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Evil in the Underhive - A Necromunda Story.

 Post subject: Evil in the Underhive - A Necromunda Story.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:31 pm 
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Location: Hunting the Abyss Lord
By feeder


1
“What are you going to do first, when we finally get to go Uphive?” asked Lu.
“Huh? I don’t know. Take a long, hot bath, I guess.
“Yeah, that would be great, but first I’m going to have a hot fudge sundae. With lots and lots of hot fudge. Have you ever had one? I got one for my birthday….” Pepper sighed inwardly. Lu, she thought, what a great nickname. She should have been called Chatterbox, or Yappy. She never shut up. Great kid, though.

Jolie Peperrin was her real name, but everyone just called her Pepper. At twenty-five, she was an experienced fighter, with almost ten years as a Blackheart under her belt, and more than twice as many kills.
“Lu!” She hissed, “Shut up! We’re hunting Rats, remember? So keep quiet!”
“Sorry.” Lu was downcast for a moment, and then asked brightly, “Can I take point?”
“Sure. But keep your eyes open.”
“Yay!” Lu cried, and skipped a head a few paces.
“And watch for traps. Rats are very sneaky.”
“Yes ma’am.” Lu saluted smartly.

Pepper checked her bio-scanner. Nothing. She hoped it was still working. The Rats had been scarce since their last major raid, which had been more of a slaughter. They had charged, screaming and yelling, straight at the perimeter, with none of the subtlety or surprise that Ratskins are famous for. Still, Pepper didn’t want to be ambushed way out here, with only Lu for backup.

Pepper looked at the young juve walking ahead of her. Her short cropped hair was dyed bright blonde, and her slim shoulders peeked out from beneath her white tee. She admired her taut bum, moving slowly under her blue cutoffs. She knew that as a Probationary Member, Lu was off-limits until after her initiation, but Pepper could still look. Lu. Who in the Eye had given her that nickname?

She cringed as she thought of when she was given her first nick, standing nervously in front of the sisters with her ‘application’ for membership in hand. “Candy,” growled Skate. With her huge orange mohawk and broad physique, Skate looked more like a Goliath than an Escher. “She looks sweet, just like candy.” A few of her sisters had laughed humorlessly, and the name stuck. That hated nickname had followed her for nearly two years, until Pepper had earned her status as a full member of the Blackhearts.

“See anything you like?” Pepper was startled to see Lu grinning at her. Crap! She had been caught staring.
“What? NO. Um, I was thinking, um, you know, maybe this scanner isn’t working, it’s been silent, and they’ve got to be here somewhere-“
The bio-scanner emitted a soft beep.
“Right.”, said Lu. “Not working.” She rolled her eyes.
“Okay, so it works,” said Pepper, blushing furiously. “We’ve got something. Over there.” She pointed at a partially buried hab-dome, a few hundred meters away. They started cautiously towards the dome, moving slowly and keeping their heads low.
“Hey Pepper,” said Lu, “how come Ol’ Kittie is called ‘Buster’?” Pepper shot her a venomous glare.
“What are you, masculine? You don’t call her ‘old’ Kittie, you call her Leader. Or Ma’am. As far as her being ‘Buster’ goes, well, you’ll find out for yourself.” She smirked. “Now shut it. No more questions.” They stopped a few meters from their destination. “There’s only one,” whispered Pepper. “We can take this, easy,” She unslung her autogun. “Weapons check.” She checked her clip and clicked the flashlight taped to the barrel on and off quickly. Lu drew her revolver and spun the chamber.
“Check.”
“Okay, let's go.”

2
Lu readied herself again the left side of the hab-door, her pistol held firmly in one hand. She wrinkled her nose. The place stank. Generally, everywhere in the Underhive stank of something to some degree, but this was worse. Pepper recognized the stench from a hundred battles and several torture rooms. It was fear, human piss and raw fear. She brought her autogun up to her shoulder and turned the flashlight on. She glanced at Lu, who nodded, and slowly turned the knob until it was unlatched. Pepper then raised her foot and kicked the door open, shining her light within.

A blur a movement flew towards her and she fired instinctively, the sound echoing in the small dome. Most of her bullets missed, but one caught the target and tore it open, a trail of blood spraying out and onto the litter and debris that covered the floor. Lu tracked it until it hit the ground, and then fired twice. Lying in the light that shone from Pepper’s autogun was the twitching body of a huge rat nearly three feet long. Wicked-looking spines protruded from its back, and its head was a ruined mess. “Nice shooting, Lu. Two in the head.”

