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Snippets...

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:28 am 
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Hey everyone,

In accordance with my lingering Six dozen in 31 days... project log, I've started to develop a narrative for the upcoming meetup for 1 August.

Here's a bit of an introduction, any comments or proofreading is appreciated:



It was dark this far into the underhive.

It was the sort of dark that seemed to loom up into the light and threaten to swallow everything forever.

It was the sort of dark that blinded you and turned every hissing pipe and squeaking rat into a massive abomination standing over your shoulder, ready to drag you into the inky black nothing.

It was the sort of dark that you wouldn’t enter unless you knew it was worth it, and even then, all but the bravest (or most foolish) would still hesitate while taking the first step into the unknown.

It was dark like a nightmare, and at that moment Karl Torgus was dearly wishing he could wake up. His bald scalp was slick with nervous sweat, and his long coat seemed to cling uncomfortably and snag on virtually every bit of protruding debris and detritus in the dank, echoing access tunnel. Karl had long ago removed his glare goggles, stowing them in one of a score of pockets, but even without their filtration, his sensitive eyes had been blind in this unnatural blackness. The damned hissing was ever-present, grating at Karl’s already frayed nerves. If they didn’t find it soon-

“Frag!”

Crack! KWHUMP!

Immediately Karl spun and dropped to one knee, his pistol aimed in a shaky hand, the sleek grip of his stiletto blade held tightly in his other fist. Straining his eyes against the darkness, the Delaque veteran felt the edges of panic creeping into his gut. He cursed under his breath and breathed deeply, the musty air flooding his lungs with a slight metallic sting. A hooded red electric lamp illuminated the tunnel, revealing the crumpled form of Franco amongst the old wiring and scraps of concrete. The ganger groaned and shoved himself to his feet. His nose was bloodied, but the worst of his injuries was probably the one to his dignity. In the Delaque house, such a blunder would not be forgotten for quite some time.

“Karl! Steady.”

Karl blinked, lowering his sidearm as the powerful voice of Darius “Death Dealer” Bailer cut through the still air. The leader of the Creeping Death, Darius had been sending out search parties into these tunnels for the past fourteen cycles, all with little success. The old Delaque had been intensely driven since his vast information network had returned the rumors of an incredibly old and vast dome. An old trader had staggered into a fringe settlement, bleeding from dozens of wounds and injuries, delirious and raving about vast riches and incredible horrors. With his last breath, he had provided one of Darius’s contacts with one name.

One name.

It took only two cycles for Darius to narrow the search for the dome into this long-abandoned ventilation junction. After so many parties had ventured out and returned without any luck, the Death Dealer’s patience had worn thin, and this time he had chosen to lead the group himself.

Darius moved silently up the line to face Karl.

“The shadows are not to be feared, Karl. You know this.”

“Darius, these are not mere shadows.”

“I will not hear it, Karl.” Darius voice had been only marginally raised, but Karl recognized his leader’s rising anger. “You’re acting like a scrabbling juve. Get back on point.”

For a moment, the hissing was the only sound in the tunnel. Karl’s temper flared briefly at the insult, but he sheathed his blade and resumed his position at the head of the column. Karl took a moment to glance back at the Death Dealer. Darius’s narrowed white eyes met Karl’s, his impatience clearly visible. Karl started back into the tunnel, but almost immediately he stopped again

The hissing was much louder.

He looked back. The Death Dealer, one of the most cunning and feared Delaque gangers in the sector, was frozen in his steps. His face showed absolute terror, his jaw slackly struggling to form words and failing utterly.

Karl turned once more into the dark. The hissing was so loud it filled the air completely, and only then did Karl realize the sound was not from some ancient air-circulation system.

It was the sound of breathing.

Two sickly blue eyes flashed in the dark, moving faster than anything Karl had ever seen in his life. Karl’s laspistol fired once. Twice.

Karl looked down and realized the pistol was lying on the floor. His hand still firmly clasped the grip.

Karl tried to call out a warning to Franco and Darius, but no sound passed his lips.

