Heavy Metal [Reserved]

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Annasiel
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Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Annasiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:08 am

"Hope... Hope..."

The deep, rough calls echoed through the storm drains, somehow both hollow and filled with brimming melancholy. The tunnels amplified the wails, carrying them out into the open air, distorted beyond recognition of what they meant. Still, they carried the intent, sending pedestrians scurrying away from the drain covers with apprehensive glances. Just machinery, they'd justify in their minds. Machinery, or maybe clearing blockage. People liked to justify things that frightened them. Make them more manageable by assigning them a familiar face. But the true origin of the noises was far from familiar, and had no such luxury as the walkers above.

The thing Lazarus feared most stared back in the water's still reflection. It watched him from every corner, a monstrous mass that seemed an odd mix of malicious and pitiful.

Where is Hope?

She never left his side.

Never.

Always came back.

Always.

Something must have stolen her from him. The monster in the reflections, maybe, but he couldn't reach it, no matter how many times he bashed his limbs against the floor. It never reacted, only stared as he wailed and wailed. Maybe one of the walkers on the surface. They judged him, so they surely judged her as well. Maybe they took her. Were hurting her. He would hurt them back.

Hunger.

He needed to hurt feast on the fools above, with their scoffing eyes. They never thought Lazarus would work. Now he was Lazarus, and they were wrong. Wrong!

"WRONG!" he shrieked, racing through the tunnels, sinuous limbs dragging him forward at a remarkable pace for his girth. At last, he reached the place where things fell down. He extended a delicate tendril above and waited.

Something snagged it. In an instant, the tendril tripled in girth, wrapping tight around the vile thing's ankle and dragging it into the drain.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Atom » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:34 am

”I know, I know, just— get the report in when you’re able, alright? Also, when I get back, I want the entire ASAPS design team briefed on the upgraded helmet design. It’s very fuckin’ important.”

A moment of silence. A pause, waiting.

”Yeah— yes. I know. I have to go. Bye.”

Mitchell tapped the END CALL button of his cell-phone, an annoyed breath leaving his lips and condensating into a translucent cloud of white before dissipating into the air without a trace. Slipping the phone into his pocket, Stervos’ hand lingered in the slightly warmer space of the leather jacket he had worn out, his other hand joining the adjacent pocket moments after; the CEO closed his eyes for a moment, inhaling deeply through his nose and exhaling again.

This week had been utter shit.

To call it horrible was an understatement. Any thought of the disgnosis practically made his eyes water with a mixture of anger and abysmal self-pity, and the more he stagnated, the harder it was to simply ignore the looming death sentence. Hell, he was thinking about it now and he was just standing still for a moment. Fingers tensed around the handle of his briefcase as he tried to dismiss the negative thoughts.

Keep moving.

It felt good to get fresh air for what felt like the first time in weeks. D.C., the e-mail— all the horrible shit that had happened to him was finally beginning to fade away. Nothing but him, the city streets, and the air he breathed.

”Yeah, this’ll be good for me.” Stervos muttered, rubbing his bare head as he moved down the street corner.

A moment later, he felt something wrap around his leg and pull. Hard. Before he knew it, his body was dragged with whatever had snatched him, slamming his back onto the hard concrete before the Promethean CEO vanished into the ground through a storm drain.

Darkness.

”What the— FUCK!” Mitchell screamed out, hands holding onto the briefcase for dear life as he attempted to open it in the near-absent lighting. A moment later, the latches gave and Mitchell tore out the already-loaded gun, firing off the entire clip into the pitch-black darkness in front of him.

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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Annasiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:48 am

The prey bit back. As it descended down the falling pit, it pulled a stick of pain from its box, firing burning light at Lazarus' hide. It stung, but only for a moment. Still, the surprise was enough to cause Lazarus to withdrawal, pulling itself into a dark corner to reassess the situation. This was dangerous. Unexpected. Often, the things he pulled would scream, or try to punch, but never did they have

a gun

fire in the palm of their hand. Lazarus watched, waited, and spoke.

"What thing... are you...? Did you hurt.... Hope? Hope..."

Lazarus shifted. Bits of metal ground inside its body, hissing away at its skin. So, the fire stick shot more than pain. The beast began to vibrate, surface of the fluid oscillating at a low hum. It tensed, wound, and erupted. Shards of brass, now wrapped in a still-hissing mercury coat, shot out from Lazarus' body like a cannon. They ricocheted against the walls of the tunnel, drawing sparks.

"You hurt me..." it growled, pacing forward, a stalking predator. Two stinger-like tendrils extended up overhead, their tips wavering back and forth. Sharp tips. Taste blood. Encompass, overtake, overcome. Lighting fast, one tendril jabbed down at the vile thing's head, and the other at its chest.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Atom
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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Atom » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:02 am

There was barely enough time to recover as Mitchell slid to a stop, falling a short distance from the pipe he’d been dragged down and hitting the grim floor with a dull slap. He didn’t know where he was— where it was, seeing as the crushing grip upon his ankle had mollified. In the dark corner of the cavity Mitchell had been dragged to, something stirred with amorphous movement. God, was he being attacked by a fuckin’ sewer monster?

