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    53 KB A Guide to Heinlein: Part 2 Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:50 No.11841933  
    Continuing the story from last night Gentlebeings. I would direct your attention to where we left off last night, however in retrospect a bit of editing was required to make the burning building scene a bit better, and because of that I'm going to back up a bit and repost the edited section.

    The beginning of our story can be located at
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:51 No.11841941
    The roof of the block smoked and burned as fire burned through the supposedly flame proof rockcrete. Flames licked from most if not all of the individual hab windows as the seven story hivehab burned. Through the smoke and flames strode one man walking from hab to hab searching for one particular person. His movements were quick and catlike as he carefully picked his way through the burning rooms.

    Up the final flight of stairs he stalked, his S.L.A.M. rifle sweeping before him searching for targets. As he reached the door opposite the stairs he paused, then with quick movements he kicked the door of the room inwards and strode through.

    Jakob Resnick turned from the window he was desperately trying to pry open and stared at the black sheathed form before him. William Richardson pivoted slightly to bring the barrel of the rifle to bear on the man before him. Resnick moved as fast as a striking snake, his hand whipping to the small of his back and emerging with a snub nosed caseless slugger.

    William feathered the trigger three times before Resnick had finished clearing his holster. The first round caught Resnick in the left hip the shot destroyed his pelvis and shattered his hip before finally coming to stop in the wall behind him. The second round pulped his chest, rupturing his lungs and blowing his mangled spine onto the wall and floor. The third and final shot entered right above the bridge of the nose and blew his head apart.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:52 No.11841953
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    Moments later William turned and entered the first of the top level habs. Four more hab doors were opened by the kick of his boot, each door revealing a set of rooms empty of inhabitants. Finally he returned to the stairs and returned the way he had come. Down the flight of stairs he strode, ignoring the flames that licked around his lanky body. He knew that the thermite he had placed was burning hot enough to cause the structural integrity of the hivehab to eventually liquefy; however his black body sheath would protect him from the worst of the heat as long as he made it out fast enough.

    He paused once at the top of the final flight of stairs and stared out the building entrance at the crowd gathered across the street from the building. Fire workers, medicos, emergency transports, security contract agents, reporters and onlookers surrounded the building as it burned, and for a moment he stared, perhaps judging those who battled the flames.

    With a snort he made it down the final flight of stairs and walked to the entrance, the rifle held in his hand barking with each step. The Self Loading Automatic Mag rifle fired teardrop sized magnetic metal slugs down paired polarized rails and out the end of the barrel at the people standing outside.

    There a man holding a hose spewing flame retardant foam fell clutching the stump of his leg, here a reporter dropped silently with her chest cavity smashed into smoking ruin. Screams abounded as the man strode forth from the smoky hell that was the burning building, his rifle clutched in his hands.

    The polymer slide set into the top of the rifle slammed rearward, the empty plastic cylinder it held popping free and tumbling to the ground to join dozens of its fellows as the man walked on. Right and left he swept his rifle sending emergency workers, reporters, and onlookers falling to the ground or seeking cover.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:54 No.11841957
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    With nary a pause he stepped over the body of local firefighting hero Tory Glurk. The stare on his face utterly lacked emotion. His movements were methodical and precise as he calmly walked from the scene of devastation. His rifle roared again and again as people scrambled for cover, for concealment, or simply ran for their lives. High velocity metal slugs slammed through vehicles seeking those cowering behind them for cover. Finally, after making his way more than half the distance down the road the man turned and sprinted down an alley and to a waiting Per-Tran.
    Later surviving witnesses descriptions of this man varied from person to person. Some thought him tall, some thought him short. Some described him as dark, light, fat, skinny, and all aspects in between. The camera footage that was recorded by Silas Kenton captured his face however.
    The man stood somewhat over six feet and was not terribly imposing. His black body sheath reflected the flames and flickered in time with the flames as its computer matrix attempted to match the pattern of the fire.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:55 No.11841970
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    His hair was cropped short, in an almost military cut, and his face was clean shaven. Few distinguishing features were visible as he strode from the home.

    The most apt witness report simply said “He looks like the Devil with a rifle.”

    For weeks after this incident news reports would decry the violence inherent in the Heinlein founding documents, the public outcry that was for better security, greater personal safety, and for fire workers to carry guns on their person.

    Nobody would mention the name William Richardson, and after the footage of the stone face killer was shown on various news outlets for the first time, it was never shown again.

    Alexander Vandercamp made certain of that.

    The building that burned to the ground became an eventual memorial to those men and women who fell on those grounds. People would remember this house in years hence in hushed and reverent tones. Tears would be shed, and people would wonder angrily how the merciless killer managed to escape.

    People would wonder why he had chosen this building for his rampage and when or if he would return.
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)04:56 No.11841972
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:56 No.11841973
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    Without a name for him, or even a proper description of the killer various security organizations would eventually refer to him by one of a multitude of nicknames. None of them were nicknames he was normally known by, but the new names were unique nonetheless. The names did not matter, as it was only referred to locally. The Tulkus Firm and other security firms with various names had another name for him. They called him William Richardson.
    Alexander Vandercamp and those who knew him called him Corporal.
    The Tulkus Firm had thought he was dead in on Castor years earlier. They considered him a terrorist, a nightmare killer of women and children.
    Those who knew him called him a mercenary. He was a killer without compunction, without thought, without mercy. He killed for money, because he was good at it, and because he liked it.
    The saying goes, when you have walked to long in darkness, it stains you. William Richardson embodies that stain.
    The hivehab that contained the body of Jakob Resnick and twenty seven other men, women, and children burned to the ground regardless.

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)04:58 No.11841984
    That is the edited section that replaces the final bit that was posted last night. The next section begins the new parts, and while some of it is done, other bits are being worked on and will be posted as I finish them.

    As mentioned before, this thead is a continuation of last night's thread and will continue until I give up the ghost for the night and go to bed, after which I will get up after sleeping, spend some time with my wife, run some errands, eat some thing, and then return to work on this.

    Previous thread located at...
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:01 No.11841992
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    Nate watched the vid screen set opposite his bed in abject horror. He watched as the killer he had paid for slaughtered innocents. Tears flowed from his eyes unnoticed as the metal teardrops slew the men who had come to stop the fire that William had obviously set inside the building. He listened but did not hear the news casters talk of the the running molten ferrocrete destroying buildings to either side of it.

    Eventually he stopped the vid screen from playing and sat silently in the darkened room.

    When Tansi walked in two hours later he was still seated on the bed in the same position.

    “Nate?” she asked as she gently shook his shoulder. “Honey are you alright?”

    The only reply she received was his body collapsing over onto the bed as Nate shed tears that he could not explain to her. She lay beside him and gently held him in her arms as his body was wracked with sobs.

    After a short while, the tears finally slowed enough for her to understand what Nate was trying to tell her. At first her ears could not accept what she was told. She had heard the news of the terrorist maniac destroying half of a hab block and butchering the brave men and women who had tried to stop so much destruction, but what she heard coming from Nate shocked her to her core.

    “You paid that maniac because he wrecked your Per-Tran?”

    Nate nodded slowly at the question, and Tansi pushed herself from the bed and away from Nate.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:03 No.11842001
    “But he killed all those people!”
    “Don't you think I know that? It's all my fault... everything is my fault...” When Nate spoke finally, his voice cracked with emotion. The tears still flowed freely down his face as he futilely brushed the back of his hands across his face. “I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt...”
    “Well those people are a lot past HURT Nate! What were you thinking; paying someone to actually KILL someone? Why didn't you just use your Tulkus contract?” Tansi's voice started somewhere around polar ice and somehow managed to become even colder to Nate's ears as she talked.
    “They wouldn't help, they were bound by his contract, just like mine. They couldn't help even if they wanted to, and from what they said, it didn't see, like they wanted to even try so... I commed every company that I could think of and none of them would even talk to me!”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:04 No.11842005
    Tansi sat down carefully on the far edge of the bed across from Nate.

    “Nate, you have to listen to me now. This isn't the kind of thing that you can get a free pass on. You can't just pay your way out of this trouble, lots of people are dead and it's your fault!”

    She stared into the tear streaked face of the man who had slowly worked his way into her heart and was disgusted by what stared back at her. This crying sniveling wretch before her wasn't anywhere even close to the man she had thought he would be.