He was suddenly staring up at the ceiling. Someone fell on him. On the body, a familiar tattoo flashed in front of Karl’s eyes, a snake and dagger. It was a gang-blooding tattoo, but that was impossible, nobody had one exactly like his…

Karl realized what had happened. He watched the light begin to fade, and heard another sound above the hissing.


Darius screamed once.


Then it was dark.



Karl knew he wasn’t going to wake up.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:48 am 
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Hmmm...continue please i|

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:05 am 
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Working up some more.

Just teasers for now, but this plot has been brewing in my head for literally half a year. I hope I can deliver it as I imagine it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:45 pm 
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Alright! I've finished up another 2 Cawdor, just 2 left. I've also got a new bit of story to tell!

Here you go KRUG, ask and receive!



“Dead Hand” Jerbus raised the barrel of the autopistol and regarded the cooling body of the Enforcer sprawled in front of him. He glanced over his shoulder towards the sound of approaching footsteps. Froedrick “Frag-head” Dreggz drew up alongside the grizzled Van Saar, breathing a bit heavily from the sudden exertion.

“That bleedin’ fragger took nearly a whol’bleedin’mag to put down, eh, Dead’And? Eh?”

Jerbus didn’t answer, his hunger-lean frame still tense from the firefight. His pulse still raged, his heart pounding like artillery fire. He slid his well-used autopistol into a battered shoulder holster, and adjusted the collar of his decades-old bodysuit. Sump-scummin’ thing never fit right, he thought. His gaze settled upon the immaculate, gleaming standard-issue combat shotgun still firmly grasped by the Enforcer’s gauntleted hand.

“Aye, Dead’And, that’d be a fine trophy there, ain’t it, eh? Eh, Dead’And?”

“Sod the bleeding trophy, Frag-head.” growled Jerbus, “I need that hardware fully functional if I am to survive long enough to find the hoard.”

“Dead Hand” opened a pocket at his hip and pulled out a tangle of wiring, circuitry, and croc-clips. Kneeling beside the Enforcer’s corpse, the grizzled Van Saar wrenched the helm off the dead man’s head, grunting with satisfaction as the lawman’s skull cracked the concrete. The Van Saar ganger popped open an access panel within the helmet and attached a half-dozen croc-clips to the exposed contact points.

Connecting the other clips to a keypad on the circuitcard, Jerbus started tapping out code-patterns. Listening to the tone-responses on the keypad, he gradually noticed “Frag-Head” leaning over his shoulder, foul breath seeping into the air. “Dead Hand” absently drove his elbow into the smaller man’s gut, wincing at the positively disgusting belch that issued forth from Froedrick’s slack lips.

“Oi, sorry, sorry!” mumbled Froedrick, rubbing his belly and deliberately taking a pace back from the old Van Saar. Jerbus returned his attention to the keypad and once more began seeking the elusive passcode. Gently biting his lip with concentration, Jerbus felt a single bead of sweat begin to roll down the nape of his neck, itching fiercely, at that moment more distracting than the sound of a belt-fed stubber fired on full-auto, forcing “Dead Hand” to focus all his conscious effort towards ignoring the sensation. One missed tone and it was all for naught, the gear ruined and fused into a beautifully-machined piece of scrap by the internal machine-spirits -

Bleeeeeeeep!

The keypad’s display flashed green. Jerbus heard the shotgun’s internal fuses click into active mode. He quickly and deftly removed the croc-clips and carefully wound the connecting wires back into a tidy bundle. Only after the “Krakker” was secure in his hip pocket once again did “Dead Hand” Jerbus reach down to pull the shotgun from its former owner’s dead grip. The Enforcer’s hands had reflexively tightened around the pistol grip, and Jerbus had to reach in and uncurl the gloved fingers from the gun. He worked from the pinky up towards the trigger finger, one digit at a time, until the gun was almost loose, just one more…

“’Ey there Dead’And! Well done there, ain’t it!”
Jerbus’s hand twitched in surprise, and jostled the dead finger against the trigger of the lawman’s gun.

BOOOOM!

Across the dome, a rather overweight sump rat ceased to be in a rather spectacular display of blood and bits of fur. The gunshot echoed in the air for several seconds.

