• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Chapter 1: Vital Signs Unwelcome

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
"How do we know if this guy's still viable or not?" Vladimir asked, switching back to his rifle and attaching his knife to the bayonet mount. "Just make sure I don't get snuck up on," he said, before leaning in and poking his knife at the heat spot on the stiff's back.
 

Trell0

New member
The man at some point will have arrived to what was supposed to be his destination coming to this place. An office building maybe? He couldn't tell, not anymore anyway. He groaned at this situation. "I could have stayed at a regular colony. Been some Union Soldier mascot. Breaking out stupid slogans like 'Go where no marine has gone before to fight menaces against Democracy!' Noooo instead had to take this job, which might be a bust as creepy stuff is going on here...Please don't let it be Daqin super soldiers, if it is? Then at least don't let it be one of those super fast ones who chop you before you notice. Wait shit would I even notice how gorgeous they look before the chop? After the chop?" He moved his pistol closer in his vision to check it, before pointing it out in front. "Can anyone hear me--, aw shit don't tell me I had on my communicator this entire time? No one heard me talking to myself. It was a random soldier named Steve. Yep one hundred percent Steve. Ran away in embarrassment." Soon enough he made his way to the building on foot with his ol' but customized Union combat uniform. On his back was was an M17, which seemed to have a long scratch or two on it.
 

space_person

New member
Back in the room, Rafael was eyeing the strange entity in the glass container, not sure where to point his gun while he was surrounded by an increasing number of strangeness all around him. He was reaching for some nonlethal dummy rounds when Vladimir attached a knife to his bayonet.

"Careful." Rafael muttered as the Russian reached to poke the figure.

"--At a regular colony. Been some Union Soldier mascot."

What the? Rafael looked around at his fellow soldiers to see who was talking.

"--even notice how gorgeous they look before the chop? After the chop?"

"Who is this? Report." Rafael's even voice said into the comms. He felt a mixture of anger, annoyance, and strange relief at hearing such a casual voice in this tense situation.
 

Trell0

New member
The man almost jumped at the voice in his communicator, which he shrugged his shoulders and gave a light cough. "I don't see you in person, else I'd give a salute. I'm Korofi errr was private second class in the Union, but not any more though...Please let me know if this is some elaborate prank so I can say something like 'the jig is up, you got me, good game'. If not? Well it might be good to catch some names in return for cooperation."
 

space_person

New member
Rafael's patience was beginning to wear thin, but he told himself to remain calm. If he went-off now, he wouldn't be helping the already building tension surrounding his squad.

"Yes, as you can see from the hundreds of dismembered bodies lining the streets, this is all a special prank on your behalf," Rafael said calmly. He could only take so much before he had to say at least one sarcastic comment. "This is Corporal Rafael Romero of the GDW, and unless you're a part of this operation, I suggest you leave before you line the streets, too."
 
Vladimir's bayonet poked against the back of the man's shirt. Immediately the fluorescent blur on the squad's infra-red vision flared a deeper red but even without the assistance of technology, Vladimir could see a dark shape swirl and coalesce against the glare of the flashlights. Its form appeared indefinite if only because of how tightly it clung to the body, deforming the fabric of an orange jumpsuit as it tore and pulled, shrouding itself but not entirely so. A semi-bulbous, triangular head was visible with long slits for lid-less eyes and some grasping, toothed limbs attached to long jointed arms, arthropod like as it thrashed and smacked their carapace'd limbs against the flat of the blade.

A few of the team members paused. Was it just some fauna that had sneaked in amidst the carnage? Or had it slain the man on whose body it was hidden?

