Friday, May 31, 2013

The Outpost - Part 3

Its Fiction Friday. As normal, escape pod here if this is not your thing.


The Outpost - Part 3

The captain look through the collection of 'weapons' that the Uneffected had stored. There were two old pistols and a shotgun with limited ammunition. 150 year-old relics that the Captain feared my explode in the face of whoever pulled the trigger. The rest were mostly crude swords, axes and spears made from what could be salvaged in the lower parts of the outpost. Not really a lot to go to war with a bunch of hulking mutants. He inspected the pistols carefully.

"Is this all you have?"

"Yes this is our only armoury" replied Katmisu.

Katmisu was one of the Uneffected tasked with helping the crew with whatever they needed. He was in his mid-twenties and the Captain had learnt was part of the security detail for the Uneffected. The Captain had learnt a lot about the Uneffected in the last few hours. They were an organised society living a hard life against the odds. From the hundreds that were down there when the disaster struck, only a few dozen remained. The harsh conditions, lack of food and medical supplies and of course the attacks from 'The Others' that occurred had diminished the numbers over the decades. They all held various occupations and knowledge was passed down from father to son, mother to daughter. It struck him as very old fashioned. There were even engineers who maintained the water recycling and lifesupport systems. All of the knowledge passed down over seven generations since the disaster. From what he had been able to find out, the reactor was on the bottom level of the outpost. Minor maintenance was carried out by two men and two young boys who were learning the trade. They had promised to show him after they had rescued Natsumi and Riku.

The captain picked up an axe and felt its razor sharp blade.

"Good workmanship. You guys have done a great job down here with what you have."

Katmisu beamed a smile.

"But have any of these been tested on 'them' yet?" the captain asked.

"Yes sir. The main accesses between us and the Others had been blocked. But there are other passageways, pipes and vents, some we still don't know about. Over the years we've blocked them up. But its come at a cost. There was a recent attack no more than 100 sleeps ago. 3 of us were killed and 2 taken. We managed to kill one and seal up the route they used. They are very hard to kill" Katmisu replied.

The Captain swung the axe through the air.

"We'll soon see."

Chan entered the armoury and nodded at Katmisu. He handed the captain his datapad. The captain looked at it and saw the status of the Hope which showed its power reserves were critical.


"Well I say we're stuck here until we wipe out a population of sadistic, canabal mutants, rescue two crew members from being eaten alive and somehow fix a power line between a 150 year old reactor an our ship and rescue a population that have been cut from the rest of the cluster for 150 years. Did I miss anything?"

Chan laughed.

"No Captain, I think you covered everything we need to do in that wonderfully motivating speech!"

The Captain smiled to hide his underlaying concerns. Docked, the Hope was using even less energy now. Only the engineering bay had life support running to keep it warm and allow them to do any work they needed to without the clumbersome suits. However, even on this minimal requirement the capacitor wouldn't last more than two or three days. Trying to fix everything with a completely dead ship would be even more difficult.

"Well the ships looking good. We've easy got a week left on the cap now we're docked up. Easy life!" he lied.

Chan nodded, smiled and walked away, also hiding his fears for them all.

-o0o-

Natsumi screamed louder as the thing approached. It continued to smile through its hideously deformed face. A three fingered hand slowly reached for her face.

"Ktach Biins Hatacha!" it whispered.

She struggled in her bonds, but it was useless. Hanging by her wrists from the pipe prevented any escape as its fingers touched her face. She saw what she originally thought were claws were in fact deformed fingernails. The scratch marks along each one showed they had purposely been filed down to talons, probably by a rough stone. She looked at the hideous face. It wasn't some kind of alien, it was a human she realised, a horrifically deformed human.

"Moucha aar faka" it said in a low tone whilst slowly running its fingers gently down her face. She screamed again at its touch.

"Arin gar haznar" it continued as one of the wicked talons sliding down her cheek broke the skin. It held its head close to hers and an impossibly long tongue stretched from its mouth and licked the blood running from the shallow wound. Natsumi screamed even louder.