”Why the fuck does this shit always happen to me,” Stervos hissed through grated teeth, hands trembling as they picked up the display case containing the ASAPS from the briefcase and throwing it at the wall as he simultaneously slammed his finger upon the resizing button. It expanded directly into the wall, shards of glass flying out into the room and settling upon the floor, reflecting the sparks that flew from the metal casings hitting the wall. One caught Mitchell in the cheek, whizzing past his face and creating a fine of blood that began to trail down his alarmed visage.

Stervos scrambled towards the Quantum Suit, opening the back plating as the mass of shining material approached. It spoke to him, inquired something, but the words fell upon fear-deafened ears. Mitchell stuck his head into the suit’s headpiece, feeling it close around him as the rest of the suit followed—

”AGH— FUCK! Stervos screamed out in agony and reflexively reached down to the tendril that had pierced his still-exposed back, barely missing his spine and preventing the suit from fully closing. The back plates tried as best they could to close around the metal tentacle, slicing it off if such a feat was impossible; with the legs and feet of the still-scarred ASAPS almost applied, the two remaining mechanical arms shot out and attempted to slice through the mass and create a flush incision with the back of the suit, hoping to allow the plating to close completely.

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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Annasiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:19 am

Blood.

One tentacle had found home, burrowing deep into the meat of its ire's prey. Lazarus shifted down the tendril, expanding the width, levering open the hole in the vile-thing's back --

Shlick.

The suit closed shut, night effortlessly cutting off the stray appendage. Once more, Lazarus withdrew, cautiously clinging to the side of their arena. This thing had machines. Bad machines, more than the stick of fire. Some sort of... shell. Yes, a shell, like a little slug. It was a fleshy little slug with a nasty sting, hiding inside its metal shell.

The cone snail is an aquatic mollusk capable of delivering a poisonous sting. The effects of this sting include fever, cold sweats, nausea, headaches, paralysis-

and death.


With a low growl that rumbled its reflective coat, Lazarus paced around the outer rim of the tunnel, sizing up its tough little morsel. A hairline tendril shifted beneath the compost, nearly undetectable to any watcher from above. If it reached the suit, it would attempt to bind its leg and fling both it and its occupant hard into the storm drain wall.

The only way to eat a snail was to break its shell.

"Talk...to us... tell me... where is Hope?" Lazarus muttered, hoping to distract the vile-thing long enough to get a hold.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Atom
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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Atom » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:40 am

Pain. So much pain that racked his poor, weakened body, the mercury expanding within the wound it had created and serving only to widen the gash, widen the sensation of agony that coursed up and down his spine. A moment later, the screaming pain faded somewhat, replaced by a dull reminder of his brush with death. The victory was short lived, however, when a flickering red notification appeared upon the visor of the ASAPS.

FATAL CONCENTRATION OF MERCURY DETECTED WITHIN BLOODSTREAM
INDUCING DETOX


Two needles produced themselves from the interior back plating of the ASAPS, stabbing themselves into the site of the wound and causing Mitchell to scream out in pain

Focus. It’s trying to kill you. Find it and kill it first.

Atom stumbled backwards and sighed with relief as the suit sealed itself fully, hissing with completion as he effectively enclosed himself in the near-impenetrable shell. But, as all his victories seemed to be lately, it was short lived. A metal limb wrapped around the ankle of the suit and tossed him violently, the impact against the sewer wall leaving a cracked impression in the stone and leaving small flecks of concrete to fall into the damp collection of moisture upon the ground.

It asked him a question. Hope. Who the fuck was Hope? He sure as hell didn’t know.

”I DON’T KNOW WHO THE FUCK HOPE IS, YOU PIECE OF FUCKING PLAY-DOH!” Mitchell screamed in response, the mechanical arms’ heads procuring lasers and firing red-hot beams of blue energy towards their target. Stervos attempted to maintain his distance, a feat made drastically more difficult due to the claustriphobic sewer room.

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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Annasiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:57 am

"Hope, Hope, where... is... HOPE!" Lazarus shrieked, slamming the hard into the sewer wall. It fell to the ground amidst a rain of concrete and mercury drops. With a hissing, panting sound, it drew itself up to its full height, filling the tunnel from ground to apex. A towering cylinder of metal, shivering, shaking, shifting, changing. This was unacceptable. It still wouldn't die, still wanted to fight, and it claimed to not know where Hope was.

Well, you don't know where Hope is. What is a Hope anyway? Is a Hope a thing to eat?

No. A thing to protect. Protect.