Clattering sounds from the containment chamber - the writhing shape within was seen pulling down a chute mouth, shimmying into from where it had likely been inserted, and then clattering like a thousand nails and tacks dropping across the floor as it touched down back into the room. Jorg cursed and swung his flashlight over to illluminate a foul, strange shape raised upon a carpet of legs beneath its body. It was hard to tell how large it was as it jerked left and right, attempting to stay just out of the centre of the shining beam. Its body was long but not entirely serpentine, widening further up almost like a cobra to a hooded head roughly five feet in its total height with long, spindly legs emerging evenly across its top and sides. Clusters of smaller ones were seen near where body transitioned into a caterpillar like tail sliding across the ground left and right. The exact features of its head were the hardest to see, constantly bobbing and weaving to avoid Jorg's flashlight but it had similar slit-like features and surgery tool mandibles to the creature seen on the body.

Something about the colouration of both was odd; they were a sort of white albeit faded and dulled with sinewy purplish muscularture between the plating of the carapace. Hardly a colour associated with the verdant greens and dusty yellow-brown sandiness of the surrounding forest. It was as if they were armoured far too thickly and specifically to both be for fending off predators or one another.

"Jurgen to command, this is Jurgen to command-" From his catwalk position the towering soldier's rail-mounted SAW zeroed in on the coiling creature, targeting systems networking with his HUD to map out firing solutions if it attempted to evade. Some nobody was mumbling over the coms and he tried his best to ignore them as Rafael dealt with them. "We have potentially hostile bioforms detected at our current locations, sending you the details... command?"

The message wasn't getting through; there was no response from the other side. Neuro-linked to his armour, he brought up a quick network check as he attempted to match the targeting laser emerging from the barrel of his weapon to the serpentine arthropod. Signal rating: low, almost nonexistent. That made no sense as this tech had been tested deeper underground before. Was that Korofi fellow only getting through because he wasn't through the atmosphere?

"Squad! Command's cut off; something's jamming us. Try to capture the smaller one. If the larger one attacks, kill it."

---

"Hey, you there! You some security guard or something? Get off the damn com and get in the fucking building! It's a massacre out there and we got no idea what's hiding in the rubble!"

The GDW and SSM soldiers gestured wildly for the wandering, mumbling soldier to stop walking in the middle of the road. Even if it appeared secure, that was just that; an appearance not a confirmation. Even with tinted visors obscuring their faces, it was clear they were all a little on edge. You didn't walk by impaled or otherwise obliterated human remains without feeling more than a little unnerved.

"Lemme guess, first day on the job or something?" One of them asked, pulling a door open (more for courtesy than anything with the giant holes int he walls). "If you need a sitrep, it's simple - something attacked, we don't know what, and..."

He paused a minute and turned away. Something was coming in over his coms but all garbled. Voices of some sort; Jurgen and the others? He checked the map on his HUD - their markers were starting to blur and crackle with static. Sometimes going underground could cause that but just a few minutes earlier and there was no problem.

"Can I ask something real simple of you? Can you get down there and check on the rest of our squad? They went down with the leader throught there-" He gestured at the rather large hole in the floor. "Down towards the marked spot on your HUD - you're on the network right? Just check up on us and then follow whatever the big fellow, Jurgen, tells you to. Think that's simple enough?"
 
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Trell0

New member
Korofi shook his head at the comment from Rafael and responded to him. "No one can do Corporal Rafael Romero. Can't run from responsibility last I checked."

He now began making his way over to the other soldiers, but not before taking a moment to contemplate the dead he went passed along the way. Once he made it to the the GDW and SSM soldiers he stopped and spoke to the soldiers at the front. "Unfortunately given the state of this place? I don't think I even made it to my first day. I may not seem like much, but shit all of you can count me, err comrades? Teammates? Not sure what word is used in these squads for the camaraderie stuff your different militaries you belong in? Anyway I'll find'em and check up on them although one of them might be salty at me." Korofi now made his way over to the large hole in the floor, which he turned on the flashlight on his S-1911 and viewed his HUD to see where the marked spot was. Then proceeded to drop down into it and with careful precision start making his way over to the marked spot on the HUD.
 

space_person

New member
Rafael steeled himself and finished loading the nonlethal rounds into his rifle. "I'm going to deliver a nonlethal to stun it. Do we have anything to capture it with?" He asked, referring to the small creature. He kept an eye and ear out for that bigger alien. If it stayed away, then it was a secondary problem.
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
Vladimir barely stopped himself from spraying a load of rifle rounds at the smaller bug. "Sure, let's try and get the thing that was sitting on a stiff," he muttered, before taking off his pack and dumping its contents on the floor. "After we get it in the bag, then we dump a box out, so it's more secure," he said, holding the pack in his hands, ready to go after the alien.
 
