| 17:46:21 19 April 2009
On forum: 01/18/2009
Lukash rolled Kern over onto his back; it didn't take a professional to see that he was in trouble and Lukash was learning that whatever was happening; Kern was a big piece in it all.|
"Voronin! Get away!" Lukash barked; Voronin had drawn his baton and was advancing on the Not-Bloodsucker and Fury. He paused only to look back
"I'll do what I like" he replied and charged.
Swords blazed, molten metal hissed but neither fighter let up. Fury's sword, although hot enough to cut steel, was not hot enough to cut X-18's weapon. They clashed with a hiss and Fury pushed hard, X-18 backpedaled towards the wall before deflecting Fury away from him. Voronin appeared from nowhere, swinging his baton at the place where X-18's head had been but a second ago. X-18 grabbed Voronin, throwing him over the concrete wall and out of the fight.
"Vermin" X-18 muttered as he parried another sword blow scattering more embers.
They fought like nothing anyone had ever seen, weapons flashed in the night, the grating explosion of metal on metal. When Fury dodged back, X-18 would strike only to lose his attack to a well placed parry. When Fury attacked the sound would be similar to a thousand falling coins but X-18 was ready for each one, slicing and using brute force but they were equalled.
Kern groaned as he reached out; he knew this scene from long ago, there could only be one ending.
| 18:43:07 22 March 2009
On forum: 01/18/2009
Message edited by:
A second figure fizzled into view. His suit matched the non-bloodsuckers almost identically. Except in his hand he clutched a machinegun with a long silencer.|
Lukash immediately knew who this man was; he was Kern's trainer, the one they had spoken about and searched for.
"You came all this way just to kill off the Zone? You dream big, X-18, but I have to stop you, for the sake of the Zone and all those inside it" Fury raised his uzi; from that distance even the dying kern would have found it hard to miss.
"You can't just shoot me to death" X-18 argued "That's quite an anti-climax after I've done so much! All those dead and you're just going to kill me off"
"You're a murderer, an escaped animal who should have been put to death a long time ago. I was your keeper, and now I am your executioner, I gave you life and so its quite poetic that i get to end it"
"Then what? Back to the old game of looking after Kern, keeping him safe and sound from the world?" X-18 moved slowly, pacing as though in a court "You can't keep him safe forever, eventually he will turn and when he does, anyone in proximity to him will die. It's why I wear my helmet, it became boring having to just exist in a place and people dying"
"I will protect him, don't you worry, all you have to decide are your last words" Fury replied
"In that case my last words have to be; if you're so single minded in your determination to protect Kern, why is it that he's just died?"
Fury looked around, Kern lay there bleeding heavily but not dead; X-18 was just after his opening. Fury pulled the trigger before looking back, there was no chance X-18 would be stood in the same place but at least there was a chance of clipping him. As he turned he saw X-18 shimmering out of the spectrum, running towards him with his right hand stretched out for the gun, left hand out of sight.
Fury dodged as his pistol kicked back as it fired. The bullets hit nothing but concrete but something else appeared. As X-18's hand clasped around his weapon, breaking the slide and making it unusable, a black spike erupted from seemingly nowhere. Fury only just managed to dodge, he could see the black steel shining in the darkness; a hidden weapon.
He knew the sneaker-suit inside out (having designed a great part of it), driving a hard elbow against X-18's throat brought the attacker back into the visible spectrum. The experiment stumbled backwards, from his wrist on his left arm the steel spike slid back into its sheath.
"So is this how we're going to do it?" X-18 chuckled, the black spike erupted again; it was almost four feet long and deadly sharp but Fury guessed there would be more hidden weapons. Reaching down, Fury drew a foot long brushed steel pipe. It activated with a crackle of electricity; the long white-hot blade crackled and spat as it extended to five feet.
"Battle of the Creator against the Created. Oh-so-poetic" Fury chuckled to himself, leveling the blade.
