Citizens of the Imperium

Citizens of the Imperium (
-   The Cleon Memorial Library (
-   -   Don't Speak (

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 07:43 AM

Don't Speak
This story draws tropes and partial or full quotes from movies, television, games and other media. See if you can recognize which quotes come from. Between each line, try to imagine the story instead of having it handed to you via narration.

Don't Speak

* * *
"Don't go into the Chapel Compartment. It's...infernal...”

"Ancients. Where'd they get the cages to hang from the Chapel ceiling?"

"The Livestock Deck."

"No psionics! I just saw a Tindal Hound."

"Jackass, those don't exist."

BSSHRRT "Welcome to our derelict hulk, Humans. We, the Cwn Annwn will feast on your meat soon enough."

"The what?"

"Vargr Corsairs, L-T. Crazy as f***. All of them."

"Private Aerrzh, what was that sound?"

"The Howl of the Wild Hunt, sir. They know where we are. They will become quiet the closer they come to a kill."

"Shit! They have Mallt-y-Nos with their Pack! What the hell is she doing in this world-system?!"

"She's a Psion, L-T. She'll attract the Tindalos."

"You stow that fairytale B.S., O'Malley."

"I want her for questioning. Weapons to stun."

"What're we supposed to use against those glowing growlers? Harsh language? No offense, Aerrzh."

"Why are they glowing? Aerrzh, what the-"

"They rub strontium aluminate - SrO.Al2O3 - into their white pelts and red dye on their ears. It's part of their modus operendi in the Wild Hunt. Me, they will capture and torture. You flat-faces are dinner."

"So that's what the spray-paint of Annwn meant. Library Data says it's old Terran mythology. The Otherworld Island of the Afterlife."

"Suggestion, sir. Gun them down. Avoid melee. They're specialists in close quarters Infighting."

"Get boners for a slugfest, eh? Let 'em come. I don't shiv-"

"Quiet! They've gone silent."

"Where's Stallings? STALLINGS!"

"The point, sir, is that you're still alive when they begin to feed."

* * *

"Oh, you poor puppy. Come to me. You must be so alone now that the Wild Hunt has taken your Human brothers. Come closer. Feed on them. Just a nibble and join us...."

"Squad Two is offline, their telemetry a farm of flatlines. Send in the Angelmakers."

Integral Cyberlog - Op Hour 13 in the Cadair Idris decks: They threw me in a vat of color-removing chemicals, to bleach my pelt white. I've been beaten and cannot rise. The woman, Matilda of the Night said she would dye my ears red if I crawled to her in supplication and begged to join the Cwn Annwn.

Strange that today is Walpurgisnacht...I keep this log as a warning to all who penetrate the Annwn: the Wild Hunt does not know fear. And Curnunos has just jumped into the system to inspect this Pack...

"Are you ready to throw away your name, accept the collar of the Cwn Annwn and join the Wild Hunt? There is more sport and prey coming. Crawl."

"Pwyll, be a dear and take our new Hound back to his cell so he can heal and be ready for these....Angelmakers."

Day 10: I'm so hungry...I...gotta eat.

* * *

"Aerrzh, that you?"

So hungry....and there is meat and the red drink...

"Shit, dawg, what did they do to you?!" eat...

Thank you, Boone. You've saved me. Sorry, ex-brother in arms...

Day Whatdoesitmatter: Curnunos is a huge Ursa. I saw him single handedly beat one of his Hunt before us. Talking in Anglic sets him in a frenzy. Must not speak. Again, the hunger. When do we next Hunt?

I saw him golf Cpl. Martens through the air with one ursinoid claw. Mustn't speak. The talking Marines keep enraging Curnunos our Master of the Wild Hunt.

Stop talking. Forbes. Shut up and live in your hidey hole. Just stop talking in your mic. Shhhh. He'll hear you.

The old bay lock is broken. But then the Launch is functional if covered in debris. Hungry. Mustn't speak. I bet I could...if I rammed those doors....

"Aerrzh, no! Not me! Please!"


Sated <pant pant>...for now. Patel should never have joined the service, the puny weakling. Now I have his tools hidden aboard the Launch. Mustn't speak.