    “You have to notify Tulkus. Turn yourself in before they find out it was your fault. Maybe if you explain this to them, and don't leave anything out, maybe you will be able to live through this. You may be sent to one of the surface colonies, but at least you would be alive!”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:05 No.11842006
    Nate cringed at the mention of the surface colonies. For someone who had spent their entire life living in the comforting enclosed space of Heinlein's interior habs, the thought of the punishment colonies on the surface terrified him even more than the deaths he had unknowingly inflicted on so many. Those condemned to living on the surface colonies lived and died inside the noxious twilight rim between the two polar extremes of the planet. Their lives were short and their work was dangerous, as they worked maintaining the thermal pipes that provided the energy to Heinleins hab cities. Those few wretches who worked at the few shuttle pads where cargo would arrive from ships that arrived in the Heinlein system occasionally found their way off planet to try starting new lives for themselves, but a close watch was held to ensure that didn't happen to very often.

    And when it did occur more often than not the various firms would send rapid reaction and extraction teams to locate the escapee and bring them back.

    Life expectancy of a returned escapee was almost as short as the extinct rock worms that had once carved many of the original hab caves into Heinlein's crust.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:06 No.11842009
    “But I can't!” Nate shook his head, “It's not my fault that he did that! I didn't pay Vandercamp for him to do something like this!”

    Tansi stared across at Nate; disgust etched onto her pretty face.

    “If you don't, then I will Nate. I'm going to get my things and move them back into my old hab, if you haven't commed them by the time I get back, I will.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:15 No.11842047
    Chapter Five

    Upon shuttling down to the planet Heinlein, one should remember that the exterior landing facilities of the three major ports are not nearly as rough and tumble as they first appear. Certainly the majority of workers in these facilities are condemned criminals working on their debts to the law enforcement firms, but a large number of non-criminal workers from all over human space also live and work in these ports.

    Indeed, in these three sprawling communities one can sample Alhena pseudo-dolphin, cloned Castorian tree-walker, or even Terran beef.

    Those workers who both import and export the vast majority of supplies that Heinlein consumed and produces have brought with them all manner of interesting cuisine and culture from their individual home worlds. It is not uncommon to see a dock worker from Procyon haggling with a merchant from Phecda; to hear someone speaking with the lilting accent of Alderamin conversing with another with the harsh clipped words of Vega.

    It is the very freedom of choice that Heinlein represents that not only allows, but cultivates such diversity. Indeed above all other colonies and systems in known space, it is only on Heinlein that such a cultural melting pot exists.

    *Excerpt from Visiting Humanity in the Stars, Brinkley Publishing, Heinlein, 2620 edition.
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)05:22 No.11842092
    Is anyone archiving this? i want to be able to save this to my computer for later reading, the story is quite good
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:22 No.11842093
    * * *

    The door of Nate's hab hive closed behind Tansi with an ominously quiet click. How long he lay upon the bed in the hab he didn't know, his mind was jumbled and racing; thoughts such as how he could escape or pay his way out of the situation flew through his head as he tried to reason with himself that there was a way out of it.

    The buzzing chime in his ear finally managed to lend some focus to his thoughts.
    “Answer.” Nate said, his mind still to jumbled for him to subvocalize, or even think about checking to see who it was that was comming him. The voice on the other side of the line when it spoke was not one he wanted to hear.

    “Mr. Hawkins, I do believe that you now owe me the rest of our agreed upon fee.” the voice of Alexander Vandercamp said. “As per our agreement, half up front, and half upon completion along with all compounded interest. I can expect your full cooperation on this matter, yes?”

    Nate shot out of bed faster than an electrical arc. His voice when he spoke his reply wasn't his typical soft speech, it was much more of a bellow.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:23 No.11842099

    The old one is archived, the new one isn't yet.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:24 No.11842104

    “Now now Mr. Hawkins.” Alexander said.”You did indeed ask me to make certain that Mr. Resnick was removed permanently did you not? That is exactly what happened is it not? You knew the type of person that Mr. Resnick was, indeed you know what he was capable of intimately. We both know that occasionally situations can slip out of control, and indeed, this situation did just that; but the result is still the same. Jakob Resnick will not trouble you ever again, nor indeed will he trouble anyone at all.”

    “But all those people are dead! Fire workers, news casters, CHILDREN!”

    “Collateral damage Mr. Hawkins. Occasionally bad things happen to people who happen to be in the wrong place at the worst of times. People who willingly work in dangerous situations in a noble attempt to save others frequently bear the worst of it. Sadly, these things happen. Regardless Mr. Hawkins, as I have previously stated, you owe me a great deal of money as, I believe we can both agree; the situation you contracted me to take care of was indeed resolved.”

    Nate shook his head violently.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:26 No.11842118
    “Someone is going to find out about this!”

    On the other end of the com line Alexander chuckled softly.

    “How would they find out Mr. Hawkins? I am not going to be speaking with anyone regarding this and I have utter faith on William's discretion regarding what has happened. Leaving any possible breaches of faith only possible from your actions or deeds, and Mr. Hawkins; you did see what happened on the news casts and you spoke with William."

    Alexander paused before he continued talking.

    "Does he strike you as the type of person who would accept any breach of confidentiality on your part?”

    “But I already told Tansi about what happened!”

    Silence slammed down on the other end of the com for a moment that seemed to stretch as long as a lifetime.

    “That would be Tansi Budarin I believe Mr. Hawkins?”

    “Well... yes... but she's right! Something like this... someone... someone has to say something, I can pay reparations...”

    The silence that followed only lasted a moment before Alexander spoke once more.

    “Mr. Hawkins, what type of reparations do you exactly believe would be acceptable in a situation such as this? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who had lost family at this regrettable incident. Would you accept some mere stipend in an effort to repay you for the demise of your loved one? Or would you indeed seek some form of punishment more... base?”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:28 No.11842126

    “Exactly Mr. Hawkins, we know exactly how you would act. Your self importance made you seek out and willingly pay for, and let us not mince words, a murder simply because your person and home were violated. Do you think that someone who's very family has suffered because of your actions would do any less?”

    “...no” Nate spoke softly as he cast his eyes around the room, they were coming for him, he knew it. Those angry families were going to find him, and he knew that they weren't going to let him go simply because he didn't mean for anyone else to die. In his minds eye he could already see faceless people stalking towards him holding laser scalpels and mag cutters. His entire body shivered as he tried hopelessly to drive the picture away.

    “Indeed Mr. Hawkins. Now, what did Ms. Budarin say when you told her about this?”

    “That if I didn't report it, she would.”

    “That would be most unfortunate for everyone involved Mr. Hawkins. I heartily suggest that you convince her to not speak about this little matter.”

    “... yeah.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:29 No.11842134
    * * *

    When Tansi strode through the doorway of the hab and hour later and looked at Nate she shook her head as he rushed towards her.

    “You stay away from me! Don't even think about touching me!”

    She danced to the side a few paces as he came to a stop. Finally she stood behind one of the chairs that they used to cuddle in. Nate held his hands out towards her pleadingly.

    “You aren't going to tell them are you?”

    “I can't Tansi, don't you see...”

    “Don't.” she said as she shook her head. “Don't even bother trying to tell me that you came up with some reason to not do it. It won't do any good. I knew that you wouldn't be able to deal with this like an normal person would.”

    Nate slowly lowered his hands and stared at her.

    “Tansi, what did you do?”

    The look that crossed her face was a mixture of disgust and sorrow.

    “I already commed Tulkus and told them everything you said Nate. I told them all of it. I don't think I can live with what you did.”
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)05:34 No.11842172
    keep up the good work, are you writing this as you go or do you have it somewhere to paste from?
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)05:40 No.11842203

    goddamn post fasterrrr
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:40 No.11842208
    Nate's face went first white with shock, and then red as Tansi's body detonated and spread itself across both him and everything inside his hab.

    From the short hallway that lead to the rest of the hab William Richardson stepped forward and lowered the massive S.L.A.M. rifle.

    “Now she doesn't have to..”

    William turned and stared across at Nate and slung the rifle across his shoulder.

    “Come on kid, we can't stay here; Tulkus is coming, and those bastards play for keeps.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:42 No.11842219

    Both... Kinda. Writing as fast as I can, however Dialogue has never been my strongest point writing wise sadly. Piecing the action together and then fitting in the dialog as quick as I can.