"OI! PRETTY BOY! WHY DON'T YOU TAKE ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE?". The shout from across the cavern.

Natsumi recognised Riku's voice.

The creature backed away from her and went to the entrance and placed its hand against the wall on some sort of switch. Bright lights illuminated the cavern and blinded Natsumi for a few seconds until her eyes adjusted to the levels. She saw Riku in what had been a darkened corner hanging by his wrists. He had a wound to his head and she assumed he'd fought back in the gardens and had been knocked out. Her screaming must have brought her round.

"Yeah you, you ugly son of a bitch. Why don't you try that crap with me. I'll kick your fat ass from here all the way over to Cloud Ring!"

"Mata hashii gabon" the creature responded with an evil grin and started walking over to Riku.

"Yeah, thats right. Come at me bro!" Riku continued still thrashing in his bonds. The creature moved slowly and delibrately. This was due to its grossly deformed legs, however, it did give the creature a menacing approach.

"I advise you not to goad the Yulaki. They tend to partially disembowel first before taking their victims in rather unplesant ways." a voice came from the entrance.

Riku's and Natsumi's heads snapped over to where the voice came from. The creature backed off from Riku and stooped down in a fearfully subservient posture.

The man at the door was deformed, but no where near as bad as the ones they had seen. This one was tall and sickly thin. Most of his body was proportioned correctly other than his head which appeared to be enlarged and swollen. Thick blue viens snaked over the hairless scalp. He stepped inside and waved a hand from the creature towards the door. It scampered out as fast as its deformed legs could carry it. The deformed man approached Natsumi. She cringed as he extended a hand and ran a finger across the wound on her cheek. He placed the finger in his mouth and sucked.

"Delicious! You'll not believe how boring it is just eating from the hydroponics. I've not tasted blood in nearly 90 days!"

"Who, who.... what are you?" Natsumi stammered.

"Oh how ghastly of me! Sampling your blood before I have even introduced myself."

The man took a step back and bowed slightly in accordance with the old Caldari customs.

"I am Saburousaburou of the Samuruso family. Delighted to make your acquaintance." Natsumi noted the name was old fashioned and not really in use in modern Caldari society. "But please, call me Sabu."

"So WHAT are you bubble head?" Riku called out. Saburousaburou turned and smiled.

"You have met members of the Yulaki family. They were in the upper-mid levels of the old colony when the primary reactor melted down. My ancestors where in the lower-mid levels. As you can see, we were not whole untouched by the radiation, but not to the extent of the Yulaki. The Uneffected are several decks below us, have you met them yet? A very backward people. In brief, the Yulaki serve us, we rule this station and the Untouched serve as a supplement to our food supply and the occasional entertainment. Any questions?"


"But, those.... things... they are not human. They don't even speak Caldari!" Natsumi said.

"Ah yes. The radiation did terrible things to them. Their deformed vocal cords are unable to pronounce Caldari so they have developed their own simple language to communicate with each other."

"So how do you speak with them?" Natsumi asked.

Sabu smiled.

"Oh, we Samuruso don't need words to communicate." he responded staring deep into her eyes.

Natsumi felt something. What she wasn't sure. She was remembering her childhood for some reason. The memories came flooding back from nowhere. She felt like she was dreaming. Or having a waking nightmare. Reality and old painful memories collided. She screamed and shook in her bonds. Riku was shouting at Sabu telling him to stop. Suddenly he did. His laughter filled the room.

"My, my. Daddy was a naughty boy wasn't he. No wonder you ran away from home. And what's this? Oh, so sad. That is very unfortunate. I have some bad news for you, but that can wait until you are feeling better."

With that he turned and left leaving Natsumi quietly sobbing whilst Riku thrashed in vain trying to free himself.

