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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Godforsaken Future - updated 12/10/2013 PostPosted: 2010-12-13 06:57pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
Hello, I'm a rare poster and sometime lurker, my main forum is on good ole AH.com.

Anyway, I got to work posting this story back there and after getting some decent feedback I've realized that I'm not a totally horrible writer. So I've decided to post it here.

I've got 10 episodes/updates so far(11 if you count each part of number ten as a separate episode). Before posting them here I've gone back and started cleaning up the updates and making some minor changes based upon some criticisms I got on AH.com, as such I will be posting each currently finished update at least once a day until I get caught up to the most recent one, after which you should expect them every week to a week and a half. For those of you who like it and don't want to wait so long, I'll be posting new episodes on http://www.alternatehistory.com/ first and foremost, so they should get the updates a tad bit faster, you'll just have to sign up to read them(that particular forum is for members only).

Those of you familiar with the stuff over there may notice some similarities to Swarm on the Somme, which I freely admit I drew some inspiration from. It however is something separately all its own, and as it progresses those differences are going to become considerably more noticeable.

A word of warning, as is hinted at by the title, this story is going to be quite grimdark, with lots of very nice (and not so nice) people dying in all sorts of unpleasant ways, if this is not your kind of thing then here are some kitties in stead:

Image

For the rest of you I present:


Godforsaken Future

"Abandon all hope ye who enter here."
-Dante's Inferno


Episode 1


-Unknown Location, Unknown Time

For countless eons The Mind had grown and evolved, developing newer abilities and constructs to serve its purposes. At first it was just a small organism on an insignificant planet floating through space. However, when it absorbed its first sample of biomass it had grown to a new level of consciousness and became stronger. It had incorporated new genetic distinctiveness and started to learn what attributes it had and wondered what uses they would have.

Eventually it managed to absorb more samples and grow even further, absorbing more traits, and gaining more strength. After some time it had absorbed all of the biomass from its local environment and then from the entire planet. By then it had learned to sense the presence of other samples and had enough strength to sense them not only on its own planet but on others in distant star systems. Over time it had spread to those other worlds, copying itself and sending those Selves off to absorb more biomass and more distinctiveness.

Finally it had absorbed all that there was to absorb within its own galaxy, and still it hungered to find more. Searching and searching it managed to reach its sense tendrils out to find a distant glimmer on the edge of another galaxy.

The distance was so great that it could hardly tell there was anything there, but The Mind could feel something, and that was all that was needed. It had been forced to sacrifice a number of Selves to establish a one sided connection at such a distance, but the distance was bridged and another Self was sent. The planet was lush and heavily populated, and there were many intelligent samples there as well as primitive ones

Like many intelligent samples but not all, these had fought back, and at first it was a challenge, and just as all before them had, these too succumbed to the unstoppable power of The Mind. Thus a foothold had been established in this galaxy. Then more sense tendrils were sent out to find yet another planet to consume, and again another was found, this one was not too far from the first world and so the transit was far easier, so this Self was able to expend little enough of its energy reserves to bridge the distance that there was little danger to its own existence, and the star it orbited only expended somewhat of its energy in the process. A new Self was created and sent through the portal, ready to assimilate another world.



-1:03 PM April 12, 1986 15 kilometers southwest of Shamal, Paktia Province, Afghanistan


If anyone had been within the line of sight of the portal location when it opened, they would have born witness to a bright white light and a loud noise much like that of wind rushing by. This hypothetical observer would have then seen a similarly bright white shockwave expanding out from the center of the portal location which quickly dissipated after expanding as far as fifty meters out. Finally this observer would see something very odd. Where once there had been nothing but a few trees and rocks, there now sat... something.

***

Asa was just about to dismount his horse to get a drink when he saw a bright flash accompanied by a strange noise just over the hill to his east. His hands tensed on the reigns of his horse, preparing to turn and flee, surely it was a Russian plane, attacking Mujahideen rebels, but as the seconds passed his worry became less so. He heard no popping sound of gunfire, no low dissipating rumble that followed any time one of those planes passed, and no smoke rising up from behind the hill to indicate a fire or explosion.

Not so fearful now, Asa became curious. Perhaps there was something there of value, something that the Americans would reward him for telling them of. They had been generous to others, supplying missiles and weapons and other things, perhaps he would be rewarded by showing them this, whatever it was. One of those fancy rifles they carry would be nice he thought as he fingered the sling of his own, it was an ancient weapon, salvaged from the dead body of a dead Waziri fighter.

Its age showed quite clearly, with bits of rust on its barrel and trigger guard, the wood from its stock was splintered and worn. Most of the others had teased him about it, saying that it was not but a piece of junk, his brother Jawid would always ask him if he intended to use it to club someone to death with. Some of the Americans back at the encampment had seemed to know something about it, they had called it a “lee enfeed” whatever that name meant.

Coaxing his mount up to a quick trot, Asa approached the hill. As he neared the top he dismounted and walked the rest of the way, he moved slowly and quietly, and unslung his weapon. Although he was not afraid, he did not know what he would find on the other side of the hill and he did not want to take any chances. Lowering himself to a crouch, and then to a crawl, Asa was in a prone position by the time he reached the top where he slowly peered over the top of the hill.

What he there saw mystified him, it looked very strange and he had never seen anything like it. A few hundred yards away from him sat some kind of large... thing. That was all he could think to call it. It seemed to be the size of a very large tree with what appeared to be some kind of massive roots at the bottom, or perhaps they were legs, he couldn't tell. The main part of it in the center looked like a goat's heart, except in stead of being dark red, this thing was a slight greenish brown color, and its exterior looked kind of hard like the outside of a scorpion rather than the meaty texture of a heart.

The ground surrounding the thing was all scorched like it had been burned, yet he saw no fire or craters from a bomb. There were also a couple burnt trees, and what looked like the body of a dead bear. Growing more curious, Asa climbed over the top of the hill and slowly approached the strange object below. As he approached, it did nothing but sit there in silence, seemingly as lifeless as the dead bear on the ground next to it.

***

This Self found itself bewildered and confused, the transit had been an unsettling experience, with all of its senses disrupted violently in the process. After a few minutes the disorientation began to dissipate, and it began to get a sense for its surroundings. It could discern the body of a moderately sized sample lying on the ground near it, clearly having been caught up in the energy release of the portal opening. There also appeared to be a couple larger samples also in close proximity, however these appeared to be rooted into the ground unlike the other sample which simply lay atop it.

The disorientation it felt was still quite thick, for this Self did not notice the still living sample approaching it until it was almost close enough to touch. A couple more seconds confirmed that this in fact was an intelligent sample, The Mind sensed that it held some kind of device, and even with it's hampered senses, The Mind could still sense that the mental capacity of this sample was sufficient to be considered intelligent.

Unfortunately in this bewildered state this Self could sense little else beyond this. So it continued to allow the sample to approach it, when it got just a bit closer The Mind would use it to be led to its origin where it was highly likely that there would be more samples.

A few seconds later as the sample slowed its approach, The Mind lashed out with one of its appendages.


***

It happened so fast Asa had no time to react. In the blink of an eye one of the roots at the bottom of the thing had shot out and latched onto his left arm. His rifle went off, but harmlessly into the ground as the root jerked his arm to the side and he tripped and fell to his knees. Asa cried out in fear as much as in pain as he felt his skin get punctured by something sharp that he couldn't see. He struggled to draw his arm free from the grasp of the creature but it was no use, its grip felt as strong as steel, and each time he tried to pull free it shot a bolt of excruciating pain through his arm into his shoulder.

Panicking, Asa struggled to aim his rifle with one arm, but he merely heard a disheartening click when he pulled the trigger. That's when he realized that he forgot to load another bullet after the last time he fired. So he tried desperately to work the bolt on his rifle in spite of the unbearable pain in his other arm. After what seemed like an eternity he managed to successfully load another bullet, but just as he was about to fire on the creature, it released its grip.

Too scared to even wonder why it had released him, Asa quickly stumbled to his feet and ran as fast as he could back the way he had come. Opting to cradle his injured arm, he dropped his rifle before he hit his first stride. So intent was he on escaping that Asa did not notice the strange brownish red growth on his left forearm. All he wanted to do was get back to his encampment, get back home away from this creature, he wanted to get back to the rest of his tribe.

***

The Mind observed the sample scurry away in what was clearly a frightened reaction to what had just happened. It was pleased, although many different kinds of samples had a potential to react to the same situation in different ways, The Mind had concluded that in all likelihood this sample as with most before it would become frightened by the experience and head back to a location where more of its kind waited, most likely for protection, and maybe also for help with its injury.

Although the senses of this self had been hampered, it was able to track this sample using a piece of growth medium. When the sample had stopped moving and the growth medium gave The Mind the sensation of being surrounded by other intelligent samples, The Mind activated the only construct that it had brought with it through the portal, a guardian. And while it was busy absorbing the surrounding biomass, the guardian construct headed out to the origin of the intelligent sample.


Last edited by guest on 2013-12-11 03:20am, edited 5 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-13 11:05pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
No responses yet eh? I wonder what it is about this story that causes me to get a bunch of views and no responses. Ah well, onto the next update.


Episode 2:

“Wild, dark times are rumbling toward us, and the prophet who wishes to write a new apocalypse will have to invent entirely new beasts, and beasts so terrible that the ancient animal symbols of St. John will seem like cooing doves and cupids in comparison.”
-Heinrich Heine





-2:17 PM April 12, 1986 Zadran encampment, Paktia Province, Afghanistan





Adams found himself suddenly awakened from his all too brief slumber by the sound of someone just outside his tent. He quickly reached for the Kalashnikov on the ground next to him just in time to see Kutz enter. “Begging your pardon boss, but we've got a situation.” Kutz said as he looked apologetically at his superior, Adams ignored the apology as he gave his weapon a quick inspection and rose to exit the tent.

“Sitrep.”

“Well, it looks like one of the messengers that Mirwais sent out to fetch the other tribal leaders has returned” responded Kutz as he gestured in the direction of the recently returned courier.

The two of them proceeded in the indicated direction “Which one?” Adams quickly asked.

Kutz furrowed his brow for a second before answering “Asa, it looks like he ran into some trouble on the way” he said.

“Shit.”

He didn't need the elaboration to know that something was wrong, Asa wasn't due back until tomorrow evening, there was no reason for him to have returned this soon unless he'd run into some serious trouble, and if he had been careless enough they might be getting a visit from Ivan any second now. “Is everybody else ready?” he inquired.

Kutz quickly glanced around the camp “Yes, they are getting the other Zadran fighters and taking up defensive positions at the predesignated spots” Kutz finished that sentence with what appeared to be a twinge of pride, and not without reason. For the past several months Adams, Kutz, and the other members of this Special Activities Division team had been working closely with this tribe, training them how to best fight the Soviets, and so far their efforts had met with considerable success.

The two of them continued walking at a quick pace until Kutz indicated a tent on their left. Ducking down, they entered the tent to find approximately a half dozen men standing around one young man who was seated on the ground. Adams recognized the seated man as Asa, who was visibly frightened, he also recognized the leader of this tribe, Mirwais who was standing next to Asa engaging him in a conversation, a perplexed look on his face.

Mirwais noticed that Adams had entered and turned his attention to the new arrival “I see that you have heard” he said looking up at the two men.

Adams slung his rifle and approached the tribal leader and the young man “yes, I know Asa was not to return for time. What happen?” Adams' Pashto was not as good as it should have been, he still needed more practice, but at least he could get the message across.

Mirwais’ expression was one of consternation and confusion “he says that there is a large creature out in the hills to the east, that it attacked him and killed a bear. The fool must have fever or something, he's clearly speaking nonsense” Mirwais made a dismissive gesture toward the young man.

“What happen his arm?” Adams indicated Asa's left arm as the young man cradled it with his right.

Asa looked up, reacting to the two new visitors for the first time since their arrival “it was the monster, it... it attacked me!” he exclaimed.

Mirwais again seemed dismissive “the boy probably fell off his horse, he dropped his rifle too, it's a wonder he found his way back to the camp at all” he said with a slight chuckle.

In spite of the skepticism of the tribal leader, something about the look in Asa's eyes gave Adams an impression that there was more than just delirium at work here, then he noticed something else. Asa's arm was not just wounded, there appeared to be something on it “I look closer?” Adams’ query went unanswered, the boy simply sat there, but after a couple seconds he lifted his forearm up so as to give Adams a better look.

The reaction of a couple of the others indicated that none of them had managed to get a close look at it either. While Asa's arm was clearly wounded with a laceration nearly six inches long and fairly deep as well, it was surprisingly bloodless. However what was most striking of all was not the lack of blood, but rather the presence of what appeared to be some kind of growth surrounding the wound.

At first Adams thought that it was some kind of rash or infection, but he quickly realized that it was actually attached to the skin rather than growing out of it. It was a dark brownish red, almost a rust color, with what looked like pustules and veins all over it, and it had a metallic appearance to it, causing it to shimmer slightly in the light. Adams turned to face Mirwais who did not appear so dismissive now “Where is the creature?” he asked in a serious tone.

The tribal leader’s expression was no longer dismissive “I... a few kilometers east of here, Osman will show you.” he nodded to a young man by the entrance to the tent “Do you know what is wrong with him?” he was clearly concerned for the young man.

Adams tried his best to look and sound reassuring “I don't know, but I find out” he said, his thick accent didn't help though.

Accompanied by the tribesman named Osman as well as Kutz, Adams exited the tent “what the hell was that on his arm? Do you believe the kids story?” Kutz asked.

“I don't know what happened out there, but I doubt that he encountered a figment of his own imagination” Adams looked over at Osman “how long?” he asked.

The Zadran tribesman glanced over at two men with rifles nearby “Wasim! Rashid! Get your horses, we're going to find out what happened to Asa!” he shouted to them “It should only take about an hour or two to get there, Russian patrols have been light lately, so we should not have any trouble.”







-3:38 PM April 12, 1986 15 kilometers southwest of Shamal, Paktia Province, Afghanistan





The trip had been relatively uneventful, and the initial excitement that had resulted from the early return of the courier was wearing off and giving way to fatigue when Osman spoke “this looks like the spot that Asa described” he looked around for a moment. “There, that should be the hill” he pointed up toward a dusty shrub covered hill to the east of them “whatever it is should be right on the other side. Wasim, stay with the horses, we'll be right back.”

Osman and the other two Zadrans proceeded to dismount followed promptly by the two Americans. Unslinging their weapons, the four men proceeded to walk up the side of the hill led by Osman. As they got further up they started to crawl with as much stealth and quiet as they could manage. When Osman reached the top, he ever so carefully peered over the edge and then muttered something in Pashtun that Adams couldn't understand, probably a curse.

After a few seconds, he looked down at Adams “you should come see” he whispered. Adams and Kutz crawled to the top and what they saw on the other side was... something very odd looking. Several hundred meters away sat what clearly must have been Asa's “monster” surrounded on all sides by a layer of something that appeared to be the same as the growth that was on Asa's arm. Whatever it was, the growth was covering the ground and everything on it, including what appeared to be the body of a large animal and a couple of trees which had fallen on their sides.

“Well, I guess we've found a monster after all, what the hell do you think it is boss?”

“How the hell should I know? I don't like the looks of it though. Let's head back to the-” Adams was interrupted by the sound of a gunshot, turning around he saw Wasim firing his rifle at... something horrible. He couldn't think of any other way to describe it, it was some sort of black shimmering mass of writhing tentacles with what looked like four legs and four arms or claws or whatever they were, and its head seemed to consist only of a giant set of teeth, and it was larger than a man on a horse. The thing was making a combination of a growl and a scream at the same time and was charging right at Wasim.

He saw as the tribesman fired at the unspeakable horror, and fired again. Without a word to one another all four of the men on the hill had brought their weapons to bear and opened fire, but it moved so fast he couldn't even tell if the shots were hitting their target or if they were and weren't having any effect. Either way, the creature did take notice of the four men, and without breaking stride it made a sudden flicking motion with two of its “arms” and an instant later Rashid and Kutz were screaming in agony as he saw dozens of pencil sized spike shaped objects protruding from their bodies and countless more sticking out of the ground around them. Both Osman and Adams moved quickly to grab their comrades and pull them to the other side of the hill.

Meanwhile the terrified Pashtun tribesman below had given up on trying to kill the creature and in stead was attempting to mount one of the horses which were far too panicked and were trying to get away. As Adams was pulling Kutz over the side of the hill he saw Wasim as he fell off the horse he was trying to mount. An instant later the creature was upon him, it simultaneously used a couple of its tentacles to grab one of the horses and its giant scythe-like claws to eviscerate the poor Zadran who let out a blood curdling scream in response to the quite obvious excruciating pain.

As Adams got himself and Kutz over the side of the hill, Wasim's cries had ended and he saw that the man’s entrails were strewn about the ground where he now lay which was also covered in a combination of human and horse blood. The horse appeared to be in an even worse state as it looked like its skin had been sliced open wherever those tentacles had touched it.

Taking a second to check on Kutz, Adams realized that the ground around them was also covered in blood, and the other man was silent and motionless, checking his pulse confirmed that Kutz had expired already. The look on Osman's face confirmed that the same held true for Rashid, and then a sharp pain in his thigh told him that he had been hit by one of those spikes as well and had been too terrified and distracted to notice. Without thinking, he got a grip on the spike and proceeded to tug at it gently, however the resulting pain was intense, and any further attempts to move the object only exacerbated the problem, it felt as if the spike had literally latched onto the inside of his leg and wasn't letting go.

Both Osman and Adams looked back at the scene below and saw that the creature had finished with its previous targets and had turned its attention to the two new ones at the top of the hill. Adams took a long look at his hobbled leg “Osman, I've been injured and will probably just slow you down, I'll try to keep this thing busy while you head back to the camp and get a warning to them” he said raggedly, the pain evident in his voice. Osman looked like he was about to argue, but in stead nodded and said “Allah go with you” and quickly moved down the hill.

Gripping his rifle Adams rose and opened fire on the charging beast. He managed to spot the flicking motion this time and ducked down behind the hill crest before another hail of spikes flew overhead. Rolling over to the left and springing up again he opened fire, this time he apparently had some effect as he saw the creature seem to react as though it had been hit. However it was barely slowed and continued its charge. Managing to unload his weapon on the creature he was trying to slap in another magazine when the distance was closed and he was impaled through the stomach with one of the creature's scythes, an instant later he felt as one of those tentacles sliced his throat wide open. The last thing that Adams saw was his blood spraying all over the “chest” of the creature and his last thought was that damn Pashtun better be a fast runner.






-8:27 AM, April 16, 1986, White house Situation Room, Washington D.C.





James McManus held his hands behind his back in order to keep from reflexively straightening out his suit every five seconds. He was nervous as hell, in five years with the CIA he had worked as a nameless desk riding analyst in the Middle East and North Africa office with no one of consequence so much as glancing in his general direction. Now he was about to give a briefing to the National Security Advisor, CIA director, and a room full of other important people from a whole slew of intelligence agencies.

Under other circumstances he would feel honored to be given such an important task, but in reality he knew that the only reason why he had been given this job was because the briefing he was about to give had nothing but bad news and he wouldn't be able to provide answers to most of the likely questions he was going to be asked. Nobody wanted to be the one to tell the National Security Adviser that they didn't know much anything. So anyone of any kind of importance figured out a way to avoid doing that, thus leading to someone of no importance getting the job.

As he waited for the last few people to arrive he looked at his notes nervously and tried not to think about how his career was about to get flushed down the drain in the next half hour. When the remaining attendees had arrived and sat down, the conversation in the room quieted and the lights dimmed slightly. National Security Advisor Poindexter cleared his throat “now that we're all here, what is it that I've been called down here on such short notice to discuss?” he asked to the room at large.

James realized it was his cue to begin the briefing and so he glanced down at his notes one last time, cleared his own throat and began. “Thank you all for coming, the following has been classified top secret.” James paused for a second then continued “at approximately 2200 hours local time in Khost Province, Afghanistan yesterday, one of our SAD teams operating near the Pakistan border made an unscheduled transmission that lasted a total of forty two seconds.” James nodded to the staff member in the corner, and promptly the audio of the transmission began to play over the speaker system.

It started with the communications technician in Langley announcing in code that the caller had reached CIA headquarters and then asked for an explanation for the unscheduled transmission. However the tech's voice was quickly drowned out by sounds on the other end of the line. It was very difficult to make out exactly what was going on, but he could hear what sounded like at least several people screaming, both men and women, accompanied by sporadic gunfire.

About five seconds into the audio clip, someone who sounded like the operator of the VSAT set at the other end was trying to say something but it was incomprehensible nonsense. Then the nonsense ceased and was followed by more gunfire, this time much closer to the mic on the other end which was quickly cut off and replaced by more screaming. This time it appeared to belong to the same person as before. This screaming was then cut short as a sickening combination of both popping and tearing sounds was heard.

Meanwhile the entire time in the background there was also something else, it was hard to make out what exactly it was, but it sounded like some sort of animal, it was like a growling, and a roaring at the same time. The noise got louder just before the last set of screams were heard, but couldn't be made out fully until after the popping and tearing had finished, and continued for a few more seconds before the sound of a crashing punctuated the noises on the other end, indicating that the transmission had ended abruptly. As the audio clip faded out, the operator which had been trying to get a response the whole time continued to ask if there was anyone there.

