ghost station. You kick off and stop at the door to the ruined
dock, so that you can follow through with the last part of your plan to escape.

You gain
2 XP
for killing the manager. Turn
to section
555
.

 

62

You coolly blast the smiling revolutionary in the
chest and watch, in crystal-clear detail, as he stumbles backward. He looks
down and his smile fades as a thick line of blood runs down his chest. As he
falls backward he grabs onto his friend and jerks him sideways. Before the
second revolutionary can recover, your gun barks again and sends him spinning.
He sprays a fine red mist along the nearby wall,
then
falls near his dead comrade.

You stand up and look at the wall behind you. It is
completely riddled with bullets, as if you were the poster boy for Swiss
cheese. “Damn I’m good,” you say. You gain
1 XP
for being such a smooth
operator.

Be sure to erase the amount of ammunition that you
used.

You search the bodies of the dead and find the
following gear, which you may take with you.

Krieger-Colt Pump-Action Shotgun
(Shotgun, bulk 3)

4 Shotgun Shells (bulk 1)

Enforcer Automatic (Handgun, bulk 2)

Cold Cock Auto (Handgun, bulk 2)
(The serial number has been scratched off.)

7 Handgun Bullets (bulk 1)

Stellar Corp Law
Enforcement Uniform (bulk 2)
(Damaged and bloody.)

Steel Baton (Mace, bulk 2)

When you are ready to hit the all-you-can-eat buffet
(and scoop up some XP), turn to section
260
.

 

63

You orient yourself so that you are on a level plane
with John Christian, then float alongside him. You can dimly make out his face
behind his dark helm visor. He appears nervous,
then
taps his helm repeatedly. It is a signal that he wants you to lay your helm
against his, an old space man’s trick for communicating during radio failures
with your helms touching, sound can move between your helms and you can speak
to one another.

You glance at his body quickly. He does indeed seem
to be unarmed. Even if he was going to try some trick, he wouldn’t have an easy
time getting back without your help.

If you want to lay your helm up against his and hear
whatever dumb shit he has to say, turn to section
391
.

If you’ve seen enough and want to kill him, turn to
section
436
.

 

64

You underestimated the amount of time it would take
you to search the room while holding your breath. You flop about awkwardly and
often bump into the floating bodies. Eventually your body, lacking its most
vital resource, is overcome by a painful sense of fatigue:
Lose
1
Blood
.

Turn to section
86
.

 

65

You run through the twisting hall. At times the
ruined mass at the center of the crater is visible, other times it is blocked
by cracked, buckling walls. The barking of the dogs bounces around the hallway.
You nearly trip over something thick and rubbery. You turn and see a human
body, badly mangled and torn. He has an open bag in one hand out of which many
syringes have spilled onto the wet floor. You find one syringe still in the
bag, sealed, and full of green liquid. You may take the
Mystery Syringe
(bulk 1)
if you like. You also find a long, heavy
Steel Pipe (Spear,
bulk 3)
lying under the man’s legs. You may take this weapon, too.

You continue on. Finally you come to an open room
with curved metal hand- and foot-holds along one wall. This ladder leads up to
an open room which has been completely demolished. However, near this room is a
giant concrete support beam which has toppled sideways; its top rests in a
section of the station far above. While you can see no exit in this room or the
one above, there may be one near the top of the support beam.

As you begin to climb the ladder, the dogs get the
idea. Several of them jump onto the base of the wide beam. They seem to know
that they can intersect with you in the next room or the one above that; what’s
more, the beam is tilted in such a way that, as long as they pick their steps carefully,
they could make it up the beam faster than you can.

Turn to section
417
.

 

66

Bullets crash all around. Your comrades scream in
your ears. The howling of the defenders in their guttural, alien tongue is maddening.
You return fire as best you can but it is nearly impossible to aim without
getting your head blasted off. You must use
3 bullets
, of any caliber,
while holding your position. If you do not have that many bullets, then you
must use all that you do have.

You notice that Sybel hasn’t done jack shit during
the fight - he’s been studying the radiation suits in the closet.

“Commander Uther!” Sybel shouts.
“Uther!
Sir, listen to me!”

“What?!” says Uther, ducking as a great chunk of the
doorway explodes, peppering you all.


There’s
rad-suits in here!
That means the heat signature we’re following is coming from the engine room,
not the shield generator!”

You realize that the man is right. The shield
generating technology used by the Invaders and the human Black Lance Legion
does not rely on nuclear energy - but the engines that drive the ships do. In
case of a meltdown or any other accident, such equipment has to be kept on hand
to deal with the problem.

The Commander looks back and forth,
then
says, “Damn, you’re right. Even if we did manage to
blast through these guys, the most we could accomplish is stall their ship in
space. They’d still be able to blast our ship if our shield got knocked out!
Fall back!
Everyone -fall back!”

Marcus pulls several grenades from his belt. “Get
ready to run like hell,” he growls.

Turn to section
112
.

 

67

You dive at the thing, fist arcing forward. The
deconstructor hops forward, catching your fist in its mouth. It crunches down,
hard, and you yelp wildly. You jerk your body backwards,
then
fall onto your back, dragging the thing down with you. A tentacle slaps into
your neck as you brace a foot on its face, push off, and pull your bloody hand
free. You crawl away, lower lip trembling, and notice that the thing’s eyes
have been screwed up by your foot. It hops about awkwardly. You jump up, kick
the thing over,
then
stomp it senseless with your
boot. Soon the thing’s shell cracks and its innards spill out.

You lose
4 Blood
in the fight. If
your
Blood score has dropped to zero or less, then your
vision grows dim, and the last thing you see is an important artery hanging out
of your arm, spilling its warmth, and you die beside your foe.

If you have survived, turn to section
298
.

 

68

Blade in hand, you kick off silently from the face
of the cliff and float gently toward the sniper’s back. As soon as you fall on
him he jerks sideways, but you quickly jam the blade into his padded suit, then
into his soft flesh, over and over, as he flails wildly. He knocks you into a
mound of ash and you watch plumes of oxygen and red ice pour forth as he kicks
about, sending up a cloud of dust. Soon, he twitches weakly,
then
floats limp and calm.

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