    Fair warning however, I haven't got much further than this as we sit. But am writing as fast as I can.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:44 No.11842239
    With quick steps William crossed the room, stepped to the side of the entrance to the hab, and snuck a fast glance across the hall landing that led into the penthouse hab that Nate had purchased. Satisfied that nothing was an immediate threat he turned and glared at where Nate still stood covered in the mess that was once Tansi.

    “Hey, wake up. We have to move.”

    William's coldly emotionless voice pierced through enough to shake Nate from his silent shock.

    “You... utter son of a bitch!”

    Nate pivoted and flung himself across the room, arms outstretched and fingers grasping for William's throat. Without hesitation William struck out with the butt of the rifle and smacked Nate in the forehead before kicking his legs out from under him, planting his booted foot on Nate's throat and pointing the barrel of the rifle directly at Nate's left eye.

    “Live or die. Make your decision before I make it for you.”
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)05:45 No.11842244
    Don't worry about it, quality over quantity my friend.
    Unfortunately i have never been a patient man so i am keeping busy with the F5 key.
    When you finally finish all this give us fatguys a download link, hell i'd even buy it if the quality keeps up.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:50 No.11842283

    Well, that'd be a kindness of you. I'd love to eventually get something like this at least looked at by someone like Baen or Tor, but getting a book published is nearly impossible.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:52 No.11842286
    Nate struggled feebly at the boot that was slowly crushing his throat.

    “You killed her!” When he spoke, his voice was hoarse with rage.

    William cast a quick glance out the doorway once more before returning his cold stare at the slowly struggling Nate.

    “She told you, she couldn't live with what you had done. Certainly she probably meant it metaphorically, but now she doesn't have to worry about it either does she? Are you coming, or am I leaving two bodies in this room?”

    Nate's glance fell on the cooling pile of gore that once was the woman he thought he loved, and who he had thought loved him.

    “I'm... coming.” at those words William grudgingly removed his boot from Nate's throat. “But I'm going to need to change before we go anywhere, I don't...”

    William nodded once before gesturing to the bedroom.

    “Get changed, bring anything you think is important to you. We won't be coming back.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)05:59 No.11842335
    Nate walked wordlessly from the entrance way back down the hab's hall to the bedroom. Slowly he removed the gore splattered clothing and glanced about for his autohamper before dropping them on the floor.

    “It doesn't matter, it's not like I can come back.”

    With a jerky motion he picked the simple gray shirt he had been wearing back up, and cringing used the driest piece of the shirt to wipe his face as best he could before once again dropping the shirt to the ground. Finally, after a few minutes of searching he was dressed in the well worn uniform he had worn to work at Jennings Star Drives before they had unceremoniously fired him.

    He lifted a few items from the room before he left, three small pic viewers went in one pocket, his personal data slat into another, and finally he looked at the small pocket screamer he had purchased long before all this had begun.

    “You better let me hang onto that.” Williams cold voice said from behind him. “We don't want any accidents to happen now do we?”

    William stepped around him and lifted the small pistol from the drawer that Nate held open.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)06:04 No.11842363
    “GPX-7, not a bad choice.” William sneered, “For a complete amateur. Far to much scatter over short distance, it comes from the lousy emitters they install in these things. You could hardly crack an egg with this thing from more than ten yards.”

    William slid the small pistol into his pocket and gestured towards the doorway.


    Nate turned into the hallway and began walking towards the entrance; with each step he took he felt as if a weight was both lifting from his shoulders, and a second one, an easier one replacing it. He didn't quite feel better, but he certainly didn't feel like curling into a fetal ball and crying his eyes out anymore. When he turned at the entrance and almost came face to face with the black armored form of a Tulkus security representative he didn't even have time to react before the world erupted around him.

    William pulled Nate back into the room even as he raised the rifle in his right hand and discharged two rounds into the ceramite armored form before them. The security representative flew backwards at the kinetic force of the rounds struck him in the chest cracking the armor he wore and sending the rifle he had been raising spinning across the floor.

    William dropped Nate behind him and raised the rifle to his shoulder triggered two more rounds into the struggling form laying sprawled in the hallway before him and dropped back behind the doorway. These rounds shattered the armor encasing the officers chest and still had enough kinetic energy remaining to turn the officers chest into pulp. The two officers following stepping into the hallway from the vertilift returned fire to late to hit their fellows killer before he took cover.

    “Can't get out that way.”
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)06:04 No.11842365
    cant let this off front page for sake of the public
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)06:18 No.11842422
    William slid sideways along the hab wall as he felt it begin to shake with repeated mag round impacts from the two men outside. He kicked Nate in the foot and pointed back down the hall toward the bedroom they had come from.


    Nate scrabbled as he stood up and raced down the short hall into the bedroom. William grimaced as a mag ground punched through the hab wall beside him and buried itself in one of the chairs across the room. Stepping back he began moving as more rounds cracked through the wall and into the room with him. He slung the rifle over his shoulder and drew the small GPX-7 from his pocket and tossed it to the ground as he slipped into the hallway.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)06:19 No.11842425
    “Lousy emitters on those things.”

    Making his way down the hallway he once again lifted the rifle and this time sighted in on where the pistol lay on the ground as more mag rounds punched into the room he had just left.

    Finally when he reached the end of the hallway he dropped to a crouch and waited.

    He didn't have to wait long as the fire that was punching through the wall began to slow before finally stopping entirely. Nate slowly peeked out from the bedroom where he had hidden.

    “Watch.” was all that William said.

    Finally more mag rounds began to punch through the wall as a black armored figure stepped through the doorway into the hab. William smiled faintly as he feathered the trigger on his rifle, sending one mag round into the pistol on the floor. When the mag round punctured the charge pack of the pistol, the charge inside the pistol was discharged in one sonic blast.

    The shockwave lifted the black armored officer off his feet and slammed him against the roof of the hab. The second officer that was starting to come through the door was knocked off his feet and through the wall that had been punctured so many times by mag rounds.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)06:36 No.11842498
    William sprang to his feet and ran the length of the hallway in a quick bounding stride. The rifle in his arms spat mag rounds into the armored forms as he took each step before finally he dropped it as he grabbed a rifle that one of the two officers had dropped when thrown into the ceiling. He turned and kicked the faceplate of the officer who had been blown through the wall before triggering a round through the faceplate of the second. Moments later he triggered another round, this time into the faceplate of the officer he had knocked back down.

    Nate emerged from the bedroom and stared at the room before him. Furniture was shredded and scattered all across the room, the wall was crumbled in, and one officer was laying smashed and mangled in the rubble. The second officer lay sprawled in the same spot of the room where William had shot Tansi.

    “Always consult an expert before you buy a weapon.” William said as he discarded the appropriated weapon and lifted his from where it lay. “Anyone with an ounce of sense could have told you that the GPX series was notorious for accidental discharge of the charge packs if they were damaged, the low yield emitters on them don't have any feedback capacitors to prevent them from blasting their user, and anyone around them off their feet if the charge goes up.”
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)06:43 No.11842531

    It's archived now.


    keep it up OP.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)06:56 No.11842602
    With a grunt William lifted the mag belt from the first officer and slung it over his shoulder.

    “Time to go Nate. These three are the entrance team. There will be more coming once they find out these three didn't survive.”

    Nate stepped down the hallway and tried to avoid the sightless gaze of officer Bradford Allen as they stepped into the hab landing. He paused as they stepped around the body of the first man that William had shot.

    “You want me to...

    William didn't even let him finish his sentence before pushing him forward with a sharp shove.

    “No. Because you are an idiot and would probably find a way to get me killed.”

    Nate's shoulders slumped as he followed William down the short landing and to the emergency stairwell. William kicked the door in and after checking both exits to ensure they were clear grabbed Nate and pulled him into the stairwell after him.


    “Aren't we gonna go down stairs?”

    “Of course not.” William snorted as he shoved Nate bodily up the short flight of stairs to the roof top entrance.

    “That's where they would like us to go, right into their waiting arms. This way we can keep one step ahead of them, now move.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:05 No.11842632
    * * *

    The top of the hab building that Nate had purchased his home in was as most hab roofs are, flat. The lack of rainfall inside the underground city cut any need for a water drain or run off, however occasional seismic activity did necessitate some reinforcement in case of a minor collapse.

    Because of this, the roof was perfectly suited to hold the weight of the E-Flight Tran that waited for the two of them as they emerged.