Day...Night...doesn't matter. We took down a penth, a star of the xenos called Xithids. They taste like lobster or crab after their hard carapace is cracked. I gnaw and wonder how the Humans are faring against the Xithids. Don't ask. Don't speak. Feed.

Another Ritual was held by Mallt-y-Nos in the Chapel last night. Now the walls bleed real blood. Cages were filled with captured Marines. In Anglic, they seal their fates. Curnunos hates the Solomani, the English language and by extension all Humaniti and Anglic. I cower down at the Ursa stalking and harrowing the captured Humans. The Chapel echoes with our Howls. But mustn't speak. Can I even mouth Human words anymore?

Sgt. Dietrich encountered me. He was separated by the latest Wild Hunt. Why do they keep coming? With but his armor and a space axe, he found me in the Launch bay. Mustn't speak.

"S-stand down, Aerrzh," he speaks. "We can take the Launch, you and me. You in there, bro?"

He's still speaking.

With a hard grav-burn, the Launch burst out of the Launch bay. Human Dietrich is at the helm.

"Sweet Hay-zeus Marimba, Aerrzh, we made out of that hellhole!"

He's still speaking.



Don't speak!

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 07:48 AM

Dietrich sustains me. He is quiet again. You knew my nature to have taken me with you in the Launch I secretly repaired. You should never have come to that bay. You should not have spoken. He will hear. Mustn't speak. Never speak again....

I am the Cwn Annwn who made it out of that nightmare existence. It has scarred me to the core. This is why I am writing to you, Travellers. As your Patron, I am setting a bounty on all members of the Cwn Annwn. Bring me the red ears of each, the scalp of that witch, the head of that male and the entire carpet pelt of the Ursa and I will reward you handsomely. But know this: they will not fear your coming. They will Howl with delight that the Wild Hunt has been challenged by mortals.

Here are the terms: Cr5000 for every pair of red ears, Cr7000 for a Cwn Annwn captured delivered alive (good luck with that), Cr10,000 for the scalp of Mallt-y-Nos, Cr30,000 for her capture (drug her unconscious please) and delivery, Cr10,000 for the head of Pwyll Dyfed, Cr24,000 for the capture of Pwyll, Cr50,000 for the white pelt of Ursa Curnunos, Cr150,000 for his capture (in a heavy cage please, if you can). There is your demise or your compensation terms, Travellers.

“The Patron will see you now. Please remember not to talk. He’s about to begin dinner, so he may be sated enough to be civil. Don’t mind the chains. They’re for your safety. Remember: don’t speak. Use the tablet.”

“The Bifrost Fixer Firm apologizes for the state of the Patron, Travellers. The Patron was dressed when we last prepared him for your arrival. The credits are already in an intermediary, secured and controlled account. Are any of you injured? Good. This way to the exit.”

“Did you see the way he sank fangs into that hank of Groat thigh? Bloody nutter, mate.”

“Pay for killin’ growlers? I’m in! Payback for the 4FW.”

“Yeah. Battle of Two Suns. I was there-“

“Look man. I only wanna know one thing: where...they...are...”

“Yes, well, the Patron’s Cyberlog files as well as the mission insertion is stored on Wafer. Jack it when you get a chance. What is it, Jenkins?”

“How soon til we drop? Leeeerooyyyyyy mmmmJennkinnnnns!!”

“Dammit, Leroy. Why you always gotta play that tribal drum shit on a drop?”

“Cuz I get off on it! Anyone else?”

“Pendejo stupido.”

“Alright. Weapons hot, Travellers! Two minutes!”

“I see the Comm Tower but why won’t the doors open? Oh wait. There they go.”

“We’ve got derelict debris chop. Sit tight back there.”

“Hey. What’s with Princess Peach over there?”

“I hear she’s some kind of field correspondent, coming with to catch these growlers on footage. Paid field journalism.”

“Yeah. Well she can journal THIS.”

“Stow that shit, Jenkins! Look sharp!”

“Wait for the hangar to cycle, Jenkins. Dammit, I said wait!”

Gonna have me some fun, Gonna have me some fun, Gonna have me some fun

(Racks shotgun.) “I like to keep this handy....for Close Encounters.”

“Amen, brother.”