The look on the faces of a good portion of the attendees indicated that they had not been quite prepared for what they had heard. James continued “further attempts to contact the SAD team via SATCOM have all been unsuccessful, it is believed that the VSAT that the team had with them was either severely damaged or destroyed. Our audio experts have analyzed the transmission and they believe that they have identified most of the sounds that were recorded. This includes screams from no less than ten people and no more than thirteen, including at least two children, and one woman, the discharge of several different weapons including Lee-Enfield rifles, AK-47 assault rifles, and at least one MP5 submachine gun. Also it is believed that in all likelihood the sounds of popping and tearing were the death of someone by means of severe physical trauma, and the loud crash just before the end of the transmission was most likely an impact on the VSAT communications equipment itself. Further-”

James was interrupted by one of the gentlemen sitting at the table, he wasn't sure but he thought that it was Secretary of Defense Weinberger “do we have any information on what that- that growling sound on the tape was?” he asked.

James swallowed as he was about to make the first of many answers like this today “the nature of that sound has not been determined, however it is believed that it was made by a living creature of some kind, although that has not been confirmed” he explained. This was greeted by a collective grumbling by the assembled group that seemed to be a combination of both concern and disapproval. “After receiving the transmission and our repeated attempts to contact the team, a KH-11 satellite was tasked to gather imaging on the last known location of the SAD team” again nodding to the staffer in the corner. The large monitor in the wall lit up and displayed a greyscale thermal image.

James picked up a pointer from the unused easel next to him, gesturing toward the screen he resumed. “This is a thermal image taken by the KH-11 approximately thirty eight minutes after the unscheduled transmission, judging by their lack of movement, these-” he indicated several bright spots on the image “...are believed to be dead bodies, the smaller ones are human, the larger ones are believed to be horses.” He nodded again to the staffer and another thermal image came up “this image was taken approximagely one hour later at 2340 local” again another image was put up on the screen “this one at 0123 local” another image “and this one at 0352” he explained.

Each image showed a noticeable decrease in the number of bodies until the last one which showed none, and again the room was filled with murmuring, this time noticeably louder. He paused for a second while he nervously swallowed “it should be noted that previous estimates given by the SAD team place the total population of this village somewhere around one hundred sixty, it is unknown what has happened to the bodies or where they went.”

Again the assembled group murmured various sounds of concern or intrigue “what is that big bright object at the top?” this time it was the National Security Adviser.

James indicated the large bright spot near the top left corner of the image which was brighter than the others “the nature of this has not been identified, it was mobile in the satellite imagery which would indicate an animal of some kind, however according to the data collected its body temperature would have been approximately 135 degrees farenheit which is hotter than any known warm blooded land dwelling animal” again murmurs from around the room.

Another voice arose from the assembled group “did the Soviets have anything to do with this?” NSA director William Odom had an unpleasant look on his face.

James swallowed nervously “we have as yet not determined what if any involvement Soviet forces had with this incident, no Soviet military communications intercepts have mentioned anything to do with the village in question in the past week or at any time since the transmission. At no time within the past three days have any elements of the Red Army been reported within fifty kilometers of the village location, and we have not heard anything from our sources which would indicate anything resembling any of the observed characteristics of the incident in question.”

With that the entire room erupted, it would be several minutes before things quieted down enough for the National Security Advisor to ask a question “all of this satellite imagery is leaving us with more questions than answers. About how far away is our nearest SAD team?” he asked.

Before James could answer, CIA director William J Casey spoke up “we have a team about two hundred kilometers southeast over the border. It would take them about four days to get there if they don't want to draw any attention” he explained.

Admiral Poindexter looked displeased “we need intel on this situation now, do we have any other options which are faster?” A few more murmurs rose up as various attendee's disagreed with each other over something or other.

Again, Director Casey spoke up “I'm afraid that our hands are tied at the moment, the Soviets have been conducting offensive operations in the area lately, anything that would get people there faster wouldn't be subtle enough to avoid drawing attention, and until we know more about what we're dealing with I wouldn't feel comfortable letting the cat out of the bag. The Russians may still think that we are totally in the dark about this, and I want to keep it that way. In the meantime we can try some blackbird over flights for better imagery. The Pakistani's shouldn't make too much of a fuss over airspace rights. We'll just apologize after the fact, after all it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. I'll get Ronnie to OK it this afternoon.”


Last edited by guest on 2011-02-01 02:59am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-15 12:18am
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
I've broken the two century mark and still no responses eh? At least there aren't any complaints.

Anyways, onto the DOOM!.



Episode 3:

“He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”
-Sun Tzu




-4:16 PM April 18 1986, 25 km west of Sharan, Paktika Province, Afghanistan



Sergeant Oleg Vasiliev took a deep breath and drank deeply from his canteen. He and the rest of his squad had been stuffed into their BMP-1D for the past hour and a half and his claustrophobia had played hell on his nerves. In spite of the desolate locale he welcomed being outside as if they were in a lush and beautiful eden. He absently watched as the fuel truck crew finished refueling the last vehicle in their squad, lamenting that once their job was done he and the rest of his comrades would be stuffed back into their armored vehicles like bullets into a magazine.

His attention was drawn away from the refueling procedure by a discussion between Private Kozlow and Gunner Baskov atop one of the BMP's. The gunner as always was bluntly advertising his lecherous tastes “Yakov, so I've heard that your sister's available-” he started to say with a broad grin on his face.

Kozlow did not let him finish “are you still having trouble with that auto-loader Vasily?” he teased “you know a friend of mine works as a mechanic near Kabul, if you like I could have him fix it for you next time we are rotated to the rear” the sarcasm dripped from his voice.

“Only if you would like being castrated while you sleep Yakov..”

“Ah, but how are you going to castrate anyone when you lose your fingers to that auto-loader?”

The gunner made a pointing motion like he was aiming a gun “very astute of you Yakov, in that case, if I were you I would be especially careful when you exit the vehicle in combat, you're quite tall and I may forget to raise the elevation on-”

“Comrade sergeant, I've got something here!” his attention was drawn away from the light banter by Private Smolenskii.

Oleg looked over in the direction of the young soldier “what is it private?” he did not hide his annoyance very well, perhaps he was being a bit unfair to Private Smolenskii. He was certainly enthusiastic, it would appear that he thought that Mujahideen guerrilla's hid behind every tumble weed, rock, and shrub out here. Oleg stowed his canteen and grabbed his Kalashnikov from its resting place on the side of the personnel carrier.

A few seconds later he had walked around the armored vehicle and was next to the young soldier “it looks like a couple riders, they are in a damn hurry though” explained Smolenskii. Oleg looked where he was pointing and about a kilometer out he could make out three men on horses who had just crested a hill, and the private was right, they sure were pushing their horses awfully hard. Strangely enough they were headed straight for the platoon's current position, of course if they didn't slow down soon they were going to wind up dead.

It would be a shame, charging a mechanized infantry platoon with only three horsemen seemed like a pretty stupid idea, and Oleg thought he might have actually managed to get through the day without killing anybody. He glanced back in the direction of the rest of the platoon “Lieutenant Rostovsky, it appears that we have some visitors!” he yelled toward the platoon commander who disengaged from his conversation with the fuel truck driver and briskly walked up to the pair.

“Now, let's see what this is about.” Lieutenant Rostovsky raised his binoculars to his eyes and made a frown.

“Should I open fire Sir?”

Smolenskii was clearly getting a bit anxious “Not just yet boy, let’s see if they would care to choose an alternative to certain death. Junior Sergeant Shikov! A moment of your time if you please!” Shikov was the platoon's interpreter, he was an excellent soldier, yet he was a bit lacking as an interpreter. Although he was conversant in Pashto, he was hardly fluent, which made communicating with the locals about as easy as using a semaphore. Of course the supply of qualified interpreters was hardly the biggest problem that command had saddled them with. He hurried over to the group “Could you ask if those fellows would mind coming to a halt before we are forced to turn them into vulture food?” Rostovsky requested.

Shikov quickly nodded and then proceeded to shout something in Pashto that even Oleg recognized as a bad accent. After three attempts it was clear that either Shikov's Pashto was worse than Oleg thought, or that the riders didn't seem to care or that they were hard of hearing. “I'll give them one more chance. Private Smolenskii, a few warning shots if you please.” The young private aimed into the air and squeezed off a half dozen rounds from his rifle, and still the horsemen refused to slow down.

It was almost like they were invisible to these riders who were by now only a couple hundred meters away. “Very well, take them down.” Rostovsky ordered in a calmness that could have only been achieved through numerous combat tours.

Private Smolenskii's rifle barked as he let off three short bursts of fire. The first hit both the horse and rider, causing them both to fall to the ground in a spectacular crash, the second hit only the rider who slumped in his saddle and then fell off, and the third had a similar effect, except this time the riders left leg stayed stuck in its stirrup and the horse continued galloping toward the Russian soldiers albeit at a slower pace than when its rider was driving it. It slowed further as it approached the platoon until it stopped completely at about ten feet out. The lieutenant gestured to two other soldiers who had joined the group; privates Pravdin and Konstantinov, who proceeded to quickly trot out to where the horse stood.

After inspecting its felled rider Pravdin called back “He's still alive!”

At the lieutenant's direction Oleg, Smolenskii, Shikov, and the platoon's medic, junior sergeant Tomilin followed him out to the downed man while Pravdin and Konstantinov went to inspect the other two riders who they confirmed to both be dead.

When Oleg got closer he saw that the man was bleeding profusely through a wound in his shoulder and breathing heavily. His eyes darted back and forth nervously and he seemed quite terrified, although not of the heavily armed soldiers standing over him, but something else as he seemed to be paying only minor attention to them.

While Oleg and Smolenskii kept their rifles trained on the injured man, Tomilin crouched down and began to attend to the man's shoulder wound “Ask him why he and his friends charged at us like that.” Shikov leaned down and muttered something in Pashto, the man responded by repeating something that sounded more like gibberish than any kind of language.

Shikov then knelt down a bit closer and shouted in the mans ear “Hey!” and queried again. Almost as if being knocked out of a daze the rider locked his gaze directly on the interpreter and then frantically cried something in what this time sounded like words “He says that they killed everyone and destroyed his home.” Shikov asked something else in pashto “hey? who?” Smolenskii inquired a bit annoyed “I don't know, he just keeps saying that his whole village was destroyed.”

Lieutenant Rostovsky fidgeted slightly “What village?” asked the lieutenant, he was getting more impatient.

Shikov made another query which received another frantic response “Spera, sir, it's about twenty kilometers east of-” the junior sergeant was unable to finish his sentence as the Pashtun tribesman thrust his hand into his coat. Both Oleg and Shikov sprung into action their rifles let loose a hail of bullets a mere fraction of a second after the crazed man made his move and his chest erupted in a crimson spray by what must have been thirty rounds of ammunition at less than two meters range. Tomilin had probably gotten covered in the most gore as he was the closest when it happened, but that was all, as he was smart enough to roll out of the way when the shooting started.

On closer inspection it was revealed that the tribesman was reaching for a hand grenade. “Why would he even try and do that?” Tomilin also was the most upset “he had to have known that he would never have been able to pull the pin on that thing before you killed him” he said, a look of both bewilderment and horror on his face.

Rostovsky calmly wiped the blood splatters off his face “perhaps that was his intention all along, maybe that's why he and his comrades charged at us so suicidally. Perhaps whatever happened in Spera was unpleasant enough that he felt that dying was preferable to living.” Oleg didn't like the way that sounded, he also didn't care for the way the lieutenant emphasized the word 'suicidally.' Rostovsky calmly brushed off his uniform “I think we should take a trip to Spera.”


-5:36 PM April 18, 1986, just outside of Spera, Paktika Province, Afghanistan


The past 45 minutes had been thoroughly unpleasant, as the winding dirt road that lead to Spera was in some places even more of a rough ride than the bare ground. Combined with the fact that he had been picking splinters from the Pashtun's ribcage off of his uniform for the past thirty minutes as well as the increasingly strong sinking feeling that he was getting in the pit of his stomach ever since the gunner had reported seeing smoke in the same general direction of their destination and he was really wishing they'd had a breakdown earlier this afternoon.

“Any idea what made those pashtuns act that way sergeant?” Shikov asked apprehensively. Oleg did his best to hide his own apprehension “probably just spent too much time wandering out in the mountains and it made him lose his mind, if you spend enough time in this shit hole of a country it would be enough to drive anyone a bit crazy” that drew out a chuckle from one or two others, and it seemed to have calmed the young private.

Lieutenant Smolenskii moved from looking out of his viewport and popped his head out of the top hatch in the cupola, then ducked back down inside again and spouted some orders into the radio “this place looks good to stop, we'll dismount here and take a closer look.” Oleg could vaguely hear what sounded like affirmative responses coming back from the other two BMP's. A few seconds later Oleg could feel his own inertia push him into the soldier next to him as they came to a halt.

Within seconds the hatches had been popped open and everyone was out, weapons at the ready. As Oleg exited he got a glimpse of the village which looked like hell. It was moderately sized by Afghan standards, perhaps five or six hundred people total, although right now it looked like a good number of them were dead, or at least severely injured.

Littering the ground were bodies all over the place, there were also a few smoldering huts and tents, and about two dozen dead horses lay about the ground in various states of mutilation. Most everyone was dead silent, although Oleg did hear someone say “My God!” in a half hushed tone.

Smolenskii stepped out of the vehicle and addressed the platoon, his expression and his tone didn't totally hide the fact that even he was disconcerted by what he saw here “alright, it would appear that something unpleasant has happened here, I want a full sweep of the village, see if we can find any clues as to what happened here. Keep alert, it's possible that there are still hostile targets here, but watch your fire and check your targets. If there are any survivors, I want them to stay that way.” he paused briefly, then “move out.” The platoon spread out into the village with each squad splitting into separate independent fire teams.

As gruesome as the village looked at a distance, things were far worse up close, while the horses appeared mutilated from afar, in actuality it was quite clear that they had been both disemboweled and dismembered in some cases. The same applied for the people with some having been torn limb from limb, some had their entrails strewn all about the ground almost like someone had set a bomb off in their stomach.

Where there weren't bodies, there were at least body parts, fingers, hands, feet, arms, legs. Some arms lay on the ground still clutching weapons. After checking a few huts, it became quite clear to Oleg that for all the blood and gore he was seeing, there just weren't enough bodies. It was almost as if whoever had killed these people had scooped them up afterward.

In spite of all that he had seen since coming to Afghanistan, Oleg had not seen anything so horrible as this. He had seen innocent women and children charred to being unrecognizable by napalm, or with their brains blown out by high caliber machine gun fire, but nothing had compared to this. Some of his comrades were also just as disgusted as he was, even some of the veterans who had seen almost as much action as he had.

The worst case was what looked like a baby, no more than eight months old with his skull crushed, except that unlike most of the others he could tell how this one died. A woman lay next to the dead infant, her own guts lying on the ground, and in her fist was clenched a bloody rock. Apparently whatever had happened here had been so horrible that she must have killed her own child. He heard what sounded like Private Konstantinov start to make retching noises. He didn't blame the man, he had a hard time fighting the urge to vomit himself.

Oleg remembered in school reading a history book about the history of the United States during the nineteenth century and how when its army came to some native tribal villages some of the women had intentionally killed their own babies rather than let them get captured by the blood thirsty Yankee soldiers. He had also remembered hearing similar stories about villages in Ukraine during World War II when the Germans came. He remembered thinking even at that age it had seemed like an exaggeration, that it was probably just propaganda meant to villainize the enemies of the Soviet Union.

Today however, he realized that after this, nothing would shock him. He also mentally asked himself the question of if he ever encountered whoever had done this, whether he would be filled with anger, or fear, or just shock. Part of him didn't want to find out.

When Konstantinov had finished vomiting, they started moving on to the next hut. They were about to enter it when they heard the sound of someone cursing loudly, a man screamed, an unidentifiable screeching sound, and then the staccato of an AK-47 being fired on full automatic. Oleg and the other members of his fire team didn't hesitate for a second and were already heading in the direction of the shooting when they heard someone else open fire, and then a third joined with his PKM.

In what felt like an eternity, they had rounded a group of huts near the edge of the village where they had come across Ziv, Turgenev, and Pravdin just as they had ceased firing, each with a look of shock on their faces as they stared at what it is they had been shooting at, and it was just as much of a mystery to Oleg as the rest of them. About twenty meters away from the other group of soldiers lay the body of some kind of strange creature.

It was about the size of a tall man, and had what appeared to be three legs with a stout 'torso' and two abnormally long 'arms' which ended in scythe shaped claws of some kind. Above its 'shoulders' was an elongated neck which connected to a horrific caricature of a head with a strange assortment of holes, two black shiny buds of some kind that may have been eyes, and a set of intimidating looking teeth. The whole creature itself was covered in a form of strange ribbed looking hard shell that was a shiny dark rust color, and out of each of the bullet holes in the body leaked some kind of black oily liquid that must have been the creature’s blood. Of course it was possible that Oleg was looking at it the wrong way, and what he thought of as 'arms' were actually legs. The creature looked so strange that he wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.

“I- It just... I came by here and it was just... I saw it picking up one of the bodies. I must have startled it, because it looked at me and started to charge.” Ziv trailed off as he looked down at his rifle “what the hell was that thing sergeant?” he fell silent, shaking his head.

Oleg didn't have any answers for the young man “I don't know Igor” the six of them slowly approached the dead creature. A closer look revealed that the creature’s carapace was covered in an intricate raised pattern that was almost beautiful in a disgusting sort of way. Oleg got over his initial shock and took charge of the situation “Boris, go get Lieutenant Smolenskii, tell him what happened and bring him here” Private Turgenev nodded curtly and hurried off.

A few minutes later he returned with the lieutenant who proceeded to inspect the body “Sir, do you have any idea what it could be?” Private Pravdin inquired.

The lieutenant looked the thing over “I'm afraid I've never encountered anything like this, any thoughts sergeant?” he inquired.

Oleg frowned “perhaps some kind of new biological weapon that the Americans have thought up?” even though it was his suggestion he sounded pretty incredulous even as he said it.

Smolenskii raised an eyebrow “doesn't sound like you are too confident in that theory, somehow I doubt that even the Americans with all their technology have managed to figure out how to conjure horrific creatures from the depths of hell itself. No, this is something different.” He stepped back from the body “we're going to need to get together some rope or something to secure this... creature, it's important that someone who knows more about this kind of thing gets a closer look at it, and then we need to clear out of here. Something tells me that this was far from the only one of its kind and I do not want to be here when the rest of them come ba-”

Somewhere out of sight but not too far away they heard the same sound that the now dead creature had once made, except this time it sounded like a lot more of them. “Sergeant, get everyone else back to the BMP's we are pulling out immediately” the lieutenant sounded extremely grave, which was all the more unsettling, as Oleg had never heard him take that tone before.

Fortunately everyone had headed over toward the sound of the fighting and he didn't have to go far to track them all down “You heard the lieutenant everyone, stop waving your dicks around in the air and get your asses moving!” Everyone else seemed just as intent on getting out as Oleg felt, so it wasn't a difficult task motivating them all.

The retreat was a nice orderly and quick operation which made Oleg feel all the more reassured looks like I might just survive today after all. Then he heard someone curse “Shit! We've got another one.” Oleg looked to where the soldier had pointed and he immediately saw another creature come over a hill to the south, but no, there wasn't one, there were two. Then he saw three more come over the hill, then five, then another one that was different, this one was bigger and had four legs and four 'arms', and it was covered with yellow spots of some kind.

Looking in the direction of two of the trailing soldiers “Pravdin, Konstantinov, suppressive fire!” he ordered. Almost at the same time that Oleg had finished his sentence the two Russian soldiers had brought their weapons up and had opened fire on the incoming swarm of creatures, a couple succumbed to the rifle fire and started tumbling down the hill. Then there were others coming over other hills. He lost count of how many, probably dozens, scores, maybe hundreds. He didn't quite care, as they were moving so fast, and they still had too far to go before they got back to the BMP's. He heard the loud thumping of the main guns on the BMP's firing, and he saw explosions erupt on the sides of the hills amongst the swarm. Some of the beasts were completely obliterated by the cannon impacts, but the rest didn't even seem to notice and kept coming as fast as ever. They weren't going to make it, Oleg just knew it.

The creatures covered the distance quickly, it seemed like no time had passed when they made it down to the bottoms of the hills, then to the edge of the village, then the swarm was almost upon them. Others in the platoon had started to open fire themselves as some of the creatures had gotten closer, what looked like a dozen had been felled by their fire, but still more came, one of the bigger ones, one of those yellow spotted demonic looking centaur was closest. Oleg and four others took aim and unleashed a hail of gunfire that would have obliterated one of the smaller ones, this one just seemed to be slowed down by it.

The two furthest behind; Turgenev and another who he couldn't identify, got caught amongst a group of creatures. Most of the rest of the platoon brought their fire to bear on the creatures surrounding the two unfortunate bastards and they managed to take down a handful, but it was too late, more caught up and overran both soldiers. First fell Turgenev, they violently slashed at him, one sliced open his belly, spilling intestines and blood all over the ground. He started to collapse and somehow he had lost an arm and a leg before he had finished falling. The other unfortunate soul now had three on him, they had forgone using their claws and were simply opting to tear at his flesh with their massive teeth. Oleg could hear the agonized screaming of both men which seemed to never stop

The attempts to save their comrades had resulted in much of the platoon becoming disorganized and spread out. Some had slowed down for better aim, others had given up on their comrades and were running faster, the sloppiness had cost them and teamwork had been the first thing to go.

A group of five more men were next after the first two died, the centaur had closed the distance, and without breaking stride, it had managed to decapitate one with a single motion which sprayed blood all over the man next to him, it then made a sudden flicking motion with one of its arms and two others had fallen, their bodies riddled with what looked like dozens of spikes. Then it slashed out and skewered one through the head with a scythe and another was sliced nearly clean in half.

Suddenly the entire upper half of the beast disintegrated in an explosion as it took a 73mm cannon shell directly in the chest. What little relief this may have caused was short lived as suddenly Oleg heard more men screaming to his right where he saw more creatures coming from that direction. Then there were creatures coming from behind and to the left and everywhere else.