Lazarus reeled, shooting out two tendrils to either side. They slammed into the wall, burrowing deep into the rock, anchoring the beast's stand.

"You tell lies... you know of her... you know her... he hissed, grinding the appendages through the walls. Slabs cracked and parted under the force of the leaning mass, pulsating thickly as their entry holes grew wider and wider. "Tell us the tru- EEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Blasts of light struck its hide, momentarily making the dark place day. Disoriented and in pain, Lazarus pulled the support tendrils in, curling as best it could into an almost-fetal ball. The places where the lasers struck glowed white, sending acrid clouds of white smoke into the air. In seconds, the entire chamber was filled.

"Bastaaard..."

The orb shifted. Seemed to rise. Shivered, then separated, five thick legs lifting it from the ground. It took one hobbling step, then immediately shot forward, scurrying like some demented spider on a collision course for the pest.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Atom
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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Atom » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:14 am

This thing refused to die, its metal hide hissing at the impact site of the lasers and dissipating into a fog of gas that soon began to fill the room. The ASAPS already damaged ventilation system struggled to keep up with the amount of poisonous vapors clouding the room.

POISONOUS VAPORS DETECTED
FILTRATION SYSTEM COMPROMISED
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED


Fuck it. He’ll hold his breath.

The wall of horrors expanded in volume, covering a majority of one side of the room before rapidly shifting towards him. Instinctively, he primed himself for resizing— but stopped in his tracks, hesitating.

The particle. The disease. No.

Roaring as a way to partly brace himself for what was about to happen, Mitchell opened the ordnance port upon his wrist and fired off a Bottle Rocket, the projectile flying off towards the writhing spider and exploding with a force akin to, if not well above a rocket-propelled grenade. The force alone was enough to throw Atom backwards, slamming him into the wall head-first and causing another considerable crack along the face of the visor. He felt the breath knocked out of him and gasped for air, taking tainted breaths and coughing at the burning sensation of the gas within his lungs.

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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Annasiel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:43 pm

Die. Die. Die. Die. Die! Die! Die!

Lazarus' mass charged forward, intent on crushing the deplorable thing against the wall. He'd hurt it, attacked it, stunned it, scared it, and he would suffer. God, he would suffer, broken limb from limb like a pathetic little toy. He wasn't even moving, standing still in the tunnel as if he expected his fate. An inkling of wariness passed through whatever passed for a brain, but the prey was too close. Too easy to kill. It was Lazarus the indestructible, and nothing the little pest could do would hurt it.

Something came out of his arm, bursting against Lazarus' side. Bursting hard. The mass skid to a halt, practically flipping over itself -- well, it would have flipped over itself if it had any degree of orientation. Instead, it more appeared a shifting wave, both flowing back and forward at the same time.

Bigger fire. Bigger pain.

Lazarus tried to rise, digging tentacles for purchase, but the form it had made once more collapsed into an amorphous blob of liquid metal.

"Insolent..." it muttered, "Despicable wretch... scum of the earth..."

As with before, a stinger-like tendril rose from the mass. Then another. Then another. Six in all, each thick as a tree limb and tapered to a deadly point. Like a claw, they all lunged - one at the head, one for each limb, and one at the chest.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Atom
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Posts: 132
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Re: Heavy Metal [Reserved]

Post by Atom » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:06 pm

The respite from assault came at a grave price as Mitchell’s vision blurred, the blow to the head leaving a visible gash in the visor but not breaking through the reinforced glass entirely. His head felt fine, for the most part, if you didn’t count the migraine he felt raging within his skull. This shouldn’t be happening to him— this couldn’t, given his current state. The toxic gas in the air only served to blur his senses and confuse him.

Groaning, Atom stirred and brought himself to his feet.

Focus, Mitchell, focus—

A barrage of tendrils shot forward, recognized by Mitchell just in time to have his mechanical arms shoot forward in place of his own and grapple the liquid limbs intending to pin his arms, stopping their advance long enough for him to grab at the lone tentacle going straight for his face.

While three of the attacking points were thwarted, the remaining half succeeded.

One tendril directly impacted his chest, the heavily reinforced titanium weave preventing a complete puncture but allowing the sharpened point to indent slightly, punching through a small amount of the minituarized layers but ultimately stopping a fifth of the way through the entire plating. The same occurred with his two legs; the force of the impact, however, almost knocked the air from Mitchell’s lungs and caused the grip he had on the facial tendril to falter, allowing the point to slam into the head of the ASAPS and pierce the glass veil. It shattered the reinforced glass completely, sharpened point aimed right for his left eye; about an inch before contact, however, Stervos regained his grip and halted the advance, eyes widened at the metal point about to puncture his cornea.

One of his mechanical arms simultaneously released its grip upon one of the tendrils to sever the prioritized one. He knew very well that this thing could expand, and he was not intending on letting it do so.

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