Froedrick found himself staring down the shining bore of the combat shotgun. Behind the weapon, Jerbus’s face was a mask of fury.

“You bleeding, scum-sucking, utter moron! Tell me ‘Frag-head,’ what in the Spire might convince me not to send you to join that fragging rat!?” snarled the Van Saar.

“Er, Jerbus, that is, you ain’t –” Froedrick swallowed nervously, sweat rolling down his face. “I mean, ya can’t pass the Collapse wit’out knowin’ me route! Aw, pleeease, Jerb, I ain’t meant to scare ya, ‘onest I ain’t, ‘Dead’And.”

Jerbus’s face remained constricted with anger for a second more, then Froedrick was stunned as his boss started to laugh.

“A-haw haw haw! Aw, frag me, Froedrick! If you’d seen your face just now, I swear…” Jerbus wiped a tear from his face as he slung the brand-new gun over his shoulder. “Sorry, “Frag-head,” I just couldn’t help it.”

“Wha? You… you were just puttin’ me on, Jerb?” Froedrick’s face flushed red. “Shoulda’ known, eh? You’d never hurt yer ol’ ‘Frag-‘ead,’ wouldja, Jerb?”

“Dead Hand” turned and resumed his path into the dome without answering. Froedrick scrambled to follow, and was startled as Jerbus tossed something back over his shoulder. He snatched the projectile from the air and found himself clutching a sparkling-new laspistol in an Enforcer-style holster and belt. Beaming with childish glee, Froedrick unwrapped the holster and buckled the gun belt around his waist before jogging to catch up.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:18 am 
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A good read, please continue with the Delaques 8-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:19 am 
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I suppose I could, most of that gang's been taken out, but my upcoming opponent is fielding some of the bald ones, so it's probably not far off!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Some more for you kind folks, just some rules-related fluff from the latest campaign brainstorming session.



“Killswitch” Gudmann limped painfully down the darkened access tunnel leading out to the dome floor, his hand clasped across his gut, wheezing slightly as he went. Behind him the shouts and jeers of the other Goliaths faded, but Gudmann still felt the sting of the insults that chased him through the tunnel, and the face of Horgan “Bossman” Dolan.

He’d been so close to finishing off the boss that he could practically taste it, the knife raised high in both hands, ready to land the killing blow, when suddenly the old man’s shoulder had impossibly slid out of socket and before he could react, Killswitch had found himself gasping for air after taking a quick jab to the throat. After he wrenched his dislocated shoulder back into place, Bossman had worked him over worse than ever before. It had been a worse beating than his juve-blooding, and Bossman finished the fight with several brutal kicks to Killswitch’s gut. It had all gone down the sump, he’d blown it, and he was good as dead –

But Bossman had had other plans. He had torn Killswitch’s gang flag from his belt and burned it, the proud red cloth quickly blackening in the flame and turning to ash, but that wasn’t the worst. Bossman had removed the magazine from Gudmann’s old autogun and thrown the weapon down in the dirt next to the bleeding, breathless Goliath, and said just two words.

“Yer gone.”

The noise of the cheering and shouting men had been deafening, and Killswitch hadn’t been able to find a single friendly face amongst his former friends as he turned to leave the pit.

“Killswitch” Gudmann breathed deep, embracing the red-hot pain that shot through his body.

“Frag the old man, and alla’dem stupid runts wot ‘e calls a gang.” he said quietly, the words echoing in the old passageway. “Still creds to be made in this sump-rottin’ hole, innit. More for me if I ain’t got to share it out wit’ all them others.”

Walking tall now, Gudmann continued out into the dome, heading for the bar out at the gateway. He’d get another shot at “Bossman” Dolan, but first it was time to see if there were any gangs looking for another experienced gun.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:47 pm 
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Woo, it's been a while.

Hope this makes up for it, a little bit anyway.

+++

Once again, the old algae farmer Kieran Gaffer emerged from the sump access on the outskirts of his homestead, a waterproof ratskin sack slung over his shoulder. The sack was heavy with algae scrapings from the pools below the dome floor, scrapings that old Kieran used to seed his massive vats at the beginning of the season each yearly cycle. The old man was deep in thought as he trudged along between the huge plasteel vessels.