    “You can fly?”Nate asked as William shoved him towards the slowly powering up flier.

    “Hell no. Vandercamp arranged this, now move!” William said as the two of them broke into a run across the roof.

    The side panel on the flier slid silently into the recess behind the pilot as the two of them reached the vehicle. Nate climbed and was swiftly followed by William who knocked twice on the ceiling of the flier as the hatch closed behind him.

    As the engine behind them hummed to life, the small speaker set into the ceiling crackled to life.

    “Strap up, I don't know if they have anything in the air, but I'm going to try getting us to service pipe maintenance Yellow 17.”

    William nodded to himself.

    “Topside, makes sense.”

    Nate's gaze snapped to where William was swiftly snapping clasps around himself to secure him into the seat.

    “Top...” he swallowed. “Topside? As in, the surface?”

    William finished with his final clasp and grinned ferally at Nate.

    “What's the matter boy? Never actually seen the sky? Don't worry about it, once we get together with Vandercamp and you pay us, you can put this whole nasty business behind you.”


    “I can already tell how much I'm going to enjoy this.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:08 No.11842650
    Right folks, that's probably where I am going to call it for the night. 7 pages in open office writer, almost 4100 words sounds like a decent accomplishment for the night.

    Yes, as mentioned before, this will be taking them to the stars and as such, I already have a cast list ready for the ship they will be hitching a ride on, and information about the ship.

    I'll be posting that next unless anyone objects.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:17 No.11842687
    TFN-11C Carthage

    74 Crew.
    12 Officers.
    86 Total

    The Carthage is a ship of singular design and usage. While it can function as a cargo ship, and as an exploratory ship, it’s design strengths are in speed and stealth. These aspects combine to make it an excellent smuggler.

    Darren Clovis. Darren is a middle aged man of moderate height and build. Having spent many years in space, and with his planet time deteriorating rapidly, his health is deteriorating. Quick to anger, and faster still to judgment, Darren is a poor captain and miserable example of a human being.

    First Officer.
    Jason Langley. Jason is a bear of a man. Easy to laughter, easy to anger, Jason is the heart of the Carthage. Glad to help people, yet not a man to cross. He is deemed to friendly with the crew by the captain

    Second Officer.
    Lauren Parker. Lauren is a noxious woman. Ass kissing, self promoting, bitch. While she may be good on the eyes, her attitude is horrid to those below her, and sycophantic to those above her.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:17 No.11842690
    Ship Doctor.
    Phillip Chan Yu. Take your stereotypical german doctor. Now make him Oriental. Now make him barely five feet tall. Now make him talk like John Wayne.

    Chief Engineer.
    Nogai Sengali. Nogai is a competent engineer. While not a genius, nor an exceptional engineer, he is a competent manager with an excellent staff.

    Archeological Officer.
    Everett Bragg. Everett is an older man often found with his nose in a book, or on a dig site. Picture the classic archeologist.

    Alien Specialties Officer.
    Erich Herbst. Erich is a recent fugitive from Earth. While living on Earth, he was one of the higher ranking authorities within the UN on ancient alien civilization. After an argument with a co-worker that ended in a murder, Erich fled and has ended up on the Carthage. Not the nicest of men, he acts like a patrician and expects to be treated as such.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:19 No.11842700
    Security Officer.
    Carl McRory. Carl is exactly what you would expect of a security officer. Calm and cool under pressure, yet with a penchant for letting off steam through wine, women, and breaking face. He’s also almost seven feet tall, and black. His physical ancestry notwithstanding, he can trace his ancestry back to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    Navigations Officer.
    Sergei McClintock. Yes, a Russian from Kansas. It’s funny. Laugh you son of a bitch. Laugh. It’s also not his real name. His real name isn't known, but if you believe him when he tells you he changed it to escape several crimes in the Earth Navy, including but not limited to, Treason, Piracy, Espionage, Murder, and Grand Theft Space Ship, then he has a bridge to sell you. An excellent con man and negotiator, he is occasionally the face of the crew.

    Special Operations.
    Lawrence “Larry” Church. Larry is the nominal officer of the B.I.C.W. When you think of a rough and tumble group of thugs and goons, you would not expect them to be lead by a bookish man who looks more like a short stock broker would you? SURPRISE!
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:20 No.11842703
    Break In Case of War.

    At certain times, in certain situations, you don’t need a soldier. You need a thug. A brute squad if you will. Meet the brute squad. Typically these men would be seen as criminals, as they frequently are involved in such activies. They come from all places and walks of life, yet they all fit one criteria. Each of them has little compunction with taking life, and all of them have done so before.

    Most of the time aboard ship they fill the roles of grunt labor and other tasks. Yet if the shit hits the fan, you want to be standing behind these men.

    Carter Jackson. Build like the proverbial linebacker. Slow, big, and brutal.
    Thomas Williams. An average looking man with an incredibly violent temperament.
    Jorge Pedrosa. Small, dark, fast, and suave. Classifies himself as a ladies man, yet a spectacular failure in now 6 marriages.

    Roger Kit. One of three very close friends. A bar fighter, good with improvised weapons.
    Scott Black. One of three very close friends. The smiling killer.
    Pyotr Andropovich. One of three very close friends. An unrepentant communist throwback.

    These six men, make up the trouble shooters of the ship. When trouble shows up, they shoot it.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:22 No.11842713
    The Carthage is a Duke IV class exploratory/commerce vessel. Designed by the Allen Vessel Syndicate, it is not the most modern ship class. Nearing the 100 year mark in age, it has undergone numerous refits in many ways. Unlike more modern and somewhat smoother designed ships, the Carthage is built in the older style, where people realized that aerodynamics matter not at all in space. The ship is ugly, large, and appears cumbersome. Various parts and pieces stick out past the pull of the shit, including the thruster plumes along the push plates. These existing design flaws make the hull of the Carthage both larger surface space wise, yet more functional as there were no modifications made for aesthetics.

    The Carthage has two powered push plates, one both fore and aft. Because of the cylindrical design of the ship and the older style of Kinzer engine mounting, turning the Carthage at speed is somewhat hard to perform. Most turning is done via nuclear powered vent thrust through various flues along the Kinzer plates. The Altarian drive makes up the rearmost ¼ of the ship. While the Kinzer drives are older, and the Altarian drive is not the newest, the dual antimatter plants that power the ship are state of the art, stolen art, but art nonetheless.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:24 No.11842717
    Living Quarters
    Habitation aboard the Carthage is done in the rotating interior of the ship. The exterior hull of the ship remains in place, while the interior rotates around the elongated Kinzer drive, cargo storage, and the four main spinal weapons mounts of the ship.

    Two Spinal NPAW Particle accelerators, one forward aimed, the other rearward aimed.
    One Spinal mounted Gravity launcher forward facing.
    Four double launcher railgun clusters. Intended for rapid reaction, these are mounted along the sides of the ship on opposing sides. All four clusters are mounted in rotating turrets.
    Two one inch laser mounts. Nowhere near the power or size of modern warships, these partial spinal mounts rest under the NPAW mounts, and are both are forward facing.

    The Carthage is protected, if it could be called that, by a very patchwork set of ablative ferrocrete armor. Places have been scoured clean and repaired numerous times for various reasons. The true armor of the Carthage lies between it’s primary hull and it’s secondary hull in the 5 feet of space between the two is packed nearly solid with flash frozen water and hydrogen, anything penetrating through the outer hull would have to work it’s way through five solid feet of frozen rotating water and hydrogen. This inner shell also provides for fresh water and waste storage for the crew.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:30 No.11842732
    Shuttle Capacity, 4 older style Terran insertion shuttles. Capable of landing on almost any form of habitable planet, these older shuttles carry enough fuel to land and escape most typical planetary gravity wells twice.

    I suck at art and can't draw or design ships of any kind graphically to save my life. If some kind artist would be kind enough, I would greatly appreciate a wee bit of an attempt at a drawing of the ship. I figure the thing should show a decent amount of age, after all it's almost 100 years old and held together in a somewhat patchwork way. I had something somewhat in mind similar to the attached image, but as I said, I suck at art.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)07:33 No.11842740
    And that, elegan/tg/entlemen is the end of my tale for the evening, and the final bit of fun that I have written out to give a taste of what is to come with the ship and it's crew.