“Remember that we’re hunting glowing growlers here, kiddies. Anything else is a waste of ammunition. Check your targets and watch the corners.”

“On the files, these puppies glow in the dark. I wonder if their blood glows too.”

“If they bleed, we can kill them.”

“Listen here, zaibatsu. I don’t care who you are back in the ‘verse. You give away my position again and I’ll bleed you, leave you here as bait for Them.”

“What is it, Billy?”

“There’s something else here, and it ain’t no Vargr.”

“Yo! Psi-squealer’s chirping! We may have company!”

W-w-w-want some candy?

“Why’s it so hot in here?”

“It’s Devourer the K4 IV, Orange Giant star. It’s baking the outer hull and she ain’t bleeding the heat out fast enough.”

“Billy’s the Medicine Man. What’s got him all squirrelly?”

“Don’t ask me, man. I just work here.”

“Whatddya think, Med-Sci Deck or the Wreck Deck?”

“We ain’t splittin’ up, that’s for sure. This is some pretty deep scrap. You lose it out here....”

“Whoa. Halt there. Pan back on the cyberlink, to the left. What is that on the deck plates?”

“Looks like some fragments of chitin, a carapace shell maybe?”

“If you think that’s alien, check this out. Looks like the growlers had lunch here yesterday. Thing’s all eaten up and spat out.”

“Lead, I think we’ve got more than some cult of Vargr nut-jobs here. We did bring alternate ammo for xenos, right?”

“This just keeps getting better and better.”

“Yeah, it’d be great if we brought some grenades.”

“Ancients it’s gettin’ hot.”

“Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.”

“Line’s been bitten through, looks like. Rook, do the thing with the knife.”

“No one said anything about bringing a synthetic with us on this job.”

“Rook is the backup Medic for us Travellers. If you don’t like it, you can make way back to the drop shuttle if you’re scared of synthetics.”

“Sheeeeit. We found the original crew...or what’s left of them. Their ID implants are stacked up in there in the dark. S’all that’s left of them.”

“Any Wafers? Maybe we can-"

“Hulk-quake!! Hit the deck!”

“Hold tight to something! The hulk’s pitching and the gravity ain’t likely to compensate! Whoooooaaaahh!”

“Grab my other hand! You’re slipping!”

“We leave nobody behind!”

“That fall was likely half the length of the hulk. You seriously wanna climb all the way down there after him?”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 07:52 AM

“What do you sense, Billy?”

“Somethin’s out there, Colonel. Some things. Hunting us. We’re all gonna die.”

Want some candy?


“Jenkins? Leroy?! Leroy Jenkins!”

(Cocks PGMP). “Let’s rock!”

“Don’t hit the bulkhead supports, ▮▮▮▮▮▮mit!”

“Jeez! They were in the interstitial spaces! Comin’ outta the overheads.”

“Always remember to look up.”

“Fall back after the Plasma Incinerators!”

“Never say, ‘I’ll be right back’.”

“Xenos! Fraggin’ xenos! Let’s get the hell outta here!”

“Move move move!”

“Weld it faster! C’mon baby! Lock it down!”

“What was that?”

“Howling, it sounded like.”

“Not now. Not here.”

“Let’s fall back to the Drop Shuttle. Let’s go!”

“Climb faster! They’re on our six!”

“Shit shit shit! I’m out. Pass me another clip.”

“Hold what you got. For Billy! He held the bridge.”

“Madre, the quake took out the entire hangar like a grav-car crusher.”

“That’s just great! Game over!”

“They’re still howling. They’re still howling.”

“Get it together, man. We’re Travellers and they’re dogs. You see one you shoot to kill, know what I mean?”

“Call up the Computer, a sub-processor, anything. See if you can bring up a schematic. Maybe there’s more smallcraft somewhere on the hulk.”

“Okay. I’m on it.”

“....but we’ll have to pass through the Drives Deck to get to the remaining Escape Launches on the Hangar Deck. With the spin of the hulk, this ain’t gonna be easy. That’s bug central nearest the Main Power Plant which in turn is hot and may be leaking.”

“Leslie, you’re a reporter and a linguistics expert. What does that say on the wall?”

“It’s a tag of the Cwn Annwn, their ouroboros. It says underneath in Gvegh: We are watching you.