Neither the creatures nor the infantry were getting any less calm. Exoskeleton clattered against metal, claws scraped against flooring, and voices shouted in Russian, German, English, and French for the larger of the alien invertebrates to stay back. It was listening; perhaps it knew what a gun was and the bite of armour-piercing steel.

"Everyone, com check! Having trouble hailing command and I know we aren't that far deep underground. Try to hail command, I have you covered!" Jurgen wasn't liking this. He couldn't get a good visual of the smaller organism, even from shared HUD feed but the larger one was irregultar and unusual to him. What would something so large be doing in a container for what looked like hazardous materials? It was likely an isolation chamber to check for potentially harmful agents on mined resources. And what was was with the metallic components emerging from the stone on the slab? He had previously been tempted to chew out Jorg for his curiosity but something about it was odd and he couldn't help but constantly glance towards it from the corner of his eye.

Was that a faint glow coming from the exposed rectangular board-like shapes? His radar picked something up behind him - friendly based on the IFF signal.

"Friendly coming in from the rear! You there, behind me!"
He shifted his body to face away from the railing, making sure it really was another human. "Stay where you are and-"

---

Jorg heard it first. A faint crackle behind him, the same sound made when he'd made that questionable decision to poke the rock with the pronged gripping appendage. A series of crackles followed, difficult to hear over the threatening shouts of the squad (including his own) as the enormous cobra-centipede-spider thing menaced their way and its smaller counterpart bundled itself up like some grotesque fabric covered coccoon. Maybe it was just the sparking, malfunctioning of some sort of dysfunctional probe and below their paygrade and mission objectives. They were supposed to be finding civilians after all; they'd seen the blood on the door leading into this building and surely they'd gone inside.

A crackle, a fizz, and a faint odour behind him - surely he couldn't be the only one who noticed that. Could he afford to turn away even for a few split seconds when they were facing down a strange threat? Even if it was some sort of monstrous fana, the sickle-like claws and imposing size did not make him feel his armour was a guarantee of protection.

He could faintly hear Jurgen yelling; he was addressing someone. The fellow Rafael had been talking with earlier? The twit who had been yapping over the coms? He'd muted them to avoid having more on his mind than there already was. Why wasn't he speaking over the coms though? Had they been disabled?

He flicked his own and attempted to send a message... only to notice there was no reception. The smell intensified as did the crackling buzz and he couldn't help but want to turn around. Tapping a squaddie on the shoulder to signify a position switch, Jorg flipped about just in time to see a flash of pinkish-white light and lashing, jolting tendril-like electricity.

The soldier fell to the ground, unable to scream as his body convulsed and writhed. Four more fell, guns and armour clattering to the ground and faint, straine cries emerged from their suits as their HUD's scrambled and on board systems struggled to negate the influx of power. His limbs weren't locked up but the joints on his armour sure were, barely able to crane his neck to see that at least the remainder of the squad, while somewhat disoriented and caught off guard at least was still standing.

So were the aliens.

Fin-like flaps opened across the hooded head of the large creature and bristling rows of spines revealed themselves. Before they could fire, a storm of large calibre machine gun bullets roared and slammed into the tail end and lower body of the creature, causing it to recoil and twist, sending a wild burst of spines wildly off course and sticking perfectly into the wall opposite. Yet the creature was still moving, aiming one of its spine-flaps towards Vladimir and another towards Romero.

