The Survivor's Sword

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The Survivor's Sword

Postby malde37 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:48 pm

So apparently I can't indent on here.. That's frustrating.

This is going to be ongoing, with long waits for updates, but they'll be decently big. Hopefully. Let me know when I make any mistakes. Please. I'm sort of using this forum as an aid to my writing.

Chapter 1: For it Stares Also Unto You

THE flashing lights of his heads-up made the cylinder fluid that was splashed across his visor sparkle like a deadly fireworks show. The “low Energy” warning was almost completely glared over by the “Right leg Critical” and “Left arm immobile” icons. He wiped his visor with the left forearm of his SymSom suit, its blue spandex doing little more than smearing the beads of liquid. He could hear the clunking and whirring of his giant mechanical mobile frame trying—and failing—to duplicate the action.

Kuran Wells was a 22 solar-year-old black male with exc ellent fighting skills and common sense. He also happened to be the youngest SymSom pilot in the entire UMFL, and was worried that this day might end his legend. He’d been five days without any support, and had been cut off from command for even longer.

SymSom is the military slang term for “Symmetrically Somatic Piloting Interface,” a cockpit and controls overhaul that removes all conventional control panels, pedals, and levers and replaces them with a high-tech harness. The harness records all movements made by the suit and translates them into controls for the mobile frame. The suit is also equipped with sma0ll electrical pulse generators that help the pilot feel what his frame feels, corresponding to tiny sensors all over the outer plating.

“Raze,” an SK-39 “Shortsword” combat frame had seen better days, but it still had some fight left. A destroyed left shoulder meant a lack of stability for the 29mm automatic rifle that was standard issue for a UMFL fire team leader, a weapon usually requiring two hands to operate. His right leg had almost no range of motion, eliciting a limp that slowed him down considerably, and at least a few circuits in the system had been fried, producing a dangerous controls delay on some movements.

Raze struggled to traverse the rubble-strewn streets of New Thermoplilae, a once thriving city turned war-torn ruins in the aftermath of a week long fight. His dragging leg echoing through the empty skyscrapers with scratches of metal on concrete, giving voice to the death in the air, and yet offering no relief from the ash or dust. This was the site of the first full-scale offensive by the UMFL on Obberon; an event predicted by few but felt by many, as the planet was usually left to fend for itself by the Solar Union.

The gleam of metal and sound of falling rubble alerted Wells to the presence of what appeared to be a walker frame, painted the blue and gold of a Planetary Defense Squad. The spider-like mech stood three meters tall and had four thin legs made of long, flat metal. The cockpit looked like it was almost suspended between the legs by wires and tubes, but its stability when it shifted proved that the joints held strong to the insectoid legs.

Mounted in the direct center of the roof of the ‘body,’ and popping up over the top, was a turreted cannon. While the rounds it would fire were the same size as what Wells’ rifle shot, these cannons were much less accurate and much cheaper to make. They were common to see used by PDS’s and were primarily used in ambush style engagements. Since the spider-like walker frames were not humanoid in design, they could only be controlled by a series of levers and pedals, and rarely walked smoothly across even level terrain; however, their ability to climb rough terrain, when driven by a skilled pilot, was unmatched.

It had already noticed him, and stood on the blown-out second floor of a crumbling building. It had its cannon pointed directly at Raze, and Wells had to mute the beeping warning of his 360 degree sensor dome. They stood completely still, staring at each other with held breath; a sentiment rarely enjoyed by a combat pilot. Just as soon as it had appeared, the silence was shattered by a deafening boom. The shot hit Raze’s bad shoulder, and ripped some parts from it. Instantly, Raze was lunging to close the gap. A few bounding leaps from his good leg, and he was almost level with the walker frame. Raze fired a controlled pair of rounds into the enemy, and while one missed, the other ripped a hole in one of the front legs. The cannon cocked and fired another round, as the walker scrambled backwards to avoid a melee confrontation. It missed, however, and Wells felt that in order to conserve ammo, it would be best for him to finish the engagement with fisticuffs. With one more bounding leap, Raze was well within range to pistolwhip the walker with the butt of its rifle. He brought the rifle down heavily on the walker’s cockpit, but the dent it left was not substantial. Knowing that Raze’s shoulder was screwed up, wells had Raze turn the weapon around and place the barrel into his off hand, which still had the ability to grip. As the walker attempted to fire another shot, Raze grabbed the cannon and pointed it away, sending the round into a nearby building. Wells flung his arm up and Raze ripped the cannon from the top of the walker frame, the sound of straining metal echoing through the air. He threw it to the ground beside him and reached to his chest to draw his meter-long combat knife. He plunged it deep into the cockpit of the damaged walker, and cringed slightly at the amount of blood and mechanical fluids that spilled out the bottom of the mech.