“Shit! The air vents! They had highways through the hulk and tracked us!”

“Get behind me, get behind me!”

“Light ‘em up! Fire!”

“Army. Navy. Marines. COACC. What a great way, it’s a great way of lif- URRGGGggK!”

“We ain’t gonna die. Know why? Cuz’ we’re just too damn pretty.”

“Rook! Tell me you got that Launch out and coming toward us!”

“The Portable Controller keeps getting sunspot activity from Devourer and the hulk is still pitching. This will take time.”

“We’re out of time, Rook!”

“He bit me! He bit me!”

“Relax, dip-head. Vargr don’t have rabies.”

“Quiet. We’re getting clicks on the Geiger Counter. The Plant is up ahead. Stay frosty, Travellers. Bug City 15 degrees to port.”

Want some candy?

“Eat this!!”

“Awww yeah. The Armory. Gun up, mates!”

“Cwn Annwn! Say hello to mah lil friend!”

“Tell me you brought them from the Armory.”

“Got’ em right here.”

“Fire in the hole!”

“The Launch is latched at the ‘lock and ready.”

“Rook, meet us there. It’s too hot and the place is crawling.”

“Set the Claymores behind us! Keep ‘em paying for it.”

“Dios mio.”

“That’s a lot of eggs.”

“Yeah, but who’s laying them?”

(Heavy breathing.) Wants some candy.

“Shoot her! SHOOT HERRR!”

“Get to the Launch! Get to the Launch!”

“I’m out! Run!”

“Leave him! He’s gone!”

“What was that?”

“The Power Plant. It’s cascading.”

“That vibration. Ain’t nothin’ else like it. This hulk is about to become a new star in the system.”

“Locked down! Go go go!”

“Can you go any faster, Rook?”

“We’re at maximum Gs.”

“Don’t look at it-!”

“Aaagh! My eyes!”

“I’ve sedated him, but he’ll need replacements if he’s to see again.”

“No operable comms in this tub. Make for the Highport.”

“I swear, if I ever look at another Vargr again....”

“....this is Leslie at the end of a harrowing tale, signing off...”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 07:56 AM

* * *

"Here's the extra data I was able to pull out of the hulk Computer. The Swordies and the Bear were not on the derelict during the Op."

"Thanks, Rook. But where-?"

"Some secret Corsair Base they name Arawn. There's coordinates. Two jumps with our reach."

"Get a new team of Travellers together, only the best though."

I thought the intel was clear, Travellers. The hulk between Devourer and the Brown Dwarf Prey was only a recruiting and conversion site for the Cwn Annwn.

"If the Swordies and the Bear made repeated trips, then their ships may be infested with eggs similar to the ones the last Op recorded."

"Mr. Aerrzh is in a bit of a rage frenzy and cannot take visitors, let alone Traveller failures. Did you at least bring back any ears?"

"I just wanna know that we're going there to exterminate the xenos and the Corsairs. Right?"

"That's the plan. You have my word."

"The network won't quit until we lay lenses on these leaders, Mallt-y-Nos, Pwyll Dyfed and most of all the Ursa Curnunos. The ratings on the holodocumentary went through the roof."

"Haven't you seen enough, Leslie?"

"Ancients. We barely made back what we spent on the Derelict Op. That Aerrzh is just as FUBAR as the ones we fought on the hulk."

"If he dicks us over this time, I'll put him to sleep myself."

“How are the new eyes coming along, Jones?”

“Darksight may be nifty, but the slitted pupils keep scaring off the ladies.”

“I told you not to look. But you never listen. Why you always gotta look?”

“Just a Curious George I guess.”

“Curious what?”

“It’s an old Terran reference. You’re not Solomani.”

“Listen up! The batshit dog, our employer just upped the bounty reward for the leaders of the Cwn Annwn. We are about to jump to this lonely Island of the Afterlife. Intel says it’s a den of Corsair delights, gluts, greed, fetishes and forbidden pleasures, scum and villainy. Get some jump transit rest. We’ve a week to plan our attack vectors and assemble squads.”

“Jak, tell us again why he’s on our ship? He’s unstable! His cabin is a carnal house and he reeks of bleach and blood.”

