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 Lab Rats

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Number of posts : 773
Registration date : 2007-04-26

Lab Rats Empty
PostSubject: Lab Rats   Lab Rats EmptyMon 7 Sep - 9:50:18

Lab Rats
We stopped somewhere after a few minutes. The driver opened up our compartment and we dismounted as he slid out our coffin like cargo on its grav sled. He then drove off leaving us with our sombre charge.

We were in a windowless large room, spotlessly clean, with gleaming white surfaces all around that would bring a tear to Barry Scott’s eye. It seemed featureless, even our accustomed overhead fish sauce pipes were missing though there were some others containing we knew not what. Two droids however remained dissatisfied with the apparently pristine conditions and were continuing to scrub and disinfect, no doubt noticing us only in the context of unhelpful globules of germs and other contamination undoing their patient hard work.

The room’s only exit unless you counted the ventilation system four metres above us was the large vehicle sized portal through which we had entered. It remained stoically shut despite our attempts to open it, indeed it appeared that there was intentionally no apparatus to operate the doors from this side.

Sar D’Trak the child slayer was busy scanning the coffin, no doubt hoping that it contained more children he could corpsefy, and sure enough he was getting some sort of life signs from it. We postulated that it could contain a body in stasis or some sort of cryogenic state.* Opening the coffin seemed another poser for us, it seemed likely that it was coded to certain DNA sequences.

*Possibly the fabled Walt Disney of legend

We turned our attention to the robots; I was able to direct the child slayer how to interface with their control systems which revealed that they had a number of potential programmable modes including defence and attack, but also medical options. Further evidence supporting the fact that these robots were used surgically was provided by the wicked assortment of scalpel attachments both droids had.

The child killer was able to discover a protocol that enabled the droids to open the coffin and we engaged it, Scrap nervously covering the coffin as if he expected some undead monstrosity to emerge. The hi tech mark 71 acme corpse carrier in fact contained nothing more sinister than a body bag. Our medical murderer unzipped it to reveal an apparently unconscious woman, half naked with the characteristic triple back scarring that we had witnessed on many other prisoners.

Dr Death performed a number of tests sampling the sleeper’s blood and taking brain and body scans which showed an abnormally high level of activity and metabolism, indeed it was increasingly obvious that she was in some distress even without a scan as her body was becoming hot to the touch.*

*Thud seemed particularly interested in touching her feet.

The blood sample analysis showed the presence of the fish sauce in the bloodstream. Was this the fabled 442? Was it responsible for her condition? The accelerated evolution quality of the sauce seemed to be at work, but exactly what was she evolving in to? I poured some water on her face but it seemed to have no comforting effect. Meanwhile our specialist in infanticide carried out a round of healing, after all, our wounded were all grown-ups so he had no ethical dilemmas there.

We decided to remove the apparently rapidly deteriorating experiment from the receptacle and I carefully lifted her out and placed her on the ground, the ever cautious Maverick continuing to cover her. Thud as usual favoured the direct approach and gave her a no nonsense shaking in an attempt to rouse her. He was successful in his attempt. Unfortunately.

From one of the deep scars in her back a whip like claw darted out and stabbed her tormentor causing him to recoil in horror. We all stepped back as she began a transformation, claw like arms writhing from her back spreading like reptilian fleshless wings and an armoured carapace bursting through.

The kiddie killer screamed something about not shooting which we all naturally ignored. I fired a warning shot, intending the warning to be a laser burst through her head but it missed and became an actual warning shot. Scrap having had his gun pointed at her for over an hour also missed pathetically. Thud, whilst clutching his bleeding head actually winged her, even as her new body sloughed off its human skin completely, he also shouted at her and I followed his example.

I wanted her to stop attacking us; to take a disinterested posture whilst discussing the difficulties of our position with a view to formulating a sensible and hopefully mutually beneficial resolution to our problems in a constructive and supportive way that respected the integrity and objectives of both sides in an adult and considered manner that set aside early misunderstandings that appeared to have occurred resulting in the minor wounds suffered by both sides. I think the exact words that I used to covey this somewhat complex and multi layered set of concepts were ‘Freeze bitch!’