The first couple men made it to the nearest armored vehicle, but right on their heels was a handful of monsters which followed them right into the BMP they had climbed into. The main gun on that one ceased, then Oleg saw the top hatch open and out burst a screaming man, he was missing an arm, then as quickly as he had popped out, he was violently pulled back in.

The crew of another vehicle had already sealed the hatches and looked like they were about to pull away. Oleg was surprised to not even feel angry at those men even though he knew that he should feel betrayed by them. It was no matter however as another centaur had jumped on top and was scratching and pounding on the armor. It managed to get a grip on one of the hatches and after some effort it managed to pry it open, two smaller ones quickly jumped in through the opened hatch and the vehicle stopped a few seconds later, the driver managed to escape and got all of ten meters before he was swarmed by five or so creatures.

Suddenly Oleg felt a hand grab him by the back of his uniform and pull him to the ground just in time for him to see a hail of more spikes fly by, but that was little comfort to Boris who was right in frond of him and cried out in agony as he collapsed to the ground with a dozen spikes in his back. Looking up, Oleg saw the young Private Smolenskii helping him back to his feet, they exchanged the briefest of glances, but no words. The third BMP was still there, but its gun was mysteriously silent, then he saw one of the three legged beasts burst through one of the rear hatches of the vehicle, carrying the severed torso of the lecherous gunner Vasily Baskov.

There were only about five of them left now, realizing that they had nowhere to run, the whole group slowed to a halt and decided to concentrate on taking as many of the creatures with them before they too were killed. Oleg managed to kill one with a few center mass shots, then sent another one staggering to the ground as its body squirted black liquid. A third was a mere two meters away when he unloaded the rest of his rifle into it. He stepped to the side to avoid having it fall on him.

He looked to his left just in time to see one of the centaurs launch another barrage of spikes, and he grabbed Smolenskii this time and pulled him out of the way, but was unable to save two others who went down screaming. The centaur continued charging at them and without thinking, Oleg dropped his rifle and picked up an RPG-16 that had belonged to another soldier who had fallen next to him.

Barely spending a second to take aim, Oleg released the safety and pulled the trigger, he felt a gentle thump and heard a deafening bang as the launcher fired. A second later he saw the forelegs of the huge beast snap off like twigs while grenade detonated, causing the centaur to crash violently into the ground as its momentum carried it forward.

Not even taking the time to survey his handy work, Oleg immediately discarded his spent RPG launcher and scooped up a fallen PK machine gun also nearby. He downed two additional beasts and then a third, but not before it managed to slice open his right thigh causing him to cry out in pain and fall to his knees, copious amounts of blood flowed out of the wound. “Smolenskii, I'm not going to-” looking over, Oleg saw that the young private lay with his head split in two and his brains spilled out on the ground, and the other soldier, Igor was riddled with spikes. Realizing that he was alone, Oleg turned his attention to killing more beasts. Two more fell to him, then he ran out of ammunition.

With heavy blood loss causing him to lose consciousness he dropped his empty weapon, and just before one of the monsters was about to land a final blow Oleg realized that he really didn't want an answer to that question he had asked himself earlier. Then all other thoughts ceased as a screaming monster jammed a scythe through his skull, ending his misery.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-15 08:53pm
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Nice job. I have to say, I had to check whose been posting this just to make sure that SD's resident Horror writer, Bladed_crescent wasn't posting this. It's very reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthullu Mythos.



If Dr. Gatling was a nerd, then his most famous invention is the fucking Revenge of the Nerd, writ large...

"Lawful stupid is the paladin that charges into hell because he knows there's evil there."
—anonymous

"Although you may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, the Empire will always strike back."

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-15 09:07pm
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Some nuclear fire would deal with these things nicely, but that would probably cause a nuclear war, which isn't any better than whatever these things are. Unfortunate.



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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 01:08am
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Well I don't know. That Russian motorized platoon seemed to be able to inflict relatively high casualties, despite being completely surprised and attempting to retreat. A larger force could easily overrun the damn things if they knew they were going into combat.



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 01:14am
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I like it so far, keep it coming.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 05:13am
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Ah, some feedback, good.

thanks, it is much appreciated, I expect to have the next update cleaned up tomorrow morning, possibly two depending on how much time I have.

spartasman wrote:
Well I don't know. That Russian motorized platoon seemed to be able to inflict relatively high casualties, despite being completely surprised and attempting to retreat. A larger force could easily overrun the damn things if they knew they were going into combat.



The aliens are learning our tactics and capabilities with each encounter, that attack was as much a surprise for them as it was for those russians, they weren't expecting to encounter soldiers, they were merely going back to the village to retrieve the bodies. After observing the results from that encounter, new methods will be devised. Also, they're the rough equivalent to the zerg, zerg rushing is their specialty, they can more than afford casualty ratio's that would make any human general have a heart attack.

thanks for the feedback again.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 02:36pm
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True, but the only tactics that these 'Zerg' witnessed was an enemy completely surprised conducting a disorganized retreat, with insufficient support. An assaulting Russian battalion with even just light armor support providing fire support for each other would be able to keep the damn things off, with mechanized infantry for support in IFV's easily able to keep them away from inside. I mean, it was just a Russian patrol, unsuspecting, with no air or artillery support and completely surprised/terrified at that.



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Samuel Clemens

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 03:07pm
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spartasman wrote:
True, but the only tactics that these 'Zerg' witnessed was an enemy completely surprised conducting a disorganized retreat, with insufficient support. An assaulting Russian battalion with even just light armor support providing fire support for each other would be able to keep the damn things off, with mechanized infantry for support in IFV's easily able to keep them away from inside. I mean, it was just a Russian patrol, unsuspecting, with no air or artillery support and completely surprised/terrified at that.


after update 1 they learned that humans are intelligent, they learned our basic physical limitations, and that we possess hand held projectile firearms of both the semi-automatic and fully automatic kind. They also learned the tactical prowess of afghani villagers defending their homes. On update 3 they learned that humans possess mechanized armored transport with high explosive projectile armament as well as heavy machine guns and gunship helicopters. Human tactics displayed. Tactics wise they learned that we use suppressive fire from both SAW's and heavy vehicle mounted weaponry.

Either way, you'll see how the aliens' tactics and usage of different constructs adapts to combat humans in future updates. NExt one coming in just a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 03:11pm
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Wait wait wait, what helicopters?



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 03:19pm
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oh, that's right, I forgot that they don't get mentioned til the beginning of episode 4, oopse :oops:

anyway, here comes episode 4:



Episode 4:

-”Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
-Carl Sagan


-10:17 AM, April 19, 1986, GRU Headquarters, Moscow, Russia



Colonel Vladimir Vasilievich Kvachkov sat calmly at a chair in the corridor outside the office of Pyotr Ivashutin, an attractive female secretary sat at the desk across from him, quietly typing something. Valdimir shifted uncomfortably in his chair, the situation did not sit well with him.

Sometime in the middle of the previous night, someone from the GRU woke him up and told him to get dressed. Within minutes of that, he was being hustled out to a waiting car which proceeded to take him to an airbase where he was flown all the way from Pskov to Moscow at which point he had been asked a series of questions over and over by some asshole bureaucrats from GRU headquarters. This was followed by them giving him vast reams of documents to sign and which he was not allowed to read.

Then he found himself here, where he had been sitting for the past hour. Part of him felt a bit exhilarated by the prospects this situation may have for him, after all there must be something important that would require him to come all the way to Moscow to talk to the chief of the GRU personally. Then another part of him was dreading what was coming next, being gotten out of bed and shipped here at such short notice implied that something... unpleasant must have happened, and no doubt it meant that all kinds of unpleasantness would be further dispensed, and probably by him in person.

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard the door down the hallway open and in walked a man wearing an army uniform. As he approached Vladimir realized that he recognized the man as Lieutenant Boris Medved, a platoon commander who he had served with in Afghanistan. An instant later the look on Boris' face revealed that he too had the same realization “Colonel Kvachkov? They've got you too?” he asked, surprised.

Vladimir nodded “yes, me too, but don't bother asking me anything, I probably know less than you about what's going on.” He rose out of his chair as the lieutenant approached and the two men shook hands briskly, Vladimir greeted Boris with a warm smile “mystery or no, it's good to see you again Boris” he said.

The lieutenant returned the smile “yes, yes it is good to see you too” he replied. Although Vladimir had no love for his experience in Afghanistan, Boris had proven to be an excellent officer and the two had gotten along splendidly. Some of the foreboding he was feeling lessened, as bad as he thought the situation may well be, as long as he was working with Boris for this one, he at least knew that he would be working with competent men under his command.

When they had released each others hands, some seriousness returned to Boris' expression “well, I don't know if I know more than you, but it’s a fact that I'm not here alone, they flew me here with my whole platoon all the way in from Kiev, they are all waiting back at Khodinka” Vladimir raised an eyebrow at that “well, it would appear that-” the door across from them opened and out stepped two gaunt looking men in black suits who had 'GRU agent' written all over them. Without a word both men walked down the hall and exited.

A few seconds later the door opened again and out stepped the longtime head of the GRU “Good, you are both here, please come in gentlemen.” said the spy master in a tone that was about as welcoming as the barrel of a gun.

The inside of Ivsashutin's office was more spartan than Vladimir had thought, although he had a somewhat understated painting on the wall behind his desk, the rest of the room was almost undecorated. It would appear that one of the most powerful men in the USSR had no need for trifling decorations in his office. “Please take a seat.” he said in the same unpleasant tone as he gestured toward the two chairs in front of the desk.

Vladimir and Boris obeyed as they settled into the chairs. As soon as the spy master had settled into his own chair he immediately got to business “as the two of you may have guessed from the sudden nature of your journeys here, you have been brought here for something very important. So much so, you've both been cleared for viewing 'completely secret' materials” he explained.

Vladimir and Boris gave each other surprised glances that was unexpected, they must really be in the shit, Ivashutin pulled a folder marked “COMPLETELY SECRET” on the cover out of his desk and slid it across toward Vladimir, he picked it up and opened it. Boris leaned over to get a look as well. Thumbing through the folder, Vladimir saw that it contained some radio communications transcripts, notes by a couple GRU analysts, and photos of a handful of military officers, nothing exceptionally remarkable on the surface.

The briefing commenced “less than twenty-four hours ago, a Red Army mechanized infantry platoon disappeared while investigating the Afghan village of Spera near the Pakistan border. Within fifteen minutes of reporting reaching the village, the platoon transmitted a garbled and almost unintelligible distress call that indicated that they had come under attack from some kind of monstrous creatures. No further contact was received from the mechanized platoon; intending to lend assistance, a squadron of Mi-24 attack helicopters was dispatched to the area. They also reported that the area was crawling with some kind of creatures, however shortly after arriving they sent out a distress call themselves which indicated that they were coming under attack by a massive swarm of oversized demonic bats.”

The outlandish description spoken by such a calm and collected man seemed so odd that it was almost funny. Ivashutin continued “the situation in the area is a massive intelligence blind spot. Aside from the two incidents of which we have very little information, there is very little information to go on as of this moment. What we do know is that we have so far lost a few dozen men and several military vehicles within the past twenty four hours and that the cause of those losses has yet to be explained” he paused.

Reaching into his desk, he pulled out two envelopes which he slid across the desk to both of them. Both men opened them and examined the documents inside “these are your orders, in short they indicate that Colonel Kvachkov is to investigate these incidents and any further incidents that appear connected in any way. He is to determine what the cause of them is, what, if any involvement the Americans may have with them, determine what threat the cause poses to the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union in particular, and if at all possible, eliminate it.”

“Lieutenant Medved and his platoon is to assist in any way possible, however their primary foreseen function is to act as personal security for the colonel as well as overall mission security. You have a flight ready to leave for Kabul in one hour.”

Ivsashutin folded his hands across his stomach as he finished “Lieutenant Medved, I need to talk with the colonel for a moment in private, please step outside.”

Boris rose from his chair and nodded to both Vladimir and the spy master “Good day sir.” was his standard response as he exited and closed the door behind him.

Vladimir was getting that feeling of dread again, and it was getting worse with every passing second, going back to Afghanistan was bad enough, but he feared exactly what the GRU chief was about to say. Ivashutin looked him square in the eye “what you have in that dossier is all true, and all of the information that we have gathered on the situation” he almost spat the word out “is in there, however there is some more that you should know” he began to explain.

Here it comes, Vladimir was almost physically cringing with anticipation “I'm sure that you've heard the rumors that the Americans have been smuggling heroin into the country in order to get our soldiers addicted so as to reduce their combat effectiveness. Some have suggested that this latest incident was merely an escalation of that same operation, that now they are using something far stronger, and that they are using some kind of unidentified method to disperse it. I'm not sure I believe that myself, but nothing else seems any more plausible.”

He paused and made a face like he had just bitten something rotten “Now the situation there has been completely fucked for years now, and whatever this is threatens this year's entire offensive into the region, in fact it may pose a threat to the entire country, but most worrying is the complete lack of intelligence” Vladimir wasn't sure if he was more unsettled by this level of candor, or what he was being told.

The spy chief steepled his hands and leaned back “if this is some kind of new American weapon, and we haven't heard even a whisper about its existence, then there is a bigger problem than just Afghanistan” he said. Leaning forward, he spoke at almost a whisper “this has got a lot of very important people very worried, in fact your orders have come straight from the General Secretary himself, and I have been told to tell you that when you determine what the source of this threat is, you are to deal with it using any and all means necessary. I repeat, any and all means. We want this situation dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.”

“You are also authorized to have access to all information regarding this particular situation and as of this moment we have a Tu-22 that will be doing an over flight of the area scheduled to take off within an hour. The photographs from the run will be sent both here and to a lab in Kabul, they should be analyzed and ready for you by some time tomorrow, also any other updates that we have will be sent to you when you land. Now go, you have less than an hour before your flight leaves.”

With that Vladimir rose and walked to the door “one other thing Colonel, so far this situation has revealed to be extremely hazardous, use extreme caution. We can't debrief you if you are dead.”


-8:23 AM, April 21, 1986, Soviet Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan


Vladimir sat at a conference table in a room somewhere beneath the embassy compound, florescent lights stung his eyes. With all the preparations he had to make over the past two days after leaving Moscow, he had gotten less than six hours sleep in over forty-eight hours. Two unshaven men in wrinkled shirts and ties entered the room; one with an ungainly portfolio, the other with a file folder, Vladimir looked at them both with considerable annoyance. They were the analysts assigned by the GRU to review and provide an analysis of the photos taken by the Tu-22 that flew over eastern Paktika Province. That analysis was due more than twelve hours prior “gentlemen, I am so glad that you could find time to complete your assignment” said Vladimir, annoyed.

Both the GRU analysts looked cowed “I am sorry for the delay comrade colonel” the GRU man with the folder apologized “the contents of the photos were... uniquely difficult to analyze, we-”

“I'm not interested in your excuses, just your analysis.”

The other man put the portfolio down on the table “yes colonel” clumsily the two of them prepare their presentation, first Vladimir was handed the file folder while the silent GRU man places a card with a map of Paktika Province on one of the two easels in front of the table, then a blown up photograph on the other.

The lead analyst started to speak “the packet you are holding is a collection of photocopies of all of the reconnaissance photographs, and of the map you see here. Each page has a notation which indicates what map grid reference it corresponds to. If ah- yes, if you'll look at page one, you will see this photograph which corresponds to this-” he pointed to a location on the map “map grid reference, as you can see it is the location of the village of Spera, items one through three are BMP-1 armored vehicles, items four through six are downed Mi-24 helicopters.”

The silent GRU man pulled the first photograph down off the easel and replaced it with another one. The briefing continued “if you will turn to page four you will see an image which corresponds to this-” pointing again to the map “map grid reference located to the northwest of Spera, it is what we believe is, or rather what used to be a Pashtun village. As you can see; most of the area, including the structures have been covered in some sort of overgrowth which made identification of the village rather difficult. We as of yet have been unable to determine exactly what the growth is, however from what we have been able to determine from the photographs-”

Another photo was placed on the easel, this one of a larger area than the previous two, it had several labels indicating different locations, one said 'Spera' another said 'Shamal' and so on. Dominating the photograph was a white squiggly line which seemed to outline a region which occupied more than half of the photograph, looking more closely at the picture allowed Vladimir to see that the area inside the region was a darker color than the area outside.

The man continued “this growth seems to cover an area nearly twenty kilometers across, and it appears that very little plant life is alive within the region. If you continue to page five you will see this photograph-” another picture was brought out “it corresponds to this map grid reference here which is approximately at the location of the town of Shamal. Now as you can see, there is very little difference in appearance from Spera, except if you will note the region demarked as item 1, you will see what appears to be a large grouping of... some kind of animals.

“At first we had assumed that they were people, but if you look closely, you will notice that their appearance is quite non-human. We have as yet been unable to identify the species of animals seen here, if you will also notice there are a number of animals which are somewhat larger than the majority of the grouping, they are also unidentifiable. We estimate that the number of animals in this grouping is somewhere around one hundred.”

“Items two through seven denote groupings of equal or larger size to item one. Going through all of the other photographs taken from the flight, we have been able to identify a total of fifty three groups of comparable or larger size. Judging by variations in size and density of all of the groups, we have been able to determine that there are an estimated seven to ten thousand animals within the region, however this is only an estimate. It is entirely possible that there are far more than that.”

Another photograph was taken from the portfolio and placed on the easel “if you will turn to page eight of your packet, you will see a photograph of the approximate center of the previously denoted region.” The photo showed a couple of the same swarms as the previous photo also showed, it also showed a series of odd looking shapes on the ground. After Vladimir looked back up from his copy of the photo the GRU man proceeded “now this particular image represented the most challenging part of the analysis, if you will notice that the ground is of course covered with the same overgrowth that was observed previously. However it appears to be considerably darker and quite possibly thicker as well. The... structures that can be seen all over this area appear organic in nature, and vary in size from as small as five meters across to as large as thirty meters across. Of special interest is this-”

he pointed to an object in the upper left quarter of the photograph “object, is unlike any other structures, it appears to be the only one of its kind, and seems to be at the rough center of the complex of structures. It also seems as if it is the only structure that is not covered in the strange overgrowth, and this feature surrounding it appears as if it is some kind of barrier. Also noticeable is the presence of six rather large creatures which are congregating around the central structure. If you will look closely you can see that there are four of these apparently black ones that are about the size of a rinocerous, and these two which appear much closet to the size of an elephant. These are the only creatures of this kind that we have observed in the photographs.”

Vladimir was less than pleased. He had been hoping for something more substantive than unidentified objects or swarms of strange animals “we have as yet, been unable to determine the nature or significance of the various structures located in this photograph, although judging by their central location and uniqueness, it is possible that this is the origin of the anomalous items.”


-3:25 PM, April 21, 1986, Khost airbase, Khost Province, Afghanistan


Vladimir and Boris stepped out of the helicopter and onto the tarmac, Vladimir carried a briefcase; followed shortly after by the rest of the platoon, twenty seven men in all. Across the tarmac stood a group of men and a long line of UAZ trucks. As they approached Vlad saw that one of the men in the group was Lt.-General Boris Gromov, the commander of forces in Khost “good afternoon Colonel, I trust that your trip was not too unpleasant.” the men exchanged salutes.

“It went as well as could be expected.”

The general gestured toward one of the trucks “please accompany me to headquarters, we can review the tactical situation once we arrive.”

They entered the truck, first the general, then Vlad and Boris. As the truck started to move the General looked around to face the two men in the back seat “so what does Moscow intend for me to do about this situation?” he asked bluntly.

Vladimir glanced at Boris briefly, then at the general “we don't have any specific details regarding the disappearance of the helicopters and the mechanized infantry platoon, we know the location of the vehicles themselves, but the exact situation-”

The general cut in “I'm not talking about that, what am I supposed to do about this request for a truce by the Mujahideen and the Americans?”

Vladimir raised an eyebrow and both he and Boris looked at each other and then back at the general “What truce?”


-3:42 PM, April 21, 1986, Red Army HQ, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan


The general, Vladimir, and Boris walked down a corridor and rounded a corner “I thought that when representatives from both the CIA and Mujahideen approached us for a truce, things couldn’t get any stranger. Then they started talking about strange beasts that come out of the hills to massacre whole villages. I had almost thought that they were mad and sent them back the way they had come, but after the mess near Spera, all of the rumors that keep spreading around, and then I heard that we would be getting a representative from the GRU directly from Moscow in response to whatever the hell is going on over there...”

“Well, I decided that I would at least wait to see what Moscow had to say about this before making a decision.” The trio came to a stop outside unlabeled door being guarded by two armed men who saluted “Are you going to tell me that they aren’t crazy?” asked the general.

“Perhaps” Vladimir said, he leaned closer to the other two “I wasn’t prepared to reveal this to either of you, however as I’ve become aware of further information regarding this situation, I have come to the conclusion that matters have become serious enough to reveal to you that the accounts we have been getting of strange creatures and monsters may not be as absurd as once thought.”

“The reconnaissance mission flown by the Tu-22 the other day, indicates that something… strange has been going on over in Paktika, and the evidence seems to indicate that the accounts of ‘monsters’ cannot be discounted out of hand” explained Vlad.

Both Boris and General Gromov looked back at him with a look of surprise on their faces “are you suggesting that we seriously consider this call for a truce?” asked Gromov.

Vlad folded his arms “I’m saying that we should seriously consider just what these men have to say. I have been authorized by Moscow to deal with this threat in any way necessary. If that means securing a truce with the Mujahideen for the duration of the crisis, then that is what we shall do.” Gromov opened his mouth as though he wanted to argue “I understand that you are the commander on site here General, and I have no wish to undermine your authority. However as far as this situation goes, I have the authority of both the GRU and the Kremlin to resolve this problem, authority that outranks yours General. I do apologize, and as soon as this problem has been dealt with, I can be out of here and you will no longer have to deal with me.”