“Because, Franco, we screwed the pooch with no after smoke last time. That’s why. He wants to see us make the kills real-time, not learn of it a week later.”


“Just keep him locked in his stateroom. He can pay the cleaning bill after this Op.”

“We lost Billy, Jak. Who replaced him?”

“We’ve a newbie psyker. Her name’s Anzhelika. She didn’t give me anything else to go on. But she’s the only Psion who dared to sign up with us Travellers.”

“Her UPP says she’s ex-Marine-“

“There’s no such thing as an ex-Marine, Jones.”

“I did some digging, boss. Her file appears in the Marines rosters. She was in a unit called the Angelmakers. Think they took the name thinking of this chick?”

“Keep it in your pants, Franco. She’s not on the market. Not on any market. For a Ruskie of Terran descent, she’ll do. So, no schmoozing.”

“Aww crap. Is it my turn to feed the Patron again?”

“Cut the whining. He’s loaded since finding all the stolen caches in the system we left behind.”

“I kin veed him.”

“You don’t have to do that, ma’am.”

“I kin get true to him. Piece ov pie.”

“Cake. Piece of cake.”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:00 AM

“Now remember, whatever you do, don’t talk to him or out loud at all. Drives him crazy. Don’t take your eyes off him, not even for a second. Just bring in his meat, set it on the floor or something. Then back out while facing him.”

“I kin do dis.”

“Please tell me that is Mesh-7 you’re wearing, Anzhelika.”

“I haf his meat. Open door.”

I see you across the room. Do you ever stay clothed anymore? The heat of your body, I can feel it from here. What did they do to you? I come with food, see? There it is. Those eyes, so full of pain and rage. See? I do not cringe. I can see the heavy metal collar, its World Serpents etched in rings about it. Why have you not had it cut off?

I have typed on this tablet all I have to say to a Psion. We may both be Marines, but you are food to them. You are all food to the Cwn Annwn. Your bones will decorate their lair if you are weak. Leave the meat and get out.

“What did you make of him?”

“He hunted my unit in de Marines back vhen dhey converted him. Pulled it vrom his memories. So jumbled dhey are.”

“And you don’t harbor any ill will?”

“Let us zay, Jak dat hunters know dere own.”

“How’d the witch do?”

“You don’t wanna know. Don’t tell him, Jak. You shouldn’t have told me, but you did. So, I’m telling you, you don’t wanna know.”

Personal Log: He can be tall when he stands fully upright. The Service honed his muscles and they show through his bleached pelt. Gone is the glow, but he keeps his ears red. His claws were to either side of me, pinning me with my back to the door. His heat is like standing too close to a bonfire with waves coming at each exhale. Yet, he hurts. I read his feral mind. I think I can do something with him. Then he took his fangs off my neck and handed me his blood-caked tablet. He does not like Psions.

“Absolutely not, Anzhelika. He’s too dangerous. Talking sets him off. He’ll turn on us the moment he touches paws to that Corsair Base. Then the cult will lure him back in.”

“He coult rezholve his trauma, Jak. If we kin-“

“Not on this Op, Anzhelika. That’s final.”

“Check it! New guns. Oh man. I could light up a small town with this bad daddy.”

“Hey. Just between you and me, does this Op seem a little off? Why has another corp-man, one of those zaibatzu come with us on this Op?”

“Tsu. Zaibatsu. And if he gets in our field of fire well...Patron did say there would be casualties like the last Op.”

“Dude. Last night, I got a good look at the skin on that Angel-chick. I had the door cracked when she came out of the Common Fresher.”


“Alabaster skin, like pearly porcelain. Unit tattoo on her back, all the way across. Wings. Franco was right. She’s one of the Angelmakers, badassess.”

“She’s a witch, man. A psyker. Better watch your lust or she might make a good little angel outta you too.”

“Worth it. I won’t need another periodical for the rest of this Op.”

“How did you get that view? It was late at ship-night and all the corridor lights were out.”

“My new eyes. Darksight, remember? And I hear that Psions can see in any light if they use their mind-eye or whatever it’s called.”