Lu nodded. “Thanks,” she said, breathing heavily. Pepper noticed the way her breasts were rising and falling beneath her thin tee, her nipples denting the fabric. “Are we clear?” Pepper took a step over the threshold and quickly swept the room.
“Clear.” She stepped over the dead rat and surveyed the interior. A human corpse lay headless in one corner, one arm mostly chewed away. “Ew,” said Lu, “Who’s that?”
“Ratskin,” Pepper replied, “Not long dead.”
“Rats eating rats, how appropriate.” They shared a smile, and Pepper thought she saw something more behind Lu’s brown eyes. Not long now, she thought. Initiation would be soon for Lu, especially as her pistol skills were evolving so quickly. Ol’ ”Buster” Kittie would claim First Taste, as was her right as leader, but Pepper would make sure the other sisters knew that Lu was belonged to her.

“There was a fight here,” Lu said, looking at the mess. “Oh, he’s holding something.” She took a step towards the body.
“Damn this scanner to the Eye,” said Pepper, taking it from her belt and looking down at it. “It must be malfunctioning. It’s only supposed to pick up people.” She turned it over to check the self-test button when she heard something cutting through the air, then the unmistakable sound of tearing flesh and bone.
“Ergh,” gurgled Lu. “Ergh, ergh.” She stumbled to one knee, dropping her pistol and clutching at her chest. Pepper looked around, confused. They were still alone in the room.
“Ergh.” Lu repeated, then fell sideways, blood fountaining from three huge gouges in her torso.

“LU!!!” Pepper screamed. “Lu!” She dropped the bio-scanner and brought her autogun up in a wide arc, firing indiscriminately. The sound was deafening inside the small hab-dome, and something collapsed, sending a shower of dust into the air.

When the sound died away and the dust settled, Pepper stood stock still, her ragged breathing the only sound in her ringing ears. Corpse-God! she thought. What in the Eye just happened? We were all alone, it was clear, it was safe. She spun around suddenly, letting another burst of autogun fire through the door. Run, her subconscious screamed, run, run, run! Her legs trembled involuntarily once, twice, and then she obeyed, bolting from the door and back across the Underhive, back to her sisters.

A pair of emotionless black eyes regarded a lone figure running frantically across the littered floor of the Underhive, boots clattering on the rockcrete, an autogun clutched in one hand, long blue hair flying away behind in a single plait. The owner of the eyes waited patiently until the figure was gone, then backed away, deeper into the darkness. It moved slowly, taking it’s time. It had plenty of time.

_________________
Please go stand by the stairs so I can protect you.


Last edited by feeder on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:43 pm 
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Location: Hunting the Abyss Lord
3

Kunnar leapt onto the fallen girder. Balancing his huge bulk, he carefully made his way up the incline until he stood perched at the tip. He squinted and slowly took in the view. He was in a large dome, once a manufacturing plant, now a rusted and decaying ruin. It had long ago been picked clean of useful parts, but Kunnar was here for another purpose. He had known he was being followed for nearly an hour now. He strained his ears and listened.

The faint clatter of broken rockcrete reached his ears. ‘Ah ha!’ he thought triumphantly. Truly, his keen hearing was the product of pure Goliath blood. He dropped to the underhive floor and headed towards the main building of the plant, a sprawling maze of narrow pathways between dilapidated machines. He paused in front of the entranceway and admired his reflection in the remaining slab of plate glass.

At nearly seven feet tall, he was a fine example of what a Goliath man should be. His huge shoulders and arms were covered in scars from the fighting pits, every one a victory. His skull was shaved clean, save for two bristly sideburns which came to almost meet in a point at his chin. ‘Truly magnificent,’ he thought. His pure breeding was evident in his piercing gaze, his proud manner-

The sound of dirt gritting beneath a boot startled him out of his reverie. He hurriedly walked through the doors and into the shadows of the plant. Once inside he scanned the room for a suitable ambush spot. He saw a doorway on his left and walked briskly towards it, taking a large bolt, forgotten in the dust, off the top of a machine. The doorway led to a long hallway, dark at the entrance and fading to pitch black until he couldn’t see the end. Perfect, he grinned, and stepped to the side of the entrance, flattening himself against the wall until he was nearly invisible in the shadows. He then gently tossed the bolt he was carrying down the hallway and listened to the sound of metal on metal echo in the darkness. The sound of footsteps hurried to the outside of the hallway entrance, and then stopped. Kunnar heard the sound of rapid breathing, and then the slow, careful tread of boot on metal. A slim shadow fell across the opening and he smiled. It was nearly time.