-o0o-

The Captain was the first to emerge from the outflow pipe into the hydroponics garden. The watering cycle had just finished and the air was heavy with moisture. The plants and trees glistened with fresh droplets of water. Dripping water and the low hum of the air vents was the only sound as the captain stood in silence listening for any possible danger. He held the flat of his palm of one hand facing the pipe to tell the others to wait, his other hand clenched the hilt of the razor sharp axe. After a minute he beckoned the others out. They all were equiped with the make-shift weapons. They had the firearms but had decided to use them only as a last resort. Nobody really knew if the old guns would fire, do nothing, or simply explode in the users hands.

"Remember" started Katmisu in a low voice "Their ribcage is usually fused together and their skulls are very thick. The stomach and neck are the vulnerable parts. They hands and mouths are the danger. They are incredibly strong and they grind their fingernails and teeth to points so they can inflict the most damage. They can gut a man in one swipe."

The group started forward. As well as the remaining four crew, six Uneffected had joined them in this first foray into the mutants levels. The plan was to find the missing two crew members, rescue them and retreat back to the lower levels. They would then get everyone who wanted to come back to the blast doors and form a defensive perimeter. Then six would return to the ship using the suits. One person would ferry back the five suits plus the spare three still on the ship. That way eight people a time could get back to the ship with one returning the suits to the airlock for the next eight. The Captain had estimated it would take five hours to get everyone out. Slow, but it was the only way. However, before they could do that they needed to rescue their crew mates and find a way to route power from the lower reactor to the ship hanger so they could restart the Hope's reactor.

They left the gardens and entered the tunnel system. One of the Uneffected acting as a guide. He'd been on scouting parties to try and recover captured Uneffected before, although they had admitted they had never been successful at rescuing anyone in the past.


A faint scream somewhere far ahead was heard and the group paused.

The scout beckoned them to continue.

Sakuri subtly nodded to the captain and moved over to him. She took the Captains arm and slowed him down. He looked at her and she had a look in her eyes like she had to tell him something. He realised what she wanted and slowed more. The group slowly overtook them and soon they were taking up the rear.

"OK they are out of earshot what is it?" the Captain asked.

"I need to tell you something without the others hearing."

"What?"

"I don't know."

"What??"

"I.... well.... captain I.... my head hurts. I need to tell you..... its urgent....but I have nothing to say.... I don't know what is happening...."

Suddenly an emergency blastdoor slammed down between them and the group. They rushed to the door but the controls were dead. The main group were banging on the otherside. A noise behind the captain and Sakuri made them slowly turn around. There behind them were four mutants, slowly approaching.

-o0o-

Chan looked through the tiny reinforced viewport set in the centre of the blastdoor. He watched as the Captain and Sakuri prepared to fight the mutants.

"We need to go. NOW!" the guide said sternly. "It was a trap. We need to move before they come for us!"

Chan reluctantly joined the back of the group who were now running down the corridor. Another blast door fell from the ceiling cutting Chan from the rest of the group. They were being separated. Chan looked behind him, he'd passed two side corridors and immediately sprinted back to the nearest. The lights flickered and went out. It was total darkness. Chan felt the rough stone wall to guide him, tripping over several rocks that had fallen from the caves walls and ceiling over the decades. He heard a distant laughing. He pulled the pistol from his belt and flicked the safety off. He knew in the darkness scoring a hit on anything coming at him would be luck. But those things were big, he might get lucky.

He continued feeling his way down the corridor until he reached the junction. He entered the side corridor and continued down. The laugh sounded again, this time directly in front of him. Chan squeezed the trigger and the gun fired. The muzzle flash lit up the corridor for a fraction of a second revealing two of the mutants. The grunt from one of them told him the round had hit home. He continued to fire, the flashes from the gun lighting up the corridor revealing the approaching mutants in jerky visions.


The bullets didn't appear to be slowing them much. He pulled the trigger again and the gun exploded. He was blown on his back, bleeding heavily. The last thing he felt before he passed out was a oversized hand grabbing his ankle and dragging him away.

-o0o-

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