“She clocks you out, don’t come crying to me, man.”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:02 AM

Cast of Characters

Private Aerrzh - Gvegh Vargr survivor of conversion into one of the Cwn Annwn, a Vargr Corsair of the Wild Hunt

Jak - leader of the Traveller StarMercs

Jones - Traveller, mercenary, has modified Clone eyes replacements granting him Darksight (slitted pupils)

Franco - Traveller, mercenary, IT, hacker, Tech

Anzhelika - Terran of Russian descent, Marine, remnant survivor of the Angelmakers unit, Psion

Curnunos - Ursa male, one of three leaders of the Cwn Annwn, the Wild Hunt of Celtic or Welsh mythology

Mallt-y-Nos - Sword Worlder female Human, holder of the Mabinogion, a.k.a. Matilda of the Night, Psion of Mentation and The Touch

Pwyll Dyfed - Sword Worlder male Human, co-leader with Mallt-y-Nos

Leslie - field correspondent for a holodocumentary network, journalist

Tachibana - corporate mission rep

Rook - Synthetic sophontiform, backup Medic and support

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:05 AM

“Okay everybody, settle down. Tachibana has some-“

“Tachibana-san, Jak-san.”

“Yeahhh, well he’s here to get us fitted into the new Armors his corporation has given us Travellers special license to field test under live fire and under actual missions’ situations. You’ve all been measured by the Ship’s Medic and the numbers fed to the ArmorMaker. With the specs from the corp, let’s do this by the numbers.”

“ I said: zaibatsu.”

“Franco and I will lead the first squad in Cold Watch. We will have Network Leslie with us. Jones and Anzhelika will command the second squad featuring record Armor performances and provide support. These are full Battle Dress and are worth more than an entire year of pay. So, no screwing around with Armors we don’t own. Looking at you, Franco.”

“Watch which weapons you select, crew. Use only what you’re rated in. One hair-trigger hero and you can blow a hole through the entire column.”

“Why is there a Vargr Dress in the back, Jak? I thought Crazy wasn’t coming with us.”

“He’s not. Mr. Aerrzh purchased his Battle Dress with his sizable accounts with plenty to spare for the bounty of taking down Cwn Annwn.”

“What’s the catch, man? There’s always a catch.”

“Uh, there may be an infestation of those xenos we recorded on our last Op. Repeated trips to and from the derelict hulk may have transferred unforeseen eggs on the Corsairs’ ships. The corp wants to test their new line of Dress against any as well as the cult.”

“I knew it. It’s a bug-hunt.”

“Remember what we’re hired to do. We’re StarMercs and we are being paid by Cr-...Mr. Aerrzh to exterminate the Corsair Band, including their leadership. If we see any xenos, the second squad will be better kitted for them with alternate load-outs.”

“This is Groatshit, man! Corp wants to capture the xenos. To hell with that! If that’s what Tachibana-san is really after-"

“Grow a pair, Franco! We are Travellers, StarMercs built up of elites who have prior contact with the Corsairs and any potential xenos.”

“Anyway, take some time to revisit Mr. Aerrzh’s Cyberlog. Scrutinize it and the methods in which this cult works. Any ideas, you bring them forward.”

“Boss, I know we were assigned our Dress, but why do I get the Hangar Queen?”

“Queens know their own, Jones.”

“Screw you, Franco.”

“All of the Battle Dress units come with enhanced Strength and extended Endurance the corp calls Stamina. The Wafer Jack interface will keep you from being distracted by a Heads-Up Display and focused on battle. Your thoughts will guide the Dress in aiding your movements. Nonetheless, avoid melee combat with the Cwn Annwn if possible. They will zerg us if we give them half a battlefield.”

“However, and this is important: all these fancy Options come with Drawbacks. Jones merely drew the shortest straw in what he calls the Hangar Queen.”


“Do we gotta collect ears like last time?”

“I’m glad you asked. No, we don’t have to do any grisly trophy collections. Mr. Aerrzh will be able to watch us make kill after kill, tallying up our pay as we take down the Cwn Annwn, the Wild Hunt as they call themselves.”

“My Dress - it’s Cramped in the crotch! What the hell?”

“Heh. They must have sent the wrong gender on your UPP to the ArmorMaker, Franco.”


“I’m up. Okay, so mine seems to Run Hot. But if you can’t take the heat... Who’s next?”

“Check it. The babe is next.”

