• 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

Rafael ducked behind a cubicle near the end of the formation. He shuddered as Vlad yelled 'fire in the hole!', knowing what was going to come next. He didn't know if he'd ever get over that first impression.

He barely flinched as the flashbang exploded. Rafael nodded towards the soldier beside him, preparing to move up towards the corridor.
The nonlethal explosive erupted into a lightning-flash of eye-scorching white. The thundercrack soudn momentarily drowned the angry buzz-hiss of whatever weapon was sending its lethal beams their way. Something crashed and clattered, combined with unintelligible sawing, grating echoes from down the hall as the lancing shots went wide, tearing open ceiling tiles and missing squad-mates by impressively unbecoming margins. Their lethality was not in question but a haphazard, perhaps partially blinded shooter in some ways felt more dangerous than cool, collected killer. They were far more unpredictable after all and with that kind of firepower, it surely would do far more damage than the spines of the creature they had previously shot to ribbons.

Vladimir had taken point just in time to see movement in the door. A shape of some sort jagged and armored moved behind a blur of smoke, the protruding length of a barreled weapon of some sort, ribbed with a long strip of some metallic material over its top, like some sort of jutting and artificial crest. The rest of its body was obscured by both the smoke and movement but it appeared to be large; enough that its huge pauldron-like claws and shoulders could barely fit through and it was firing through the doorway more like some sort of gunport. It was a sort of faded greyish-white, its head semi-triangular with a pointed, predatory shape but its features vanishing soon into the dimly lit room, the air in front of it distorting with intense heat.

That was not before a hail of bullets flew down the hallway. Cracks and pings sounded out as the door was torn open and human bullets met an alien body. Loud pings and cracks sounded out, flashes of light as a few rounds ricocheted off into the floor, walls, and ceilings and others dug into its body. Trilling buzzes sounded out as the auditory report of deflected shots and scoring wounds diminished.

A sustained spray of machine gun fire ripped off the rest of the door, sending both halves clattering to the floor as Jugen took to the front, sending a HUD-overlay graphic of an arrow. It was time to advance as multiple squad members began kicking up the intensity of their fire upon advancing. A rifle grenade flew inside, chasing after the fleeting bulk of the creature and violently exploded but this time, there was no response.

"Move move move, we have the advantage! Short bursts and single shot, don't give him time to retaliate!" Jurgen advanced up to Vladimir and Korofi , tapping their shoulders and motioning for them to take point alongside him. "Korofi, on me, Lars, cover us, and-"

Whatever he was going to say was silenced by an angry cry as a blur of thrashing, serpentine motion leapt his way from the ceiling, clinging to his helmet and causing him to stumble back and drop his weapon. The centipede-like shape of the smaller creature coiled around his head, a parade of pointed limbs stabbing against the helmet with absurd, clattering tenacity. Their advance down the narrow corridor had awkwardly stopped and there was no telling if the large entity would be lining up for another shot.


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"Belay that, cover me, comrades," Vlad said, letting his rifle hang by it's sling as he grabbed Jurgen and pulled him back behind cover. "Keep firing, I'll get this off him," he continued, taking off the knife from his rifle, pinned the centipede down on the German's head with his left hand, and started stabbing the alien with his right. "Sorry, comrade, don't want it moving while I'm going after it," he explained to Jurgen.


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Korofi didn't seem to show it, but he was surprised the centipede-like smaller creature seemed to have come out of nowhere and go for one of them. Jurgen no less, which made him wonder if they had some form of knowing who was in command? It could have been weird animal instinct seeing him give them orders, but it was scary to say the least. However he didn't have time to be scared, as there was work to be done, arguably scary work at that. "You got your cover comrade, but try not to, uh, make his face look like his aunts spaghetti or those homemade pizza rolls!" Korofi popped out of cover and this time took a brief moment to aim for what he hoped was the creatures head and eyes and press down on the trigger firing multiple bursts in that area.

"I'm going to try to make him blind, but no promises! Good news though might be I'm going to beat him in a blinking contest and I haven't lost one of those in what feels like ages!"


Lars was glad to be backed up by Jurgen in his response to Korofi, moving to approach the outside aisles. He was about to respond to Jurgen's inquiry when the thud of a door reached his ears. He paused momentarily, civilian brain taking over, before remembering his training and continuing with his orders, just at double the speed. He remained crouched around the corner, setting up the tripod and rifle, before a pungent odour assailed his senses. Upon looking up, it only took Lars a second to put two and two together - that trooper had just had a brush with death in the form of a purple energy beam. Lars couldn't help but find himself not really wanting to stick his head around the corner. He was rather a fan of it remaining on his shoulders, rather than having it be disintegrated.