    I will have more tomorrow night, however I am uncertain how much I will get done today, I do home it is at least as much, if not more than I got cranked out today. I work Saturday through Wednesday with Thursday and Friday off so don't expect me to be awake to very late, probably no more than 5am EST or so, we shall have to see.

    Any comments from anybody on this latest chapter or the ship/crew?
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)07:41 No.11842767
    Any thanks BOM. Well worth me going to work late this morning for the second day in a row because of you.

    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)07:57 No.11842815
    Another night made that little bit better my friend, can't wait to see what cause the stowaway issue and how the dynamics between Nate and William turn out
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)10:23 No.11843605
    Damned good read so far, when's the next bit?
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)14:52 No.11845791
    Bumping for update.
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)19:43 No.11848653
         File1282952639.png-(76 KB, 177x361, andre.png)
    76 KB
    >Meet the brute squad
    >> Anonymous 08/27/10(Fri)20:53 No.11849241
    >thermal pipes
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)21:02 No.11849330
    Right folks, getting started on the writing again, expect some more on this once I get the flow going. I'll once again be posting it as I go.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)21:05 No.11849362
    Chapter Six

    Any knowledgeable person who keeps up with various news casts through out known space understands that space travel, while still somewhat dangerous, has progressed well beyond the rough and tumble wild treks into the unknown that once characterized interstellar exploration.

    In fact, most travel can be easily accomplished by anyone of modest means for the most part. In fact, since the original diaspora from Earth, now almost six hundred years in the past, more enterprising individuals have taken up interstellar transport as their lively hood in the past seventy years than ever before in recorded history. Indeed, many of the ship hulls once used to move Humanity to the stars still ply the various trade routes between the stars.

    Ancient examples of colony ships may remain in parked orbit around various planets, but by far, the vast majority of them have been scoured free of the ancient dilapidated technology that was once used and converted into large bulk haulers. In fact, as of the date of this writing the first of such ships, the Einstein launched in AD 2051 currently is in use by the Mekelstein Corporation for long distance transport of perishable items.

    While occasional rumors will spread of pirates or marauding alien races causing ships to go missing, the vast majority of interstellar travel is as safe as any other form of transport.

    Unless one crosses into one of the increasingly frequent and unpleasant border clashes between the Terran Conglomerate and Coalition of Allied Stars that is.

    *Excerpt from Visiting Humanity in the Stars, Brinkley Publishing, Heinlein, 2620 edition.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)21:29 No.11849632
    * * *

    The E-Flight Tran wound it way through the hab stacks and airspace of Anson at near its top speed toward the northern most edges of the cavern city. Nate glanced nervously out the plascrys window beside him as buildings whipped past them almost faster than he could identify them. Seated across from him, William's face was locked into a stern frown as he focused his attention on the four magnetic accelerator rods of his rifle.

    “What's wrong with it?”

    Nate's voice spoken far to loudly for the quietly traveling Tran shook William from his silent reverie. Sparing a quick glance out the window before look at Nate; William shook his head faintly.

    “I'm not quite certain. I believe that there may be a bit of warping finally happening on one of the accelerators. The rifle isn't exactly one of the newest models, but it's done me very well over the years and I'm starting to notice a bit of left ward drift from aim point when I fire it. Not much at close range, but at longer ranges it's starting to become noticeable.”

    Nate shrugged, his knowledge consisted of very little information regarding modern weaponry.

    “That sounds like garble to me, I don't know much of anything about weapons. I bought the GPX-7 a while back and almost forgot that I had it.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)21:41 No.11849773
    William shook his head and returned his gaze to the exposed workings of the rifle.

    “Imagine that, you not knowing much of anything about weapons.” his tone was snide, almost cruel in it's disdain. “People like you make me sick really. You think that just because you are rich, you don't have to worry about anything that ever comes your way. You can just pay your way out of it, or end up hiring someone else to take care of your problems for you. You don't ever think about what the rest of us do to survive or get ahead while you sit silently in your self sequestered ivory tower lamenting on how terrible your life is.”

    Nate looked out the window and shook his head.

    “I wasn't always rich you know.”

    “Save it, I don't care about you one bit there boy. All I care about is getting our money and getting on with life.”

    “Altruism at it's finest.” Nate's tone was just as caustic as Williams had been moments before. “I'm certain your parents must be very proud.”

    William's gaze flicked back from the rifle to Nate; his piercingly cold blue eyes locked with Nate's and held them.

    “Say something like that again and I promise you I will gut you from crotch to throat.” as William spoke, his hands slid the power casing back into place and closed the arming hatch on the rifle. “Don't for one minute think that I saved you for any reason other than that you owe us a great deal of money. If it were up to me, I told Mr. Vandercamp that I would just as happily have put you down right beside that bitch of yours who ran crying to Tulkus.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)21:53 No.11849927
    “I didn't mean anything.” Nate said, lowering his gaze from that of the killer seated to close to him for comfort. “I just don't understand why if it's bothering you so much you haven't replaced it with something newer.”

    For a moment a strangely peaceful look crossed Williams face before it settled once again into an obviously customary grimace.

    “Not everything new is always worth it. Take this for example.” he said as he gently slapped the side of the rifle now once again fully assembled and laying across his lap. “This baby has four individual mag rails arranged in a box pattern while most of your modern rifles make do with two curved rails in an over under pattern. With two rails you are more prone to dirt, rail fatigue, and failure in general. This old beast of mine can keep firing if one rail goes out, sure it won't exactly shoot as straight, and it will suffer from a loss of acceleration but at least it will shoot. One of the rails goes out in a more modern rifle, and all you have left is a funny shaped club.”

    William ran a finger along the side of his rifle almost affectionately before look up at Nate once more.

    “It's got a capacity of seventy five individual hyper-velocity steel slugs, each one packing the kinetic force of almost...” William paused and shook his head, chagrined. “Honestly, I don't know how much force it packs. I know that a single round out of this baby can shatter its way through almost any modern armor used by the Terrans or the Coalition. But then again, the military doesn't always get the monomolecular edge of technology now a days. Lowest bidder and all that crap.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)22:03 No.11850064
    Nate shook his head.

    “Most corporations don't get that far ahead you know.”

    “That's crap.”

    “No, it's the truth. I worked for Jennings for nearly seven years as one of their drive technicians. Most of the stuff they produce has been outdated for almost eighty years. The only reason they keep producing it is because people keep wanting it.”

    William nodded absently as he depressed the charging button on the side of his rifle.

    “That's the way of it, if it works why change it for something that might not. You trust our most valued possession to something that works, not something that may get you killed. Now get ready.”


    William nodded his head in the direction of the hatch.

    “We're landing.”

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)22:33 No.11850494
    The subcavern that housed most of the heat exchange equipment for Yellow 17 wasn't as large as some. The equipment in this section was older and slated for eventual replacement with more modern technology. It also was one of the few maintenance access areas that still had a direct line to the surface pipes. Because the modern exchangers used more thermal resistant piping with semi-liquid crystal insulators as opposed to the older style of coupled ferrocrys alloy pipes they required less maintenance and repair as opposed to the older systems. They also cost somewhere in the neighborhood of three times the older systems, hence why their replacement was slow.

    The E-Flight Tran landed beside a black armored Per-Tran and the entrance hatch slid back. William leapt from the hatchway and took a visual scan of the area as Nate slowly made his way out of the E-Flight.


    Williams voice cut through the harsh silence of the subcavern as he slung his rifle and made his way to the waiting Per-Tran. With an almost silent whisper one of the side panels of the vehicle slid part way down and Alexander Vandercamp leant out.

    “Ah, Mr. Richardson. It is so very good to see you; we seem to have a few minor difficulties today.”

    William nodded absently as his eyes continued scanning the area.

    “Indeed we have Mr. Vanderkamp.” he jerked the thumb of his left hand behind him in Nate's direction. “His girlfriend had already notified Tulkus before I arrived, I had to put three of their entrance specialists down before we could even get out of the hab.”

    Williams tone when speaking with Alexander Vandercamp was utterly unlike his disgust and contempt that he directed towards Nate. His attitude reflected a great deal of respect, and perhaps a bit of wariness.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)22:47 No.11850717
    “I see.” Alexander nodded, “Then again, you always have a certain flair for removing obstacles from your path do you not? I take it from your lack of a second companion that Ms. Budarin met with an unfortunate accident?”