“Dude. Angelmaker, remember? She’s gonna be in the second squad with a sniper weapon that can pick you off from low Orbit.”

“Och. Dis Dress have Bad Taste in Drinks and Heavy Vibration.”

“Sorry, Marine. We’re expecting jump rumblings soon, so we have no time to revisit the ArmorMaker. At least the Dress units are comfortable for long-term wear via the Stamina-thing. We will be able to recharge each unit’s Operations Durations at any power outlet. These things take juice from anything thanks to all the adapters.”

“What’s Princess Peach and Tachibana-san gonna wear, boss?”

“As they’re non-coms, they’re fitted for HEVs, that’s Hostile Environment Vacc Suits, the best civilian Armors available, especially in case the xenos have other bugs on them.”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:07 AM

“Aww man! Do we have to babysit them while fighting?”

“I made sure that Leslie and Tachibana-san agreed to be armed. There will be no Conscientious Objectors on this Op, civvies or Mercs.”

“Now some bad news. Though we fought the Cwn Annwn on the derelict between Devourer and Prey, we now know that their lair was a recruiting and conversion house for capturing Vargr and making them into those glowing Hounds of the Wild Hunt. This is their Corsair Base, crew. They will be armed, armored and likely have the home field advantage on this Arawn, a planetoid in a belt I hear from the intel we captured on the hulk.”

“The Ishiimigur will engage any space-based defenses with its guns and compliment of fighters. We’re to insert drop-style onto Arawn and assault the Corsair Base directly under the cover of the space engagement.”

“I hope this isn’t some stand-up war. This is a hunt, plain and simple. Put some doggies to sleep and get out.”


“I want this mission to go smooth and by the numbers. It may be a Black and Kill Op but make no mistake. These Hounds don’t shiv and they will eat you just as soon look at you. Don’t believe me? I dare you to step alone into Mr. Aerrzh’s cabin alone at midnight ship-time.”

“Remember your fire zones, and that includes above and behind your squad. This isn’t the Service. We’re StarMercs, not brothers in arms. You fall behind or fail to follow orders well....”

“We’re gonna go and we’re gonna pound some puppies!”


He is watching us. I cannot see him, but Aerrzh is up to something. I do not believe he will simply stand by and witness us destroy the cult.

“Check this Accelerator Rifle out! No Recoil!”

“Look. Over there. The Angelmaker gets the prettiest toys.”

“It’s an ImVhGRP-13. I saw the string on the case in cargo. It stands for Improved VHeavy Gauss Rifle Portable - Tech 13. At over fourteen kilos, you don’t want to lug that around without Combat Armor or Battle Dress or something Oversize.”

“Yeah, but what’s its damage output? It better be able to crack those xenos if we see any.”

“They only way they’re gonna see her Death From Above is if the xenos can see Mag and Lek. No Flash or Recoil and she can shoot in space.”

“Okay, crew. Orders: You see a Cwn Annwn, Vargr, Human or Ursa, shoot to kill. Don’t try to tame one or talk it down outta any trees. Pop and bounce. Do you get me?”

“We get you, sir!”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:09 AM

“Another thing, you apes...and ladies: There will be no potty breaks, no facilities other than Vargr thrones. Get your fill tonight. After jump breakout, everyone drinks The Concoction, hits the head and then goes to Medical to get the lead out. Calm down. I hate it too. But if you have to go, you’re going in your Dress and you get to hose it out and sanitize it. These aren’t our Armors, kiddies. Grow up.”


“Before you go, those of you versed in Marine Battle Language, if you can take some time to share a few signs with those non-Marines. It may save their lives if they can communicate without talking. We’ve all seen what it does to You-Know-Who. Dismissed.”

Yes. He will know Battlesign too. I must remember that.

“Leslie! Leslie. A moment.”

“Yes, Jak?”

“You’re not getting away by carrying a simple pistol. Lemme introduce you to a good friend, the AHAcR-12 or Advanced Heavy Accelerator Rifle-Tech 12. You’re going to get very friendly with this model, Leslie. I don’t care what the network says. Everyone fights. Nobody quits. You don’t do your part; I’ll shoot you myself.”

“It’ll kick, Jak. I-“

“Not the Accelerators. They spit out little projectiles that propel themselves. You just have to aim and put a little Girl Hip or some shoulder action into it. Easy peasy.”