Unbelievably, probably impressed by my accustomed tone of imperious command,* she stopped. I followed up suggesting that we should not be fighting as we had a common enemy, to which she not unreasonably pointed out that we had just shot her, but at least we were now in a debate not a dogfight.** She also indicated a dislike for the Ross society uniforms most of us were wearing, causing Thud and the youngling slayer to disrobe. After some more repartee she tired of the conversation and exited the room by the simple expedient of crashing through the ceiling vent high above us and disappearing into the ventilation shaft beyond.

*Or pothibly confuthed by my thpeech impediment? ‘Fweeze bitch?’
**Holly was out of the room

Well at least we were now safe and the crisis had passed. We also had an obvious escape route to follow. Then klaxons started blaring: ‘Contamination Alert!’ Apparently the Lab personnel for some reason were worried about possible escapes of the daemon prisoners and had thoughtfully installed scanners to reveal breaches of security.
We resorted to our telescopic poles, Maverick was boosted up to the vent where he set up a rope whilst the toddler terminator adjusted the robot programmes, engaging their defence protocols, fortunately managing to ensure that we registered correctly to their friend or foe systems. We all climbed up even as the doors burst open, the under sixteen undertaker teleporting up at the last moment using his psychic powers to escape.

We hurried along the warren of ventilation shafts, following the creature whose course was clearly marked by the huge regular puncture marks in the walls caused by the scuttling monster as it powered through the passageways. The screams and shooting noises behind us died away as the doughty droids dutifully defended our retreat to be replaced by screams and shooting noises from ahead.

We had passed several similar chambers to our own, several of them occupied by teams of Ross scientists with their own coffin specimens, now we dropped into another, this one however was somewhat less than pristine, liberally splattered as it was with the blood of lab personnel and an empty receptacle that told its own story. It seemed that our friend was not only looking for vengeance but was on a mission of liberation too.

The exit to this room had exploded outwards almost as if it had been hit by one or possibly two supernaturally strong creatures that were seriously pissed off with something, but we didn’t have time to speculate. Following a trail of damage and carnage brought us quickly back to the large docking chamber where we encountered a scene of destruction, confusion and general mayhem in full swing.

Instead of the orderly processions of Ross foundation scientists, the clockwork loading and unloading of vehicles, the well-guarded and shackled groups of prisoners under the eyes of watchful and disciplined troopers, there were three of the daemon creatures tearing into guards, prisoners and particularly scientists, tearing off limbs and heads and then using them as missiles together with anything heavy enough to cause serious damage that was not nailed down. Great welters of blood made the position of the creatures quite easy to spot enough if they themselves disappeared from view.

The guards were firing at them, at prisoners as they ran in all directions and indeed at the groups of Ross scientists who thoughtfully lined themselves up so that they could be shot with the minimum expenditure of valuable ammunition. Clearly the guards had received orders that a fire sale was on and ‘everything must go.’ Two large gun turrets high overhead were firing magnetic ammunition specially designed not to penetrate the hull at the creatures, but without much effect.

Whilst the guards were shooting anything, the creatures were leaving the genetically modified prisoners alone. We meanwhile headed to one of the lifts to get up to the level that led to our escape pod. We ran at full tilt, Scrap and I grabbed laser rifles from fallen guards and the pre teen exterminator grabbed up some booty too.

We reached the lift and activated it, unfortunately this seemed to draw the attention of the turreted mag guns overhead which obviously were programmed to prioritise targets using the lifts. Luckily their shots went wide and they ceased their interest in us once we piled off the platforms on the fourth level. We headed back towards our docking point, the station rocking to distant explosions.

Through the viewing ports we passed we could see only one of the attendant battleships, it had moved again but what it was doing was anyone’s guess. We found the disguised passage and re-boarded the boarding tube, detaching it without using power to allow us to drift clear. Once at a safe distance we eased away and headed back to rendezvous with the good old company ship.