    “Nothing unfortunate about it.”


    Alexander turned his gaze towards Nate before handing a small data pad to William who passed it on to Nate.

    “Mr. Hawkins, I expect that this concludes our business dealings with one another. If you will be so kind as to key your exchange information in, I will have Mr. Richardson escort you through one of the maintenance exits to the surface. I believe this one leads to the Clarke colony. From there a man of your means should be able to find himself a new life.”

    Nate shook his head vehemently.

    “This isn't right! I shouldn't have to pack up my life and run away because he,” here Nate pointed at William, “Went on a rampage! It's not fair!”

    Alexanders shoulders rose almost imperceptibly as he shrugged away any possible concern.

    “The situation is what it is Mr. Hawkins. If you would rather not finish with the terms of our agreement, I am quite certain that Mr. Richardson would be more than happy to terminate our arrangement with his typical flare for finality.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)22:58 No.11850880
    Williams voice was as cold as the polar regions when he spoke.

    “Quite happy. I would be almost overjoyed to do so.”

    Nate quickly shook his head.

    “No no, I'll pay.” he said as he quickly keyed the information into the data pad in his hands.

    “That's odd.”

    Alexanders eyebrows rose at Nate's confused tone.

    “What is it Mr. Hawkins? Some sort of difficulty? You have forgotten your code perhaps? I assure you that Mr. Richardson has vast experience in assisting people in reacquiring their memories in similar situations.”

    “No sir, nothing like that. It just says that both accounts no longer exist.”

    “I beg your pardon?” for the first time in their short acquaintance Nate saw Alexander Vanderkamp surprised. “Let me see that.”

    Nate swiftly handed the data pad back to William who flicked a quick glance at it before handing it to Alexander and stepping away from the Per-Tran. Alexanders eyes scanned the information before him and his raised eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

    “Indeed Mr. Hawkins, I see that you are in fact quite correct.” Alexander said as he placed the data pad on the seat beside him. “In fact I believe that almost any account in either of our names we will shortly discover have been frozen or utterly emptied.”

    “What? But my money...”

    “Is gone Mr. Hawkins. I believe that is quite typical in an organized attempt to apprehend fugitives. What did you tell Ms. Budarin? Specifically, what did you tell her about me?”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)23:13 No.11851099
    Nate shrugged his shoulders in confusion.

    “I don't understand. I mean, I don't really recall what I told her, my mind was racing, maybe...”

    Nate's rambling was interrupted by a wave of Alexander's hand.

    “Mr. Richardson?”

    “Sir?” William said as he stepped back beside the motionless vehicle.

    “Beat this man for me please.”

    “My pleasure.”

    William took a faint step forward and before Nate could react he slammed his foot backwards into Nate's stomach knocking him off his feet and onto the hard ground. William stepped around Nate lightning fast and drove a vicious sharp kick into his ribs as Nate tried to catch his breath. As William raised his foot for a savage stomp that surely would have connected with Nate's face Alexander's voice stopped him.

    “Thank you Mr. Richardson. Stand him up if you would be so kind.”

    Nate found himself lifted bodily to his feet unceremoniously as William jerked him into some semblance of a standing position.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)23:24 No.11851277
    Nate found himself lifted bodily to his feet unceremoniously as William jerked him into some semblance of a standing position.

    “We find ourselves at a bit of an impasse Mr. Hawkins. You are obviously unable to pay me the remainder of my fee, and I am obviously unable to receive it. You have brought this upon both of our heads through you inability to simply keep your mouth shut and ignore your weaknesses.”

    “Hey,” Nate wheezed through incredibly painful ribs. “Your goon killed those people, it's not my fault he didn't do what I paid for.”



    “I believe that in this case, he may perhaps be correct. You are not blameless in this. Regardless of how much I would wish it differently, I do believe that our association will have to come to an end henceforth.”

    William blinked rapidly a few times before slowly nodding his head.

    “Alright, I'm on my own then?”

    “Indeed it will have to be so. I will have to expend a great deal of resources simply to avoid imprisonment and I may have to disavow you utterly.”

    Again William simply nodded as he glanced around the subcavern before turning once more to Alexander.

    “You've done it before sir.”

    “Quite so.”

    “Take care of yourself Mr. Vandercamp.”

    Alexander nodded simply at William.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)23:43 No.11851545
    “Rest assured Mr. Richardson, I will do just that. I do hope that you are able to do so as well. I would suggest that you don't attempt to remain in this locality much longer. I will contact a few of my older acquaintances and inform them of your plight. Should you happen to come into contact with them, I can assure you that they will do nothing to impede the both of you.”

    William's eyes widened as he looked down at the older man.

    “Don't bother yourself sir, I know exactly what to do.”

    “Good man.” Alexander leant back in the seat of his Per-Tran and rapped his knuckles twice on the panel between himself and the drivers compartment of the vehicle. “Let's go Mr. Chance.”

    The side panel slid closed once more and the sleek black vehicle accelerated rapidly out of the small subcavern leaving William and Nate where they were. Moments later, the E-Flight Tran lifted off of the ground and sliced through the air as it also left the subcavern. With a quick glance about him William wrenched Nate around by his arm and began half pulling and half dragging him towards the maintenance station entrance.

    “Wha...” Nate gasped as the stumbling and dragging pace that William set jarred his badly aching ribs. “What are... what are you... doing?”

    “Quiet.” William barked at him as they finally reached the entrance and he dumped Nate unceremoniously beside the doorway. “You don't get it do you? Vandercamp disavowed me, I don't work for him anymore. All that I have is what I'm wearing at this moment, and we have to run.”

    “What's this we? A few minutes ago you were ready to gut me from crotch to throat as you said. Then you were busy stomping the hell out of me and now... now you want me to come with you?”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/27/10(Fri)23:58 No.11851643
    “No, I don't want you to come with me. But Mr. Vandercamp said something very important when he cut us loose. He told me that his associates wouldn't hinder the two of us. Which means he wants me to keep you around, which makes utterly no sense to me.”

    As he spoke William fished around in one of the sealed pouches on his combat harness before removing a metal disc and peeling off an adhesive backing that had been attached to it.

    “Why would he want that?”

    “I don't know.” William replied as he gingerly placed the disc above the electronic lock on the door. “I figure he's going to try to get your funds unlocked so that he can get what you owe him. He's somewhat meticulous when it comes to a debt that someone owes him.”

    William pushed Nate back down from where he was attempting to stand up and covered his face.

    “Don't look at it.”

    “Look at...”

    Whatever words Nate was about to say were lost in the strobing flash of actinic light and loud hissing that came from the disc that William had placed on the door. Seconds flew by before the light and hissing stopped and William uncovered his face.

    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)00:17 No.11851840
    Nate rubbed gingerly at his eyes, trying all the while not to disturb his ribs to much.

    “What was that?”

    “Plasmic thermite, typically it's used used as a breaching charge to cut through air locks and high security welds. Instead of producing slag as it burns, it consumes what it burns as a fuel to make itself burn hotter and more efficiently. C'mon.”

    William stood up and hoisted Nate to his feet.

    “This maintenance tunnel should bring us out somewhere on the surface just a bit west of the Clarke colony. I've used ones like it to bring... things, into Anson.” William said as he stepped to the doorway and kicked the door, after three kicks the door finally rebounded inwards to reveal the unlit room beyond. “It should run about three or four miles and then we are out.”

    Nate groaned and sagged against the larger man as William pulled him through the doorway.

    “Is there a transport?”

    “A mechanical sled for maintenance teams runs the length of the tunnel. Let's move before the someone comes out here to check and find out why the door is showing a fault on their system. We don't want Tulkus finding us while we are inside the tunnel.”

    * * *
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)00:31 No.11852009
    William had purposely misled Nate about the maintenance tunnel. He had neglected to mention the numerous twist, stairwells, and lack of grav lifts that they crossed before they even saw the entrance of the tunnel. By the time they finally reached the sled Nate was far paler than normal, and blood flecked his lips and nostrils with every gasping breath he took. Finally, when he collapsed on the tool bed of the sled his breath was coming short and shallow.

    “I... think something... is wrong.”

    William nodded as he took the drivers seat of the sled and began powering up the thermal motor.

    “One or more of your ribs have punctured your left lung. You better elevate yourself as best you can.”

    “What?” Nate struggled to sit up as best he could while giving William a cold stare.