“What’s this?”

“That’s the grenade launcher. I don’t think you wanna-“

“You started this. Show me everything, or did you forget the derelict before we found the Armory?”

“How could I forget? The holodoc ratings skyrocketed when we re-armed.”

The Pakkrat November 16th, 2019 08:13 AM

“They’re the animals and we’re the dog catchers. So, there’s nothing to fear because we’re gonna go in and kick some. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir!”

“What are we?”

“We’re StarMercs!”

“Alright! Everybody on the Ready Line! One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four!”

“Yesss, Precious! Absolutely badassess!”

“Jak, there’s no smoking stogies on the Muster Deck, right?”

“Look into my eye....”

“In that G-Carrier! Move it, move it!”

“Stow the longarms and get seated!”

“You two Hazzies sit here. Last in, last out.”

“Rook, let’s go.”

“Copy that. Link up with Drop Shuttle in 30 seconds.”

“Okay, girls! Cyberlinks up so the Battle Computers can track your cute, little hearts.”

“G-Carrier locked and ready.”

“I copy that. This is Thunderbird-1, we are Go!”

“I think I left the stove on.”

“Funny, Franco.”

“The Ishiimigur has engaged the Corsairs’ ships and ground gun Turrets. There’s gonna be chop. Drop in 3....2...1. Release!”

“Whoa. Check the dogfighting on the Sensors boards.”

“Those are the fighters.”

“Gravimetrics are complaining. Those ‘roids have some dense metals. Hold onto your guns, boys. Gravity’s gonna be wonky.”

Dante’s Inferno, mutha-“

“Listen up! Insertion in 45 seconds! Somebody wake up Jones.”

“Dogcatchers: this is the Ishiimigur....BrrkkkT Has taken.......fighter and escaped....Be advised BBSSHHHH…”

“What was that? Say again, Ishiimigur!

“They’re being flooded with Ultimate Jammer-12s. This is a hot ride, no matter what they were trying to say.”

“Thunderbird-1 down and ramp lowering. You are go, Dogcatchers!”

“Roger that. Rook, do the thing. Saddle up! We’re on the surface. Gravity’s lower so watch your steps and maneuvers. Side to side and follow orders!”

“There’s the Arawn Base hangar doors. See the smaller door that’s where we’ll-“

“Heads up! Hit the deck!”

“Thank the Ancients there’s no atmosphere to hear that crash.”

“A Fighter from the Ishiimigur crashed into the hangar doors. They’re not open but there is a gaping hole between the joined doors. Knock knock...”

“There went our element of surprise, boys.”

“Weapons hot! Move across the landscape and take the hangar doors.”

“Anzhelika, take to a vantage and cover us!”

“Da! Yes, sir.”

No. It cannot be. You foolish Vargr. So. You stole a fighter and opened the way for us after bailing out in your Dress. Fearless.

“Jak, dis is Anzhelika. Switch to Channel 2.”

“Channel 2: What is it, Angelmaker?

“It is Aerrzh. He was in dat Fighter. He has joined the battle, but without us.”

“Great. Just great.”

“Channel 1: Keep mowing ‘em down, Dogcatchers! Be advised, Cray-Cray is on the ground in his Dress. I repeat Cray-Cray is on the ground. Check your targets. One of them may be our Patron.”

“I knew it! It’s that Vargr Charaysma thing. He’s gone native.”

“Comm discipline, Soldier! Head inside by twos.”

BRRZZHHHT! “Welcome to Arawn, home of the God of Death and the Island of the Afterlife. This is Curnunos. Join us and enjoy our pleasures of the Hunt and the Afterlife. Sacrifice your Solomani to me and I will trade that life for a life spared. Cross me, and the Cwn Annwn will feast upon your carcasses.”

“Go to Relay LOS Comms! He’s trying to flood all broadcast Channels!”

“We’ve got some men down. Damn growlers are packing come armor crackers! Rook, bring up the G-Carrier. The Hangar Bay is secure for now. Dust-off for the injured.”

“On it.”

“Take this! Oh, you want some too?”

“Franco, keep moving, baby!”

“Shit! The lights!”

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.