A young girl stepped cautiously into the hallway. She was small, no more than five feet, dressed in a plain black tank, and green combat pants that looked too big for her. Her jet-black hair was pulled back into two short pigtails, and she carried a large knife in her hand. Kunnar waited until she was a few feet down the hallway, then exploded into action. He took one mighty step forward, bringing one massive fist swiftly around and landing a solid blow to the side of the girl’s head. She snapped to one side, dropping her knife and he moved quickly to catch her by the neck with his other hand. Lifting her until she hung at his eye level he shook her roughly and bellowed, “I am Kunnar. What do you want?”

The girl choked in his grip and struggled to focus on his snarling visage. “What do you want?” he repeated, “Why are you following me?” He shook her again. “Answer me, wench!” He was amazed at the sight of the young girl. Her skin was a dark olive tone, and her eyes, well; her eyes were not round like they should be. ‘Truly,’ he thought to himself, ‘she is some kind of mutant. I cannot bring her home for sport like we normally do with female captives.’ Suddenly Kunnar grunted in surprise and pain as the girl sank her nails into the web between his thumb and forefinger and tried to pry open his grip. The pain made him loosen his hold on her neck and he went to grab her with his other hand. She squirmed in his arms, biting and clawing like a daemon. ‘Emperor!” thought Kunnar. ‘She is slipperier than a slimy sump rat!’ His other fist closed on empty air as she broke free of his grasp and dropped to the floor, running past him and out into the machine shop floor. Kunnar bellowed his rage. His hand was bleeding from her nails, and now she was gone, fleeing like a coward into the maze of the plant. His temple throbbed with unreasoning anger. He unstrapped his shotgun and charged through the door, his face a mask of hatred.

As he burst though the doorway, he saw movement in the corner of his eye and turned his head towards it, just in time to catch the blunt end of a metal rod directly across the bridge of his nose. His face exploded in agony and his vision blurred as his eyes watered. He dropped to his knees, one hand clutching his broken nose, the other swinging his shotgun like a club in the direction the attack had come. The barrel of the shotgun clanged against the wall of the plant and discharged a spray of buckshot. Then another blow connected with the back of his head, and his world went black.

Kunnar awoke sometime later in a pool of his own blood. He struggled to sit up and cried out in pain. Looking around for his shotgun, he saw the weapon that had beaten his head in lying next to him on the floor, four feet of threaded metal rod, nearly two inches in diameter. One end was red with his gore, and he saw pieces of his own scalp. He couldn’t see his own weapon, she must have taken it. His head was afire with agony, his nose and the back of his head where he had been struck, and also his ears. He raised his hands to the side of his head, and then roared in anger and dismay. His ears! She had also taken his ears!

_________________
Please go stand by the stairs so I can protect you.


Last edited by feeder on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:37 pm 
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4

The olive skinned girl with the black hair stood uncertainly for a moment at the top of the steps, a long bag slung over her shoulder. The music that came from the club below was fast and hypnotic. A tall woman by the door regarded her impassively. "Well, go on in if you're going in", she said, " Just don't cause trouble. I kill troublemakers." She then ignored the girl, folding her studded gauntlets over her leather clad chest. The olive skinned girl descended the dark stairs into the loud music of the club. The room was long, low and dark, lit with small photocells on the walls and coloured lights on the floor. The dancefloor was crowded with girls and young women dancing with joyful energy, and a low platform with tables and booths ran around it, making a long U shape. Near her, a table of cheering girls were watching a game of five finger fillet, and several other tables were full of women playing cards with a grim intensity. At the end of the room, a long table was pushed against the largest booth, making the area where the Blackhearts held court. Sitting up on the backrest of the booth with her boots on the table was "Buster" Kittie, the leader. Her face was lined beneath her makeup from years of hard desicions and countless firefights. Her long, dark hair was piled up on her head and pinned in place with wicked looking steel skewers, and she was dressed in the pink and black colours of the Blackhearts. She was flanked by two Sisters, each one sporting a huge mohawk, one dyed green, the other orange. A young woman was seated at the table, her long blue hair pulled into a ponytail. She was angrily carving something into the the tabletop with her knife.

The girl moved her way towards the Blackhearts, past the tables of card playing women. She could feel eyes on her as she passed each table. As she neared Kittie, a group of women stood up and barred her way. "What do you want with Mother?" the nearest one shouted over the music, grabbing her upper arm and squeezing it tightly. The young girl flinched and stammered, "I, uh, I..."