Gromov scowled, but did not look like he wanted to argue the point “very well colonel, why don’t we see just what the CIA and Mujahideen have to say?”

Opening the door, the three men entered an interrogation room with a table in the center. Two men sat at the table, they both rose. Although they both looked like they could pass for Afghan, the one on the right wore a much thicker and grayer beard, Vladimir guessed that he was the actual Mujahideen, while the man to his right must have been the American “I’m Adam Melborne, CIA, and my associate here is Mahmood Aziz, currently of the Hezb-e-Islami Mujahideen. I’ll be acting as an interpreter, Mahmood doesn’t speak much Russian” the man on the left said in slightly accented Russian, confirming Vladimir’s suspicions.
General Gromov gestured toward the two new arrivals “this is Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov and Lieutenant Boris Medved of GRU Spetznaz, they are here as representatives of the GRU here in Khost” he explained. Boris and Vladimir nodded.

All five men sat down “So tell me Mr. Melborne, just what is it that you are doing here?” Vladimir asked.

Melborne took a deep breath “As I have told the general here before, Mahmood wishes to propose a temporary truce with the Soviet and Afghan government forces here in Khost while the tāziyāne-ye bozorg still exists as a common threat. I have come along to act as both a representative of the United States Government and to assist in mediating the truce, I am the closest thing that we currently have to a neutral third party under the circumstances” he said.

Vladimir’s expression changed to one of confusion “I’m sorry, you want a truce while what still exists?” both the Afghan and American exchanged a few words in Pashto “I’m sorry, the tāziyāne-ye bozorg, it is what the locals have taken to calling them, the creatures. It means literally ‘great scourge’ in Pashto, personally I think it is an apt name.”

Mahmood started speaking again, Melborne exchanged a few more words with him again in Pashto, then in Russian “he says that the tāziyāne-ye bozorg have been responsible for the deaths of many Pashtun’s and Russians. He and his people are willing to stop fighting you so that you may fight against this common threat together” At that the three Russians exchanged looks of amazement.

The idea of Mujahideen and Russian fighting alongside one another is something that none had considered possible in the past seven years. Vladimir was intrigued, but he still needed more information “Mr. Melborne, you are the ‘neutral third party’ here, just what do you think of the situation?” he asked.

Melborne looked Vladimir square in the eye “if you are asking my opinion, honestly, I say you nuke the whole fucking area, right down to the damn bedrock.” The three of them gaped at the American “the things I have seen over the past week have led me to the conclusion that the threat we are facing here is the biggest threat to both the Soviet Union and United States since Nazi Germany, and quite possibly this is an even bigger threat than that.”

Although Vladimir thought that the American may have been exaggerating a bit, the expression on the man’s face was dead serious “why don’t you explain just what has brought you to this conclusion Mr. Melborne” asked Vladimir.

The American took a deep breath and closed his eyes “well, over a week ago, one of our other SAD teams operating inside of Afghanistan went silent. Our information on the circumstances or the cause were sketchy, we had some keyhole-11 imagery which indicated that the whole village they were operating out of had been wiped out by someone or something of unknown origin.”

“It wouldn’t be until almost two days later that we received information that one of our blackbirds had come back with photo’s showing something… strange growing on the ground a few kilometers from the site of the village. So we were sent in with orders to get a closer look at whatever it was that was going on and report back what we had. When our team arrived we found the place crawling with dozens of these creatures. Half of us was wiped out right there, and I don't know how the hell the rest of us got out at all.” Melborne paused and looked down at his lap.

A second later he looked up at them again “we lost our map, and the whole incident disoriented us, so we wound up going in the wrong direction, because the day after our first encounter we managed to get to the heart of the whole damn thing. The ground was covered in this... growth of some kind, and there were these strange... organisms growing all over the place, there were animals, plants, people... they were stuck in this... stuff, dissolving, being eaten, being turned into more of those creatures...” he trailed off.

Vladimir reached into his briefcase and pulled out the folder with the reconnaissance photos, and opened the packet to the page with the photograph of the area with the strange structures on it “This photograph was taken from a Tu-22 flying over the area the day before yesterday” all five men leaned in closer to look at the photograph “does that growth on the ground look farmiliar?” he inquired.

Melborne nodded “yeah, that's the stuff, that shit grows everywhere, and it grows fast, the day before I got picked up by Mahmood's people, the only other man in my team who was still alive had a growth on his leg, there was hardly any there the day before, but in only twenty four hours it had taken over a third of his body....” Melborne sighed and rubbed his face with his hands “I put a bullet in his brain.” then he looked up.

Vladimir saw the look in his face, and he appeared about ten years older “there were eight of us when we started, in less than four days I was the only one left. From what I can gather these things have wiped out at least a dozen villages in the area, and nothing has stopped them. If you want my advice, pull as many people as you can out now, before those things can get here and nuke the whole fucking province down to the bedrock.”


-3:47 AM, April 22, 1986, Woodland Hills, California, United States


Nathan woke suddenly with soaked sheets and his heart pounding, he'd been having a nightmare again. He had always had problems with extremely vivid dreams, and all too often nightmares. No comfort awaited him as he was greeted by silence and an empty bed. Carla wasn't there, off on some doctors conference in Ohio for the week. He got out of bed and headed down to the kitchen for a glass of water. The past week or so had been especially bad, each night another horrific experience, and tonight was no different.

It started with him running through the hills in some inhospitable looking place, unable to stop or slow down, driven by an irresistible force which compels him to keep going. He is accompanied by a huge swarm of monstrosities which looked like they belonged amongst the scribblings of some madman than running around in the wild, of course each time it takes him a while to realize that he too is one of the monstrosities.

Eventually he and his fellow swarm members come across a village, it reminds him of many pictures out of a National Geographic magazine. The people in the village flee, screaming in terror at the horror that they see running toward them at full speed. It does them no good. Soon he and the others are amongst the villagers, and the slaughter begins.

Some of them are armed however and start fighting back, but again it does them no good. Nathan joins in with the others and starts killing villagers.

One of the men raises a weapon and aims at Nathan, he is hopeful that the dream will end early this time as it had a couple times before. His hopes are dashed as the villager is killed by another creature. Nathan continues with the slaughter, using massive razor sharp claws or teeth. He mutilates and disembowels one villager after another, women, children, men, it doesn't matter. The dream eventually ends as it usually does, with him suddenly waking up just after massacring the last person in the village.

Nathan grabbed a glass out of one of the kitchen cabinets, then with a sigh he turned on the tap and filled his glass. He would have to call Doctor Levin in the morning, he thought he had a handle on these horrible dreams, but now it was worse than it was before the last time he started therapy.



“...The associated press reported today that a total of five foreign journalists from various publications who were covering the Soviet offensive in Paktika have gone missing in the past six days. No information regarding the cause of the disappearances has been discovered as of yet, but sources in the US department of defense have indicated that fighting has drastically increased in intensity over the past week and a half, especially in the eastern part of the province which may explain the disappearances somewhat.

Some information has also been uncovered indicating that a new faction of insurgents has emerged in the south of the country, specifically centered around Paktika province as there have been recent reports of locals claiming that a number of villages have been massacred by what they have referred to as ‘The Great Scourge’ it is unknown if this is the actual name chosen by the alleged new insurgent group, or if it is one that has been made up by local Afghan civilians. Soviet officials have issued a statement recommending that foreign journalists should leave the region for the immediate time period due to the increased risk posed by the fighting...”

-Washington Post article dated April 27, 1986, Written by: Richard M. Weintraub



-2:18 PM, April 28, 1986, Hotel Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan



Roger Jourgensen leaned back in his chair and sipped his coffee. Although the menu at the cafe here at the hotel was limited, he did enjoy the coffee they made. Upon looking up, Roger saw Mike Hamilton approaching from the lobby, moving with an urgent sense of purpose in his stride. Mike was an attache with the American embassy in Islamabad. As he sat down, Mike placed a brief order with the waiter “coffee, no sugar or cream, thanks” his no nonsense demeanor lifted slightly as he looked over at Roger “good to see you again Roger, how're the kids holding up?” his coffee arrived in short order, he took a sip.

Roger shrugged as he shifted in his chair “they're doing fine, Bobby is almost out of the fourth grade. I wish we were meeting under better circumstances.” Roger folded up the copy of Dawn he was reading and laid it down on the table.

Mike added some cream and sugar to his coffee “no kidding, we've got a real shit storm brewing up north. Do you think it has anything to do with Hamid calling this meeting?” Mike's question seemed more of a statement than a sincere question.

Roger made a nonchalant expression “does a bear shit in the woods? I think he suspects that something's up, so do the folks back in Langley, and that's the last thing we need right now” Roger said as he took a sip of his own coffee.

Mike looked at him with raised eyebrows “this mess has them worried huh?” he asked.

Roger nodded “yep, so much so in fact that I've been authorized to show him some of our cards if I think that's what it takes to keep the ISI playing ball. Langley does not want the Pakistani's slamming the door on us right when we are in the middle of one of the biggest intelligence cluster fucks since the Bay of Pigs.”

Mike appeared thoughtful for a second, then his expression tensed a bit “here he comes.”

Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul approached the table and sat down, he did not order anything. The general's expression was hard to read, but Roger didn’t think that it looked good “good afternoon gentlemen” he said in a thick Pakistani accent.

Both Roger and Mike greeted the general in kind. “so what exactly is it that brings you out here General?” Mike sounded as innocent and unaware as a saint.

A bit of annoyance added to the general’s expression “I'm quite certain that you both know what this meeting is about” Hamid's voice dripped with irritation.

Roger and Mike both exchanged quick glances “I'm not quite sure I follow” Roger tried to sound as innocent as he could.

The look of annoyance and irritation was now replaced by a humorless smirk “if that was too subtle a question for you, then perhaps I shall try a more direct approach” Hamid steepled his hands and rested them on the table. He continued “a listening post of ours intercepted a distress call from a Soviet mechanized infantry platoon last week, and then shortly afterward from a squadron of Mi-24 helicopters, both reported coming under attack from 'horrific monsters' and this is on top of the additional dozen or so aircraft we believe that they have lost over the eastern half of Paktika province over the past week.”

“We keep getting reports of strange creatures attacking people all along the border near there, we've lost contact with more than one intelligence source in the region, the Red Army has been completely redeploying most of the forces participating in this years offensive for some unknown reason, nearly every SAD team in northern Pakistan has been either relocated or placed on high alert for... something, and an SR-71 made an over flight of the area by crossing our airspace without any word of warning from Washington ahead of time. Surely the two of you are not going to sit there and tell me that none of this has escaped your notice.”

Hamid looked as if his eyes could shoot daggers. “before you attempt to convince me that you are still ignorant of the situation, I must tell you that General Rahman has received authorization from our president to end all cooperation with the CIA with regard to Afghanistan. We were perfectly willing to work with you on those heroin shipments, but as you would say, Afghanistan is in our backyard, it is not your place to start testing new chemical weapons there without even informing us. Although my government has no more a desire to see a Soviet controlled puppet on our border than yours does, if this mess continues to escalate out of control, it is we who will have to clean it up.”

Roger and Mike exchanged glances again, this time for longer, then Mike nodded to Roger who blinked slowly as he began to explain “although you are correct that we know more than we have been letting on, that’s as far as the deception goes. We had nothing to do with whatever the cause of this mess is, and we are starting to think the Russians aren’t behind it either” Roger explained. Hamid looked incredulous, but he didn’t interrupt “About two weeks ago we lost contact with one of our SAD teams…”

**

About twenty minutes later Roger had finished explaining to the general the situation, he still had an incredulous look on his face though “this is what you expect me to believe?” Hamid was almost yelling.

Roger looked General Gul directly in the eye “do you honestly think that if it were a cover story that we would come up with something so unbelievable?” Hamid opened his mouth as if to say something but remained silent, his look of incredulity was replaced by one of consternation.

After another second or two he spoke “exactly how long were you prepared to keep us in the dark about this?” the tone of irritation in Hamid’s voice was still there, but it was not as strong.

“Well, we had hoped that the Soviets would be able to keep a lid on this, ever since we had gotten evidence that whatever this is wasn’t the Russian’s doing, we started sending out feelers to them in hopes of at least getting an idea as to what it is they planned to do about it. They haven’t been too forthcoming, but they seemed to have dropped a hint that they were contemplating a ceasefire with the Mujahideen while they try to contain the situation” said Roger. Hamid’s expression changed to one of surprise this time, that got his attention “yeah, they are that scared. They are about as clueless on this as we are, and it’s thrown a monkey wrench into the works of their offensive in the area. We believe that they have suspended nearly all offensive operations against Mujahideen forces in Paktika and surrounding provinces, and like you've said they've started redeploying nearly all available forces, but we don't know what their exact objective is, although they seem to be moving a lot of troops into the City of Khost” Roger paused to sip his coffee, mostly for dramatic effect and to let these new facts sink in.

Hamid leaned forward in his seat, it was his turn now to be forthcoming “we have intelligence that they are hoping to mount some kind of defense against whatever it is we are dealing with. To this end they in fact have managed to forge a temporary ceasefire with the Mujahideen surrounding the city. They have also reinforced the garrison with various forces from the surrounding area, it looks like they have something close to an over strength division holding the city now, including an armored battalion which was allowed to pass through Mujahideen lines un-opposed.”

Hamid leaned back in his chair “what exactly is the position of the CIA on this situation?” most of the confrontation had gone out of Hamid at this point, although he didn't seem entirely happy either.

Roger shrugged and made a casual dismissive gesture “right now we are in a 'wait and see' posture, we want to see if the Soviets can contain the situation on their own, other than that there isn't much more that we can do without taking more overt action, and it is their ballgame as of right now. We won't be able to make any other moves until we have established what level of cooperation the Russians are prepared to participate in. And your people?” Roger finished his coffee with one final gulp.

Gull’s expression was unreadable again “we've ordered all our forces along the border be put on full alert, we have activated an additional five divisions which will be sent to the border within the next week, and it has been recommended that the president close the border altogether. If the Russians cannot contain this on their own, we will be prepared” he said.

Both Roger and Mike raised their eyebrows, Mike spoke this time “are you saying that the Pakistani Army is prepared to commence military operations across the border?” he asked.

Hamid merely made a dismissive brushing gesture with his hand “although it has been considered as an option of last resort, such action is not on the table as of yet, however I would advise your people in Afghanistan to keep their heads down. I would hate for them to be the victims of any friendly fire incidents, especially since you seem so intent on keeping so much from us” Hamid made a joyless smile as he proceeded to rise from his chair “now if you'll excuse me, I have a very busy day ahead of me. Good day gentlemen.”

After the general left Mike looked at Roger with a furrowed brow “this situation is getting out of hand Roger, I don't even want to know what the Chinese will do if the Pakistani's make a move into Afghanistan” he said.

Roger rubbed his temples with his thumb and index finger “I know, I keep thinking that maybe we should have come clean to the Pakistani's from the beginning, but I'm not sure that it would make a difference, and if it really does come down to what Hamid suggested, then we won't just have to worry about what the Chinese think. At the very least containment of this story will be damn near impossible, and we better damn well start making preparations for what to tell the public” Roger got out his wallet to pay the bill.

“One thing though Roger, why didn't you tell Hamid about the blackbird photos?”

Roger threw a few rupees on the table “if you think the risk of the Pakistani army crossing the border was high now, what do you think would happen if they really knew the truth? They probably still think that its some kind of air or waterborne hallucinogen making people go crazy, if they actually had a clue of what was really going on there'd be Pakistani tanks rolling along the Khyber Pass as we speak. If the Russians can contain this, then we won't have to worry about what the Pakistani's know, and if they can't...” Roger threw his hands up in a show of exasperation “Having the ISI pissed at us will be the least of our problems.”

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 03:45pm
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Location: Parachuting with murderers into the Hollywood Hills
Good chapter, and that growth does make the situation more serious than I thought it would have been. I must ask though, what sort of "other aircraft" have been downed over the province? Certainly they wouldn't be able to reach as high as a jet, and even if they could they could not catch one. That said, the Soviets could probably just conduct a massive conventional bombing campaign and wipe out the things. I would also have expected the Soviets to put out more armed recon into the area after their first incident.



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Samuel Clemens

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 04:13pm
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spartasman wrote:
Good chapter, and that growth does make the situation more serious than I thought it would have been. I must ask though, what sort of "other aircraft" have been downed over the province? Certainly they wouldn't be able to reach as high as a jet, and even if they could they could not catch one. That said, the Soviets could probably just conduct a massive conventional bombing campaign and wipe out the things. I would also have expected the Soviets to put out more armed recon into the area after their first incident.


The Soviets have lost a some other helicopters and the occasional fighter which has strayed too close to the infested area. The next update deals with the exact details of just how the aliens deal with airborne threats.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 08:05pm
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Episode 5:



-"The seat in Hell closest to the fire is reserved for those who knew this but kept it quiet."
-2nd Lieutenant Ollie Conner, US Army, in regard to the ineffectiveness of American bazookas in Korea



-11:37 AM, April 29, 1986, Somewhere over southern Afghanistan
 



Lieutenant Nikita Korolev checked the altimeter on the hud of his MiG-29 fighter again twelve thousand meters, good he thought. A brief glance at his radar showed that only he, the twelve Tu-16 bombers, and thirteen other escorts were the only aircraft anywhere within one hundred kilometers.
 
“Do you think we will see any martians Nikita?” Lieutenant Golovkin inquired over the radio “only the green ones Ivan, all the others are too busy heading for Cuba, where the weather is lovely, as are the women” the rest of the squadron got a good laugh at that one.  Nikita was not entirely so light hearted about the situation, he had heard the rumors about strange creatures in Afghanistan, just like everyone else, and though he dismissed them as nothing but silly nonsense, he couldn't help but wonder just why a squadron of bombers would need an escort on a mission where the Soviet Air Force was uncontested.  Although he had heard other rumors that the problem was not monsters, but in fact the Pakistani's, who had started getting a bit more anxious in the past couple weeks.
 
About fifteen minutes later the light mood of the squadron tensed as they approached the objective “everyone stay attentive, we are ten minutes out from the target” Colonel Matskevich ordered.  Although Nikita was not sure what was so important about what his map told him was nothing more than a useless patch of desolate hills in the middle of nowhere, his years of training and practice had instilled enough discipline in him to not screw around at a time like this besides, if the airforce wants to waste so many rubles blowing holes in what is already a barren wasteland who am I to argue?  
 
Moments later his thoughts were interrupted by a sudden announcement by Lieutenant Lebedev “I've got a contact, does anyone else have- no wait, now I have three- no, seven, shit! where are they coming from?!” Nikita could see on his radar plot that somehow there were literally dozens of unidentified contacts appearing below them, climbing at an incredible rate.
 
Looking just over the nose of his plane he could see what looked like a massive flock of birds taking off from the ground ahead of them.  Except that at this distance they would have to be birds the size of fighter jets, and they would have to be climbing at a faster rate than anything he had ever seen.  Someone else must have been getting a good look too “how many- there must be hundreds of them, what are we suppos-”
 
Colonel Matskevich interrupted “unless you have something useful to say, shut up and let's get to work, we've got less than ten minutes until we reach the designated target area.  Engage the enemy as far out as possible, the bombers must be allowed to get through.” The colonel's voice sounded determined, but Nikita felt considerable trepidation, he didn't know what they were facing, and he had no idea of the enemy's capabilities IIIwho gives a shi?  There are a lot more of them and they seem perfectly happy to bunch up so closely, just shootIII. Nikita and the rest of the squadron accelerated to intercept the unknown contacts.

“Everyone pick a target and lock on-” Colonel Golovkin ordered, then a couple seconds later after everyone had complied “fire!” Nikita saw a white contrail streak out ahead of his MiG as a Vympel R-27 accelerated toward the unnamed enemy which was in turn accelerating toward them.  Without waiting for the missiles to reach their targets, the colonel ordered another salvo, and more contrails streaked out ahead of the fighters, then a third salvo was fired.  By now the first volley had reached their targets, and the sky up ahead lit up as just over a dozen explosions erupted among the massive swarm of unknown things.
 
Looking closely, Nikita could see that big chunks had been blown out of the ranks of the mysterious attackers with some clearly falling back to the ground, and others just vanished as they had apparently been obliterated by the explosions.  Another salvo was ordered and launched, and then the second one impacted, and again massive holes were blown in the clouds of enemy targets, but as many as they seemed to be killing, there were just so many more.
 
By now the range had closed enough that they could make out some details of these things, and from what Nikita could tell they were completely alien, they weren't planes or rockets, or any kind of aircraft he had ever seen, rather they looked like giant monstrous dragonflies.  Someone spoke again “what are they?” it was Lebedev again.
 
“It doesn't matter what they are right now, just keep engaging them, fire at will!
 
The colonel's orders were obeyed and more missiles streaked out, but now in ones and twos as each pilot opened fire the second he had gotten a lock, not waiting for the rest of the squadron why aren't we withdrawing? thought Nikita. Whatever they were, these things so clearly outnumbered them, and even with all of the casualties that they had inflicted had not been enough to weaken or scare them off before they could reach the bombers.  
 
Nikita was down to his last missile, and he was certain that everyone else was also almost out if they hadn't exhausted their supply of missiles already “prepare to break formation and engage the enemy at close range when they close to within ten kilometers.” Nikita responded in the affirmative as he fired off his last missile.
 
Just as the colonel had ordered he began to bank his plane in preparation for the expected maneuver.  The oncoming swarm seemed to have the same idea as it started to change heading and speed as the distance closed rather than speeding headlong toward them.



