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Hivequake [Chapter 23]

 Post subject: Hivequake [Chapter 23]
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:06 am 
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Location: Somewhere on the fringe of the Hive
They should have seen it coming. A month back it had rained for six days straight. Not just a light drizzle from a factory flushing its storage tanks somewhere above, No this was a torrential downpour.

The effluent rain drenched everything, and everyone, as it cascaded down from the Hive City factories somewhere above, and continued on to the depths below the Bifrost. In its wake slime coated everything, even things not directly in its path. The simple accumulation of condensation from the increased humidity made sure of that. There was more.

For the past three days reports from the habs just below the Bifrost showed an increase in Ripper Jacks, giant rats, and even a few large spiders moving into the area. When Chigger started to blast away with his shotgun at a scurrying rodent, right in the middle of ‘Happy Hour’, Ian new something wasn’t right. He just couldn’t put his finger on it. Then, six hours ago, the streets had gotten eerily quiet. There was no movement other than the occasional human. That was until three minutes ago.

For the past three minutes the entire hive felt like it was going to collapse right on top of their heads. The Bifrost swayed violently, and the crash of dishes and bottles of Wildsnake in the drinking hall could be heard all the way down into the “Steel Spider’s” lair.

Ian managed to get himself up on his hands and knees, and not knowing what else to do he quickly crawled underneath his long workbench along the back wall of his sickbay/hab-room, if for no other reason than to have something over his head that would protect him from all the dust falling from the ceiling. Amber was already there, her eyes open wide.

When the hive finally decided to stop shaking the two lovers crawled out from under their shelter to asses the damage. Tables had overturned, a few medical supplies had been spilled, but for the most part their little corner of the hive was intact.

“Is everyone OK?” Dyrke called from down the hall.

Ian could hear a few acknowledgements coming from the other “Spiders”, to which he added his own. Looking around the room, it was a mess, but there was no permanent damage.

“What the hell happened,” Ian said out loud.

Amber stared at him for a moment before replying. “Haven’t you ever experienced a hive quake before?”

“No,” Ian said as he picked up an overturned table. “How often does that happen?”

Amber thought about her reply as she continued to pick up the debris. “Often enough that you should know what it is.”

The rest of the time the two cleaned up in silence.

-=-=-=0=-=-=-

Within the darkness it felt the rumbling and sensed the import of the omen. Slowly it began to move. It had to know for sure. For over a century its mind dealt with the never ending torment. Now there was a chance that it would be able to feed once again.

-=-=-=0=-=-=-

Gorit stood back up and shook the dust off of his muscle bound body. His Goliath gang, the ‘Iron Mandibles’, had been down kicking in some heads at their mine when the hive quake had struck. When Scar told him to sit tight he had complained, after all he could do with a little recreation too. But now he couldn’t see where the entrance to mine used to be. As he reached out to start digging a large hole off to his right caught his attention out of the corner of his eye.

Funny, I thought that shaft was over this way,” Gorit thought to himself.

As Gorit entered into the tunnel a cool breeze met his face. It was almost as if the hive itself was letting out a deep breath after holding it in for too long. The air was stale and constant, with a slight haze of dust.

Working his way deeper into the tunnel he realized that this was not the mine shaft he was looking for, rather it was an old rail line tunnel. Although the tunnel was pinched and partially collapsed in many places, there was ample room to maneuver.

After working his way over, under, around, and through the maze for over an hour it finally opened up into a huge dome. There was enough light from far off sources that Gorit could tell – this was the find of his life!

He returned to the entrance as fast as he could and without continuing the search for his missing companions, Gorit made a bee-line for the nearest settlement that was not a Goliath stronghold. He wanted to keep the profits of his new claim to himself.

-=-=-=0=-=-=-

It reminded itself to be patient. The flesh thing had gotten away before it could claim its prize. But it had waited for so long, and the stench of the thing filled its nostrils. Its patience was not strong.

The omen was true. The way was open. It would gather the others. Once they were all together, then they could move on and feed once more.

-=-=-=0=-=-=-

The group of Guilders had met in a hurry, so certain protocols had been bypassed. If the news was true an important opportunity presented itself. This was one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals, and none of these men wanted to miss out on it.

“This is truly an important discovery,” said the largest of the five. “We must move on this information now!” The others quickly nodded their agreement. “The problem is always in the details. How do we get our respective feet in the door? Before these parasites infest everything that is.”

The men quieted down as they each ran through various scenarios in their minds. A few times one of the men would look up, the others would look towards him, and then he would go back to his own thoughts without saying a word. This went on for several minutes. Finally the first man spoke up.

“I think I have an idea. We shall each ‘leak’ tidbits of this information, and also encourage our various contacts to move on it. Allow them to through their resources into the breach, so to speak, and then as they have subdued the area we can move in and set up our respective shops. For a cut of the profits of course.”

“Of course,” several of the others agreed. “But what of this ‘Gorit’? a small Guilder from the back asked, causing the other four to look around and down at him.

“That’s simple,” the first Guilder responded. “We will send him back first, in order to stake his claim we’ll tell him – maybe even hire a few scum as ‘bodyguards’ for protection.” The others chuckled at that last statement. “Who knows, maybe that little problem will take care of itself. If not, we will make… further adjustments down the road.”

-=-=-=0=-=-=-

The scent of the living filled its nostrils once more. It was true. After waiting for so long, it would finally be able to satisfy the ravenous hunger that had filled it every moment for over a century.

_________________
"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up pursuit." ----- Thomas Jacskon


Last edited by s4G on Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:25 am 
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excellent

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:43 pm 
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Okay, now I'm really worried.

What sort of hideous monstrosity could lurk buried for over a century, without any source of food?

<scared>

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"Metal is better than meat." - Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:29 am 
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Location: Somewhere on the fringe of the Hive
cykotek wrote:
Okay, now I'm really worried.

What sort of hideous monstrosity could lurk buried for over a century, without any source of food?

<scared>


Stay tuned 8-)

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"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up pursuit." ----- Thomas Jacskon


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