The music stopped suddenly and the room was quiet. "Sister!" Everyone turned to look at Kittie. "Let the girl approach, she can't be any threat to us. Come here, girl, why do you visit the Blackhearts?" Kittie fixed the olive skinned girl with a flat, hard stare as she walked forwards. She now noticed two autopistols on the table in front of the mohawked women. "I come before you, Ma'am, um, I want to run with the Blackhearts. I... I want to be a Sister, to be strong and free. I want to kill in your name and die for you if need be." She was quiet a moment, and when no one said anything, she added, "I have a Pledge..." She took the long bag off her shoulder and placed it on the table. The blue-haired woman didn't look up, and the girl could now see two letters carved into the table: LU.
"Give it here", said green mohawk. The girl obediently pushed the bag towards her. The bag was opened and a solid, well maintained shotgun was taken out, along with a small package wrapped with bloodstained paper. "Nice bangstick", said green mohawk, and she read the engraving on the stock," Pure blood, pure strength." Orange mohawk leaned forward and took the package. She unwrapped it and laughed. "Where did you take these, off some drunk full of 'Snake?" She tossed one of the ears to Kittie, who looked at it thoughtfully.
"No ma'am," said the girl, "from a Goliath, called himself 'Kunnar'."
Kittie looked at her, a slow smile spreading across her face. "Really. Kunnar. How interesting..."

Orange mohawk dropped the ear she was holding on the table and stared at the girl. "I'm Skate." she nodded at the woman with the green mohawk. "That's Scare. The grumpy (&#$@!) next to me is Pepper. You of course know Mother, what do they call you?"
The girl took a deep breath and looked back at Skate. "Ping. My name is Lu Ping."
Pepper suddenly stabbed her knife into the table and jumped up. "Lu!" she shouted, looking the girl in the face for the first time, "that's not your Corpse-damn name!" She looked into the girl's eyes. "You're a freak! A mutie freak! Mutie-freak, that's your damn name!" she pushed past her and stalked off. The girl stood there, shocked.
"Don't take Pepper personally", said Scare, "she's had a bad few days."
"Yeah," said Skate, "but you do need a name, and Mutie-freak is a little harsh, don't ya think.... don't ya think.... Squint?"
Scare laughed, and so did the women at the other tables. Kittie held up the shotgun, and the room went silent again.
"Well, Sisters," said Kittie, "with this excellent Pledge, we accept Squint here as a Probationary Member of the Blackhearts. In time, she can prove herself and be called a Sister. Until then, she is a little (&#$@!), you call her Squint! Now, music! Drinks! Dance!" The room cheered and the music started again. Kittie leaned over a shouted into Squint's ear. "Find Pepper. Make it up to her. You're her (&#$@!) now."

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Please go stand by the stairs so I can protect you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:53 pm 
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5

Kunnar roared and stepped over the twitching form of the Goliath initiate.
"Strength! Pain! Purity! This is Goliath!" He climbed out of the fighting pit and walked over to a bucket of water on a bench. He thrust has hands into it, rinsing off the blood then picked it up and dumped it over his head. He glared around the room at the other Goliaths and Initiates. "Back to work! Spar! Train! Do not stand and gape like old women!"

He dressed and walked out of the fighting room into the main hall. Millenia ago, this had been a warehouse for munitions before they were shipped off-world and was strongly built, with massive rockcrete walls rising to a vaulted ceiling. Twin rows of long trestle tables with benches ran the length of the room, and some thirty men were seated at the tables eating and talking. At the head was a large throne on a low dais, crudely fashioned from machine parts. Directly in front of the throne was the pit where the loading elevator once sat. The elevator was long gone, and the pit was now home to half a dozen Millasaurs and covered with a steel grid.

Kunnar walked to the seat at the head of the table nearest to the right of the throne and sat down. A female slave, naked except for a heavy chain that ran from a manacle on her ankle to a collar at her neck, limped over with a tray of meat and set it before him. She turned to leave, but Kunnar grabbed her chain and jerked her roughly to him. He spat on her and grabbed her breast painfully.
"Fetch faster, dog, or next time I won't be so nice!" He slapped her hard across the face and shoved her away. He turned his attention to the food in front of him and began eating.

The sounds of eating and talking quickly hushed when Gunbad entered the room. He walked slowly up the centre, looking hard at each man, and each man quickly dropped his gaze. At the head table, he stopped and took a piece of meat from Kunnar's plate. He tore a large bite off, then tossed the remainder into the Millasaur pit and chewed slowly, staring at Kunnar the entire time. At first Kunnar looked at his plate and pretended to eat, all the while feeling the heat rise on his cheeks and neck as he flushed. Finally he looked up and met his leader's eyes. "What is it?" he asked, "What?" His voice shook just the smallest bit as his said the last word.