Without a pilot, the spider stood frozen, fluids of all kinds dripping from its parts. Wells had sheathed Raze’s knife and was about to breathe a sigh of relief when he noticed that his sensor was still going off. An arrow pointed behind him, and he could see the silhouette on the bystreet nearby, a projected shadow from the setting sun. It was another humanoid frame, and wells knew he needed a new weapon to face it. He reached down, grabbed a leg of the walker, and placed his right leg on it, balancing on his good leg. He ripped the spider’s leg from the dead frame, the piece glimmering in the sun with fluids of all kinds. The leg was a three meter long, thirty centimeter wide, and six centimeter thick sheet of metal. Its long edges beveled in, almost like a blade, and it looked like a fitting sword for Raze. Wells placed the new truncheon on his frame’s back, onto a magnetic strip that normally held his rifle, and turned to face the new threat.

The blue and gold paint was scratched away in many places, giving leave to bright orange and yellow safety stripes. This ST-07 “Chub” labor frame stood about five meters tall, just slightly shorter than Raze, and its arms had been heavily modified. Wells deduced that this frame was likely used in a spaceport or shipyard to move large shipping containers, as its feet and arms were massive. They had clearly been modified to move heavy equipment, and would pack quite a punch in any boxing match, so Wells thought it best to keep his distance. Instead of hands, the arms of the frame were capped with large square bolts that would normally lock into shipping containers. One arm, the chub’s left, was locked into what had to be a piece of scrap from a container; it had the appropriate locking mechanism, but it was really just an irregular chunk of metal, about a meter in most dimensions. On the chub’s shoulder was another cannon, almost identical to the one the walker frame was using, and the shins of the bulky frame had large spikes welded onto them.

It swung its arm in a large circle, demonstrating its intention to use the scrap metal as a makeshift hammer, and then charged towards Raze. Wells struggled down the rubble, but stayed steady enough to get three shots from his rifle off. While they fired in a burst, the first round did the most damage. It hit the chub’s shoulder—It’s right, not the hammer arm—and damaged many of the pistons and rods that moved the arm. The second shot landed solidly on the shoulder spaulder of the chub, ripping a hole in it. The third hit to the right of the other two, and impacted the sensor dome mounted between the head and the shoulder armor of the enemy frame. When a sensor dome is hit, it bursts into a beautiful splash of bright blue plasma, which evaporates after a few seconds only to leave a dark residue thickly on any surface it hits. This time proved no different, and the dome exploded with blue plasma splashing everywhere. It was still in a full charge, its arm cocked, when it got to the bottom of the rubble. Raze had the higher ground, but no advantages could make up for the injuries the frame had sustained. The chub tried to bring its hammer fist down onto raze’s midsection, but wells avoided it with a deft sidestep before bringing his bad leg down onto the hammer itself. He shifted his weight onto it, pinning it against the incline of rubble, and then brought the butt of his rifle hard into the chub’s shoulder cannon. The sound was more of a boom than the clang wells expected, but the cannon fell to dangle helplessly from a few wires. The damaged but free arm of the chub came up and grabbed raze’s boot, ripping it off of the hammer and throwing wells off balance. Wells stumbled down the slope, but with one bad leg and a controls delay, he ended up falling flat on his back at the base of the rubble, parallel to the chub. The chub turned to him and, to wells’ bewilderment, kicked raze in the side while he was down.

The men fighting for the defense of their planet are rebels, most with no military training at all, and many, like this one, had no real weaponry. Groups are sent out with mining equipment to mine, or farming equipment to farm, and the rebels do not have the funding to create combat-specific frames; they make do with what they have.