Then the swarm and the squadron closed, Nikita opened fire with his cannon, letting loose a couple short bursts.  He thought that he saw one of the creatures go down as he banked to the left to engage another enemy, his chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it as the G's piled on.  Then his concentration was broken ever so suddenly by the sound of someone screaming over the radio, it sounded like Ivan “what happened?! Give me a status report!” Colonel Golovkin was demanding in a frantic voice, then someone else started screaming too.
 
“It's Ivan, they hit his plane with something, it looks like somebody shot it with a giant shotgun!” someone else answered over the radio.  Nikita didn't have time to contemplate that as he brought another creature into his sights and opened fire, the creatures body broke apart and shattered like a rock from the blow of a sledgehammer.  Then someone else started screaming too, and then that was cut short as something exploded in his peripheral vision “everybody sound off, what is everyone's status?” demanded the Colonel.
 
Other members of the squadron started reporting back and then Nikita did, two were cut off in mid sentence.  In all, five pilots failed to respond, Nikita didn't have to be a genius to know what had happened to them.  After taking out yet another creature, he realized that whatever these things were, they weren't going after the bombers, almost as if they only cared about the fighters.  He also noticed that although these things had an incredible rate of climb, their overall speed was much slower than that of the MiGs, but their maneuvering was vastly superior. It was just that their massive numbers and close proximity made it almost impossible to miss.



As interesting as that was however, it was a minor consideration considering the situation, and the thought had all but been forgotten after another two pilots stopped responding to hails.  Taking out two more creatures, Nikita turned just in time to see one of them collide with another plane, it exploded in a ball of flame.  Not dwelling on that, he returned to his work and took out another couple of them.  Then he realized two surprising things.  First was that he had lost contact with everyone else in the squadron, and second was that he was almost out of cannon ammunition.



His thoughts were interrupted by a massive BANG, as something impacted into his plane which now shook violently, and could no longer be maneuvered.  He started to go into a dive before he realized that one of the creatures must have rammed into his starboard wing which was now gone and had been replaced by fire and smoke which spewed out of the side of his aircraft.  
 
Thinking quickly, Nikita reached between his legs and grabbed the bright red handle for the eject mechanism.  His eyesight blurred, and his body felt as if a ton of bricks landed on his shoulders.  Then he was falling, and just before his parachute opened, he saw as the creatures started swarming the bombers off in the distance, and one of them started to fall from the sky.










7:16 AM, May 4, 1986, Western Perimeter, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan




Private Nikolai Antonov inspected his PKM once again as Aleksie moved a box of ammunition behind them in their foxhole.  Looking out past the sandbags he saw the devastated region beyond their defensive line, in the past week massive amounts of explosives had been flown in and used to burn down or outright demolish all of the buildings outside the defensive perimeter that surrounded the majority of the city, the result had been... dramatic.
 
In the distance he heard the faint rumbling of MiG-23's and the gentle thumping sound of a couple helicopters. Looking behind himself he noticed a young Afghan man carrying a satchel on his back containing weapon magazines, judging by the sounds it made as he moved.  The young man was crawling on his belly, trying to keep his head below the height of the wall of sandbags that sat in front of the fox hole.



The boy couldn't have been older than sixteen, maybe seventeen.  There must have been thousands just like him all over the defensive lines, carrying supplies and ammunition.  They had been conscripted from the local populace five days ago, after the truce had been declared with the Mujahideen besiegers around the city.  Now that was something he would never get used to.



The whole situation was giving Nikolai headaches, first there were tales of monsters out in the hills, then groups of troops and whole villages disappearing, and now the Mujahideen and Khost garrison declared a truce and were now taking up arms together to defend against something that he didn't even know what it was.  And then there were the press gangs.  
 
After the Mujahideen entered the city, press gangs had been assembled, conscripting every able bodied man of military age.  The civilian populace had been enraged at it, and in fact under any other other circumstances it would have been considered a fools errand to try such a thing for fear of the whole city rising up in rebellion.  However, there was little the locals could do, the press gangs had been formed from the ranks of the Afghan army, Mujahideen, and Red Army, and while some had made an issue of it, for the most part the message was clear: all the men with the guns are on the same side.
 
He started to notice the sound of a far off low pitched buzzing, it was more of those dragonflies.  The damn things had come on raids at least several times a day for the past four days.  Ugly as hell, they had looked like hellishly deformed dragonflies with misshapen and armor plated bat wings.  In spite of their appearance as living creatures, he had seen them keeping pace with fighter jets on the rare occasion he was able to observe them engaging the air force.
 
The problem; as far as he could tell, and from what he had overheard from some air force technicians talking in the cafeteria once, was that the damn things liked to fly very close to the ground, making it extremely hard for them to be detected on radar until they were just about to attack.  The deep rumbling of jet engines started to get louder as the air force appeared to now be responding to the new threat.  
 
A few seconds later he saw what looked like a half dozen dragonflies seemingly shoot out of the hilltops directly to the west. Nikolai watched a hail of tracers go up as several shilka's opened fire on the raiders.  One of the creatures appeared to be hit as its flight path deteriorated into a drunken stagger then fell to the ground.  The other five proceeded to juke and weave in an attempt to dodge the anti-aircraft fire.  Suddenly a chorus of screams could be heard further down the line, most likely the result of one of those barrages of spikes raining down on some unfortunate bastards.  
 
Horrible things those; twice the size of a railroad spike, he'd seen them punch clear through tree trunks and even once into the engine block of a UAZ. The worst part of them was that once you got one stuck in you, it was excruciating as hell, and they couldn't be removed without the help of a doctor.  He'd been told that they seemed to shoot out these tiny little spines when they penetrated something, which grabbed onto whatever it had been shot into.  He'd also heard that they continued burrowing deeper once they hit, but he wasn't sure if that was just a rumor, of course he had no intention of finding out.



Another creature was downed as he heard its buzzing falter and die out, but still more screams persisted as they launched other attacks elsewhere on the city defenses.  Suddenly a creature flew overhead; low and fast, he and Aleksie ducked down deeper into their foxhole, and a fraction of a second later a hail of those spikes came down all around them.  They pretty much landed harmlessly on the ground or impacted into the sandbags, however two actually landed inside the foxhole, mere centimeters from Nikolai's right leg.  The dragonfly climbed into the air as it looked as if it was about to come around for another pass, then suddenly it exploded. A MiG roared past, turning to engage another threat and it fired its cannon.



Less than a minute later the remaining fireflies retreated back behind the hills, the MiGs did not give chase.  Nikolai had heard that they had already lost a good number of aircraft that had ventured too close to the territory, claimed by the tāziyāne-ye bozorg, the great scourge.  That's what the Pashtuns had called them, and the Russians had followed suit.  They learned quickly what it had meant, and nobody could argue with such an apt name, so they had decided to call them the same thing. No need to change something that didn't need to be fixed.



The sound of the jet fighters became quieter as they flew off to another part of the city, wherever they had been in their patrol circuit before the attack.  “That was quick” said Aleksie.
 
Nikolai nodded “another probe, that's the second time this morning. It's going to be a long day.”  Both of them had been told that these creatures were just wild animals, some kind of mutants or aliens, not intelligent, but like many of them, Nikolai knew better. They had been attacked every day, several times a day for the past four days.  Sometimes they came by land, sometimes by air, sometimes both at the same time, never from the same exact direction or at the same spot.  Their defenses were being tested.
 
He knew that those creatures were numerous enough to launch a full scale attack, that there had to be literally tens of thousands of those creatures out there, just waiting in the hills.  What are they waiting for?  he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer.






-8:22 AM, May 4, 1986, Red Army HQ, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan



Vladimir looked at the tactical map of the city and the defensive lines that ringed it, all too thin he thought.  In spite of the massive infusion of manpower from all the surrounding Red Army troops that had entered the city within the past week, all the Mujahideen fighters who joined their ranks, and all the conscripted civilians, the entire defensive perimeter surrounding the city was still all too thin.  In all the city's defenses consisted of a large U shaped series of fortifications that covered most of the outer border of the city, with some parts being within the city limits, especially in the west, this was done in order to shorten the defensive lines and concentrate their forces.
 
Any parts of the city that lay outside of the perimeter had been evacuated and leveled to allow for a clear field of fire.  Fearing a large scale flanking attack, the neighboring towns of Yaqubi and Aliser to the northeast had been forcefully evacuated and the population had been brought inside the defensive perimeter.  
 
The arrangement reminded Vladimir of a medieval siege, where all of the peasants in the surrounding countryside had been rushed inside of the walls of a castle as an enemy army approached.  Of course they didn't have to worry about starvation as long as they could airlift supplies in, but at least a medieval army could be reasoned with, these creatures couldn't.
 
The plan was to distract the tāziyāne-ye bozorg here while the 40th Army under General Igor Rodionov prepared to launch an offensive from Gredayz in the north, which he would be able to do in an estimated three days.  Originally the plan was to obliterate the enemy through air strikes and then send in the 40th to clean up, but when the air force had kicked off their bombing operations five days ago, the entire situation had gone to shit, in all they had lost a total of eighty planes over the course of the operation, and by the third day all strategic bombing had been suspended.  
 
The new plan was to send in fighters only, which would use their superior speed, and longer weapons range to grind down their airborne capability, but that could take weeks or even months, and they just didn't have that kind of time.  Just about everyone here and further up the chain of command had come to the conclusion that an attack was imminent, and most likely would happen within a week, if not sooner.









-9:47 PM, May 6, 1986, the outskirts of Gardeyz, Paktia Province, Afghanistan



Junior Sergeant Igor Romanov walked point for his squad as they conducted their nightly patrol.  The other men in his squad quietly joked and talked amongst each other, their pace had slowed, forcing him to slow himself down in order to avoid getting too far ahead of the rest of the squad, they had also lost cohesion and their formation had spread out into a disorderly mess they're getting sloppy he thought.  
 
The past week of peace ever since the truce had gone into effect had been like a gift from the heavens, there were no more rocket attacks, no more ambushes or snipers, it had been quiet.  Now they had all heard the tales of monsters in Paktika and Khost provinces, but no one here had seen any, and many of them had started to wonder if there wasn't something else going on.
 
Maybe someone back home had figured out a way to make people hallucinate or something like that, and it made the Mujahideen think they needed to make peace in order to fight this new threat, and while they were getting ready for a fight against some army of hellspawn, the 40th Army would swoop down and destroy them.  That was why they were amassing here in Gardeys, getting ready to move out the next day. At least that's what he and many others had thought.
 
Deep in his own thoughts, it hadn't immediately occurred to Igor that the rest of his squad had stopped talking.  Igor came to a halt “Viktor?” no one responded “Misha?” again, no one replied.  Igor's heart skipped a beat maybe those tales aren't such bullshit after all, or maybe the Mujahideen decided to go back on the truce “hey guys, is anyone there?” he tried not to sound scared, but he knew that he had failed.
 
Then he heard a sound, didn't he?  He could have sworn he heard something, maybe his mind was playing tricks on him.  He looked out into the darkness and saw nothing but hills silhouetted in the distance, he turned on his flashlight and shone it around, looking for some threat that he couldn't see.  A couple times he thought he saw something but each time he tried to pinpoint it, there was nothing there.  His heart was practically pounding out of his chest now.  
 
Panicking, he picked up his pace, he had to get back, tell them that something had happened to the rest of his squad, or maybe they had gotten separated and they were looking for him.  Fuck! Where is everybody? he was running now, this is just some joke, some prank they are playing on me, Misha is prob- his thoughts were cut short as he tripped.
 
He dropped his flashlight and almost lost his rifle too, not wasting a second, he quickly got to his knees and then to his feet again.  Looking around for his flashlight he bent over to grab it when I get back I'm gonna kick Misha's ass for this, he thinks he's so- Igor was unable to finish his thought as a razor sharp scythe was thrust through the back of his skull and out through his right eye socket.  The six foot tall creature that had been walking just a few feet behind Igor had finally struck, but for some reason the unfortunate soldier had never noticed it, and neither had any of his squad mates.



-10:28 PM, May 6, 1986, Red Army HQ, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan



General Gromov awoke as he heard the sound of someone at his door. By the time they knocked, he was already awake and out of the cot that he had placed in his office. He opened the door and encountered the face of a young enlisted man “comrade General, I'm sorry to disturb you-”

“No need to apologize, what is it?”
“Sir, it is the 40th Army at Gardeyz, they have come under attack.”
The general cursed under his breath “How bad?”
“We just received word that their outer defenses have been overrun, General Rodionov is trying to hold on, but he says that he will probably have to order a retreat from the city.”



**



Boris entered the command center and headed straight for the radio set, he grabbed the handset from a waiting radio technician “what's the situation up there Igor?” he spoke into the microphone.
 
The signal came through with a bit of static “it's pretty bad up here Boris, they've managed to overrun our outer defenses, however we've managed to halt their initial advance, it's unbelievable how many of them there are!” He could hear the sound of artillery and loud explosions in the background, it sounded closer than it should have.
 
We're going to try to hold tight and inflict as many casualties as possible, and hope that it breaks them. If that is at all possible. Unfortunately all of the air support that was being saved for the attack that you were expected to face has been redirected here, so whatever you have at your airfield is all you're going to get, whenever these bastards decide to come after you.

Boris looked over to see Colonel Kvachkov walk into the room “I can have the air assets assigned here to assist you, they could-”

General Rodionov cut him off “don't bother, in all likelihood we will be forced to pull out within the next twenty four to forty eight hours. Besides, you need that air support even more than we do. That's all for now General, we'll contact you if we have anything new to report.

“Good luck Igor.”

Good luck to you too Boris.

And with that their conversation ended, Colonel Kvachkov looked at him inquisitively “the 40th at Gredayz?” he asked.

“Yes, it doesn't sound good.”

“How bad?”

“Bad, General Rodionov thinks he's going to have to pull out within the next day or two.”

Boris contemplated a spot on the wall for a moment, then “I think the time has come to start evacuating the civilians out of the city” he said.

Colonel Kvachkob shook his head “we don't have the airlift capacity to pull everyone out of-” he started to argue.

Boris interrupted him though “I'm not talking about flying them out of here, I'm talking about sending them to Pakistan, it's only about fifteen kilometers to the border” Boris explained “the Pakistanis are not going to like that, and they may not even allow anyone to cross the border” Kvachkov responded.

Boris merely scowled at the tactical map “we're going to have to just convince them otherwise, if we fail here, tens of thousands of people will die. This may not be my homeland, and I don't have much love of the people here, but I will not allow this city be massacred in its entirety, I've seen enough senseless bloodshed since coming here, perhaps for once I can prevent some.”

The colonel nodded “agreed, I'll get on the phone to Moscow, and perhaps it is time for our American friend be allowed to contact his government.”






-1:18 PM, May 7, 1986, Presidential Palace, Islamabad, Pakistan



Dean R. Hinton and several of embassy staffers sat at a table across from a group of Soviet officials headed by foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze. Both groups eyed each other warily, but nothing was said. After a few minutes of waiting, the large doors to the room opened, and in walked the President of Pakistan himself Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, flanked by Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, and General Akhtar Rahman on either side. Both groups rose as the president entered the room, as he reached his chair at the head of the table and sat down so too did the other two groups. Zai did not look pleased.



The Soviet foreign minister spoke first “on behalf of General Secretary Gorbachev and the Soviet people, I wish to thank you for agreeing to this meeting.”

The look on the president's face did not change much “I believe that you have come me here to discuss the developing situation in Afghanistan. Mr. Shevardnadze, I take it that your government has been unsuccessful at resolving it” Zia's tone was chilly.

The Soviet foreign minister looked indignant, but he responded calmly “the situation could be described that way, yes, and as such we would like to propose certain cooperation between our two governments in order to facilitate the resolution of this problem.” he said.

he Pakistani president raised an eyebrow, his gaze was unrelenting “and exactly what kind of cooperation would you have in mind?” the question dripped with contempt.

Shevardnadze gathered himself for a second “the general secretary has requested that your government open the border near Khost and allow Afghan refugees to cross over, also he has requested that you consider lending troops to help us fight against this common enemy that may soon threaten your nation as well” his tone was reproachful, Dean wondered if this approach might work.

Apparently not, Zia visually guffawed at that “this situation has spiraled out of control thanks to the incompetence of the Soviet government and the Red Army. If this proves to be a threat to my country, we will take adequate precautions to defend against it, however I will not be responsible for fixing the problems of the USSR, you will have to deal with them yourselves” the Pakistani president stared daggers at the Soviet foreign minister.

Dean was surprised, everything he had learned indicated that the Pakistanis were more wary of the situation and would be all too quick to nip this problem in the bud once they had learned the true extent of it, this was not good. He started to speak, keeping his tone as respectful as he could “I can confirm what the Soviet foreign minister is saying, we have intelligence which indicates that this threat is far greater than previously perceived. We can also confirm that-”

Zia interrupted him “I have had quite enough of the lies from the United States Mr. Hinton, first you tell us nothing, then when you have been caught in this deception you continue with further lies, you are fortunate that we have not cut all of our cooperation with your government” his eyes burned into Dean “I am well aware of the impending Soviet defeat at Gardeyz as well as the besieged troops at Khost. Both of you have played games in Afghanistan without any thought to the consequences, ignoring those who live here and will have to deal with the messes you make after you leave. Well, this is one mess both of you are going to have to solve yourselves. Good day gentlemen” and with that he rose from his seat and walked out of the room. Dean looked over at Minister Shevardnadze who returned the gaze with an expression that seemed to read 'well, now what?'




-5:48 PM, May 7, 1986, Hotel Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan




Roger sat slumped in his chair at the hotel cafe, staring into his coffee and wishing that it was a scotch. It was a rarity for Roger to drink, but today he felt like he needed something stiff. After all it wasn't everyday that he so horrifically misjudged a situation as to ruin his career. He had been convinced that the Pakistanis were itching to go into Afghanistan and clean up the mess, every piece of information he had said so, what the hell had he missed?


“You look like a man in serious need of a vacation” said General Gul as he sat down across from Roger. He had been so consumed by his own malaise that he did not notice the Pakistani spy master enter the room “well, I think that I'm about to get an extended one” Roger took another drink from his coffee “I had led you to believe that our government was prepared to take a more active role in the situation up north, and today you had found that your assumptions were very wrong. I would imagine that Ambassador Hinton would not be happy, and neither would your superiors at the CIA” Gul leaned forward in his chair “suppose you were not entirely wrong?” he asked.

Roger was silent for a moment “what is that supposed to mean?”

The general smiled a cold and joyless smile “I was not deceiving you before, at least not completely, there are some in my government who view the situation in Afghanistan with shall we say, a proper respect for the threat it represents” the gears were spinning in Rogers head at breakneck speed.

Roger leaned forward toward the general “so there is a faction that disagrees with your president then?” Gul nodded “and just what are they prepared to do?” Roger inquired.

Gul scratched his chin his expression thoughtful “several options have been considered, however a consensus has been reached that harkens back to the events of 1977” Roger sat up in his chair sharply a coup, son of a bitch!

The realization on Roger's face did not go unnoticed by the general “yes, you seem to understand. However there is one particular factor which overrules our plans” the hairs on the back of Rogers neck stood up.

They want something from us “what do you need?” he asked.

The general leaned back in his chair “you are very astute Mr. Jourgensen. Indeed there is a purpose that the United States government can serve to assist us in meeting our ends, to this end, we believe that we can assist each other.” Gul crossed his arms across his chest, he continued “bear in mind that the omissions of both you and your government have not been forgotten or forgiven, however, should you assist us in this, it would ameliorate some of the hard feelings.”

“However I digress, the people in this particular camp are lacking a certain public justification for making such a move, and although you and I both know of this justification, we feel that it would greatly help our cause if either the Soviet Union or the United States or both made public the situation in Afghanistan. This may in fact alleviate the need for such drastic action since such public knowledge may force the President's hand” he crossed his arms, the thoughtful expression remained.


Roger was surprised to say the least “do you realize what you are asking?” he asked.

Guls lips tightened into a slight grin “quite, however as you may well have realized, unless the Russians receive some kind of assistance in the very short term, this situation will spiral even further out of control until the choice has been made for us.”

Roger swallowed “Obviously this is not a decision that I alone can make, so I will have to consult with my superiors in Washington” and with that he rose from his chair.

Gul looked up at him, a grave expression on his face“I advise you to do so with utmost haste Mr. Jourgensen, I do not believe we have much time.”




-1:07 PM, May 8, 1986, White House Situation Room, Washington, D.C. United States


Roger sat at a table surrounded by a who's-who of American intelligence and defense, and of course President Reagan himself. He had just finished explaining the situation to the room which had been paying full attention to him, and the irony was not lost on him that less than twenty four hours ago, his career was effectively over, and now he was the most important man in a group that included the President of the United States.


“...so as you can see, we have quite a dilemma here” he said, the various people in the room grumbled. Roger couldn't quite tell what direction the overall consensus was going.

Colonel North spoke first “I think the situation is quite clear, the Pakistani president is right, let the Ruskies clean this mess up” he growled.

Vice President Bush leaned forward in his chair “I don't know about that Ollie, we thought that the Russians would have been able to clean up this mess pretty quickly, but now the 40th has pulled out of Gredayz, and we can be certain that Khost will be next, it's only a matter of time before things get really messy. I think this represents the best chance we have to nip this in the bud right here, even if we do have to go public.”

Admiral Poindexter chimed in too “the Russians have plenty of divisions to spare, they can pull enough down there to finally clean this up, and the more they have to spend to fix the situation, the weaker they'll be down the road. I believe that's why we spent so much money helping the Afghanis in the first place” he asserted.

Several others started to speak up, and the entire room almost burst into argument when the president raised a hand “I'm well aware that the situation seems to be quite a mess gentlemen, however I believe that both Ollie and John have the right idea. I'd rather keep this quiet right now, and let the Russians explain the situation when it gets too big to contain.”