"I've never seen a man with no ears in my crew before." said Gunbad, "None of my men have ever had the stupidity or the balls to come back. And now my right hand returns," his voice rising to a shout, "after he has been shorn... by a little girl!"
Kunnar dropped his food and looked back down. "There must have been a group," he said to his plate, "she must have been bait. No mere girl could best me, one of the pure brotherhood."
"You'd think so, wouldn't you?", replied Gunbad, "But information tells me that a solitary little girl with mutant eyes showed up at the Blackheart's hole three nights ago. Bought her way into those dogs with a fancy shotgun and a pair of ears. Your ears." He dropped his tone to a low growl. "Face it, boy, you got slapped, by a mutant little girl."
Kunnar leapt to his feet. "Impossible!" he shouted. "I am Goliath! Pure! Superior!"

"YOU ! ARE ! NOTHING !" Gunbad crossed the table in three long strides and seized Kunnar by the throat. "You are a disgrace and a failure! Your shame can only be cleansed with blood!" He grasped the Goliath medallion that hung from Kunnar's neck and then pushed him back a step, breaking the chain free.

"This is forfeit until you return with the head of that mutant, and the head of the mother (&#$@!) that she runs with." Gunbad turned and stepped onto the dais. "Go! NOW!"

_________________
Please go stand by the stairs so I can protect you.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Location: Hunting the Abyss Lord
6

Squint found Pepper in one corner of the Blackheart's darkened gymnasium. She was sitting with her arms on her knees and her head in her hands. Pepper raised her tear stained face when she heard footsteps, but quickly looked away when she saw who it was.
"Get lost, Freak", she said, "Leave me alone."
"I can't do that", said Squint. "Mother told me to find you. She said I'm with you now. You know, show me how the Blackhearts do it."
Pepper stared silently at the floor for a moment then uttered a short, sarcastic laugh.
"Great! Sure! Another kid, cut in half by my failure. Or my blindess, or both." She laid on her side and hugged her knees to her chest. "Seriously, kid, go away. I can't help you. I won't."

Squint leaned against the wall then slid down to sit a few feet away from Pepper.
"I am sorry, ma'am, but I won't just 'get lost'. My orders come from higher up. You'll just have to tell me what's going on."
Pepper was quiet for a long time. Finally she rolled onto her back and looked at Squint in the darkness.
"Corpse-damn it. Fine. But what did they nick you? Mutie-Freak didn't stick, did it?"
Squint showed a small smile. "No, ma'am. Squint." Pepper laughed, genuinely this time. Then, slowly at first, but with increasing speed until words and tears were falling like water, she told Squint about Lu.

7

Black eyes stared at the female man-thing beneath it. She was dirty and dressed in rags, and covered with the skin of one of the lower animals that infested this place. Two other man-things lay dead nearby, cut apart by its savage claws. It could feel the fear, the stink of the woman's terror as its iron grip pinned her to the slimy floor of the sump.

It liked the smell, the sharp edge of fear rising as it did its instinctual work, rising and building in intensity until the horror finally snapped and was replaced with the blank aquiesence that let it know its work was done. That was why it had drifted for centuries in the cold void of space, why it had burned with agonizing fire as it fell to this planet, and why it now crawled in the filth and the darkness. To drink the fear of the man-things that lived here.

It reached down with its rough hands and brought its captives face up to its own. It leaned in and did what it always did, what it had always done, and felt the terror rising, rising.

8

Kunnar walked quickly through the hab domes of the Goliath's territory. No one met his gaze, except for other gangers, and only then when they were well armed and in groups. After his exile from the Great Hall, he had gone to his living space and taken all his weapons: a heavy, brutal axe and the only shooter he owned, a simple slug pistol that had been his when he first was an Initiate. All his others he had sold to pay for the handsome and masterful shotgun that had been stolen from him.

He allowed himself a grim smile as two Initiates changed direction to avoid crossing his path. Exile or not, he was still feared. He stopped at one of the street stalls to buy some of the dried meat that passed for travel rations. The young vendor went red and spoke to the floor.
"I'm s-sorry, Kunnar s-sir, but G-Gunbad has forbidden s-s-selling anything to you. On p-pain of death." Kunnar growled his displeasure. He reached up to the display of meats hanging from hooks and tore them all off in one angry gesture. He stuffed them in his bag then threw some money at the vendor and laughed.
"Looks like you s-s-sold something anyway!", he said sarcastically. "S-s-see ya round." He turned and walked out of the hab domes, through the tangled paths and walkways of the Underhive, each turn going deeper and deeper until he entered the darkness of the Outlands.

_________________
Please go stand by the stairs so I can protect you.


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