The spikes on the frame’s leg tore into Raze’s left side, and wells fired a few shots in its direction. The shots all missed, but the chub stopped kicking and stepped back, again cocking its arm to bring the hammer down. Wells used his good leg to roll raze to the side, a maneuver usually impossible with conventional controls, and avoided the blow. Using his rifle like a crutch, wells had raze come to a standing position within seconds. It wasn’t fast enough, however, as the hammer arm of the chub struck Raze’s rifle horizontally, flinging it out of its grip and off to the side. While recoiling from the blow, the hammer chub decided to use its off arm to try and land a sucker punch in Raze’s chest. Wells saw it coming, however, and lifted his arm to knock the punch away. While his arm was still in motion, wells decided to grab his newly found sword, which was still magnetically snapped to his back. He bought it forward and, with one hand, brought it down onto the chub’s hammer arm. Wells couldn’t hide his smile as it ripped the bulky forearm from the elbow, rendering the frame defenseless.

The rules of engagement dictated that he take no quarter, and he decided to finish the chub off with a heavy blow to the cockpit. As his ‘sword’ met the metal of the chest of the chub, both the frame and the weapon itself bent, creased, and crumpled in a crunch of metal. The cockpit had been rendered practically concave, and the improvised weapon was rendered useless. It was over, and he limped raze to his rifle, now with four rounds total remaining, before continuing towards the downtown district.

While a majority of the fighting had already died down, distant gunshots and explosions could be heard every couple of minutes, coming into his headset like whispers. As he trudged down the street, escorting loud metallic scrapes and mechanical noises, he became acutely aware of certain bodily functions tugging at his brain. He limped his frame into an alley and climbed out, looking for a good spot to relieve himself as the sun set on the horizon. He clambered over some rubble, through a hole in a wall, and into a dilapidated building. The building was presumably still in use a few weeks earlier but the dust in the air and damaged structure made it look like it had been abandoned for much longer.

The SymSom suit has its spandex fibers sewn with muscle cylinder fluid, which gives a precise electrical output of the exact position of the suit at any given time, since MCF is capable of producing energy when compressed. The harness allows the user to move freely without bumping into anything, and the many hookups on the wrists and ankles provide the frame’s computer with data to control the machine. The suit is a single piece, and can be quite a challenge to don or remove. The tactical advantage that its flexibility provides, however, is so incredibly beneficial that its shortcomings may be overlooked. The suit is not perfect, albeit convenient, and many issues occasionally glitch into being. For example, there are certain poses that the frame is not capable of being in, and if the pilot tries to recreate these poses, the frame will get its joints stuck, armor panels caught, or worse. This can be fixed by reversing the movements made to get into that position, or by moving to a new, more feasible position. Another issue is that sometimes arises involves the computer system failing to correctly translate the suit’s readouts to the frame. Or similarly, the suit fails to provide the correct readout; MCF is alive, and may occasionally slightly vary in its output.

Before he methodically climbed back into Raze, Wells stopped to survey all of the damage he had sustained recently. So many parts were completely destroyed, parts of the armor had been mangled beyond recognition, and many joint cylinders were dangling, limp. He was contemplating making repairs when he slipped, stumbled on some concrete, and hit the ground hard. His arms failed to catch him, his elbows erupted with searing pain, and his forehead made contact with the ground. He grimaced, but felt so exhausted that he could not get up. He coughed, rolled to his side, and closed his eyes so he could catch his breath for a moment. That moment turned to hours, however, as sleep crept over him and took him away into the night.

His dreams told stories of mechanical gears pushing his own body’s muscles into submission, unnatural movements contorting his joints as he hobbled down the street of his home town. He welded his leg back together after it broke, and he even tried to open his chest so that a tiny mobile frame could climb inside. These dreams were mysterious; not nightmares, but not something he wanted, either. The dreams felt distant and were always in third person.

He didn’t wake until cold rain met his face.
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Re: The Survivor's Sword

Postby Vitoria » Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:26 pm

This was actually really nice, I wonder why nobody commented on it.

This SymSom concept seams to be mostly like Conscript controls but more advanced.
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