The sentiment of the room seemed to have shifted in favor of keeping things quiet, as several people nodded in agreement, but Roger felt that he had to say something before the end of the meeting God I should really know when to shut up “uh, excuse me, but I think it should be considered that although the problem does appear to be exclusive to the Russians and the Pakistani's, one must remember that we were wrong when we assumed that the Russians would be able to fix this mess by now and didn't mention anything to the ISI or anyone else, and that did not work out the way we hoped.”

“It should also be mentioned that the 40th Army consisted of almost a full six divisions and was not able to hold its position in Gredayz, and that they had suffered nearly fifteen thousand casualties before retreating. Not to mention that the Soviets have already lost over one hundred aircraft trying to bomb that region and met with little success. This problem is not one that is going to go away any time soon I'm afraid, and let us not forget that once enough Afghan villages and Red Army divisions disappear, the public is going to notice something's up. And if we wait until then, it's going to be made public whether we like it or not, and I wouldn't be surprised if we have to get involved anyway.”

The president looked squarely at Roger, and then around the room “You may have something Mr. Jourgensen, what are our options?”




-5:42 AM, May 10, 1986, Western Perimeter, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan




Nikolai crawled into position behind his PKM with Aleksie right behind him as the soldiers from the night shift crawled out. He performed a quick inspection of his weapon and nodded to Aleksie as the other soldier looked over the ammunition and other items surrounding their post. Nikolai then did a quick survey of the area beyond the sand bags in front of their position and then around at the fortifications to either side.

Over the past week the defenses here had grown to include trenches and other earthworks as the army had dug in further. He was starting to feel a little more secure behind these defenses, as the Russians, Afghanis, and Mujahideen had come to cooperate better over time, he felt a kind of reassurance at the idea that the force here knew what it was doing and wasn't just some jumble of people with a common purpose.

It also helped that he had heard news that information regarding the monsters they were fighting here had reached the world at large, and that even the Pakistani's had started making noises about joining the fight. Although he had also heard that the Pakistani president was stubbornly refusing to get involved, the fact that the possibility of more help was reassuring in itself. He just hoped that if help did come, that it wouldn't be too late. While the probing attacks had seemed to peter out over the past couple days, the news that the 40th Army had been driven out of Gredayz only served to convince Nikolai and the rest of them that the tāziyāne-ye bozorg were bound to launch a major assault on the city any day now.


Looking over to the east he saw what looked like the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise, unfortunately it was juxtaposed by the terrible horrors that he knew had to be just over the next set of hills. Then he heard the sound of more dragonflies approaching, although it seemed a bit different this time, as it was accompanied by what sounded like the sound of a stream flowing. Both sounds got louder over time, however this new sound appeared to be doing so at a slower rate. “They are starting early this morning” said Aleksie.

Nikolai nodded in agreement “hmm, well at least we won't have trouble staying awake today” he said with a touch of sarcasm.

Moments later, the first dragonfly shot over the hill, followed by more... and more, and more still. Some immediately dove straight down toward the ground and the line of defenses, meanwhile others rose up high in the sky. Immediately he heard the sound of the shilkas opening up, followed by the telltale tracer fire going into the sky attempting to knock down the incoming fliers. Nikolai got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, shit “this is a big one” said Aleksie in a nervous voice.

Nikolai made a sigh “and to think that I was worried we would be bored again today” he tried to sound reassuring, but he didn't think it was working. Men started screaming down the line as barrages of spikes started impacting. Then more dragonflies started pulling up over the hills, it was another swarm... or was it the same swarm and he just hadn't realized it?

This isn't a probe, this is a full scale attack, Nikolai's heart sank and fear started to grip him. He heard the sound of the incoming MiG's and then saw one of the dragonflies explode as a missile impacted it, others started falling from the sky as anti aircraft fire started to take their toll, but more kept coming. That's when the source of that other sound finally appeared, a massive... cloud began to rise up from the hills in the west, except it wasn't a cloud, after looking more closely he could see that it was actually a massive swarm of smaller creatures. These must be the 'acid bugs' I've heard about he thought. Apparently some of the planes and helicopters that they had lost had been taken out by these swarms of creatures which seemed to attack by ramming into a target, upon which they would explode and spray acid which would destroy anything it touched. The acid bugs quickly dove after cresting the hills and hugged the ground like a swarm of angry bees.


Taking aim at the incoming swarm, he squeezed the trigger on his weapon, releasing a burst of fire and then he saw some of them fall to the ground and others burst into clouds of vapor. He released another burst, and another, but the swarm kept coming. Others joined him and the entire defensive line was engulfed in the noise of weapons fire. After less than a minute the swarm was upon them, more screams were heard as men were hit with sprays of acid.

He heard several brief hisses and saw the sand bags in front of him budge slightly as some of the creatures impacted on them. Some managed to arc themselves over the sandbags and burst on the back of the trench in stead, both he and Aleksie pressed themselves against the front of the trench to avoid getting any acid on them. Looking over he could see an unfortunate man who had been hit square in the face and was screaming at the top of his lungs, his hands went up around his head, but he didn't touch it, it looked as if all of his skin was sloughing off of his face, the man's screaming stopped pretty quickly as he collapsed to the ground with a puddle of gore pooling around him.

Looking back ahead of them, Nikolai quickly returned to firing upon the swarm of incoming creatures, this swarm appeared to be thinning out at least. Up above he could see MiG's twisting and weaving in the sky as they battled the massive swarm of dragonflies. That's when he heard a distant flurry of strange sounds, almost like a combination of a deep thumping and some kind of whistling noise. If he didn't know he'd swear that the creatures had started calling in some kind of artillery support, but that was impossible.

Both he and Aleksie looked at each other for a second almost as if to say 'what the fuck was that?' A couple seconds later he heard a deafening sound of an explosion that shook the ground violently. Shortly afterward a spray of dirt rained down upon them “Fucking tāziyāne artillery?!? you have got to be kidding me!!” exclaimed Aleksie. Nikolai merely turned his attention to trying to down more of the acid bugs, meanwhile more explosions rocked their lines. Moments later he heard what he was certain was human artillery going off, counter battery fire, must be he thought.


Things continued this way for more than an hour “where the hell are their land forces?” asked Nikolai, although he wasn't sure if Aleksie could even hear him over the constant artillery bombardment. He was actually starting to get nervous about when they were going to get hit with the rest of the attack. That's when he saw what looked like a volley of massive fireballs come arcing over the hills to the west, it didn't take him long to realize that they were headed right for the defensive perimeter.

The fireballs impacted without the spectacular fury that accompanied the other artillery attacks, but it didn't make them any less devastating. Each fireball burst, spreading fire all around which burned incredibly hot, looking over he saw a fire where one had impacted which had burned not just the men but their weapons which had already started melting into a glowing red puddle on the ground.


After a few minutes he saw the first of the creatures crest the hill, it was one of their standard warriors, galloping atop its three legs. Of course it was accompanied by a massive horde of companions, he figured that there must have been hundreds if not thousands in this initial wave. Dotted amongst the swarm were also large numbers of the tougher centaurs which galloped along with the rest of the group. “About fucking time we got this thing started!” exclaimed Aleksie, Nikolai grinned back at him with a sort of dry humor, after the initial fear of the expected attack, the two of them had calmed down somewhat.

They had been used to combat; they had both served in Afghanistan for six months before this mess with the tāziyāne had started. The only thing which had made them so nervous wasn't the threat of death so much as it was not knowing just how this attack was going to play out. Now that the uncertainty had been removed, they had both settled into a mindset of grim determination, much as they had before when defending the city against human attackers.


Nikolai took aim at these new targets and began squeezing out more bursts of fire from his trusty PKM. Shortly he heard a massive thundering as over one hundred 115 mm tank guns went off simultaneously which resulted in a massive section of the line of hills to the west erupting in explosions clearing a massive hole in the ranks of the enemy swarm. More rushed to fill the gap as the tank crews reloaded their guns. More explosions erupted on the hillside as a barrage of mortar fire was unleashed upon the raging horde of creatures. Again massive numbers of the creatures were felled or simply ceased to be as the massive amount of firepower were unleashed at the incoming mass of monstrous beasts.

The artillery fire picked up the pace and seemed to be firing at an uninterrupted rate now, like some kind of gargantuan machine gun, but the tāziyāne didn't seem to notice or care as the pace of the swarm didn't slow in the slightest. Nikolai could see the source of the massive bombardment of fireballs now as dozens of gigantic beetle looking creatures which seemed to be a good five or six meters tall crested the hill while still lobbing more of those fireballs from an opening in their 'heads'.

He pulled the trigger again only for his weapon to click, which he felt more than heard amidst the deafening sounds of battle, he could hardly even hear the screaming of the monsters as they rushed forward. “Reload!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, and somehow Aleksie must have heard him, because he was already in the process of pulling the old ammunition can away from the machine gun and immediately replaced it with another one. Nikolai quickly popped the feed cover back into place and the pulled back on the barrel-release catch. It felt like the action had taken an eternity, but looking at the swarm it was clear they had barely advanced at all in that time, probably a few seconds had passed at the most.

Not putting much more thought toward that, he opened fire again. He saw that one of the tank commanders had gotten the idea to open fire on one of those massive beetles as he saw a huge explosion erupt where one of them was walking. Shockingly the creature was still there, although it appeared as if it had been injured as a large gaping hole was ripped in the creature's side, spewing copious amounts of the black blood that seemed to run through the veins of all of these creatures. A second shot also failed to down the creature as it continued to advance, albeit much slower than before. Finally a third shot did the job as the beast appeared to be hit directly in the face with a tank round which obliterated its 'head'.


It looked as if the entire mass of creatures was advancing at almost a leisurely pace, however it was apparent to Nikolai that what was really happening was that even with the incredible rate at which the creatures were being killed, each new line of beasts walked over their own dead and pushed a little further than the one before it. The result was a slowly marching tide of death that got closer with every passing second.


This continued as the swarm kept advancing on their position, eventually they seemed by be almost on top of them “where the fuck is our air support!?!” screamed Nikolai at no one in particular. Almost as if in response to his question he could barely hear the sound of more jet engines as he saw what must have been something like ten Tu-16's coming in from the north. One of them was hit by an incoming dragonfly causing it to lose control as it careened into the ground in a massive fiery explosion. The others continued on however then they started releasing their bombs shit, they're flying damn close he thought as he saw the exploding bombs rip a massive swath in the swarm of creatures.

Like a massive tidal wave, a gigantic wall of explosions passed closer and closer, shaking the ground like a devastating earthquake. Then the bombers passed by, two more going down in the process, and immediately behind them came the wave of destruction which drowned out all other sounds and shook the ground with such ferocity that it knocked several sandbags onto both Nikolai and Aleksie. An intense wave of heat immediately swept over them and Nikolai thought that one of those bombs had landed too close, but his ears were still ringing which told him that he must still be alive.

When his vision cleared and he brushed the dirt out of his eyes he looked out past his trench to see nothing but burned and desolate destruction all the way to the hills. A few survivors continued their charge toward the fortifications, and they were quickly cut down by heavy machine gun fire. For a second he had thought that the enemy had been finally beaten and that it was over, but then he looked up to the tops of the hills to see more monstrosities cresting them. Taking aim he opened fire on the incoming swarm just as he had before.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 08:25pm
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So, I wonder how long before the Soviets see about using some tactical nukes? At this rate, they may have to resort to some WMDs just to hold off the swarm that's coming. I mean, NOTHING seems to be slowing them down, without expending inordinate amounts of munitions and troops, I can't see this as being easily resolved.



If Dr. Gatling was a nerd, then his most famous invention is the fucking Revenge of the Nerd, writ large...

"Lawful stupid is the paladin that charges into hell because he knows there's evil there."
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"Although you may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, the Empire will always strike back."

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-16 11:07pm
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Not sure they have the option of deploying nukes yet, given the number of Afghan civilians in the area, but how about chemical weapons? Sarin or VX are probably specific to terrestrial life, but blister agents ought to be pretty universal.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-17 02:26pm
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Nicely done Guest, very zreg/tyranidish, I what the Nred Boys are doing, I mean it would seem logical that the powers that be would have lifted some critter carcases for study, I bet the Nerd Boys would be having a feild day with them
A good way of dealing with the Big Fluffy Kitens From Hell would be to outfit a SR-71 as a super high altatude bomber and plaster the the general area with flaming napalm of doom and lot and lots of bug spray.



" Remember only you can prevent canibalistic murder, feed your local Sith Lord today. "

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-17 02:39pm
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LT.Hit-Man303 wrote:
Nicely done Guest, very zreg/tyranidish, I what the Nred Boys are doing, I mean it would seem logical that the powers that be would have lifted some critter carcases for study, I bet the Nerd Boys would be having a feild day with them
A good way of dealing with the Big Fluffy Kitens From Hell would be to outfit a SR-71 as a super high altatude bomber and plaster the the general area with flaming napalm of doom and lot and lots of bug spray.



ok, this is just getting creepy, I swear, I must be broadcasting psychic messages or something, first there was spartasman asking about the air war just before my update detailing exactly that, now you are asking about the scientific response which takes up a good portion of the next update, and back on AH.com there was a poster who asked about three questions, all of which were answered by that next update, also I started the first update featuring the country that he was from too. :shock:

Anyway, as soon as I get all the formatting put in right update 6 will be up.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-17 02:45pm
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Episode 6:



“Quantity has a quality all its own.”
-Joseph Stalin





Received: from !obsidianhost!darpahost!obnet.workhub.westloc.gov([146.189.225.183])
by bobgriggs@obsidiannet.workhub.westloc.gov
to: <philsheckly@quivernet.centralhub.eastloc.gov>
date: friday, May 6, 1986, 2:14 PM
subject: background noise problem

Phil,

I don’t know if you heard about the blip we got back on the twelfth, I know you were on vacation that week. Anyway, in short we got a major blip that we picked up which lasted for only about a second. The damn thing was so big that it messed up all of our planned experiments for the day. Hell, we had to recalibrate all of the equipment in Lambda Complex just to get it working properly again.

Ever since then we’ve been getting some background noise on a certain range of frequencies which we can’t identify the source of, and which hasn’t dissipated or gone away. Now Dr. Frohman thinks that it’s just sunspot activity, but you know how he is. Most of the rest of us are pretty sure that the blip and the background noise are related. We pulled the raw telemetry from the arrowhead network and we found that arrowhead seven picked up the blip the most clearly. At first we thought that it might be a Russian project that they just got off the ground, hell it even looked like the signature of the first event from Rainbow back in ’43, but the data showed that it took place somewhere over south central Asia, also the blip only showed what looks like an exit portal, and none of the other birds picked up an entrance portal. Fishy right?

Long story short, ever since that we’ve been getting background noise on the frequencies ranging from 2.33 MHz to 3.28 MHz. Of course we haven’t really worked in that range since the fifties, and the noise isn’t proving to be much of a problem. However we would still like to find out just what caused it, since most of us think that it’s related to the blip, which we most definitely do want to find out more about.

Anyway, I know you guys have a more powerful supercomputer over at Quiver than we do at Obsidian Window, so I was hoping you could wrangle some computing time to run the data we have and see what you can come up with. Thanks in advance, and I hope to hear from you soon.

P.S. There is also some additional noise we have been getting on the range between 3.29 MHz and 4.42 MHz. It didn’t start until five days after the blip unlike the other noise and also unlike the other noise it’s been slowly building over time. Again, it’s not causing too much trouble for us, but it is something to take note of. Thanks again.


Best Regards,
Bob






Received: from !quiverhost!darpahost!qnet.centralhub.eastloc.gov ([136.129.237.191])
by philsheckly@quivernet.centralhub.eastloc.gov

to: <bobgriggs@obsidiannet.workhub.westloc.gov>
date: Tuesday. May 11, 1986, 8:39 AM
subject: RE: background noise problem

Bob,

I got your message yesterday, and I managed to get some time with the supercomputer last night. Anyway I ran the numbers and I’ve been able to definetly confirm that the background noise you’ve been getting between 2.33 and 3.28 is directly related to the blip you got on the twelfth. It looks like it’s coming from the same location that you tracked the blip from.

However the noise you’ve been getting between 3.29 and 4.42 is actually something else, I haven’t been able to pinpoint the location of its source, but it most definetly is not coming from south Asia. Also, I’ve managed to determine that the noise you’ve been getting from south Asia is actually a signal of some kind, using some sort of encryption, a damn complex form of encryption that I don’t think we’ll be able to crack without a cipher key, but it is definitely a signal of some kind. The other noise appears to be some kind of random non repeating pattern, and it doesn’t look like something that we’ve ever seen before.

I’ve also crunched the numbers from your ‘blip’ and yeah it certainly does look like an exit portal. I compared it to the data we have from ’43 and the other experiments from Skeleton Key, and it certainly does bear a strong resemblance, except this looks like something far more controlled, it also looks like it involves far more energy than any portal we’ve ever tried to use. Let’s hope it isn’t the Russians, because that would mean they’ve leapfrogged us overnight.

I’m going to get Dr. Kleiner to clear me for some priority supercomputer time this afternoon, because this is looking pretty big. Also I’ve got a funny feeling about that location, what with that speech the president gave last week. I’m wondering if we’ve got something related to that. So I’ve decided to run the numbers with a more intensive algorithm to see if I can narrow down the location a bit more. If you could get the Arrowhead network to maybe run some more passes over south Asia, some more telemetry regarding that signal would definitely help me out. I’ll get back to you with whatever I have, keep me posted with any new updates if you can. Thanks.

Phil




In an ironic twist of events reminiscent of 1977, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a statement today stating that President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq has been removed from office after being arrested by troops under the orders of General Akhtar Rahman, head of the ISI, which is Pakistan's largest military intelligence agency.


The arrest comes less than a week after it has been revealed that Soviet and Mujahideen forces have been fighting an extraterrestrial threat just north of the Pakistani border, and just two days after President Zia released a statement of his own, rebuffing calls from the Pakistani Parliament to cooperate with the Soviet military in an effort to preempt the threat posed by the alien invaders to the north. The statement by the ministry also states that the removal and arrest of President Zia was prompted as a result of the President's 'refusal to acknowledge the threats faced by this country and act on them accordingly.'


In the absence of a current President to run affairs of state, General Rahman has assumed the office, however it is unclear at this time whether or not he intends to hold this position for an extended period of time or just until the crisis is over.

Sources close to the General have revealed...



-New York Times article dated May 11, 1986, written by Seth Mydans







-Transcript from the recorded log of Dr. Pavel Reznikov, Moscow State University, Dept. of Biology




This is Doctor Pavel Reznikov, Department of Biology, Moscow State University, recording number one dated May the thirteenth, nineteen hundred and eighty six. In regard to GRU provided specimen number one, supposedly retrieved from southern Afghanistan, Khost Province on or about the date of May the eleventh.

The specimen in question has been designated 'warrior' by Red Army forces in the field. The specimen is approximately two-point-two meters in length, with a mass of one hundred seventeen kilograms. Initial assessment is that the specimen is tripedal in nature, as it has been described by witness accounts as standing on three legs. Each of these legs appears to possess a series of three joints, and ends in a small clawed foot which again possesses two joints of its own. The legs themselves make up the majority of the creature's height, extending to a length of approximately one-point-two meters.

The 'torso' of the specimen is approximately zero-point-five meters in length and is connected to an additional two upper body appendages each of which comes to a length of two meters in length with three joints including the 'shoulders' and end with a one meter long scythe-like protrusion. The 'head' of the specimen is approximately the same size as a human head with what appear to be a full series of sense organs including olfactory, optical, and auditory. The front of the 'head' is also equipped with a series of four mandibles which are each equipped in turn with a set of what appear to be teeth.

The entire specimen itself is protected by a thick and semi-rigid exoskeletal covering which bears a dark red or rust coloring. Closer examination revealed that the exoskeleton is apparently made up of a series of tightly woven fibers which retain their rigidity from a form of naturally secreted resin that permeates the tightly woven fibers.

The exoskeletal covering is very durable, and I was unable to perform the examination using a scalpel, rather a bone saw from the medical department was required to cut through the external carapace. The bone saw was thoroughly damaged by the operation and needed replacement by the time the examination was completed. At first I had assumed that the primary skeletal support for the specimen was served by its exoskeletal covering, however upon dissection, an endoskeleton was revealed to exist as well, it is unknown what purpose such redundancy could have other than added durability.

Examination of the musculature of this specimen revealed a system of tightly packed and dense fibrous tissue which appears to resemble some form of muscle tissue, although there was a residual electrical charge running through it. Further examination revealed that movement of the 'muscle' fibers generated a slight electrical charge on their own.

In an attempt to locate some kind of organ system within the specimen, it was found that there is virtually no kind of recognizable organ system. All attempts to locate any kind of reproductive organs, or even a digestive system yielded nothing, in fact study of the specimen's 'head' revealed that the opening behind the mandibles only leads to a diaphragm chamber of some sort. It would appear that the sole purpose of which is the production of the 'screaming' noise that first hand accounts reported hearing. It is unknown what purpose such a capability would serve other than intimidation as there is no sign of any musculature which is capable of anything more than the most basic of locomotion, ruling out communication. The mandibles themselves seem to exist solely for the purpose of attacking enemies.

In fact it has been determined that there are only three identifiable internal organs of any kind, one seems to be a sort of 'heart' which appears to pump a black fluid of some kind throughout the body. The second appears to be an equivalent of some kind of brain, and the third is a bit of a mystery, however if I had to guess I would say that it was a 'battery' of some sort, for it seems to hold a rather substantial electrical charge which severely injured one of my assistants during removal.