    William shrugged as the motor beneath them rumbled to life.

    “That kick to your ribs, it's a slow killer. Kick the ribs hard enough,” William cast a quick glance at Nate as he disengaged the brake. “Which I did, then they break. Often when they break like that, one or more of them ends up sticking you in the lung. If you don't get medical treatment soon, you'll end up aspirating in your own blood.”

    William focused on the tunnel ahead as he used the rudimentary piloting controls of the sled to speed them toward the surface as fast as he could.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)01:02 No.11852330
    “I know a few people topside who can probably help us. I don't know if they will be able to get us off planet, but I know they can help you with your breathing problems.” William leant back in the seat and after a moment of rifling through the red metal box beside him pulled out a small package which he unceremoniously dumped on Nate's chest. “Open the packet, inside you should find two blue tabs. Put one under your tongue and hold onto the second one. Then take the clear ampoule, snap the top off and drink whats inside it.”

    Nate glared at William as he followed the instructions he had been given. When he lifted the small glass ampoule to his mouth he crinkled his nose at the acrid smell before choking the liquid down.

    “What did I just take?” Nate mumbled around the tabled slowly melting under his tongue.

    “The liquid was a synthetic amphetamine designed to reduce fatigue and help you focus. It should also help you stay awake as long as you have to.”

    “And the tablet?”

    “That's a combination slow release anti-coagulant and pain inhibitor. The two of them together should allow you to function for about two hours. Of course, you will be coughing up blood the whole time, which really makes for a great conversation starter.” William grinned as he spoke, “The second pill should give you about another hour, but taking two of them in your condition isn't really advised.”

    “Why is that?”

    William shrugged as the sled sped down the access tunnel.

    “Because it would probably kill you.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)01:07 No.11852411
    And that Gentlemen, is the end of Chapter Six. I don't know how much more I'm going to crank out tonight, I have to get a bit of dinner and grab a shower in a few minutes, but once those two things are done, depending on how late it is, I may continue on into chapter seven.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)01:12 No.11852481
    Before I dash off to the food and self cleaning, anyone still following this thread is more than welcome to make comments or ask questions. I promise to answer all of them when I return.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)02:51 No.11853600
    Right folks, I'm back. Gonna try and get started on chapter 7. I'm not certain if I will get it all finished and posted tonight, but let's see what I can get done shall we?
    >> Alternate OP 08/28/10(Sat)02:52 No.11853604
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    I can't get behind the mercenary getting away with killing so many bystanders, and people being so bound by their contracts. Even in Columbia, hitting civilians got the bombers killed by their own group. And you had mentioned the lack of resources on Heinlein, so catching him would be extra important, because of the scarcity.

    Sorry, just nitpicking.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)02:57 No.11853673

    Not really sure I follow you there. Security isn't exactly not following them and I don't quite understand the resource limitations question.

    However the contract note there is something that may require a bit of explanation.

    It's free market capitalism taken to an extreme, when a company's word is given to two people to do the same thing, situations similar to this may crop up, so they would have prepared for it as a possible eventuality.
    >> Alternate OP 08/28/10(Sat)03:03 No.11853754
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    Sorry, I think I confused your thread with another Anon's post. There have been a large number of "Capitalism Gone Wild!" settings and threads, and they've started to blend together in my head. Continue though, I've given these threads a cursory glance, not my cup of tea, but I am certain that there are plenty with this thread in another tab.

    >Must be 18 years or older to order
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)03:23 No.11854055
    Chapter Seven

    The growing tensions between the Coalition of Allied Stars and the Terran Conglomerate finds its roots in early twenty first century politics. While for many, a subject of politics that long in the past is nothing more than a boring history topic, casual observers would do well to base their understanding on the three simple factors that have brought much of the animosity to the fore.

    First, Humanity as a whole has never been a unified force or civilization. Evidence of this can be derived from the different languages, founding nations, and even genetic structure of the various colonies and systems. The Terran Conglomerate believes that all of Humanity should be encased under their protective, guiding, and authoritative wing. Disbelief is in fact what formed the basis of the formation of the Coalition of Allied Stars.

    Second, Not everyone can always agree to simply get along. There have come times in the past when Humanity as a whole has marched towards one goal, exploration and colonization of the stars being one of those rare times. However the vast expanse between colonies and newly forming nations lead to severe strife between the founding governments and their foundlings.

    Third, most people dislike being told what to do by someone who they consider a foreigner with no knowledge of their situation. When in the early days of colonization directives and supply shipments took at times decades to arrive many learned to make do with their own ingenuity and came to resent those who they had left behind trying to enforce their will across the vast distance between the stars.

    *Excerpt from Visiting Humanity in the Stars, Brinkley Publishing, Heinlein, 2620 edition.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)03:51 No.11854306
    When after nearly an hour the maintenance sled arrived at the the topside maintenance station, Nate was feeling significantly better than he had before. If it hadn't been for William's chilling warning of his health and the occasional blood producing cough Nate would have thought nothing of it. As it was he hardly noticed the climb through the various stair wells and corridors that lead them to the surface exit.
    The sudden stop that William came to shocked Nate out of his reverie of self worry.

    “Two things you need to remember Nate. This is the surface, there are no walls or ceiling above you. There won't be lights to guide your way everywhere, for the most part we will be staying in the twilight zone, where they is some light provided by the sun, but not much. Only when we first leave this station will the area be well lit.” William said as he gestured to two long closed lockers. “The second thing to remember is inside those lockers.”

    Nate watched in confusion as William stepped to the first locker and began to remove various bottles of clear liquid.

    “What's the second thing?”

    “It's hot.” William said as he handed two of the bottles to Nate. “The surface is significantly hotter than it is inside the hab cities. Out here, thirst can kill a man if he isn't careful, or inside one of the port colonies.”

    “Is that why I'm feeling so much warmer? I had thought it was an effect of those medications you had me take.” Nate said as he clipped the two bottles to a web belt that William handed him.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:02 No.11854401
    “No, it's the heat. Stations like these don't exist to far into the hot or cold zones, but they have to be here simply because this is where the heat intake is, and areas like these and their counter parts are most often where break downs occur.” William finally fastened two bottles of what Nate assumed were water to his own web belt. “Drink one bottle before we leave here, carry one as a spare, and drink one about half way to the colony.”

    Nate blinked as William put his words into action and produced handed Nate a third bottle, while simultaneously drinking from another.

    “Drink one now, and one when we are about half way to the colony?”

    William nodded as he drank the bottle dry.

    “That's what I said.”

    “How long is this trip going to take?”

    “Probably close to an hour on foot.”

    “On foot? Isn't there a transport out here for us?”

    William discarded his empty bottle, took up another one, and paused after opening it.

    “Think about it for a moment. The only reason people come out here is because there is a break down somewhere. They come in their own transportation, and take it back with them when they leave. Why would they leave a perfectly good vehicle out here to waste?”

    Shaken Nate finally understood. They weren't in a civilized area, there was no infrastructure where they were, and consequently there was no one else around to come help him if they got in some form of trouble. Being alone with the madman who had changed his life so much in such a short time both terrified and exhilarated him. He lifted the water bottle to his mouth but before drinking a thought occurred to him.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:14 No.11854485
    “You said drink one before we left, but you just drank two. Why?”

    William nodded as he lifted a third bottle to his lips.

    “The heat out here pulls a lot of liquid out of anyone who comes through. It elevates your core body temperature and forces your body to work overtime trying to compensate.” William grimaced as he took a long swallow of water. “My core temperature is higher than most people. Consequently I have to drink more.”

    “Why is your temperature higher?”

    William smiled as he finished his final water bottle.

    “That's a trade secret. Toss the bottle over there and let's head out. We are burning time that you don't really have.”

    William leant his weight against the metal exterior door and after a moments exertion finally managed to force the door open. The moment the door opened Nate felt the difference in temperature and in visibility. As they stepped outside Nate could feel the heat working on him and he had been outside for mere seconds, the heat and the bright light that bathed the rocky landscape around him disoriented him for a moment and he stumbled.
    >> Anonymous 08/28/10(Sat)04:20 No.11854518
    please get to chapter 9 please get to chapter 9 please get to chapter 9...
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:27 No.11854576
    “No time for that, we have to move.” William said as he pulled Nate back to his feet and gave him a shove while pointing in the direction of what Nate assumed was a trail leading to the colony. “Keep the light behind you as best you can and just keep moving. Avoid patches of bare sand, they can shift under you unexpectedly and dump you on your face. Right now you really don't want to do that.”