"A sword? After all this time, all that money they put into your R&D and you come to fight me with a sword?" X-18 scoffed. Fury was done talking, instead launching himself forward, swinging the mocked weapon with deadly accuracy. As the weapons clashed, sun-hot embers fell from their weapons, burning through the concrete.
| 17:17:13 6 March 2009
On forum: 01/18/2009
Lukash began to stir, as his memory came back to him he jolted upright, trying to reach for his weapon. Once he found his hands tied he tried getting to his feet but he was lashed to the soldier behind him. Scanning the area he couldn't see the Bloodsucker that had attacked them but that was the thing that made them so dangerous, you often didn't.|
"Voronin" Lukash hissed, kicking the soldier in the knee. Voronin was slumped forward, completely unconscious. Looking around, the rest were too, only the Monolith Captain was awake, his eyes blazing. He shook his head to Lukash; what it meant was beyond him.
"Captain, where is it?" Lukash whispered, the Monolith Captain rolled his eyes.
"Lukash, the new man in charge of Freedom" someone said. Lukash looked for the source of the voice, although he didn't see, he knew it was there.
"You've evolved, you have speech, the ability to use weapons and an understanding of our language; quite impressive for something that may have evolved from a chameleon" Lukash summarized. The bloodsucker chuckled.
"Oh we didn't evolve from Chameleons, they only said that as a joke, anyway no-one knows how Bloodsuckers got that skill" the invisible assailant explained as he walked between the ranks of soldiers.
Looking at it, now without the rush of battle, Lukash saw that whatever this Bloodsucker was; he had evolved in more ways than just speech and movement, even its camouflage was superior, the air didn't blur as much and when it moved it was almost completely invisible; no trace of the blur.
"So what are you now? I'm guessing now you've evolved you're no longer part of the lesser species?" Lukash asked, again the Bloodsucker chuckled.
"Oh I haven't [i]evolved]/i] as such" Lukash could imagine it smiling, if it had teeth "But I'm certainly ahead of the pack"
Voronin stirred, groaning and muttering incoherent words. When consciousness was his he began the exact same set of movements as Lukash had, first the arms, then the legs and failing that he had ever tried dragging all the soldiers to their feet by forcing himself to stand.
When he failed, which was expected, Voronin looked around at the other Captains.
"General Voronin, you would do well to stay calm" the Monolith Captain said; Voronin did just the opposite.
"GET OUT HERE YOU MUTATED SCUM" Voronin bellowed at the darkness "YOU COME HERE AND LET ME OUT OF THESE BONDS AND WE'LL SETTLE THIS" Lukash rolled his eyes
"No need to shout" he explained
"WHY NOT?!" was the reply
"Because he's right behind me" the Monolith Captain explained. Voronin looked above the Captain, looking straight through the Bloodsucker.
"Where?" Voronin asked.
"Right here" the Bloodsucker whispered, inches from the General's face.
For a moment Lukash saw the outline of the Bloodsucker, the smoke from the extinguished fire curled around its thighs and chest; it wasn't a big Bloodsucker by any means; but its intelligence made the difference.
As the Bloodsucker moved, Voronin aimed a kick at it but missed entirely.
"DAMN YOU" Voronin shouted "I'M GOING TO GET OUT OF THESE AND KICK YOUR UGLY FACE OFF"
Lukash looked over at the Monolith Captain who, despite the severity of the situation, gave Lukash a look that said; I feel sorry for you to have to put up with this Lukash agreed; Voronin was a hassle but currently the lesser evil; they had to get out of these ropes.
While Voronin shouted at the invisible killer, Lukash poked the soldier behind him with his bound hand. Eventually the soldier replied, it was a soft grunt; he was awake and aware.
"Your knife, where do you keep it?" Lukash whispered into his armpit. As the soldier leant into him, Lukash felt the steely grip of the knife on the soldiers belt. He gripped it tightly and as the soldier feigned trying to get to his feet it came free.
"Sir down, there's no escape" Lukash ordered; the soldier did as he was told.
"WELL, WHY DON'T YOU ANSWER ME? COME ON!" Voronin shouted; now he was trying to drag the unconscious soldier he was tied to across the concrete in the direction of the Bloodsucker.