Somehow, it was quiet the whole time. Almost as if the pain it felt was only just a sensation and not some biting agony.

The smaller one had leapt off and was skittering away towards a door, its claws clattering away as the length of its half centipede, half rove beetle like body frantically searched for a way out as the larger creature faced off against the gathered squad, soon turning to face Jurgen and Korofi as another batch of spines revealed itself ready for launch.
 

space_person

New member
Rafael's jaw clenched shut as the electric current shot white-hot pain up his feet and his HUD glitched out, but he was far enough away not to become completely incapacitated. The screams of his fellow soldiers snapped him into focus. Three, four, five down. Great, the little one got away. Enemy on the move. Move, Raff!

"Take cover!" Rafael shouted to Vladimir as the spines flew through the air and stuck to the wall. Rafael jumped behind a shipping container and swapped to his service weapon, his rifle loaded with useless rubber bullets.
 

Trell0

New member
Korofi was in the middle of giving a response. "Easy there Sergeant? Captain? General? Boss Man---" Then his attention diverted to the HUD, which he was seeing them flicker in and out in his display. He grimaced at the thought of trouble being afoot here already, which he was preparing to holster his pistol and switch to his assault rifle until he spotted the strange creature at the bottom. There was only a fraction of time to react to the sudden attack, which he acted on instinct drawing his pistol onto the large creature and attempted to fire a few rounds into it. All the while moving closer to the stair case and crouching near it. "Boss Man I'll distract it! Try to fire from a different angle!" He hoped this creature lacked intelligence and couldn't understand what he suggested.
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
"Gavno," Vladimir yelled, jumping back and behind another shipping container, before the alien creature could fire. "Can we just kill it now, mudakí?" he asked, dropping his empty pack and pulling his rifle with real bullets to the ready.
 
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In spite of the purple-bleeding holes slammed through its lower body, the semi-serpentine creature only bled. Screams, shrieks, hisses - all absent and in its place the thrwip-thrwip of compressed gas sending fist-sized spines flying towards the team in a wild suppressive spray. Shocked as they were, the GDW troopers were anything but unprepared for combat. Elite training and augmented armour locked onto the projectile-openings and soon they had swung behind crates and slab-tables, ducking as otherwise lethal rounds clattered and bounced off of tough material.

Yet for all of its fearsomeness, it was but a single creature otherwise exposed in a fairly large room. Pistol rounds slammed into its body; cracking armour at first then biting deep and into flesh. A sound like a tape being jammed and scratched in a cassette player sounded out as it recoiled and sent another few of its pointed bolts wide amidst sprays of faint purple blood.

The creature recoiled backwards, scratch-growling as an electronic hum was heard. The smaller of the two aliens could be seen vanishing behind a freshly opened door, tail curving around the entrance as the larger one began to beat a hasty retreat - clearly surrounded and outgunned.

Not before a burst of machine gun fire slammed into its slower body and drew a satisfyingly loud howl, one that seemed to rattle in their heads as its lengthy tail was reduced to a short stump as the majority its length twisted and recoiled, separated from the main body.

They weren't done yet however.

"SQUAD! Prepare for pursuit. We're not letting our only possible lead get away! Surface team, surface team do you read?" The tall sergeant's feet slammed onto the ground, charging towards the door weapon raised as he raised his fist and motioned for the others to fall in. "Surface team, recover the- shit, it's still alive, stay clear!"

The tail itself writhed and lashed, earning itself a dismissive kick from Jurgen knocking it out of the path of the door. Others emerged from cover; two of them tended to the injured, one hand on their twitching bodies as they slowly recovered from the effects, the other on rifles pointed towards the door. It was a testament to the protective capability of GDW craftsmanship that soon they were able to stand again and clearly they were eager to repay the favour.

"Surface team, get down here and recover the alien bodymass and stone object-of-interest at the pinged location, we're in pursuit of a hostile!"