He paused for a moment, waiting for a reply to the request for visual contact, apprehensive about poking the barrel of his very expensive rifle around the corner in case it was hit. At Vladmir's warning, Lars murmured some sort of curse under his breath before turning away from the aisle and screwing his eyes shut. He heard the bang, waited a few seconds, before throwing himself to the floor behind his tripod, mirroring Vladmir's prone position, and gazing down his scope to assess what the fuck was going on. Unable to see anything more than brief glances of something metallic through the thick black smoke, Lars had no choice but to fire at whatever he could see.

He had expected Jurgen's order. He had not expected Jurgen to be cut off. He had definitely not expected Jurgen to be cut off by a fucking alien centipede.

Lars' instinct had been to reach for Jurgen, but then he'd remembered that he was positioned in order to deliver covering fire, not to provide support - besides, Vladimir seemed to be on top of that anyway. His next action was to fire a few shots at the creature before looking up towards the ceiling to try and establish where the creature had jumped from. Surely they would have seen it had it just been crawling along the roof? Then again, Lars contemplated, there was the elephant in the room of whatever was behind the door... or at least, what used to be a door.
Keeping his position in the back, Rafael made his way closer after hearing Jurgen cry out. Rafael sighed to himself when he saw the Russian briskly stabbing at the centipede creature currently wrapping itself around the Lieutenant's helmet. They should've caught that tiny alien sooner, and now it was biting them in the ass -- well, biting Jurgen in the head, more like.
"Watch the helmet," Rafael called out. A knife wouldn't pierce through that easily, but who knew if that alien could? And he really didn't want to have to deal with multiple stab wounds to the face right now.


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"Why do you think I'm trying to keep it still?" Vlad asked, grunting as the alien struggled underneath his hand and knife. "I'm willing to listen to better ideas, comrade, but I'm going to keep stabbing until then."
"DAMMIT, SHIT! Whoever's stabbing, get it off my head first!" Angry mandibles and claws had been slamming an erratic staccato rhythm against his helmet, scraping through metal as he flailed and yanked at the creature's serpentine grip. His vision was mostly its legs flattened against his visor and its malleable carapace squirming as he felt its body jerk and tense. Before he could so much as imagine what was going on, the creature shrieked and its grip loosened, enough he could see blood drip and hear steel scraping against his helmet.

For Vladimir, it was no less pleasant. Purplish fluids sprayed out like bursting plastic bags spewing out the juice within, splattering against walls and visors as the sand-coloured meat beneath the shell was desecrated. The creature's upper body writhed against his grip with impressive strength, threatening to break through. It would attempt to lunge at Vladimir, attempting to grip its claws into his shoulders and mandibles into his neck. Muscular mass could be heard tearing, splitting, and spraying from the horrific butchery inflicted as the centipede-like creature's last ditch attack commenced.

Korofi's rifle sounded over the feral struggle and scoring hits echoed down the hall. A buzzing drone-scrape echoed out as the same beam of heated purple energy illuminated the upper wall to the side of Korofi, melting through ceiling, brick, and wiring sending spark-blossoms and dust his way. The familiar oxidized reek returned along with a dull ambient buzz - the weapon fell silent but through the obscuration, the large shape could be seen shuddering back, one of its shovel-like claw appendages clutching around its side. Slick purple dripped through its multi-digited fingers, shading what little of its greyish-white covering could be seen a sickly purple.

That could be credited to Lars' sharp aim as the entity began its retreat, firing wildly with one hand and causing the door to fall off of its melted hinges and supports, creating a wider avenue of entry for the squad.

Unlike the prior room, these were long corridors up ahead with partially collapsed doors spilling rubble out onto the floor. The creature nearly tripped on one of said piles but something steadied it; some sort of shape of many pointed legs, the joints pointed upwards and connected to semi-bulbous bodies barely visible in the dim lighting and the growing smoke from rounds and beams ripping through the scenery. They seemed spidery in some capacity yet roughly the size of larger autonomous combat drones, roughly half the size of the hulking creature they were supporting.

Multi-tubular protrusions emerged form flattened plate-like turretry on their wide abdomen-backs, splitting open as nightmare mouths for arrays of pointed harpoon-spines to emerge. The sound of electricity crackled as a steady stream of spikes were fired, pinging against the armour of one trooper and toppling him over as both spiders quickly scuttled first sideways across the floor then onto the walls and ceiling. The sheer quantity was gradually picking up but they were pausing intermittently to try and dodge rifle fire, covering the now fully retreating brute-creature.


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"Whoops," Vladimir said, cringing at the scraping sound of his knife blade against the sergeant's helmet. "Sorry, comrade. Let me get a better grip on this damn..." He trailed off as the alien bug turned to come at him instead. "Govno, mudak," he said, pulling his arms in between his chest and the alien and grabbing it's mandibles with his free hand while stabbing again with his right, "idi na hui."