Lukash felt a powerful hand grip his own wrist, the knife fell from his hands.
"Nice try" the Bloodsucker chuckled as he held the knife out ahead of Lukash. Using his thumb, the Bloodsucker snapped the strengthened knife with relative ease. It pinged loudly as the blade bounced across the concrete. Dragging Lukash and the soldier he was tied to to their feet, Lukash gasped; This bloodsucker is impossibly strong!
Lukash heard the Bloodsucker break the neck of the soldier he was tied to before the two of them were pushed over. Lukash landed on his back, lying on top of the now deceased soldier.
"Killing all of you with weapons would be a great hassle for me" the Bloodsucker explained "Unfortunately for you Lukash, it's going to be worse for you than anyone else here"
"No-ones dying here" Kern stated, rifle pointed at the Blur that was the Bloodsucker.
"Who are you?" the Bloodsucker queried "In fact, who am I?"
"Well, your friends think I'm a bloodsucker, which is a good presumption" the bloodsucker chuckled "But what if I'm not? What if I'm something else. You see, if I'm skin and bone; your bullets will just punch straight through me and then your friends will take the fire. But if I'm something else; then your bullets won't penetrate the invisible exoskeleton" It was Kern's turn to laugh
"You've used that line before, it sounds so rehearsed" he activated the laser sight on the rifle; the small red dot expanded as it hit the invisible Bloodsucker, spreading a few inches. The bloodsucker was crouched over Lukash and Kern realised that if he missed the shot; he would hit friends.
"You realise your problem now" the Bloodsucker chuckled
"Just shoot Kern, shoot it!" Voronin ordered
"I agree, light him up" the Monolith Captain agreed "One man's death is worth the life of the rest of us"
The Bloodsucker didn't move; Lukash was sure it was a Bloodsucker He's so hesetant, if those bullets wouldn't penetrate it then it wouldn't have a problem; it would just walk over there and snap his neck. All that strength; it can't be human Lukash made his move, kneeing the Bloodsucker forward.
The Monolith Captain struck before the Bloodsucker had straightened up, kicking the fire aggressively; spraying ashes and smoke on the invisible Bloodsucker. Kern fired, emptying the clip into the stumbling and now semi-visible Bloodsucker. Voronin swore as the body of the Bloodsucker landed on top of him; it was so heavy! He swore and cursed at everyone.
"Oh shut up, Voronin" Lukash ordered "Kern untie us" Kern was busy reloading when the Bloodsucker spoke.
"Oh unlucky" it laughed, jumping to its feet and hurtling at him. The Monolith captain watched as the Bloodsucker hurtled towards Kern; lowering its shoulder and charging into him. Kern was winded, blind with pain and sent crashing into the concrete wall. The Bloodsucker reached down and picked him up, like a child lifting a kitten it was so easy, before throwing him over the tied up soldiers and against the opposite wall. The sheer physical strength was staggering, except to Kern who cared little about anything; he could feel his stitches had come loose, now it was only a matter of time before he bled to death.
"I'm ashamed, that you are the only thing standing against me" the Bloodsucker sighed "I thought it would be a challenge, the largest group in the Zone's history and you cannot defeat me"
"You're not a bloodsucker, are you?" the Monolith Captain asked "You are the end the Monolith predicted. I don't know what you are, but I know you're not a Bloodsucker, or ever were"
Again silence, only this one was shock rather than fear; even the 'Bloodsucker' was quiet.
"Fair play, you are as wise as you are insane" the invisible man said "Let me show you before I bestow upon you the worst death"
Something clicked, slowly, in the flickering of a thousand different colours; a man in a suit appeared before them. The Exoskeleton was like nothing any of them had ever seen. It was black and silver, covered by a billion tiny threads, threads so slim they were practically invisible. The helmet completely covered the person's head, the full-face visor was blacked out and they couldn't see who was beyond.
"What, the hell?" Voronin said "You're human"
"I was...but like you said - evolution" the man began to pace "X-18, oh the grandeur of their designs" he removed from his belt a glass bottle; a vodka bottle but when he uncorked it; it certainly didn't smell like vodka.