Without the time to wait for backup, Jurgen lead the squad through the door but nearly stumbled as up a short flight of stairs marked with the gushed purple blood of the creature, it could be seen turning around to face them with a fresh array of spikes loaded.

Jurgen threw himself to the side and raised his machine gun but the creature had aimed first and fired a wild spray at the doorway!
 
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space_person

New member
Rafael assessed the injured and helped the other two soldiers get them to their feet. The electric shock luckily didn't melt anything to the fallen soldiers' skin or electrocute them past their armor. The only comfort he gave to the shaken soldiers was a curt pat on the shoulder as he stood to pursue the alien, but he did look back to be sure none of them showed pain as they stood.

Nearer the back of the formation, Rafael was able to duck back into the previous room as the spikes shot through the doorway. The creature had lost a lot of blood, but that often made wild animals all the more aggressive. But was this thing wild or sentient? He held his questions for later as he braced himself against the wall near the door.
 

Trell0

New member
Korofi was about to fire more shots from his pistol into the creature until it made it's hasty retreat. Which he took that opportunity to holster his pistol and switch to his rifle; taking a brief moment to swipe his thumb over the scratches on it. "Ready and able to move out Boss Man." He took position only two people behind Jurgen, as he knew he was new to this squad but wished to provide as much support as he could more so from being unharmed earlier by the creature. His head poked out in hope to gain a firing angle and barely just in time to see the aim and pull back a bit out of the angle of the wild spray. "It could be me, but I think it's damn bitter with a side of being salty at us!"
 

Acewing13

GM
Wiki Moderator
"I didn't hear anything about not killing it," Vladimir said, following behind Jurgen, rifle at the ready. "So, I'm going to try and kill it. Made me try and catch it with my fucking backpack."

Vladimir waited for the alien to fire it's own barrage before popping out from the doorway and firing a burst out of his rifle.
 
"Weapons free if that wasn't already clear!" Jurgen ducked as the needle-rounds tore open a section of the wall a mere inch or so above his head. His gun clattered against his plating and the wall as he practically fell to a crouching slouch, knocking over a stack of books and cardboard boxes as he struggled to get a bead on the bleeding beast. "Forget about capturing either of them for now! And it's sergeant Korofi!"

More needles flying by silenced the sergeant, one ripping right through his cover and sending chipped fragments of wood and paper fluttering about. One soldier ducked down a little too slowly and a few needles slammed into their shoulder and lower left of their stomach, sliding them across the floor as vitals flashed.

Vladimir's rifle responded in kind, heavy calibre rounds slamming into its torso and causing the creature to recoil; this time a distorted, blaring scraping exploded from its body as chitin cratered and meat was torn apart by armour piercing bullets. It seemed to crash against the window of an office space as Jurgen ran over to the fallen trooper - the armour had bitten into the under-fabric but it had barely drawn blood from a preliminary scan. It didn't seem to be an ideal hit... or maybe they had just gotten lucky. GDW armour wasn't *that* tough.

"Suppressing the target! Get ready to advance but watch for any ambushes! If it's got friends they're no doubt aware!" The SAW spoke in turn, shredding through glass and the wall beneath, revealing the enormous creature crawling backwards between aisles of computers and desks, its stumpy lower body having ceased its bleeding but its torso dripping even with its back faced.
 

space_person

New member
Rafael crouched near the fallen trooper beside Jurgen, confirming that nothing was broken and the bleeding wasn't a problem. He was about to get up and open fire on the creature, but with so many unknowns about this alien, he decided to do a quick toxins scan to be sure that the needles weren't laced with poison.
 

Trell0

New member
"Moving up Sergeant Boss Man!" Korofi ran forward with his rifle pointed forward in front of him, which upon seeing the creature crawling backwards between the aisles? He fired a couple of controlled bursts in the creatures general direction. Uncertain if whether or not he hit? He started to move carefully making sure to line himself up with one of the desks in case cover would be needed. "Be ready to use cover! It has to have more of those spikes!"
 
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