Collisions On Aether: Chapter 5 – Despair and Decay
It’s been quite the week, but I have now passed the driving test of pallet loaders class T1 and T4. So I can put some effort towards writing again. 🙂
I’ve been having a number of rambly, ranty thoughts lately. Been considering maybe throwing some of them together into a blog post. We’ll see. Maybe it’ll just end up as dull schlock once written down.
Regular text is Samus’s thoughts; bold is Wiki and other instances of computer text/speech; “” designates speech; cursive is the narrator.
That is… quite the structure. I attempt to zoom in for a closer look, but it stretches too far up for even my optics to get a good look at it. It’s definitely a building, but it seems like it’s rising from the ground rather than sitting on top of it.
“Wiki, analysis please.”
“Structure bears similarities to earlier known Luminoth architecture. 87% certainty that it is Luminoth in origin. Scans currently unable to penetrate the outer walls. Further repair of scanning suite required. I suggest entering the structure for a better analysis at this time.”
As I get closer I see that the entrance is blocked off by one of the alien security gates. Trying to learn the language could take years, so getting in this way is not feasible. Perhaps there’s an open entrance at one of the other ‘legs’. The Galactic Federation ship is my priority at this time anyway, so I’ll leave the investigation for a later time.
Let’s see, what are my options here? Well, I’d prefer to not wake any more splinters. I can see their cocoons up by the security gate, so I’ll make sure to keep my distance. This door down here is blocked by a blast shield, and I’d likely need my missile launcher to get through it.
The only other way is… up there. Which is too high to jump without thrusters. Marvelous.
What about the GalFed gear? Oh hey, this seems to be where the crate from earlier ended up. Maybe I can lower it down and use it as a stepping stone. Scans indicate the crane is in sore need of repair, but all I need is for it to work long enough to get the crate onto the ground. At least the console seems to be fully operational this time.
That went about as well as expected. At least I can get up here now.
Oh, so we have a security checkpoint in here? Let’s see what the computer says. I can open this gate, but it will close the ones behind me. And without authorisation from the captain or XO, I can’t reverse it. If only I had my power bombs…
Going forward is the important bit now though; I’ll just have to find another way back later. Maybe the troopers can give me a lift if their ship is in sufficient shape.
And those are my guests dealt with. I guess the security gates were ineffective.
Impressive. They’ve managed to set up a deep-space communications array. However, my readings indicate that it’s unable to penetrate the atmosphere. I guess this might be why it took so long for the Galactic Federation to contact me. They never received the distress signal.
I don’t suppose I can… no. I can set it up to transmit when conditions clear, but I have no idea when that will be. And… oh… another trooper. Let’s see if I can access any recent logs.
Galactic Federation Marine Corps
Personal Log Entry, PFC L. Brouda
We’ll be making our stand here. The engineer tells me there’s no way we’ll get the ship’s engines online, and atmospheric interference is scrambling our distress beacon. If anyone reads this, know that we did our duty and fought well.
Does this mean that all of them are… the ship should be just beyond the next tunnel, so I’ll get my answer there. I’ll just realign the transmitter and move on.
To add further insult to injury, the dark parasites attempted to stop me using even more fallen troopers. Such a waste…
I’ve still not gotten an answer as to why they came down here in the first place. And now this security turret is firing on me. Great. Either my IFF isn’t working, or it’s gone haywire.
Well, the splinters tunneled their way into the control booth here, so I should be able to get in as well. Maybe I can do some magic with the wiring and get the gate open.
… I see there’s already an occupant.
Galactic Federation Marine Corps
Personal Log Entry, SPC M. Angseth
This is ridiculous. I can outshoot half the men here, and I’m stuck on monitor duty. I didn’t join up to stare at a holoscreen! This wouldn’t happen to Samus Aran… She’d be out there taking care of business, not pushing buttons and sending reports.
A slight smile reaches Samus’s lips before she sighs.
‘Taking care of business’… that was the idea, yes, and yet I couldn’t get here in time.
The controls seem largely intact, but… the circuitry clearly isn’t. The gate is completely rampant. The pattern of the slamming seems consistent, at the very least. I can morph down, and… pop through! Alright, the ship should be just through here. In fact, I think I can see it… from… here…
All… dead… no life signs in the entire clearing… what could overwhelm so many troopers and cause such damage? Maybe… the computer can tell me. The captain here died right by it, and it seems like he accessed it shortly before he passed on. Let’s see…
I am so sorry…
Those eyes… they were the same as those creatures that jumped me. Why would they possess all those splinters and assault the troopers? The memory core is too damaged for me to get more information off of this terminal. Maybe I can get more off of the suit computers.
Galactic Federation Marine Corps
Personal Log Entry, CAPT A. Exeter
I’m beginning to think it was a real bad idea going down there. Reevs is right, that hive is just one of many. It’s stupid to stir a hornet’s nest, especially if you plan to sleep under it.
This corroborates what I found back at the outpost.
Personal Log Entry, LCPL J. Brode
Man, I hope that is the only breeding ground for these things. If there’s more, we’re in big trouble. We had a hard enough time taking that one out of commission. I almost ran out of ammo. I never run out of ammo!
Personal Log Entry, PFC G. Haley
Everywhere. They’re coming.
Can’t sleep. Ever.
They’ll eat me.
… stars preserve…
Personal Log Entry, SPC F. Triplette
The sarge says those “Splinters” remind him of some killer bug he saw on another planet once. All I know is the things are fast and take a lot to drop. Pretty soon we’ll have to go to bayonets. Everyone’s low on ammo… even Brode, and he’s the stingiest grunt I know.
Personal Log Entry, PFC S. Milligan
Brouda lost the bet, so he switched watch duty with me. I figure this section is nice and safe and boring, which suits me just fine. Let those other pugs guard the hot zone, I… hold on… hey! Halt! …No! Hel– (transmission ends)
… light… I see another one, up on the ridge there…
Personal Log Entry, PFC I. Crany
Last night at chow, starts talking about some bounty hunter and how she blew up a planet full of Space Pirates. I told her I didn’t believe in fairy tales like that, and she took it personal. I just find it hard to believe that one person took out an entire Space Pirate base, that’s all. But if she wants to believe in this Samus, or Bigfoot, or Santa Claus, she can.
Heh… I might as well be a fairytale for all the good I did these troopers. By all the gods, what kind of world is this, where fully trained GF Marines fall to a swarm of overgrown bugs?
Well, what about the ship?
Kaput. Even disregarding the massive hole in the side, it’s been stripped of pretty much anything useful. Getting it operational again would require a full shipyard.
So much for- hang on. This crate. Scanning… Yes! Finally some good news. A Galactic Federation Missile Launcher. The suit should easily be able to retrofit one of these to restore my own missiles. I’ll have to bust it open though, which will cause a lot of noise…
After letting her power beam charge up to maximum, she releases the blast straight at the crate. For a moment it almost seems to have withstood the hit, but then the container shatters and reveals its contents. Samus promptly picks it up and it gets absorbed into her suit, allowing it to refit itself with a new capability, or rather, restore an old one.
That works. And it doesn’t seem like anyone-
Several dark-skinned splinters warp in near the ship.
… I should have known better than to even think that.
Time to try to find out more about what’s going on on this planet. Perhaps the large central structure holds some answers.