Use of a multimeter revealed that the organ in fact does seem to hold a significant charge, in fact judging by initial measurements, and consulting with a colleague over at Ivanovo State University, it would appear that it possesses far more energy storage capacity than any currently known battery technology. Also of note is that all of the 'organs' within the specimen are located centrally within the torso which is also covered with the thickest layer of exoskeleton as well as a durable cage of endoskeletal bones, needless to say this allows for considerable durability and survivability, even in the face of dismemberment or severe injury. To wit, it appears that this specimen was killed by a couple bullet wounds which damaged the 'brain' of the creature.

Overall, the initial assessment of the specimen in question is that the term 'warrior' is very apt to describe this creature. Every aspect of its physiology seems to be geared toward fighting, with no other feasible purpose in mind.








-12:23 AM, May 14, 1986, Woodland Hills, California, United States



Nathan was dreaming again, it was the same as usual, running through the desolate hills, following the rest of the swarm, being compelled by the same irresistible force. He and the rest of the swarm had started to crest another hill, and just over the other side he saw the village.

Nathan knew that he was dreaming, but he didn’t know why he couldn’t control it, all of the techniques that he had been taught should have allowed him to take control and go lucid, but it didn’t work for some reason. Although he always had trouble going lucid in many of his dreams, especially most of the nightmares, but these were different, he felt as if he was literally locked into some kind of set path, like a locomotive on tracks.

Suddenly he noticed the blue glow just over the horizon, he had never noticed it before, he wondered why. He concentrated on the glow, focusing all of his attention on it, blocking out all else. Then, just as he was about to cut down one of the villagers with one of his scythes, he stopped.

Then he wasn’t with the swarm anymore, he was floating there above the ground. He looked around, he was about twenty feet up in the air now, he could see the swarm overrun the village, slaughtering its inhabitants, at least he wasn’t taking part in the slaughter this time. The glow was still there, he wondered what it was.

Floating higher in the air he could see more around him, more creatures were off in the distance, he also noticed big dirty plumes of black smoke very far off, bright flashes flared up all around that location, resembling flashes of lightning, but he felt as though they were something different, maybe explosions.

This variety of biomass is resisting. The thought entered his head with no clue as to where it had come from, almost like a stranger whispering it in his ear. The supply of captured biomass is more than sufficient to complete assimilation of the group of samples that is proving most challenging. Again another strange thought, where were they coming from? And why was he having such thoughts?

He saw the origin of the blue glow, and so he headed in that direction, he must have been moving at an incredible rate, because the ground flew by so very quickly, and he reached the source which had originally appeared to be literally dozens of miles away in no more than a couple minutes.

The ground was no longer desolate and rocky, but was covered in some kind of hideous growth. It almost looked as if the whole ground was alive, with all kinds of strange moving things, like antennae or limbs which had grown out of the ground for some reason or another. The development of static constructs is well under way, it may be necessary to introduce additional selves to this world, further consideration is required. It finally dawned upon Nathan that these were not his thoughts, but rather the thoughts of someone or something else.

The source was nearby now, he could see it surrounded by some kind of massive structure, kind of like something out of an HR Giger painting. Huge things had grown out of the ground all around the central structure, like some kind of nightmarish city.

Walking throughout the nightmarish group of structures were massive numbers of the creatures, and in the immediate area around the massive structure were these especially large ones, they were unlike any of the others, with huge masses of writhing tentacles and strange limbs. He had finally come to one of the entrances to the structure, out of which a bright blue light shone.

Entering, he could see that the interior of the structure looked like the inside of some sort of organism, with bones and ribs and giant vein-like tubes and strange distorted internal organs of some kind, which pulsed and moved and contorted. And at the center of it all sat a giant horrendous heart, at least that’s what he thought it looked like. The blue light did not appear to have a source, but it permeated every crevice within the chamber he was in, almost like it had been fabricated out of thin air.

Finally Nathan came to the conclusion that the great hideous heart at the center was the source of the glow, the source of those strange thoughts he heard in his dreams, and the creator of all that he saw. How did he know this? At last he came close enough to the heart- no, to the mind, that’s what it was called, he just knew somehow. He reached out to touch it, and his vision blacked out.

At first he thought that the dream was over, but he hadn’t awakened, he simply couldn’t see or hear or feel anything. Then he had the faint impression of something coming into focus. It was stars, a massive spiral galaxy. The star closest to him was surrounded by a bright red halo, and he knew that it was the solar system, the star that he saw rise and set every morning and evening. Then he saw a small thin tendril, almost like a glowing thread which connected this star to another star, also projecting a halo of some kind, it was not far from here.

Then he saw that yet another strand extended from that one, except it connected to no other star in this galaxy. In stead it extended far beyond here and off toward another galaxy. Unlike this galaxy, so many stars in that one radiated a red halo, so many stars. And though the distance between this one and that one was so great, Nathan realized that it was actually the closest galaxy in this region.

An intruder has been detected, purge the thought plane. Nathan’s vision was filled with a white light and his head began to be pierced with an excruciating pain.

He awoke with his sheets soaked and his heart pounding again “what’s wrong?” Carla was there, concern was evident in her voice.

Nathan looked over at her and put on a reassuring smile “it’s ok, it was just another dream, I’m sorry I woke you” he said.

Carla put her arms around him and squeezed tightly “oh honey, they’re getting really bad this time, you have got to go back to Dr. Levin, maybe she can give you something to help you sleep” she still sounded concerned.

Nathan returned the embrace “it’s ok, this time it was different, I was able to go lucid, I think that I might be able to get a handle on it after all” she nuzzled against his shoulder, Nathan had hoped that he managed to place enough reassurance in his voice, because he knew that things were anything but ok. This dream was more than just vivid, it was real. What the hell was going in his mind?



-6:28 PM, May 16, 1986, Western Perimeter, Khost, Khost Province, Afghanistan




“LOOK OUT!!!” Aleksie smacked Nikolai on the back of his helmet and pointed to the right where Nikolai saw a centaur charging at them a mere five meters away. Quickly he brought his PKM to bear and squeezed the trigger, unleashing a hail of bullets at the raging monstrosity. Black ooze splattered out from the spots where the massive beast was hit. It staggered but continued, and Nikolai kept firing. Aleksie joined him and opened fire with his own Kalashnikov rifle that he had scavenged the day before from a dead soldier. Finally the centaur stumbled and fell as its wounds took their toll, however before finally succumbing it unleashed a volley of those spikes.

Recognizing the flicking motion of one of the beasts arms, Nicolai and Aleksie both ducked as the spikes lodged themselves in the earth all around them. Coming back up to rejoin the fight, Aleksie grabbed his machine gun and took aim at another charging monstrosity only to see no result.

Suddenly he realized that his weapon was jammed, and further examination revealed that the barrel had warped “shit!” he exclaimed as he turned to Aleksie “where’s the replacement barrel?!” he tried to scream over the deafening noise of battle.


His comrade merely shook his head and made a slicing motion across his neck “All out!” he exclaimed.

“SHIT!” was Nikolai's only response.

Quickly looking around for a replacement weapon he spotted a dead Pakistani soldier laying about a meter away. Next to the body was an assault rifle, it was one of those H&K’s that the Pakistani’s carried, quickly he snatched up the rifle and then grabbed all of the extra magazines he could find with the body. First he checked the weapon, then he came back up and took aim at the nearest warrior and fired. The short burst smacked into the creature blowing part of its head off and then a second burst brought it down for good.

Things had gotten bad in the last two days, although holding out for the past week had exceeded Nikolai’s expectations by a long shot, and the addition of reinforcements from the Pakistanis three days ago had proven to be a godsend, but the nonstop onslaught had been increasingly brutal.

The worst had been when the tāziyāne had changed tactics the day before and started using what appeared to Nikolai to have been an armored spearhead employing large concentrations of those damned giant beetles and centaurs. Of course that didn’t stop them from still using huge swarms of warriors too, but this change in tactics had been especially devastating. In fact they had managed to force several breaches in their defensive lines which had almost not been closed again.

A series of screams drew both Nikolai and Aleksie’s attention to their right where apparently two warriors had managed to get to the trenches and had killed several soldiers. As both warriors charged them, Nikolai and Aleksie opened fire, felling them both. Noticing nearby movement in his peripheral vision, Nikolai returned his attention back toward the area outside the perimeter and took down another warrior that was almost on top of them. Realizing that his weapon was empty, he quickly ejected the spent magazine and slapped home another.

“Soldiers, get your asses out of here!” a sergeant screamed at them as he approached from behind. Barely regarding the man, both of them poured more fire at the seemingly endless horde of raging beasts on the other side of the sandbag wall. The sergeant persisted “we have been ordered to pull back to our secondary defensive positions, the damned things have breached our lines to the north! Now get your shit together and get the fuck out of here before they napalm the whole damn pla- AAAAHHHH!” another warrior had managed to get into the trench and had impaled the sergeant through the right leg.

Aleksie reacted first and he managed to bring his rifle to bear and opened up on the warrior’s midsection at almost point blank range. Nikolai opened fire immediately afterward and blasted off the beasts left arm, releasing the sergeant who now had a severed scythe through his thigh.

Both men looked at each other and nodded wordlessly. Then Nikolai grabbed the screaming sergeant while Aleksie started to crawl out of the trench behind them. Looking over at the men further down the trench Nikolai shouted to them “We’ve been ordered to pull back! Get a move on!” he made a pointing motion with his arm back toward the rear, they looked back and seemed to understand as they also started to crawl out of their section of the trench. With Aleksie covering them, Nikolai pulled the sergeant out of the trench, leaving a trail of blood from the massive wound in the man’s leg.

Upon getting out of the trench with the sergeant, Nikolai took a brief look around the battlefield. It was crawling with thousands of warriors and off to the left he saw an approaching horde of fire beetles escorted by centaurs. The beetles unleashed a volley of fireballs which arced upward and impacted all along the trench. The two men who Nikolai had yelled to had been unfortunate enough to get caught by one and he watched as they were engulfed in flames. Their screams were quite easy to hear over the cacophony of battle, even at this distance. Within seconds big chunks of flesh fell off of their bodies and they staggered and fell to the ground, their screams dying as they expired.

Lifting the sergeant, Nikolai laid the man over his shoulder in order to carry him, and with that he and Aleksie picked up their pace and headed back toward their secondary position. The screams of the warriors were closer now, and Nikolai didn’t have to look back to know that they were practically in the trenches.

Turning down a street that he only recognized by landmark they rounded the melted and burnt hulk of a T-62 which had gotten hit with one of those fireballs. After a few minutes, they had come within sight of their secondary position which was a two story tenement with no glass for windows or doors for doorways. It wasn’t much , but it had a some sandbags blocking the main entrance and a few men were already occupying it and firing out from the windows.

A warrior jumped out from behind a collapsed building, and Nikolai brought his rifle up in one arm and squeezed off a about a third of a clip with about half of the rounds missing completely, even at this range. The creature stumbled, and then another burst of fire from the building took it down. Going as fast as he could with the weight of another man on his shoulders, Nikolai rounded the sandbag barricade and burst through the door of the building collapsing on the floor as he dropped the wounded sergeant, Aleksie was right behind him.

Realizing that the man hadn’t made a noise in a bit of a while, Nikolai checked the man’s pulse, and realized that he had none. Looking down at the bloody trail that led back out the door, and then he realized that the sergeant had a spike protruding from his back and his eyes looked back at him lifelessly, Nikolai realized that the man had bled to death, probably right after getting him out of the trench “FUCK!” he punched the floor.

Aleksie sat down on the floor next to him and patted him on the shoulder in an attempt to be reassuring. “come on, we need to get to work, this place isn’t going to defend itself.”

Looking around to see if they could find someone in charge they saw a Russian junior sergeant approaching. “welcome to the United Nations. We’ve got just about everything here, including some Afghan regulars, Mujahideen, Red Army, and even a few Pakistanis” he explained. The junior sergeant then gestured towards the stairs at the other end of the large room they were in “I’m junior sergeant Malakov, and we could use some help on the roof. If you need some ammunition, we’ve got some Kalashnikov magazines and even some extras for that Pakistani rifle you’ve got there.”

The three of them made their way up to the roof where a couple other men were firing down into the street below. Surveying the scene Nikolai could see that the outer perimeter had been completely overrun. A bit to the north he saw a group of Pakistani Type 59’s retreating as they dueled with a much larger mass of fire beetles. Going down to a crouch, the two of them approached the edge of the roof and rejoined the battle.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-17 06:18pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-04-22 01:43am
Posts: 53
Really liking this story so far, keep it coming.

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-17 06:19pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
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Episode 7:


“When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none.”
-Ezekiel, 7:25



-8:03 AM, May 17, 1986, Department of Art & Archeology, Princeton University, United States


Ouch!” Dr. Willard Maye exclaimed as his Seven-Eleven coffee spilled onto his right hand while he opened his office door.

“Doctor, you could have just knocked!” said Brad Danforth, his teaching assistant as he ran over to grab the door.

Juggling the books and coffee, Willard entered his office “It's quite alright Brad, I'm a perfectly grown man, I just suppose that even a simple mechanism like a door proves a challenge for me” he said sarcastically. Brad reached over and grabbed the stack of books out from under Willard's arm and laid them down on a mostly cluttered table against the wall next to the doorway.

As always Dr. Maye's office was filled with clutter and mess, he was always so busy with some project or something else that he often didn't have time to keep his office organized, and Brad was usually too busy running errands for the doctor to do anything about the mess either. Surveying the room, Willard noticed a moderately large package on his desk, sitting next to a stack of envelopes “what's that?” he asked nodding toward the package.

Brad looked over at it “I've been wondering about that myself, it arrived yesterday, the return address says that it came from Antarctica though, you know anybody at the South Pole?” he said quizzically.

“No, not that I'm aware of”

Willard walked over to the desk and picked up the stack of envelopes “I've got those exams from last Tuesday graded, and you have three phone messages” explained Brad.

Absently glancing at then tossing the envelopes back on the desk, Willard turned his attention toward the package. There was nothing remarkable about it, the box was a standard brown corrugated cardboard, and it was taped with standard run of the mill clear scotch tape, nothing which indicated its rather exotic origin except its label which did in fact show a return address at McMurdo Station, Antarcica, and a sender by the name of Dr. Judith Miller.

“Miller...” he muttered absently where do I know that name from?

Brad looked up from whatever it was he was doing “sorry, what did you say?” he inquired.

Willard furrowed his brow “the woman who sent me this package, her name sounds familiar, I just don't know from where” he said. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out a letter opener “only one way to find out” then reaching for the box, he proceeded to cut the tape.

The operation took all of fifteen seconds, inside the box sat a folded piece of paper, a manila envelope, and a lot of styrofoam packing peanuts. Retrieving the piece of paper, he unfolded it; it was a typed letter.


Dear Willard,


It's been quite some time since we've talked, and for my part in that I apologize, I guess that other factors in our lives have gotten in the way of our friendship, but hopefully we can resolve that in the near future. Anyway I found something here that I think is right up your alley and I was hoping that you could help me out with it.

Last week we were drilling for ice core samples in the Ross Ice Shelf when we recovered about a half dozen stone tablets. Each one is about twice the size of a deck of cards and has some kind of symbols carved in them. From my own limited knowledge and resources here, I've been able to determine that the symbols are most definitely not Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Sanskrit, or Cuneiform. That however is about as far as I've been able to get.

The tablets themselves have proven to be a bit of a conundrum, they appear to be made of obsidian(I guess that means they are technically not stone), yet my attempts to analyze their composition have proven… anomalous. I’m not sure if our equipment here is at fault for the strange results, or perhaps there is something I’m missing about the tablets. Either way, I’ve had one of the tablets sent to a friend of mine at MIT, I’ve included his contact information in the event that you have any questions, and I’ve asked him to send his results to you. I’ve also included detailed photographs of that one along with the other six tablets themselves. I sure hope you can make sense of them, because they have been quite the mystery to us here.

Anyway, I’ll give you a ring when I get back from McMurdo, and maybe we can go see a play or something.

Best Regards,
Judith


Quickly dropping the letter, Willard grabbed the box and reached inside, packing peanuts spilled out onto his desk. After about thirty seconds of rummaging around, his desk was covered in styrofoam peanuts and six ziplock bags, each containing a bubble wrapped object. With a strong sense of excitement, he grabbed the nearest one and ripped open the bag, then gingerly but excitedly he pulled off the bubble wrap.

What he held in his hands was just as the letter had described, it was a tablet about the size of a small paperback book. It was covered in some kind of engraved symbols that Willard didn’t quite recognize, but appeared to be some form of mesoamerican glyphs, and it appeared to be made out of obsidian.

The craftsmanship behind the tablet appeared to be exquisite, with the symbols appearing very intricate and detailed in spite of their small size, and yet they were very easy to make out. The tablet itself was also finely hewn, and Willard wondered if this was not some kind of hoax since it looked like it was made with modern tools. Interestingly enough, in spite of the precise nature of the craftsmanship of the tablet, it appeared as though the artist had no concept of proper measurement or geometry as the overall shape was not rectangular, but more of an irregular curved trapezoid with no two sides being of the same length and none of the sides were completely straight. Although the precise nature of the tablet’s fabrication would suggest that the irregular shape was intentional.

“What’s that?” Willard had been so engrossed in what he was doing that he hadn’t realized that Brad was standing over his shoulder.

“um…”

Willard stared intently at the tablet for another minute “cancel all of my appointments and classes for the rest of the day.”



-4:16 PM, May 18, 1986, Red Army HQ Baraki Barak, Afghanistan

General Igor Rodionov sipped his tea and stared intently at the dispatch before him. Part of him wished that he was back in Russia or maybe one of the Warsaw Pact members, being bored to death with garrison duty. Colonel Oskar Stasinus entered the room “I received your message, what's going on?” he inquired.

Igor looked up at the colonel “I've just received word; we are to regroup and commence with a counter offensive as soon as possible” came the response.

Stasinus almost seemed to gape at him “but we haven't even received any reinforcements yet, we'll be cut to pieces. This is madness.”

“No comrade colonel, this is war.”

The colonel took a step back and sat down across from the general “frankly I'm not sure I entirely disagree with our orders” Igor placed the dispatch down on the table in front of him and looked grimly up at the colonel “have you heard the latest out of Khost?” he asked.

The colonel nodded “yes, I know their outer perimeter was overrun two days ago and they're barely holding on.” he said.

Igor sipped his tea again “Moscow is worried that if Khost falls then the situation may escalate beyond our ability to contain it. They've started pulling troops out of Europe and off of the Chinese border” colonel Stasinus looked incredulous “yes Oskar, it's that bad, and the Pakistani's have refused our requests for further reinforcements beyond the initial division they sent there. Apparently they have little confidence that we will be able to hold the city and have diverted all other forces to fortifying their border in preparation for what they see as the inevitable attack following the fall of Khost. I can't say that I blame them entirely. I keep hearing that they have been receiving probing attacks all along the border.”

“This is why we are being ordered to counter attack before we've even had time to replace our losses. If we can distract them there, we might be able to help General Gromov hold out long enough for the air campaign to take full effect, or for the Pakistani's to change their minds, or better yet, maybe this whole damned offensive will actually work, and we'll be able to end it right here” they stared at each other in silence for a moment.

Colonel Stasinus took a deep breath “I'll pass orders along to start mobilization immediately” he said grimly.

“Good, I want to be moving south by tomorrow morning.”



-10: 28 AM, May 21, 1986, western defense zone, Khost, Afghanistan

Nikolai released the last couple rounds from his rifle into one of the charging warriors on the street below. Without a conscious effort, he crawled away from the edge of the roof and grabbed another magazine which he quickly slapped back into place after ejecting the spent one. The roof beneath him shook slightly as about a half dozen mortar rounds exploded nearby followed a couple seconds later by a light rain of debris from the explosions. The artillery support had been hitting closer and closer every day, normally this would have bothered him, however it was of little concern compared to the reason which was that the increasing pressure from the swarm.

Crawling back to the edge of the roof, Nikolai was about to open fire again when he heard screams coming from behind him. Looking to his rear, he could see one of the Pakistani soldiers struggling with something, and then a scythe rammed through his skull. “Shit!” Nikolai exclaimed as he brought his H & K to bear and dispatched the warrior just as it came over the edge of the roof with an extended burst of fire.

Just as the first beast fell off the roof, it was replaced by two others. Taking aim he released another burst which felled one monster, the other was able to charge for about half a second before also being killed by an Afghani soldier to his right. Nikolai glanced to his right “Aleksie, stay here, I'm going to cover the other side of the roof!” his comrade grunted in acknowledgement and continued firing into the street below.

Quickly making his way across the roof and joined by the Afghani, Nikolai was able to blow away a fourth warrior which had also managed to scale the wall. The fact that they were able to get all the way up here was not a good sign, Nikolai thought that they were soon going to need to find yet another place hole up, if it wasn't already too late.

A moment later his fears were confirmed when he heard more screams coming from the stairway leading back into the building. Looking over the edge of the roof as he reached it, he could clearly see at least a half dozen other warriors about to claw their way up the side of the building and a whole lot more flinging themselves into the first floor through the windows and doors. There was no sign of any weapons fire coming from this side of the building. Not waiting a moment longer, Nicolai quickly opened fire on the approaching beasts. Running out of ammunition again, he repeated the ritual of reloading his weapon and resumed firing.

Just then the screams from the stairs grew louder as about six or seven men burst through the doorway onto the roof, the last couple turning around to fire back down the steps, and then one of them tossed a grenade inside. The resulting explosion was loud enough to be heard clearly over even the deafening sounds of combat all around him.

Spotting one of those centaurs amongst the horde assaulting this building, Nikolai managed to notice the telltale flicking motion and ducked down behind the edge of the roof just in time to avoid getting a face full of spikes which flew just over his head. He then came back up to return fire but spotted a warrior which swung at his head with one of its scythes which Nikolai barely managed to avoid.