His journey to the underground pools had been quite routine, although the occasional wildlife that invariably crossed his path in years past had been curiously absent this time around. Kieran’s laspistol still carried a full charge, and now Kieran thought about it, he realized that he’d never even drawn the years-old weapon from its battered holster the entire time he was below. It was as if something had chased off all the beasts and creatures that lived in the depths below his farm.

Kieran frowned as he continued towards his old hab-unit, his steps echoing slightly in the deep quiet of the vat-yard. Suddenly there came a sort of scraping sound, as if someone were pulling a pack along the ground, or dragging their feet in the dirt. The sound echoed off the rows of vats, and Kieran moved slowly amongst the tanks to try and pinpoint its source. The scraping came again, to Kieran’s left, just beyond the edge of the vat-field. Kieran set the algae sack on the ground and reached down to the holster on his belt, sliding the old laspistol clear of the leather.

Kieran stepped out from between his vats, pointing the pistol out in front of him, and found himself staring at a staggering Ratskin. The man looked to be immensely drunk, which came as little surprise to the rancher; Ratskins were hardly known for their restraint when it came to the ol’ Wildsnake.

The old rancher harrumphed, clearing his throat to attract the drunk’s attention. The Ratskin slowly turned to face Kieran, who remained holding the pistol steady in a firing brace. Kieran had to laugh as the Ratskin began to stagger towards him. The man was barely standing, his skin was sickly pale even for an underhiver, and he smelled awful – odds are he’d been on a binge for at least a couple of days. Kieran took a step back.

“That’ll do there, son. I’d suggest you move on and sleep it off somewhere else.” The Ratskin kept coming, unsteady feet dragging through the ash dust. “I mean it. I’ll put a las-bolt through yer knee, son, don’t test me.”

The Ratskin staggered forward and his mouth dropped open. A sickly moan issued from the man’s mouth, and he reached forward, one hand clutching at the old rancher.

“Dammit, son, I don’t wanna shoot ya. Back off, now!” The drunken Ratskin again ignored Kieran’s order, trudging ever closer. Kiran stepped back, dropped the barrel of the pistol to the Ratskin’s leg, and pulled the trigger. A brilliant bolt of las-fire spat from the weapon, and punched through the Ratskin’s knee with such great force that the drunk fell on his face in the dirt.

The wounded man’s trademark rat-skin cloak snagged on a bolt as the man crumpled on the dome floor, pulling it away from his torso. Only then could Kieran see that the Ratskin’s back had been torn to shreds, the muscle exposed and ragged, and the ribs and spine showing through in several places. Kieran stood frozen with fear for just a moment, morbidly entranced by the man’s gruesome wounds – wounds that had killed the Ratskin long ago. The Ratskin groaned. Kieran’s paralysis broke and the old rancher moved forward, placing the laspistol’s barrel to the base of the dead man’s skull.

Again the sound of the single lasbolt washed across the dome. The Ratskin stopped moving. Kieran grabbed up the sack from the dust of the floor. As he threw the sack over his shoulder, he heard a ghostly chorus of groans echo amongst the tanks, and the sound of feet shuffling through the dust.

Cold hands clasped Kieran’s shoulder.

A flash of light and the snap-crack sound of lasfire shattered the still air of the dome. Then silence.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:45 am 
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Oooh, I enjoyed the tale of Kieran Gaffer very much.
Go zombie Ratskins! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:40 am 
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Thanks KRUG, we just brought "Zach" into the campaign, one of my Cawdor got turned, so now the Nex Manus Imperator are honor-bound to put their former comrade to rest (no actual campaign impact, just a personal goal).

I'll try to keep producing as the campaign progresses, but if you want more, be sure to check the blog (bottom line of my sig).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:48 am 
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I've been stalking...er watching your blog....looks great so far.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:50 am 
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Yeah I need to get the latest report up. It'll be the last one for a couple weeks, so I'm planning to post up some background stuff and another Enforcer Blotter soon.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:51 am 
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Very kool...I manged to play two games of Necro this weekend but failed to take pics or right any reports...
Looking forward to reading more stuff.

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