The man in the exoskeleton crossed to Lukash and poured some of the contents over him.
"This is the worst way to go, for you anyway Lukash" he laughed, it sounded hollow through the helmets visor "You think all the Bloodsuckers just left? Oh how wrong" he stepped back, corking the bottle. Lukash groaned at the stench of what was on him; he didn't want to know but he knew he had to ask.
"What is it?" he said, trying to ignore the trickle running down his chin towards his mouth.
"A splendid concotion they used at X-18 to lure bloodsuckers, mixed with a bit of my own mixture. You see, there are male and there are female Bloodsuckers, not unlike our species in that sense. What you are covered with, poor Lukash, is the pheromones of a female Bloodsucker, but also musk from the male Bloodsucker's sweat glands. The Male's will go crazy for your scent, they will come from miles for you, and when they get here; they will discover you are not a female, because you smell of male and oh will they take their anger out on you! I've seen it before, I had to test it, and I almost felt bad for the unfortunate man"
Out in the darkness something roared, the wind wasn't powerful but there was a slight breeze; enough to scatter Lukash's new scent.
"It will take them a bit to get here, but in time they will, scores of them"
"You see, that's the problem with fuck ups like you, you always have to say your plans" someone from the roof sighed. The Hunter looked up as something invisible dropped, picking up speed.
"YOU!" the Non-Bloodsucker roared as he jumped back; the second invisible landing heavily on the concrete.
"Yes me. Kern, are you ok?"
Kern groaned; he was not ok, he was so far from ok, in fact, he was very nearly dead.
| 13:47:54 5 March 2009
On forum: 01/18/2009
With night fast approaching, the base began the new routine lock-down procedure. The security lights were activated, the gates were drawn across, the night's teams were paired up and sent to their appropriate positions while everyone else sat around the fire.|
Lukash on the other hand was in what had become the medical quarters, sitting by the unconscious Kern. He checked him over; the bleeding had now stopped but it would be some time until he completely healed, but otherwise all was looking well for the unfortunate man. Lukash didn't know if Kern should be referred to as a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and so stuck with "man" he poked Kern lightly in the cheek; he didn't even move he was so heavily under.
"He's drugged" medic one said as he crossed to the pair "He'll be out for quite sometime, but they were the last. Once he wakes up, he's going to feel it"
"Maybe we'll take a trip back to the Warehouses and pick up some stuff" Lukash said "I'm sure Barkeep won't mind us raiding his stash"
"Us? Send Voronin, that's what his grunts are for" the medic suggested as he took a bottle of vodka and took a long swig from its neck.
"I think the time has come for us to stop referring to them as such" Lukash said, he sounded downhearted "Friendly banter is all good and well but the Freedom/Duty wall is collapsing. Everyday I find myself spending more time in the General's company and I think we would do well to join forces"
"If you say 'for a better Zone' Lukash, I'll bottle you" the medic warned with a smile "I've worked with you for long enough to know when you're just being familiar with a person. Stockholm Syndrome they call it" Lukash glared at him whilst aiming a kick at the medic
"Funny man!" Lukash said loudly as the medic dodged behind a pillar. Lukash sighed as he picked up one of the other bottles of Vodka
"I think I'll go drink with my captors, if that's ok by you" he joked. The medic waved cheerfully as Lukash left the room
"Okay then Kern, lets talk about your family life" was the last thing Lukash heard as he closed the door behind him.
Crossing to the fire, Lukash activated several security floodlights; there really was no escape from them, he smiled as he tossed the lid of the bottle into a hedge. Voronin was sat with a few of his closer Dutiers, they had their helmets off and had no qualms with Lukash joining them. As the Vodka was passed around more and more soldiers joined their group.
"So then, Monolith eh? Now that was a surprise" one of the soldiers said
"Monolith, anyone seen any of them since we got back?" Lukash asked
"Not a peep, they're in that building" he pointed at one of the two buildings opposite their tumble-down warehouse. Lukash got to his feet, swaying slightly, and crossed to the building in question.