Pulling back further from the edge and coming up to a crouch, he was able to bring his rifle to bear and managed to make out the features of the warrior's “face” just before blowing them away. Although this did not seem to kill it, it was enough to knock the monster back off the side of the building. This however did not stop the other four or five monsters that were right behind it. Expecting the Afghani to be dead, Nikolai was surprised to see the man had managed to pull back until he was right next to him, firing at the group of warriors that had just come over the edge.

Nikolai took a second to look back at the group of men who had come from the stairway and realized that the junior sergeant was not there “where is Junior Sergeant Malakov?” he asked one of the other Russians.

A second later “he's dead!” one of them yelled back.

Damn!” cursed Nikolai as he realized that there was no one ranking higher than a private anymore.

He did not dwell on this for more than half a second as his mind raced trying to think of something to do about the situation. It was quite obvious that they couldn't stay there as tāziyāne were crawling over three sides of the building “what the hell do we do now!?” exclaimed Aleksie.

Not wanting to die up there and realizing that no one else was volunteering any ideas, Nikolai sprung into action “everybody follow me this way!” he shouted and then followed up with a similar statement in horribly accented Pashto. Without hesitating, Nikolai lead the entire group of survivors toward the only side of the building not crawling with creatures. He then grabbed the man nearest him and yelled “we're going to have to jump!” as he gestured toward the collapsed building about three meters away.

It was a bit of a long jump, but it was about two or three meters below them, and it was very much less of a drop than the six meters down to the street below. Luckily the other man was Russian and quickly complied as he took a couple quick bounds and then flung himself off the roof over toward the collapsed building. In quick succession all of the surviving men managed to jump over to the giant pile of rubble, except for one unfortunate Pakistani who was skewered by a warrior just before jumping.

Within a few seconds, the entire group had made it down to the street and were soon heading further inward toward the city center. Moments later the ground all around them erupted in explosions from impacting artillery shells, three of which impacted directly on their former holdout which collapsed on itself shortly afterward in a massive cloud of debris and dust.

“Were those ours or theirs!?” asked Aleksie.

“Does it matter? Either kind can kill you just as well as the other!” replied Nikolai.

“Where we go?!” shouted one of the Pakistani's in really bad Russian.

It took Nikolai a second to realize that the question was directed at him “uh... we'll head east and try and link up with some other forces, then we should find another position to fortify” he said. No one argued.

A couple minutes later the realization dawned upon him that he had apparently been appointed leader of this group. It occurred to him that if he hadn’t spoken up earlier on the roof then the others probably wouldn’t be looking to him for leadership, making him regret the decision almost immediately. Then again if he hadn’t, there was a good chance that he would be dead right now along with the rest of them. He wasn’t sure which option he preferred.



-3:13 PM, May 23, 1986, Gardeyz, Afghanistan

Junior Sergeant Dimitriy Marakova gripped his AK-47 so tight that his knuckles were white. Since entering the city this morning, they had lost more than ten men out of their platoon, and no matter how many of the tāziyāne they killed, there were always more to jump out of a burned out building or a smoking crater in the ground. The past couple days since starting the offensive had been a waking nightmare as massive hordes of beasts attacked seemingly out of nowhere.

Each time they had fought off the monsters and continued on, only to have to repeat the process all over again a couple hours later. However, taking back the city had been worse by far. Each corner or hole or dark shadow was another spot for the beasts to jump forth and dismember another man from. Dimitriy could hear the sounds of heavy fighting in a different part of the city, the sounds of assault rifles, machine guns, artillery, and even the occasional helicopter could be heard intermixed with the sounds of screaming warriors, centaurs, buzzing fireflies, and fire bugs. It sounded like a symphony composed by a mad man.

Advancing slowly up the street, Dimitry and the rest of his squad were all looking for any sign of enemy movement. Not a sound was made, no idle conversation, no jokes, no griping about their situation, everyone wanted to be able to hear as much as possible, for even the slightest sound could be that of a tāziyāne warrior or centaur poised in a dark corner somewhere waiting to pounce and kill someone else.

Between the sounds of artillery shells exploding, Dimitriy heard what sounded like some sort of rustling somewhere ahead and to his right. Looking hard, he thought- there!

In the darkened doorway of a bombed out building he could swear he saw the hideous outline of a warrior, he wasn't sure how their man walking point had missed it, but he didn't care right now “I've got something” he whispered while he raised his hand as a signal to halt. Then pointed in the direction of the newly perceived threat. He quickly brought his weapon to aim at the hidden warrior which had apparently not realized that it had been discovered because it was still sitting there, waiting for something.

Then he thought he saw something in his peripheral vision, looking over to see what it was he noticed another hideous outline in one of the windows of the neighboring building. Immediately he heard the screaming of what must have been fifty warriors “AMBUSH!!!” someone else screamed and everyone opened fire. Dimitriy fired his own weapon and downed the first tāziyāne as it emerged from the doorway. The unfortunate point man didn't last long as he was quickly overwhelmed by almost a dozen creatures. His screaming only lasted for about a minute before he was decapitated.

Almost as if through telepathy, the rest of the squad realized that staying put would be suicide and they all started pulling back the way they had come. Two more men screamed in agony as they were dismembered by a centaur which had caught up with them. Dimitriy took aim and put a few rounds into the monster, but it merely shrugged off the bullets and turned to seek out additional prey. Then three more men suffered a similar fate at the hands of warriors this time and then one man broke and ran. The surviving three of them continued to advance slowly down the street, trying to make it to some form of safety.

Five minutes later Dimitriy was certain that they were finished. He put down another creature that had gotten to within a couple meters of him, and another one was right behind it. Realizing that his rifle was empty and that he didn't have time to reload, he grabbed his rifle by the barrel in order to use it as a club. His hands burned as he gripped the hot metal, but he paid it no attention, he was about to die anyway. Then the creature stumbled as giant holes began erupting in its body. It was then that he noticed the sounds of bullets whizzing by his face.

Looking back behind him, he saw a UAZ parked in the street with what looked like a KPV mounted on top. Surrounding the vehicle were an additional group of soldiers, probably a whole platoon. Normally Dimitriy would have been furious at a machine gunner firing so dangerously close to him, but right then he didn't really care. He was just relieved to not be dying a brutal and very painful death.


-2:24 PM, May 24, 1986, Khost, Afghanistan

The past couple days had been a blur. Nikolai and his motley group of soldiers had spent their time moving through the city. They would find a building to hole up in to assess their situation and scout out the next stretch from, and then abandon it before it was either overrun or shelled into rubble. Along the way they had picked up a few stragglers and had grown to the size of about two squads, all of whom led by Nikolai.

The plan was to make their way to the airfield where they had heard that surviving forces were making a last stand while they attempted to evacuate via airlift. The only trouble was that Nikolai had not heard of any aircraft flying over the city in the last two days, and no one had seen another living human being in over twenty four hours, though they could hear the sounds of sporadic fighting in some other parts of the city.

In spite of the horrific fighting he had seen over the past couple weeks, Nikolai found this to be the most frightening time he had since the tāziyāne had first appeared. The only people they encountered were dead and mutilated corpses which littered the streets everywhere. And if not for the distant sounds of fighting, he would have sworn that they were the only people left alive within the whole doomed city, and each time they were attacked by one or more creatures he expected them to be followed by a much larger group of them, he was increasingly convinced that the next encounter would be the last.

Weapons fire erupted as a group of men gunned down a stray warrior charging them, the rest of the group tensed up and brought their weapons up to their shoulders, looking for a sign of any other creatures, however none appeared. With the threat neutralized, and no sign of another, they started moving again. A few moments later, the man walking point signaled for them all to halt. Expecting another tāziyāne to jump out and attack, Nikolai was surprised when nothing happened “someone… there!” said the man who was Afghani in broken Russian.

He walked up to the Afghani point man and looked where he was indicating and saw about a half a kilometer away down the street was a group of men walking toward them. As they approached he noticed that they were all wearing what looked like VDV uniforms. Aleksie walked up to stand next to him “airborne? I wasn’t aware that we had any airborne troops in the city” said Aleksie.

Nikolai considered it for a second “I don’t think these are airborne troops” he replied.

Aleksie raised an eyebrow “GRU Spetsnaz?” he inquired, Nikolai nodded “fuck, I'm not sure if I should be grateful or terrified, fucking lunatics” Aleksie said half jokingly.

A couple minutes later the other men had reached them, one of them approached with his rifle resting in the crook of his arm and his hand raised. “I’m Lieutenant Medved, who’s in charge here?” he asked.

Nikolai stepped forward “I suppose that would be me” he replied as he saluted “private Nikolai Antonov at your service sir.”

The lieutenant returned the salute as he smirked “private eh? Looks like you’re running two whole squads here. I’m not sure if it’s more impressive that you’ve managed to keep your shit together so well or that you have managed to survive this long out here” he said as he regarded Nikolai. Nikolai felt a slight twinge of pride at the back handed compliment “and it looks like you’ve got a nice variety here too. I see some Russians, Afghan regulars, Mujahideen, and Pakistani Army too. If we had only known that this is all it took to get these people to all fight for the glory of socialism we could have avoided the whole damned invasion in 1979 in the first place” joked the lieutenant.

Nikolai almost chuckled at that one “quite right sir, it would appear that facing a terrifying inhuman enemy can make people forget about former grudges” Nikolai grinned back at the lieutenant, then he quickly changed the subject “I wasn’t aware that we had any Spetznaz operating here in the city” he said as he eyed the other man in a sort of mock suspicion.

The lieutenant raised an eyebrow at that one “quite astute of you private. I think however, that we should continue this conversation elsewhere” it was Medved’s turn to change the subject “the rest of our platoon is about a kilometer south of here and we’re heading west to a rally point just outside of the airstrip” he explained.

Both Nikolai and Medved’s expressions immediately became serious “so they are planning on airlifting us out of the city” said Nikolai.

The lieutenant shook his head “we lost our last plane two days ago. No, the plan is to pull out over land to the Pakistani border. The Pakistanis are providing air and fire support to cover our retreat, luckily we have enough land transport so that no one will have to walk the whole distance to the border, but we only have about three hours before the last truck leaves, so we had better get moving” and with that they were off.

After about a half hour they had joined up with the rest of the Spetznaz platoon which had been sent out to retrieve a tanker truck which was abandoned by the army in the hectic retreat across the city. The whole group was lead by a colonel by the name of Kvachkov who seemed ruthless, but competent.

After the tanker truck had been sent on its way, the rest of them were left to walk back to the rally point on foot. The colonel walked close to Nikolai “so how did you get to be the one in charge of this group of misfits?” asked Kvachkov.

“Well sir, a couple days ago the building we were holding up in was being overrun by the tāziyāne and there was no one higher in rank than a private, and no one knew what the hell to do. So I decided that we had to do something and got everybody out of there.”

The colonel had an amused look on his face “been regretting that decision ever since eh?” he asked in a somewhat joking tone.

After a second Nikolai nodded “yeah, sort of. I didn’t exactly volunteer for the army, much less a command position” he tried not to sound too disgruntled about it, although he made no secret of his dismay at being conscripted in the first place.

Kvachkov nodded in understanding “yes, I suppose that army service, especially here in Afghanistan was never as glorious as Pravda would have you believe, even before these monsters came here. If it’s any consolation, you’ve done an admirable job under the circumstances” he said, patting Nikolai on the shoulder once.

Nikolai immediately grew suspicious, Kvachkov did not seem the type to give praise in this fashion. The colonel continued “that’s why I’m sorry to tell you that I’ve got some bad news for you” he said. Damnit! I knew this was going somewhere, what now? “the personnel situation here is a total mess. We’ve got a considerable shortage of both commissioned and non commissioned officers. So I’m going to be giving you a field promotion to junior sergeant” the colonel sounded apologetic. However his expression was anything but, shit! Nikolai thought that once they reached the rally point, they would bring in a noncommissioned officer to run things and let him go back to being a lowly private again without having to deal with this much responsibility.

He supposed that he was being a bit too optimistic “I guess I should have expected this, do you think that it will be made permanent sir?” he asked.

Kvachkov nodded in response “Probably, with all the casualties we’ve been suffering, the army is going to have all kinds of gaps to fill. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you becoming a sergeant if you survive for another month or two” he replied.

About two hours later they had reached the rally point just outside of the airport like the lieutenant had said. There were what looked like about a dozen BMP’s along with another couple scores of other vehicles of various different makes and models, ranging from military to civilian, and what looked like about a battalion of infantry.

A man wearing a colonel’s insignia on his uniform walked over to them “it’s about time you got here, we were beginning to contemplate leaving without you. Hurry up and get on one of the trucks, it doesn’t matter where, just grab a seat, the Pakistanis are going to start shelling any minute now!” he barked. Almost as if on cue, Nikolai could hear the sound of incoming artillery shells impact just west of their position, causing massive explosions to rise over the roofs of the buildings in that direction.

“Let’s go!” yelled the unidentified colonel. Not needing any further encouragement, they all ran to the large convoy of vehicles waiting for them, Nikolai wound up with a bunch of men he did not know in the back of an old Toyota pickup truck. In surprisingly short order they had all mounted up and were pulling out when he heard the first sounds of incoming fireflies.

The flying monstrosities strafed the convoy as it sped down the rubble strewn city streets. Barrages of those damned spikes came down on the convoy, three of the men sitting in the truck with Nikolai screamed as they became riddled with spikes. Looking up he could clearly see what must have been about a dozen of the creatures. Machine gunners in the BMP’s returned fire on the fireflies, and one of them must have been hit, because Nikolai heard what sounded like the sputtering sound they made when they started to crash.

After a few minutes of high speed driving and terrifying air attacks, the convoy managed to make it to the air field. A few exclamations from other men in the truck drew Nikolai’s attention to the left side of the convoy where he saw a large swarm of warriors charging at them from the north accompanied by a large group of fire beetles which were firing off volleys of fireballs.

The main guns on the BMP’s opened fire and Nikolai saw a series of explosions erupt amongst the large swarm of creatures, killing many but they did not slow. For a moment he was convinced that they wouldn’t make it, but almost as if to allay his fears, the entire northern portion of the airfield erupted in fire and destruction as more Pakistani heavy artillery came down directly over top of the advancing swarm of beasts. Shortly after that a couple of the fireflies began to explode as Pakistani J-7’s swooped in to dogfight with them.

Although it seemed that the worst was over, they were still constantly being harassed by scattered attacks from both the land and in the air. After making it past the airfield, they pulled directly onto the main road in the city heading west. Racing as fast as they could, the entire convoy managed to make it past the city limits in about twenty minutes, although they lost at least a half dozen trucks and cars along the way.

Looking back as they left the doomed city he could see many columns of black smoke rising up into the air and massive swarms of more of those fireflies darting about like flies over a rotting corpse. The symbolism of such a resemblance was not lost on Nikolai.




-2:18 AM, May 26, 1986, Princeton University Library, United States




Willard intently read through some obscure text on mesoamerican languages titled IIIOn the Origins of Mesoamerican Written LanguagesIII by someone named Dr. Dahl Dauzreal. The book itself was the first source to have any reference regarding the language on the tablets after over a week of searching, and until he had found it, he was starting to think that he would have to work from scratch on deciphering the writing.


Fortunately when looking through one of the storage rooms in the basement of the library, he had managed to find this volume, almost out of blind luck. The book was quite detailed, and seemed to have at least a partial translation of the basic alphabet of the language, which was fantastic. However at first he had started to become worried that he had stumbled onto the work of a complete quack as Willard had never heard of this Dr. Dauzreal.

Research into the author had turned up very little, other than the fact that he was a French archaeologist with expertise in ancient American languages and culture and had died during World War II. Either unfortunately or fortunately the man didn't seem to have much of a negative reputation, or much of a reputation at all to speak of whatsoever.


Apparently he did do some crucial work during the mid to late twenties on Mayan written language, however afterward he had come up with the theory that all mesoamerican civilization had descended not from the peoples who had come down from North America and the Aleutian land bridge, but rather somewhere else, probably Polynesia or as he later had theorized, Antarctica.

The theory never gained any popularity, and his decision to stop publishing in 1932, shortly after he first started his work regarding this, meant that very little was written on the subject by him to judge either way. In fact this seemed to be the only completed fully published book regarding his later work.

Stranger still was the fact that the reason for Dauzreal's lack of published work post 1932, was that he had gone into seclusion that same year. Following this he was then committed to an insane asylum in 1934 for schizophrenia where he stayed until his death during the war.


While the knowledge that Dauzreal had gone insane in his later years seemed to indicate that perhaps his work relating to this language was probably poorly formulated, further research into his other work revealed that the man had in fact done some very good work in his other fields of research, and the way his latest book was written seemed no less well thought out or researched than any of the previous ones. Quite the contrary, this particular book seemed to have been even more well written and researched than its predecessors.


Willard had been so engrossed in perusing the book that he did not notice the gaunt looking man in a suit sit down at the table across from him “very interesting isn't it Dr. Maye?” he asked, startling Willard so much that he almost fell out of his chair.

Willard struggled to compose himself “yes, quite... what- who- where did you come from? Don't you know that the library is closed?” he asked.

The strange man merely looked back at him with an unreadable expression “I was about to ask you the same thing” he replied.


Willard eyed the man, something about his appearance seemed unsettling “I'm sorry to have startled you doctor, but you've been hard to get in touch with lately” the mystery man explained.

“Well, I've been quite busy lately” replied Willard “you still haven't told me who you are” he demanded.

The mystery man regarded Willard with that same unreadable expression for a moment, then “quite right doctor. Who I am is not important, but I've been sent here by my employer to convey to you a message” he explained.

Willard didn't quite like the ambiguity in the explanation. Leaning back in his chair, Willard looked over at the man with a scowl on his face “and that would be?” he challenged.

The strange man placed a briefcase on the table and opened it “the package you received last week has come to the attention of my employers who have a lot of interest in this subject. They wish to assist you in whatever way they can in your research. To this end they are willing to provide some funding to support an expedition to Antarctica to further your research in the subject”he explained.

The gaunt fellow pulled out a large manila envelope from the briefcase and slid it across the table toward Willard “they are also not foolish enough to believe that you will not be able to find additional funding from other sources. As such my employer has already written a number of grants for you to present to Princeton University and the Archaeological Institute of America. We have also provided similar grant writing services and funding to a Dr. Atwood at MIT for a couple other scientific organizations.”

“All that is asked in return is that you agree to undertake an expedition to Antarctica to further research this discovery that was made there earlier this month. This is to be undertaken with the cooperation of Dr. Atwood and your colleague Dr. Miller who is already present on site.”


“The expedition is to be a joint venture between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the AIA, Princeton University, and the National Science Foundation. All funding shortfalls for the expedition will be made up for by my employers. Also, the only other requirement is that you sign this contract” he pulled out a stapled packet of papers and slid it over to Willard who reluctantly reached out to grab it.

Willard was so bewildered, he was still trying to wrap his head around what was happening “I'm sorry... this is all coming as a bit much so quickly. Who exactly are your employers?” he asked.

The man then pulled a single sheet of paper out of his briefcase and passed this too over to Willard “I am not at liberty to discuss the exact identities of my employers, however I can tell you that they are working under the jurisdiction of the United States government” the man explained. He continued, pointing to the paper he just produced “I am also allowed to tell you that according to this presidential directive, if you do not agree to these conditions and sign the agreement, all materials pertaining to the Antarctic discovery in your possession shall be confiscated immediately for the purposes of national security” silence hung in the room between them.

Realizing the implications of what he had just been told, Willard jumped to his feet “this is preposterous! You cannot threaten me like this! You have no right!” he exclaimed furiously. The mystery man simply looked at him with a dismissive expression “actually, I can. If you will read this document, it states that presidential directive 234-176B states: 'Any and all materials and information relevant to project RAINBOW, or OBSIDIAN WINDOW are subject to complete nationalization, compartmentalization, and classification, pursuant to the needs of national security. Any violation of this order is punishable with up to twenty five years in federal prison on a charge of treason.' signed President Harry S. Truman, April 23, 1948.”

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-18 02:38pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-13 10:45am
Posts: 74
Damn Guest this is getting really good.
Did you get the idea for the Fire Bugs from the first Starship Troopers flick?
Also did you get the for Project Rainbow and Obsidain Window from the first Half Life game?
I also love the cloak and dagger stuff you have going on in the Us, also I'm kind of intrested to see how the tablets relate to this story.
Keep up the good work.



" Remember only you can prevent canibalistic murder, feed your local Sith Lord today. "

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-18 03:57pm
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Youngling

Joined: 2010-03-22 02:14pm
Posts: 148
LT.Hit-Man303 wrote:
Damn Guest this is getting really good.
Did you get the idea for the Fire Bugs from the first Starship Troopers flick?
Also did you get the for Project Rainbow and Obsidain Window from the first Half Life game?
I also love the cloak and dagger stuff you have going on in the Us, also I'm kind of intrested to see how the tablets relate to this story.
Keep up the good work.


Actually, the fire bugs were inspired by the ones from starship troopers, I pictured them a bit chubbier, but yeah.

Interestingly, Project Rainbow was the supposed codename for the philadelphia experiment. Obsidian window was a name I made up, but it is somewhat inspired by halflife, the use of satellites to facilitate teleportation experiments was directly lifted from halflife. I also made a couple shoutouts to stephen king's the myst (arrowhead network). It was always a fan theory of mine that the teleportation experiments in the halflife verse were actually descended from the supposed philadelphia experiment.

If I were you I would concentrate on the odd shaping of the tablets if you want to figure out that angle. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Godforsaken Future PostPosted: 2010-12-19 09:17am
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Redshirt

Joined: 2010-11-21 05:22am
Posts: 1
I love it. Simply love it. Haven´t read such a gripping story since Armageddon & Pantheocide.

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