An uneventful trip back to Elepandras and we were reporting back to a slightly surprised Anastacia Bolokov who reported that the Lab had been destroyed by its escorts*, lost with all hands**to contain a contamination outbreak. We were able to present her with a sample of the fish sauce infused blood from our friendly daemon and the downloads from the computer monitoring the Krosty fish which seemed to make her happy and earned us our payment. We decided not to mention the eggs laid in Thud’s head.***

*Another 20.000+ victims for us including all those walker children, that’s the way you do it in a civilised society Sar
**And claws. Maybe…
***Of course, we hadn’t mentioned these to Thud either

Now we picked up our messages: Increasingly irritated/ demanding/threatening ones from Jesus at regular intervals* mentioning the non-payment of his fees. The adolescent annihilator sent him 50,000 of our hard earned to shut him up which was tersely acknowledged.

*Not that Heythuth you idiot

My message is both good and bad: my father, the Arch Duke Marcellus of Brizeno is dead and I am asked to return from exile. When you grow up in the ruling family of my planet you get the best education money can buy, now in my case not a lot went in, but even at the age that makes you a victim of choice for Sar you can’t help noticing that the majority of my Ducal ancestors failed to die peaceably in their beds.

The only question in my mind, is which of my brothers beat me to it: High Vizier Blen Moreau, the brains of the family has the right kind of low down cunning to engineer a plot at just the right moment with plausible deniability if it failed. Earl Gelor Moreau is the arrogant warrior who solves everything with violence. He’d be as likely to kill my father in a drunken brawl as a plot. Of course, now I’m Earl Moreau and Gelor is High Vizier.

We pick up another job to take cargo to Melite. It’s a curious metre wide opal encased in a containment field that must be taken discretely to the system without contact with any inhabited worlds or stations. We load it in a drop pod that we will leave in deep space in each system where we refuel, returning to pick it up each time. As an added bonus, we get to leave Thud on the pod with it. We have strict instructions that it has to remain upright and are told that it will melt straight through our hull if containment is breached.

All goes well at first, we make several jumps and refuels leaving Thud with the glowing opal for company several times. Then the final jump goes awry: we overshoot the Melite system and damage, well everything. No comms so we can’t call for help, no drop pod system so we can’t access our cargo or the ships entire supply of toilet paper. No spike drive so we can’t move and perhaps worst of all, no coffee peculator. Oh and life support is out too.

Sar has to put most of the crew to sleep to conserve oxygen, our space suits and our power cells. When the ankle biter annihilator and Thud awaken us weeks later they spin us some tale of how they saved us all with some incredible work and we were all within a whisker of certain death but for their incredible skill and dedication. I don’t know, they tighten a couple of loose nuts on the spike drive and want you to treat them as a hero. What a couple of losers.

One little nugget of information for storage an possible reuse: Apparently at a stressful moment during their alleged ‘ordeal’ the great Scrap Maverick was sufficiently traumatised to reveal that his name is actually Giles Johnson.* Nevertheless it’s a battered SS Company Ship that limps eventually into orbit around Brizeno. As far as I can see the ship’s in as bad a condition as when I was put under and the coffee percolator is a definite write off.

*Appawently Wayne Dibbley wath taken

Skarl seems interested in my planet at least, or I think that’s what she was trying to say, she certainly asked me how big something was and it can’t have been what I thought she said… One piece of information about the death of my dear father the late Archduke, apparently he was killed by a ‘blob of shadow’. Hmm, sounds like big brother’s work to me.

We are told by engineer Yoriko Sakamoto that the ship will be 19 days in dock and who knows how much longer to find a decent percolator. We get rid of the cargo and receive payment that will cover about a tenth of the repairs and then the honour guard arrives to collect me.

It does the old heart good to see the Royal Guard in their yellow cross gartered stockings, traditional baggy breeches and impressive plumed helmets adorned with the blue feathers of the male Great Garglon Bird*, the sunlight dancing on their steel shoulder guards, trusty disembowelling pikes and pistols. Less ceremonial troops with a variety of assault weapons are also strongly in evidence.

*The hen’th of courth are a wather dwab bwown for dethert camouflage but there are few more impwethive thites in thith part of the galaxthy than a Gweat Garglon Cock in full mating dithplay

There is some merriment amongst onlookers for some reason as I order the guard to change their formation to allow my crew to accompany me,* asserting the age old right of command due to the Earl of Brizeno, the only question is, am I being led to my death or honour at the hands of one or both of my dear older brothers, and if honour, how quickly can I engineer my accession to take my rightful place as Archduke?

*Pothibly I thoudn’t have ordered them to ‘open their wanks’.

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