    Silently the two of them set off down the worn trail, William leading and Nate following along behind him warily. At steadily increasing intervals William would turn and cast a look behind him to make certain that Nate was keeping up with the exacting pace he was setting. Seemingly he was satisfied as he continued trudging along, occasionally taking sips of water from one of the bottles on his belt.

    Nate however kept glancing around them at the outcroppings of rock and sand. Finally he sped up his pace and walked beside William. He noticed that William kept flicking his tongue across his lips which were beginning to crack and split from the heat. Nate ran a finger across his own lips and not finding anything similar decided to question his unwilling guide.

    “So, how many times have you been on the surface?”

    William grunted as he trudged along, not even bothering to spare Nate a glance.

    “I'm not from Heinlein.”

    “I knew that.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:28 No.11854583

    Why the rush of wanting me to get to chapter nine so fast?
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:38 No.11854673
    William shook his head.

    “No, you don't understand me. I'm not from here, I spent most of my life with at least the ability to go outside if I wanted. People like you who have spent your whole life underground; never seeing your sun or the stars don't seem natural to me.”

    Nate walked on for a time silently beside William before after rounding a bend beside a large outcropping of rock William stopped and glanced around for a moment. Nate stood hesitantly beside him before glancing around himself.

    “What is it?”

    William snorted and pointed down the trail they were following at a small dust cloud that was gradually approaching them.

    “Someone is headed this way. Probably coming to check and see why the door seal came open. We've got a while before we reach them, I'll figure out what to do before it's a pressing concern.”

    William stepped back onto the track and paused when he heard Nate's latest coughing fit.

    “Not much further, about another ten minutes or so, then we should be at the half way point.”

    “Wonderful.” Nate whispered as he spat bright red blood onto the sand at his feet. “I can hardly wait.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)04:58 No.11854795
    The two of them trudged silently on again as the dust cloud grew steadily closer, finally William motioned for Nate to step off the trail and raised his rifle to his shoulder as he took steady aim on the closing vehicle. After what Nate was certain was almost an eternity William lowered the rifle and joined him.

    “Just a technical team, not a security team. They may not know that we came out that way yet. We'll let them pass and keep going.”

    “Why not hitch a ride with them?” Nate asked, “I mean, it's got to be faster than walking.”

    “Negative. The first thing they would do is contact whoever it is that dispatched them out here and notify them that two people just exited the maintenance tunnel from down side. Then dispatch would have to notify security of possible smugglers or fugitives, and we would be greeted by security forces when we finally reach Clarke.”

    William shook his head.

    “That or I could just shoot them all, watch as the rough terrain buggy they are riding in wrecks itself on one of the outcroppings and we walk into another buggy coming to check on the first buggy thereby restarting the same vicious cycle.”

    William turned a cold stare towards Nate.

    “If you feel that me shooting those men would do anything at all helpful, by all means, tell me and I'll put them both down without hesitation.”

    “Well... no.”

    “Then leave thinking to the professional and stay out of sight until they pass.” William said as he pushed Nate further away from the trail.
    >> Anonymous 08/28/10(Sat)04:58 No.11854796
    No need to rush.

    And bump for the original content.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)05:10 No.11854874
    Finally satisfied at the distance they were from the trail, William nodded at the bottle on Nate's belt.

    “Now's as good a time as any. We won't be moving again until they pass by.”

    Nate pulled the bottle of water from his belt and sat carefully on one of the nearby rocks. He watched William carefully as the larger man kept his rifle trained on the passing buggy until it was out of sight. Nate pushed himself to his feel slowly and fell in behind William as they returned to the trail.

    “So that you know, my side is starting to ache again.”

    William shook his head and began walking faster.

    “Try to keep up. Notice how everything is getting steadily darker around us and it's not quite as hot?”

    “If you say so.”

    “I do, it's because we're getting closer to the outskirts of the colony. I know a place we can stop and get you looked at, I'll com them so that they'll know we are on our way.”

    Nate looked at William in alarm.

    “But they could pick up the signal from your earcom!”

    “No they can't. This is a scrambled military com. It hops frequencies so fast that short use is almost untraceable.”

    “A scrambled military com, they didn't remove it from you when you resigned from the Marines?”

    Williams laughter sounded like boulders crashing together.

    “I didn't exactly resign, it's more like I just left and took everything I could with me when I went.”

    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)05:27 No.11854965
    * * *

    The entrance to the the building William led the two of them towards surprised Nate as they finally left the trail they had been following for almost the full hour that William had promised. The exertion of the long walk had brought the pain in Nate's side back at full force, and his breath was starting to become short once again. When the door to the sloped ferrocrete building slid open and a lanky man stepped aside to let them in Nate almost fell over the single step that lead into the building. The brown clad figure before him caught him and helped him through the doorway.

    “Help me get him into the back room, all my tools are already laid out. You know the way.”

    William nodded a he grabbed Nate's opposite arm and the two men pulled Nate's semi-conscious form through the entrance and into the rest of the underground home. When they finally reached the room indicated by their host William helped to gently lay Nate across the raised table set into the floor.

    “You didn't say much on the com. What's wrong with him?”

    As Nate slipped in and out of consciousness he realized that he couldn't place the lilting accent of their host, it was quite unlike any accent he had heard before.

    “Broken ribs on his left side that punctured his lung.”

    “And he walked out of the desert with you? Did he fall and hit a rock?”

    “I kicked him.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)05:44 No.11855048
    Whistling through his teeth the lanky man crossed the room for a moment and lifted the lid of a red metallic box.

    “I already gave him an emergency tab and a dose of Amphetamines.”

    “Of course, if you hadn't then he wouldn't have made it this far.”

    When he stepped back to the table the man held in his hand a metal tray holding both a laser scalpel and metal probes of various types.

    “How long ago did you give him the tab?”

    William shrugged as he watched the man carefully cut the shirt from Nate's torso.

    “About two, maybe two and a half hours ago now.”

    “Hold him then. The tab should be wearing off, and I can't give him another dose without endangering his life. I'll have to make this quick.”

    William quickly stepped around and rolled Nate onto his side and held him there as their host aimed the laser scalpel and began to cut. At the first touch of the scalpel Nate's eyes sprang open and he tried to writhe away from the ever present pain that sliced him open. Blood trickled slowly down his side and from his mouth as he screamed his anguish and fear into Williams heat blistered face.

    With clinical precision the scalpel sliced deep enough to expose Nate's crushed ribs to air, their host clucked his tongue disapprovingly.

    “You did a real number on this kid William. Punctured his lung in three places. This isn't going to be quick or simple.”

    William Richardson stared into the face of the man known in the Alderamin system as the Butcher Surgeon of Antigua and smiled a cold smile.

    “Just keep cutting.”
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)05:49 No.11855073
    And at the logical stopping point for chapter seven is reached gentlemen.

    I may try to write some more before I go to work tomorrow, but I don't know if I will wake up early enough to do so. I work until midnight EST tomorrow, but when I get home, if this thread still exists, I'll start work on getting chapter eight up as fast as I get it written.

    If this thread is gone, then I will simply start a new one once I have managed to get a decent chunk of chapter eight written so that people don't have to wait quite as long.
    >> Anonymous 08/28/10(Sat)05:58 No.11855107
    Appreciate the stories BOM.
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)06:04 No.11855134

    Glad to do it. I know I don't have much of a snowballs chance in hell of getting this published unless I get very lucky, but I figure if I do self publish, and if it's good enough, one of the first places I'm going to tell about it is /tg/
    >> Anonymous 08/28/10(Sat)13:02 No.11857481
    BOM: What's up with these 'thermal motors'? Surely they're just regular electric motors + batteries/fuel cells like everyone else uses which were originally charged with power derived from thermal energy, rather than some sort of crazy-ass ambient sterling engines? Why call a rabbit a smeerp?
    >> Bitter Old Man 08/28/10(Sat)15:14 No.11858639

    That's correct, and the way I have been portraying them is a mistake for which I do apologise. I'll fix that in tonights batch.
    >> Anonymous 08/28/10(Sat)15:18 No.11858677
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    >accepting criticism
    You're awesome. Have... some sort of icy landscape.

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