He knocked on the green door before opening it and stepping inside. There were no lights on, fumbling for the switch Lukash moved across the room; it was there somewhere. Eventually he found it, flicking it happily Lukash turned to the room as the familiar buzz of the lights powering filled the room.
"Monolith friends, won't you join us outside?" Lukash smiled. The lights flickered before finally powering up, bathing the room in white light. Lukash jumped; the Monolith were stood only a few feet from him, hands behind their backs staring at him.
"Bejesus!" Lukash said as he jumped "Were you standing there the whole time? And why in the dark?"
"It's easier to think in the dark, the Monolith can contact us better when our minds our open" the Monolith Captain explained
"Ok" Lukash smiled "Do you fancy joining us outside? It's the usual end-of-day discussions"
"After all that has happened you are still so lax with your security" the Monolith Captain sighed
"Lax, no no no, my friend, we are prepared" Lukash explained "Hundreds of floodlamps wired to proximity sensors dotted strategically around the base; nothing can get in without us knowing about it"
"And what about when you're drunk?" the Monolith Captain asked
"The lights aren't" Lukash beamed "Now will you join us?"
After a brief discussion "We will, lead on"
"Here they come" a Freedom soldier said to Voronin who had his head back, Vodka bottle wedged firmly in his mouth; its contents rapidly being flushed down his throat. He lowered the bottle and handed it across to another soldier.
"Monolith" he growled "Oh what did we ever do wrong to have them on-side?"
"Well at least we know we didn't insult the Monolith" one soldier joked "Otherwise they'd have been here to kill us"
"That's a good point" Voronin commended "But its wrong" he added; the group laughed.
The Monolith, it turned out, were not as crazy as they seemed. Of course they still sounded completely off their box when they began mentioning the Monolith but otherwise they were harmless. Voronin found himself getting on well with them. As he sat back, leaning on his rucksack for comfort, Voronin began on a train of thought he had never even conceived before this entire even.
'Duty, Freedom and the Monolith. Wow. We get on, I never thought that we would be so alike. If our views weren't so different we could rule the one without problem. Let's see those Bandits mess with a force like this one'
Then one of the Monolith's mentioned the crystal and his train of thought vanished
'No, they're out of their tree entirely, so we can scratch the Monolith from that idea. Hell, there aren't even that many...
"Oi Voronin you lump" Lukash said, pushing the General off his rucksack "Where's your thinking at?"
"Somewhere that's not as cloudy as your mind Lukash" Voronin replied, it was a simple gesture with a sting; Lukash was quite drunk.
"Yeah well, we deserve it" he smiled
"Lukash" Voronin said sympathetically as he took the bottle "You're the only one that's drunk" the group laughed heartily as Lukash blinked in total confusion.
Laughter lifted a great weight from their shoulders, Voronin found himself smiling broadly as he looked around, scanning through the great number of smiling faces they had. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. Looking beyond, into the darkness, through a veil of heat-shimmer, Voronin looked out to the horizon where there was nothing but more black; no moon or stars tonight.
Then the heat shimmer moved. At first Voronin took it for granted Heat moves, nothing big there then it began to advance, moving at speed. Finally Voronin came to his senses; that was no heat shimmer!
He sat up, unable to make a noise as the bloodsucker hurtled towards him and the fire, he was already reaching for his rifle before anyone else had even noticed its existence. Then it reached the fire, raising a hand and suddenly, in the glimmer of the flames, everyone could see it; there but just about unable to make out with its shimmering skin. What it dropped; they could entirely make out without doubt.
That's grenades that is Lukash thought, then the power of what he had thought struck through the drunken mist Grenades!!!
"Mummy" one of the soldiers behind Lukash managed to say as he swung his rifle.
"Mummy?" Lukash repeated; this was a confusing train of thought.
A tremendous series of flashes and deafening bangs took the group down; everyone was without helmets, they had absolutely no protection from this attack. Voronin felt himself being dragged somewhere, then the tightening of ropes around his arms.
"Bloodsucker" he growled sub-consciously
"Not so much" the bloodsucker replied.